South Sudan and Kenya agree to open Nadapal border for trucks

Eastern Equatoria state government and Turkana County of Kenya have agreed to open the Nadapal border as an alternative highway to ease the movement of trucks into South Sudan

The Minister of Information in eastern Equatoria was in the border over the weekend to seal the deal on behalf of his government.

Earlier this month, the two countries reached an agreement to upgrade the roads to ease the movement of goods and services. That road construction said was started last week.

The passenger’s vehicle has been able to access the roads beside trucks due to numerous challenges, including insecurity and poor road condition, a driver said. It’s remained unclear what government would do to improve the situation.

Kenyan trucks drivers used the Nimule highway through Uganda into South Sudan.

Hon Patrick Oting Cyprian, Minister of Information in Eastern Equatoria state. He says the move is part of the Northern Corridor agreement, in which South Sudan was a member. 

We discuss that small piece of land that was supposed to be graded to allow for the Nadapal border to be open so that the tracks can start moving from there because Nimule Border is so congested with so many trucks, he said

Hon Patrick Oting states that the road’s opening will bring about relative peace between the bordering communities. 

“If this border is open, even these issues of counter revenge and cattle raiding will stopInstead of going for raiding, they will consider building the hotel and doing other things. That’s the importance of opening the border to be open, Oting added.

Last week, several people posted on social media stated the Kenyan army crossed inside South Sudan. Authority admitted the move but cautioned that it was not an attempt to invade the country by foreign forces.

Minister, Oting says the Kenyan soldiers were only in Nadapal to patrol the road construction on Thursday last week. He revealed the agreement to allow the South Sudanese army to take charge of the security and safety of construction workers that will enable Kenya to pull back its troops.

Kapoeta & Aweil celebrate Rural Women’s Day

Community of Kapoeta, Eastern Equatoria have celebrated International Rural Women’s day under the Theme “Building rural women’s resilience in the wake of COVID-19.

The day is commemorated on Oct 15 globally to recognize the role of rural women in development and food security to end poverty. Several women display their produces during the event in Kapoeta and Aweil towns in South Sudan.

Lore Josephine is the senior Gender base Violence officer working for an Alight organization in Kapoeta.

She says the government and partners should work together to support women in the field of Agriculture to reduce hunger in the state.

“For us to make these women silver, we need to provide complete protection to them whenever they are going to get their tools. Women and girls are exposed to danger, and they need full protection to ensure they realize their dream,” she said.

The Deputy Chairlady of Kapoeta Women Association encourages fellow females to participate in agricultural activities to produce enough food for their families.

Cecilia Namoi Achuma says Agriculture is the country’s backbone, and every person should engage in it rather than depending on humanitarian support.

Several women and girls also turnout to celebrates the day in Aweil, Northern Bahr el Ghazal State. They expressed willingness to produces food despite devastated flooding that destroyed their crops.

Some women spokes to Akol Yam 91.0 FM Aweil.

“We are happy that the partners and our government have recognized us today. We are very people who suffer and facing a lot of challenges, especially home responsibilities. We are asking for support like seeds, farming skills for us to produces our food”.

“We need farming tools and skill so that we can plant more vegetables and reliance on our own.

“Our government will be able to get back to us with good information because we are now expecting to be trained on planting vegetables and finding food for our families.”

Northern Bahr Ghazal state minister of agriculture Anei Deng Akok says he will work with partners to empower rural women.

Deng started his ministry mandate to implement a food security project to provide rural women with training and other supports.

The United Nations’ International Day of Rural Women celebrates and honors women and girls living in rural areas on Oct 15 each year. It recognizes the considerable role that rural mothers, daughters, and grandmothers play in producing food and building agricultural and rural development worldwide.

Toposa and Didinga communities resolve to end conflict

The Toposa and Didinga communities in greater Kapoeta have resolved to end bloodshed and pave way for peace following a three days peace dialogue organized by Nyakirikit Consortium Organization in Ngauro Payam of Budi County this week.

