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.

Kiir asks Jonglei citizens to embark on agriculture

The President of the Republic of South Sudan, Salva Kiir Mayardit, asks the people of Jonglei State to invest in agriculture to end poverty next year.

In his public remarked, the president has encouraged citizens to be self-reliant by boosting local food production to reduce importing food commodities from neighboring Countries.

Addressing hundreds of people gathered at Dr. John Garang Memorial University of Science and Technology on Thursday, the president sees local food production as the best investment to end the economic crisis.

Senior government officials accompanied Kiir include presidential advisor Kuol Manyang Juuk, Government spokesperson Michael Makuei and governor of Central Equatoria State.

The first time Kiir visited Bor since the conflict erupted in 2013 between his forces and those loyal to former Vice President Dr. Riek Machar.

“I was coming to visit you to see the impact of flood in the area. Indeed I have seen it remained of cows, and I believe this disaster has also taken the people’s lives. Another flood is coming, and people should prepare for it, and you will be supported as you are fighting the flood.”

Jonglei’s residents expected the president to address insecurity in greater Jonglei, such as child abduction, cattle raids, and communal violence between Dinka and Murle, but the president focused on flooding only.

The citizens anticipating the government to talk about the disaster management strategic plans to end floods in the area, brief citizens on remedies to address violence, repair roads, health, education, and end inter-communal violence in the State.

“The visit of President gave us hope; we wanted him as a president to improve insecurity, flood, health, and education as well.” 

According to UNMISS Human rights report this week, community-based militias were responsible for 78 percent of killings, injuries, abductions, and conflict-related sexual violence on civilians. 

The Annual Brief on Violence Affecting Civilians, released by the Human Rights Division of the United Nations Mission in South Sudan, documented killing 2,421 civilians in 2020, more than double the previous year.

President Kiir order suspension of South Supreme Airlines

South Sudan president Kiir Mayardit has directed the transport and Civil Aviation Authority ministry to suspended South Supreme Airline Operation.

The head of state was shocked by the recent plane crashed on Tuesday in Piere Payam of Uror County that killed ten people on board, including two crew members.

In 2018, a plane belonging to South West Company crashed in Eastern Lakes Regions killed 17. A similar aircraft crashed in 2020 for a cargo plane belongs to South West Aviation, killing seven people in Juba.

The majority of people who die in the recent plane crashed are six women, one child, and three men.

President Kiir sends his condolence message to families and friends whose relatives perished in the tragic incident.  

He warned, “for the nation to avoid air incidents before the laws governing civil aviation are strengthen through legislative means.”

President tabled suspension in accordance with the law as the best option to be prioritized. “This measure is necessary for these institutions to assert airworthiness of the remaining South Supreme planes. It is necessary to step to restore public confidence in the air travel in the country.”

The director for Civil Aviation at Bor Airstrip, Kuot John Akech, confirmed an incident. He says the South Supreme plane branded “L410” crashed immediately after leaving the runway at 4:05 PM. 

“The plane was carrying cargo from Juba to Pieri, and they got some people waiting at the airstrip to be taken to Juba. The passengers were 8 in number, six women, a young girl, and an older man. The crew members were two, Pilot and co-pilot. The plane was running to take off, and shortly after leaving the runway, it collapsed and caught fire. No one survived, Kuot echoed”

The cause of the plane crashed remained unconfirmed. The government dispatched a team from Juba to Jonglei states to investigate the crash.

In October 2019, four people survived with injuries after a plane crashed 12 KM away from Bor town while returning from Walgak to Juba.

Eight people killed over cattle raiding in Terekeka County

At least eight people have been killed and six others injured during the cattle raiding incident in Terekeka County over the weekend.

An incident happened on Saturday after gunmen stormed the Kuacjuwa cattle camp at Gura Payam.

Acting Executive Director in Terekeka County Hillary John Konga said death causalities are five cattle owners and three attackers.

Local Administrator claimed attackers believed coming from neighboring Awerial County. He called his counterpart to arrest the culprits.

“Yesterday in the morning, I received a problem in the cattle camp called Kuacjuwa. Some youths from Awerial killed people in the attack, four people killed, including a girl and six others injured in the fight.’’

Acting Executive Director in Awerial County Alfred Adult has confirmed the incident, citing that forces have been dispatched to apprehend the suspects.

He warned young people to cease cattle raids and promote peaceful coexistence among the neighboring Communities.

“We have started the investigation, we call the local chief of the suspect raiders to name their people behind this attack, and even these people have some people from Abuyung that need the Payam administrator.

I’m appealing to those who have been attacked to respect the highway if nobody would cause insecurity along the main road even, we had several things happen, but people forgive, but this issue will involve government to be in it to find the cause to be addressed immediately.’’

