Protect the revitalized peace agreement or no elections in 2023, Machar urged governors

The governors’ forum, which started on Monday in Juba, discusses the states’ role in implementing the revitalized peace agreement.

The five-day, 5th governor’s forum brought together states delegates and three areas chief administrators to discuss.

The first vice president of the republic, Dr. Riek Machar, called on the governors and three areas chief administrators to work with recently reconstituted states assemblies to incorporate the agreement into their respective state constitutions.

“I am hoping that you, the state government, should begin to think in trying to review your constitution for it to conform with the transitional constitution amended,” said Dr. Machar.

He told the governors to protect the peace agreement and ensure not dragged back to conflict. He said that despite the peace agreement, inter-communal violence and child abduction is destabilizing some areas.

He says the forum will help governors address challenges facing the states and encourage them to implement the reform stated in the peace agreement.

The governor of Eastern Equatoria state, Luise Lobong, says the forum is a good opportunity for the governors to discuss the challenges facing people at the grassroots.

He said the forum shouldn’t be for states leaders alone but a collective responsibility of all government levels to participate and implement the outcome.

“I wish the leadership of this country attend this kind of briefing so that they make policies resolution on it.”

Lobong said there are very few resources that go to the state’s government. “We don’t know even what percent of the total revenue goes to the states,” said Lobong.

He said that if such a forum is used to decide and allocate a percentage of the total budget that can go to the state help elevate the lives of people in the rural areas.

The United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) Residence Coordinator Dr. Samuel Gbaydee Doe said the forum would strengthen inclusive governance as the country accelerates the revitalized agreement implementation.

“The forum provides a platform for the ten governors and three chief administrators to interact H.E the President and the national government to reflect on the progress of peace implementation.

The forum was organized by the Ministry of Presidential Affairs and the UN development program.

The Governor’s Forum was initiated in 2006 before South Sudan gained independence in 2011.

IGAD welcomes Sudan Agreement to Restore Civilian Rule

The Inter-governmental Authority on Development (IGAD) has welcomed Sudan’s return to civilian rule after Prime Minister Dr. Abdalla Hamdok reinstate on Sunday.

The military reached a deal with civilians to restore civilian rule and release political leaders detained in October.

The Executive Secretary of IGAD, Workneh Gebeyehu, commends all those who participated constructively in the dialogue that led to the Agreement in line with the 2019 constitutional declaration and encourages Sudan’s political leaders and civil society to build on the momentum to unite the country.

In s statement, IGAD said the Agreement should lead to the formation of an inclusive government and expressed the readiness to work with the new government to implement this Agreement. It stated the effort is to serve the people and build a new democratic Sudan that responds to the legitimate aspirations of all sectors of its society.

South Sudan congratulates its neighboring Sudan for its leadership courage to forge a way out of its current political situation.

It described the Agreement that parties signed as a “significance landmark achievement” that displays Sudan’s will and determination to return the path of peace.

As part of that Agreement, Gen Burhan had been due to step down as head of state, handing over to a civilian this month.

The reinstated prime minister Dr. Hamdok will lead a cabinet of technocrats until elections are held, the Agreement stated.

Media, at least 40 people had died in mass protests the coup since 25 October, when the military declared a state of emergency and dissolved the civilian leadership.

Stop cattle rustling & keep livestock for commercial values, Onyoti says

The national Livestock and Fisheries is calling on livestock owners to improve livestock management and move towards improved production of the industry. He says cattle keepers should focus on positive values and adopt to new technologies to make their animal healthier.

South Sudan Minister of Livestock and Fisheries Hon. Onyoti Adigo Nyikwak addressed hundreds of farmers in Warrap state on Thursday during the Kuajok Livestock Show and Agriculture Exhibition.

The event was organized by the government along with the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO) with the goal of promoting commercialization of the livestock and farming sector. Farmers displayed their agricultural products and tools while demonstrating technologies, including irrigation systems and seed treatment.

Adigo says the purpose of the show is to create awareness on the economic impact of livestock in an intensive production system and improve ways of keeping animals. “Let’s make our livestock commercially oriented and not to keep them on traditional and cultural values,” he told crowd gathered for the event.

The Minister further called the pastoralists to stop cattle raiding and help the government in promoting peace to ensure their livestock are safe and used only for economic purposes to support their livelihood.

“Why are we killing ourselves because of cattle? Why are we rustling or stealing cattle? You need to work hard to get cattle, go to farming and crops will give you money instead of taking other people’s cattle,” he stressed.

