CTSAMVM calls peace partners to control internal army defection.

The Ceasefire Transitional Security Arrangement Monitoring and Verification Mechanism [CTSAMVM] has called the Unity government to control internal military defection. Ceasefire monitors were such concerns about senior army officers changing allegiance within TGoNU while the parties are implementing security arrangements before the unification of forces. 

In September, a General from SPLA-IO Moses Lokujo defected to the SSPDF, which was seen as a false indication of the agreement. The parties to the agreement were urges to discourage unlawful activities from stopping putting the deal at risk. 

On Monday, CTSAMVM has discussed the implementation of the Ceasefire Agreement in Juba. Parties’ representatives attended the talk. The discussion highlight concerns on the recent clashes among the SPLM-IO forces after a general switched to the SSPDF in September. 

The monitoring body urged the parties to adhere to the revitalized agreement, stop the violence, and bring non-signatories on board.

Acting Chairperson of the Ceasefire Transitional Council, Gen. Dafalla Hamid Mohammed, says defection should not be allowed to weaken the agreement’s implementation.

There was significant violence involving the reported change of allegiance of Maj Gen Moses Lokujo from SPLM/A-IO to SSPDF, which resulted in violent clashes in the area of Moroto on 7, 29 September and 4 October between SPLM/A-IO and forces loyal to Maj Gen Lokujo.” Hamid me mentioned.

Mohammed appreciated the parties’ commitment to resolving clashes in Moroto amicably, which he believes such development can jeopardize the Peace Agreement.

The Representatives from oppositions who are parties to the peace agreement include the SPLM-IO, South Sudan Opposition Alliance, and Former detainee are urge the Unity government to stop welcoming people defecting from one party to another.

General David Nyang is from the South Sudan Opposition Alliance –SSOA. He said the Unity government should discourage internal defection as time is close to unifying the army under one command.

The season of migration or changing allegiance from one party to another is over. It doesn’t make sense that a military group moves from one party to another that could trigger a big problem. We have only days, weeks, or months to have one unified army; we wonder where are they going? We urge the leadership this practice should be discouraged,” He said.

The SPLM-IO has called for willingness from the parties to graduates the unifying forces. It warned that soldiers would leave training centers if not graduating in a few weeks or months due to unfavorable situations. The troops are seen losing truth after many promises have not been implemented.

Brig General. Andrea Mangu Adora said the graduation of unifying forces is a symbol that could create hope of peace for South Sudan. 

“Our unify forces in the training centers their situation are difficult too tough, and to talk about it have become monotonous. We urge the concern to have the willingness to graduates and deploy the forces that are in the training centers right now, so that we may create hope of peace in the heart of our citizens,” Gen Mangu said.

The former Incumbent transitional government of National Unity [ITGoNU] ‘s representative at CTSAMVM urged the parties to double their efforts to implement the peace agreement’s provisions. Maj Gen. Rabi Mujung echoed the calls to make the officers defecting accountable, cautioning that such acts could destabilize the country’s security.

He explained that“changing of allegiance emerged after the signing of the agreement and we have been seeing it from time to time. I see it as something that we cannot encourage since we had agreed that all the fighting forces would be unified into a national army. I quite agree with some recommendations from colleagues that such practices have to stop, and those who are involved in causing insecurity should be accounted for.”

According to the peace monitors, the pre-transitional task and cantonment activities includes registration of forces, have not yet complete. The revitalized agreement is the only hope to bring durable peace to South Sudan. 

South Sudan plan to change currency.

The government of South Sudan has revealed a plan to change the currency, saying it is the only option left to mitigate soaring inflation.

The council of ministers directed the economic crisis committee and the central bank to come up with a plan of changing the currency and present it to the council of ministers next week for approval.

The government spokesperson said the decision was reached after the cabinets deliberate on the matter.

The minister of information Michael Makuei Lueth briefed the media in Juba on Friday, saying they came to the conclusion that people are keeping money in the houses.

He said the move is a strategy to force those keeping money in their houses to take them to the bank.

“The cabinet has decided that the currency should be changed so that anybody who doesn’t take their money to the bank will be left out and will lose that money,” Makuei said.

The government said it had mandated the committee to do all appropriate ways possible and develop one clear policy on the economy.

“Most of the citizens are keeping the money in their houses for so many reasons. Some fear if they take their money to the bank, they may be confiscated. However, this is a typical situation that has been happening, and there is always a solution,” Makuei said.

The government stated that the idea aims to improve economic challenges. It’s not clear what type of currency South Sudan wants to introduce.

