ICRC documents 5,300 missing persons in South Sudan

The International Community of the Red Cross -ICRC said it has documented over five thousand three hundred people are still missing in South Sudan.  It is asking government to take appropriate action for all the missing persons, and held anyone who might be responsible for disappearance accountable.

ICRC says the state has responsibility to prevent disappearance, ascertain the fate and whereabouts of missing persons.

The ICRC has been working in Sudan since 1986, including in what is now South Sudan.

“We have documented cases of missing persons before South Sudan’s independence in 2011 and afterwards in relation to conflict, other situations of violence, natural disasters, and migration,” ICRC said.

The International Day of the Disappeared is observed on 30th August yearly.

Nourane Nouas is the ICRC Protection Coordinator. She said many being reunited with the families shared the stories of suffering and distress. Others still search for missing family members, which the organization is working to track their whereabouts.

“The majority of the time, they share the suffering of the separation, and that absence has caused them mental disorders. They have lost economic capacity,”

Nouas further stated there is a need for practical solutions to end issues of disappearance in South Sudan.

The International Committee of the Red Cross said it supports the authority in enacting legislation for South Sudan to implement international obligations towards the missing persons and their families.

Minister of Gender, Child, and Social Welfare, Ayaa Benjamin warille criticize people’s acts on behalf of the government to commit force disappearance that sometimes could result in the death of an individual being abducted.

Ayaa narrated her personal story saying her husband Aggrey Ezbon Adri was kidnapped in January 2017 alongside South Sudanese lawyer Dong Samuel Luak that left the families in pain.

The men’s disappearance between South Sudan and Kenya, but both governments have consistently denied responsibility.

Minister Ayaa said such unlawful should stop, and justice must prevail to pay back the painful situation families of missing one undergone through.

“I was living in Nairobi, my husband when out for exercises and today I have not heard from him. As a family, we went through pain, and I don’t’ even have a word to describe what we went through for three good years unit the UN panel of experts officially inform us in 2020 that my beloved husband is no more.” Ayala said.

International law prohibited the forced disappearance, which violated the fundamental human rights of the individual.

In February this year, the Minister of Humanitarian Affairs and Disaster Management, Peter Mayen Majongdit has established a technical working group on Missing Persons in South Sudan.

The Committee expects to carry out an in-depth research exercise into missing persons in the country.

NBGs recruit Eighty-five teachers, promotes hundreds others

Northern Bahr El Gazal state has recruited teachers to tackle the lack of instructors.

Some appointed staff has been working as volunteers for years, teaching various primary and secondary students.

The state’s Ministry of Education says the move addresses challenges facing learning institutions and promotes quality learning.

Santino Bol Akot is Director-General of the state ministry education NBG.

He said eighty-five new appointees were graduated from Maper National teachers training institute last year. 

The state government also promoted one hundred teachers from lower grades to 10, 8, and 7, respectively.

The State pledge to pay teacher salaries from the locally generated revenue collection.

“State ministry education will be a response on 85 new recruited teachers which include in the payroll. They will get salary effect from the current date of their employment. We also have a hundred teachers promoted that will get their pay from the national government. All this process was done to improve the education at public schools,” Bol said.

Civil Servant in South Sudan has been facing salary delay which becomes a concern to keep them on the job.

The Education Director said salary delay is a countrywide problem that shouldn’t worry the individual.

Some new teachers who spoke to Akol Yam 91.0 celebrated their appointment, saying they worked as volunteers without salary for years.

Teachers hope there being on government payroll will encourage them to concentrate on teaching.

“We are holding two certificates secondary and teachers training certificated for two years without proper employment, but right now we knew ministry had recognized our qualification.

“We shall work closely with ministry education to promote quality education because get salary is encouraged to do batter jobs. When most of the teachers are not pay, they don’t come to schools regularly.”

“Administration will be designed schools’ attendance to guild all teachers on their arrived and departure times. After the ministry resolves lower pay and voluntarily works through recruits and promotion, we request them to work on the delayed salary while teachers are doing fieldwork that needs monthly cash,” Teachers narrated.