The US Agency for International Development (USAID) Mission Director in South Sudan, Haven Cruz-Hubbard commended the work of the framers and cattle keepers in the state.

He says South Sudan is one of the countries with higher number of livestock per capita in Africa, about 39 million livestock.

He stated that USAID and FAO introduced livestock shows in 2019 to promote commercialization and peaceful interaction between the communities.

“Livestock can be an essential source of nutrition and revenue so that South Sudanese families can remain resilient in the face of conflict, flooding and food insecurity,” Cruz-Hubbard said.

The Chinese Ambassador to South Sudan, Hua Ning pledged to support farmers with agricultural tools in Warrap state. He said the aim is to boost food production in rural areas, to avoid dependency on imported items and food aid.

A high-level delegation, including top government officials, diplomats and journalists were in Kaujok on Thursday to witnesses the show.

Similar events were also held in 2019 and early 2020 in Wau, Rumbek and Torit.

Women call for an inclusion in permanent constitution making process

An annual event attended by more than hundreds women in Juba call for an inclusion of women in South Sudan permanent constitution making process. They said making their voice heard in the process is key in achieving sustainable peace in South Sudan.

The peace event was organized by the center for inclusive governance, peace, and justice (CIGPJ) in Juba on Monday.

Some of the issues discussed include the needs for effective participation of women in the implementation of the revitalized peace agreement.

They stressed the importance of full implementation of the revitalized peace deal. They said there are key provisions still outstanding such as the formation of hybrid court as stipulated in chapter five of the deal to bring justice, accountability, reconciliation, and healing.

Ms. Jackline Nasiwa is the Executive Director of the Center for Inclusive Governance, Peace, and Justices. She said that women’s participation in the governance and security sector reform is key to ensure the process of inclusivity.

” There is a very crucial milestone in the peace agreement that requires women to participate. One of them is security sector reform and the constitutional making process” said Nasiwa.

She urged women to be bold enough and push for justice in South Sudan, so that the culprits face justice.

Those committees should go to the grassroots and hear views of the people on what type of Trust and healing Commission should South Sudan adopt,” Naiswa stated

The Director of women International peace center, Helen Kezie Nwoha stressed the need for gender equality. Saying that women were affected mainly by the conflict. They want peace and shouldn’t be left behind in the permanent constitution-making process.

Kezie stated that South Sudan can not attain peace without equal opportunities for boys and girls.

She said that they should be in the center of these processes and will not be silent. We can’t leave our voices out in the constitution-making process, let’s plan from now to make ensure we get what we want,” she said.

The Adviser on Human Rights Affairs in Central Equatoria State government, Jenifer Yugu, said there is need to discouraged male dominance in public offices. She said equal rights must prevail to ensure more women take part in decision-making and leadership.

” There are issues they don’t want us to raise in the parliament like when a man marries more than ten wives but if woman divorce it becomes a problem.”

The revitalized peace agreement parties signed in 2018 approved 35% affirmative women representation in all government sectors.

States MP express mixed reaction after four Assemblies Reconstituted

The formation of the state’s parliament raised mixed reactions among members, some welcoming reappointment and others dismayed for being left out.
President Salva Kiir Mayardit issued a republican decreed, reconstituting the long-awaited states assemblies in four, Lakes, Central Equatoria, Western Equatoria, and Upper Nile state.

This is seen as a critical step toward fully implementing the 2018 revitalized peace deal signed in Khartoum.

Peace monitors and the UN have urged the unity government to reconstitute states assemblies that can work closely with the transitional parliament to review and enact the laws such as security bills, financial and judiciary reforms.

The new reconstituted states parliament has new faces and welcomed the appointments. At the same time, those left out say Kiir should revise the list because they were duly elected in the 2010 Sudan general elections.
Hon. Jacob Ladu, MP representing Lanya County in Central Equatoria, said they plan to visit their constituencies after the swearing-in. He added his mission is to disseminate peace and create awareness for people in remote areas to know peace is worthy.

Hon. Madhieu Makuach MP from Lakes State parliament says the formation of the state assembly is crucial when communities face challenges, including insecurity and national disasters like floods.

“The state parliament plays a critical function for check and balance, as the people’s eyes, ears, and voices, said Mdhieu.

He said they provide an oversight role as the body that checks the executive in the state. Hon. Makuach said they hope to see the remaining states and administrative areas parliamentarian appointed.

