President disappointed in the state’s leadership

South Sudan president Kiir Mayardit felt unhappy over the authority of the state leadership power wrangling. The national government sees the feud unnecessary obstacle that will undermine the implementation of the Revitalized Peace Agreement.

Head of State expressed unsympathetic discontent blaming local level lack of cooperation among themselves in the Unity government.

President says some states which he did not name have caused some unfavorable hitches. And trust deficit emerged between the governor and her deputy includes dignitary government officials.

He described disagreement in the Unity government as an unfortunate and unacceptable spirit in the agreement’s framework.

“All of you must know that you are members of one government, serving one people in the state. As a member of one government, you must respect one another and comply with required protocols and uphold a standard of governance procedure,” he warned.

President got disappointed for the first time since the Unity government was formed. He educated his government that a peace agreement is a platform that “lay down a foundation for a united, peaceful and prosperous society-based justice, equality, respect for human rights and the rule of law.”

Two weeks ago, the governor of Western Bahr El Ghazal Hon. Sarah Cletus from IO was reported having a disagreement with her deputy from SPLM-IG in the state.

President warned officials to comply and implement agreement regardless of their political affiliation or ethnics differences.

Kiir in South Africa for bilateral talks

President Salva Kiir traveled to South Africa for his office described as a “working visit” to strengthen the bilateral relations between the two countries, including implementing the Revitalized Agreement.

This is the first foreign trip President had made since the COVID-19 outbreak a year ago.

The Minister of Presidential Affairs Hon. Dr. Barnaba Marial Benjamin and the Minister of Foreign Affairs Beatrice Khamisa Wani are among the accompanying delegation”

The Spokesman of the President Mr Ateny Wek Ateny said the state visit is to discuss peace implementation “South Africa will be able to help South Sudan mitigate some of the challenges facing implementation of the peace agreement”

Ateny dismissed media reported that the president trip is related to his health. “This is a wishful thinking always everyone talking about President’s health. The President health is not in any question” He said.

The President will spend three day in South Sudan and expect to return on Sunday this week.

Gov’t pledged to end land grasping in Juba

The Minister of Land, housing, and urban Development Michael Chiangjiek Giech have unveiled land policy strategic plans to end land grasping in the national capital Juba.

According to the NGO Land Matrix database survey, about 2.5 million hectares of land were grabbed in South Sudan since 2006.

Land Act, 2009 says every person shall have the right to acquire or own property as regulated by law and as stipulated in Article 32 (1) of the Constitution.

Land in Southern Sudan was entitled to the people of Southern Sudan, and the Government shall regulate its usage. Land may be customary, freehold, or leasehold.

The minister elaborated that more cases linked to land disputes overcrowded his desk, and the Unity government end land battle requires speedy land reform policy.

A group of stakeholders and undersecretary did an inclusive review of the new strategies policy on Wednesday before the document was sent to the cabinet ministers and endorsed by the transitional legislative assembly.

The new tenure policy was amended in consultation with all parties to the Revitalize Agreement. Ministry says land dispute becomes an enormous challenge although some cases were trials, more is needed to be done according to law.

Michael revealed that a loophole within the law had created an opportunity for some corrupt officials who were requiring others’ land and selling it out with their interest.

He says the central equatorial state’s Government has considerable roles in addressing land disputes among unlawful occupants (citizens).

The government systems regulated that customary land rights are recognized under customary land law.

This morning [Thursday], a Pastor narrowly escaped death after gunmen shot him and his son at the African Inland Church in Juba. The incident related to land dispute.

ATENY: R-TGoNU proposed election deferral in 2023 

President Kiir’s press secretary said the Revitalize Peace agreement’s parties had proposed general election postponement in 2023. According to the statement, the government demands election deferral to allow the political parties to prepare and contest appropriately.

Ateny Wak Ateny spokesman of the President revealed the proposed plan during a news briefing in Juba.

But some parties denied an attempt to delay the election stated in the peace agreement.

Chapter (1) in the peace agreement detailed that National Election Commission -NEC shall organize an election in accordance with the provision permanent constitution. The election to happen in sixty (60) days before the end of the Transitional period.

President spokesman claimed the formation of Unity government delay that could pave the way for possible changes. “The transitional government was commenced on February 12, 2020. The implementation process will continue for thirty-six months until March 2023.”

A Political Activist, Dr. Peter Biar, testified to the U.S. Senate committee on foreign relations that said the South Sudanese government is intentionally derailing the appointment of new elections commissioners. The population censuses conduct the updating of the voter registry for elections to be held on time. The comment government denied.

The government has refuted the illegitimacy claim of Dr. Biar Ajak to pressure R-TGoNU.

Ateny said the general election needs preparation, census and security stability, return of IDPs, and the electoral constituencies’ determination.

“Conducting general elections in 2022 is also unwise politically; even if there were resources to do it, the hurried election would face problems of credibility and legitimacy, especially in the opposition-held areas” Ateny said.

