Uganda election creates fear to South Sudanese in Kampala

As Ugandans start casting their votes, South Sudanese living in Kampala and other parts of the country expressed fear of possible violence if election results turn against people’s choice.

Polling stations opened this morning for over 18 million registered voters to elected their leaders.

In today’s election, a pop star and opposition leader Robert Kyagulanyi better known as Bobi Wine, is challenging the longtime President Yoweri Museveni, with other nine Presidential candidates.

Rev. Stephen Kulang Jiech, a South Sudanese Church leader who lived in Kampala said, foreign nationals are indoors waiting for the result of the election.

He hopes the election will be free and fair to avoid violence among the Ugandans.

“Now we are at home, and we don’t know what is going on in the polling stations unless at the midday because they closed all the media, there is no Facebook, there is no internet.”

Uganda has hosted 1 million South Sudanese refugees, the vast majority of them women and children.

Nyumazi Refugee Camp chairman, Nyang Aluel Akuei, said the situation is normal, citing that refugees are not worried.

“As elections start this morning, people at my settlement wake up as usual, and we started our normal activities. Our shops are open. People are moving within the settlement. I’m not seeing anything that is causing an alarm”.

Nyang stated that no refugee is allowed to move out of the settlement to neighboring towns. The camp chairman calls upon the government of South Sudan to engage their counterpart to avoid any disturbance.

“In case of any disappointments or dissatisfaction from the outcome of elections, we as refugees want to stay in our settlement. We don’t want the nationals to come to a settlement and begin disturbing us because some people will be disappointed,” said Aluel.

South Sudanese youth member living in Uganda said he is disappointed with the internet shutdown in Uganda.

Kur Abraham describes the lack of internet connection as a bad sign, and people will be missed out on the information.

“We are not connected to the internet or social media because all Data is not working countrywide, I think. I’m having a lot of things to do online. Since Data is not there, I’m not feeling well because I’m missing a lot. Not about the elections, but my things and my studies.”

In Kampala, South Sudan’s embassy warned its citizens to stay indoors from 14th -21 January. Amb Simon Duku encouraged South Sudanese to buy enough phone credits to call the embassy in security threats.

The embassy instructed its citizens to move with valid national ID 24/7 or only a valid passport. Avoid wearing clothes with colors representing political parties like yellow and red during this election process and NEVER move in a group.

On Tuesday, Uganda’s communications regulator ordered internet providers to block all social media platforms, followed by a total internet showdown yesterday.

Facebook and Twitter were among apps that became inaccessible on several network providers in the country.

Facebook announced on Monday it had taken down a network of fake and duplicate accounts linked to the country’s information ministry.

On Wednesday, the US and EU said they would not observe the elections after several officials were denied accreditation.

Four policemen killed; 6 wounded in Lakes State fresh clashes

In Lakes State, the police have reported four of its officers killed and six sustained gunshot injuries in a new cattle raid incident.

The fighting occurred at Yirol West County on Tuesday morning; no suspect arrested so far.

Police spokesperson Capt. Elijah Mabior said suspected arm cattle raiders from Rumbek East stormed Majama cattle at Yirol West County, raiding unknown livestock numbers.  But police promised to recover cattle looted during the attack.

He stated that casualties among the attackers and the cattle owners are unknown. 

Cattle raiding occurred on the day State governor Hon. Makur Kulang launched his peace campaign in greater Yirol Counties on Monday.

“We received information about cattle raiding yesterday in Yirol west County. Police officers were sent to recover the livestock, but unfortunately, they fall under attack from unknown arms groups.”

 Three officers were killed on the spot, and one policeman died a short while ago—the wounded policemen, including the head of the mission. So, officers return without cattle recovered.”

The police spokesman further says wounded officers are treated at Mapourdit hospital.

Yirol West County Executive Director James Dhour has confirmed the cattle raiding but says he did not have comprehensive information.

Parties optimistic of graduating unified forces this month

The Minister of Defense and Veteran Affairs is optimistic that the graduation of unified forces will start toward the end of January.

The graduation is recently scheduled to occur this week, as Presidential Advisor stated on National Security Affairs, Tut Gatluak.

Minister of Defense Angelina Teny met with security organs Tuesday, January 12, discussed the graduation of forces.

“We have just concluded a very crucial meeting. This meeting included me as the member of NTC, the mechanisms; JDB, JTSC to discuss the forces’ graduation, we have discussed timetable.”

Soldiers at the training sites have spent many months waiting to be graduated. Some left the training centers with the prostration of being abundant.