The peace conference began on Monday and ended on Wednesday this week.

The two communities have agreed that those who will violate peace agreement will be arrested and handed over to the government to face the law.

The residents attending the peace dialogue have welcomed the peace treaty between the two communities.

“Fighting is really bad we give birth to children but they go and die through revenge killing for both side it is really bad and when people go for gold mining, garden or collect firewood they are being killed for nothing we have agreed to end this,” said one resident about the peace dialogue.

The two communities during the peace conference resolved that anyone found raiding cows or goats will pay the double number of animals they took.

They also agreed to share grazing lands but on agreed terms to avoid conflict.

Clement Loboya who is the deputy secretary general for Nyakirikit says the aim of the peace dialogue is to bring together the two communities to end cattle raiding and revenge killings.

He explained that their organization is working hard to deliver services to the local communities together with help of the government for better development.

“We started implementing peace process with inspiration in implement other developmental services to the communities, this is the first of its kind. We first started in Budi – Buya communities in Kimotong,” said Clement Loboya.

The county commissioner of Budi appreciated Nyakirikit Consortium for the initiative.

Hon. Akileo Mboya Peter Anyanga said when there is peace among the communities, there is easy development of the state.

He explained that the government is working hard to provide security and developmental programs to the citizens.

“The document we signed here is a good, it will bring peace. For us the peace for today means there will be no more bloodshed in our communities. What is remaining is us the government to provide you with clean water, schools, hospitals, medicines for the animals and seeds for people to cultivate,” said Akileo Mboya

He is urging youths to refrain from cattle raid and revenge killing and should follow the resolutions agreed in the conference.

A Triplet’s mother calls for support

A mother who gave birth to triplets in Kapoeta Civil Hospital is calling for humanitarian assistance.

Regina Napeyok says she cannot produce enough milk for her three male babies due to a lack of food.

According to her, the husband and relatives never came to visit her since she was brought to the hospital on Monday.

“God has decided to give me these children. Toposa people couldn’t believe I gave birth yesterday. God helped me to reach here in the hospital so that I get help. I really got good support from the doctors here,” said Napeyok.

Napeyok is calling on the government and well-wishers to provide support to her for the better health of the kids.

“Let people help me, am not producing milk for the kids. I am saying people need to help me give food to eat I have nothing now and my husband has run away,” she said

Dorothy Abua, the health officer in charge of the maternity ward at Kapoeta Civil Hospital says Napeyok needs urgent help because she has nothing to feed on.

According to Dorothy the children are in good health but the mother lacks enough blood due to loss of blood during delivery.

“It is was yesterday in the morning that we received a mother from a PHCC she came with triplets live baby boys and the mother had retained product she came on the ground and we received her and we removed retained product but she bled a lot because she gave birth before yesterday and this mother currently is in need of much help there is no breast milk and there is no food for her,” said Dorothy.

She added that CCM organization managed to contribute 50 Kgs of maize flour, soaps, three basins and others but says is not enough.

Dorothy further stated that men should not abandon their wives during delivery because the child is a blessing from God.

“If the husband is to be right here with the mother maybe if the husband could support the mother psychologically because at night they may want to breastfeed the mother want to rest the husband can help it is a curse it is a blessing there are some people who are in need to triplets and they cannot get so we can encourage her and the people of this community that is not a curse but blessing,” explained Dorothy.

She is urging the public to avoid abandoning their loved ones during difficult times.

Police officers detained after theft at police station in Torit

Four police officers have been detained for investigation after thieves broke into the traffic police offices and walked away with three million pounds. The suspected officers were on duty during the incident.

Police say the money stolen on Thursday night was an income generated through vehicle plates issuing to the public.

The acting director for traffic police in Eastern Equatoria, Lieutenant Colonel Faruk Yousif says the investigators will decide the prime suspect to pay the money.