Prominent South Sudan Opposition Alliance members denied any agreement between the parties on the proposal to extend the general election.

Changson Chang is a Minister of Higher Education. He said his party is not aware of any changes to delay the election. “if there are any proposals, it has to be discussed within the Unity government.” 

“I cannot comment on something raw, which has not been discussed when it is discussed and agree upon that where one would say something concrete.”

Last week, Reconstituted Joint Monitoring and Evaluation Commission -RJMEC said South Sudan needs a unifying army with national characters to prevent further violence during the election. 

5 abducted children and women are freed in Jonglei state.

Authorities in Jonglei state say they have handed over three children and two women to Pibor Administration for reunion after they were freed by abductors.
Official says the children and women being released were abducted by unknown group in Jonglei state last year.

Hon. Tuong Majok is the deputy governor of Jonglei state. He said the government is committed to engage local communities in tracing and safely return of those abducted from Pibor Administrative area.

Majok said the handing over of 5 people is part of government initiative to end the prolong conflict, of child abductions and cattle raid between the two communities.

He described the continued abductions of children and cattle raiding between the two communities as a disaster. Tuong said that maintaining peace in the region will be a continuous process which he said is not one day action.

The three children and two women are now in the care of Save the Children to help trace and facilitate the reunion with their families in Pibor.

Mr. Zewede Legess is the Save the Children’s child protection specialist. He said they welcome the state government effort to free children and women that were abducted.

He said they are in good health, but kids are malnourished. Adding that they are going to give supplementary feeding while tracing their families before the reunification.

“Today, we are witnessing the arrival of three children and two women, we are working with the government ministers and other partners to reunify this children back to their families safely and the community”. Said Legess.

Last month, Pibor Administration reported to handed over 43 people to Jonglei state, but the process is yet to begin.

The two communities of Murle and Bor have experienced hostility, of cattle raid revenge killing, and children abduction.

Government injected 3 million dollars into commercial banks

Bank of South Sudan has introduced new policy, injected 3 million US dollars into commercial banks to stabilize the economic and market exchange rate.

Bank Governor Dier Tong Ngor said twenty-two commercial banks working in the forex bureau have participated in auction deals. But, only 20 banks succeeded in accessing auction currency depends on the amount banks paid in exchange for auction notes.

Banks announced to auction foreign dollars to eligible forex bureau according to the rules and procedure. The minimum bid amount is 5% which equates to $100,000 per bidding application.

It is not the first time South Sudan auctioning currency to the forex bureau. In 2020, South Sudan banks actioned 2 million dollars every week to stabilize exchange rates against the US dollar.

Although the government has been injected money into the forex bureau, the local market exchange rate is not yet stabilized; the country is still suffering from constant and unpredictable economic inflation.

Hon. Tong says injecting money into the market is an additional strategy to stabilize economic depression. “the banks will auction 5 million dollars every week to enable traders to import commodities to the country.” Governor assured that currency auction would continue until the market supply sufficient resources achieve and leaders can take their good roles in the market stabilization.

“If the exchange rate is not stabilizing, the market might not be stable,” he echoed.

Last week banks of South Sudan announced the loan of $174.2 from IMF. An amount of 3 million dollars were allocated to forex auctioned to eligible commercials banks every week. And half of the loan money shall be used to pay civil servants’ salaries arrears.

According to banks, it will continue to publish officials’ exchange rates on its website to keep the public informed.

Abyei reject withdrawal of Ethiopian peacekeepers

Chief in Abyei Administrative area has rejected and criticizes the Sudan call to withdraw Ethiopian troops from disputing place under the United Nations-mandated to protect civilians.

Early this week, the Sudanese minister of foreign Affairs Mariam al-Mahdi has called for the withdrawal of Ethiopian peacekeepers in the Abyei administrative area. Minister said her country demanded deployment of different force be deployed in Abyei.

Sudanese government did not specify whether they demanded Ethiopian troops withdrawal under UN mandate linked to a dispute over Grand Ethiopian Renaissance Dam (GERD) or political tension between the two sisterly countries.

Speaking to Mayardit FM, Abyei excluded such demands. General Kuol Dim questions the Sudanese interference, saying that the UNISFA mandate was an agreement of four bodies: UN, AU, Sudan, and South Sudan.

“South Sudan and Abyei, we are seeing UNISFA is doing its work very well. The duties given to them by the UN, they have to continue doing it, although there are some challenges.”

In January this year, more than 4,000 UN peacekeepers were stationed in Abyei as part of the UN Interim Security Force for the area.

The Security Council is expected to discuss the Sudanese request during a meeting scheduled on April 26.

On November 12, 2020, the UN Security Council renewed the UNISFA mandate for six months until May 15, 2021.

