Kiir tells reconstituted Nilepet Board of directors to reform institution

President Salva Kiir posting for a photo with newly appointed members of board of directors of the Nilepet [Photo by the presidency]

President Salva Kiir posting for a photo with newly appointed members of board of directors of the Nilepet [Photo by the presidency]

JUBA – South Sudan’s president, Salva Kiir Mayardit, has told members of the newly reconstituted Board of Directors of the National Petroleum and Gas Corporation (Nilepet) to reform the country’s most import oil institution.

The South Sudanese head of state made the remarks during the swearing in ceremony of the eight-member board of  director which he recently reconstituted.

They includes Nhial Deng Nhial who is the chairperson, Josephine Napwon Cosmas as deputy chairperson, Eng. Bol Ring Muorwel as secretary, and Mayen Dut Wol, Khalid Marol Riak, Juan Alice Joshua, Benjamin Bol Mel and Chuol Pal Gai Laam as members.

Speaking during the ceremony this afternoon which was administered by South Sudan’s chief justice Chan Reec Madut, Kiir urged the newly-appointed members to reform the state form.

“I want you to be courageous  and work collectively as a team to reform the National Petroleum and Gas Company in order to take full control of the Country’s oil sector in the years to come,” Kiir said, as quoted by a presidency statement.

For his part, Nhial Deng Nhial, the presidential affairs minister  who is now the new head of the board said the government institution is “ready as a policy making body to discharge its duties diligently to make Nilepet active across the Petroleum value chain in the upstream, midstream and downstream on behalf of the State.”

“In a few years to come, Nilepet will take full responsibility of the Country’s oil sector operation like other National oil and Gas Corporations in Foreign Oil Producing Countries.”

Gunshots as uniformed gunmen try to force their way in at Bentiu POC

An internally displaced man seen at Bentiu POC site [Photo by UN]

An internally displaced man seen at Bentiu POC site [Photo by UN]

BENTIU – Gunfire was heard at Sector three, four and five at the United Nations Mission in South Sudan Protection of Civilian Site in Bentiu on Thursday night, after five men in army uniforms tried to force their way into the civilian sanctity, according to several IDPs.

The incident, one POC resident told Sudans Post this afternoon, took place at the entry gates of the three sectors after UN peacekeepers detected that the uniformed men were carrying guns.

The five men the fired gun shots at the UN peacekeepers after they were denied entry.

“Yesterday night, around five men in SSPDF uniforms tried to force their way inside the UN POC in Rubkona (Bentiu). They were detected by the UN peacekeepers and when they were denied entry, they fired at the UN peace keepers,” one IDP said on condition of anonymity from Bentiu.

“This has raised concerns from the IDPs over their safety because since the gun people heard that the UN peacekeepers were withdrawing from the POC, they have been thinking of coming into the camp to do what they want,” the IDP added.

Another camp resident said there were no casualties reported and said calm has since returned to the POC, but said fears was escalating among the IDPs as attacks inside the camp has increased over the last few weeks.

“As of now there is calm and no one has been hurt yesterday but the fear is growing among the IDP community over safety given the rise in attacks in several sections of the camp and this is a very big concern,” he added.

Last month, two people were killed inside the camp after gunmen entered the POC without being noticed by the peacekeepers, days after the UN mission announced that it was pulling out troops from civilians camps across the country.

Mabior Garang sets conditions to reconsider resignations from top SPLM-IO position

South Sudan first vice president and SPLM-IO leader Dr. Riek Machar (L), and Mabior Garang de'Mabior hold a press conference on July 8, 2015 in Nairobi [Photo via Getty Images]

South Sudan first vice president and SPLM-IO leader Dr. Riek Machar (L), and Mabior Garang de’Mabior hold a press conference on July 8, 2015 in Nairobi [Photo via Getty Images]

JUBA – The chairperson of the SPLM-IO National Committee for Information and Public Relations Mabior Garang De Mabior has set conditions for him to reconsider his resignation from the senior SPLM-IO position which he submitted to the SPLM-IO leader and First Vice President Dr. Riek Machar last week.

In a resignation letter last week, Mabior said the main armed opposition group has been hijacked from within and does no longer follow the visions and objective of the group.

“I have decided to appeal to the leadership to instead address the issue which is prompting my desire to resign and which has caused the resignation of numerous Comrades,” Mabior said.

