85 inmates with minor cases have been freed in Aweil Prison

85 inmate have been released in Aweil correctional prison service in Northern Bahr el Ghazal state. The decision is part of the state governor and judiciary initiative to freed those who commit minor offenses and fines sentencing.

Official says the released will ease congestions in prison which was meant to accommodate one hundred and fifty persons, but now hosting a total of four hundred and sixty-eight prisoners.

Some of the inmates who spoke to Akol Yam 91 FM said they were send to prison without proper investigations.

One of the inmate Bakhita Atong Dut said she was arrested by her husband because her daughter was elope by a man who didn’t have cows to pay as dowery. Adding that her husband accused her of giving daughter away to person who has no wealth.

Many of the released inmates have difference varying stories about how they got arrested and end up in prison.

Amou Bol is one of those being released said she spent two years in prison because she was convicted of manslaughter after a person died in her care after receiving drug. “I have been here for two years because I was treating someone locally and unfortunately, she died, and I was arrested to pay blood compensation which I cannot afford”. She said.

Many of the prisoners’ released thanks, the governor and the high court president for pardoning them. They say the prison living conditions were so bad because of the congestion and poor hygiene.

Angok Ayok Malou explained the challenges he encountered in jail. “I am an old man,  I have been falling sick almost every day because my aging condition and my body cannot manage prison life, I am happy I have been doing nothing here for six months”.

Justice Abraham Majur Laat is the president of high court in Northern Bahr el Ghazal state. He said they plan to pardon up to three hundred people with minor cases.

He said that the governor has pledged to pay little fines when the list is submitted to his office for those who did not afford to pay the court fines.

Awerial county official says they lack funds to addresses water crisis in Bunagok

Bunagok residents face extreme water shortages, with over two thousand people sharing two water hand pumps.

Some of the residences who spoke to Mingkaman 100 FM say they spend many hours in the queue to fetch water in the two working hand pumps.

Martha Alut is one of the residences in Bunagok Payam. She said people are walking from different villages to fetch water at Bunagok.

Ms. Alut had appealed to local county officials to rescue the situation and help fix the broken boreholes to ease the congestions and suffering.

She said they are now making tough choices between drinking and bathing. Adding that they go for days without bathing because it is not easy to get water at the hand pump.

She said the issue of water starts in August, but the situation is now worse because the pools which villages were using have dried. “clothes are dirty, and children don’t take a bath sometimes, this can cause sicknesses.” Said Martha.

Mr. Paul Chak is the head of the Awerial county water department in Lakes state. He said his office is aware of the dire water situation at Bunagok and other areas in the county. 

He said they are making every effort to fix the broken boreholes by early next year because they do not have spare parts that are needed.

He said the pump mechanic are idle because they do not have spares, and he can’t send them without spare parts to repair the boreholes.

He said that he is engaging with one of the partners who has promised to come in January to drill more boreholes and repair the damaged ones.

80 people regain eye sight and 900 more missed the operation

80 people have regained sight after undergoing cataract operation in Akon, Warrap and  nine hundred more  missed the treatment.

James Madhang Wieu is the Payam Executive Director in Akon. He says eye specialists’ doctors from Egypt spent two days in the area and they manage to operate few people and majority of them missed because of limited time for the doctors.

Wieu said that they registered one thousand and thirty-six patients with eye problem that need to be operation.

The symptoms of eye cataract include shortsightedness to the older people, changes of eye color and poor sighted at night.

Cataract is ‘a medical condition in which the lens of the eye becomes progressively opaque, resulting in blurred vision’.

The governor of Warrap state, Hon. Bona Panek apologized to those who missed the eye operation. Saying that things did not go as planned but promised to try to bring them next year.

He attributed the issue to poor coordination of which transports arrangements for many patients did not reached them on time.

Some of the patients who spoke to Mayardit FM said the transport arrangement was not well coordinated and many of them were stranded at various pick up locations.

The eye operation was one of the initiative sponsored by the first lady Ayen Kiir Mayardit to provide free eye treatment to nearly thousand people from greater Bahr el Ghazal region and Abyei. Seven hundred patients were treated in Akon Payam in Warrap state.

Motorbike riders restricted from going to Amiet market

Abyei-Amiet road. Photo: Courtesy of UNISFA

Authorities in Abyei administrative area has suspended movement of motorbikes between  Amiet market and Abyei town.

Official says the reason for restricting motorcyclists, they failed to adhere to security protocal UN troops escorts for the travelers.

Martino Kiir Deng is the information officer in Abyei. He said individuals are not allowed to travel along Abyei-Amiet unless in a convoy because there are suspected criminals who used to attack vehicles and motorbike riders.

Martino urged the riders to respect the order by the Abyei security protocol.

He quotes ” My message is that people should take good care of their lives because this is the season where criminals attack travelers. There are always unknown gunmen that disturb people.

