Families of Raped Survivors in Kapoeta call for justice

Many of the family, whom their daughters were raped are calling on the local authorities in the Kapoeta to arrest perpetrators behind the alleged cases of raped recorded by the aid agency American Refugee Council (ARC) in Kapoeta.

An ARC caseworker for the agency said they have documented 23 cases of rape this year alone and no action has been taken to those allege to have committed these crimes.

Among the 23 cases 10 were girls age ranging from 7 to 12 years old and 13 women, the youngest was 27 and oldest was at her 50s.

The survivor’s families blamed the authorities in Kapoeta for giving free card to those committing crimes within the community.

They accused the county local police in Kapoeta of being complicit in releasing many of the suspects without trail or investigate the alleged crimes. An accusation the police has denied.

Some of the families who spoke to Singaita FM explained the ordeal psychological trauma their daughters have gone through in the hands of rapists and no action taken to punish the perpetrators.

Natara Maria Lokwa is a mother to one of the survivors. She explained how the suspect who raped her daughter disappeared the same day they saw him at the police station.

She called local police to bring the accused suspect immediately in order to face justice for crimes he committed against her daughters and many other families who are feeling the same.

“I have told the government that I am bitter for not letting the perpetrator stay in the police custody”. Said Lokwa. She said the suspects do get out from the police custody before they appear in court for the allege crimes.

A mother residing at Locheler residential in Kapoeta whom her daughter was raped last week called upon the government to arrest the perpetrator.

She said her daughter was attacked by the rapist in the garden and they reported the incident to the police and no arrest has been made to apprehend the suspect.

The deputy police commissioner Brigadier Abdallah Kiri in Kapoeta says his department only arrest the suspects and it’s upon the court to decide on the verdict.

He said that most of the cases were not followed by the families of the rape victims, and the police could not proceed with case because the plaintiff failed to pursue the case in court.

Police have done his part and need the owner to be present in front of the court. So, to explain how the incident happens, the police were not there where the incident happens”. Said Brigadier Kiri.

The director-general in the ministry of gender and social welfare Thomas Nawi said that the partners NGOs are not sharing data to reported  the cases of rape to their office.

“They don’t link more such kind of cases to the ministry of gender and humanitarian affair we always request them to bring the case”. Said Nawi.

Nawi said that they should be the one to coordinate with police so that those who commit the crimes must be brought to the book.

He urged general public and partners aid agencies dealing on the issues of Gender Based Violence to coordinate the cases of rape in the communities with  ministry.

Abyei hospital blamed for admitting two patients in a single bed

The Abyei Hospital patients blamed the unfolding policy permitting two to three patients to sleep on a single bed.

The hospital admission ward has only eight beds. One bed-stead is allotted to more than two patients during their treatment.

Lack of enough beds in the hospital has caused anxiety because it is against health policy that clearly states that only one person is to receive medication in a bed.

Some patients received their medication on the floor exposing them to a mosquito bite, hence Malaria infection.

Mrs. Aluel, a mother of a one-year-old child, admitted to the hospital expressed her worries when she was asked to share one bed with another patient. “Another woman with her baby and I were put in one bed. It had one mosquito net that we shared.

“This is unfair, to share a bed with someone you don’t know, and both of you are sick! Insufficient space will endanger our lives. We fear contracting other diseases like COVID-19 and skin diseases”. 

Nyankiir Mijok, one of the patients who brought her sick two years old child said her and other caretakers lie down on the floor just without mattresses nor mosquito net.

I have never seen such a situation in my life ever. It is only God to protect us. We always hear of ways people contracted Coronavirus,  by coming closer to one another” Said Mijok.

Now, where is the protection here? I asked doctors here, and they did not answer me. The only person told me that it is a condition that forces them.’’ Nyankiir lamented.

This move was a result of an increasing number of patients according to the hospital officials.

The Director of Abyei Hospital, Mr. Tito Dau, acknowledged the situation citing an unexpected increase in the number of patients seeking treatment at the center. He claimed that more than twenty patients were being admitted with Malaria cases almost daily.

The hospital admitted that there is “no other way to admit the patients than sharing beds.”

“The concern has been shared with health partners to increase the number of beds. It is true, patients shared beds. It is because the number of patients admitted per day is bigger compared to the number of beds in the wards. We admitted more than twenty per day. This number is big. And the majority of them suffered from malaria. I have already informed the administration and health partners about this. And so, the best way is to protect them from a mosquito bite to prevent malaria infection”.

