Archive for June 26, 2012

South Sudan Introduces Programs to Attract Investors

Posted: June 26, 2012 by PaanLuel Wël Media Ltd. in Economy

Recent Economic Conference a Lesson for South Sudan, says Official

Voice of America – ‎‎
An economic adviser to South Sudan President Salva Kiir says the recent conference of the New York Forum Africa provided a learning platform that would help Africa’s newest nation formulate policies to attract investors. Aggrey Tisa Sabuni, who led the 
The Daily Star – ‎
OCCUPIED JERUSALEM: Israel is expelling an additional 150 South Sudanese as part of its campaign to reduce the number of African migrants who have slipped illegally into the Jewish state. Authorities are offering the migrants cash to leave voluntarily 
Voice of America – ‎
South Sudan’s Minister of Commerce, Industry and Investment says Africa’s newest nation is implementing policies to overcome its economic challenges. Garang Diing Akuong said that includes measures to create an enabling environment for foreign 

CNN anchor: I’m becoming a priest

Posted: June 26, 2012 by PaanLuel Wël Media Ltd. in Socio-Cultural

CNN Belief Blog

Editor’s Note: CNN International business news anchor Charles Hodson charts the journey that has taken him from the studio to the brink of ordained ministry – and explains how he plans to combine priesthood with his 34-year career in broadcast journalism.

By Charles Hodson, CNN

At about 11 a.m. this coming  Sunday, in one of England’s most beautiful medieval cathedrals, Peter, Lord Bishop of Bath and Wells, will lay his hands on my head and pronounce these words:

Send down the Holy Spirit on your servant Henry Charles Hodson

for the office and work of a deacon in your Church.

It will be a moment without comparison in my life, and yet it will not be about me, or about any of the dozen others kneeling beside me to be ordained by laying-on of hands.  It will be about God and his Church;  to be called to serve them…

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My Recent Article on the BBC: South Sudan Has not Lived up to the Hype

Posted: June 26, 2012 by PaanLuel Wël Media Ltd. in PaanLuel Wël

There were great celebrations and high expectations when South Sudan finally seceded from the Sudan on July 9th, 2011. Yet, barely a year into South Sudan’s much-hyped independence, the country has failed miserably to live up to expectations. It has been gripped by both external and internal problems that are threatening to tear it apart in its infancy. Nevertheless, there is hardly any regret among South Sudanese citizens for the 98% overwhelming vote they gave for South Sudan’s independence from Khartoum.

Viewpoint: South Sudan has not lived up to the hype

BBC News
As South Sudan prepares to celebrate the first anniversary of its independence, blogger PaanLuel Wel discusses whether the world’s newest country has lived up to the hopes of a year ago…

Mister President

Posted: June 26, 2012 by Tears Ayuen in Tearz Ayuen

By Tearz Ayuen, Nairobi, Kenya.

In reality, you have not achieved anything “yet”. Or in a more friendly language, though you have not failed, you have not achieved anything since you assumed presidency in 2005.

Many writers, when addressing you in a letter, always start it off by pointing out a few good things about you and suddenly switch, explaining what they’re writing to you for. Those are the ones who always want to prove that they’re professionals or something.  Others even stray from their professional territories and say imaginary good things about you; things you really do not deserve compliments for. Such group is mainly composed of beggars, flatterers. My peers call them sycophants, generally.

Well, I am different. It’s not that I am mean nor do I hold any grudge against you but because I find nothing to praise you for for now. And I mean it; you have done nothing to show the world.

You must be saying this to yourself now: “What’s this boy talking about? Is he drunk or mentally deranged? Someone please take him to a mental hospital. What about the successful referendum? The joyful independence, the first class citizenship right I gave South Sudanese? The government system I put in place and the tranquility in the country and etcetera?”

