National Assembly reconstituted with 550 MPs

South Sudan’s parliament reconstituted with 550 national MPs from political parties appointed in a Presidential decree read on SSBC on Monday evening.

Former Incumbent Transitional Government of National Unity (ITGoNU) takes 332 members, 128 MPs appointed under SPLM-IO, SSOA with 50 members, other political parties 30 representatives, and the Former Detainees with 10.

Their appointment came after President Salva Kiir dissolved the assembly over the weekend. The peace agreement mandated the President to appointed members of parliament for both national and states MPs

The Unity government was formed over a year ago without unified legislators.

Last week, Civil society groups expressed frustration over the delay in the reconstitution of the Transitional National Legislative Assembly in the Revitalize Peace Agreement.

The Center for Peace and Advocacy viewed parliament reconstitution delay as a “worrying and disturbing” signal to the citizens to achieve sustainable peace, security, and development.

Activists Ter Manyang welcome the reconstitution of parliament said their advocacy become a success.

The Parties to the agreement have failed to pass the fiscal year budget for 2021/ 22 due to the absence of the parliament.

Article 1.14 in the peace agreement stated; The Transitional National Legislature (TNL) shall consist of the Transitional Legislative Assembly (TNLA) and the Council of State.  The council of State is yet to be reconstituted.

South Sudan started building its airspace and aviation station

A modern Air Traffic Management (ATM) has begun construction of South Sudan airspace and Aviation control station.

It is the first historic airspace station to be built since South Sudan got it independent on July 9th, 2011.

Development partners said airspace construction aimed to help South Sudan manage its territory and improve aviation safety. The project believes in generating considerable non-oil revenues.

China Ambassador to South Sudan, Hua Ning, said the independent, stable and reliable ATM system centers should be constructed in Juba, Malakal, and Wau.

“Air Management persuaded that objective of station is to provide one Navigation System for Airports and Routes, including 2 DVOR-DME stations in MALAKAL and WAU; One Surveillance System for Routes and Airspace, including three radar station and ADS-B equipment in JUBA, WAU, and MALAKAL.

Chinese said they would also construct a “new Communication Network System, including 6 VHF stations and HF station, A New Control Tower in Juba, One Normal Weather Observation System in Malakal Airport, Calibration Flight Test and Staff Training”.

The Chinese embassy to Juba reiterated the project would help the local government and people to manage its airspace.

“I wish the peace process will continue to move ahead, which will provide a stable environment for development while development in return will consolidate the peace process.”

China takes the lead in the project with supports from the Ministry of Transport in South Sudan.

Twenty police officers capacitated to draft border security policy

International Organization for Migration has trained South Sudan National Police Service in the capital Juba to drafted a cross-border security strategy policy to regulated people’s movement.

The move is to improve human trafficking and illegal border crossing between Djibouti, Eritrea, Ethiopia, Kenya, Somalia, South Sudan, Sudan, and Uganda.

Some migrants are often exposed to violence, enslavement, and exploitation.

One-day consultation strategy training was initiated by UN Migration Agency (IOM) and South Sudan police.

Different stakeholders, including government officials, migrants, humanitarian actors, and expert groups, participated in the events.

IOM South Sudan’s Chief of Mission Peter Van Der Auweraert said, “the general purpose of border management is to ensure the duly authorized, legitimate, safe, secure and efficient cross-border movement or transit of people, goods, conveyances, services, and capital.”

It is critical to consider the current context and foresee the benefits of well-managed borders for South Sudanese and migrants”.

Head of Cooperation, Embassy of Germany Janika Walter stated, “border officials play the main role in facilitating migration, identifying victims of trafficking, assisting them, and initiating investigations against the traffickers.”

She emphasized that border management and border security strategy contribute to improved cross-border relations not only with neighboring countries.

But also facilitate cross-border collaboration to address transnational organized crimes, foster economic cooperation, peaceful and organized neighborhoods.