A teacher in South Sudan earns between 1,600 – 2,000 Pounds -about $10 -every month.

A third year University’s student kills in Agok

Authority in Agok says a University has died of injuries allegedly inflicted by a person believed to have a mental problem.

Police reported the deceased name Ajak Malok Kou, age 25, from Nyin Ayuel Deng village, and his younger were attacked in their uncle’s house with a stick. The suspect is arrested.

The incident happened on 19 August at Mabony village in the Agok area of Abyei.

Anyiel Agon Arop is the director of police in Agok. He says three brothers were attacked by a person who is believed to have a mental problem. But has no history of violent behavior.

According to the police, the youngest was unharmed and is in good spirits but is emotionally traumatized.

Arop said they came to the scene, and the two were immediately rushed to the hospital, but one

succumbed to the injuries, and others remain in critical condition in Agok.

The deceased Ajak Malok Kou is a third-year student studying medicine at Juba University and went to the village to sell one bull to buy his school clothes.

His two younger brothers accompanied the late.

The incident shocked many people in Turalei and Wunrok, where he was held from, and his remain was brought to the county HQ before being taken to his village in Wunrok payam for his final resting place.

Some of those who saw the body, including Twic county’s commissioner, no one could say a word because they were so terrified and in emotional pain.

Govt vows to hold elections in 2023

South Sudan transitional government of national unity say they are ready to hold general elections on time despite slow implementation of the revitalized peace deal.

Michael Makuei Lueth is the minister of information in the revitalized national unity government. He says the government is committed to fulfill the agreement and will have unified army forces established before holding election in 2023.

Makuei dismissed the crackdown of civil coalition that are calling for public uprising to bring down the government for failing to implement the agreement.

He said the election is the solution to end the power sharing and have a government that is chosen by the people.

“It’s the election that will reduce this mess which the agreement has established—that party who passes takeover fully. There will be no more compromises. There will be no more accommodations,” said Makuei.

He said they are concerns as a government of the division within the SPLM in opposition but says that will not derail the implementation of the agreement. “If the IO is divided, it’s their internal issues. Last week the President appealed to both parties to cease the hostilities. Unfortunately, there have been clashes for three days. This is what we don’t want,” Makuei said.

Makuei denied the involvement of the government and said there is no way they can work against a partner to the peace agreement. He urged the SPLM IO factions to have dialogues and resolved their differences amicable.

“There is an indication from the Opposition or from the IO suspecting the incumbent transitional government to have done this, which is unfair. There is no way we can work against the partner to the peace agreement.” 

Earlier this month, a faction within the SPLM/A-IO emerged and declared to have removed Dr. Riek Mach and appoint Lt. Gen. Simon Gatwech Dual as interim Chairman.

Dr. Riek Machar. The SPLM-IO political bureau in Juba disregarded the declaration’s group cited as not the party’s leadership.

On Thursday, the Sudanese Prime Minister and Chair of IGAD, Dr. Abdalla Hamdok, arrived in Juba. Part of his visit is to examine the implementation status of the Revitalized Peace Agreement with parties.

Dr. Hamdok was also expected to mediate peace dialogue between the SPLM/A In Opposition factions.

Humanitarians aid calls for end of violence against its workers  

South Sudan’s Humanitarian Country Team warns of a climate emergency and calls for an end to violence against aid workers. 

Today, 19th August, marked Humanitarian Day globally.

South Sudan is ranked among the five countries in the world most vulnerable to climate change, and populations across the country are already suffering the effects with devastating consequences, including disaster displacement.

Mr. Arafat Jamal, the UN Humanitarian Coordinator in South Sudan, said Climate change fuels conflict over shrinking resources and puts humanitarians in harm’s way.

He called for an end to violence against humanitarian workers and civilians. “Humanitarian workers must be able to reach people in remote safely and highly food-insecure areas and those in conflict- or flood-affected areas without the threat of attack. 

“Today, we pause to remember all humanitarian and aid workers whose lives were taken from them in the course of their humanitarian work,” Jamal said. “We also salute the courage of humanitarian workers serving in isolated and insecure locations, doing crucial and lifesaving work.