And how this will be possible with current flooding that cutoff road accessibility and COVID-19 restrictions to reaches all Country.

President Kiir formed the economic crisis management committee in August this year after the central bank said it had run out of foreign exchange reserves.

Kiir appointed vice President Dr. James Wani Igga to head the crisis management committee.

The UN supports reopening of schools despite rising COVID-19 cases

UN children agency UNICEF and UNESCO have welcomed the government decision to reopen schools in South Sudan

The reopening is expected to happen in phases 1 and 2 were the candidate classes, Primary 8 and Senior 4, and will start the first week of October 2020, according to the statement the UN agencies released. Phase 2 includes all schools and grades and will coincide with the start of the academic year in February 2021.

The government passed a resolution during the council of Minister last week. The schools have been closed since March this year due to COVID-19.

The UN children agency said 2 million children keep out of school. This comes on top of the 2.2 million children out of school before the pandemic hit South Sudan.

UNICEF and UNESCO stated that Scientific evidence shows children are not super-spreaders of COVID-19 and are the least affected by it in the region, with a mere 2.5 percent of COVID-19 cases among children of school-going age (5-18 years, WHO). “At the same time, we have seen growing evidence of the negative impact closed classrooms have had on children, including abuse, exploitation, child marriage, and early pregnancies”. Both organizations also said children are safer inside the school walls than outside.

“This is a great day for children in South Sudan who can soon resume their learning and continue planning for their future,” said Mohamed Ag Ayoya, UNICEF South Sudan Representative. “The last seven months have been a huge blow for learning but also for protecting children from abuse and exploitation; therefore, we are really pleased with the Government’s decision to reopen schools.”

The UN agencies unveil a plan to work with the Ministry of General Education and Instruction for a safe reopening of schools. The plan includes improved water provision to schools, repair of water infrastructure, soap distribution, hand washing stations, and sanitary kits.

According to the statement, students and the teachers will get free washable face masks and social mobilization will be increased to raise awareness on the reopening of schools and encouraging parents to send their children to school.

UNESCO Representative in South Sudan Mr. Julius Banda said in the statement that the longer children stay out of school, the harder it is to get them back to the classrooms. “We don’t have a school day to lose, the children have already lost so many understand that parents might be nervous, but I urge all caregivers to trust that their children are safer at school. I know you want what is best for your children, and right now that is sending them back to schoo/,”Banda said.

The education reopening plan expects to cost 16.4 million US dollars. The UN said only USD 7 million is available through the Global Partnership for Education.

UNICEF and UNESCO are urging donors and partners to step forward to support the reopening of schools in South Sudan.

South Sudan confirmed 2,660 case, includes 1,438 recovered and 49 death since April this year.

Two SSPDF soldiers arrested for carjacking an ambulance in Awerial

The Police in Awerial County has arrested two soldiers from South Sudan People Defense Forces (SSPDF) for stealing a hospital ambulance in Awarial Center.

Police said the suspects stole the ambulance after the driver left its engine running while buying water at a nearby shop. An eyewitness said that the suspects jumped into the vehicle and drove away at high speed and later involved in an accident. However, there was no fatality though the car was damaged.

The motive behind the vehicle theft is still unclear.

Marial Akuok, the deputy Police Inspector in Bunagok, said the two soldiers are under detention under their Zonal Command for further investigation. 

“These soldiers belong to division six-under Jima Rian, and the base commander is Majak Kondok, and Zachariah Maluk is here also. They are responsible for the forces, so they are now arrested under their division,” Akuok said.

The county health director, Abraham Majok, said the damages to the ambulance would put pregnant women’s lives at risk. He said that the ambulance was for transporting pregnant women with severe complications at delivery to the nearest health center for an emergency. 

“When the car overturned, it got damaged on both sides. The side mirrors, tires, and other parts all got damaged. The front windscreen got smashed too,” Majok stated.

The ambulance was donated by Japan’s government through a partnership with UNFPA to support emergency obstetric care service in 2014.

 

Families of Raped Survivors in Kapoeta call for justice

Many of the family, whom their daughters were raped are calling on the local authorities in the Kapoeta to arrest perpetrators behind the alleged cases of raped recorded by the aid agency American Refugee Council (ARC) in Kapoeta.

An ARC caseworker for the agency said they have documented 23 cases of rape this year alone and no action has been taken to those allege to have committed these crimes.

Among the 23 cases 10 were girls age ranging from 7 to 12 years old and 13 women, the youngest was 27 and oldest was at her 50s.

The survivor’s families blamed the authorities in Kapoeta for giving free card to those committing crimes within the community.

