Members of the National Assembly takes oath

The Reconstituted National Transitional Legislative Parliament and the Council of State have been sworn in to take charge of the August house in South Sudan fully.

Five hundred and two from the National Assembly and ninety-two Council of states members took oath this afternoon before Chief Justice Chan Reech Madut at Freedom Hall.

But fifty-six MPs missed the swearing-in ceremony. The Clerk of the parliament said those members were not on the registered list for reasons unknown.

According to the peace agreement, the National parliament shall have 550 members and a Council of States with one hundred lawmakers. Both are representing all parties in the deal.

The Speaker of National Assembly Rt Hon Jemma Nunu Kumba calls the MPs to restore the hope of South Sudanese and look beyond party interests.

She said there is a need for dialogue to move the peace implementation forward so that other nations should not regard South Sudan as a failed state.

“The Situation demand that we as representatives of our people should look beyond political, partisans, tribal expediency and focus keenly on the common good of all. Our various political parties should put heads together so that we can collectively solve our national problem,” Hon. Nunu said.

The Speaker of the Council of State, Hon: Deng Deng Akoon, assured the public that the lawmakers would work as one government with goals to deliver services.

He warned the MPs to avoid sectional politics that could drive the peace implementation and undermine the public interest.

“This August house is tasked to solve state and government issues. Sectional and tribal politics has no place in our home. We must carry out the responsibility as one people under one government,” Rt Deng said.

Some MPs express excitements after being sworn in their various offices. They say they must implement peace and pass the law to help the country recover from the conflict.

Others believe the reconstituted parliament will make a difference due to its nature of multiparty collations.

“From today, we’re for the services delivery to the citizens, and we’re committed to doing it under the leadership of Jemma Nunu Kumba, who is also a mother.”

“I am so happy the day has come not only for us as an individual but for our people and the country. The citizens have been waiting for the third arms of the government, and they finally got it” 

“I’ve been in this parliament for over ten years, and this time will be different because we’re hoping to deliver lots of developmental things to the people since it’s a parliament of peace,” MPs stressed.

The peace agreement expands the Reconstituted Assembly from four hundred to five hundred forty MPS.

Former I-TGoNU appointed 332, The SPLM-IO take 128, and Other Political Parties nominated fifty with ten from the Former Detainees. 

The Council of States was also increased to one hundred members representing all parties in the agreement.

Citizens call for free education to reward martyrs’ children

As South Sudan commemorates Martyrs Day, citizens in Jonglei and Lakes states called for free education across the country. They say the schools will help martyrs’ children access free education as some families could not afford to pay school fees.

Martyrs’ Day in South Sudan is observed on July 30. It is a public holiday and a Remembrance Day commemorating John Garang de Mabior, who died in 2005.

Citizens say the schools will compensate the families who lost their loved one during the struggle.

Listeners of Mingkaman FM in Awerial County, Lakes State, expressed their views.

“There is nothing that the government can do better than establishing schools for the children of martyrs to learn freely. When they are educated, their lives will change. That would be the best reward.” 

“I see education as the best gift to children of Martyrs. If the government could do that, it would be good and lasting remembrance.” 

“I am a child of the martyr. My father got married during the war, and we were all born on the frontline. Unfortunately, when people returned home, he got killed and never had time to access good learning institutions due to financial constraints. I believe if the government could offer free education to the children of Martyrs, that will be of great benefit.”

President Salva Kiir salutes men and women uniforms for their unwavering contributions to freedom. In his statement, he called for the honor of martyr’s families.

“Today, I called upon you our citizens to salute our Martyrs who bore the brunt of hardship that come with liberation struggle but never faltered,” Kiir stated.

“Kiir said the nation would continue to remember the contribution toward the birth of South Sudan. The selfless action of these men and women who did not live to see the birth of our republic hold important clues for us on how we should overcome our present-day challenges.”

President stated his government effort to stabilize the country and focus on achieving total peace and called the citizens to promote peaceful coexistence in their communities.

Immigration announces to resumes issuing Nationality and passports

The immigration department has announced the resumption of issuing national identity cards and passports for South Sudanese. The process was being suspended for nearly a year after the country failed to pay an international contracted company.

The German technology provider Muhlbauer Tech shut down the system due to unpaid bills.

Director-General of Immigration, Gen. Atem Marol Biar, said South Sudan had paid 1.4 million US dollars to the company as part of the balance the country owes them.

“The Ministry of Finance pays one million five hundred dollars, and we remain with the balance of about five million which will be payable by the government,” Marol said.