Last year, more than a million people were impacted by a second consecutive year of significant flooding, with women and children most affected. 

The UN said the situation is continuing to be felt, with a worsening food security situation, and some communities are now facing catastrophic needs. The levels of food insecurity and malnutrition are at the highest since independence ten years ago.

World Humanitarian Day said is an opportunity for all to re-commit to the values that underpin humanitarianism.

Five aid workers were reportedly killed in South Sudan this year include three medical professions.

 

Hamdok in Juba to evaluate implementation of R-ARCSS

The Sudanese Prime Minister, Abdalla Hamdok, arrived in Juba for two days visited to examines the implementation status of Revitalized Peace Agreement with parties.

The Chair of Intergovernmental Authority on Development- IGAD expects to mediate peace dialogue between the SPLM/A In Opposition factions.

Earlier this month, a faction of the SPLM/A-IO emerged, declared Lt. Gen. Simon Gatwech Dual as interim Chairman replaced the First Vice President, Dr. Riek Machar. The SPLM-IO political bureau in Juba disregarded the group that makes the declaration cited as not the party’s leadership.

Sudan and South Sudan foreign Ministers briefed the media at Juba International Airport on Thursday, 19th August.

The Sudan Minister of Foreign Affairs, Dr. Mariam Asadiq Al Mahadi, said her country concerns recent fighting in Magenis. The delegation would engage the parties and resolve the matter amicably.

“For sure, we are concerned, and that is why we are here with the minister of Defense and the minister of transport and corridor, to allow us to look into all issues.” 

Mariam further said Sudan and South Sudan want to find a solution to the issue of Abyei to maintain good relations between the sisterly countries. 

“We want to use the good relations to make more excellent to impact the two sisterly countries significantly. We want it to also have a significant impact on people through opening corridors in a way that can benefit people from the two Sudan,” Mariam said.

The Minister of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation in South Sudan Beatrice Wani-Noah, said the visit is an opportunity for the Ministers of the two counties to discuss the cooperation agreements signed this year.

“Over the year, we’ve cooperation agreement signed between Sudan and South Sudan those will be examines by various Ministers and their counterpart.”

Sudan mediated the revitalized peace agreement on the resolution of Conflict in South Sudan parties signed in 2018

 

Religious leaders call for an end to the traditional home burial

A group of religious leaders from Charitarians and Muslim faith-based in Northern Bahr el Ghazal has called on the government to enact a law prohibiting people from burying loved ones who remain at home.

Bishop Abraham Wol Tong, Chairperson of Council of Churches in NBG, said burying dead remains at a family’s residence is not hygiene and causes conflict and land dispute when the owner decides to sell the plot.

Wol urged the state government to create public awareness and measures to let people use the established cemetery site for burial and stop having remains buried in residential areas.

The leader of the Islamic Council in NBG, Abrahim Deng Akok, called the public to make use of the land allocated for the cemetery. He said Aweil Center has 500 to 1000 square meters of land, which is located west of the state capital designated as a cemetery since in 2019—adding that the site is not being used despite it being well secure with the fence.

Some of the residences in Aweil town who spoke to Akol Yam FM say they are not aware of the existence of the designated burial site. Some acknowledge the issue’s importance, and others said they decided to bury their loved ones at home because they were unaware of the cemetery site.

Hon. Abraham Wol Kom is the state minister of information in Northern Bahr el Ghazal. He says they welcome the call made by the religious leaders and promises the government will create public awareness about the importance of bury dead bodies at the cemetery.

He said the government will study the matter before taking an immediate decision on the matter.

Wol urged the religious leaders’ civil society organizations to engage the public on awareness of the importance of graveyards in the urban area.

Communal fight left thirty-one people dead in Warrap state

At least 31 people are reported killed and 30 others wounded in a communal clash on 16 August between three communities at Mer and Lol-lith, Tonj East County in Warrap state.

The clashes happened between three subsections of Luacjang, Lou Paher, and Thiik, but the details of what triggered the fighting are yet to be established.