Citizens contributed over 1 million pounds to a disabled student

South Sudanese in the diaspora have donated over 1 million pounds to a disabled young man known as John Lual is 21 years old

He graduated this year from standard eight after sitting his primary national examination in Aweil East County.

Well-wishers who contributed money were so amazed by his determination to achieve education ambition goals. The disabled man uses his mouth to write. That inspired many people.

The amount of money contributed and officially received on Wednesday 7th was reported 1,045,000 South Sudanese pounds. Friends use the social media platform “Go fund my project” to raise money to support his further education.

Lual hopes to become a medical doctor in the future. He confirmed that he has “received the money with joy, and the donation will help him support his family.”

“I want to thank the people who supported us with the money; People use to tell me that school is not for the disabled, that it is for normal people with no disabilities. But I did not give up, and I will make these people who support me proud”, he uttered.

Mr. Lual disclosed that his family decided to buy a house in Aweil town to bring him close to a secondary school.

Mr. Bol Chol Guot is the fundraising initiative organizer, said that well-wishers donated the money after reading Lual’s story online.

“I just saw his story and felt touched. So, I decided to create a go fund project on Facebook to handle the story as I can help. The young man will also encourage many youths to study because his story is different and motivates people to learn despite all difficulties”.

So, it will make many people join the school, and feel that it is not challenging to study if john a disabled man who writes using his mouth is learning” Chol narrated.

Bol called the public to support vulnerable people in the community, especially disabled people.

Trucks drivers assured of their safety along highways

South Sudan assured Uganda’s counterpart on safety of trucks drivers and their goods along the highway.

Director of custom service Maj. Gen Dr. Akol Ayii discussed with Resident District Commissioner of Amuru District (RDC) Mr Ocheng Osborne at Ugandan border Town of Elegu on Thursday.

According to the Police statement, South Sudan government assured the truck’s drivers that it will provide full security along the highway.

Last week, five people died, three wounded in the road ambush along Juba – Nimule highway and those killed included trucks drivers. Kenya and Uganda issued a travel advisory to their citizens not to uses the road until it’s safe.

Several trucks ground at Elegu border caused high prices in Juba markets.

Earlier this week, South Sudan People Defense forces announced the deployment troops along the highway to curb crimes.

The SSPDF said soldiers will be stations along the roads connecting Juba to Nimule, to Yei up to Kaya –to ensure safe passage for travelers and commercial goods.

South Sudan unveiled population estimate survey

South Sudan National Bureau Statistics has launched the 2021 Population Estimation Survey to gather country population data before the general census next year.

Top government officials include the vice president for the economic cluster, Dr. James Wani Igga, and three national ministers who participated in the estimated survey opened on Thursday 

National Bureau said previous population and housing census data are “outdated and inaccurate,” missing out on critical areas of effective developmental planning at the local and national levels.

The survey is supported by international partners of the UN and diplomatic core government of Sweden and Ireland, who have contributed $700,000, respectively. UN agencies include WFP, UNAIDS, IOM, and FAO, contributed $200,000.

Population Estimate Surveys were expected to require a budget of more than $3 million. United Nations Fund has raised more than $1 million to be used for capacity strengthening NBS, training, and logistics during exercise.

Accurate data collection shall be done by NBS, UNFPA, and GRIP3 (Geo-Referenced Infrastructure and Demographic Data for Development).  

Chairperson for National Bureau Hon. Isaiah Chol revealed South Sudan population and the household first census was conducted in 2008 before independence with a confirmed estimate of 8.26 million people. 

Demographic population details verified 4.29 million males and 3.97million females. Today previous data classification challenged people’s projection population mindset of 12 million.

Experts believe population dynamics have changed due to internal and external displacement after war broke out in 2013 and 2016. 

According to government strategy, a survey that will commence this month aims to collect faster data at a fraction of an entire national census cost. 

The statistical model will use analyze and high-resolution satellite imagery such as locations and geospatial covariates and predict the population in un-sample areas.

The process will allow the government to have clear and inform planning for the forthcoming 2022 and 2023 population and household census.

Dr. Igga further stated the national system for the generation and dissemination of population data and demographic intelligence, including humanitarians, is critical for evidence-based practice.

He added PES would provide effective coordination across government actors, donors and private sector, universities, UN, and NGOs such data collection and processing utilization.

“PES could provide value to building on the geo-referenced census to create a highly detailed gridded population model. These covariates are updated year to year; it is possible to update the model based on the data as well as the new household enumeration data from periodic population surveys,” Igga explained.

UN resident and humanitarian coordinator Mw. Alain Noudehu acknowledging that the survey is vital for the benefit of the South Sudanese people.

Minister of finance Athian Ding Athian says the country has a fertility rate of 6.7% and a growth rate of 2.2% per annum. And 80% population was living in rural areas without access to education, health, clean drinking water, and sanitation.  

He says population dynamics aims at investigating demographic processes of birth, deaths, migration, and aging people inhabitants.