Breaking: Plane crashes at Pieri airstrip, killing 10 passengers, including 2 pilots

A commercial plane has reportedly crashed this evening into the Pieri airstrip, killing 10 passengers including two pilots and wounding several others, according to multiple sources on the ground.

“Deaths has robbed off Uror family, a plane has just crashed at Pieri airstrip killing 8 including two pilots. Two are in critical condition. The incident happened at exactly 5:05PM.”

“My hometown of Pieri in Jonglei State has been hit today at 5:05 pm by a plane crash that claims the lives of 10 ( 6 passengers & 2 pilots). Exact details are yet to be unveiled to us from there. May God console and comfort the affected families,” said Nyang Mar, former Chairman of the Lou-Nuer community in Nairobi, Kenya.

This is a breaking news story, check back in a few minutes for more updates on the incident.

Pibor, Jonglei communities wrap up 2-day Peace Conference in Juba

In a meeting chaired by President Salva Kiir Mayardit, communities of Jonglei and Pibor Administrative Area have wrapped up a two-day Peace Conference aimed at ending insecurity and inter-communal violence in the two states.

“Delegates comprising of over 250 representatives from the youths, women, chiefs and intellectuals of Bor Dinka, Gawaar and Lou Nuer, Murle and Anyuak met in Juba from 25th – 27th January 2021 to resolve the ongoing inter-communal conflicts in Jonglei State and Pibor Administrative Area,” the Presidency noted in a statement.

“The conference deliberated on the issues pertaining to the insecurity and inter-communal conflicts in Jonglei State and Pibor Administrative Area under the auspices of H.E. President Salva Kiir Mayardit.”

“After a thorough deliberations on the report from the high-level investigation committee constituted by H. E. President Salva Kiir Mayardit, headed by Vice President H.E. Dr. James Wani Iggi , the conference resolved for the communities to commit to end the persistent insecurity and conflicts in Jonglei State and Pibor Administrative Area and with the neighbouring communities.”

In his remark, President Kiir urged the tripartite communities to forge peaceful coexistence and unity and put an end to cattle rustling in the country.

“H.E. President Salva Kiir Mayardit said, the inter-communal conflicts that happened are very shameful stating that he is not happy with the behaviours and actions shown by the communities in killing each other for nothing.”

Kiir stressed the need for the full implementation of the peace agreement as a way to end inter-tribal conflicts across the country.

“Vice President and the Chairman of high- level committee H. E. Dr. James Wani Iggi said, H. E. President Salva Kiir Mayardit will establish a high- level committee with representatives from the affected communities to monitor, evaluate and follow up on the implementation of the resolutions that will end the inter- communal conflicts.”

“In addition, H.E. Dr. James Wani Iggi urged the Communities of Jonglei State and Pibor Administrative area to consider the resolutions of the conference as a ceasefire agreement stating that without the ceasefire, the resolutions cannot be implemented. H. E. Dr. James Wani urged the two communities to end the hatred and begin the process of forgiveness among each other.”

Episcopal leadership condemns harassment of its clergy in Jonglei State

In response to the different information circulating on social media and some media houses.

Rev. Gabriel Thuch Agoth and security personnel at Bor Airstrip |Photo: Unknown

Press release

I hereby give this clarification: —Two ECSS Bishops: Rt. Revered Gabriel Thuch Agoth of Diocese of Kongor and Rt. Revered Zechariah Manyok Biar of Diocese of Wanglei Travelled to Bor on Saturday January 23, 2021 by a plane and landed at about 9:00am in the morning.

The purpose of their going was a pastoral visit to their congregations who are currently displaced by flood in Bor town. On arrival at the airstrip, they were immediately told by the security to return back into the aircraft that took them to Bor, citing their safety as the reason behind the decision. 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. Later they were brought back on a vehicle to Juba. This is the third of such incident that has happened to ECSS bishops in Bor town. The first was an incident in which ECSS youths were shot at by police officers while practicing their song in the parish of Lang Bar B injuring two youths on December 20, 2020 and nothing was done to those policemen.

The second is that the Archbishop-elect Moses Anur Ayom and Bishop Commissary of Bor Diocese Rev’d John Panchol Kon went to Bor to celebrate Christmas with the Christians. The state officials ordered them to come back to Juba on December 23, 2020 where they are still staying in what seems to be house arrest without any clear explanation from the State Government.

We do not know why the ECSS workers are targeted as if as they are not citizens of Jonglei State. It remains unclear whether those state officials are acting individually or on behalf of the State government.

Manyang Gabriel Kon | Episcopal Church of South Sudan Communication officer.

S. Sudan receives $200,000 from the African Development Bank

Women and children carrying food rations as they wade through waist-high water in Jonglei State |Photo: Ajak Deng Chiengkou.
Women and children carrying food rations as they wade through waist-high water in Jonglei State |Photo: Ajak Deng Chiengkou.

October 31, 2020 (Thessherald)–As the flooding continues to affect communities on an alarming scale, the African Development Bank has announced the provision of humanitarian aid worth $200,000.

The grant will be channeled through the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) – an agency of the United Nations that leads international efforts to end hunger and improve nutrition and food security around the world.

