NBG Formed Committee to Investigate Enrollment of non-candidates.

The ministry of education in Northern Bahr El Ghazal state has formed a committee to investigate non-candidate enrollment to standard eight and four classes. The committee comprised of eight members.

First-time enrollment of unqualified candidates in the classes comes after the government allowed the school to open for primary eight and form fourth finalize.

The committee will start work next week Monday. The commission formed will get the facts right and report the finding to the ministry about an alleged schools’ misconduct against education policy.

Astonishing random enrollment surprises the ministry of education, they said their records early this year show that the number of students in senior four is 2,200 and standard eight candidates were 7,000 across the State.

The Director-General in the state ministry of education, Seacer Atem Biojo, has questioned unmatched candidates increases, which he said his office has the lists of qualified candidates.

“After we received some information that lowered classes were allowed to join senior four and primary eight by the administration of some schools, then we formed the committee yesterday. The committee will immediately be tracing noncandidates who joined the classes because we don’t want to encourage such a habit against education policies. And they will be starting their work on Monday next week.”

According to the education official, the number of students registered this year is recorded at the public education ministry. He warned that if additional candidates added should need explanation or school face disciplinary measures.

Atem stated the ministry would not allow students who jump classes to sit for the final exam. This restriction will also be applied to candidates who will avoid attending classes regularly.

“Again, my advice to entire parents who allow their children to jump classes is that ministry would not allow them to sit if found that the student or pupil did not follow classes in the right procedures,” said Atem.

Some school administrators spoke to Akolyom FM denied the report.

Mr. Sylvester Otieno, a teacher at City of Glory Academy in Aweil town, said the schools were given registration forms according to the number of candidates submitted to the ministry early this year.

Sylvester said, “according to our school, we don’t allow such, and the reason we don’t allow such because learning is a process that acquires lots of knowledge. When students jump the classes that affect his/her education in the future,” those who exist in the primary class right now are students who sat for primary seven last year. Admission forms were issued according to the numbers in the schools. Still, those in primary seven were suspended according to the ministry of education’s instruction they will be joining next year. “

Another headteacher from Ariathdit Primary school, Mr. Albino Anau, said that they request report forms from students and pupils to enroll in the candidate classes.

“We used report form of that schools, for example, “if the person wants to join us maybe they came from different schools. We asked for report forms that show the student has completed those classes; otherwise, we are very strict on education policy,” Anau said.

Last two weeks, the ministry of education urged the school’s management to follow the education policy.

200 fistula patients to be operates without cost in Aweil.

The administration of Aweil Civil Hospital has announced the operation treatment for two hundred fistula patients. Free operation is scheduled to be started next week at Aweil’s main Hospital.

Fistula is a permanent abnormal passageway between two organs in the body, mostly caused by complicated delivery. The UNFPA organization supports the program through the International Rescue Committee (IRC) organization.

Luka Lual Aleu is the Health Education focal point at Aweil’s main Hospital. He said the registration exercise for the patients was commenced on Tuesday this week. And the medical experts who will do the operations are expected to arrive soon from outside the Country.

“On 26th October, we will begin with the operations, so the doctors are expected to arrive in Aweil within this week. The IRC will bring in the doctors and that the targeted number is around 200 people, they will be operated and provided with feeding services and transport services” Lual said.

A fistula patient who requested anonymity has welcomed free treatment. The patient said that she has lived with the disease for more than fifteen years. And she can’t afford any treatment.

“I didn’t expect ever to receive treatment so that I can be healthy like other people, last time people were registered and receive treatment. But when I heard about it, I came to Aweil. But the operations were already done, and I missed out, which disappointed me a lot. I have spent two months here waiting for the free treatment, and my sister will be happy if all goes well. When I receive the treatment properly, then I will be much happier and normally live again. This disease is not a good one.” she said.

A beneficiary who was successfully operated in the past has encouraged all women suffering from Fistula to grab the opportunity. She added discrimination of Fistula Patients in the community was difficult to bear with.