However, some left-out members say they are disappointed in the process despite having won elections in 2010. They say it is unfair and urged President Kiir to look into the matter and revise the list.

Hon. Mabor Ater Dhuol was elected in 2010 on the SPLM ticket unopposed. Ater say he felt let down by the party SPLM, he strongly believed in but said he is happy the peace implementation is ongoing.

The expanded states parliaments of a hundred MPs per sharing ratio include representatives from the parties to revitalize the peace deal.

Lack of funds stalled graduation of unified forces, says JDB

A joint defense board, a body that oversees the successful integration of unified forces in the revitalized agreement, says lack of funds is stalling the graduation of the unified army.

This came after the joint defense board announced last week that they are set to graduate the long-awaited unified forces across the country.

General Lul Ruai Koang is the spokesperson for South Sudan Defense Forces (SSPDF). He says the national transitional committee (NTC has not provided funding to start the screening and other logistical needs.

He said that the secretariat for the joint defense board is in discussion with the NTC chairperson and political leadership to mobilize resources for the exercise. He did not provide an estimated amount needed for the graduation of forces.

He says the security arrangement team can’t suggest any new timeline until they have secured the graduation budget.

“This stage, I can’t tell the date. You know I announced the date last month on the instruction of joint defense board chairperson with the directive from the presidency.”

South Sudan civil societies activist says failure by the parties to establish a unified army is a tactical attempt to extend the duration of the transitional unity government.

Edmund Yakani is the Executive Director for Community Empowerment and Progress Organization CEPO. He warned the parties to stop delaying tactics and embark on the full implementation of the peace agreement. He says the unity government should avail the budget for the graduation of unified forces.

There are 83,000 unified forces drawn from various parties to create unified national forces to take security during the transitional period.

Five crew died in plane crash

South Sudan Red Cross reported that it had collected five bodies from the plane that crashed.

“Our team is at the plane crash scene at Gondokoro, Juba. We have collected five bodies burned beyond recognition. We will hand the bodies to the authorities,” Red cross-posted.

The Cargo aircraft 26 Antonov is believe to be own by Optimum Aviation company The plane crashed shortly after take-off at Juba International Airport. Authority says the aircraft belonging to Optimum Aviation company hit East of the River Nile.

Five crew members were on board, and their condition was not yet been established.

Kur Kuol Ajieu told The Radio Community that the rescue team had been dispatched to the scene immediately.

Several eyewitnesses said they had seen smoke in the sky toward the direction aircraft crashed.

Staff at Juba International Airport said the plane was loaded with goods and fuel heading to Maban in Upper Nile. No passengers were on board.

A Journalist who visited the scene, Logonyi Denis Muye said, the plane crashed in the Kondokoro area. And the details of the occupants are still sketchy. But the resident told him that no one from the village was injured, only the livestock.

Media calls govt to account perpetrators against Journalists

South Sudan commemorates International Day to End Impunity (IDEI) on crimes against journalists. The media fraternity reiterated calls for effective implementation of media law. It also urges the authority to hold perpetrators against the media to account and be brought to book.

This year’s theme, “Countering threats of violence and crimes against journalists to protect freedom of expression for all.”

Michael Duku, the Executive Director of the Association for Media Development in South Sudan (AMDISS), has called the government to enhance accountability across the board, promote peace, freedom of expression, and access to information.

Duku further urged the journalists to remain ethical and follow the media ethics and law to alleviate themselves.

Media Authority’s Managing Director, Elijah Aliar, says cases of Impunity against journalists have significantly reduced. “No journalists in any prison as we celebrate this day despite the record of 130 media complained.”

Aliar said the government has primary responsibility to protect journalists and ensure media operate in accordance with the law.

He encouraged the Union of Journalists to promote ethical reporting through awareness among the media practitioners.

Media authority is committed to protecting the public interest and stated in the SS constitutional 2011

Deputy Inspector of Police -James Puoch has called the journalists to stick to the law that regulates the media operation in South Sudan. Impunity is happening in isolated cases, and the government is working hard to address such matters.

“Our country transition from a conflict situation to post-conflict. That’s why unexpected impunity cases are happening. The police are working to assure that journalists need protection like any other citizens, which will help promote peaceful South Sudan.”

The IDEI was adopted at the 68th United Nations General Assembly session in 2013, which proclaimed 2nd November as the ‘International Day to End Impunity for Crimes against Journalists (IDEI). The Resolution urged the Member States to implement definite measures to counter Impunity to create a conducive environment for journalists and other media professionals.