They accused the county local police in Kapoeta of being complicit in releasing many of the suspects without trail or investigate the alleged crimes. An accusation the police has denied.

Some of the families who spoke to Singaita FM explained the ordeal psychological trauma their daughters have gone through in the hands of rapists and no action taken to punish the perpetrators.

Natara Maria Lokwa is a mother to one of the survivors. She explained how the suspect who raped her daughter disappeared the same day they saw him at the police station.

She called local police to bring the accused suspect immediately in order to face justice for crimes he committed against her daughters and many other families who are feeling the same.

“I have told the government that I am bitter for not letting the perpetrator stay in the police custody”. Said Lokwa. She said the suspects do get out from the police custody before they appear in court for the allege crimes.

A mother residing at Locheler residential in Kapoeta whom her daughter was raped last week called upon the government to arrest the perpetrator.

She said her daughter was attacked by the rapist in the garden and they reported the incident to the police and no arrest has been made to apprehend the suspect.

The deputy police commissioner Brigadier Abdallah Kiri in Kapoeta says his department only arrest the suspects and it’s upon the court to decide on the verdict.

He said that most of the cases were not followed by the families of the rape victims, and the police could not proceed with case because the plaintiff failed to pursue the case in court.

Police have done his part and need the owner to be present in front of the court. So, to explain how the incident happens, the police were not there where the incident happens”. Said Brigadier Kiri.

The director-general in the ministry of gender and social welfare Thomas Nawi said that the partners NGOs are not sharing data to reported  the cases of rape to their office.

“They don’t link more such kind of cases to the ministry of gender and humanitarian affair we always request them to bring the case”. Said Nawi.

Nawi said that they should be the one to coordinate with police so that those who commit the crimes must be brought to the book.

He urged general public and partners aid agencies dealing on the issues of Gender Based Violence to coordinate the cases of rape in the communities with  ministry.

Abyei hospital blamed for admitting two patients in a single bed

The Abyei Hospital patients blamed the unfolding policy permitting two to three patients to sleep on a single bed.

The hospital admission ward has only eight beds. One bed-stead is allotted to more than two patients during their treatment.

Lack of enough beds in the hospital has caused anxiety because it is against health policy that clearly states that only one person is to receive medication in a bed.

Some patients received their medication on the floor exposing them to a mosquito bite, hence Malaria infection.

Mrs. Aluel, a mother of a one-year-old child, admitted to the hospital expressed her worries when she was asked to share one bed with another patient. “Another woman with her baby and I were put in one bed. It had one mosquito net that we shared.

“This is unfair, to share a bed with someone you don’t know, and both of you are sick! Insufficient space will endanger our lives. We fear contracting other diseases like COVID-19 and skin diseases”. 

Nyankiir Mijok, one of the patients who brought her sick two years old child said her and other caretakers lie down on the floor just without mattresses nor mosquito net.

I have never seen such a situation in my life ever. It is only God to protect us. We always hear of ways people contracted Coronavirus,  by coming closer to one another” Said Mijok.

Now, where is the protection here? I asked doctors here, and they did not answer me. The only person told me that it is a condition that forces them.’’ Nyankiir lamented.

This move was a result of an increasing number of patients according to the hospital officials.

The Director of Abyei Hospital, Mr. Tito Dau, acknowledged the situation citing an unexpected increase in the number of patients seeking treatment at the center. He claimed that more than twenty patients were being admitted with Malaria cases almost daily.

The hospital admitted that there is “no other way to admit the patients than sharing beds.”

“The concern has been shared with health partners to increase the number of beds. It is true, patients shared beds. It is because the number of patients admitted per day is bigger compared to the number of beds in the wards. We admitted more than twenty per day. This number is big. And the majority of them suffered from malaria. I have already informed the administration and health partners about this. And so, the best way is to protect them from a mosquito bite to prevent malaria infection”.

Health doctors empathized that parents should take care of themselves and their children against mosquitoes during these rainy seasons by ridding their surroundings of tall grass where mosquitoes live.

South Sudan experienced shortages of medical facilities and skilled health personnel with a limited supply of medicine. According to the Ministry of Health, South Sudan has about 120 medical doctors and just over 100 registered nurses for an estimated population of nearly nine million people.

Three suspects arrested in connection to the death of two people during clashes at Akong

Authority in Aweil East County in Northern Bahr el Ghazal says it has arrested three suspects in connection to the intercommunal fighting in Akong village on the 8 September.  Police say those arrested include a policemen accused of causing the fighting.

The police further says two people were killed and one was seriously injured and is being treated in Aweil civil hospital. This incident happened at Akong village in Malualbaai Payam, Aweil East County. The police say the cause of the clashes are under investigation.

