Journalists elect Patrick Oyet to be chairperson of UJOSS

The Union of Journalists in South Sudan elected Patrick Oyet as its new Chairperson with 39 voters, 6 for Michael Koma, and John Wulu gets three voters.

Forty-eight journalist cast their votes in the process observed by the Media Authority and UN mission in South Sudan.

Other elected members include Majak Daniel, General Secretary, and Yangi Justine for Treasure. The election concluded this afternoon following the annual general assembly meeting in Juba.

Oliver Modi’s outgoing Chairperson has urged the new leadership to continue to promote journalists’ safety, press freedom, ethical reporting, and protect the organization’s constitution.

The new Chairperson of UJOSS, Patrick Oyet, who works for the China TV network, pledge to consolidate the right of female’s journalists, create a solid working relationship with the government and involve states Union members in the decision-making process.

John Wulu Deng, a challenger running for the chairmanship, accepted the defeat. “Fellow Journalists Nationwide, thanks for your support you gave me during the union of Journalists of South Sudan election and to keep you informed I have lost the election,” Wulu posted on his Facebook page.

South Sudan Union of Journalists was formed in 2004 to champion the right and professionalization and promote press freedom.

8 people dies in Yirol -Juba road accident

At least 8 people have died in a fatal road accident between Yirol and Awerial county in Lakes state.The accident happened on Wednesday morning at Anyanchier village in Awerial.

The Landcrusier pickup was from Wau and spent night in Yirol and continue on a journey to Juba carrying 18 people.

Major Mading Makur is the director of traffic police in Yirol West county. He said the two cars collided killing seven passengers on impact and one person later succumbed in Yirol hospital.

He says the driver for the oil tanker is on the run and police is searching for him.

Salah Malang Panchol is one of the traffic police officer who visit the scene at Anyanchier village. He says it was not easy to retrieve people who were critical injuries from the wreckage.

He said they rushed those injured to Yirol hospital. Malang said 10 people are receiving treatment in Yirol hospital.

He attributed the cause to over speeding and cautioned the drivers to be careful when driving on a highway.

IRC suspends its activities in Ganyiel, Unity State

International Rescue Committee has temporarily suspended its operation in Ganyiel Payam of Panyijiar County following the death of its medical staff Dr. Louis Edward Saleh, who was murdered by an unknown group last week.

An anonymous murder of Dr. Louis in Southern Unity received broader condemnation from the UN, youth, civil society, and government.

IRC County Director Caroline Sekyewa issued a public statement pausing her organization activities Ganyiel area, Panuijiar county. The organization says the decision is in line with global safety and security protocols that require their attention to undertake a thorough risk assessment on severe such incidents.

Some members of Panyjiar county concern that IRC’s suspension of its operation will have a severe negative impact on the lives of vulnerable people in need of medical attention.

Sekyewa justified that reason her organization stopped operation is to honor our beloved deceased colleague. And for the sake of psychological well-being, both friends in Unity state and other South Sudanese were traumatized by his untimely death.

Caroline stressed that can’t continue with business as usual without first understanding the situation and re-orienting staff bout the working environment. IRC draw some lesson to ensure that such an incident will not happen again.

The organization says its staff’s safety comes first and urges the national authority to expedite their investigation to determine the organization’s next step on service delivery.

“We will cooperate with authorities as they carry out their investigation.”

UN humanitarians Coordinator in South Sudan, Alain Noudéhou, condemns the brutal killing of an aid worker in Panyijiar County, which he said was a “horrific” attack against humanitarian.

President Kiir: Permanent constitution to reflect nationalism 

South Sudan president Kiir Mayardit has instructed stakeholders in the permanent constitution-making process to reflect the citizens’ interest and spirit of nationalism in the amendment. The constitution amendment is expected to be accomplished within four months.

Stakeholders to the Revitalize Peace Agreement unveiled workshop for permanent constitutional making process on Tuesday. The event was attended by the president, prime minister of Sudan, IGAD, parties to the agreement, diplomats, and high dignitaries’ delegates.

The convened workshop was organized by Reconstituted Joint Monitoring and Evaluation Commission (RJMEC) with Germany-based Max Planck Foundation support.

