Unity Govt Asks to Create Economic Crime Court

The National Audit Chamber has called for establishing an Economic Crime Court [ECC] in South Sudan to trails those accused of corruption.

The concern was raised during the review of the South Sudan Audit Chamber law. National Constitution Amendment Committee is conducting a series of the constitutional review process as mandated by the revitalized peace agreement on the resolution of Conflict in the Republic of South Sudan – R-ARCSS. 

The committee validating the public finance management and accountability act 2011.

Article 55 and article 85 within the Transitional Constitution of South Sudan, the chamber’s mandate is to set auditing standards. Audit the accounts of states, local government, public institutions, and supervise all entities’ financial performance, including revenue collection and expenditure approved by the legislature.

The Auditor-General, Steven Wondu, said there was rampant corruption in South Sudan. The formation of an economic crimes court will help curtail the embezzlement of public funds. 

He stated those who are misusing public funds should be disciplined per the law. “Taking people to court for the crimes they have committed is solutions for public reform once the Audit Chamber and Anti-corruption Commission have identified them.”

“Everybody in this country, including the head of state, is complaints laundering about grasp, about corruption, misused of money, and abuse of power. Everybody has got this; it is no longer secret. We in the audit chamber do auditing, but there are certain things we are not even required because things are done so presently which require law enforcement instead of audit,” said Wondu.   

Mr Wondu appealed to the review committee to have significant input not based on maintaining the status quo or weakening the institution. 

“If you are making changes to maintaining status and you are making changes to weaken the audit chamber, you are not living up to your responsibility. Your responsibility is to reform the law such that the institution is strengthened. The independence of side institution is the best mechanism to ensure public resources are used a way that public outcome is optimized,” Wondu  stated. 

The Chairperson of Revitalize Monitoring and Evaluation Commission Maj. Charles Tai Gituai appreciated the amended law to facilitate reform in the public fiancé management sector and ensure cleansed for transparent and accountable management of national wealth and resources.

“The two legislatures that to be validated that today are the bedrock for ensuring transparent and accountable management to public finance and resources in this country. If the reforms are fully implemented, they will contribute to improvement in public finance management, good governance, better services delivery and utilization of resources,” Tai said

According to the 2019 Corruption Perceptions Index reported by Transparency International, South Sudan is ranked 179 corrupt nation out of 180 countries globally.


Amnesty International backed Current Arms Embargo on South Sudan

The human rights organization Amnesty International has asked the UN security council to maintain the arms embargo on South Sudan.

The organization asks to maintain an arms embargo to the youngest nation after series of extrajudicial execution, forced displacement, torture, and destruction of civilian property by the government and former opposition forces in Central Equatorial State.

According to the document, Amnesty believed the attacks took place in April and June 2020. Central Equatorial State was located in the Southwest of the national capital Juba.

The UNSC will conduct a mid-term review of its arms embargo and other South Sudan measures before 15 December.

The organization said it had interviewed six displaced people who witnessed fighting on 9 and 10 May near the Pojulu villages of Lomilikin, Loka West, and Kengwe in Lainya County. After a mixed force of SSPDF and SPLA-IO soldiers clashes with the NAS, the interviews were conducted, searched all the villages in the area.

Reports said 26 interviews were conducted remotely. Eyewitnesses and family members of victims, five of whom were women, from Lainya, Moborobo, and Yei counties in Central Equatoria State.

All people interviews have requested anonymity due to security concerns.

Researchers used satellite imagery, photos from the scene of violations, and open-source data to verify the attacks.

Satellite analysis confirmed that villages north of the Yei-Lainya roads were destroyed between January and June 2020. Reviewed verified photos of the four men, taken immediately after they were killed, and confirmed the details of their specific injuries with multiple interviewees.

“On 9 May, 11 villages in the area were burned, and an estimated total of 22,000 people were displaced,” disclosed Amnesty.

Amnesty International’s East and Southern Africa Director revealed SSPDF and SPLA-IO soldiers are routinely violating international humanitarian law and failing to protect civilians.

He said horrific attacks continue. The UNSC must demand South Sudan to end these war crimes and bring the perpetrators to justice while maintaining the country’s arms embargo.