In November 2020, six people were killed, and thousands of cows were looted at the Tali area after suspected Mundari gunmen attacked the camp.

Nearly 1,000 primary candidates in IO areas start the exam. 

More than 900 primary eight candidates who missed out in the exams in areas under IO have started sitting for Primary Leaving Examinations on Monday.

Last week, the Ministry of General Education suspended the exams for the candidates in the SPLM-IO controlled areas cited fear of insecurity.

An ultimate compromise was later reached after series of engagements from the Unity government include donors supporting the South Sudan education sector. 

Simon Nyok is the secretary-general for the national examination council in South Sudan.

He says the candidates started today [Monday] expected to finalize this week, and exams will be marks in Juba. The Education Minister rescheduled the exam in two states of Upper Nile and Jonglei.

Nyok says the examinations being undertaken by the candidates are authenticated and free from malpractice.

“They started the examination this week and would continue to the close of the week…we know that the exams were airlifted on Saturday to Centers where candidates are to sit for their exams.”

UNICEF announced that it delivered examination papers to seven counties in South Sudan where exams were postponed. Primary 8 candidates who missed out on their exams last week would sit today, Monday, 15 February.

“This was an important mission for UNICEF as access to education is a right for every child, regardless of location,” said Andrea Suley, UNICEF South Sudan Representative a.i. “I’m pleased with UNICEF’s ability to mobilize quickly with partners and deliver the examination papers on time. What remains is to wish the children the best of luck.”

The UN Children Agency said it delivered face masks for the students, hand sanitizers, and soap for handwashing to maintain COVID-19 guidelines throughout the examination.

UNICEF reiterated its commitment to collects the exam papers at the end of the week and bringing them to Juba for marking.

The Transitional Constitution of South Sudan, 2011 (as amended) article 29 guarantees every Child a right to education.

Vice president Igga asks Jonglei chiefs to regulate price of dowries.

South Sudan Vice president for Economic Cluster James Wani Igga has called local chiefs in Jonglei State to regulated traditional bride dowries.

The top leader was addressing delegations at peace conference in Juba on Monday.  Mr Igga attributed high bride dowries as a source to rampant cattle raiding.

Jonglei and Pibor experienced long-term youth inter-communal violence on cattle rustling, revenge killing, and children abduction.

In his speech, the vice president was so concerned about rampant cattle raiding that escalated insecurity threats among the innocent people.

Some community members believed that the traditional highest bride marriage in the communities forced young people to raids other people’s cows to get married.

Wani urged chiefs to sit down with their communities to reduce the bride price so that youth stop engaging in cattle rustling.

“High bride price, the wealth you need your youth to marry need to be reduced. It is not fair to sell your daughter like a car. If there is no wealth, this causes the proceeds of raiding too. This needs the chiefs of Jonglei to intervene because youth who have no cows go and raid to get more cows to marry.”

The Acting Paramount Chief of Bor County Sultan Malaak Ayuen disputed the suggestion. He said local chiefs have no powers to dictate traditional marriage and cannot preside over marriage processes.

“The chiefs have no powers to rule over marriages. The fathers and the relatives of the girls are the main characters of the marriage. They determine whether to give their daughter with a small number of cows or, not but chiefs have no authority in this case.”

Chief Malaak says the official bride price is 30 cows in Jonglei state, but some people increased it to hundreds of cows depend on their will.

ECSS denied allegations of deporting its Bishops to Juba.

The Episcopal Church of South Sudan has denied any linked that result to deportation of two Bishops at Bor airport to Juba on chaos associated with disagreement.

The controversial dispute occurred at the airport immediately after they landed on Saturday, January 23. Security forced the church leaders to return back into aircraft citing their safety could not be granted.

“The two bishops refused to go back into the aircraft arguing that they did not understand the reason why they should go back to Juba. The aircraft left without them and later they were brought back on a vehicle to Juba,” ECSS stated.

Church leadership refuted an incident as issue with “no connection of wrangles over the power.”

Manyang Gabriel Kon worked for ECSS in Juba. He blamed security personnel for forcing two bishops to return to Juba upon their arrival in Bor. Gabriel said this is the third incident that has happened to ECSS bishops in Bor town

Emotional Photos of bishop and airport staff fighting went viral on social media platforms over the weekend. Photo shared shown the securities were blocking and pushing bishop back to the airport. And it was later denied.

Gabriel condemned the action. He said members of the ECS Church are being targeted by Jonglei State Capital Bor town’s security forces.

“It’s not clear to us because there were some people who wanted to attack Bishops, but they were going to Bor. To our surprise, the airport’s security personnel forced the Bishops and wanted to take them back to the airport”

“When you look at this situation, it’s not the one who is being attacked that’s harassed. However, the ones that are attacking them should be the ones being controlled, so this one is not clear to us why the officials in Bor are just targeting ECS workers in Bor,” said Manyang.