South Sudan comes forth in the recent report of the Committee to Protect Journalists (CPJ) behind Somalia, Syria, and Iraq to occupy the worst four spots on the list.

CPJ Indicated that conflict, political instability, and weak judicial mechanisms perpetuate a cycle of violence against journalists.

 UN calls for the formation of states parliaments to expertise the priority bills 

The United Nations Mission in South Sudan says the establishment of the States Assembly is required to work closely with the Transitional parliament to review and enact the bills on security, financial, and judiciary reforms.

Deputy Head of the United Nations Mission in South Sudan (UNMISS) Mr. Guang Cong made this call during the plenary session of the Joint Monitoring and Evaluation Commission in Juba. He says parties should speed up the formation of the remaining institutions outlined in the peace agreement.

“The various specialized committee should be established without delay giving their criticality in the parliamentary proceeding. This step should be followed by establishments of states Legislative Assembly and national commissions,” Cong said.

The Minister of Cabinets Affairs, Dr. Martin Elias Lomoro, said parties already submitted the lists of their states’ MPs waiting to be named.

“The ITGoNu, SPLM_IO, and SSOA have submitted their list of representatives to the states parliament, and these are all compiled ready for an appointment. Again, the dispute between OPP parties has delayed the submission of their eight representatives. However, a decision has been taken to appoint the ten states members of parliament with the exclusion of OPP parties as was the case in R-TNLA and Council of States,” Dr. Elias stated.

He (Lomoro) further unveils the government induction plan to the state’s cabinets to implement the agreement, collegiality to improve working relations, and good governance. “The Ministry of Cabinets Affairs is waiting for the budget to conduct state – state induction training coverings cabinets decision-making process and good governance in general.”

The peace Monitoring mechanism also highlights the status of the Revitalized agreement’s implementation. 

RJMEC Chairperson Charles Tai Gituai said despite progress made on the implementation of the deal. Parties behind the schedules in the agreement chapter include the graduation of forces and the permanent constitution-making process. “According to the agreement, it is 16 months to the end of the Transitional period.” 

Gituai called the Unity government to provide a concrete plan to implement the outstanding tasks in the remainder of the Transitional Period.

This week, a South Sudan Civil Rights Activist said peace implementation is at risk and proposed graduation of Unify forces likely be affected by a military coup in Sudan. The Joint Defense Board announced the troops’ graduates in the first week of November.

Unifies forces’ graduation risk to delay amidst Sudan coup

A South Sudan Civil Rights Activist says peace implementation is at risk and proposed graduation of Unify forces likely be affected by a military coup in Sudan. Earlier this month, the Joint Defense Board announced the troops’ graduates in the first week of November.

The Activist expressed deep concern over the future of peace implementation in South Sudan and called the government to engage coup leaders in Sudan to allow dialogue between civilians and military.

On Monday, the Military takeover power in Sudan announced the dissolution of the transitional government and the sovereign council and declared a national state of emergency.

Security forces in Sudan’s capital Khartoum were reported to arrest at least five ministers, advisors to the prime ministers, and other political figures. Military forces also had placed prime minister Dr: Abdalla Hamdok under house arrest on Monday. 

On Tuesday report suggested that Abdalla Hamdok, the deposed prime minister of Sudan, has been allowed to return home a day after the country’s military detained him after seizing power in a coup.

General Abdel Fattah al-Burhan, who seems to be the coup leader, addressed the news media on Tuesday said the Prime Minister is safe with other senior government and his family.

The situation in Sudan raised the alarm in South Sudan’s peace process. Edmund Yakani is the Executive Director of Community Empowerment and Progress Organization -CEPO. He says peace soldiers’ graduation is likely to delay due to the lack of an IGAD Chair to endorse the process.

“If we’re pursuing graduation of unified forces, which may be in November, and we don’t have a legal Chair of IGAD, will the military leaders stand on behalf of IGAD to endorse the graduation? The current leadership in Sudan is not legitimate.”

“So, the two referees (Sudan and Ethiopia) who have the power of the yellow card and red card are in their internal crisis. That will weaken the pressure on the parties to the peace agreement in South Sudan,” Yakani said.

The Activist warned that Sudan’s situation should not be used to expand the duration of the Unity government in South Sudan and create more delay on peace implementation.

“It’s not a good lesson for South Sudan to learn out of it, not a best practice. As South Sudanese, our prime responsibility is to tell the world that we are committed to implementing the revitalized agreement,” he stressed.