Mister President, don’t dare think about any of the above CPA dividends which happen to be mistakenly enjoyed by the chosen few. You never achieved any of them as an individual; each and every citizen contributed this or that, including blood, limbs, eyes, sweat and tears. If there is anyone out there saying that you brought about the aforementioned benefits, he or she is lying to you with intent to make you a laughing stock of the African heads of states. In other words, he is giving you enough rope to hang your personality – just to make you build castles in the air and resultantly sit back and relax when you should actually be toiling harder to earn yourself a page or two in the history book of South Sudan which is currently writing itself.

You achieved nothing to be remembered about! Elaborately, South Sudan’s independence that came into existence through the 2011 referendum was handed to you on a golden plate. You never struggled for it. It was outlined in the CPA long time ago. And with South Sudanese yearning for religious, political, economic and social freedoms, they voted unity out. That means by hook and crook, the baby country was meant to be, irrespective of who the president was. Yes, even if Late George Athor or David Yau Yau, or a boda boda or Ajah Atong Ajok was the president, South Sudan would still have attained independence!!!

Under your leadership, the citizens are still suffering a number of insecurities of which you indirectly have a hand in. The masses are getting poorer daily. Hunger and diseases are robbing the country of its populations. The common man does not need chips, pizza or samosa. He needs asida and beans to keep his bones strong in order to continue to cater for his family. Nothing else. But your reign never allows that. Efforts to eradicate starvation are negated by your juniors who deliberately break the law, knowing that you do not, you will not, shall not and will never bother to do anything about it. In 2008, the US government gave you a grant of billions of dollars for feeding your hungry eight million civilians. I understand that you were to spend that money on grains that you would in turn sell to the citizens at a cheaper price. What happened? – Like vultures feeding on a carcass, your boys divided up the grants amongst themselves, placing your reputation at stake. It took you a very long time to ask what happened to the money. Now you’re crying; and with both hands in pockets, they are whistling, singing victory songs.

Wise men always speak the truth: reap what you sow, they say. You did employ those who weigh zero point zero zero zero something on the leadership scale and you are now reaping. You must have ignored the important good leadership qualities like integrity, excellence, magnanimity, humility and so on, and based your judgments on what one did during the war in the bush. You handed public offices to incompetent, tribal, ambitionless, emotionally insecure and annoyingly arrogant individuals who do not care about the meaning of a liberation movement.  Now, you know what it’s like to scatter grains on a rocky and thorny ground. The bush comrades you trusted so much have turned against you. They messed up your government; stashed public money in foreign banks, employed their nieces, nephews and concubines. Armed with political immaturity, some of them caused and/or fueled ethnic animosities and suspicions across the country.

Your softness is killing voters. Inability to instill the rule of law in your stewards is a cancerous disease that has eaten off your judicial arm. And that is if you ever had such an arm. First of all, who is South Sudan’s attorney general? Where is his/her office located? What experiences does he have? Has he ever addressed the public? When was the last time he appeared in the news?

Mister President, it takes your court less than a week to finalize a multi-million dollar graft case against your junior official, while a common thief, say chicken thief, serves a five-year pre-trial detention before a judge disinterestedly looks into his file. Are you aware of the implications that have on your tenure?

Your security organs have taken the law into their hands. They freely practice arbitrary arrests and unlawful detentions. That happens because your authority is weak. You never ensure that those who abuse power are punished severely. One good example is that of the former finance minister Arthur Akuein who allegedly stole millions. He got detained but his relatives militarily removed him from the police cell.  Why didn’t you do anything? You couldn’t re-arrest him? You couldn’t order the army to do it? And do you now see the outcome of the message your laxity conveyed to government officials?

A young vigorous and productive citizen with a feminine tribal name, who had just graduated from a Ugandan university, was killed in what many call a fishy tragic road accident in Juba not very long ago. How did the case go? – Nobody knows.

The national army of which you’re its head is so stubborn. The soldiers do not give a damn about the law. They intimidate, harass and attack civilians at will. The country just lost a very important patriot to them. He was an industrious Lost Boy who personally wanted to contribute to the elevation of South Sudan from its current state of illiteracy. He was sponsoring three university students and seven secondary school students until SPLA soldiers took away his life while he was on a visit in his village last week. By the way, fathers of the students in question died during the struggle for liberation. Isn’t that a loss to you?