“Earlier this year, as South Sudan’s officials called for the arms embargo to be lifted, government soldiers were shooting civilians, burning homes, raping women and girls, and displacing tens of thousands of people from their villages in the south of the country,” said Deprose Muchena,

“Quite simply, the government of South Sudan has failed to protect its people. It would be irresponsible of the Security Council to suspend or lift the arms embargo now, in light of the horrendous human rights violations being committed by government forces.”

Kolom’s IDPS demands medical assistant

The internally displaced persons at Kolom villages who recently returned from Abyei administrative area needed a medical assistant.

Seven hundred people were previously displaced in January this year, after deadly attacks that left thirty-two people dead.

Suspected members of Misseriya armed men reportedly carried out the attack.

Returnee in remote villages said the area is lacking medical centers and mobile clinics. People were suffering from many diseases, including Malaria and pneumonia.

Area community representative Anei Ajak Malual calls on the Abyei department of health to intervene. He described the situation “terrible area.” But we have no choice. We can bear with it. Our more important call is to be provided with drugs”.

“Malaria is still high because the place is bushes, and there is no health facility around. So we are asking the government to help us. We asked them to deliver if there are drugs in the government store. We are not even talking about the shelters, even though our houses were burnt down into ashes during the attack,” said Anei.

The director for administration in the department of health in Abyei, Mr. Anyuon Padang, promised that a mobile clinic would soon be set up in Kolom. The community is lobbying for funding from the health partners in the Abyei region.

“There are no drugs available at this moment to rescue the situation, but we are engaging the health partners to support us. Also, the health workers who were previously working in Kolom before the incident have already left. Therefore, we are to recruit new health workers to fill the gap. All these will happen when we secure the medicines,’’ Padang explained.

This month, IDPs in Kolom living in Abyei started returning home after the humanitarian assistance allegedly stopped.

South Sudan Embarked on 16 Days Campaign Against GBV

The National and International NGOs operating in the States called the Government of South Sudan to protect women and girls against gender-based violence in the communities.

Ministry of gender and social welfare in Northern Bahr Ghazal State has recorded eight death cases due to forces marriages in 2020.

UN agencies working on human rights that include UNMISS, American Refugee Committee, and UNICEF, participated in organizing the events marked the 16 days of activism.

The event was celebrated across the country to abolish gender-based violence in South Sudan. The Radio Community heard gathered citizens’ views from Aweil, Turalei, Mingkaman and Kapoeta.

County coordinator for Doctors with Africa [CUAMM], Dwamoi Amona, felt dismayed by the forced marriage of young girls in the communities.

“Men must be here to take this message that we are becoming worse than the corona people talking about”

“We love our mothers so much, and mother everyone be a woman be is the man we love our mothers why we don’t we treat these people with respect. The person you are raping today is the mother of somebody tomorrow. Why don’t you respect the way you respect your mother.”

Awerial County Executive Director James Manoah stated poverty contributed to widespread gender-based violence and people under the influence of alcohol.

“Alcohol economical violence because man drink whenever he gets money and will provide money to feed family, who made it these are women, so the root cause of alcoholic.

Stop brewing alcohol because men do drink, and later in the evening, they start beating women, and you are the one who did it. Some people are saying the business of alcohol is for taking of orphans but is causing orphanages,” Manoah said.

The Director-General in the ministry of gender, child and social welfare in Northern Bahr el Ghazal,  John Akot Angui, urged citizens to work together with NGO partners and the Government to stop such cases.

In Eastern Equatoria, the chairlady for Women Association in the Kapoeta, Mrs. Halima Elizabeth, has discouraged citizens from stopping marrying off young girls. She said parents should send their girls to school to change the country.

 “You should not force our children to men when they are still young a child of 9 years will be given to a man of 70 years until when like this, let us leave our children to go study so that they change our country so that it can develop” She stated.

The American refugee committee head of programs in Kapoeta, Mrs. Joyce Laker, said women and girls should be educated through GBV information.

 “So, these are the objectives of the 16 days of activism to create awareness on GBV prevention and available services for the response, to advocate on the enactment of anti-GBV bills to call on all the stakeholders to privatize financing for GBV prevention and response programs, to empower women and girls through GBV information and services” Laker mentioned.

The Secretary-General Eriga David in Kapoeta state advised the public awareness must be done in the church and public institutions where people are gathering.

