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.

One person killed and four people injured in Abyei ambush

One person has been killed and four more others injured in the Abyei road ambush.

An incident happened on Saturday between Abyei town and Amiet market road after suspected shooters ambushed a commercial vehicle.

Area Commissioner of Ameth Aguok County in the Abyei region, Mr. Nyok Deng Rou, said six suspects believed to be Messiriyia men were arrested by UNISFA security forces. It is not clear what motivated such a horrible attack.

Authority said the wife and daughter of the deceased were among the passengers wounded during the incident.

The suspects were said to be apprehended in the forest about distant 3 kilometers from the scene.

“I am urging the government of two countries, South Sudan and Sudan, to look after people who do not respect the law in Abyei. We are people of peace, and we do not want any problem to happen between us, and our neighbor’s commissioner warned.

According to the commissioner, Messiriyia peace committee members denied detained suspects involvement in road ambush.
They promised to trace those who are behind the rampant killing.

80 people regain eye sight and 900 more missed the operation

80 people have regained sight after undergoing cataract operation in Akon, Warrap and  nine hundred more  missed the treatment.

James Madhang Wieu is the Payam Executive Director in Akon. He says eye specialists’ doctors from Egypt spent two days in the area and they manage to operate few people and majority of them missed because of limited time for the doctors.

Wieu said that they registered one thousand and thirty-six patients with eye problem that need to be operation.

The symptoms of eye cataract include shortsightedness to the older people, changes of eye color and poor sighted at night.

Cataract is ‘a medical condition in which the lens of the eye becomes progressively opaque, resulting in blurred vision’.

The governor of Warrap state, Hon. Bona Panek apologized to those who missed the eye operation. Saying that things did not go as planned but promised to try to bring them next year.

He attributed the issue to poor coordination of which transports arrangements for many patients did not reached them on time.

Some of the patients who spoke to Mayardit FM said the transport arrangement was not well coordinated and many of them were stranded at various pick up locations.

The eye operation was one of the initiative sponsored by the first lady Ayen Kiir Mayardit to provide free eye treatment to nearly thousand people from greater Bahr el Ghazal region and Abyei. Seven hundred patients were treated in Akon Payam in Warrap state.

Motorbike riders restricted from going to Amiet market

Abyei-Amiet road. Photo: Courtesy of UNISFA

Authorities in Abyei administrative area has suspended movement of motorbikes between  Amiet market and Abyei town.

Official says the reason for restricting motorcyclists, they failed to adhere to security protocal UN troops escorts for the travelers.

Martino Kiir Deng is the information officer in Abyei. He said individuals are not allowed to travel along Abyei-Amiet unless in a convoy because there are suspected criminals who used to attack vehicles and motorbike riders.

Martino urged the riders to respect the order by the Abyei security protocol.

He quotes ” My message is that people should take good care of their lives because this is the season where criminals attack travelers. There are always unknown gunmen that disturb people.

He further explained that it is good to drive in a group with the convoy. This is the situation where UNISFA’s troops accompany travelers. And so I repeat that motorbike riders are warned not to escape to walk alone. Please follow the set rules or you will face consequences if you are found, ‘’ Martino stated.

In response, some motorbike riders say UN troops should be stationed along the road instead of moving in convoy. They appealed to the Abyei administration and the UN Interim Security force for Abyei to increase the number of peacekeepers.

Mr. Madhal Mabior from Turalei Market said that the price of goods increases when the convoy arrived in Amiet. Madhal said they always find it cheaper to buy goods at affordable prices when it is morning hours.

” according to me, to respect the so-called protocol can affect my work because going to Amiet market early in the morning is good because prices of goods get lower and when the convoy arrived, the prices shoot up. The convoy also delays up to 8:30 AM and going to Amiet needs early hours, ‘’ A Boda Boda man who deals in fuel told Mayardit FM.

Mr. Malek Deng who sells mixed goods welcomes the idea but the government’s inability to arrest the suspects who attack the travelers.

He urged that the soldiers should be put in suspected places permanently instead of guarding for few hours which is the only convoy,’’ Boda Boda man said.

Disabled Student asks for a wheelchair assistant

A twenty-six-year-old disabled student in Twic County at Doctor Justine Secondary school asked well-wishers for wheelchair assistance.

December 3rd,  marked the International Day of Persons with Disabilities (IDP) The day commemorated in many part of the country to reflects a growing understanding that disability is part of the human condition.

Several NGOs calls the Government to avail jobs for persons with disabilities,  end discrimination and stigmatization.

The disabled student Ajak Atem Kol Ajak spokes to Mayardit FM in Turalei, Warrap State. He said his legs got paralyzed when he was two years old.

The student said his situation is critical that needs immediate intervention. Ajak conveyed his message during the international day of people with disabilities.

Mr. Ajak claimed that he always crawled for more than twenty-five minutes from home to school. And he was often optimistic about getting help from organizations that supporting people with disabilities.

According to him, some NGOs initially promised him a wheelchair assistant, but nothing materializes.

