Kopuri Pupil writes to UNMISS calling for passenger tricycle to easy education process.

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Photo from  Masterweb Reports

Photo from Masterweb Reports

Pupil at kopuri Primary school last Saturday  addressed a letter to UNMISS Rwanda contingent urging the UN agent to buy for him a passenger tricycle  to help him move to school as well raise some money for school fee during free time to pay him and his followers.

Simon Wani Sarafino a primary five pupil during the celebration of the UN International Day says it is difficult for him to move alone to school if there is no one to push him calling on the UMISS or any well wisher to provide him with a means of transport that he can ride without being pushed.

He currently uses hand cycles which requires someone to help push him as two of his legs are paralyzed stating that if given a machine that uses fuel other than extra human strengthen he could easily move long distances alone.

‘’I write this letter to you so that you can be able to help me. I am disabled and I use this bicycle for going to school. I have no money. I live here in Kopuri and use this wheel chair (referring to the hand cycle) to go to school but when it rains and no one pushes you it is terrible,’’ he says.

Wani who looks educationally interested to get to any level says he started going to school since 2009 until 2014 using the hand cycle through difficulties that is why he asked the UN to buy for him the passenger tricycle that uses petrol so that it reduces his problems. He adds that he could also start ferrying passengers during free time to earn money for him and his followers since to drive passenger tricycle require the uses of hands.

The pupil says his father who is an army has low pay that can’t let him (Wani) attain his desired education goal adding that he currently resorted to raising his school fee by blacksmith making arrows.

He though says he uses the money he raised through black smith to buy goats and sell when school starts; he adds the money he raises could not cater for his fee and that of his followers.

Rwanda UN Contingent is constructing Kopuri primary school along Juba Yambio road.

The UN forces received the letter and confirmed they would look in to Wani’s request.

Generally in South Sudan and Gudele residential area a suburb in Juba particularly road to Kopuri there are many passenger tricycle operators earning money for their pockets a business that might have attracted Wani to join and get money.

Most youths, nationals and foreigners including some elderly in Juba pay themselves and their children in school by operating  commercial motor cycle commonly known as ‘BODA BODA’ in East Africa and ‘OKADA’ in Nigeria.

UNSC expected to renew UNMISS mandate in South Sudan.

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The United Nations Security Council in its November monthly focus posted on Thursday says they are likely to renew the Mandate of their mission in South Sudan prior to expiration date November 30th 2014.

In their focus the Council says underlying key issue continues to be the need to find a political solution to the crisis adding that without a durable settlement, the fighting will likely get worse and the suffering of civilians will increase when the dry season begins creating conditions that facilitate enhanced movement.

‘’Another key issue is what role the Council, in conjunction with the broader UN system and other actors, can play in strengthening the ability of UNMISS to protect civilians, facilitate humanitarian access and uphold human rights,’’ States the focus.

The council stresses that the other   important issue is how to approach the question of accountability for the perpetrators of serious human rights violations.

The UNSC adds that the AU Commission of Inquiry is expected to release a report in November with recommendations for healing, reconciliation and accountability for human rights violations in South Sudan.

‘’Given the fluid situation on the ground, it is possible that the Council may hold one or more additional meetings to discuss South Sudan during the month.’’  UNSC says.

‘’The most likely option is for the Council to renew UNMISS, maintaining a streamlined mandate focusing on protection of civilians, facilitation of humanitarian access and human rights monitoring.’’ The UNSC stressed.

The UN agent says they would decide to implement targeted sanctions such as an assets freeze and travel ban on spoilers to the peace process who have committed gross violations of international human rights and humanitarian law; impose an arms embargo on the country and refer the situation in South Sudan to the ICC.

The council further adds that they may also urge troop- and police-contributing countries to expedite the deployment of remaining authorized personnel, with supporting equipment, to help the mission operate at full capacity; call for the use of community liaison assistants to help UNMISS peacekeepers enhance dialogue with local communities and get timely information about potential threats, as has been done constructively in the UN Stabilisation Mission in the Democratic Republic of the Congo; and make a special request for donors to fulfill the 2014 Crisis Response Plan for South Sudan, which was funded at only 61.3 percent at press time ($1.1 billion of $1.8 billion requested).