The SSPDF Division Three commander, Major General Bak Akoon, says the situation is relatively calm after deploying SSPDF forces at the location.

 “The soldiers will remain in the area until the investigation is finished and all the suspects, ring leaders are in the hands of the law,” said Maj. General Bak

The governor of Warrap state, Hon. Bona Panek said they have also arrested  some suspects but didn’t say the number of those arrested from Awan Chan community in connection to the same incident. Saying the investigation is ongoing to find the suspected ring leaders before starting the legal procedures.

 “The way I feel, the governor of NBeG has done his part, me as well I have done my part. When I came, I spoke to people on the other side of Ameth, and told them to be calm and let the law do its work. The people who started this issue have been arrested, and they will answer the reason why they did this. And after that, the law is there to judge who was in the wrong and will be answerable to it. I am sure the law is fair to everyone.”

Hon. Panek warned people to refrain from the notion of revenge attack. Saying “any act of revenge is a crime and punishable by law.” He urges people from both not to resort to violence when there is misunderstandings but follow the legal process to get their right.

The clashes drawn a condemnation from the local chiefs on both side calling for calm and urge the youth to promote peaceful coexistence between the two neighboring communities.

“We are all related from these two different communities, and we don’t need such violence if the dead person mother is from here in Lou, so please the community, we want to tell you to stop such characters and live peacefully.” 

“We don’t want problems among ourselves and the reasoning we introduced marketing days is to help ourselves in life. So that people can buy their goods and sell as well and wanted the marketing day to unite us, but if some people have started turning the day into disputes then they are making a big mistake.”

The two governors of Northern Bahr el Ghazal and Warrap States visited the scene of the violence clashes on Wednesday. Both leaders issued one unifying message calling for the communities to deescalate the tension, and allow the authority to apprehend the culprits and bring them to justice.

 

Governor Monytuil confirms 600 cow blood compensation.

The governor of Unity State, Dr. Joseph Nguen Monyuil, has confirmed 600 cows have been collected to pay blood compensation for two women and two children killed on 31 August.

 The deceased was killed in Aja Kuach Payam of Twice County by unidentified gunmen from Mayom County. According to the authority, the suspected criminal who has committed crimes against innocent people not yet apprehended. The state government is collected cow from suspects’ relatives identified by the security department.

 On Monday, Executive Director of Mayom County Gadet Gany Madut said his State had collected six hundred cows to pay the blood of people recently killed in Gomgoi, Ajak Kuach Payam, on 31 August this year.

Some community members in Unity claimed that no collection was made so far, and it’s a propaganda government used for publicity.

Dr. Monytuil dismissed the claim. He said the process is ongoing, although suspects are still hiding, the blood compensation shall be done according to the Northern Corridor agreement in 2018. The terms of the Agreements stated that “Any person killed in self-defense from any community shall be compensated”. The Agreement was signed between Unity, Warrap States, and Abyei Administrative. 

The near-verbatim transcript of the  Governor Dr. Joseph Nguen Ponytail interviewed by, “The Radio Community” Journalist,  Simon Lieth Nyak.

Question: We have heard that Unity State  is collecting cows for the compensation of people killed on 31 of August  in Twice County. Tell us, is that true or not?

 Answer 1: “Yes, that is true; we are now working on the blood compensation for the decease children, the two children plus two women. So we have already collected the cattle, and we will be calling the father and his wife to come and take the cattle as blood compensation.”

 Question 2: Tell us what procedure have you use to collect those cows?

 Answer: You know, we in the Northern Corridor we have signed many, many agreements, on our peace conference we are using those regulations to mitigate all these such problems happening here and there, like this rampant killing and all these. So there are provisions that talk about this. We are applying those provisions so that we resolve these criminals’ activities. We are still finding the criminals because what they are doing is unlawful, and we will not accept it. It is not acceptable completely because killing innocent children or event immature adults to be killed in cold-blooded is unacceptable. 

 Question 3: Alright, Hon. Governor, you said that you are collecting those cows from people who you have committed some atrocity. how did you  managed to identify them as the real suspects to alleged?  

 Answer: Yes, they are really suspects, and we have their names. And we have full details about them, yeah. 

 Question 4: Those suspects were they taken to court?

Answer: They are not yet apprehended, they are still hiding somewhere, but I think by the end of the day, we will get all of them.

Last weekend, former head of Relief and Rehabilitation Commission in defunct Bul West County was reportedly killed in a road ambush in the Bombiel area. The suspect has not been arrested but, authority in Unity asks its neighboring Warrap State to investigate the incident.