President Kiir strongly emphasized that the constitution-making process is vital in the agreement that “should reflect expression for freedom, equality, justice, and prosperity for all.”

He recognized the importance of public participation in the constitution amendment process, which he the launching of the permanent constitution-making process marks the critical implementation for provision of the agreement to resolve the conflict in the country.”

He warned that citizens’ views are significant; it should be a people-driven process that we cannot violate. President reiterated his commitment to not taking the country back to war, commending that political differences should be resolved through consensus.

Prime minister of Sudan and IGAD chairperson Abdalla Hamdok urged the parties to implement the security arrangement for smooth implementation of the peace deal. 

He says the constitution context matter, and it should address history expression, unity, development, and diversity of South Sudanese culture. 

“You need to embark on the wide range of consultation; people’s views should be taken into consideration. The constitution will help us to build consensus and articulated collective views of South Sudan.”

IGAD Special Envoy to South Sudan Ismail Wais says the constitution-making process provides South Sudan an opportunity to pave the way for a peaceful settlement. The workshop’s outcome will form the basis of drafting the legislation to govern the permanent constitution-making process. 

Mr. Ismail asked the inclusivity, democracy, transparency and meaningful participation to all South Sudanese. 

“The making of the permanent constitution to usher new democratic order particularly in the post-conflict setting where the country is transitioning from the conflict to peacebuilding remained daunting challenges.” 

RJMEC chairperson Charles Tai Gatuai says a new constitution is expected to guide the conduct of the election at the end of the transitional period guarantee good governance, constitutionalism, human rights, and gender equality.  

Tai advised the process requires a lot of political, technical, financial, and logistical support. He appealed to RTGoNU, regional guarantors, international partners to support the process thoroughly.

The process designing the path to a durable constitution for South Sudan.

Central Bank increase dollar auction amount

The Governor for South Sudan Dier Tong Ngor’s banks has increased the dollar auction budget to commercial banks and forex bureau from $5 million to $8 million per week.

The foreign currency injected into commercial banks increased, and the forex bureau auctioned $2 million to $3 million.

The government says the increase of auctioning amount to sixty percent is to strengthen the exchange rate he “branded market liquidity” and support citizens’ demands on foreign money.

According to the governor, the new auction amount adjustment financial and monetary stability shall be implemented next week.

Central banks gain more momentum of seeing the South Sudanese pound strengthening against the US dollar for the first time. The injection of more money into the local market was a strategy to address the economic crisis in South Sudan.

The recent reduction of the exchange rate had given people economic stability during the implementation of the Revitalized Peace Agreement.

In the last three weeks, the local currency exchange rate reduces from sixty thousand per one hundred dollars to forty-five thousand pounds.

Central banks have limited dollar auction to the national capital Juba, citing the closure of its borderline with neighboring countries due to political crisis.

The Bank governor also dismissed social media rumors that it’s planning to introduce a 5,000 Pound denomination

Bank of South Sudan tasks is to supervise conventional banking services in the country and regulate monetary policies.

“End ethnic violence and tribalism” youth told

The United Mission in South Sudan has called South Sudanese Youth to abolished tribalism, crimes and focus on the national transformation. 

UNMISS made unanimous appeals to hundreds of young people who attended a workshop in the national Juba. Young participants who participated in the training were brought from states include administrative areas.

UNMISS deputy Special Representative of Secretary-General Guang Cong said young people are the agent of change and peace. “You should change from being political victims to fashion peaceful environment.”

UN was horrified by ethnic hatred among young people that caused hate, division, and political unrest that undermined their national development and political leadership contribution.

Numerous reports indicated that young South Sudanese were the most marginalizing group used by the political players on ethnic division for political interest.

Guang urged participants to eliminated the tribal mindset and prioritized peace. UN strategy of having peace in the country is to prevent the return of civic war, build durable peace, and support inclusive accountable government and support free, fair, and peaceful elections in South Sudan.

UNMISS pledged its commitment to work with young people with different diversities to achieve viable peace in the community.