“If I was not treated and people continue pointing at me that she has come because I used to be dirty and smelling, then I would have killed myself. But if God came and helped to get operated freely of charge, then I have nothing to say, although I will not give birth again, my few children will give birth to me,”

Early this year, the Hospital has suspended the operation plan for fifty people with fistula cases in Aweil was suspended due to COVID 19 travel restrictions globally.

Minister of Health Toured Aweil to Access the COVID-19 situation.

The national minister of health arrived in Aweil for a two-day visit to assess the health condition and  COVID-19 center.

She was received by the Governor of Northern Bahr el Ghazal  Hon. Tong Akeen Ngor with her delegation on Thursday.

In an exclusive interview with Akol Yam FM, Minister Elizabeth Achuei Yol said her mission is to assess health facilities and listen to medical workers’ conditions.

Aweil has one COVID-19 center known as Light House. It was established as an isolation center to keep coronavirus patients.

Achuei said  that the data she will collect would be used to improve health conditions.

“I came here to assess what I will manage to support the local communities in terms of health. I have already seen that there are few health officials. There is a lack of drugs. I want to add that women don’t lie if I accept to work on one thing, then I will ensure. If I see that there is nothing of my capacity, then I will not promise. Minister Achuei said.

She said that she alone can’t do anything without support from the top leadership to improved health situation in the country.

I am a minister, I have my bosses, and if they are not willing to support the plan, then it cannot happen,” said Achuei.

 Adding that this is  why many top officials may be seen as liars when they make promises which they don’t keep.

She also said that her ministry proposed wages increase for the health workers in the upcoming budget submitted to the cabinets for approval.

Some health officials in NBG state expressed concern about the shortage of medical workers at their facilities.

John Agany Deng is the director at the state ministry of health.

He said that they have challenges ranging from  low payment and irregular drugs supplies to health facilities in the state.

He also said they do not have mean of transport to  visited remotes health facilities in the state.

Adding that even the frontline health workers haven’t been paid any incentives in the fight against coronavirus.

Agany said that he hope that the minister of health will address some of their concerns which she has seen  here.

Other health workers spoke about prioritizing service delivery to the people.

Northern Bahr el Ghazal recorded 11 positive cases of COVID-19 since the pandemic begins and all are discharged.

Three people have been arrested in Aweil for Illegal land Auctioned

Authorities in Northern Bahr el Ghazal said they have three officials in police custody accused to have illegally sold public land. The accused are staff from the state ministry of physical infrastructure and rural development. It’s not clear how many plots they have sold out.

The Governor of Northern Bahr el Ghazal state Hon. Tong Akeen Ngor said he is dismayed by the allegation of mismanagement. Saying “it disregarded the law”. 

Akeen said the illegal allotment of land is a fraud that has causes a lot of concerns from the public. Adding that his government has received more complaints from the community.

He said the suspects will be arraigned in court to face justice on their illegal land dealing.

Stephen Ajook is the director-general in the ministry of physical infrastructure and rural development in Northern Bahr el Ghazal state.  He said the three staff that have been arrested are employees of the ministry but they acted in personal capacity and were not directed by anyone  in the ministry.

“We are aware that the police have detained some of our staff; what happened is that they are accused of selling public lands and they were caught red-handed last week.”Said Stephen.  

He said that a case has been opened against the individuals and will proceed to court.

Adding that currently they are not surveying any land, and there are no empty plots that the Ministry can sell out.

Some of the community members who spokes to Akol Yam 91 FM said those  officials have caused many land problems in the State.

They said that the people who have been arrested are the same people you deal with when processing land documents in the ministry of infrastructure.

Deng Majok is one of the youth representative in Aweil. He said that they want the government to established a digital filing system that can help detect any duplications of plot.  

Majok said that having a database system will prevent land fraud from individuals who erase other people’s names in the public record”.  

Some residents in Aweil blamed the  ministry of physical infrastructure and rural development as the cause of many land disputes in the State.

Fuel shortage affects public transports in NBGs.