According to the peace agreement, the training and redeployment of necessary unified forces would have completed during the pre-transitional period of eight months.

Hon: Teny says lack of funds delay the process but hoping to address it this time.  She stated that the uniforms for organized forces would arrive in Juba on Wednesday.

“The Advisor who is the chair of NTC has promised us he will avail the resources for the graduation, so we are very hopeful, and it is very promising. We had the other challenge, and we just discussed the logistics and the uniforms for the organized forces. We have enough here for the army.”She said.

Since the Unity government’s partial formation last year, the parties decided to allow the unification process to go beyond the deadline.

OPP finalized nomination of 3 deputy governors

The group of Other Political Parties known as OPP revealed that its internal dispute over the list of deputy governors’ nominees resolved.

This came after President Salva Kiir did not appoint three positions assigned to the other political parties.

Two weeks ago, six deputy governors nominated by SPLM and SPLM-IO were appointed. The remaining deputy governors are for Northern Bahr el Ghazal, Warrap, and Central Equatoria states.

Peter Mayen, the Minister of Humanitarian Affairs and Other Political Parties’ leader, said the major parties take deputy governors’ positions within their alliance. But Mayen could not disclose the names of the political parties allocated to nominate deputies’ governors.

“Now, the appointment will happen. That is the president’s work, but we have resolved our issue, and we are working based on principles. One of the principles is that where you have prominence is where you go”.

The leader of OPP apologized for delay caused by his party. “we apologize for the delay”. We are now working based on an inclusive process with twenty-seven political parties regardless of their collaboration, regardless of their alliance.”

Mayen further mentioned the distribution of seats at states would be inclusive. And that his leadership is making sure there is equal participation.

“The positions even at the state level, where OPP have seats in the state, basically we have over sixty members of parliament and their state ministers. So, my leadership is trying as much as it can to make sure that everybody participates.”

Majongdit says it is essential to consolidate peace and have the guns silent. He acknowledges that the implementation is behind scheduled. Other members of the Alliance blamed Peter Mayen of creating misunderstanding over allocation of deputy government, a claimed he denied.

The parties to the revitalized peace agreement have not yet completed state and local government formation, which took several months.

Gunmen killed infants, kidnaped two boys in Bor

Attackers in Jonglei State have killed an 8-month-old baby and kidnapped two children aged 13 and 15 at Pagok village in Jonglei State on Saturday. All victims are from one family.

Police said the mother and her children came under attack while footing on a feeder road heading to Cha-Akau village after leaving Bor town.

Maj. Gen. Joseph Mayen is the Commissioner of Police. He said the mother of the abducted children was freed unharmed.

General Joseph says the slain infant’s body was found by the local youth who were following abductors a few hours later after children were kidnapped.

“the criminals live in the bushes, and they do have their coordinated plan of what to do, there are only a few villages that people live, but these criminals do disturb, they can ambush the people. The youth do patrol around. Women are vulnerable, older people are vulnerable, and children are vulnerable too. So, the youth shouldn’t allow women to move alone in the bushes.”

Child abductions and cattle raiding among Jonglei neighboring communities rose during the dry seasons for years. Several peace initiatives conducted did not end the kidnapping and cattle raiding activities in the area.

According to the Police, no suspect being arrested so far. Authority in Bor claimed the attackers are believed to be from Pibor Administrative Area, an allegation that couldn’t independently be verified.

In July last year, South Sudan’s Vice President James Wani Igga was tasked to mediate peace among Jonglei communities. He promised that the government had taken decisive decisions to restore security.

VP Igga appealed to community leaders to support the government’s effort for peace and stability, emphasizing that peace is necessary for development and prosperity.

JEDCO reversed its plan to cutoff power in Juba.

The government has finally reached an agreement with Juba Electricity Distribution Company, JEDCO, over power shutdown.

Ministry of Energy and Dams said the power distributor would continue its operation despite the recent announcement to cut off the national capital light.
Juba Electricity Distribution Company, JEDCO announced to shut down the power supply on Tuesday until further notice.

The company in the statement said the South Sudan government has “not provided the foreign currency required to make long-overdue payments for the bulk energy” they get from Ezra Construction and Development Group.

Hon. Peter Marchalo, the Minister, said, “no shutdown will take place tomorrow.”
The Power distribution company JEDCO said it had reached an agreement with the government on Monday afternoon to keep the power flow.

“A last-minute solution has been found to stop plans by the Ezra Construction and Development Group to shut down the Juba power plant.”

