Government introduced a media code of conduct

National Media Authority has announced a code of conduct (regulatory law) for journalism in South Sudan.

Media Authority and Community Empowerment for Progress Organization initiated the document to guide media practitioners.

The deputy Minister information, communication, and postal services Baba Medan, UNMISS human rights representative, UNSECO, civil society, police, AMDISS, and Union of Journalists of South Sudan attended the events.

Deputy Minister of information Baba Medan urged the media to observe the law, report credible factual information, and avoids bias reporting base social media allegations.

Media Authority registered one hundred and ninety-two media enterprises, and accredited nine hundred international journalists.

Managing director Media Authority Elijah Alier Kuai says the code of conduct for the practice of journalism will enhance the standard realization public’s rights to have access to information through media reporting.

Alier observed that the public has the right to impartial, accurate, and balance information from the media on political, social, and economic development.

He warned journalists to practice professional journalism, cease disseminating bias information of hatred, discrimination, and provocative language in public statements.

Chairperson for Association of Media Development in South Sudan (AMDISS) Mary Ajith urged the government cooperation to protect press freedom and end news censorship in the media house.

National security was accused several times of removing news articles published in the newspapers, which journalists viewed as a violation of their constitutional rights to disseminate information to the public.

Executive Director of CEPO Edmund Yakana worried about the lack of law implementation in the country while appealing to the media fraternity and government to implement the code of conduct.

Secretary-General for RTGoNU Hon. Abdon Agaw Jok advised journalists to improve news writing for professional media credibility from the readership.

He mentioned some newspapers in Juba continuously published stories with errors on the front pages that undermine the excellent of journalism.

Kiir condemned shooting of Catholic Bishop in Rumbek

President Salva Kiir has condemned the incident that target bishop elect of the Catholic Diocese of Rumbek. Saying he is dismay the unfortunate incident that involved the Rt. Rev. Christians Carlassare.

Kiir statement came after unidentified gunmen shot and wounded the bishop elect in his residence in Rumbek on Sunday night.

Kiir said such the reprehensible act of violence against bishop is unacceptable and must stop.

He calls upon all South Sudanese to condemn the criminals who carried out this heinous crime in strongest terms as possible.

“To ensure no such act is carried out against the clergy, I call upon authorities in Lake’s state to carry out an expeditious investigation that will lead to lawful apprehension and persecution of the criminals who perpetrates this crime” Said Kiir statement.

Kiir in a written statement said if those who carried out this shameful act intention was to intimidate the church, they are mistaken.

He said the Catholic faithful bishop elect, Christian Carlassare was chosen to lead and authorities in Lake’s state will stand by him and they will not allow action of few criminals to affect the plans ecclesiastical authority.

Kiir pray for God to strengthen the Rt. Rev. Carlassare faith in serving people so that he can come back to his flock with renewed determination to serve the faithful in the diocese. Kiir wish the bishop a speedy recovery.

Activists demand accountability of 5 percent oil share for communities

South Sudanese activists have called for accountability of government officials alleged of misusing 5% oil share allocated to oil-producing states.

Auditor General released a report on Saturday, April 24th, in unjust separate misappropriation of 2% and 3% oil share to the producing states.

According to the 2005 Comprehensive Peace Agreement, 5% were allocated to the oil region producing states for development and the community affected by the environmental pollutions.

Unauthorized officials paid under illicit deals in the states’ oil share money include Bior Tong Bior with $151,500 and Angelo Beda with $30890. And other eight officials received thousands of dollars under unjustified reimbursement.

The ministry of finance and Oil revenue received more than two million dollars without reason. The report indicated in 2016, unknown officials in the office of the president were paid 1.3 million dollars below uncertain circumstances. 

Between 2015 -16, the finance ministry was further naked for paying 22.2 million dollars to unknown accounts. And 7.5 million were transferred to foreign companies without payment justification.