The Council could also choose to invite Olusegun Obasanjo, the chair of the AU Commission of Inquiry on South Sudan, to brief on the Commission’s report the focus added.

http://www.securitycouncilreport.org/monthly-forecast/2014-11/south_sudan_12.php

U.S. Condemns Violence in South Sudan’s Unity State

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The United States in a Statement  on Thursday condemns the latest attacks by Sudan People’s Liberation Movement /Army – In Opposition (SPLM/A – IO) in and around Bentiu, South Sudan.

The U.S. Department of State Spokesperson Jen Psaki say since last December, thousands of people have been killed and millions have fled their homes due to the senseless man-made conflict in South Sudan.

‘’ Despite the parties’ recent acceptance of collective responsibility for the crisis, these current attacks demonstrate that the SPLM/A-IO has yet to abandon violence to achieve its goals,’’ reads the statement

‘’We call on both sides – both of whom have committed violations of the agreement that have delayed peace –  to ensure their forces refrain from further actions that violate the January 23 Cessation of Hostilities Agreement and undermine the peace process in South Sudan,’’ The U.S. Department of State Spokesperson Jen Psaki says.

The statement maintains that as the conflict persists and the humanitarian crisis continues to reach even more appalling levels, it is more urgent than ever to respect previous agreements to end the hostilities, cease the recruitment and mobilization of forces, including that of child soldiers, and engage earnestly in inclusive negotiations.

‘’No party should use these latest attacks as an excuse not to engage in the peace process or not to work in good faith to negotiate all necessary elements of a sustainable political transition, achieve a sustainable peace and restore national unity,’’ the US department stressed .

US says they  remind all parties of the need to guarantee that UNMISS sites and personnel are protected and that UN and other humanitarian agencies have safe, unfettered access to people in need of assistance.

‘’The United States remains committed to the people of South Sudan and is determined to hold accountable those who choose violence, standing ready to place sanctions on those who obstruct peace, commit human rights abuses and violations, and block humanitarian assistance,’’ The U.S. Department of State Spokesperson Jen Psaki says.

Journalist can nail Democracy; respect to human rights in a country civil society says a head of International Day to End Impunity.

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Community Empowerment for progress Organization on Thursday told reporters during a press conference at the Association for Media Development in South Sudan -AMDISS building that Journalist are the nails for Democracy and respect to human rights in any state that want to promote the two.

The press conference that brought together UNESCO, End Impunity Organization, Union of Journalist in South Sudan, Community Empowerment for progress Organization and South Sudanese media consultant was prearranged to inform the public on the celebrations of the International  Day to End Impunity  that will be conducted on November 2  2014.

‘’If you want ensure that you want nail democracy and respect of human rights in your state, the nail is journalist,’’ Edimon Yakani CEPO Executive Director says.

The executive director says they annually conduct survey to registers cases against journalist and media houses adding that full report will be launched on November 2 covering the period from 15 December until the current time.

He says there are three major cases of impunity in Juba, Awiel and Bor adding that 10 cases of harassment, intimidation of journalist across the country mainly in Juba, Torit, Kwajok, Yei Awiel and Wau were recorded.

Yakani adds that these do not only end up in the private Media, he says it goes to the public media houses only that they do not report.

CEPO points out that there are four cases of arbitrary arrest and detention in Juba, Wau and Awiel with two Independent News Papers being confiscated in Juba, One Independent Radio station shut down in Juba, two cases of threats of Possible shut down of independent radio stations in Yei, Wau and Awiel.

15 percent registered cases as impunity, 50 percent are harassment and intimidation, 20 percent shows arbitrary arrest and detention, 10 percent constitutes confiscation of news papers and 5 percent of independent radio stations being shut down, he discloses.

Angelina Daniel from the End Impunity Origination in South Sudan associated the culture of impunity in South Sudan to the problem of rule of law calling on law enforcement agents to stick to their job to ensure that it is followed.

She notes while expressing her happiness to UNESCO that journalist in the country always faces problem when they write political stories related to corruption.

In December 2013, the United Nations General Assembly adopted a landmark resolution on journalist safety and proclaimed 2 November as the International Day to End Impunity making it the first time the General Assembly adopted a resolution directly addressing journalists’ safety and the issue of impunity.