Doctor Jok Madut Jok, a well-known South Sudanese scholar and a senior official in your government got manhandled by security boys at Wau airstrip shortly before you arrived in the area in December last year. They beat him like a snake. Can you imagine the pain and humiliations he suffered?

Mister President, you unarguably have no hand in those cases but your name appears because you rarely have wrongdoers punished.

I quoted the adverb yet in the first line above in a bid to give you hope that you still do have high chances of redeeming yourself. One chance could be the Abyei issue that seems to be dragging. Abyei belongs in South Sudan. The Ngok are a Dinka people. Why is it taking forever to bring the issue to an end? Look, giving government seats to Arop Kuol Deng, Deng Alor Kuol, Luka Biong Deng, Chol Deng Alaak and many other Abyei intellectuals is not the solution to Abyei issue, because they are not the Abyei. Abyei is the dying child in the Abyei area whose helpless mother cannot do anything about. Abyei is the hungry elderly person with protruding ribs, waiting to die. Their lives lie in your hands.

Your other chance could be the 4 billion dollar scandal. I don’t see any reason why you hesitate to teach them a lesson especially after they did this immeasurable damage to the country and its people. This is the payback time for those who tainted your reputation. It doesn’t matter who they are; cousins or in-laws or long time comrades, just roll up your sleeves, remove your cowboy hat and fight them till the end. Even if execution by a firing squad was the only better choice you got, please do it for the sake of the country.

I repeat: you have not achieved a thing since 2005. Unless you tackle the two cases, you will be remembered for one thing only; your cowboy hat.

Are the healths providers in South Sudan (both foreign and citizens) qualified/certified professionals or merely a bunch of exploiters?    

Is there any Legislation/Act that protects the consumers of health & disability services in South Sudan? What are the criteria used to decide whether a health professional is certified and allowed to practice, for instance as a doctor? I will really appreciate if someone in South Sudan or elsewhere that is familiar with the system can enlighten me about the general health system in the country.