He further explained that it is good to drive in a group with the convoy. This is the situation where UNISFA’s troops accompany travelers. And so I repeat that motorbike riders are warned not to escape to walk alone. Please follow the set rules or you will face consequences if you are found, ‘’ Martino stated.

In response, some motorbike riders say UN troops should be stationed along the road instead of moving in convoy. They appealed to the Abyei administration and the UN Interim Security force for Abyei to increase the number of peacekeepers.

Mr. Madhal Mabior from Turalei Market said that the price of goods increases when the convoy arrived in Amiet. Madhal said they always find it cheaper to buy goods at affordable prices when it is morning hours.

” according to me, to respect the so-called protocol can affect my work because going to Amiet market early in the morning is good because prices of goods get lower and when the convoy arrived, the prices shoot up. The convoy also delays up to 8:30 AM and going to Amiet needs early hours, ‘’ A Boda Boda man who deals in fuel told Mayardit FM.

Mr. Malek Deng who sells mixed goods welcomes the idea but the government’s inability to arrest the suspects who attack the travelers.

He urged that the soldiers should be put in suspected places permanently instead of guarding for few hours which is the only convoy,’’ Boda Boda man said.

Hundreds of people fled villages over cattle raiding in Awerial

Hundreds of residents have fled Mayom, Pulawar, and Magok villages due to insecurity threats triggered by cattle raiding. People who were fleeing villages include women, children, and elderly people.
Three villages abandoned at Awerial County in Lakes State were bordering Tindelo and Tali of Terekeka County which they alleged the source of the displacement.
The community blamed Mundari and Aliab for creating tension. IDPs were temporarily settled in Mingkaman without aid assistant.
Athieng Aguot Nyanyith is a resident of Pulawar village. She ran away from her home for safety mentioning an alarm of being attack by cattle raiders in the neighboring Terekeka County.
“I came here after our cattle were raided by arms men last week inside Tindelo, we decided to come back to the village and it was insecure because people fear as tension is still very high and there is no protection there. That is why I come, closure to the government for my protection.”
One of the IDP Ayak Thuc said the village is not a safe place because the cattle raiding incident sparks tension between two neighboring communities.
She explained armed youth are taking the laws into their own hands, which need government intervention to hold perpetrators accountable.
Ayak appealed to Awerial and Terekeka County authorities to provide protection to civilians in both counties as cattle raiders terrorize rural communities.
“We don’t sleep at night since our people killed and dozens of cows taken; there are rumors of attack in our village. We decided to leave the area because there is no policy that can protect us. Two ladies were even killed when attackers were raiding our cows.”
Awerial County Executive Director James Manoah has confirmed the mass displacement instigated by growing anxiety at villages bordering Tindelo.
He said the two governments of Awerial and Terekeka Counties are working to control the situation.
“We heard about the displacement and both County’s government including Terekeka are working so hard on security issues because Mandari and Aliab are good neighbors for years. They had inter-marriages, and they have a lot of common relationships and friendships. We shall report these displaced residents to IDPs” Manoah stressed.
Last week, seven people were killed that include one woman and one girl. And several heads of cattle were believed to have been raided at Baping cattle camp by the suspected group in Tindelo areas.

Civil society accuses the Government officials over land grabbing

Jame David Kolok, the Executive director of Foundation for Democracy and Accountable governance.

The civil society organization known as Foundation for Democracy and Accountable governance has accused the South Sudanese military general and unidentified politicians of land grabbing. They launched a report on Tuesday in Pyramid Continental Hotel about Land Reparation. Activists launched the report in partnership with the Institute for Security Studies.
Both organizations have conducted a survey this year about the perception of South Sudanese over the land issues in the country.
The report was about the outcome of the survey conducted this year in Juba, Wau, and Yambio. The areas mentioned were said are the most specific town affected by serious land grabbing.

From March 2013 to August 2013, the South Sudan Law Society (SSLS), with the support of the World Bank, has conducted a comprehensive assessment of land governance in South Sudan.

Their report claimed the “governance institutions in South Sudan suffer from a lack of accurate information, poorly defined roles and responsibilities relative to one another, and systematic financial and human resource constraints”.

The Executive director of the Foundation for Democracy and Accountable governance Jame David Kolok said the parties should include land in the legislation process. The peace agreement requires a review of land policies during the transitional government of national unity.

The report raised great concern if the issue of land grabbing is not addressed, it would create a continuous dispute in society. The activist urges the parties to implement the presidential order on land grabbers to face justice.
Kolok worried that land grabbing is a violation of human rights which was a punishable crime under the law.

“First of all, we have acknowledged that there are many concerns in terms of cases of land grabbing. And unfortunately, this report signals that some of these violations of land are attributed to a specific time. It escalated after 2013 and after the 2016 crisis because the conflict resulted in the displacement of citizens that have r become refugees”. He noted land grabbers took advantage of people displaced and seized their land.