Health doctors empathized that parents should take care of themselves and their children against mosquitoes during these rainy seasons by ridding their surroundings of tall grass where mosquitoes live.

South Sudan experienced shortages of medical facilities and skilled health personnel with a limited supply of medicine. According to the Ministry of Health, South Sudan has about 120 medical doctors and just over 100 registered nurses for an estimated population of nearly nine million people.

Three suspects arrested in connection to the death of two people during clashes at Akong

Authority in Aweil East County in Northern Bahr el Ghazal says it has arrested three suspects in connection to the intercommunal fighting in Akong village on the 8 September.  Police say those arrested include a policemen accused of causing the fighting.

The police further says two people were killed and one was seriously injured and is being treated in Aweil civil hospital. This incident happened at Akong village in Malualbaai Payam, Aweil East County. The police say the cause of the clashes are under investigation.

The SSPDF Division Three commander, Major General Bak Akoon, says the situation is relatively calm after deploying SSPDF forces at the location.

 “The soldiers will remain in the area until the investigation is finished and all the suspects, ring leaders are in the hands of the law,” said Maj. General Bak

The governor of Warrap state, Hon. Bona Panek said they have also arrested  some suspects but didn’t say the number of those arrested from Awan Chan community in connection to the same incident. Saying the investigation is ongoing to find the suspected ring leaders before starting the legal procedures.

 “The way I feel, the governor of NBeG has done his part, me as well I have done my part. When I came, I spoke to people on the other side of Ameth, and told them to be calm and let the law do its work. The people who started this issue have been arrested, and they will answer the reason why they did this. And after that, the law is there to judge who was in the wrong and will be answerable to it. I am sure the law is fair to everyone.”

Hon. Panek warned people to refrain from the notion of revenge attack. Saying “any act of revenge is a crime and punishable by law.” He urges people from both not to resort to violence when there is misunderstandings but follow the legal process to get their right.

The clashes drawn a condemnation from the local chiefs on both side calling for calm and urge the youth to promote peaceful coexistence between the two neighboring communities.

“We are all related from these two different communities, and we don’t need such violence if the dead person mother is from here in Lou, so please the community, we want to tell you to stop such characters and live peacefully.” 

“We don’t want problems among ourselves and the reasoning we introduced marketing days is to help ourselves in life. So that people can buy their goods and sell as well and wanted the marketing day to unite us, but if some people have started turning the day into disputes then they are making a big mistake.”

The two governors of Northern Bahr el Ghazal and Warrap States visited the scene of the violence clashes on Wednesday. Both leaders issued one unifying message calling for the communities to deescalate the tension, and allow the authority to apprehend the culprits and bring them to justice.

 

Fresh food produce boost the markets, drops prices in Warrap State  

Customers in Warrap’s local markets are experiencing a gradual reduction in food prices as more fresh food is being harvested.

Some residents told Mayardit FM that one malwa of sorghum  now costs 1,200SSP that was previously sold at 200SSP. 

The demand for grains, especially sorghum, has reduced after local farmers harvested their produce after four months farming.

Some buyers expressed the hope of feed their families saying that only few people would purchase food from the market.

“Even though the food harvested is small, we are happy that prices have reduced. Maize, millet, sorghum, and even vegetables are already in the market and eat at home. So this is why the price has declined. This reduction is gradually, and we are expecting more drop as more fresh products are yielding.” Buyers happily explained.

A trader in Turalei market, Mr. Gor Deng Gor, said his business has badly been affected. He lamented that a day could pass without a client buying his Dura (Sorghum). He said that the people residing in the towns are still buying, but village residents no longer meet their customers.

‘’There are indications that local foods have become ready for consumption. The factual information is that not all people have cultivated because people residing in the markets do not have farms to eat, even though their farms are located in the villages. So the prices are reducing yes, but will be to the level it goes up to 300 SSP, ‘’Gor said.

While in Kwajok market, the cost of Malwa for dura is has come down from 2,000SSP to 1,000SSP with excepton of rice, maize, and wheat flour that still remain expensive.

Female students face tough questions to fulfill their needs. 

Schoolgirls in Warrap state faced resistance from parents to avail the needs that could keep them hygienic in public and education centers.