The Inspector-General of Police, who has not been named, appreciated the support from IOM, the European Union, and the Government of Germany and requested that the partners double their efforts in solidifying peace and services delivery to South Sudanese.

Unity Government asked to establish the hybrid court

The European Union commanded the South Sudan presidency to establish a Hybrid court to hold people responsible for crimes committed accountable. EU comprised of Troika, Canada, France, and Germany.

According to the letter titled “Concern and call for Action” address to the presidency, the EU sends a formal memo to the president, and five vice presidents remind their leadership to implement the peace deal fully.

The formation of a hybrid court was a nervous deadlock to the parties of the agreement, triggering skepticism due to anxiety on accountability.

Peace guarantors wanted the court’s establishment to include setting up the Commission for Truth, Reconciliation, and Healing, Compensation and Reparation Authority to expedite the implementation process.

The international community sends a notifying statement before South Sudan’s tenth independence anniversary on July 9th. The EU empathizes with the leaders’ respect for the public interest to help achieve the original objectives of independence.

They said the Unity government should “implement keys provision in the agreement include the immediate reconstitution the National Transitional Legislative Assembly, implement the Transitional Security Arrangements, improve conditions in training centers and economic reforms for transparent and accountable.”

EU was so worried about subnational conflicts across the country without proper accountability of people responsible for perpetuating violence.

Seven European members include Jenny Hill, Alexander Rondos, Jean Michel Dumond, Sahel Robert Doelger, Endre Stiansen, Robert Fairweather, and Donald Booth was mentioned as crucial people issuing the document.

Delay in reconstituting parliament “Worrying and disturbing” Activist said

South Sudan civil society group is frustrated over the delay in the reconstitution of the Transitional National Legislative Assembly in the Revitalize Peace Agreement.

The Center for Peace and Advocacy viewed parliament reconstitution delay as a “worrying and disturbing” signal to the citizens to achieve sustainable peace, security, and development.

Center for Peace Executive Director Ter Manyang said the delay in the formation of the National parliament is a bad sign that already had severe consequences for citizens’ live due to economic depression and grave communal violence taking thousands of lives across the country.

The unity government is desperately seen functioning without fiscal year budgets. The Parties to the agreement have failed to pass the fiscal year budget for 2021/ 22 due to the absence of the parliament.

Activists slapped the Unity government’s irresponsible re-formation delay, putting the country in an unprecedented economic vacuum.

“No country can operate without a budget. The government of national Unity must avoid uncertainty and reconstituted parliament to ensure the fiscal year budgets pass as stipulated in the R-ARCSS Peter educated.”

Peter branded parliament reconstitution delay unreasonable game that makes people tired—in contrast, urging the parties to show some seriousness and commitments to sure that the Transitional National Legislative Assembly is formed.

Activists warned that “failure for Unity government to reconstitute the parliament could lead to solid measures against peace spoilers.

The Civil Society Organizations said it would renew their appeals to the IGAD, AU, EU, and the UN Security Council to take appropriate actions against those individuals sabotaging the full implementation of the Revitalized Agreement.”

Mr. Manyang called upon peace guarantors and the international community to pressure Parties to Revitalized Agreement to ensure that the deadlocks over parliament reconstitution delay reach.

The government spokesperson and the Minister of Information, Michael Makuei Lueth, noted the delay but believed the cause is technically promised that his party has completed the process.

Mayom commissioner survived an assassination attempt

Commissioner of Mayom County Hon. James Chuol Gatluak had survived an assassination attempt after youth group fought with police in Bieh Payam.

Seven of his bodyguards were killed, and two other youth killed in self-defense.

Unity state Minister of Information Hon Gabriel Makuei said the commissioner is safe without sustaining any injury. He returned to Mayom headquarter on Monday, but attackers were not apprehended.

Youth in the area ambushed the commissioner when he attempted to collect cattle raided in neighboring Warrap state.