Unity State collects 600 cows to compensate people killed in Warrap State

Authority in Unity State reported that it had collected six hundred cows to pay for the blood of people recently killed in Gomgoi, Ajak Kuach Payam.

The cows seized from the suspects’ families linked to the incident that left two women and two children dead on 31 August this year.

The executive director for Mayom County, Gadet Gany Madut, said the initiative was part of the implementation of Northern Corridor Peace Agreement signed last year.

The Agreement signed in 2018 between Unity, Warrap States, and Abyei Administrative area set term for compensation for any one killed along the common borders of these areas. 

The terms of the Agreements stated that, “Any person killed in self-defence from any community shall be compensated but not any attacker  killed”. 

Officials from Unity State said the cattle were to be handed over to Twic County Authority but no  date was set for the hand-over.

Mr. Gany said the two suspects were identified after they arrived home with gunshot wounds. Both suspects eventually succumbed to their injuries.

 “I apologize to the families of the deceased. Those who committed this crime did not agree with the community and did it in certain people’s names. As a government we agree for what happened. We are searching for the suspects, and this compensation includes those who are wounded”, Gany said.

In response, the Executive Director for Ajak Kuac Payam, Simon Aguejok Aguejok welcomed the move.

Simon claimed that the authority in Warrap State has never registered any death committed recently.

We informed our people that the law must be respected if anyone coming to Mayom County must ask himself, and he can be accompanied to Akotong, and no one can touch him. If a person is traveling from Aneet, he must report himself to Majak Military barrack to accompany him to Ajak town and be accompanied to his last destination. We told them to avoid movement at night and move at day time,” Aguek Jok stated.

Last weekend, former head of Relief and Rehabilitation Commission in defunct Bul West County was reportedly killed in a road ambush in the Bombiel area. The suspect has not been arrested but, authority in Unity asks its neighboring Warrap State to investigate the incident.

Defense Minister visits Pantiit cantonment area in Aweil

The South Sudan’s minister of defence and veterans’ affairs, Angelina Teny, has visited the Joint Security Forces due for graduation in the Pantiit training camp located in Aweil West.

It is not clear when protection forces to Revitalize Peace Agreement would graduate.

The center hosts at least 3,000 military trainees who are part of the Unified Forces expected to graduate this year. The team has proceeded to Wau to assess other cantonment areas.

The minister of defense was accompanied by senior government officials of the joint defence board and the Ceasefire Transitional Security Arrangement Monitoring and Verification Mechanism or CTSAMVM.

Lt General Garang Ayii Akol is in charge of training centers in the Bahr el Ghazal region. The committee visit on Friday is part of assessing the soldiers’ readiness for graduation. “Today, we visited the patient training center to monitor the soldier’s conditions at the training center. We also wanted to find out if they have received enough training to be graduated.

However, graduation might be soon. We are not sure when but we are working to bring their uniforms and other needs that will be kept in the center. Things like food and others, Ayii said.
The Governor of Northern Bahr el Ghazal state, Tong Akeen Ngor, said that the integration of forces is a sign of lasting peace.

Today I visited the Pantiit training center to assess the condition of the soldiers at the center. But I found out that the community members around the center are really happy with soldiers, and they said they had lived peacefully. Now I want to let the citizens know that peace is already implemented since the soldiers are being trained and integrated after graduation, so I want the citizens to leave peacefully and embrace peace.”Governor Tong mentioned.

Church support

The councils of churches and Islamic have started contribution foodstuffs that include sorghum and groundnuts to support the soldiers at the Pan-Tiit cantonment site. The Church’s leader visited the camp last week in solidarity of joint security forces
Bishop Wol Tong Tong is the Chairperson of the Inter-Church Committee in Northern Bahr el Ghazal State.

He said soldiers are in dared needs of food and medicine. The Christian’s believers have donated sacks groundnuts, and the contribution continues.

“Yes, we have started today, and people praying today will put their hand together in the Islamic area. As we the believers also at the other churches, we already have a committee where you can pay your contributions.”
The church leader further urges the local community to support the officers at the training center.
The leader of the Islamic council in Aweil town, Ibrahim Deng Akok, confirmed also.
“It is for everyone not only for believers because this is to support people who are suffering. In Church, we believe that God says, help people who need support, and God is watching, so it is for everyone in Aweil to come together and support our people.”

On Monday this week, a public Fundraising initiative to support the challenges facing Aweil Main hospital has begun.

Last week, Councils of churches and Islamic alleged that the military trainees at Pantiit are facing hunger after visiting the center.