National Auditor General said the ministry of finance and Banks of South Sudan had denied them access to credible data (documents) from July 2011 to November 2013 for transparency and accountability purposes.

Mr. Wani Michael said oil money misappropriation by individuals is unlawful. And more investigation is needed from the ministry of justice to persecute an alleged group responsible for misuse of public funds. 

He condemned public funds misappropriation and the Unity government and Anti-corruption commission quick intervention to recovery embezzled community resources.

“We appealed to the president to take this matter seriously because if we don’t see what is happening, so that means the government is encouraging corruption, the government is encouraging looting.”

Unity state activists were so shocked by the severe misappropriation of public funds calling for justice against the officials.

Ruot George Wal is the executive director Organization for Peace and Development Agency (OPDA). He welcomes National Auditor-General Report and demanding reimbursement for vulnerable community money in the oil-producing region.

The radio community contacted Governor of Unity State Dr. Joseph Nguen Monytuil and minister of information, Gabriel Hon Makuei. Still, they declined to comment, citing the unavailability of the National Auditor General’s Report in their office.

Police arrested 24 people in Rumbek after Catholic bishop shot

Authorities in Rumbek Lakes state say they have 24 people in detention after a catholic bishop was shot and wounded at his residence in Rumbek.

Police spokesman said those arrested include four priests and seven security guards who were around in the vicinity of bishop residents when the incident happened.

Unknown shooters shot and wounded Fr. Christian Carlassare, the bishop-elect of the Catholic Diocese of Rumbek, at 2:00 am on Monday.

Elijah Mabor is the spokesperson in Lake’s state. He said the bishop is in stable condition and has been flown to Juba for further medication. He mentioned that the preliminary investigations are ongoing. “All security organs are investigating the detains suspect in connection with incident occurred at 2 am.”

Mabor said a resident is a well-secured place, but there no armed guards deployed.

“It’s a well secure place only that there are no soldiers deploy in that area; there are three concrete fences, two ahead of one fence for bishop house. The criminals sneak until they reach the third fence where bishop live,” Police said.

Stephen Mathiang Deng is the minister of cabinet affairs, said the suspect is still at large but said they would provide more detail later today about the outcome of preliminary investigations.

The Archbishop of Juba diocese Stephen Ameyu Martin told a church base radio that he was sadden by the shooting of bishop elect in Rumbek.

“We’re very saddened with this news of the bishop-elect being shot twice in his feet. Miraculous, the bones were not affected by these bullets. Both legs were shot in the lower limbs, and that’s a miracle from God,” Archbishop Ameyu said.

Fr Christian Carlassare was named the new bishop of the Rumbek Diocese in March this year. The Bishop arrived in Juba this afternoon and later put in a plane to Nairobi, Kenya for further treatment.

Former ITGoNU blamed for delaying parliaments reconstitution

The Minister of cabinet affairs, Dr. Martin Elia Lomuro, has slapped coalition parties of former Incumbent Transitional govt of National Unity (ITGoNU) for delaying the submission of the lists of lawmakers’ nominees for appointment by the President. The coalition parties were said to disagree over their proportion of three hundred and thirty-two in the power-sharing.

Hon. Elia’s naked secrets behind the political raw for the fourteen parties comprised of SPLM-IG, SPLM-IO (2), DC, and other opposition parties hindered the Transitional National formation Legislative Assembly (TNLA). The promised final list is due to be completed, and the President make an appointment. 

Minister Lomuro said other parties to the R-ARCSS include SPLM-IO, SSOA, and FDs, were said to have submitted their lists for appointment both in the national and state. 

The states and local government administration was formed in February this year, but reconstitution of parliament remained underground over disagreement not made public. South Sudanese citizens always hang up on social media propaganda, guessing time for forming the national parliament. 

“Let me be honest about it, the components of SPLM are yet to agree about the proportion of representation out of three hundred and thirty-two members of the parliament. And that is being dealt with because some members might not be there. Therefore, it has to be deal with in, diligent, delicate, and yet non-conflict manner. I can assure you the process is on now,” Lomuro explains.