“Yes, stealing has happened in our office, but investigation is still ongoing. If the government’s properties are stolen, its investigations are done at police office,” said Lt. Col. Faruk Yousif.

“We have not yet confirmed how much the money is because people who are working in the place of money are at police custody. That is the money of every week, after report, this money is send every Friday to Juba because this is the money of the companies. By then these companies, they have account, but up to now they have not given us account for us to remit in; we are sending through money transfer. Every Friday we send this money and this money was stolen on Thursday night, it has not reached Friday,” he added.

Yousif further explained that the premises were guarded by four police officers, but they failed to secure the area.

When asked about public property safety, the officer said thieves are everywhere and are uncontrollable.

“Four people were working, but this compound is big. A thief does not know office of security or any office. A thief is everywhere only on judgement day, but any place where there is human being, a thief is there. There is not place where he is there and place where he is not. Even in the office of national security, these are human being, they are not angels and so a place where there is a human being, there is a crime,” said Faruk Yousif.

Police Inspector in Torit Municipal Council who is the spokesperson for police in Eastern Equatoria Major Justine Kelopaus Takuru told Singaita that the real suspected thieves are on run and authorities will continue hunting for them.

“The report is true. We opened a case and sent official there and found there is breakdown of the door. They broke the office of the director and jump over to the finance office. They break the box and took a lot of money, two million seven hundred and sixty five thousand. A case is opened and investigation in ongoing,” said Major Justine Kelopaus Takuru.

The theft at the Police station has raised concern from the public about the safety of their properties.

SPLA-IO general in EES defects to SSPDF

Brigadier General Solomon Peter Angelo | TRC

By Sisto Ohide Gideon and Everlye Losike

As Defection continue to hit the main armed opposition party to the peace agreement in South Sudan, a senior SPLA-IO in Eastern Equatoria has announced his defection to President Salva Kiir’s side becoming the first commander to defect in the state.

Brigadier General Solomon Peter Angelo declared his allegiance to South Sudan People’s Defense forces under President Kiir command. He says blames his former Chairman of mismanaging the affairs of the party and abandoning soldiers at the training and cantonment sites.

General Solomon who defected from Rambur Training Center was the former administrator in AnyaNya Division in Aswa Cantonment site and was attending training as a senior police office at the centre.

In a letter seen by Singaita FM, he alleged that the party is no longer relevant with political realities for which it was formed for.

General Peter says his defection comes after realizing that his former party chairman lost the direction to control the movement.

He says IO is now divided and he is not interested to go back to the bush.

“Our chairman is already lost his direction to the movement, this is the reason why I don’t want to again be with him, and we IOs we are now divided, Simon Gatwech already got his side” his resignation letter reads in part.

“I’m a son of Eastern Equatoria, I don’t want to go back to the bush. If those people now they are divided why would I still stay with IO? Let me join my citizens, let me join my government rather than to go back to the bush, that is why I decided to join the government because our chairman is now messed up,” the letter reads.

Brigadier General Solomon Peter says he was warmly received by the National security service in Lira. He says his defection is effective from seventh of September 2021

SPLM/A-IO spokesperson confirm the defection of General Solomon to SSPDF.

Colonel Lam Paul Gabriel describes the defection as a violation to the peace deal.

“We know about that so I don’t think it is right for him to claim that he move from SPLA-IO; SPLA-IO have already handed him over to the transitional government of National Unity where he is going to be a national, if he suppose a soldier a national army, but he suppose a police officer not the one loyal to the party, but he decided to move back one step forward, that means a backward and now defect to SSPDF. It is surprising, but as far as the agreement is concern is a violation. For us SPLA-IO we look at that as a violation of the highest order something that need to really be stop. This, culture of defection is not helping. We just surprise that he declared his defection to the SSPDF from Lira

General Solomon blamed the SPLA-IO for abandoning the forces at the training centre and cantonment sites, but Paul dismissed the claims saying it is not the responsibility of the party any more.