 “Most of the things we need to do is awareness like for today we talk about this, and we need to do it even in churches and where people gather people should talk about it so that we leave beating people” He said.

Gender-based violence in South Sudan raised serious concerns. The Director-General in the Ministry of Gender and social welfare, Mr. Thomas Nawi, calls on all stakeholders to report and arrest perpetrators of GBV in the communities.

 “I, therefore, call upon the stakeholders, especially the traditional leaders such as the chief, sub-chiefs at the grassroots level to arrest and report immediately so that legal measures are well-coordinated and brought to book”

The UN Population Fund- UNFPA has reported that more than 6,000 women and girls have been raped across South Sudan in the year 2020. Government also said cases of violence against women have significantly increased in  during the coronavirus pandemic

Over 300 stranded vehicles in Tonj recovered from the trap site

More than three hundred commercial vehicles have been stranded for three months in Tonj counties have managed to make their way out from the damaged site . The roads connecting states to the national capital Juba were affected by devastating flooding.

The Government said it had repaired the road connecting Western Bahr el Ghazal, Northern Bahr el Ghazal, Warrap, and the Unity States.

Road was rehabilitated by the South Sudanese company known as Rhino Star. It has been an usual calls, residents in Warrap state demanded the Government to addressed poor road connection.

Public drivers whose vehicles trapped have confirmed that their vehicles are stranded for long have started moving to their final destination. Six cars were confirmed to reach their endpoints.

Drivers were seen smiling and appreciating the Government for repairing roads despite their unprecedented long-term suffering on the trapped site. Some residents applauded the State government initiative for retrieving the stuck vehicles.

“We spent three months since we left Juba only to be helped today. So, it is only thanks and happiness that we are mentioning. And we pray to God to keep the road working”, one of the drivers celebrated.

Another Driver who declined to be named said his vehicle was hired to transport goods and services from Uganda to Wau but temporarily stranded.

“Since the road is opened, we hope it wouldn’t stop again, and now it is a blessing. We now have our water, and the route is accessible. I am happy with the Government. Can you imagine the governor came to the affected area; it is a commitment from him”.

“The executive director has never stopped coming. He has been with us. So, some of the vehicles are already out, drivers are stressed.

Its Field Officer, Mr. Gai Chuti Garang, said the Government had contracted them to repair holes on the road connecting Wau and Tonj towns.

“It is a repair of the road from where we are to Rumbek because it is where the three states of Bhar Ghazel are connected. However, what we are doing here started in Wau called Kuajina because it was damage. Our target is to make goods coming from Uganda and other places reachable to the people. So, this is what we are doing” said Gai.

Two weeks ago, people in Tonj South mobilized themselves to fix the damaged road, but the plan was impossible due to thick flooding in the area.

VP Nyandeng: Parties Demonstrated a Lack of Honesty to Implement Provisions in the R-ARCSS.

The Vice President of Gender and Youth cluster in the Unity government said Security arrangement, good governance, and institutional reform do not implement yet in the Revitalized Agreement on Resolution of Conflict in South Sudan -RARCSS. The top government official is citing a lack of honesty from the parties to the peace deal.

Vice President Rebecca Nyadeng De’ Mabior uttered uncertainty in the agreement during the two-day security strategic assessment workshop in Juba on Monday.

Chapter two of the Revitalize Peace Agreement on the Resolution conflict commits the strategic defense and security Board to be comprehensive, inclusive, and transparent.

Nyadeng said citizens have roles in transforming country security. “The commitment that is always reflected in number does not translate into change for South Sudanese people.”

“South Sudanese continue to see a declining commitment to equal participation of everyone. In peace and security despite stipulated in the landmark R-ARCISS. All our citizens have the power to transform security in this country” Nyadeng mentioned .

Inclusivity is an ultimate point vice president enunciated for everyone’s rights in the country. Women, youth, and people with disabilities who are affected by the crisis should be empowered.

The minister of Defense and Veterans’ affairs, Angelina Teny, said inadequate security has to continue affecting South Sudan as the country is experiencing security risks due to inter-communal violence triggered by cattle rustlers.

