Traders demand the release of detained colleagues in NBG

Local traders in Aweil are calling on the government to release the three people arrested on Wednesday after protesting over the demolition of small shops built along the roadside.

About a hundred people went on the streets to protest the eviction of vegetable vendors and the demolition of shops that the official said had been erected illegally.

Among those in police custody, two women and a young man were accused of assaulting a police officer who attempted to disperse the protesters.

Some of the protesters who spoke to Akol Yam 91 FM say they are not happy with how the Aweil town municipality treats them.

Many local vegetable sellers say they were chased from the roadsides, selling vegetables and other small goods for survival.

They urged the government to allocate them a piece of land within the main market to continue their activities.

“For us, we are just women who are trying to support our families, we are not rebels, and we shouldn’t be treated this way; how will our families survive.” One of the female protesters.

Another protester said he couldn’t afford to rent a shop because he was doing a small business to support his family to survive.

However, Aweil Town Municipality says it will not reverse the decision to evict all roadside vendors and remove their structures.

Garang Deng Diing is the mayor of Aweil town municipality. He says the three people they have arrested will be arraigned in court.

Diing added that although the issue is being politicized, it will not stop them from organizing Aweil main market.

“Every market is governed, and there is no market that people just come and sit on the roads and start selling; this is not okay, and we are not going to tolerate,” said Diing.

It is not the first time in years that authorities forcefully relocated vegetable sellers and other small businesses to the new location but refused, citing distance and lack of customers.

High court lower cattle case court fee from 10k – to 1k in Aweil

A high court Aweil has reversed earlier ruling and lower the court fee from ten thousand to just one thousand South Sudanese pounds.

The decision came after executive chiefs across the state raised the matter with court arguing that fee of ten thousand for a case of one cow will make it hard for people to claim their right in court.

They appealed to the high court to review the decision and reduce the fix amount of ten thousand pound.

Justice Mathiang Kuac Mathiang, the high court presiding judge ruled on the issue of court fee after closed door meetings with chiefs on Thursday in Aweil Town.

He said that the decision to increase the fees was unilateral taken by one of the judges without the knowledge of court administration and local chiefs in the state.

Justice Kuac said the people of Aweil in general are well regarded in South Sudan and seen as informed and respect the rule of law.

Some of the chiefs who have been in consultation with court over the matter welcome the decision.

They appreciated high court listening to them and addressed the matter in a thoughtful manner.

“We want to inform those who paid 10,000 SSP per cow before this decision is final, please don’t think of claiming the money you paid back but the reduction will be for the new case” said one of the chiefs after the decision was announced.

Last month, executive chiefs sent a petition letter to the high court demanding the president of high court to nullify the increase of court fee.

Ten people are arrested, in connection to looting of UN compound

Authorities in North Bahr El Gazal say they have detained ten people for allegedly vandalizing and looting a UN compound in Aweil North.

A compound belonging to a United Nations interim security force for Abyei UNISFA was looted after the troops abandoned the base over the weekend.

Many of those arrested are security personnel, according to officials. Last month, youth from Aweil North issued an ultimatum asking UN Security Forces to leave the area over a land dispute.

They accused UNISFA of putting a signpost showing some part of Aweil North County as Sudan territory.

UNISFA had been in Gok-Machar since 2012 after South Sudan, and Sudan agreed on a 14-mile.

The aim was to create a buffer zone at the disputed territory between the two sisterly countries.

The police spokesman in NBG state, Guot Guot Akol, said the local community badly vandalized the compound. He said some of the items looted were blocks of cement, chairs. Beds and mattresses.

Guot says police have recovered some properties, and the search continues to recover all the missing items.

He says a committee sent from the state is in the area, and they are searching in the neighborhood to identify any looted items.

Guot says some properties are beings returned over voluntarily.

Some community members who spokes to Akol Yam 91 FM accused security forces of vandalism and looting.

They say an independent body should be formed to investigate the incident thoroughly.

They say an independent committee from the national government is required to investigate the event. They accused some unnamed officials of having somehow incited the communities and indirectly participated in the looting. A claim has not independently been verified.

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

Twenty-four inmates are free in Aweil Prison

Twenty-four prisoners at Aweil Main Prison in Northern Bahr el Ghazal state were set free on Monday this week.

Ajou Deng, an owner of Akoc Company, a local businessman, paid 180 thousand Pound the fines for at least 17 inmates with minor crimes.

The support was also seconded by the Governor of Northern Bahr el Ghazal state Tong Akeen Ngor, who pardoned seven inmates at most minuscule.

Albino Majak Autiak is the Director of Aweil Main Prison. He said that out of the twenty-four inmates freed, eight of them were women.

Those released have been in jail for six months. Others stayed longer in related debts cases. 