UNESCO head of office in Juba and Country Representative to South Sudan Salah Khaled says the UN Plan of Action calls for addressing Impunity which is understood as the failure to bringing perpetrators of human rights violations to justice because it perpetuates the cycle of violence against journalist.

‘’The safety of Journalist and the struggle against impunity for their killers are essential to preserve the fundamental right to freedom of expression guaranteed by Article 19 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights,’’Khaled says ‘’while the problem of impunity is not restricted to the failure to investigate the murders of Journalist and Media workers, the curtailment of their expression deprives society as a whole of their journalistic contribution and results in wider impact on press freedom where a climate of intimidation and violence leads to self censorship’’.

Freedom of expression is an individual right for which no one should be killed he stresses adding that it is a collective right which empowers populations through facilitating dialogue, participation and democracy making autonomous and sustainable development possible.

He says crimes against journalists should be eradicated within the media houses calling on the employers in media to deal with the issues of low wages, long working hours, and safety and security measures on both female and male journalist together with improvement of journalistic skills.

UNESCO explains that South Sudan is one of the five countries that accepted to implement the UN Plan of Action on Safety and Issues of Impunity adding that Iraq, Nepal and Pakistan are yet Piloting the Plan though Mexico at later stages accepted to implement.

The Union of Journalist in South Sudan noted the culture of War as one possible cause of impunity in the new nation which has results to disrespect to rule of law and ignorance calling on all stake holders to pay serious attention to address for a sustainable peace and stability.

Oliver Modi the chairperson of the Union says they have been engaged with government agents in continues dialogues, empowering journalist, safe guarding and protecting Journalist from unnecessary arrest, harassment and detention, lobby with Members of Parliament to reduce impunity in South Sudan.

Reacting to journalist questions on the fate of the media law, he says they are doing anything possible to ensure that the signed media document is what the parliament passed to the president office.

South Sudan Media law was signed by the president nearly a month but public still complain of not having seen the document.

Bishop declares Bakhita Radio 91 FM reopened.

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The Metropolitan Bishop of the Catholic Archdiocese of Juba on Thursday declared the reopening of the Radio as of 30th Oct this year.

Bishop Paulino Lukudu Loro says the radio reopens with new Directress  to carry out reforms in the intuitions.

He says Bakhita was closed as a result of administrative, technical and financial irregularities adding that the station will face financial challenges to operate well.

The Bishop appeals for emergency support blessing all those who gets this message.

Despite the announcement the stations could not yet be heard on air as per the time of this writing though on Wednesday the station was on for a period not more than two hours.

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IGAD mediators condemn Unity state attack, calls for forces to cease hostilities.

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The Inter Governmental Authority on Development Mediators in a press release issued on Wednesday condemned the conflict in South Sudan’s Unity state calling on immediate cease of the violence.

This unfortunate development comes despite the significant progress in the peace talks in Bahir Dar, Ethiopia where the parties took major steps in resolving their outstanding differences in recent consultations in Addis Ababa, Khartoum, Nairobi, and Juba with IGAD Heads of state and Government reads part of the document.

They say that the ongoing fighting in and around Bentiu, Unity state shows that the SPLM_IO has yet to abandon the option of war.

igad-press-release-1-638

UNMISS, UN agencies celebrate day at construction site of Kopuri primary school.

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As the World continues to rejoice the UN day on October 24th, pupils, local authorities, government officials, United Nation Mission in South Sudan and the whole UN family Saturday celebrated the day helping the ongoing Rwandan contingent construction of Kopuri Primary school in the country’s Central Equatoria State Juba County in Northern Bari Payam just short distance outside the city along Juba-Yambio road.

Government authorities, school administration, Pupils and residents say the dream of the people of Kopuri of seeing their children not study under stress and tree sheds, washed by rain, travel long distance and spend a lot of money  to access basic education will soon come true at least by January  2015 as the school come to its final construction stages.

Mr Emmanuel Amule a father of five and former soldier in the Sudan already demobilized says he became a resident in Kopuri since 1996 but witnessed no services including NGOs working at their neighborhood.

The 39 year old father appreciated the work of the Rwandan UN contingent adding that it would reduce his daily 30 SSP cost for his children to travel to Juba town to attend classes.