“It has become painfully obvious to everyone –  in the movement and the public at large – that the SPLM/SPLA (IO) has been hijacked by an unscrupulous interest group which has more in common with the traditional power elite in Juba, than they do with the revolutionary leadership of our movement,” he added.

Mabior further said: “This interest group which has hijacked the peoples’ movement is part of a larger conspiracy to undermine peace in our country. I have labeled them the NPTC regime. These are the Comrades who have been influencing the decisions of the movement, rendering the PB a rubber stamp body.

“The National Liberation Council (NLC) is even less relevant, having never held a National Convention. These are the exact grievances we had against the SPLM (IG). If this is what we have become, perhaps we owe the regime and the people of South Sudan an apology for pretending to be about reforms.

“This interest group has effectively silenced the voice of the movement – the National Committee for Information and Public Relations. They have created an atmosphere in which those who insist on the reform agenda and want to inform the public of the failure to implement the Agreement are branded ‘anti-peace hard liners’.

“We have been silent in the face of a botched disarmament in Tonj East County, Inter-communal violence across the country, the premature withdrawal of the UN from the Protection of Civilian Camps (PoC), economic meltdown and more.

“The SPLM/SPLA (IO) was founded in response to what we perceived as a nepotistic and authoritarian family business practiced on a national level. We joined the movement to contribute our faculties to the cause of fundamental change to the barbaric status quo in our country and we have dedicated our lives to this cause.

“If the political leadership of the movement has surrendered to the status quo, as leaders and founding members, we deserve to know. There are some of us who would rather return to our homes and continue to wage the struggle for change using non–violent methods.

“If the political leadership of the movement has not surrendered to the status quo, I call on your Comradeship to urgently convene a meeting of the SPLM/SPLA (IO) PB, NLC and the army’s top brass in a neighbouring IGAD country so that we can make revolutionary corrections. If we bury our heads in the sand and ignore the problem, it will add to the many sources of insecurity already present in our nascent Republic.

“I would like to add my voice to the request of our army’s Chief of Staff, General Gatwech Dual, for a meeting of our leadership so that we can discuss the peace process and other internal crises which have led to a loss of vision and direction.”

We owes SPLM-IG an apology – Mabior Garang

Mabior Garang addresses reporters in Addis Ababa, May 23, 2018 [Photo by Eye Radio]

Mabior Garang addresses reporters in Addis Ababa, May 23, 2018 [Photo by Eye Radio]

JUBA – South Sudan’s former deputy minister of interior has said that the main armed opposition group, SPLM-IO, owes the SPLM-IG led by President Salva Kiir Mayardit an apology because it rebelled against issues of corruption, nepotism, among others, that are being practiced within the movement right now.

Mabior made the remarks in a letter of follow-up to his resignation letter which he submitted to the SPLM-IO chairman last week.

Mabior who is also the SPLM-IO chairperson of information committee accused unnamed officials within the group of being behind the many wrong decisions being made in the movement saying reasons that led to the rebellion in 2013 are being practiced in the movement to date.

“This interest group which has hijacked the peoples’ movement is part of a larger conspiracy to undermine peace in our country. I have labeled them the NPTC regime. These are the Comrades who have been influencing the decisions of the movement, rendering the PB a rubber stamp body. The National Liberation Council (NLC) is even less relevant, having never held a National Convention,” Mabior said.

“These are the exact grievances we had against the SPLM (IG). If this is what we have become, perhaps we owe the regime and the people of South Sudan an apology for pretending to be about reforms,” he added.

Makuei says gov’t can’t fix economy alone, condemns citizens’ reluctance to help

South Sudan Minister for Information and Broadcast, Michael Makuei (C) gives a press conference on January 5, 2014 [Photo via Getty Images]

South Sudan Minister for Information and Broadcast, Michael Makuei (C) gives a press conference on January 5, 2014 [Photo via Getty Images]

JUBA – South Sudan information minister has apparently admitted government’s inability to fix the economy, saying citizens should contribute in the revival of economy, claiming many jobs are available and South Sudanese are reluctant to work.

Makuei who is also the government spokesman made the remarks during an interview with the Juba-based Eye Radio on Thursday morning.