“The institutions have become so weak, affected by wars, affected by the fact that so far we have not posted a single vision as people, we haven’t come to a consensus as people to have direction so that we can move to strengthen our institutions. These institutions are weak, and this also manifested itself to our security” she stated.

She said forces unification has a delay. But forces shall be graduate and deploy after training the top military commanders in December 2020 with support from Revitalize Joint Monitoring and Evaluation Commission.

Interior Minister Paul Mayom urged the Defense minister to develop strategic policies that will strengthen country security. He said that the government should bring peace with the holdout group and end the internal issues.

Interim chairperson of R-JMEC Maj. Charles Tai Gituai says the security defense and security review board process outcome should be inclusive and transparent because the result of the review would determine the quality of the permanent security situation in the constitution of South Sudan.

He reiterated women’s perspectives are included in the discussion and the outcome of events.

“As a military officer who has spent years in both strategic defense planning, I know that no strategic policy or plans would succeed without national political wills. And financial resources to support it. National security is all government’s responsibility,” Tai said.

The Deputy head of UNMISS, Guang Chong, urged the participant to embark on constructive dialogue and significant consensus during strategic Defense and security review deliberation.

Tonj Residents called the government to improves Security and Roads

The local community in the Tonj area, Warrap State, has the concern of insecurity and poor road connection, which they describe as “challenge.”

The Residents spokes out during the visit of Governor to the area on Friday.

There have been several reports of inter-communal violence triggered by cattle rustling in Tonj. In August this year, the government has suspended the disarmament process due to clashes between the armed youth and the soldiers.

People in Tonj south reiterates demand to improve road and security. Residents also demand accountability and justice for the victim of inter-communal violence.

“Tonj area has spent many months without the judge in the area. This is because of the conflict in the area. So, we are expecting the government to come with a positive result about the judge.”

“There is much chaos in Tonj like insecurity, lack of medicine, flooding, conflict with the neighbors and others, and we are expecting the governor to address all of these issues including opening up the roads in the areas.”

The community urges the government to deploy security forces that can prevent the conflict.

Warrap state governor conducts peace rally in Tonj South on Friday as part of his peace tour to the counties urging the public to promote peaceful coexistent.

Governor Bona Panek and his accompanying delegation meet local leaders such as chiefs, youth, and women representatives.

Panek assured the people of Tonj that security and road maintenance is his government’s top priority.

He warned the communities to stop engaging in communal violence rather than dialogue.

“We have already started the renovation of roads connecting counties, and this visit is part of inspecting roads that are damage to asses and plans how to repair them. We will direct the road companies to work on the damaged roads for easy service delivery,” He said.

This is the Governor’s fourth official tour to Tonj. The meeting is aimed at lecturing the public importance of peace within and neighboring communities.

Panek said that community leaders such as youth, chief, and women representatives have vital roles in maintaining peace to prevail.

“It is to enlighten you on the recent active road projects, security situations of the entire state, and government-led humanitarian efforts toward addressing deconstructions incurred by inhabitants of Tonj South due to the ongoing flooding” Panek stated.

Last month, Governor visited Tonj East and north counties respectively to disseminate peace.

Several fighting between different communities in Tonj has taken place since August. This resulted in the death of many people and others wounded.

Ivory Bank Opened New Branch in Kwajok

South Sudan’s Ivory Bank has established a new branch in Warrap’s state capital Kwajok on Thursday.

Residents are excited to see financial institutions begin to operate in the area. They said it would reduce the risk of losing money keep at home. 

The official at the bank said the institution would benefit communities in many ways, including saving their money, receiving and sending cash from one place to another. 

Ivory Bank is a commercial bank in South Sudan licensed to operate in the country. 

It was one of the earliest financial institutions opened to serve the banking needs of the people. 

Refeal Atum Daniel, the branch Manager, said that keeping money in the houses is risky and encourages traders to open an account in the bank. 

Mr. Atum outlined other benefits that the community would get, such as giving out loans to the local businesspeople to improves economic development.

Deputy Town Mayor for Administration and finance in Kwajok appreciated the bank for bringing services close to the people.

Nyaruon Buoi expressed her government’s readiness to support the bank to improve people’s living conditions. 

Some traders expressed commitment and promise to keep their money in the bank.  

Other traders said they wouldn’t travel far distances with money like Wau since the bank opened locally. 