‘’When this project emerged that the Rwandan contingent is going to construct this school we were very happy. I have four children traveling from here to either Kator or other schools in Juba town. Due to fear of transport we fear our children to go as far as that distance,’’ Benjamin Beja also a resident states ‘’as this school is brought nearer these fears has all gone away. We now need the contingent to bring more services like health and water.’’

Youths expressed their happiness that they would not remain unemployed in case one has completed a certain standard that allows them to drop application for teaching the pupils in the already beautiful emerging nearly 10 room construction.

The school has already four roofed rooms, four unroofed and two rooms that the foundation was laid the day of the celebrations.

Kopuri is also a home to returns and IDPs whose children will too enjoy the fruits of the building the community revealed.

The Rwanda forces says the idea of helping the people of the area came when they were patrolling in the outskirt of Juba and saw children learning in the open under  trees in the new nation.

They say Rwanda and South Sudan had undergone the same history of conflict and what is facing the South Sudanese is what they had passed through.

Colonel Mutara Nkangura Rwandan Contingent commander says the construction of the school is done under what he calls ‘’UMGANDA’’, meaning community work in Kinyarwanda language of Rwanda which is leading in Rwanda construction of bridges, cleanliness and construction of schools for the venerable people.

He said this community work promote unity and reconciliation among people devastated by conflict, genocide and poverty.      

UN agencies such as WHO, UNICEF, UNFPA, UNHCR, UNOPS among other UN agencies that attended the celebrations served the public in Kopuri with their different services including demonstration on how to detect mine using several detectors and dogs.

Speaking on behalf of UN agencies in the health sector, Barnabas Kisa UNFPA South Sudan country representative appreciated the people of Kopuri and the entire government.

He said the primary school means educated people that translate to development in the new nation.

The agencies provided to the public during the celebration integrated health services such as HIV/AIDs, Malaria and Ebola testing and scholastic materials to children.

‘’Without health the school cannot function, mothers cannot give birth to the children that will attend the school; so for the UN for one woman who suffers because of giving birth it is unacceptable and that is why we have this integrated services today.’’ He said.

‘’The services can be provided but if there are no people there then the services are useless; this is where we want also to appreciate the leadership of South Sudan who are here today to see for themselves the kind of services that should be offered to the people of South Sudan.’’ Kisa said, ‘’If you can give them antenatal care, counseling for HIV/AIDs, children clinics this country would become a great nation and we hope even in crisis South Sudan will prosper.’’

He said the construction of the primary school should be a foundation of many things that will reach the people of Kopuri and South Sudan at large.

Tony Beaty female South Sudanese singer and Kopuri pupils entertained the public.

South Sudan Women threaten to stop giving birth if War does not stop.

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Representatives from approximately fifty five (55) women groups which formed a Women’s Grassroots Network under the auspicious of the National Platform for Peace and Reconciliation (NPPR) have threaten to boycott  child-birth unless their husbands take concrete steps to put pressure on the country’s political leadership to peacefully resolve the eight-month long crisis that is tearing the nascent country apart.

The women also promised to deny their husbands’ conjugal rights until their demands are met. One after the other, the women argued passionately that it would be completely useless for them to conceive, go through pregnancy for nine months, suffer complex labour pains and delivery, struggle to raise their sons, and then allow them to be sucked into and killed in what they consider to be senseless wars. Reads a story from NPPR News Letter.

The threat to boycott child birth was just one of many actions that the Women’s Grassroots Network proposed on the last day of a two day consultation in Juba that was sponsored by the NPPR and funded by United Nations Development Programme UNDP South Sudan. Some of the more extreme protest actions that the women proposed and or threatened to embark on include a nude demonstration on the streets of the capital Juba.

The letter stated that Women’s Grassroots Network also resolved to use state level structure of their respective civil society organizations to scale up NPPR’s effort to mobilize women to offer their gender specific perspective on how South Sudanese can frame a sustainable agenda for peace, healing and national reconciliation.

The formation of the Women’s Grassroots Network is major milestone in South Sudan’s efforts to confirm to United Nations Security Council Resolution 1325 which enjoins member states to routinely reach out to and engage women in all peace building efforts being undertaken in the country at any given time.

South Sudan, Trade Mark East Africa inaugurates national oversight committee to boost trade.

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TMEA logo from web

TMEA logo from web

The government of South Sudan and its partner Trade Mark East Africa Thursday launched the first National Oversight Committee (NOC) to oversee their trade and customs development program a sign of their commitment to improve trade growth and Competitiveness.