Undersecretary in the Ministry of Peace Pia Philip Michael cautioned the youth to be nationalists that promote peace, love, and social cohesion among the people. 

“We have no reason to suffer in this country. Think about what you can do to change the face of your country. South Sudan is your identity card. We should forget the blame game of where we are coming from. 

The fact that we are here now, we should think of how we can go forward. It is not about what happened. It is about how we move forward. And it is you the youth to design the future of their country how you need it to be”.

UNMISS civil Affairs Division Hazel De Wet said the opportunity of engaging youth in peacebuilding is constituted primary duty to get them in the local and national progressive transformation. 

“Young people have responsibility and obligations to how you go about national building, developing an environment that will provide sustainable peace for the general to come. And yet your immediate pass has been volatized, has been challenges and has been difficult”.

South Sudan experience political uncertainty that continues hindering development. Many young people were accused several times of jeopardizing peace in the communities through revenge killing, inter-communal violence, and regular cattle raiding.

Truth, Reconciliation, and Healing committee form

Ministry of Justice and Constitutional Affairs has formed thirty-six Technical Committee to consult citizens on establishing a Trust, Reconciliation and Healing commission.

Article 5.1.1 of R-ARCSS demands the Unity government gather public views that could be incorporated into the permanent constitution.

The minister of justice designated Technical Committee driven from various political parties in the Unity government, including stakeholders and civil society groups.

Minister of Justice and Constitutional Affair Ruben Madol Arop said the committee task the selected committee to sensitize public understanding on transitional justice of truth, reconciliation, and Healing for a peaceful settlement.

They will develop a network with traditional chiefs, consult mass, and formulate media content for public consumption.

Justice Ruben instructed that the committee will work on a limited assignment of one month before their roles expire.

The formation of the assigned officials, signed on May 21st, did not mention when the committee will start the work.

Chapter five of the revitalized peace agreement stated the Commission for Truth, Reconciliation, and Headling (CTRH) to be established as a critical part of the peace-building process in South Sudan.

Its roles are to spearhead the efforts to address the legacy of conflicts and promote peace and national reconciliation Healing.

UN, Doctors’ Union, and youth condemn the killing of Dr. Louis

The UN humanitarians Coordinator in South Sudan, Alain Noudéhou, strongly condemns the brutal killing of an aid worker in Panyijiar County, describes it as a “horrific” attack against humanitarian.

Noudéhou says a humanitarian’s convoy, including an ambulance, was also attacked in a separate incident on the same day, a few kilometers away, in Koch county, Unity State.

 “I am appalled by this horrific news of another act of violence against humanitarians in South Sudan. The South Sudanese Doctor working for the International Rescue Committee (IRC) was killed inside a health facility in Ganyliel Payam. Almost at the same time, an IRC’s convoy, including an ambulance, carrying 10 aid workers was shot by unknown gunmen Koch,” said Mr. Noudéhou.

South Sudan Doctor’s Union and Youth of Panyijiar County have called for immediate accountability about the death of Dr. Louis Edward Saleh, working International Rescue Committee in Ganyiel Payam. 

According to numerous sources, Dr. Louis was reportedly murdered on Friday by an unknown group in Panyijiar headquarter. The cause of his death remained uncertain. 

Doctor’s Union was saddened criminal murdering of a medical facility saving lives in the remote village. They petitioned for speedy accountability of the culprit.

The medical fraternity was so disappointed in the state authority’s silence over an incident, which they said attitude ignored the repeated call for protection of health workers. 

Doctors were frustrated by brutal incidents. Allies claimed, “they will not tolerate violence against health workers at your watch.”

“SSDU will consult with all doctors, NGOs, and authorities on options to boycott or withdraw from any State or community that shows hostility towards medical professionals and to agree on new terms and conditions for deployment of health personnel to provide services at community levels.” Doctors stated. 

Diaspora group called Panyijiar Professional Association (PAPA) said they were deeply dismayed by the unfortunate death of a humanitarian worker who had been “treating and resuscitating the lives” of our vulnerable populace in this challenging time.

Youth who signed the statement include Kujiek Ruot Kuajien, Mwalimu Gabriel Mut Giel, Gat-kier Machar Tholpi, and Dak Buoth Riek-Gaak. 