The business traders in Northern Bhar El Ghazal State say a dramatic increase in fuel price from 200 to 2,000 pounds per one liter has affected the cars and Boda Boda movement on Monday 12th.

The business people were alarm over higher economic inflation in the country. They said fuel rate shoot-up over the weekend has made some people stranded to access the market. They believe such development will cause a rapid scarcity of goods and services.

The Chairperson of Trader’s Union in NBGs, Deng Makol Athian, has warned people to stop selling fuel at a higher price. He advised residents to buy petrol at the legal fuel stations because a liter of petrol costs 500 pounds.

“We are aware of this crisis, but the petrol has not increased. Why do people leave the petrol station and buy from the black market? Those people charge more money, but there is available petrol in one fuel station despite the congestion. We are expecting some oil trucks to arrive at Aweil soon, and everything will return to normal; I want to advise traders to avoid exploiting the public.” Makol stated.

The Boda Boda rider Taban John felt worried about a price increase. “I tried to buy a 500 ml bottle of petrol this morning at 1000 SSP, but I have not got even one passenger today because they are afraid of the price that increased due to an increase of petrol, it seems I will go home with nothing”. 

Ajiing Upeiu had a similar reaction: he appealed to the State government to come up with immediate amicable solutions.  

“Our Government should prioritize basic needs like fuel. Everyone uses petrol differently. I bought a fuel bottle at 1000 SSP, which will not return me home on my bike. It’s tough.”

Some community members say they are afraid of a commodities price increase. They say their families will soon lack food to eat if the economic deflation is not addressed. 

Resident Adut Mawien urged Government to intervene.

“You see, this thing is about the traders, and they want to make abnormal profits without thinking of the public. This morning I came from Mapper to town here at 600 SSP, which used to be 200 SSP. I am just thinking of how I will return home; the Boda Boda will finish the money I might have made in the market.

A government official who demands anonymity says people will not afford public transport due to vulnerability, because many residents have no financial capacity. He explained that his monthly salary is only 3000 pounds. “This money is not paid on time by the government,” he stressed.

“I can afford a liter fuel with 2000 pounds. I came here in the morning to this petrol station, but the station is closed. If I can’t get petrol here to struggle for my children, they will not have anything to eat. We hear that petrol stations have fuel, but they don’t want to give out.”

Last week, Aweil reported severe river flooding that distracted the main roads connects the state capital with its Counties, making it difficult to transport goods.

Christians fear the risk of contracting COVID-19 as churches reopens

Worshippers turn out in large number on Sunday to attend their first church services in Aweil town despite expressing concerns over the risk of contracting the deadly COVID-19 due to the lack of social distancing in the among the worshippers.

The people in Aweil attended the Sunday church services for the first since the government decree that shutdown all the places of worship back in March 2020.

St. George Cathedral  in Aweil town was one of the churches  thronged by faithfuls for prayers.  Noticeably some of the congregations had no face-masks and did not keep social distancing.

Some believers we spoke to urged the Council of Churches to provide hand washing containers and create one meter spacing for people as a social distance measurein the church.

Yes we have big prayers at the church today and some of the believers are wearing face mask and others not because there are no enough for everyone. So we are calling on the churches to provide face-mask to the believers. We need at least prayers should be divided at the church to have social distance and provide other preventive measure against coronavirus.”

The Church leaders promised to avail the items that could help reduce the risk. Bishop Abraham Wol Tong said the council of churches would divide the prayers into a smaller sessions to help reduce congestions.

“We will comply with requests of our community because church is a place where community gather for worship and will work hard with our partners to reduce the health risk of COVID 19.”

Bishop Abraham added that people are always afraid to come to places where their health would not be protected. He promised that the church will work hard to supply the hand washing containers and sanitizers to parishes in Northern Bahr el Ghazal state.

Bakers to maintain the size and price of bread in Aweil

Bakers in Aweil have ended their strike in protest to the government proposal to maintain the price and the size of bread in the market. The governement has agreed to supply the local bakery with wheat floor in subsidised price of 19,000 SSP per 50kg bag instead of the hiked market price of 24,000 SSP per bag.  