Police Commissioner Maj. Gen. Joseph Mayen said the security decision of ordering two bishops to return to Juba is to calm tension within the Church congregation.

He explained police department response came after tension increased among the youth at the airport during the bishops’ arrival.

They shouldn’t blame the government; instead, the government is giving them protection. They are supposed to cooperate with the government. The government has nothing with them; only what the government wants is the life of the civilians,” Mayen clarified.

Bishop of Jonglei Internal Province Archbishop Ruben Akurdit was seen having long term disputes with ECSS Primate Justine Badi, which triggered division within the Church.

Yirol hospital shut down after health workers contracted COVID-19

Authorities Yirol West county in Lakes said they have closed county main hospital after 7 health workers contracted the virus on Monday.

Health workers were confirmed virus-positive during public, voluntary testing. The Yirol Hospital has indefinitely suspended its operation with immediate effects.

Medic said COVID-19 patients have been advised to stay at homes as the government works closely with partners to establish isolation centers.

Dr. Marial Chuir said 23 people were identified direct contacts with patients are traced, and their samples have been taken for lab analysis.

He explained the seven cases were detected within the sample of twenty-seven people who turn up for voluntarily testing on Friday last week.

According to Dr. Marial emergency department in the hospital is permitted to provide medical services in seven days.

“We want those without cases to maintain protected themselves not to be infected by the disease. We want everyone to observe preventive measures by keeping social distancing. The public gathering needs to be avoided and minimize hand shaking as now in Greater Lakes. We have listed several cases that make us reach over twenty-five confirm cases of coronavirus, which is the first time in Yirol to record cases.’’ Said Maria.

Medical doctors appealed to the citizens to follow health guidelines and avoid public gatherings to prevent contracting coronavirus.

South Sudan has recorded three thousand eight hundred and eighty-two cases of COVID-19 since the pandemic began last year. The Government taskforce lifted the restriction on coronavirus despite the rising number of instances daily.

Four policemen killed; 6 wounded in Lakes State fresh clashes

In Lakes State, the police have reported four of its officers killed and six sustained gunshot injuries in a new cattle raid incident.

The fighting occurred at Yirol West County on Tuesday morning; no suspect arrested so far.

Police spokesperson Capt. Elijah Mabior said suspected arm cattle raiders from Rumbek East stormed Majama cattle at Yirol West County, raiding unknown livestock numbers.  But police promised to recover cattle looted during the attack.

He stated that casualties among the attackers and the cattle owners are unknown. 

Cattle raiding occurred on the day State governor Hon. Makur Kulang launched his peace campaign in greater Yirol Counties on Monday.

“We received information about cattle raiding yesterday in Yirol west County. Police officers were sent to recover the livestock, but unfortunately, they fall under attack from unknown arms groups.”

 Three officers were killed on the spot, and one policeman died a short while ago—the wounded policemen, including the head of the mission. So, officers return without cattle recovered.”

The police spokesman further says wounded officers are treated at Mapourdit hospital.

Yirol West County Executive Director James Dhour has confirmed the cattle raiding but says he did not have comprehensive information.

Gunmen killed infants, kidnaped two boys in Bor

Attackers in Jonglei State have killed an 8-month-old baby and kidnapped two children aged 13 and 15 at Pagok village in Jonglei State on Saturday. All victims are from one family.

Police said the mother and her children came under attack while footing on a feeder road heading to Cha-Akau village after leaving Bor town.

Maj. Gen. Joseph Mayen is the Commissioner of Police. He said the mother of the abducted children was freed unharmed.

General Joseph says the slain infant’s body was found by the local youth who were following abductors a few hours later after children were kidnapped.

“the criminals live in the bushes, and they do have their coordinated plan of what to do, there are only a few villages that people live, but these criminals do disturb, they can ambush the people. The youth do patrol around. Women are vulnerable, older people are vulnerable, and children are vulnerable too. So, the youth shouldn’t allow women to move alone in the bushes.”

Child abductions and cattle raiding among Jonglei neighboring communities rose during the dry seasons for years. Several peace initiatives conducted did not end the kidnapping and cattle raiding activities in the area.

According to the Police, no suspect being arrested so far. Authority in Bor claimed the attackers are believed to be from Pibor Administrative Area, an allegation that couldn’t independently be verified.

In July last year, South Sudan’s Vice President James Wani Igga was tasked to mediate peace among Jonglei communities. He promised that the government had taken decisive decisions to restore security.

VP Igga appealed to community leaders to support the government’s effort for peace and stability, emphasizing that peace is necessary for development and prosperity.