Health is an extraordinarily sensitive area that requires immediate attention of any given government to make sure that the consumers of health & disability services are protected by the laws of the land.  Otherwise, if not, the government will never know if the rights of its citizens (consumers) are being respected until serious misconduct surfaces or detected in the long run. I know we still have a society where doctors and other professionals are considered with high regards and virtue – nobody dares to question their conducts, whether right or wrong. This is because they are either trusted or people feel inadequate (who am I to question the doctors?) to question them as well as maybe fearful that if they do, they will not be given the treatment they deserved.   
There is a need for a Legislation/Act as well as set up equivalence to the New Zealand’s Health & Disability Commissioner to protect the rights of the consumers, and here is why.  I was compelled to find out more information about the health system after I had found out my mother’s eye was hurt by those who claimed to be “Eye specialists” in Wau.  What even drew my interest is my work in this area (in New Zealand) as Specialist Advocate (Health & Disability Commissioner) and I am quite familiar with the health system – consumers’ rights and providers duties whenever providing health & disability services.     
New Zealand has a Legislation/Act called “Code of Consumers’ Rights” that protect the consumers of Health or Disability. There are 10 Rights that includes:  
1.      Respect and Privacy: You should always be treated with respect, including respect for your culture, values, beliefs and personal privacy.
2.      Fair Treatment: No-one should discriminate against you or push you into doing something or making a decision that you are not comfortable with.
3.      Dignity and Independence: Your care and treatment let you live a dignified, independent life.
4.      Appropriate Standards:  Everyone looking after you should work together to make sure that you are treated with care and skill and that you receive the right services for your needs.
5.      Communication: You have the right to be listened to, understood and receive information in whatever way you need. Where possible, an interpreter should be provided if you need one.
6.      Information: Your condition should be fully explained to you, to allow you to make choices for possible treatments. You should be given information on the benefits and side effects of treatments and told how long you may have to wait, who will be treating you and any costs involved. You can ask any questions about the services and expect an honest and accurate answer.
7.      It’s your decision: It is your decision whether to go ahead with treatments or not and you are able to change your mind at any time.
8.      Support: Your condition should be fully explained to you, to allow you to make choices for possible treatments. You should be given information on the benefits and side effects of treatments and told how long you may have to wait, who will be treating you and any costs involved. You can ask any questions about the services and expect an honest and accurate answer.
9.      Teaching and Research: All these rights also apply when you are taking part in teaching or research.
10.  Complaint: You can make a complaint about any aspect of your care or treatment. You should be given information on the process involved in making a complaint so it is easy for you to do so. Your treatment should not suffer if you do make a complaint.
How this unique Code of Consumer Rights is the only Code of Right of its kind in the world with legal rights for consumers and matching duties for providers who are required to respect these rights. It is highly valued by New Zealand consumers. This Code came as a result of an independent inquiry into the actions of the medical profession at National Women’s Hospital in relation to women with cervical cancer. The Commissioner of Inquiry found out that the women patients were not told about their condition or treatment options; discouraged from asking questions about their treatment; entered into research studies without their knowledge or consent as well as being treated without respect.
The Commissioner made a number of recommendations for improving the imbalance between patients and doctors. These were later extended in the Act to include all health and disability consumers and providers. Three key recommendations were for enforceable CODE of RIGHTS as well as Advocates to be on the side of patients/consumers.
The advocate assists consumers who bring their complaints forward about the health or disability services they are unhappy with, as well as provide training/education sessions to both providers and consumers. Serious violation and breaches of the above 10 Code of Consumers’ Rights can lead to prosecution. For example, a doctor who seriously breaches this code can be sent to the Medical Tribunal for disciplining as well as lost his/her license to practice in New Zealand as well as possibly in the group of the Five Country Conference (FCC) (i.e. New Zealand, Australia, Canada, the United Kingdom and the United States of America). The Governments of FCC work together to exchange information about the high-risk situation to reduce the impact of fraud.   
Inappropriate eye operation
My instinct is telling me that there might be a lot of medical negligence and apparent violation of consumers of health & disability rights. I am particularly concerned about how foreign health providers are exploiting the country merely to make money out of the vulnerable populace. This came to my awareness after my own mother‘s eye (one) was operated on in Wau (to remove what they called water in the eye?) and I don’t think it was done by a competent /qualified specialists. It has been four months now since she has this surgery, but she cannot see using that eye. I & my brother who is also in the Diaspora were not informed that it was going to be an operation or how deep it was going to be; otherwise, I/we would have taken her to a neighboring country (e.g. Kenya).  
We eventually decided to take her to Juba for a follow-up and a second opinion and the specialists there (whom I believed were much competent) discovered that there were substantial gashes on her eye, which were caused by that operation. To be precise, she was seeing quite well with that eye before the surgery – it was just that the eye was getting a bit dimmer (something quite normal especially when people get old)…these doctors claimed that there were some water in it, which can be basically removed to see well again. I am trying to find out if South Sudan has any relevant legislation or Act to such carelessness. In other words, I want to make sure that these self-claimed Specialists are not allowed to hurt more people, and I am facilitating with my relatives on the ground to find out if there are laws surrounding such medical misconducts, and probably take them to Court. It’s quite frustrating because of the distance.        
Finally, I would like to appeal to the law makers to frame legislation like the above if there is nothing in place yet to protect the consumers. I am sure many lives will be safe and damages prevented. However, implementing it is an essential component that the laws are adhered to; therefore, it is imperative that a Commission is set to reinforce such legislation as well as inform or educate public (consumers) and providers’ health & disability alike.   
Of course, an appropriate (government sponsored) research is required to determine how the current health system can be ameliorated – such investigation can impart the policy and decision-makers to produce an informed Legislation/Act.      
I am happy to be contacted, lest if advocates of health & disability services in South Sudan would like to know how this Code of Consumers’ Rights in New Zealand is sub-guarding and helping the consumers in terms of improving the health and disability systems and holding providers to their professional duties in New Zealand.    