Twenty-four inmates have been set free by our concerned businessman, Mr. Ali Deng, and our Governor of NBGs. These inmates freed have been charged for minor crimes like fighting, Stealing, Small debts. It’s good to avoid congestion in the prison cell.

Some inmates set free spoke to Akol Yam 91. They celebrated their release. “We’re happy to unite with their families.” Others pledged to keep from criminal activities.

“I am happy that I have been freed today, Imagine I left my groundnuts and sorghum on the farm. I rush to see the garden and resume cultivation. 

“I have learned a lot from the prison, and I will avoid crimes very much.”

The prison is not good, from the food and diseases to congestion at the prison cells. I am happy to be out. What made me steal was joblessness.

The businessman who freed the inmates, Ajou Deng – encouraged those being released to avoid things that could lead to criminal acts.

He said the motive to free inmates is from his generosity as a man of God “without anything in return”


Kapoeta & Aweil celebrate Rural Women’s Day

Community of Kapoeta, Eastern Equatoria have celebrated International Rural Women’s day under the Theme “Building rural women’s resilience in the wake of COVID-19.

The day is commemorated on Oct 15 globally to recognize the role of rural women in development and food security to end poverty. Several women display their produces during the event in Kapoeta and Aweil towns in South Sudan.

Lore Josephine is the senior Gender base Violence officer working for an Alight organization in Kapoeta.

She says the government and partners should work together to support women in the field of Agriculture to reduce hunger in the state.

“For us to make these women silver, we need to provide complete protection to them whenever they are going to get their tools. Women and girls are exposed to danger, and they need full protection to ensure they realize their dream,” she said.

The Deputy Chairlady of Kapoeta Women Association encourages fellow females to participate in agricultural activities to produce enough food for their families.

Cecilia Namoi Achuma says Agriculture is the country’s backbone, and every person should engage in it rather than depending on humanitarian support.

Several women and girls also turnout to celebrates the day in Aweil, Northern Bahr el Ghazal State. They expressed willingness to produces food despite devastated flooding that destroyed their crops.

Some women spokes to Akol Yam 91.0 FM Aweil.

“We are happy that the partners and our government have recognized us today. We are very people who suffer and facing a lot of challenges, especially home responsibilities. We are asking for support like seeds, farming skills for us to produces our food”.

“We need farming tools and skill so that we can plant more vegetables and reliance on our own.

“Our government will be able to get back to us with good information because we are now expecting to be trained on planting vegetables and finding food for our families.”

Northern Bahr Ghazal state minister of agriculture Anei Deng Akok says he will work with partners to empower rural women.

Deng started his ministry mandate to implement a food security project to provide rural women with training and other supports.

The United Nations’ International Day of Rural Women celebrates and honors women and girls living in rural areas on Oct 15 each year. It recognizes the considerable role that rural mothers, daughters, and grandmothers play in producing food and building agricultural and rural development worldwide.

Civil servants receives the missing month’s salary in Aweil

The civil servants in Northern Bahr El Ghazal state have started receiving the missing month salary on Friday.

The workers union in NBG has been calling for investigation over unpaid one month salary after the national Ministry of Finance released a document indicated that civil servants will receive May and June salaries. But the state paid only one month. The matter creates controversy between the state government and its employees.

Chol Dut Diing, the chairperson of workers, welcomes the state authority’s decision to fulfill the demand of civil servants. He says the payment came after payroll reviews as salary missing caused confusion between workers and the state finance ministry.

“This week, we decided to make general revisions on the payroll of previous months. I confirm now civil servants have started receiving their salary, and civil servants don’t have any money missing anymore,” Dut said.

The Director-General in the state ministry of finance, John Korol Dut the says the money paid to the workers is for June 2021’s salary. Earlier this week, the Ministry of Finance in NBGs has denied the report of one month’s missing salary. It’s unclear how they recover the money.

Korol says the civil servants still demand four months’ wages from the government, including July, August, September, and October 2021.

“As I said early this week, we don’t have money missed in the state altogether. I want to repeat to myself that the national government did not release money in august. We in the state pushed cash from August, June, and September 2021 after receiving them today. Our civil servants will not complain again,” Korol stated.

In July this year, President Salva Kiir ordered the increase of Civil Servant salary to 100 percent. The ministry of labor said that increment of salary structure would be effective this month, October 2021.