Hon. Ring Deng Ading is the state minister of information and communication in Warrap. He said more than 30 others had been wounded in dire need of medication for attention.

Hon. Deng said that the local health facility is overwhelmed by the number of people injuries. He says they lack drugs and the capacity to treat some of the wounded patients.

He urged the three neighboring sections to cease confrontation and embrace peace. The state government has resolved to deploy security forces to separate the community and restore stability.

He said the deployment for the security forces is awaiting approval from the national military in headquarter in BilPam to have SSPDF soldiers deployed in the area.

Some eyewitnesses who spoke to Mayardit FM said they need security forces deployed to contain the situation—saying that they fear clashes happening before soldiers arrived in the area as a pledge by the government.

Last month, seventeen people were killed, and twenty people wounded communal clashes between Luacjang and Lou-Paher communities in Warrap state.

Youth in NBG call for UNISFA to leave the area

Youth stages peaceful protest on Wednesday in Gok Machar, Northern Bahr el Ghazal state calling for the UN Interim Security Force for Abyei (UNISFA) to leave the area.

UNISFA started operating in Gok Machar in 2012 after South Sudan and Sudan agreed on a 14-mile buffer zone. The aim was to keep calm at the disputed border of two sisterly states.

Mile 14 is a grazing land between Northern Bahr El-Ghazal State and East Darfur State in Sudan.

Youth representatives talked to Akol Yam 91.0 said they submitted their petition to UNISFA and the county authority.

The protesters accused the UN of encroaching described UNISFA as for Abyei.

“We want the UNISFA to leave Gok Machar area because the names even mean UNISFA is not for NBGs, we have realized that some of our land are written in the GPS as Sudan, and our land is being encroached by the Sudanese, and it doesn’t say anything.”

“We can’t wait for the Government, the land is ours, and we are the community, so we have to resolve the issue, and the Government will find us in later. We don’t want UNISFA. It is the one giving out our land to Sudan.”

“We have raised this concern since, but no one has taken it seriously, the UNISFA and Government, so we had to raise our concerns in this peaceful demonstration, UNISFA is not mandated to be in Gok Machar.”

UNISFA declined to comment on the matter.

Aweil North County Commissioner Victorino Ken Akoon said the youth petition would be discussed at the top leadership.

“We have received the petition, and the UNISFA has been given three days to leave the area, so we shall intervene as the Government. I will take this issue to my boss, the Governor.”

The United Nations Interim Security Force for Abyei has established bases in Aweil North and Aweil East Counties, Northern Bahr El Gazal.

South Sudan gives three months to foreigners, process valid visas

South Sudan gives a three-month period to Uganda nationals to process valid visas and work permits to legalize their stay in the country.

The immigration announced following peaceful protest from Ugandan in Juba this week, citing high charges of monthly visas and excessive taxes.

On Monday, Police launch a silent search in Juba, arrested foreigners who do not have legal status.

The Director-General of Immigration, Atem Marol Biar, said the number of foreigners who stay in Juba without documents has increased, which should stop. ”

“A huge number of aliens are here staying without the document more than 90 percent, especially from two countries, Eritrea and Uganda. We agree to give them a temporary stay permit for one month with the condition that let them go back to their embassies to process the documents,” Gen. Marol said

Moral warned of security threats if South Sudan continue allowing foreign national without documents.

“You must come into a country like South Sudan with a valid document. If we continue like this, it might even bring insecurity to the country. We suppose to deport those without documents, but we felt that they are our brothers and sisters from East African countries,” he stressed.

The Ugandan Community in South Sudan said the government failed to alert them about the ongoing security search.

Mr. Elias Mugaga, Chairman of the Ugandan Community in Juba, urges the police to release those arrested during the crackdown.

“Some members who are arrested don’t have migration to warn them so that they can process their documents. We also request the government give us three months to inform members in the villages across South Sudan to process legal documents,” Mugaga said.

Police formed eight members committee comprised of security organs, area chiefs, and local government officers to identify those stay in South Sudan without documents.