But youth disagreed with an authority’s plan. An estimated one thousand-headed of cattle was raided this month.

Gabriel assured the public that the situation is calm without any civilians’ displacement. The state authority is preparing for dialogue to resolve the internal dispute between youth and county commissioner.

It is not clear if the state authority will continue to retrieve the raided cattle after settling the disputes between youth and local authority.

Inter-tribal cattle raiding between Warrap and Unity states become a war situation jeopardizing peace among the people.

Many innocent people have been killed in regular cattle raiding, and criminals are not held accountable for taking the law into their own hands.

South Sudan urged to allowed freedom of press & protect journalists

The US Ambassador has called the government to protect Journalists to help ensure that citizens are informed and described media as “key in democracy.”

Today May 3, the media practitioners commemorate World Press Freedom Day with this year’s theme, “Information as a Public Good.”

Journalists and media partners across the country joined an online discussion on press freedom in South Sudan.

US Ambassador to South Sudan Larry E. André, Jr said the World Press Freedom Day offers an opportunity to point out the abuses perpetrated against journalists and recommend protecting the media community.

He urged the government to stop intimidating journalists, unlawful arrests,  confiscation of equipment and allowed public access to information.

“Just as the government has responsibilities related to freedom of information, journalists have important responsibilities related to ethics and accurate information,” André said.

The Minister of Information and Postal Services, Michael Makuei, denied any restrictions government imposed on journalists. He argued that press freedom is protected by law in South Sudan, and no journalist was taken to court for wrongdoings despite inappropriate reporting.

Makuei warned that journalists could loss their membership or acts ethically. “You need to be abiding by professionalism, respect the rules and ethics of your profession,” He said.

Reporters Without Borders released a new report for this year, 2021, on World Press Freedom Index, indicated South Sudan dropped one spot to a ranking of 139 out of 180 countries.

The report states that journalists have faced harassment, arbitrary detention, torture, and even death in instances where they did not practice self-censorship.

The United Nations General Assembly declared May 3 to be World Press Freedom Day observed to raise awareness of the press’s importance and remind governments in 1991.

Government re-opened schools ending lockdown

South Sudan Minister of General Education and Instruction Hon. Awut Deng Acuil re-opened schools on Monday, ending children redundancy in the communities. 

Privates and public institutions include primary, secondary, and universities, were permitted to resume learning under COVID-19 restricted measures.

General education commanded children with disabilities, pregnant, girls and boys to go back to school. Parents were requested to follow the ministry instruction to allow children restart classes on Monday, May 3rd.

Teenagers girl’s early pregnancy saddened vice president for Service cluster Hussein Abdelbagi during the pandemic lockdown. 

He (Hussein) said, “the children are the future of the country. And the states’ government should work with national ministry of General Education to develop the education sector.”

UNICEF Country representative Hamida Lasseko appreciated the government commitment allowing access to education; while urging the ministry and parents to prioritize children.

“A lot happened to children when they were at home. Unfortunately, some of them were going through many difficulties and challenges, as we all know. And we know this has not been a short period; fourteen months of children being out of school are long. 

But, it is essential to mention that we need to take the lessons learned during this time. And to be more prepared to ensure that the safe return of school is sustained to take care of the school for these children.”

Education partners were alarmed by children who dropped out of schools, primarily teenagers who got marriages during lockdown due to the COVID-19 pandemic. 

Ms. Hamida caution students to keenly observed health prevention measures in class.

Juba Day Secondary student Emmanuel Sola Andrea was so happy celebrating school re-opening after lifting the lockdown. 

“We lose some students who die during the time of the pandemic. We are sitting with him in the primary leaving examination. It is painful to us.” 

Female students in Juba Day Secondary Josephine Francis Badi believed schools re-opening would reduce risky pregnancy and early marriages among school girls.

South Sudan closed all schools in March 2020 as a COVID-19 prevention measure, and candidate classes were given the green light in October.