“It is true that the economic situation in South Sudan is biting,” Makuei admits. “Citizens should not just be sitting and waiting for the government to resolve issues for them.”

The senior government official went on to decry reluctant by the people of South Sudan to help teh government, claiming that jobs are available across Juba but people do not want to work.

“There is a lot of construction work; there is a lot of work all over Juba town,” Makuei said.

“Those who are working all over now are not South Sudanese because everybody wants a white-collar job, not knowing that there is no money in the white-collar job,” he claimed.

Makuei’s remarks comes as the local currency, Pound is again losing value against the United States dollar. Traders have told Sudans Post this afternoon that $1 is traded at the rate of SSP 550 and is expected to climb.

Earlier this month, the government announced that it was planning to introduce new currency mainly to force citizens hoarding money at home to seek banking system.

However, the announcement resulted in depreciation of pound because the hoarders scrambled into the market to change their money for foreign currencies as they are not willing to take their money into the banks.

The presidency would later dispute the new currency plan and said information minister and government spokesman Michael Makuei Lueth who made the announcement wasn’t told to announce what the presidency said was not even discussed by the cabinet.

Pound’s value drops again, dollar traded at 550

Money changers wait to do business at his open-air stall at a market in Juba, South Sudan, April 9, 2007 [Photo by Reuters]

Money changers wait to do business at his open-air stall at a market in Juba, South Sudan, April 9, 2007 [Photo by Reuters]

JUBA – The South Sudanese Pound is once again losing value against the United States Dollar, after a week of relative strength against foreign currencies, according to several currency traders in Juba.

Earlier this month, the government announced that it was planning to introduce new currency mainly to force citizens hoarding money at home to seek banking system.

However, the announcement resulted in depreciation of pound because the hoarders scrambled into the market to change their money for foreign currencies as they are not willing to take their money into the banks.

The presidency would later dispute the new currency plan and said information minister and government spokesman Michael Makuei Lueth who made the announcement wasn’t told to announce what the presidency said was not even discussed by the cabinet.

Following that announcement, President Salva Kiir announced that the government was going to inject more currency into the market to stabilize the economy. This resulted in the Pound gaining more strength against Dollar dropping from SSP 700 to 380, per $1.

However, Speaking to Sudans Post this afternoon, traders said the dollar power against the United States dollar is again surging as $1 is traded for SSP 550, expecting further fall in the local currency value.

“The Pound is now losing value against USD. Now as I speak to you, it is traded at 550 which is expected to climb in the next few days,” the trader said.

Another trader said he doubts injection of more currency will reach the market because “it will be controlled by influential businessmen with ties to the government.”

Amid calls for elections, National Bureau of Statistics says no money to conduct census

Two men seen walks past elections poster in what is now South Sudan in 2010 [Photo via Pashodo]

Two men seen walks past elections poster in what is now South Sudan in 2010 [Photo via Pashodo]

JUBA – As calls for conduct of elections on time, as provided for in the revitalized peace agreement, surge, South Sudan’s National Bureau of Statistics has said that there is no money to conduct national population census which is important for conduct of elections.

According to the revitalized peace agreement, South Sudan shall conduct elections at the end of the transitional period which ends in May 2022.

Speaking at a function in Juba on Tuesday to mark the World Statistics Day, the Chairperson of National Bureau of Statistics, Isaiah Chol Aruai, said there are no funds for the government institution to conduct population census which must be done before elections.

“If there are no resources available for us even to collect CPI, one wonders where will the money come from to be used for the census? We are still waiting for political direction,” Chol told audience in Juba.

“The question whether there is going to be a census or an election are political decisions and they have to be directed and if you recall in the revitalized peace agreement, chapter one, it is a must to have a census. You can’t have an election without census but if a political decision says you must have election without census, it is political,” he added.

He further said: “We will see how they are going to do it and what mechanism they are going to use. In the agreement now there is a provision for a census to be done prior to the election.”

South Sudan population is 8.7 million based on the 2008 census in which the then government of Southern Sudan disputed the figures. An estimation in 2012 which largely based on the estimate of 2008 population growth put the country’s population at 12 million.