They said on behalf of Panyijiar Professionals and workers in all fields. “We send our heartfelt condolences to his Family, Friends, Colleagues in IRC, and Panyijiar County as a whole.” 

“His passing is a profound loss to not only his family but also to the Panyijiar health sector and the globe, especially during this tough COVID-19 pandemic times.”

“We strongly urge the authorities in Panyijiar and Ganyliel in particular to investigate the circumstances surrounding the sudden death of this medical Doctor. Doing so appropriately will bar the associated guilt and ghost that might trouble Panyijiar in future and ultimately provide meaning to the deserved legacy of Dr. Louis.”

Panyijiar County Commissioner William Gatgiek Mabior said investigations underway, and govt will reveal the fact-finding triggered his death.

According to the UN, at least two aid workers were killed in South Sudan in 2021 and another nine in 2020. A total of 126 humanitarians, mostly South Sudanese, have lost their lives while providing critical assistance to people across the country since the conflict broke out in late 2013.

Community wants Naath, Sobat stations reopens: Dr. Machar says

South Sudan’s First Vice President, Dr. Riek Machar Teny, discussed the possible reopening of two radio stations affected during the conflict. The top government official expressed the need for radio to help disseminate the messages of peace to the people. Dr. Machar makes assurance on the safety of journalists and radio this time.

Chris Marol is the Chief Executive Officer of The Radio Community, a national media NGO that runs a network of community-based radio stations in South Sudan. He says the two destroyed stations include Naath FM in Unity and Sobat FM, Nasir County in Upper Nile State.

 He says the community needs the information most, and his discussion with the First Vice President was to find ways of rebuilding the radio again.

” The Vice President was inquiring about the two-community radio stations run by The Radio Community and affected by the conflict. The community needs those stations to find out when they can be established again to inform the community in those areas. I was able to brief the Vice President about the plan to make sure these stations can get back on air”.

Marol further called for donor support to fund the radio project. He said his organization needs help from international partners to ensure those stations get back to allow community access information.

 ” At the moment, The Radio Community may not have funding that is needed for them to reopening those two radio stations. And there is a need for those stations to be open. It is our calls for international partners supporting media in South Sudan and the First Vice President if he can chat with international partners to see how best to keep the media in South Sudan,” He said.

The Radio Community (TRC) is a national non-governmental organization established in 2015 to run a network of community-based radio stations with support from USAID.

Drivers Union in Aweil sue to court over taxes disagreement

In Aweil of Northern Bahr el Ghazal, the Municipality Council has opened a court case against the public driver alleged of refusing to pay taxes charged per trip.

The case was opened in Aweil High Court. Deputy Chairperson of NBGs Drivers’ Union confirmed his office had received a summon letter on Monday, May 17th.

According to Mr. Guot Wol, the Drivers’ Union members will appear in the court this week on Wednesday.

Drivers Union disputed authority case against their administration. They are labeling the matter “unlawful acts,” which should be resolve in the court of laws.

The Union leader claimed that each driver pays twenty-six thousand South Sudanese pounds to the town municipality for road usage tax and a business license per year.

“The authority has summoned some of our members, and it is because of the issue of a seat fare tax which the authority is trying to impose on us. It is not good for us. We pay for other licenses and feel this should not be necessary,” Guot narrated.

Mr. Guot also said a seat charge per every trip is unjust.

“We will go to court and see how the court ruling will be made because we find this tax illegal. So, it is better to be handled within the law.”

Aweil town deputy mayor for planning, development, and environment, Mr. Anei Wal Achien, affirmed the case against accusing drivers of not paying their monthly fees.

Anei said that payment of one seat fare per trip to the town municipality is legal policy, and the drivers have avoided two months without pay.

“This is a law set by the government, and the drivers should abide by it, but since they are refusing to cooperate, then that is why we resorted to the court of laws, yes we have given them a summon letter, and the court proceedings will begin tomorrow,” Anei explained.

Last month, public vehicle drivers in Aweil town stopped working for three days in protest of paying fare for one seat per trip to the town municipality.