Gen. Marol said the company was instructed to prioritize providing an ordinary passport as most needed by the citizens.

” We’re going to receive twenty-two thousand cards of national IDs and three thousand nine hundred diplomatic passports. We have told them the most needed is a regular passport, and we don’t want to receive a diplomatic passport/National ID card without a regular passport,” He stated.

According to the Director-general, the resumption of immigration documents is expected to start next week.

Mantani’ death dismay Artists in South Sudan

Musicians and other Entertainers described Singer, Murye Alex, Mantani’s death as a great loss to the entertainment industry.

The Rapper Murye Alex died of intracranial pressure due to a fatal motorcycle accident in Moyo, Uganda. The medical report indicated increase pressure in the brain due to intracranial bleeding.

His body was brought to South Sudan on Monday this week.

Thousands of his fans, family, and government officials gathered in Juba wearing blacks’ shirts and dresses with a picture of the deceased artist to pay their last respect.

Late Mantani was a Hardlife Avenue Stars member, an Afro-pop and dance group in South Sudan formed in 2011.

Other members in the group include Mr. Vocalist Siliman Musa (Nicky Prince) and Ochwo Junior (Linus). They produced series of collaborated songs in Arabic like Kilo Kwen Kulek, offside, and Yau De.

Nicky Prince said the loss of their member is a test but will not stop them from fulfilling the HardLife Avenue Stars family’s legacy.

“When we formed the group, our motto is ‘Voice of Change, and we can’t just stop here.”

Mr. Prince encourages the people to celebrate those who make an impact in their life.

“Most of you don’t know the impact of music, and you only realize when someone is no more. We should only love people when they are dead.  We should love people when they are still alive. Stop pretending and waiting until we died,” Prince said.

Pitty Tonny, one of the female artists in South Sudan, said she shouldn’t believe Mantani is no more, and it’s “unbearable.

“The Artists and Entertainment community are saddened and shocked. He was a musician who creates songs that unite people, bring a smile to people, and he is a humble guy” Tonny said”

Another musician described Late Matani as a man of peace. Dj Cent, also known as Mr “No Rest,” said, ” Mantani is one of the artists who preach about love. He contributed a lot to educate our people through his music about peace in South Sudan.”

Dj Cent also retreated calls for support to the artist achieve their dream and promote culture. “We musicians are trying our level best to our people that we are talented, but lack of support from our people matter.”

South Sudan Artist Association’s representative, Mc Lumoex, said Artists are traumatizing due to low income and government support.

“We’re traumatized, and that’s the reason why you see the music that we do is not enough to support our families, and the young education artists are pursuing,” He stressed.

Lumoex urges the government to formulate the copyright law for the artist to benefit from their career.

Central Equatoria State Governor Emmanuel Adil Anthony directed the local government Minister to named one the road in Kajo Keji as Murye Alex for his remembrance.

Adil also pledges to support the Artists in achieving their goals in the music industry.

These views were collected during the funeral prayer of the late Murye Alex, Mantani, held in Juba on Tuesday. The body of Matani is expected to be burry in Kajo-keji, his home village, on Saturday.

Kenya allows free Visa Entry to South Sudanese

The Kenya government has waived Visa to South Sudanese citizens who hold a valid passport. The move will allow travelers visiting Kenya to go without obtaining Visa as generally required for the foreign national.

“This waiver of the visa requirement for the Republic of South Sudan citizen takes immediate effect from the date of this press release,” Kenya Ministry of Foreign Affairs stated on Monday.

The decision said is in accordance with the provisions of the Treaty for the Establishment of the East African Community and The common market protocol on free movement of labor and persons for the citizens of the neighboring states adopted in November 20, 2009.

Kenya said the visa waiver demonstrates the strong partnership and cooperation between the states.

“It will enhance cultural ties and strengthen the economy of both countries encouraging free movement of person and labor which are critical pillars in the integration of the East African Community.”

South Sudan Ambassador to Kenya, Chol Ajongo welcomes the development. He said the principles of waiving Visa could also be applied to Kenyan Nation visiting South Sudan.

South Sudan instructed direct the Ministry of Interior to implement Visa waives for Kenyan nationals.

“The Ministry of Interior as a competent institution through its directorate of Nationality, immigration and passports will immediately operationalize the Visa waiver as per this statement.” Foreign Affairs stated.

A single visa entry costs 50 US dollars for South Sudan entering Kenya.