Some not find it easy to buy sanitary parts and feel shy to explain to the parents that a “student spokes out,” mature girls have monthly demands that parents are supposed to avail without excuse.”

A female student said she could wear an inner cloth or always protect the period’s visibility on an outer cloth to avoid embarrassment.

Mayardit FM spokes to some school girls and explained the situation many of them have gone through, calling for an end to such practices.

Nagai Ring, a senior student in Aweng secondary school. “Parents always ask, you need money for what and you have clothed and shoe? What are you going to do with the money? These are questions parents ask us, the girls. They forget that we have other things to buy apart from clothing, shoe, and food. There are somethings we cannot say by name to our fathers, unlike the mother,” she narrated.

Another student Ms Aluong Akech. She said only her brother’s wife is a solution to make needs available. Aluong said she could tell her brother’s wife that “month, month” aah, and she can understand. 

“When I say this, my brother’s wife understands that I need always. She can understand my monthly period is on. With this, I can imagine how my fellow girls suffer when in need of sanitary parts,” Along jokily told Mayardit FM.

The 3rd student who refused to be named said she felt very ashamed to ask for money every month from her dad and brother.

“It is very difficult to tell your father or brother that I always need. And sometimes when say it by name, some parents say, this is not a problem. I cannot give you money to go and buy just something to protect your period from being known. Lack of always prevents us from going to school because when you go to school, it may appear on the cloth and people, especially boys, may laugh at you and therefore, you will become embarrassed,” she mentioned.

Head Teacher of Aweng Secondary school, Mathiang Duor Mathiang, said some parents only know paying for school fees but do not provide other needs for their daughters, which he discouraged.

He stated that girls of adolescent age have more demands than boys, and their demand should be fulfilled.

“Many girls drop out of school because their demands are always not met by their parents. It is sometimes the NGOs that support girl education. Girls need soap, and they need body lotion, they always or liners and others. These are taken very less by the parents, and these are supposed to be top priorities before other things. Mathiang added.

The schoolgirls speak out during the distribution of hygiene kits this week by the National NGO known as Humanity of Friends-HoF.

Governor Monytuil confirms 600 cow blood compensation.

The governor of Unity State, Dr. Joseph Nguen Monyuil, has confirmed 600 cows have been collected to pay blood compensation for two women and two children killed on 31 August.

 The deceased was killed in Aja Kuach Payam of Twice County by unidentified gunmen from Mayom County. According to the authority, the suspected criminal who has committed crimes against innocent people not yet apprehended. The state government is collected cow from suspects’ relatives identified by the security department.

 On Monday, Executive Director of Mayom County Gadet Gany Madut said his State had collected six hundred cows to pay the blood of people recently killed in Gomgoi, Ajak Kuach Payam, on 31 August this year.

Some community members in Unity claimed that no collection was made so far, and it’s a propaganda government used for publicity.

Dr. Monytuil dismissed the claim. He said the process is ongoing, although suspects are still hiding, the blood compensation shall be done according to the Northern Corridor agreement in 2018. The terms of the Agreements stated that “Any person killed in self-defense from any community shall be compensated”. The Agreement was signed between Unity, Warrap States, and Abyei Administrative. 

The near-verbatim transcript of the  Governor Dr. Joseph Nguen Ponytail interviewed by, “The Radio Community” Journalist,  Simon Lieth Nyak.

Question: We have heard that Unity State  is collecting cows for the compensation of people killed on 31 of August  in Twice County. Tell us, is that true or not?

 Answer 1: “Yes, that is true; we are now working on the blood compensation for the decease children, the two children plus two women. So we have already collected the cattle, and we will be calling the father and his wife to come and take the cattle as blood compensation.”

 Question 2: Tell us what procedure have you use to collect those cows?

 Answer: You know, we in the Northern Corridor we have signed many, many agreements, on our peace conference we are using those regulations to mitigate all these such problems happening here and there, like this rampant killing and all these. So there are provisions that talk about this. We are applying those provisions so that we resolve these criminals’ activities. We are still finding the criminals because what they are doing is unlawful, and we will not accept it. It is not acceptable completely because killing innocent children or event immature adults to be killed in cold-blooded is unacceptable. 

 Question 3: Alright, Hon. Governor, you said that you are collecting those cows from people who you have committed some atrocity. how did you  managed to identify them as the real suspects to alleged?  

 Answer: Yes, they are really suspects, and we have their names. And we have full details about them, yeah. 