Civil society activist Rajab Mohandis also attributed the delay to disagreement in former incumbent ITGoNU.

Mr. Rajap discourages parties’ scrambled over power-sharing proportion. And demand amicable solutions on parties’ differences for national and states’ parliament reconstitution. 

“They did not put so much attention to speed up this process to get the parliament reconstituted, to begin responding to the issues like both legislative issues and oversize intervention situation involving in the states,” activist echoed.

The Minister of peacebuilding in the Unity government, Peter Par Kuol, said R-ARCSS is not fully implemented. He said parties to the agreement had two years in Juba re-negotiating the deal, yet more are not being achieved. 

“There is no peace to be built in this country until we implement chapter two of security arrangement. And that is the merging of forces for us in this country to have one security force commanding by one President.”

Members of other parties include SSOA, IO, political detainees, and OPP expressed parallel views, demanding rapid implementation of Revitalize agreement. They reiterated that a trust-building political party is essential in the performance of the deal.

South Sudan missed to reconstituted the national parliament on time according to an agreement due to the political deadlocks that delay the peace implementation process.

R-TGoNU briefed diplomats on Rome peace with the holdout groups

The unity government in South Sudan has conducted a one-day discussion with international partners, foreign diplomats, parties to revitalize the Agreement about the Rome Declaration.

The government and South Sudan Opposition Alliance led by Pagan Amum (Real SPLM) Gen. Paul Malong Awan (SSUF/A) signed Rome Declaration on cessation of the hostilities Agreement on March 7th, 2021. The dialogue was negotiated under the auspices of the Community of Sante’Egodio in Naivasha, Kenya.

Vice president Dr. Wani Igga, the IGAD special envoy to South Sudan, TROIKA EU, and RJMEC, included members of the Sante’Egidio community who participated in one event juba hosted.

Government peace negotiator Dr. Marial Benjamin said the Rome Resolution with the holdout group, not in the spirit of negotiation, but brotherhood and comradeship.

He acknowledged an internal split in SSOMA, government distance itself from holdout political wrangling.

Vice president for economic cluster Dr. James Wani Igga affirmed government commitment to peaceful settlement political differences in the country. He said trust-building among the political parties is vital for democracy in R-ARCSS and preventing crisis through powers devolution.

The US Ambassador to South Sudan Larry Andre’ reminded political leaders that instated admirable unity in South Sudan’s independence on July 9th, 2011.

Diplomat uttered the essential adherence cessation of hostility for smooth implementation of the Agreement. He urges the peace signatory not to denying ceasefire monitors access to areas where conflict emerged.

The Secretary-General of the Sante’Egidio community, Dr. Paolo Impagliazzo, said the Rome agreement is complementary to Revitalize Agreement to allow political dialogue as the only way to silence guns in South Sudan.

The South Sudan Opposition Movements Alliance (SSOMA) and the government signed the Rome Declaration in January 2020 to recommend the Cessation of Hostilities Agreement.

RJMEC fact-checking of Revitalize Peace Agreement

Revitalize Joint Monitoring and Evaluation Commission has slapped the government and opposition parties to slow the peace deal.  Peace monitors were so disappointed in the slow implementation process. They said a little progress had been made in the Agreement. 

But key outstanding issues include reconstitution of Transitional National Legislative Assembly (TLNA) and deployments of Necessary Unified Force are not yet achieved.

“TNLA reconstitution process further delay because all parties have not yet submitted the list of their nominees to the National Constitutional Amendment Committee (NCAC) to enable its reconstitution to proceed.” 

The report outlines most of the outstanding issues involving humanitarian affairs, economic, reforms and transitional justice issues that remained largely untouched by the Revitalized Transitional Government of National Unity (RTGoNU).