Jame further said some generals played central roles in land grabbing, and intimidating judicial officials in this country.

Paramount Chief Gabriel Magga Baba from Kajo-keji County urged the accused military generals and politicians to respect the law. He admitted that some chiefs are also making corruption as well in the communities.
“As a community leader, I want to just to beg them, if the law is there, let them just respect the law. Let them respect their dignity because you here, you can’t go to somebody place and grab it without permission”.

Retired economist Dr. Logo Molokot who participated in the event acknowledged that there is a lack of implementation of laws to resolved land disputes. He said respect for the rule of law to address land grabbing is vital.
“My take on the land grabbing, as an economist the land has become very profitable, the economic part of it has appreciated and so people are using it to make wealth, like particular in the city here. Many people are taking lands from people because they want to build hours because they want to rent it out to investors”.

Four children killed and one wounded in Kapoeta North County.

Google Map of Kapoeta County EE, South Sudan

Local authority in Kapoeta North county said four children age 7 – 10  have been killed on Monday.

One child has survived and is receiving treatment in Kapoeta South county hospital. The incident happened at Riwoto Payam. in a village called Lokolibor approximately about 35kilometers from Kapoeta South. The teenagers were on their way home after they went to fetch water from a nearby river.

Prince Daniel is one of the nurse in Kapoeta hospital. He said the girl has suffered multiple stab wounds to her body, and is responding to the treatment.  The nurse says the girl needs to be referred to a better health facility for further treatment, “Unfortunately we receive a patient yesterday she was stabbed multiple times and now her condition is stable, we manage to stick some wounds and make some dressing.” He said that she was so lucky that one of the wounds did not penetrate to the chest.

Daniel said such kind of action must be prohibited and law must be enforced fully so that the perpetrators are punished for such killing.

Evariso Cheche is paramount chief in Kapoeta North County. He condemned the killing and called on the state government to apprehend the perpetrators and bring them to justice.

Chief Evariso alleged that the suspects, which he said brutally murdered four innocent kids, could have come from Kimotong area in Budi county. Saying the killing was a revenge attack. This allegation has not been independently verified by Singaita FM.

“Revenge killing cannot stop because there is no government or chief and community leader in the village to control the situation”. Said Chief Evariso

Police department in the Eastern Equatoria state declined to comment citing inappropriate information in their office.

There has been number of attack between the two communities Toposa and Buya which follow the killing of two women at Kimotong payam earlier this month.

CEPO calls on IGAD to hold violators of R-ARCSS accountable

Edmond Yakani, the Executive Director of CEPO

A South Sudanese Civil society activist called on the IGAD to hold violators of the Revitalized peace agreement accountable.

Community Empowerment for Progress Organization (CEPO) issued a press statement this week after reported SPLA-IO accused their counterparts SSPDF of attacking their position last month in the Moroto area at  Kajo-Keji.  Six soldiers were reported to have died in the attack.

The South Sudan people defense force has denied any wrongdoing.  The clashes were allegedly attributed to the defection of army major general Moses Lokujo from SPLA-IO to SSPDF.

Edmond Yakani is the  Executive Director of CEPO  uttered an alarm for the slow implementation face of the agreement. He said failure by the parties to the agreement has made people “losing trust and confidence” at the time when the country is transiting from violence to peace.

Yakani further challenged the political culture of dragging their feet in the genuine and timely implementation of the R-ARCSS is uncertain. The political elites are careless about the hardship the country is facing from the on-going violence.

He demanded immediate implementation of security arrangements and full formation for the government of national unity at the national, states, and counties level.

Mr. Edmond blamed IGAD that has powers for being silent and not taking appropriate actions to hold perpetrators accountable.

He reiterated that IGAD ministers and special envoys have absolute obligations to hold offenders of the agreement answerable.

Yakani urged for  accountability to  be exercised within the presidency by the signatory to held the commanders violating the agreement accountable.

He said president Kiir and his deputies have a huge responsibility to make an agreement genuine deal.

CEPO viewed that the continued violation of the agreement is a worsening sign that will jeopardize the future of the nation.

“If this agreement failed to delivered building a national army in the security sector if this agreement failed to deliver to reform institutional and policy level if this agreement failed to deliver proper population censor if this agreement failed to deliver betterment citizens own constitution we are not going to have stability”.

He said the violation indicators are visible signals which revealed the absence of political wills. Saying these signs are threatening the upcoming election to be free from violence without security sector reform and without a proper permanent constitution.

The parties to the agreement always expressed their commitment to the agreement although the government of national unity is not fully formed.

President Kiir declined to appoint the governor of Upper Nile Johnson Olony whom he believed his appointment will cause some security threats to the State’s residents.