 Question 4: Those suspects were they taken to court?

Answer: They are not yet apprehended, they are still hiding somewhere, but I think by the end of the day, we will get all of them.

Last weekend, former head of Relief and Rehabilitation Commission in defunct Bul West County was reportedly killed in a road ambush in the Bombiel area. The suspect has not been arrested but, authority in Unity asks its neighboring Warrap State to investigate the incident.

Unity State collects 600 cows to compensate people killed in Warrap State

Authority in Unity State reported that it had collected six hundred cows to pay for the blood of people recently killed in Gomgoi, Ajak Kuach Payam.

The cows seized from the suspects’ families linked to the incident that left two women and two children dead on 31 August this year.

The executive director for Mayom County, Gadet Gany Madut, said the initiative was part of the implementation of Northern Corridor Peace Agreement signed last year.

The Agreement signed in 2018 between Unity, Warrap States, and Abyei Administrative area set term for compensation for any one killed along the common borders of these areas. 

The terms of the Agreements stated that, “Any person killed in self-defence from any community shall be compensated but not any attacker  killed”. 

Officials from Unity State said the cattle were to be handed over to Twic County Authority but no  date was set for the hand-over.

Mr. Gany said the two suspects were identified after they arrived home with gunshot wounds. Both suspects eventually succumbed to their injuries.

 “I apologize to the families of the deceased. Those who committed this crime did not agree with the community and did it in certain people’s names. As a government we agree for what happened. We are searching for the suspects, and this compensation includes those who are wounded”, Gany said.

In response, the Executive Director for Ajak Kuac Payam, Simon Aguejok Aguejok welcomed the move.

Simon claimed that the authority in Warrap State has never registered any death committed recently.

We informed our people that the law must be respected if anyone coming to Mayom County must ask himself, and he can be accompanied to Akotong, and no one can touch him. If a person is traveling from Aneet, he must report himself to Majak Military barrack to accompany him to Ajak town and be accompanied to his last destination. We told them to avoid movement at night and move at day time,” Aguek Jok stated.

Last weekend, former head of Relief and Rehabilitation Commission in defunct Bul West County was reportedly killed in a road ambush in the Bombiel area. The suspect has not been arrested but, authority in Unity asks its neighboring Warrap State to investigate the incident.

Defense Minister visits Pantiit cantonment area in Aweil

The South Sudan’s minister of defence and veterans’ affairs, Angelina Teny, has visited the Joint Security Forces due for graduation in the Pantiit training camp located in Aweil West.

It is not clear when protection forces to Revitalize Peace Agreement would graduate.

The center hosts at least 3,000 military trainees who are part of the Unified Forces expected to graduate this year. The team has proceeded to Wau to assess other cantonment areas.

The minister of defense was accompanied by senior government officials of the joint defence board and the Ceasefire Transitional Security Arrangement Monitoring and Verification Mechanism or CTSAMVM.

Lt General Garang Ayii Akol is in charge of training centers in the Bahr el Ghazal region. The committee visit on Friday is part of assessing the soldiers’ readiness for graduation. “Today, we visited the patient training center to monitor the soldier’s conditions at the training center. We also wanted to find out if they have received enough training to be graduated.

However, graduation might be soon. We are not sure when but we are working to bring their uniforms and other needs that will be kept in the center. Things like food and others, Ayii said.
The Governor of Northern Bahr el Ghazal state, Tong Akeen Ngor, said that the integration of forces is a sign of lasting peace.

Today I visited the Pantiit training center to assess the condition of the soldiers at the center. But I found out that the community members around the center are really happy with soldiers, and they said they had lived peacefully. Now I want to let the citizens know that peace is already implemented since the soldiers are being trained and integrated after graduation, so I want the citizens to leave peacefully and embrace peace.”Governor Tong mentioned.

Church support

The councils of churches and Islamic have started contribution foodstuffs that include sorghum and groundnuts to support the soldiers at the Pan-Tiit cantonment site. The Church’s leader visited the camp last week in solidarity of joint security forces
Bishop Wol Tong Tong is the Chairperson of the Inter-Church Committee in Northern Bahr el Ghazal State.

He said soldiers are in dared needs of food and medicine. The Christian’s believers have donated sacks groundnuts, and the contribution continues.