“I want to be a doctor to help others toppled me was polio disease according to the symptoms my mother used to tell me. I become like this when Ibecamewo years old. My father died in 2017, and immediately, my uncle took responsibility for my school.”

It is difficult for my parents to buy a wheelchair because of limited resources. I have five other siblings, and I am an ender in the family. Additionally, my father is not and responsibilities shoulder at my mother.'”

The communication officer for South Sudan Red Cross in Warrap state, Mr. Tong Alfonse, said his organization always helps people with disabilities with a wheelchair and artificial legs.

He appealed to people with disabilities to register at a nearby Red Cross office for support.

“You can go to the office in Kwajok. You will register and send it to Wau, where you will be given. This is because the Wau office is where the machine for cutting your size is. So, your presence is vital. They need to know whether it is the right leg or left with the problem, for example. You can get them in a day or after two days because it is cut in your presence. They also need to screen you to know which one fits you.”

Based on global estimates of 15% of the world’s population living with disabilities, South Sudan is estimated to have more than 1.2 million people with disabilities. Some wounded during the decades of war.

Over 300 stranded vehicles in Tonj recovered from the trap site

More than three hundred commercial vehicles have been stranded for three months in Tonj counties have managed to make their way out from the damaged site . The roads connecting states to the national capital Juba were affected by devastating flooding.

The Government said it had repaired the road connecting Western Bahr el Ghazal, Northern Bahr el Ghazal, Warrap, and the Unity States.

Road was rehabilitated by the South Sudanese company known as Rhino Star. It has been an usual calls, residents in Warrap state demanded the Government to addressed poor road connection.

Public drivers whose vehicles trapped have confirmed that their vehicles are stranded for long have started moving to their final destination. Six cars were confirmed to reach their endpoints.

Drivers were seen smiling and appreciating the Government for repairing roads despite their unprecedented long-term suffering on the trapped site. Some residents applauded the State government initiative for retrieving the stuck vehicles.

“We spent three months since we left Juba only to be helped today. So, it is only thanks and happiness that we are mentioning. And we pray to God to keep the road working”, one of the drivers celebrated.

Another Driver who declined to be named said his vehicle was hired to transport goods and services from Uganda to Wau but temporarily stranded.

“Since the road is opened, we hope it wouldn’t stop again, and now it is a blessing. We now have our water, and the route is accessible. I am happy with the Government. Can you imagine the governor came to the affected area; it is a commitment from him”.

“The executive director has never stopped coming. He has been with us. So, some of the vehicles are already out, drivers are stressed.

Its Field Officer, Mr. Gai Chuti Garang, said the Government had contracted them to repair holes on the road connecting Wau and Tonj towns.

“It is a repair of the road from where we are to Rumbek because it is where the three states of Bhar Ghazel are connected. However, what we are doing here started in Wau called Kuajina because it was damage. Our target is to make goods coming from Uganda and other places reachable to the people. So, this is what we are doing” said Gai.

Two weeks ago, people in Tonj South mobilized themselves to fix the damaged road, but the plan was impossible due to thick flooding in the area.

Tonj Residents called the government to improves Security and Roads

The local community in the Tonj area, Warrap State, has the concern of insecurity and poor road connection, which they describe as “challenge.”

The Residents spokes out during the visit of Governor to the area on Friday.

There have been several reports of inter-communal violence triggered by cattle rustling in Tonj. In August this year, the government has suspended the disarmament process due to clashes between the armed youth and the soldiers.

People in Tonj south reiterates demand to improve road and security. Residents also demand accountability and justice for the victim of inter-communal violence.

“Tonj area has spent many months without the judge in the area. This is because of the conflict in the area. So, we are expecting the government to come with a positive result about the judge.”

“There is much chaos in Tonj like insecurity, lack of medicine, flooding, conflict with the neighbors and others, and we are expecting the governor to address all of these issues including opening up the roads in the areas.”

The community urges the government to deploy security forces that can prevent the conflict.

Warrap state governor conducts peace rally in Tonj South on Friday as part of his peace tour to the counties urging the public to promote peaceful coexistent.

Governor Bona Panek and his accompanying delegation meet local leaders such as chiefs, youth, and women representatives.

Panek assured the people of Tonj that security and road maintenance is his government’s top priority.

He warned the communities to stop engaging in communal violence rather than dialogue.

“We have already started the renovation of roads connecting counties, and this visit is part of inspecting roads that are damage to asses and plans how to repair them. We will direct the road companies to work on the damaged roads for easy service delivery,” He said.

This is the Governor’s fourth official tour to Tonj. The meeting is aimed at lecturing the public importance of peace within and neighboring communities.

Panek said that community leaders such as youth, chief, and women representatives have vital roles in maintaining peace to prevail.

“It is to enlighten you on the recent active road projects, security situations of the entire state, and government-led humanitarian efforts toward addressing deconstructions incurred by inhabitants of Tonj South due to the ongoing flooding” Panek stated.

Last month, Governor visited Tonj East and north counties respectively to disseminate peace.

