The U.S. announced 95 million dollars for aid to South Sudan

The United States government has announced new funding for humanitarian aid in South Sudan.

The money will support displaced communities and lives serving assistance in the remote villages affected by the conflict.

International partners urged government intervention in community building while announcing a grant of 95 million dollars on Thursday. 

The fund is directed to World Food Program (WFP) to provide those needs with food assistance.

Mr. Mathew Hollingworth is the WFP Country Director. He said many vulnerable communities affected by the crisis and living remotely are in daring need of aid.

The fund come at very important time they are part of a consistent, predictable support from the government of United States to the people of South Sudan through World Food Programme” He said

Recently the World Food Programme announced the reduction of food ratio to 50 percent.

The U.S. Ambassador to South Sudan, Larry Andre, said South Sudan is in critical need of humanitarians’ assistant due to political, severe flooding and inter-communal violence. 

Diplomate is deeply concerned about increasing scale, intensity, and geographical threats of conflict in South Sudan, which affected food production.

Larry warned South Sudan should not be food-deficit while it has adequate rainfall and enormous cultivating potential. 

The Minster of humanitarian Affairs and Disaster Management has welcome U.S. support to South Sudanese people.

Integrated Food Security Phase Classification released this year shown an estimated 7.5 million South Sudanese need humanitarian assistance, including 6.5 million who need food assistance.

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.

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.

Machar vaccinated against COVID-19

South Sudan First Vice President vaccinated against COVID-19 on Wednesday, 7 April 2021.

Dr. Riek Machar takes the AstraZeneca vaccine’s first jab after Health Minister Elizebath Achuei was vaccinated at Juba Teaching Hospital on Tuesday.

He [Machar] became the first top government official of South Sudan from the Presidency to receive his jab.

Martin Gama Abucha, Executive of First Vice President’s office, said among the people vaccinated include Minister of Electricity and Dams, Hon. Peter Marcello, as well as several senior staff in the office of the First Vice President.

Dr. Machar also called the public to continue to observe preventive measures, including wearing the face mask and social distancing.

South Sudanese health workers have received a COVID-19 vaccinate rollout at Juba teaching hospital this week. The ministry of health launched the first coronavirus vaccine in partnership with World Health Organization.

The World Health Organization stated on Wednesday said it had formed an advisory committee on vaccine safety.

It stated the COVID-19 subcommittee had reviewed reports of rare cases of blood clots with low platelets following vaccination with the AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccine (including Covishield) since their onset a few weeks ago.

The W.H.O vowed to monitor the rollout of all COVID-19 vaccines carefully and will continue to work closely with countries to manage potential risks and use science and data to drive response and recommendations.