“Yes, we have started today, and people praying today will put their hand together in the Islamic area. As we the believers also at the other churches, we already have a committee where you can pay your contributions.”
The church leader further urges the local community to support the officers at the training center.
The leader of the Islamic council in Aweil town, Ibrahim Deng Akok, confirmed also.
“It is for everyone not only for believers because this is to support people who are suffering. In Church, we believe that God says, help people who need support, and God is watching, so it is for everyone in Aweil to come together and support our people.”

On Monday this week, a public Fundraising initiative to support the challenges facing Aweil Main hospital has begun.

Last week, Councils of churches and Islamic alleged that the military trainees at Pantiit are facing hunger after visiting the center.

Three Tons of Medical Supplies Arrive Aweil

Northern Bahr el Ghazal state received first consignment of 3 ton medical supplies. The drugs arrived in Aweil this week from neighboring Sudan.  Officials said the supplies will help reduce the shortage of medicines in the state.

The Secretary General of Northern Bahr el Ghazal State, Dominic Kang Deng said the imported drugs will not be free of charge. Adding that the drugs will be sold at low cost in the public pharmacies.  He did not specified how much they will be sold to the public.

Kang said “the plane is carrying different drugs for the diseases that are affecting people in Northern Bahr el Ghazal. And this is the first phase and the second phase will also come after this drugs and we want people of Aweil to work with government and these drugs are meant to reduce the prices of drugs at the markets”.

He urges the community to visit the main hospital and get cheaper medicines.

Akol Yam FM in spoke to some of the residents in Aweil.  Which show a conflicting views between the authority and civilians. Some of the residents in Aweil thoughts the drugs will be free of charge. They applauded the availability of medical supplies.

Mr. Zachariah Garang Lual is a resident in Aweil. He said drug imported will help a patient who are unable to pay for medication. He appealed to the authority to dispense drugs to five Counties for easy accessibility.

“We love it and we want Governor Tong to monitor these drugs and distribute to all five counties of Northern Bhar El Ghazal State and assured people not to sell them away because so many people take things as their things and it is not good,” Garang said.

Another resident, Francis Muonydeng Garang excited with the initiative. Urge the governor to continue doing more good things for the people.

“I have really appreciated the Government of Sudan for supporting us with drugs and I want people of Aweil to work together with new leadership because the governor has started and he is going to do great things to our people in the State please put your hand together for development”

The Director of Aweil’s Civil hospital, Dr. Reech Mathok Ding said that the drugs will help the patients during the malaria season. And people could afford to buy at a cheaper price because they have been subsidized by the government.

“When the governor of Northern Bhar El Ghazal State was in Sudan he called me to give him a list of drugs that needed most in Aweil so that he can bring drugs from Sudan and I have listed them and send it to him while in Khartoum so he bought the drugs such as malaria, diabetes, and others and we have received them today,” Mathok stated.

This is the first for the State to get direct supply from neighboring Sudan.

Police Boosts Night Patrol in Kwajok, Warrap State

The Police administration has reported that criminal activities in Kwajok town have stopped.

It said the move is a result of providing incentives to police officers conducted patrols at night. According to the police, the incentive is being paid from the traders’ monthly fee contribution. 

Official added that, since the initiative started, no case of stealing or shop breaking has been recorded.

South Sudan government employee goes for months without salary makes it hard to perform their duty efficiently.

Major Andrea Santino Kuot is the Deputy Director in the Department of Criminal investigation. 

He said the police personals on night duty are being encouraged by the initiative. Kuot also applauded the traders for the contributions saying this is an inclusive effort to combat crimes.

” Yes, there are incentives for the police who work at night. And this is in the form of the food item, and it is being given monthly. The program started on the first of august up to now. So it is okay with the police.”Kuot stated.

Kuot disclosed that two to three shops could be reported broken in July before police petrol was introduced, but such cases no longer reported.

Besides, Kwajok town mayor Wol Aleu Wol says that the initiative of providing feeding to police officers on night duty shall continue throughout the year.

” The reason is that they are being deprived of food, leaving them to suffer from hunger. The officers go to search for food, and because of that, if they hear anything happening they market, they can’t go because there is nothing that motivates them. So we sat and discussed that forty percent of the money collected from the market should be allocated to them in the form of feeding,” he said.

Some traders in the area said their shops are secure, and no thieves’ cases were recorded since August.

The business owners raised money and each shop pay between 300 -500 Pounds to motivate the security officers deployed”, Traders said.