The dawdling implementation of the deal was seen inserted inappropriate spirit that provides a loophole to unlawful “communal violence that threatens the fragile security environment and derails any possible improvements to won peace.

“The parties to the Agreement were acknowledged for ending the political deadlock over Lt Gen. Johnson Olony’s candidature for the gubernatorial position for Upper Nile state, which almost kept the country hostage for a number of months”. 

The appointment of state governors, ministers, and county commissioners was accredited as an excellent step to move the Agreement forward. The previous States Governor’s appointment delay has caused enormous reactions among the citizens due to the rampant increase of criminals’ activities imposing insecurity threats.

RJMEC reported gender representation in the political appointment not reached people’s expectation. It said the gender disaggregation of the executive appointments for the Governors and their Deputies shows that ninety percent of the appointed Governors are male, whereas and ten percent is female.

Male government officials also dominated Deputy Governors with seventy percent, and female was only three percent.

Peace Monitor has seen the Permanent Ceasefire continued respected despite the volatile security situation in the Maban area, Upper Nile State, due to attacks on SPLA-IO Liang Cantonment Site in January by former SPLA-IO forces who defected to the SSPDF.

“Such an attack on the SPLA-IO outpost was said the first direct SSPDF offensive operation on the SPLA-IO since the signing of the Agreement even though the SPLA-IO prevented escalation by withdrawing from their position before the attack.

SSPDF Chief of Defence Staff Lt. Gen Johnson Juma’s intervention in armed violence in Upper Nile prevents a potential attack on Akoka by armed Nuer youth, and also de-escalated tension between SSPDF and SPLA-IO forces around Nassir following the SSPDF attack on villages, as well as on an SPLA-IO outpost.”

The level of humanitarian needs in South Sudan continued to rise due to multiple violence and insecurity in Central and Western Equatoria, Upper Nile, Jonglei and Warrap states, and in the Greater Pibor Administrative Area.

Widespread subnational violence, COVID-19 related restrictions, currency depreciation, and economic challenges contributed to a rise in acute food insecurity.

The peace monitoring commission has urged the parties to the Agreement to implement the accord in letter and spirit to pave the way for democratic general election after the Transitional Government of National Unity’s end.

Oil companies warned of environmental pollutions

South Sudan warned the private oil companies of ecological damage caused to the people and animals at the oilfield. Oil Minister said the government would monitor the operation of oil companies, and there must be a continuous environmental audit. 

Several reports indicated the manage caused by the oil pollution to the residents include children born deform.

Minister briefed news media in Juba during the launch of tender oil contract that will audit the environment.

National ministries of petroleum and environment, and forestry have warned oil companies operating in South Sudan against environmental pollutions that affected citizens’ lives. 

The two ministries issued a similar warning during the launch environmental auditing process that will be this year. 

Six oil companies that applied for the tender contract were selected to audit the environmentally affected oil-producing regions of the Upper Nile, Unity, and Ruweng administrative area.

The private companies selected for tender contract competition include Envage Associate (K) LTD, Bright Heritage company limited, CSI International (Bomatex ltd), Panloy, Cowi as Norway Optimum Engineering company. None of these companies is yet to take for the tender contract. 

Minister of petroleum and Gas Commission Hon. Puot Kang cautioned oil companies to put the lives of the people first. 

Mr. Puot said the environmental auditing exercise aims to find credible information and address environmental challenges in South Sudan. The minister further advised that the company that will be contracting for environmental should work with the law.

“When we talk about the environmental audited, it is not like other audits. We are dealing with the life of our people. And we are dealing with the lives of our people, and then we must be careful.”

The minister of environment and forestry Josephine Niphon urged oil companies to operate within the law, particularly petroleum, to avoid environmental pollutions that affected the lives of local communities.

She warned the company of any negligence that might result in the loss of lives in the oil operation without complying with the law.

The representative of Unity state government, Hon. Malual Tap Diu, Minister of Finance, said companies should protect the environment and put lives first. He argued the share payable to the state where oil is operating should not jeopardize people’s health.