SPLM nominate Jemma Nunu as speaker of Reconstituted TNLA

South Sudan’s ruling party has selected Hon: Jemma Nunu Kumba as Speaker of Reconstituted Transitional National Legislative Assembly, TNLA. The Nomination of the current Acting SPLM secretary came during the party’s briefing chaired by President Salva Kiir on Friday, 23rd July.

Chapter 1.14.3 in the agreement stated that the former incumbent, Transitional government shall nominate the Speaker of TNLA with the first deputy from SPLM-IO.

The Chairperson of SPLM President Salva Kiir has announced the Nomination of Jema Nunu Kumba as the next speaker of the revitalized transitional national legislative assembly. The party also selected Mary Ayen Majok to take deputy speaker for the Council of States.

What makes people leave is the position of the speakership because many of you want to be speakers, and I have a long list. In the SPLM leadership, we thought we have a person you might not accept, and this is Nunu Jema Kumba. This is the government for many parties, not SPLM alone, so that the deputy speaker will be from the IO.”

Kiir further promised to swear in the MPs before the end of this month.

The Vice president of the Economic Cluster and SPLM Deputy Chairperson, Dr. James Wani Igga, called for Unity and hard work from his party members to deliver services to the citizens.

“Peace promotion on national Unity, your Unity within the parliament. Since we’re the ruling party, let’s do the good things to maintain the power,” Igga said.

President Salva Kiir reconstituted the National Legislative Assembly and Council of State in May and July, respectively. But all members from both houses have not yet been sworn in to start their duties. The reconstituted parliament comprised of 550 members majority nominated from the SPLM (332) and SPLM-IO (128) MPs.

On Thursday, Peace Monitors described the swearing-in of the MPs as “critical” to ratify some vital legislation, including security and constitutional amendment bills.

Parties urge to swearing-in R-TNLA members

Peace Monitors described the swearing-in of the MPs as “critical” to ratify some vital legislation, including security and constitutional amendment bills.

The Interim Chairperson of Reconstituted Joint Monitoring and Evaluation Commission, R-JMEC, Gen. Charles Tai Gituai, said there is a need for both houses to become fully functional, as stated in the peace agreement.

“This is important, particularly in the case of the TNLA because it should, upon commencement of its work, immediately ratify some important legislation that has been held up,” he said.

President Salva Kiir reconstituted the National Legislative Assembly and Council of State in May and July, respectively.

He also concerns that the lack of implementation of Transitional Security Arrangements remains a challenge.

“Even though some progress has been made in some areas of implementation of the (Peace) Agreement, a critical concern remains on the security arrangements, which is fundamental to the peace process.” 

Gen: Gituai also appealed to the Parties to “urgently resolve the issue of the ratio of the unified forces and the unified command structure of the Necessary Unified Forces.”

The Interim Chairperson further urged the R-TGoNU (Revitalized Transitional Government of National Unity), “in the spirit of addressing the country’s insecurity, ” to expedite the unification of forces and the Transitional Security Arrangements and establish the state security committees.

 “I urge the R-TGoNU to make financial resources available for the completion of the Transitional Security Arrangements, including graduation and redeployment of unified forces,” he added.

The Special Representative of the Secretary-General and Head of the United Nations Mission in South Sudan, Nicholas Haysom, expressed concern on emerging insecurity in Tombura, Western Equatoria, and Tonj North, Warrap States affect humanitarian assistance.

He stated that humanitarian’s food stores were looted or destroy in Marial-Lou after fighting between the local youth over cattle raiding in July. Haysom said such acts of criminality must stop, and the hard work of humanitarian actors can’t be taken for granted.

“South Sudan is increasingly becoming one of the most dangerous places to operate for humanitarian workers. This year alone, four humanitarian workers have been killed in the line of duty”.

“These acts of criminality must stop. The support of our donor community and hard work of humanitarian works should not be taken for granted, and those perpetrators should be brought to justice,” Haysom said.

The RJMEC convenes its 18th monthly plenary in Juba on Thursday, 22 July to evaluate the status of the peace implementation.

VP Nyadeng led the athletes for Tokyo 2020 Olympics

South Sudan Vice President Rebeca Nyadeng de’Mabior has led a high-level delegation to attend Toyko 2020 Olympics that will kick off on Friday this week. Athletes from South Sudan will also participate in the multi-international sport event organized in Japan.

The Secretary of the South Sudan Olympics Committee, Dr. Tong Chor Malek, said members from the team already travel to Toyko as other participants made on Monday (today), 19th July, ahead of the games.

