South Sudan: COVID-19 prevention and promotion of national identity as citizens of Yambio gather to revel in face masks (15.08.2020)

During the launch at the Freedom Square in Yambio, potentially life-saving information on how to prevent oneself and others from the Coronavirus was handed out.

JUBA, South Sudan, August 15, 2020 – Hundreds of face mask-wearing Yambio citizens have been spotted reading vital COVID-19 prevention messages in their own local languages, courtesy of the UN Mission in South Sudan.

They enjoyed such illuminating sneak peeks at their flash cards while also relishing the launch of a campaign, Ana Junubi (“I’m South Sudanese”), aiming to promote peace by strengthening national identity and social cohesion.which means “I am South Sudanese”.

“I am very happy. I came here to hear about how we can think of ourselves as South Sudanese instead of as belonging just to a certain tribe, but as a bonus I also received this leaflet with messages in my language about COVID-19. I will read it carefully and pass it on to others,” said Suzan Gbiaundore, one of the campaign revellers.

During the launch at the Freedom Square in Yambio, potentially life-saving information on how to prevent oneself and others from the Coronavirus was handed out in not only English and Arabic but also in the locally speaking widely spoken Azande language. Civil society organizations complemented the joyous occasion by distributing face masks, which may have somewhat muffled any spontaneous ululations, but for a good and greater cause.

Traditional singer Simon Wasi thoroughly approved of the initiative as well.

“The COVID-19 threat is real, and the virus is not going away anytime soon. We need to continue to raise awareness through messaging, provide face masks to the people and maintain physical distancing as best we can,” he asserted.

Wilson Thomas, Secretary General of the government of Western Equatoria State and sporting a fine face mask himself, hailed both of the main points made at the festive gathering.

“This activity is of great importance to help us calling ourselves South Sudanese, to first and foremost embrace our nationality. As for the COVID-19, we will keep encouraging our people to respect the guidelines issued by the World Health Organization and the Ministry of Health.”

The Ana Junubi project, scheduled to cover the states of Western Bahr El Ghazal and Upper Nile as well, is being implemented by the Yambio Civic Engagement Center together with the Young Women Christian Organization with support from the United States Agency for International Development.

South Sudan Action Network on Small Arms: Civil Society Group Cautions against hasty top-down civilian disarmament (06.08.2020)

South Sudan: National Democratic Movement – Press Statement – The division of the National Democratic Movement (NDM) into (2) two factions (06.08.2020)

South Sudan: Points of Framework Agreement (25.06.2018)

Communique of the 32nd Extra-ordinary Summit of IGAD Assembly of Heads of State and Government on South Sudan (21.06.2018)

South Sudan: The War-Lords wasn’t ready to speak about Peace!

In South Sudan the prolonged civil war is continuing and with the fresh dialogue between the parties didn’t help. Some had hope that the Sudan People’s Liberation Movement – In Government (SPLM-IG) or the Transitional Government of National Unity (TGoNU) under the leadership of President Salva Kiir Mayardit. He has been ruling and with an iron fist. While the main opposition leader and rebel Dr. Riek Machar are running the Sudan People’s Liberation Movement/Army – In Opposition (SPLM/A-IO). There is also a coalition of other rebels and opposition, who is the South Sudan Opposition Alliance (SSOA) of 8 political parties/militias, some of them are run by big men like Dr. Lam Akol (National Democratic Movement – NDM) and Gen. Thomas C. Swaka (National Salvation Front – NAS).

Therefore, the knowledge of delegations from SSOA, TGoNU and SPLM/A-IO in the IGAD High Level Revitalization Forum (HLRF) that has failed as even the house-arrested Machar couldn’t mend the fences or the idea of peaceful progress. That means the army and militias will continue to fight until they got supremacy.

Some people had hope as Ethiopian Government hosted this 32nd Extra-Ordinary Session in Addis Ababa and the shared arrangement to work on the “Revised Bridging Proposal” for all the stakeholders in the conflict as IGAD prepared for the dialogue this week. Still, that did not make it easier. They have the Joint Monitoring and Evaluation Commission (JMEC), United Nations Mission in South Sudan (UNMISS) &Ceasefire and Transitional Security Arrangements Monitoring Mechanism (CTSAMM). All of these are interfering and monitoring the Republic. This combined with all the NGOs and Bilateral Organizations who support as well. Therefore, the international community is involved in the process. They are bookkeeping and securing needed services in the midst of the civil war, even footing the bills for it all. So the TGoNU can continue their fighting against their opposition.

This combined with various agreements that has not been kept, cease fire violations and such. These War-Lords really has no plan of quitting. They are preoccupied with the continued conflict and the looting of the Republic. There major resources being squandered away, not only seen by the Sentry in their reports, but the Kenyan bloggers are looking into the money laundering and estates owned by the War-Lords from South Sudan. Clearly, they are preoccupied with earning money on the toils and tears created by the conflict. That is why they are afraid of their future if the conflict ends. The guns are speaking their language. Even as the people are still lingering in refugee camps abroad and the Republic has no solution. The leadership isn’t hungry for peace, it is hungry to overcome its advisory.

At this point as the years lingers and the leaders continue to eat of the poverty, the famine and civil-wars, even as the state is bankrupt, creating higher bank-notes and the international community is footing the bills for development and needed supplies in refugee camps. This is clearly not the intention. But that is the sad reality as the innocent are dying and is afraid. The own leadership are holding this on. They are violating agreements or stifling it. If they are not getting their way, they are picking up guns or sending tanks to their yards. That is what happen in 2016, when the 2015 Agreement was starting to be established. However, that only lasted months before the new fresh conflict we are seeing today. Since then, there has been more deflections and more creations of new outfits who wants both Machar and Kiir to step down. However, none of them seems to fit the bill.

The state of affairs is sad. The people deserve peace, but War-Lords are busy finding ways to outsmart the enemies. Instead of dialogue and building real bridges, they are instead blowing them up hoping no-one finds out.

The people of South Sudan deserves better, but the leadership is busy killing each other and trying only to use ammunition to do so. They are not interested in talking. They know the trigger and is ready to aim. Peace.

SPLM/A-IO: On the Reckless Statement of Juba Spokesman – Michael Makuel Lueth (22.06.2018)

SPLM/A-IO: On the Face-to-Face Between President Salva Kiir and Dr. Riek Machar Teny-dhuorangun (21.06.2018)

SSOA delegation Meets Dr. Riek Machar in Addis Ababa (20.06.2018)

South Sudan Opposition Alliance (SSOA) Press Statement on Dr. Riek Machar attending Peace Talks in Addis Ababa (20.06.2018)