“Since it has opened, the business community is relieved from the worries of keeping in the money in the grass thatched houses. We will now keep the money in this bank and sleep gently because keeping money in an unsafe place stresses people”. 

Ivory Bank is a commercial bank operated in South Sudan under the national banking regulator. The bank was one of the earlier financial institutions opened to serve the people’s banking needs in South Sudan.

In Warrap state, there is no banking institution since the Kenyan commercial Bank, KCB, closed in 2017. 

National Dialogue’s Resolutions to Reflect in Permanent Constitution – Kiir says.

President Salva Kiir Mayardit has promised the National Dialogue conference’s delegates that all resolutions will be harmonized into the permanent constitution process.

In his remark on the national Dialogue concluded on Tuesday, Kiir said the Dialogue’s outcome represents citizen views and MUST be considering.

The National Conference began three weeks ago, with over 500 delegates discussions on governance issues, economic and social cohesion, hoping to unite the South Sudanese people. Delegates from the 10 States and three administrative areas have participated during’ deliberation. 

President Salva Kiir Mayardit assured the delegates that Dialogue was not intended to replaced the Revitalized peace agreement but a grassroots initiative to bring citizens together.

“Your views on numerous issues affecting our country at multiple levels on governance, security, economic and social cohesion. There is no doubt that the outcome of national Dialogue represents the broad cross-section of our society of the issues raised”

“There is no question of the legitimacy of this process. With this in mind, we need to remind ourselves that what has been produced in this process must be harmonized with the permanent constitution-making process,” Kiir said

President further stated that his government would reconcile the recommendations of National Dialogue with the Revitalized Peace Agreement in South Sudan.

The Co-Chair of the National Dialogue, Angelo Beda, urge the President to implement the Resolutions. Some of the recommendations delegates deliberated on include Presidential term limits, a federal government system, and permanent constitutions.

Mr. Bida mentioned that some of the resolutions were controversial and that the country’s leaders should make it hard for the public interest.

“Everybody here is looking forward that at least one behave of them, that even if the resolutions are very Controversial please implement them.”

The SPLM-IO of Dr. Riek Machar and the National Democratic Movement –NDM led by Dr. Lam Akol not happy to support the peace dialogue said all issues addressed in the revitalized agreement.

They also refused to participated in the process, question the inclusivity and credibility of the National Dialogue.

President Salva Kiir initiated the national Dialogue in December 2016.

SPLM-IO unwilling to submit states nominees until Olony appointed

The Sudan People Liberation Movement in Opposition (SPLM-IO) led by First Vice President Dr. Riek Machar has confirmed the completion of their states nominees and national parliamentarians ‘representatives.

SPLM-IO, a party to the revitalized peace agreement, shows frustration on General Olony’s appointment delay. It deprived lists submitted to the Presidency until the governor of Upper Nile State Gen. Johnson Olony is appointed.

The Minister of Petroleum, Puot Kang Chuol, briefed the media in Juba on Monday. He said the Upper Nile governor appointment would pave genuine compromise for official lists submission of all ten states include the three administrative areas.

He [Puot] Stated that Olony’s appointment delay has indefinitely affected SPLM-IO general conference until all selection has been completed. A unanimous resolution was endorsed on Sunday with approval from Dr. Machar.

SPLM-IO announcement has displayed no sign of President Kiir’s assurance about Gen. Olony’s appointment, which the general public anticipated as the only controversial point that delay government formation.

People see that the Upper Nile governor appointment is the only curve area that will determine the Revitalize agreement’s smooth implementation.

Mr. Kang assured that IO should reconsider having their Juba national conference after the government formation.

“We want to move forward, but Upper Nile is one of the states. You cannot have ten states without Upper Nile. You cannot have any other states without others states in the Republic of South Sudan”

Therefore, we are humbly asking the general public and everybody, including His excellent President, that we speed the appointment of Gen. Olony so that they will not be left behind. They deserve to have states like others”.

They said Olony’s appointment is a significant concern because the nation will be “disturbed” without him. He says we must have the rule of law in that area.

President Kiir reaffirmed his refusal to appoint the SPLM-IO candidate for Upper Nile state’s governorship on several occasions and calls the SPLM-IO to nominate another candidate of their choice.