South Sudan imposed money for travelers to obtain COVID-19 Certificate

Hundreds of travelers criticized the South Sudan government for commercialized the COVID-19 certificate. South Sudanese nationals are told to pay 75 US dollars and foreign National charges 150 USD to obtain the certificates in two days.

Passengers said the new charging fee was introduced on Friday [December 4th] without the government’s advance notification.

Hundreds of travelers have stranded at the Dr. John Garang Infectious Diseases center this morning protested the move would make many people missed their flight.

The health doctors in the center shifted their operation to Cardinal Hospital adjusted to the main center.

Passengers looking for a COVID-19 certificate described the ministry of health decision as a “shocking change” that undermines the public interest. COVID-19 certificate was often issued by the ministry of health in partnership with the World Health Organization.

The government has started issuing free COVID-19 certificates to the public, including ordinary citizens and foreign nationals in the country, since the pandemic emerged in April 2020.

The policy has seen a challenging business that will affect the general public as the country facing economic hardship. People uttered severe disappointment to the government for making such changes so abrupt without advance communication.

Passenger Emmanuel John, who has been looking COVID-19 certificate for three days, was annoyed by the new government’s policy.

“You people do not take care of the citizens, and some people die from just Malaria, now by imposing this fee of 75 USD, do you think it is fair? I have been coming here for almost three weeks now. I cannot even succeed,”.

A foreign business lady who refused to be named said she has disagreed with the government COVID-19 charging fees because the payments presented are unaffordable cash beyond citizens’ daily income.

Mr. Bol Michael said the government decision left him without an option for his wife and daughter traveling to Kenya to get certificates. “I paid $150 for the certificates because I don’t want to double the lost for the tickets,” He said the health ministry decision was unacceptable because people could not afford the money.

“It is not good to surprisingly asks the public to pay money for something they didn’t expect. Yesterday, I registered my wife and my daughter. I brought them this morning for sample collection, but people were told to pay money in another center which was a shocked news. I paid $150 to get two certificates because I don’t want my family to miss their flight,” Bol said.

He further explained passengers were being informed that the new policy comes from COVID-19 national Task Forces. And this is an unfair decision because the people have no money to pay. Bol has spent one week looking for a certificate beyond the standard mandated days.

The Director of Intensive Care Unit (ICU), Dr. Richard Lako, said the Ministry of Health had contracted the private sector to test the travelers looking for COVID-19 certificates.

He claimed MECH Blue private clinic was tasked to run samples for travelers without the Ministry of Health’s influence.

Richard stated that the COVID-19 national Task Force made the decision.

“Travelers, we don’t test them. We have positive people; we need to follow them. We have contacts for these people we need to follow them, we have alerted the center affairs, we have been collecting the sample from the center affairs in the hospital those have been suspected of having COVID we tested them”.

In November, travelers slammed the government for the slow process of issuing pandemic approval certificates.

Disabled Student asks for a wheelchair assistant

A twenty-six-year-old disabled student in Twic County at Doctor Justine Secondary school asked well-wishers for wheelchair assistance.

December 3rd,  marked the International Day of Persons with Disabilities (IDP) The day commemorated in many part of the country to reflects a growing understanding that disability is part of the human condition.

Several NGOs calls the Government to avail jobs for persons with disabilities,  end discrimination and stigmatization.

The disabled student Ajak Atem Kol Ajak spokes to Mayardit FM in Turalei, Warrap State. He said his legs got paralyzed when he was two years old.

The student said his situation is critical that needs immediate intervention. Ajak conveyed his message during the international day of people with disabilities.

Mr. Ajak claimed that he always crawled for more than twenty-five minutes from home to school. And he was often optimistic about getting help from organizations that supporting people with disabilities.

According to him, some NGOs initially promised him a wheelchair assistant, but nothing materializes.

“I want to be a doctor to help others toppled me was polio disease according to the symptoms my mother used to tell me. I become like this when Ibecamewo years old. My father died in 2017, and immediately, my uncle took responsibility for my school.”

It is difficult for my parents to buy a wheelchair because of limited resources. I have five other siblings, and I am an ender in the family. Additionally, my father is not and responsibilities shoulder at my mother.'”

The communication officer for South Sudan Red Cross in Warrap state, Mr. Tong Alfonse, said his organization always helps people with disabilities with a wheelchair and artificial legs.

He appealed to people with disabilities to register at a nearby Red Cross office for support.

“You can go to the office in Kwajok. You will register and send it to Wau, where you will be given. This is because the Wau office is where the machine for cutting your size is. So, your presence is vital. They need to know whether it is the right leg or left with the problem, for example. You can get them in a day or after two days because it is cut in your presence. They also need to screen you to know which one fits you.”

Based on global estimates of 15% of the world’s population living with disabilities, South Sudan is estimated to have more than 1.2 million people with disabilities. Some wounded during the decades of war.