The bakery operators were protesting the governement decision to impose the old price of bread  in the market. The bakers had earlier hiked the bread price and reduced its the size. A planned meeting between the bakers and the authority to reach a consensus on thursday failed to bear fruits, prompting the bakers to close bakeries in Aweil. They had hoped for the government to maintain  the old wheat floor price.

Community has welcomed the resolution over the impasse between the bakers and government. Some community members had complained about the inadequate bread in Aweil town after the closure of bakeries.

The traders promised to maintain the bread size and price of 20 SSP per piece. They said the order would have affected their business amid the severe economic crisis in the country.

 Mr. Atak Madut, a bakery owner, said they have agreed with government to purchase wheat floor at the lower prices which has made them re-open their businesses.

“The reason some of us stopped operating is that we buy wheat flour expensively. Now the Government ordered us to maintain the size and price of bread. Still, today we are all happy because the Government has purchased wheat and to sell it to us at 19,000 SSP, but before we could buy it at the Market price at 24,000 SSP. We will accept the orders now because we can make profits,” Madut said.

Dominic Kang Deng is the secretary-general in NBG state. He said the initiative aims at supporting citizens to buy food items cheaply.

“The Government wants to help citizens by buying wheat flour with a high price of 24,000 SSP and sell cheaply in the market with a price of 19,000 pounds per sack”.

The government said it had secured 300 sacks to be sold to the bakery’s owners and will ensure to purchase more from neighboring countries to make a long term initiative.

The commodities price reduction was also endorsed by the Government of Northern Bhar El Ghazal. All bakers were ordered to “maintain affordable prices and sizes of loaf bread” as part of government regulatory policy

Court in Aweil slaps an SSPDF soldier with a death sentence for killing 17 year-old girl

A high court in Aweil (Northern Bahr el Ghazal) has sentenced Jacob Kuol Buong, aged 28, for the murder of a 17-year old girl.

In a closed door court hearing held in Aweil Central Prison Service premises, the suspect was found guilty of killing the teenager for allegedly refusing to marry him.

The presiding judge, Justice Abraham Majut, before pronouncing the verdict, highlighted the police investigations and the previous court proceeding to examine the evidence presented earlier to the court at a  closed-door session.

He explained how the court decides to convict the suspect for murdering a young girl at the Hai Salam area in Aweil town on 6, July this year.

Mr. Jacob Kuol Buong, an active SSPDF soldier from Tiger Division in Juba, allegedly traveled to Aweil with an intension to harm the deceased, Adut Deng Tong.

“He shot and killed the deceased for allegedly refusing to marry him just two days after he arrived in Aweil from Juba,” said the judge. Two other girls were wounded during the incident.

The judge told Mr. Jacob who was in handcaffs and chain around his legs that he had the right to appeal against court decision within 15 days.

The defend lawyer Garang Akok Mading welcomed the court decision to sentense the accused to death.

“Finally, today, this young man will face justice for what he did in July”, said Garang Akok.

He added that this was meant to be as per the 2008 South Sudan Constitution in article 206 that says, “Any person who kills another one the way this man did should be sentenced to death.”

The head of also legal administration in Northern Bahr el Ghazal State,  Deng Majak Deng, praised the court for being fair.

“I think the way this court was done was good because it can make other young people understand that it is not good to kill but to follow any legal procedures instead of killing a small girl because of 200,000 SSP, so I agree with the death sentence”, said Deng Majak.

However, Jacob Kuol’s defend lawyer, William Kuol Maduok, disagreed with the court decision accusing it for ignoring other important underlying factors that forced his client to act.

“Yes, the court decree was issued on 14 September 2020, but we party of the defend of Jacob Kuol Buong have fifteen days to appeal the decision, and we will go to Wau, Bahr El Ghazal Court of Appeals to open the case against the decision made by the high court in Aweil.” Said, William Kuol Maduok.

Jacob claimed that there were some issues raised by the young man that forced him to act which will be presented to the Court of Appeal in Wau.

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.

 

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.