Colonel Lam says the Joint Defense Force, joint monitoring ceasefire commission and National Transitional committee chaired by Tut Gatlauk is responsible for the training and cantonment centers.

When asked about implementation of security arrangement, the military spokesperson says there are people who are against the implementation.

“There are people who are against the implementation of security arrangement in particular the unification of command and the graduation of these forces. These crossing over is sponsored, I know there are challenges,” said Lam Paul, the SPLA-IO spokesperson.

“We need to be nationalistic with the national agenda to stabilize this country for the greater good, but crossing over is not going to solve this problem, is going to create more problem. Instead of moving forward is dragging the feet of everyone backward, but I would like to assure our people in the Eastern Equatoria that the defection is not going to cause us any challenges, he move as an individual.”

Col. Lam Paul assure the people of Eastern Equatoria state that the defection will not cause any changes to the peace implementation process.

Defection has continue to hit the SPLM/A-IO party with many senior Generals and political figures accusing the party’s leadership of failing to control the army and it structures.

Labong reiterates commitment to peace implementation

The Governor of Eastern Equatoria state has repeated his government’s commitment to implement the revitalized peace agreement.

Hon Louis Labong Lojore said the government would continue to disseminate the agreement to citizens in remote areas and ensure they participate in the process.

He called the International community to support South Sudan achieve peace through the deal parties signed in 2018

The governor made remarks during three days’ workshop UN Mission in South Sudan organized under the theme “working together and consolidating peace through political engagement and good governance’.’ It aims to create a conducive environment for implementing the revitalized peace agreement.

Labong said the government is using the available resources for the state’s sustainable development.

 “We in eastern Equatoria are so much committed to the implementation of the peace agreement. We are very much to reconciliation using the little resource that we have for sustainable development”. 

Lojore emphasized the need for a strategic plan to mobilize local resources to shun dependency on foreign aids.

“We must plan to liberate ourselves from dependence on foreign aids. Chiefs, we should not wait for help from people every day. I am hearing our people are now used to that when food will come, when UN will bring food, these should stop and let’s produce our food.” 

The Head of the UNMISS field office in Torit, Caroline Waudu, called the political leaders to accept criticism and work for peace, unity, and development. She said the forum UN initiated is hoping to help leaders discuss issues affecting peace implementation.

 “The forum is aimed at creating a very conducive environment for the implementation of the revitalized peace agreement, including cooperation among the appointed officials and the peace partners collectively. We need to develop our state, provide security, and deliver services to each citizen in Eastern Equatoria.

“Leaders need to understand one another and respect each other’s ideas even if they belong to a different political party or hold a different opinion. I call on you as leaders to handle criticism constructively in a mature way and work for peace, unity, development of every citizen of Eastern Equatoria”, said Waudu.

The forum brought together traditional chiefs, youth, women leaders, and top government officials at the state, including Commissioners and state Ministers, on Friday 25th June.

Day of African Child commemorates in Kapoeta

Hundreds of residents in Kapoeta town gathered at Freedom Square to commemorate the “Day of African child” with calls to protect children and support their education.

In 1991, the OAU Organisation of African Unity, the current African Union, dedicated 16 June as Day to honors those who participated in the Soweto Uprising in 1976.

The Director-General for Gender, child and social welfare, Mr. Thomas Nawi, encourages partner NGOs to work together for the children’s freedom.

 “I encourage all the partners to put their hands together in such occasion that lead to help people in the entire people in the communities in this country to reflect freedom and human right we are to give a chance to all children in all time to remember freedom children not allow to exercise.”

The Manager of an International NGO known as Root of Generation, Clement Loboi, said their responsibility to create a conducive environment for children would not stop.

“The implementation of the plan 2040 for an Africa fir for children is indeed our effort to make sure we create a conducive environment for our children we know in our daily lives in our homes, in our communities in our school’s children under a lot of challenges our children are not getting access to proper education they are not getting adequate access to health care due to lack of health care facilities.” 