Student found dead, creates fear in Aweil

The residence of Mapper Akot in Aweil town says they are not feeling safe after a body was found in a pool over the weekend. The deceased is 24 years old, Ngor Deng Deng Dut. the father says he disappeared from the house three days ago and turning up dead in a pool is shocking to the family. Mr. Deng Deng Dut says his son has been deliberately killed. And calls on the state government to find the suspects and bring them to justice for his son’s murder. ” Am urging state authority to search and bring the criminals responsible for my son’s death to book”. A health medical doctor who did a post-mortem to find the cause of death says he suffered multiple inflicted wounds. Dr. Dut Hassan from Aweil hospital explained that the body was rotten that prevented accurate test results. The killing has caused fear and a sense of insecurity in the community, in the neighborhood of Maper Akot Aru. The victim was one of the residents and a student. Some of the residents who speak to Akol Yam 91 FM in Aweil say the incident shocked them, and they are afraid to move at night. They call on the police to increase night patrol in the area and arrest any suspected criminals causing insecurities. Guot Guot Akol is the police spokesperson in Northern Bahr El Ghazal, state. He says no arrest has been made in connection to the young man’s death, but they are still investigating and searching for the culprits. Guot urges the family to remain strong and allow the police to search for the suspects and bring them to book. He says police have been deployed in the area and outside the town and search for culprits is continuing. In 2018 a similar incident happened at Maper Akot Aru; an 18-year young man was killed. However, police later arrested more than ten people in connection to his death.

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.

Drivers Union in Aweil sue to court over taxes disagreement

In Aweil of Northern Bahr el Ghazal, the Municipality Council has opened a court case against the public driver alleged of refusing to pay taxes charged per trip.

The case was opened in Aweil High Court. Deputy Chairperson of NBGs Drivers’ Union confirmed his office had received a summon letter on Monday, May 17th.

According to Mr. Guot Wol, the Drivers’ Union members will appear in the court this week on Wednesday.

Drivers Union disputed authority case against their administration. They are labeling the matter “unlawful acts,” which should be resolve in the court of laws.

The Union leader claimed that each driver pays twenty-six thousand South Sudanese pounds to the town municipality for road usage tax and a business license per year.

“The authority has summoned some of our members, and it is because of the issue of a seat fare tax which the authority is trying to impose on us. It is not good for us. We pay for other licenses and feel this should not be necessary,” Guot narrated.

Mr. Guot also said a seat charge per every trip is unjust.

“We will go to court and see how the court ruling will be made because we find this tax illegal. So, it is better to be handled within the law.”

Aweil town deputy mayor for planning, development, and environment, Mr. Anei Wal Achien, affirmed the case against accusing drivers of not paying their monthly fees.

Anei said that payment of one seat fare per trip to the town municipality is legal policy, and the drivers have avoided two months without pay.

“This is a law set by the government, and the drivers should abide by it, but since they are refusing to cooperate, then that is why we resorted to the court of laws, yes we have given them a summon letter, and the court proceedings will begin tomorrow,” Anei explained.

Last month, public vehicle drivers in Aweil town stopped working for three days in protest of paying fare for one seat per trip to the town municipality.

Residents push newly MPs to prioritize citizens’ needs

People of Northern Barh El Ghazal called the freshly appointed lawmakers in the Transitional National Legislative to prioritize the public’s need.

In the newly appointed lawmakers, the NBG state has around 26 members assigned to National Assembly.

South Sudan President Kiir Mayardit has reconstituted long overdue parliament on Monday, giving people hope for smooth implementation of Revitalize Agreement.

A total of 550 national MPs from various political parties stipulated in the Revitalize Agreement power-sharing were appointed in a Presidential decree read on own-state South Sudan Broadcasting Cooperation (SSBC).

The 2018 agreement has expanded parliament from 400 to 550 national legislatures for all signatories include opposition parties and SPLM-IG.

The formation of the national parliament delays beyond unanticipated dateline; the slow implementation has frustrated the citizens in such political games.

People blamed parties to the agreement on political deadlock delaying the implementation of keys provision in the agreement include the graduation of Joint security forces and reunification of armies according to the security arrangement.

Speaking to Akol Yam FM, Barh el Ghazalian expressed optimism about parliament reconstitution that coined new assignment for both states and national lawmakers on services delivery.

“I need new MPs to work much on security that affecting citizens across the Country. They say most people have stopped cultivation at the villages due to fear of insecurity, and if they work to improve, everyone will go to the town and produce their food against hunger.”

“I want MPs to stop prioritize their interests over people’s needs. I want new MPs to address the issue of corruption that has affected the development of this young nation since its independence from Sudan. We are delighted and expect changes in this Unity government,” Citizens stated.

A disabled person in Jonglei State has also called for equal representation of people with disabilities at the State Legislative Assembly, which is not yet formed.
Johnson Reech is a blind student who sat for the Primary Eight exam this year. He says lack of their representation is an explicit denial of political rights to disable person in South Sudan.

National parliament reconstitution was welcome by peace guarantors, citizens, and civil society groups as a crucial step in the peace agreement implementation.

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