Santino Atem Deng
M.Ed (Hons) Counselling
New Zealand

South Sudan Interior Ministry Donates Two Vehicles to Uganda Police

Posted: June 26, 2012 by PaanLuel Wël Media Ltd. in Commentary

The Ministry of Interior has donated two Land Cruiser vehicles to the Uganda Police Force (UPF) on 22nd June, 2012. The convoy that left Juba Monday 21st June, 2012 for Nimule was led by South Sudan Police Service (SSPS) Director for Administration Maj. Gen. Joseph Lado Lako and Director for Rescue Force Brigadier General, Abraham Albino and Police spokesperson Col, James  Monday. Speaking during the handing over ceremony the Director for Administration Major General Lako who was representing the Inspector General for South Sudan Police said that, they went to Elegu town in Ugandan side of the border with S. Sudan with directives from IGP General Acuil Tito Madut in order to donate the two vehicles to the People of Uganda. Maj. Gen. Lado said the donation came as a result of a joint integrated highway patrol mechanism signed in Numule on 16th June, 2012 between IGP Gen. Madut and Uganda IGP Gen. Kale Kayihura.

Wait  a minute, aren’t we supposed to be in the midst of the most stringent austerity measures known in South Sudan after losing 98% of our national budget to the oil shutdown? So what is the Interior Ministry suggesting by donating Land Cruisers to Ugandan Police?

That we are back on our feet, alive and kicking, and a little bit generous if not overly extravagant?  Isn’t it undoubtedly ridiculous that South Sudan, of all countries, should be donating stuff to Uganda instead of the other way round?

Since when did beggars become international philanthropies? How many Police’s Land Cruisers do we have in the troubled regions of South Sudan where insecurity reign high and mighty? President Kiir, are you there and listening/watching/outraged/taking necessary actions?

I hope the Interior Minister has been briefed that there is, and still is, an austerity measure in place in South Sudan or else one would be compelled to conclude that this is an austerity measure South Sudanese style: spends and let’s spend baby!!

The UN, the US, the EU and the rest of the International Community will take care of the rest so long as you cry loud enough to get heard in the name of “women and children” are dying of our “self-inflicted mess” and the International Community can’t afford to let this happen lest their conscience will be troubled forever–remember the Rwandan Genocide!!

Welcome to the Republic of South Sudan, the world’s newest and youngest country!! The parent of this little brute will require an enormous amount of patience to see it growing up!! Parenting has never been easy, especially when you have the grown ups in the diapers!!

By PaanLuel Wel.

Triumphs in all odds

Posted: June 26, 2012 by PaanLuel Wël Media Ltd. in Poems.

By Atok Dan

In all the odds, he triumphed,

he marched over the odds of the injustices,

for he was a man that conquered mindset of oppressors,

to rewrite distorted history

he was a man whose ink dried on papers,

in the land of dishonored agreements

he triumphed to change the unchanged,

When I recall,

the time his armies bowed in the torrential rains of bullets

he triumphed

he conquered self-professed armies of gods,

when I still recall,

the time he commanded his armies to capsize boats of lies,

he triumphed in the land of fallacies

for if I still bog my mind to invent the wheel,

I see his strides,

I still see a finished job,

he did

When I still lift my head up amidst disarrays,

my psyche reminds me of flood of blood,

which flooded all the highlands of our country’s sides,

my mind still recall all the whirling birds that,

fatten on their fleshes,

the corpses of armies,

the collateral damage of the battle

An when I still lift my head up in meditation,

my eyes still stumble on relics of war,

the traces of bones that littered in the savannah,

the ornaments of beasts which fed of them

I still vow of living memories of ungodly people on the land,

when still reminded of the cries and wailing of innocents,

sorrows of widows and orphans,

I still remind of the cause of war

I still see generations marching into wild forests of our country