Save the Children’s Child protection officer Joseph Lokulang told the parents to prepare their children for a better future.

“We need to support children, give them maximum support in our community. We need to ensure that their needs are met, and through doing this, we can be able to give children a perfect environment to go.”

The Day of African Child is commemorate annually on 16th June.

Red Cross condemns attack of its workers in Torit

South Sudan Red Cross has condemned the youth attack of office at Torit Eastern Equatoria State. Unidentified mob crowds attack Red Cross on May 31st, assaulting humanitarian workers.  

Six staff and two volunteer members were reportedly assaulted, forcing the branch to suspend its activities over an incident temporarily.  The motive of the attack remains unclear. 

Secretary-General of South Sudan Red Cross John Labor says the attack on humanitarian workers was unacceptable. He announced his office is engaging the community to resolve the matter.  

It is not the first-time humanitarians’ workers suffered attacks in South Sudan. Several incidents related to intimidation and killing of aid workers have been reported in some parts of the country.  

“We call the community leaders and authorities to ensure the safety of our staff, volunteers, and property to facilitate Red Cross’s work,” said John. 

The police department confirmed that investigating is underway to hold perpetrators accountable. 

Justine Kelopas Takuru Police spokesperson in Eastern Equatoria state narrated the incident occurred at Omoliha market MTN center; although the victim was beaten, he is safe.  

“Angry youths confiscate vehicle keys from the driver. We are following the law, according to the statement of the investigation,” Kelopas said. 

South Sudan Red Cross has been working in Torit Eastern Equatoria State since 2004 on nutrition, health, water, and sanitation programs.  

Last month, Monye-Miji petitioned the ministry of public service, labor, and human resource development demanding fair employment in the NGOs sector in the counties of greater Torit. 

Kenyan denied the accusation of attacking civilians in Nadapal

Authority of Kapoeta in Eastern Equatoria state has accused Kenya forces of undiplomatic harassment of civilians at the border of Nadapal.

Souring undiplomatic tension occurred after Kenyan forces being seen violating regional boundary, attacking South Sudan forces, and raided 47 goats, according to Kapoeta East County Commissioner.

Commissioner of Kapoeta East County Abdullah Angelo Lokeno says Kenya’s force launched a provocative attack after Kenyan authority purported that South Sudanese have stolen their “iron sheet,” making them attacking SSPDF military barrack.

State government investigation confirmed that Kenya Police Reserved was considered as people behind lingering attacks. 

“The problem, our brothers from Kenya, accused our civilians that they are stealing iron sheets yesterday at 2:00 PM according to their information. But from our side of South Sudan, there is nothing like that. They shot at our barrack, opening fire. They get out from their barrack and come up to near our barrack”. 

Border dispute remains a significant factor of conflict at Nadapal between South Sudanese and Kenyan authorities. Kenya forces were alleged of killing civilians and grabbing some land in South Sudan’s territory.

Lokichoggio administrator (ACC), who identified himself as Omono, disputed his forces offensive to South Sudan territory.

He acknowledged the border incident but branded it as a “minor case his officers at the border only tried scared the kids who attempted to steal government property at the border.”

Mr. Omono uses a counter-attack by accusing the South Sudanese military of testing their weapons towards Kenya, but the matter was resolved, and their highway is safe.

“The report I have is that there was an incident of vandalism last night. Some kids came to steal Kenyan government property at the border, and they were scared away by our officers”.

“Another report I have is an incident where the South Sudanese military tested some of their weapons; they shot them facing the Kenyan side and flew right inside Kenya. When we realized that there is that firing towards our side, we contacted the military commander of the other side, and he gave clarification, and we resolved the matter.”

Toposa communities of South Sudan’s Eastern Equatoria State and the Turkana in neighboring Kenya were involved in a prolonged conflict caused by cattle raids and disputes over water sources.