Machar to convene consultative meeting for nomination of state, local gov’t officials

South Sudan's First Vice President and SPLM-IO leader Dr. Riek Machar Teny attends the initialing of the revitalized peace agreement in Khartoum in August 2018 [Photo by Reuters]

South Sudan’s First Vice President and SPLM-IO leader Dr. Riek Machar Teny attends the initialing of the revitalized peace agreement in Khartoum in August 2018 [Photo by Reuters]

JUBA – South Sudan’s First Vice President and SPLM-IO leader Dr. Riek Machar Teny is preparing to convene a consultative meeting of the senior membership of the main armed opposition group for nomination of state and local government officials, a senior member of the SPLM-IO has said.

This comes two days after Kiir and Machar agreed to the allocation of local government positions which has been pending since parties reached deal on states in September.

Speaking to Sudans Post this morning, a senior member of the SPLM-IO said Machar will convene a meeting this weekend for nomination to states and local government positions.

“The First Vice President will this weekend call for a meeting to consult the senior membership of the SPLM-IO on how to nominate our people to the positions given to us,” the official said from Juba.

Separately, senior opposition official confirmed the plans. Dut Majokdit, a member of the main armed opposition group in Northern Bahr el Ghazal said Machar is going to convene a consultative meeting this week.

“The SPLM-IO leadership under Dr Riek Machar Teny will start a consultative meeting with all our members and the political leadership in the ten states regarding the formation of the state governments and the reconstitution of the parliament and the Council of States this week,” he said.

James Kok Ruea claims he persuaded Taban, then IO chief negotiator, to sign 2015 peace deal

South Sudan former minister of humanitarian affairs and disaster management James Kok Ruea [Photo by moderated by Sudans Post/via Facebook]

South Sudan former minister of humanitarian affairs and disaster management James Kok Ruea [Photo by moderated by Sudans Post/via Facebook]

KHARTOUM – Former South Sudan Minister of Humanitarian Affairs and Disaster Management and ex-governor of the defunct Fangak state, James Kok Ruea, has claimed that he helped persuade then SPLM-IO chief negotiator, vice-president Taban Deng Gai, in 2015 to signed the Agreement for Resolution of the Conflict in South Sudan (ARCSS) when he was a member of the government negotiation team.

Following the outbreak of the conflict in Juba in December 2013, government and opposition groups had been meeting in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, to help find way to end what was then a conflict that was fought mostly along ethnic lines with ethnic Dinka supporting Kiir and Nuer supporting the Machar-led main armed opposition group, SPLM-IO.

As mediators were exhausting, the regional bloc, the Intergovernmental Authority on Development (IGAD), presented a ‘take-it-or-leave-it’ proposal to the parties to end the civil war in July 2015.

The parties were given a two-week leave to go and consult with their constituencies over the IGAD proposal.

The SPLM-IO came back with an expression that it agreed to it, but President Salva Kiir’s group rejected it because it creates two armies for the country which they viewed as a recipe for another deadly conflict in the capital which had already experienced conflicts that mostly targeted civilians.

The SPLM-IO and the former detainees signed the deal on August 17, but President Salva Kiir decided to snub it, asking for one more week for consultation, and would eventually sign it on August 26 in Juba after international pressure.

The agreement would collapse the following year after fighting broke out during a presidency meeting in Juba and Machar was forced to leave the capital.

Speaking to a congregation last week in Khartoum, James Kok said he had persuaded General Taban to sign the deal because he knew his boss, Salva Kiir, was going to be forced to sign the agreement a few days later by the international community which was growing hostile against the government over its reluctant to bring peace.

“I called Taban [Deng Gai] and Hussein Mar Nyuot,” Kok said. “I told them let us go to the toilet because there was nowhere to speak to them. I told them ‘look. Sign this peace because it is in our interest because those dying from both sides are mostly Nuer’. I told them that whoever [referring to President Kiir] do not want to sign this agreement will sign it whether he like it or not,” he said.

“The agreement was signed but because President Salva Kiir was not interested in bringing a durable peace, the agreement which would have brought peace, if implemented in letter and spirit, eventually collapsed,” he added.

Following the fighting in July 2016, First Vice President would flee the country to Congo and would then be replaced by Taban Deng as First Vice President. He was then exiled to South Africa in what the SPLM-IO calls a illegal forced detention.

In September 2018, Machar’s detention was eased and he was allowed to travel to Addis Ababa for peace mission and then to Khartoum where he negotiated what is now the revitalized peace agreement.