 “I want to remind the ministry of petroleum and stakeholders that the five percent give to the state are not in exchange the lives of our people.”

 According to the petroleum ministry, since the starting of oil production in 1997, environmental affected have never been audited in South Sudan.

The environmental report recommended a five-year clean-up that would cost about $58 million. South Sudan expects its oil industry to generate $99 million in revenue each month from July 2019 to June 2020, according to the national budget.

National Minister criticized for disrupting a football match in Aweil

Football fans in Northern Bahr el Gazal have criticized a national Minister of humanitarian affairs and disaster management Peter Mayen Majongdit for disrupting the march at Aweil stadium.

Fans expressed profound disappointment after bodyguards of the Minister allegedly fired a gun at the football stadium, blocking the Minister’s wife Aluel Garang, popularly known as Aluel Messi’s participation in the tournament. Fans said the national Minister’s action is “misuse of power.”

An eyewitness said they saw the national Minister interrupt the match, blocking his wife at the pitch. Aluel Messi was leading the team as captain.

NBGs football Association said the minister use power to stop the match, and the management compiles with his demand after the first half of the game.

“If the ministers who are the ones that pass orders can distract a football match, then what will stop the ordinary citizens from doing the same. The Minister should face a penalty for misconduct. We were surprised the Minister was trying to go to the field by force, and after some time, some fans started protesting against the removal of ALuel Messi, and shots were fired; we were shocked.

The Minister should have waited to solve the problem at home. He is correct because the mother of a baby with three months old left at home, but he should have done it peacefully.”

The Chairman of the Northern Bhar El Ghazal football Association, Jok Wol Jok, blamed the Minister for not informing the management about his concern.

He termed the action as “unacceptable” and urged the national government to hold the Minister’s account against misconduct.

“We condemn what happened, and Minister was wrong because you shouldn’t use force instead following the right procedures. The Minister should have told us in advance that she doesn’t want the wife to play football, and we would have respected his request.  But, good enough, we gave him his wife after the first half.”

Peter Mayen has denied all allegations made against him. Minister’s action went viral on social media platforms, criticizing unusual behavior.

He acknowledges that his wife is a football player but refuted any wrongdoing without further elaboration.

“Both are not true, I did not deny her from playing in the football team, and I did not shoot any gun”, Mayen said.

Civic society activist Edmund Yakani, director for Community Empowerment for Progress Organization (CEPO), said the act is “unacceptable” the Minister should apologize to football fans in Aweil.

South Sudan Football Association commended the Minister’s act, described it as “inappropriate,” and urged him to allow his wife to exercise her talent. They considered action as an altitude that violates women’s right to participate in the country’s various sports activities.

Kiir returned from South Africa

President Salva Kiir Mayardit has returned to Juba on Sunday after three days visited South Africa. The mission described as “successful visits” Kiir asked South Africa President Cyril Ramaphosa to lobby for South Sudan’s arms embargo remove by the UN Security Council.

Dr. Barnaba Marial, Minister of Presidential Affairs, said the two leaders held “extensive talks” on the arms embargo issue that delayed the peace agreement.

“According to the transitional government of National Unity, which has been formed, there is the commitment to the security sector’s reform. We had a cantonment site, and there are supposed to be graduated unified forces for the Republic of South Sudan. Where will they get arms if they are graduated? Cyril Ramaphosa assured President Salva, they should work together on the issue of the arms embargo,” Dr. Marial said

Marial also said the two states agreed to partner in the trade and investment sectors and the peace and stability in the Republic of South Sudan.

“President Salva was inviting South Africans to get more interest on investment projects, the infrastructure, agriculture, oil, and other minerals sector and South Africa has got technology they can help.”

President Salva Kiir left the country on Thursday last week for what was described as a “working visit” to strengthen the bilateral relations between the two states, including implementing the Revitalized Agreement.