Salvator Garang Mabiordit first Undersecretary in the National Ministry of Finance and Economic Planning explained that the committee comprises of the Undersecretaries in the Ministry of Finance and Customs, Director Generals of Customs, Bureau of Standard, Secretary General of Chamber of Commerce and other stake holders. He said donors and Partners like DFID and Trade Mark East Africa are among others making the composition.

‘’Today is a good day for us. We were having a meeting with Trade Mark East Africa to inaugurate the national oversight committee in order to facilitate the business with our non oil intuitions like Customs, Bureau of Standard, Commerce and other institutions which are really dealing well with non oil goods at least to elevate us from dependency on the oil and also to let the public know that Trade Mark East Africa is here in South Sudan,’’ the undersecretary said. ‘’We hope the coming of Trade Mark East Africa to South Sudan will improve our institutions like Customs, Bureau of Standards, Commerce and also other related non oil revenue generating institutions. We also hope DFID will try to sponsor some of our training programs in order to catch up with the modern world.’’

Mabiordit said South Sudan is an Island which needs to be connected to the outside world by experienced organizations like TMEA that will offer training to the staff and share their knowledge with the world stressing that being landlocked is bad looking at South Sudan difficulties in transport calling for improved system to meet international standards.

‘’The TMEA South Sudan program is providing technical assistance and financial support worth US$24 million to GOSS. The objective of the program is to support government and international community’s effort in fast tracking movement of humanitarian goods as well as increasing transparency and accountability in the collection of non-oil revenues and reducing cost of doing trade. The program further envisages supporting the South Sudan government desire to become a member of regional bodies such as the EAC. The program is financed by the Government of the United Kingdom and TMEA regional resources.’’ Reads statement this blog obtained.

“The UK wants to see South Sudan that is peaceful, that is democratic and is prosperous and improving the government ability to collect non oil revenue is key part of that in bringing economic diversification, economic stability to this country. It is the kind of thing that the people of South Sudan want and they deserve,’’ the British deputy Ambassador to South Sudan Jon Dean said. “The UK greatly values the Trade Mark East Africa (TMEA) program and its work in Customs Development and Trade Facilitation.’’

Dean added that strengthening the revenue generation capacity of the Government of the Republic of South Sudan (GRSS) will remain a core part of our wider efforts to enhance public financial management in South Sudan.

The Ambassador pointed the safeguarding of transparency and accountability in the management of these revenues as one thing to ensure that South Sudanese people benefit from these initiatives.

He said the UK government has unveiled 7 million sterling pounds hoping that all South Sudanese people benefit from the money and ensure that critical humanitarian aid is able to get to the people who needed most.

“Partnership with government and its implementing agencies has been successful in delivering tangible results while ensuring national ownership. We welcome the GOSS’s commitment to embracing this approach and together with our partners here we are very confident we can contribute to the development agenda here in South Sudan.” Trade Mark East Africa CEO Frank Matseart said.

TMEA is supporting similar projects in the East Africa region especially along the northern corridor and they directly and positively impact on South Sudan. Such projects include: the port of Mombasa improvement project and the one stop border posts along the northern corridor that are aimed at reducing the time and cost of trade including goods transiting to South Sudan and other EAC countries.

He said South Sudan, at the tail of the Northern corridor, will be benefiting from corridor efficiency improvements and specific projects aimed at complementing the process including construction of efficient NIMULE one stop border posts and the customs development projects. It is anticipated that these projects will reduce the time to clear cargo in one direction from 4 days to 2 by the end of 2016.

‘’The second area that we are really working on is to try to bring the custom service here in South Sudan to world class.’’ Matseart said. ‘’Linking the Country with the rest of the world is really important also to work on standards so that the goods can come through. You are not going to face consumer counterfeit goods or spoiled goods. You need to get the best for your people so we are going to do a lot of work for the standard Bureau.’’

The CEO added they will be working to support the private sector and civil society to link to regional Markets particularly at a time the country is at critical situation facing challenges in clearance of commodities entering the country saying that in the long run the program will provide jobs to the South Sudanese.

The programs comes at a time when South Sudan   government is trying to restructure clearing agents working in non oil revenue collections in the country from the Nimule Border post with Uganda.