James Kok who has always been hostile to Machar decided, earlier this year, to defects from Kiir and join the SPLM-IO.

Activist urges government, NGOs to speedup humanitarian assistance for floods victims

By Roger Alfred Yoron Modi

Part of Bor town seen in floods [Photo by Jacob Aluong]

Part of Bor town seen in floods [Photo by Jacob Aluong]

JUBA – The government and humanitarian agencies should speed-up humanitarian assistance to the victims of the ongoing flooding in Jonglie State, activist and founder of Nonviolent Youth Initiative Jacob Aloung who just returned from Bor town and witnessed the devastation says.

“I have been moving between Bor since this flooding started. I have a small team of Nonviolent Youth Initiative volunteers that I have set up to help the most vulnerable people. So I travelled there on Saturday to meet them and encourage them on what they are doing and also help them distribute some items to the most affected people,” Aluong said on Sawa Sawa Network’s program The Weekly Review hosted by the author of this article on Monday.

“The floods started earlier between June and July and it has devastated the whole of Jonglie State. When you go to Pibor Administrative Area, people are crying. In the northern counties in Jonglie like Uror or Fangak people are really affected and people are leaving the area. The flooding also devastated Bor, Duk and Twic East, some counties are completely deserted. Counties for example like Twic East is completely deserted except few people who are still camping in the headquarters of the County in Panyagor. They are camping in Church premises and schools that are still not affected. They have surrounded themselves with dykes…You can travel for hours between Bor and Twic and you just use the main road as the guide to take you to Twic East. We don’t use vehicles anymore or the main Nile. We just use the main highway using the light boats. And that describes how the level of water is very extreme this season.”

The activist lamented that the level of response since the flooding started have not been to the expectation as the parties to the revitalized peace agreement were stalled in forming the unity government, especially at the state level.

“That gap created a lot of challenges. The coordination of humanitarian activities were not done well. And that has led to the movement of people randomly. Some decided to come to Mongalla where there are no humanitarian agencies or even the government of police protection until recently,” Aluong said, adding that other challenges as a result of the flooding include hunger, increase in prices of goods and lack of easy access to medical facilities.

“Farms have been completely destroyed. People will not expect any harvest. This was supposed to be harvest season. But farms have been entirely destroyed by the floods. So people are likely to starve in the next few months. People of Jonglie are Agro-pastoralist. They cultivate and also keep cattle,” he said.

“Cattle have been driven out of the State as we speak. And that has also excavated the level of malnutrition among children who used to depend on milk. They are now struggling to survive. The flooding has also cut people out from accessing medical facilities and markets. Markets are running out of supplies and the few goods that are available are very expensive as hundreds of thousands of people are fighting over those few items.”

According to the activist, in order to help rescue the people affected by the flooding, the government should consider setting up mobile clinics at the outskirt of Bor, establish a hotline to help pick people and procure speedboats to help ferry patients with complicated cases to the main hospital.

Tensions with Host Communities over Cattle

Further, on the same Show, Aluong lamented that he is “very worried” over the “ongoing tensions” between host communities in Eastern and Central Equaoria States and cattle keepers who migrated from Jonglie because of the flooding.

“That is not healthy for our co-existence. They used to come in smaller numbers but this time they are completely swept out and they will be disturbing the host communities and that is worrisome. That is one of the challenges that have come with the floods this year,” he said.

The activist called upon all the communities to recognize their needs and keep communication between themselves, adding that he expects those from Jonglie to stay like guests, not as owners of the areas.

Aluong said: “They need to talk, they need to understand that they all have needs and they all need each other as people of South Sudan. Cattle keepers should not allow their cattle to encroach to farms because those communities depend on those farms.

“I would like the leaders of all the communities to find common ground where they can always interact and maybe agree on some issues. Should a cow cross into someone’s farm, they need to find how to deal with that. Maybe levy some fines on those who have failed to look after their cattle and maybe create certain zones where cattle will be kept far away from the farms.

“The host communities could help the cattle keepers by informing them about the best area for keeping cattle far from farms. That will be helpful if they can share that information. The leaders of the cattle keepers also need to tell the host communities that they are in their area temporarily, they ran away because of the flooding and when the water recedes, they will be very happy to go back to their state.”

The full program is available on Sawa Sawa Network’s Youtube Channel and the below and its Facebook page.

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