The Government of the Republic of South Sudan has intervened, and all stakeholders are now urgently working together to make sure this drastic action never happens in the future, JEDCO stated.”

“Following this latest intervention, the Juba Electricity Distribution Company (JEDCO) will NOT disrupt its services and will continue to provide all its customers with a safe and reliable electricity supply.

The Government, Ezra, and JEDCO promised to dedicated on developing the country.

The JEDCO Company has connected nearly ten thousand households with over 200 government institutions and more than 3,500 businesses across Juba.

US Congress approved Biden’s win of November election

The US Congress has certified Joe Biden’s victory in the presidential election, hours after Trump supporters stormed the Capitol building on Wednesday night. Four people die in the capitol hill riot.

According to International media, Lawmakers resumed the session after police managed to remove the mob, which had been encouraged by President Trump in a bid to overturn his defeat.

The certification clears the way for Mr. Biden to be sworn in on 20 January.

In response, Mr. Trump finally pledged an “orderly transition” of power.

Democrat Joe Biden’s victory was confirmed in the early hours of Thursday by a joint session presided over by Vice-President Mike Pence, who said the violence had been a “dark day in the history of the United States Capitol”.

Wednesday’s chaotic scenes followed months of escalating rhetoric from Mr. Trump and some Republican allies that sought to undermine the result of the 3 November election.

The invasion of the Capitol by the president’s supporters – some armed – was an event without precedent in modern American history

Mr. Biden blasted the “insurrection” as Mr. Trump, while telling the mob to “go home”, and continued to make false claims of electoral fraud. The outgoing president’s Twitter and Facebook accounts were later frozen.

After objections by some Republican lawmakers to overturn the result in Arizona and Pennsylvania were rejected, Congress formally certified the final electoral college vote at about 03:30 local time, with Mr. Biden receiving 306 votes to Mr. Trump’s 232.

Shortly afterwards Mr. Trump said in a statement: “Even though I totally disagree with the outcome of the election, and the facts bear me out, nevertheless there will be an orderly transition on January 20th.”

World leaders condemning pro-Trump supporters’ storming of the U.S. Capitol in a futile bid to stop members of Congress attempted from certifying the Electoral College ballots for President-elect Joe Biden.

According to the American Media, NPR, the UK ” Prime Minister Boris Johnson describe the situation as “Disgraceful scenes in U.S. Congress,”. “The United States stands for democracy around the world and it is now vital that there should be a peaceful and orderly transfer of power.”

Italian Prime Minister Giuseppe Conte said, “Violence is incompatible with the exercise of democratic rights and freedoms.” He added, like many leaders, that he believes U.S. governing institutions are robust enough to withstand the assault.

German Foreign Minister Heiko Maas warned President Trump to accept the results of the U.S. election, saying, “Insurgent words turn into violent acts.” The spectacle transfixed people around the globe.

Animal disease outbreak killed livestock in Awerial. 

The cattle keepers in Lakes state’s Awerial County has expressed concern about losing their livestock following the outbreak of an animal disease known as East Coast Fever.

Deng Think is a cattle keeper in the area said has lost 15 cows and several animals from other community members dead of disease confirmed to be East Coast Fever at various villages, including Mingkaman. 

East Coast Fever is a lethal disease of cattle caused by the blood parasite and transmitted by the Brown Ear Tick.

He stated that cattle started showing signs of sickness in December, and the treatment they have administered to save the life of animals did not work better.

According to the cattle owner, the disease’s symptom includes cow to develop a high fever, nose mucus, loss of appetite.

Deng claimed to have lost a cow worth 400,000 SSP, and he appeals to veterinarians and partners to provide a sustainable drug that can treat the disease. It’s unclear how many cattle dead so far.

 ” I don’t really know what can help. We have been trying to treat them with the available drugs for animals, but it’s not working. We don’t understand why doctors are not bringing drugs for this disease.” Deng stated.

Director of the Animal department in Awerial County, James Chuti, has confirmed that fifteen cows have died so far and expects the number to go higher.

He urges pastoralists to keep animals free of ticks to minimize disease transmission through blood parasites as local authorities prepare their response.

“We have got the information about this disease and my office has received at least 15 cows death recorded but I did not yet get some data from many villages which host larger number of cows. so far, we are planning to see alternative ways to save the livestock life because the entire,e communities depend on cattle and if disease wipe them out, it can be a disaster to them” He said.

The veterinary expert said the vaccination campaign launched in November last year didn’t covered all areas due to the vaccine shortage.

James assured cattle owners that his office coordinates with the State head office to provide medicine that cures East Coast Fever.