According to the Olympics Committee’s Secretary, two accredited athletes, Lucia William for 200 miters and Abraham Aguer, 1500 miters runner, will represent the country this year.

“This is the last team to participate in Toyko 2020 Olympics game. South Sudan team has already gone to Japan, the chief division, the administrator in the camp to train with athletes. We’ve Lucia William for 100 and 200 miters and Abraham Aguer for 1,500 miters”.

Dr. Chor further said the dignitaries lead by H.E Vice president Rebeca Nyadeng will conduct a bilateral meeting with the Olympics family in Toyko.

“She is going to meet President Thomas Bach of International Olympics Committee, and she will also meet Prime Minister of Japan, JICA to pay vote of thanks for their activities in South Sudan,” Chor mentioned.

It is the second time South Sudan athletes participating in the international game after Rio 2016 Olympics.

Tokyo 2020 multi-sport event scheduled to be held from 21 July to 8 August 2021.

Bakosoro rejoin SPLM and disown his party 

A prominent senior member of the South Sudan Opposition Alliance -SSOA has dissolved his party and joined the SPLM.

Hon: Bangasi Joseph Bakosoro, Minister of Public Services in the Unity government, announced the change of allegiance on Thursday 

Joseph Bakosoro was a leader of the National Movement for Change (NMC), one of the Allies of SSOA in the peace agreement. 

This morning, he dissolved his political party in a news conference and joined the Sudan People Liberation Movement (SPLM).

The former elected governor of Western Equatoria State formed the party he dissolved in 2017 opposed the political roadmap of president Salva Kiir’s government.

The SPLM cadres described his interest in rejoining significant milestones to reconcile party members. Bakosoro said he previously terminated his membership from the SPLM due to intimidation and assassination attempts from his political rivals.

I am suffered from all sources of humiliation, hate characters assassination, and all part of betrayal from our people, just because of my try from Western Equatoria State. Hence, we were a force to form our movement.

He further said the move to join SPLM again is a community demand 

The decision to join SPLM was requested from the community and some senior leaders. A tough decision is taken for seeks unity. People should avoid history that will have effects on the next generation. People should be part of decision rather than to be part of the problem,”

Bakosoro called his supporters to embrace the NMC decision of merging back the party to SPLM for Unity of South Sudan.

“The decision we have taken can be positive or negative. It will have negative or positive effects from our brothers. But it is worthy taken”.

 SPLM Acting Secretary-General Ann Nunu welcome back Bangasi Bakosoro to the SPLM and urged political parties to return to the party. 

She acknowledged that the return of senior SPLM members to the party is in line with Arusha Agreement to reconcile SPLM liberators.

I strongly believe that we will come together, we will unite, and we will take this country forward. I called upon all of you once again to leave the pass to the pass. Let us focus. Let us focus on our vision and our objectives. Let us work for peace”.

Former Speaker in the National Legislative Assembly Antoni Lino Makane spoke on the SPLM liberation councils behaves and appreciated Bakosoro ‘s return.

Hon. Bangasi Joseph Bakosoro was appointed as Minister of Public Services in 2020 under the SSOA seat.

Four SSBC Engineers setting up new antenna died

Four engineers died while constructing an antenna tower for South Sudan Broadcasting Cooperation –(SSBC). Among the deceased are three Chines and one South Sudanese national.

The Managing director of SSBC, James Magok Chillim, said the incident occurred at 7 am on Tuesday, 13 July. 

He narrated the five engineers working in the construction were on the lift that took them into the top of the antenna. The lift collapsed, killed four people, and one is hospitalized.

“The Mixes engineers, Chines and South Sudanese national this morning they fall with the lift that takes them to the transmission tower has collapsed and they all fall. We lost four of them, and one still in the hospital. We didn’t wish this actually to happen, the company have all the measures in place, but of cost unfoundedly, this situation happen which is out of our hand” he said.

Magok also said the government had started an investigation on the circumstances for the death of Engineers.

“Police investigation department was here, and they do all investigation on how the incident happens, they have done the marking at the incident scene.”

 The managing Director Chillim further said the construction has stopped for weeks to mourns the death of workers and allow the company to get new people.

“This incident is tragic; we have to stop the work for a few days or weeks, and maybe it will resume later on when the Chines bring other Engineers.”

Earlier, the Minister of Information Michael Makuei’s statement said two people died on the spot, and three others were in critical condition. 

South Sudan Broadcasting Corporation (SSBC) is the state’s own Television and radio network based in Juba.