Several fighting between different communities in Tonj has taken place since August. This resulted in the death of many people and others wounded.

Ivory Bank Opened New Branch in Kwajok

South Sudan’s Ivory Bank has established a new branch in Warrap’s state capital Kwajok on Thursday.

Residents are excited to see financial institutions begin to operate in the area. They said it would reduce the risk of losing money keep at home. 

The official at the bank said the institution would benefit communities in many ways, including saving their money, receiving and sending cash from one place to another. 

Ivory Bank is a commercial bank in South Sudan licensed to operate in the country. 

It was one of the earliest financial institutions opened to serve the banking needs of the people. 

Refeal Atum Daniel, the branch Manager, said that keeping money in the houses is risky and encourages traders to open an account in the bank. 

Mr. Atum outlined other benefits that the community would get, such as giving out loans to the local businesspeople to improves economic development.

Deputy Town Mayor for Administration and finance in Kwajok appreciated the bank for bringing services close to the people.

Nyaruon Buoi expressed her government’s readiness to support the bank to improve people’s living conditions. 

Some traders expressed commitment and promise to keep their money in the bank.  

Other traders said they wouldn’t travel far distances with money like Wau since the bank opened locally. 

“Since it has opened, the business community is relieved from the worries of keeping in the money in the grass thatched houses. We will now keep the money in this bank and sleep gently because keeping money in an unsafe place stresses people”. 

Ivory Bank is a commercial bank operated in South Sudan under the national banking regulator. The bank was one of the earlier financial institutions opened to serve the people’s banking needs in South Sudan.

In Warrap state, there is no banking institution since the Kenyan commercial Bank, KCB, closed in 2017. 

UN Chief opt support flood-affected families in South Sudan.

Head of United Nations Mission in South Sudan David Shearer has declared support to the floods affected people in the Bahr El Ghazal region and other parts of the Country.

Several areas are facing severe flooding this year, Jonglei, Unity, and the Lakes States.

According to the report published by UNHOCA on Oct 5, 2020, around 1.67 million people believe are internally displaced. “There has been a spike in food insecurity in Western Bahr el Ghazal due to recent severe flooding in August 2020”.

Mayardit FM [Turalei] spoked to the UN SRSG David Shearer in an inclusive interview on Thursday. He assured the public that his office would work with humanitarian agencies to support the flood-affected communities. And repair significant roads connecting the Counties in the state.

He acknowledged poor harvest this year due to flooding in some parts of the Country has caused hunger threats that make it challenging to end the malnutrition situation. 

Shearer mentioned that UN agencies include UNFOA, UNICEF, the World Food Program, and other NGOs that will take the leading role in supporting vulnerable people.

“You have flooding and the people looking for food, and with that, we have been in discussing with the world food program on how we can help these people. So, we are trying to help the areas affected. That is why we have been in discussion with the humanitarians.”

The press secretary to the governor of Warrap state, Mr. Albino Kuek, said  roads connecting the Counties will help improve insecurity, health, and others.

“When you renovate the road, it curves the security matters in all the County. It also helps reach flood-affected citizens and also helps deliver the requirements of the schools as well as medicines.”

Last year, the United States of America, former Ambassador to S-Sudan, Thomas Hushek, also assured their supports on developmental projects after conflict.

Sixteen people killed, 42 wounded in Tonj East’s fresh Fighting.

The local authority has reported that youth clashes in Tonj East County [Warrap State] have left sixteen people dead and forty two others wounded. The Fighting erupted over the weekend after 200 hundred cattle were raided by suspected youth from the Adoor community.

Police said the incident happened on Sunday in Padeet village between Luac Jang and Adoor communities’ armed youth. And only two people wounded.

Col: Maker Bath Kamich is the Police inspector in Tonj. He said the Fighting resumed on Monday morning, which leads to more casualties reported.  Mr. Bath was concerned about the absence of security forces to stop cattle stealing, leading to violence among the Tonj region communities.

“I am telling the community that stops fighting and stealing because been cattle raiding is the cause of the Fighting, so we tell them to stop, and they no understand us. Please don’t take your gun go for the raid, the owner of the cattle will leave you, which is why the Fighting started. Stealing and having guns on hand is the cause of death in the area. “He said.

Warrap state Governor Hon. Panek Biar said forces would be dispatched to the area if the fact-finding committee presents the August incident’s causes.

Multiple eyewitnesses in Tonj East County said more than thirty people had been killed when armed youth clashes with soldiers in August. The army suspended the disarmament campaign a few days later.

Biar said local authorities and traditional chief’s committee was formed to engage communities in peace before forces redeploying the forces. And calls the youth to embrace peace, stop the violence.

“Fighting cannot help the community, leave the Fighting, and starting with other things like development. People are suffering no good road, no drug in the area, because of those problems, these things are the problem people suffering, it is good to stop fright and let cooperated.” Biar stated.

Last week authorities in Tonj East reported calm returned to the area after 15 people injured in communal clashes between Luac Jang and Thiik.