“This contribution is crucial to allow tens of thousands of people displaced by the floods to procure their own food and avoid the spectrum of hunger,” Meshack Malo, FAO representative in South Sudan, said in a statement issued on Thursday.

The UN official pointed out that they’re working around the clock with the South Sudanese government to help communities recovery from flood-induced crises.

“We are working non-stop with the Government and our other partners to help South Sudanese return fast to their farming and livelihood activities,” Malo added.

Benedict Kanu, the bank’s country manager for South Sudan, underscored the urgency and gravity of the issue.

He said that more than 100 people killed and about 25,000 refugees and internally displaced people are among those affected.

Since July 2020, unprecedented flooding has destroyed the homes and farmlands of over 800,000 people — with Jonglei and Lakes being the worst affected states — forcing many to leave their homes.

2 cattle raiders executed by hanging to deter cattle rustling in Jonglei

Pastoralist herding is cattle in one of the cattle camps in South Sudan |Photo: TZ Photography

Oct 14, 2020 (Thessherald)–A judge in South Sudan’s Jonglei state has sentenced two men to death for stealing two cows and killing the man who owned the animals according to VOA’s South Sudan in Focus.

Officials say they hope the judge’s sentence will deter other cattle raiders in Jonglei, where cattle raiding and child abductions are rampant.

High court judge John Yiel Aleu sentenced 30-year-old Kuorwel Majok Mayom and 25-year-old Chol Manyiel Jool to death by hanging on Tuesday in the state capital, Bor.

Majok and Manyiel were found guilty of killing John Buol Dut and stealing his cows last December when the cattle were being moved from Bor to Awerial County in Lakes State.

The judge said the death penalty was appropriate for the crimes committed.
“The court followed its procedures and today it passed its judgment that the accused Kuorwel Majok and Chol Manyiel have been convicted under Section 305 and 206 penal code act 2008 and they are sentenced to death,” he announced in court.

Michael Khor Dut, a brother to the deceased, welcomed the punishment.
“This gentleman was killed intentionally. Why? Because of his cattle. He was not a cattle keeper, he was just a university student who was taking his cows to the cattle camp,” said Dut.

Malueth Nyok, an uncle to both convicted men, called the ruling unfair. Nyok argued there was no direct evidence introduced in court that linked his nephews to Dut’s murder.

“There is no evidence that shows that these gentlemen beat the deceased with the stick, no one saw them doing that. We see that cattle get lost and these cattle were lost and that is why they were being kept so that the owner would come and take them,” Nyok told VOA’s South Sudan in Focus. The family will appeal the ruling within the next 14 days, according to Nyok.

Strong message

Although cattle raids and child abductions are common in Jonglei state, very few suspected cattle raiders are ever arrested or prosecuted.

Activist David Garang with the Jonglei Civil Society Alliance said capital punishment sends a strong message to would-be cattle raiders.

“If they are sentenced to death, that is the right way of doing it because there is no one who has the right to take another person’s life, so it is a very good step for the justice to take its course because this time here we need justice to prevail. If there is justice, then all these atrocities will stop,” Garang told South Sudan in Focus.

Garang said communities will only be safe when cattle raiders, child abductors and other perpetrators of serious crimes are arrested and brought to justice.

Source: VOA’s South Sudan in Focus.

Means to obtain peace, unity and development in Jonglei State

Opinion | By Both Michael Gai

August 2020, 2020 (Thessherald)–The recurrent instability among the communities of Greater Pibor, Greater Lou, and Greater Bor is mainly exacerbated by the combination of interlinked factors including climate extreme events such as floods and drought, conflict, and poor governance for over decades. This has left a heritage and a legacy of destruction, displacement, poverty, trauma, and social division along multiple lines and violent politics and extreme sexual violence among others.

To curb the protracted crisis, feasible multifaceted strategies must quickly be employed in order to obtain peace, unity, and development in the state.

To me, these conflicts can be halt, peace and development can be obtained. And it is attainable If the government is honest and committed enough to bring peace. The solutions are politically, economically, and socially based.

From a political standpoint, priorities should be perhaps creating military barracks between borders that can quickly and easily intercept the movement of the fugitive trespassers; this strategy on the other hand creates employment opportunities for the idle youths as they can be engaged and integrated into law enforcement system.

Economically, the government should aim at building infrastructure such as an expanded and well-maintained road network that can allow these young men and women to do businesses, create economic activities such as vocational training so that the youths gain skills that are essential in the job market. This can superbly disengage them from their usual economic livelihood of cattle raiding.

Socially, the government in partnership with development partners should focus on injecting resources on advocacy, meetings and conferences, nurturing and enhancing an environment of togetherness and peacefulness.

If such investments are considered, fantabulous rewards can be realized.

The writer is a researcher and a concerned citizen. He can be reached via:

U.S. Embassy Call for Urgent Efforts to Resolve Conflict

Troika countries issue a press release, calling for full implementation of R-ARCSS | Photo: USA Embassy in S. Sudan

Press Statement

August 3, 2020 (Thessherald)–The Embassy of the United States expresses deep concern with continued pockets of conflict around South Sudan and calls for all parties to deescalate tensions. Fighting in different parts of South Sudan in recent weeks has reflected different causes and involved different parties but the impact is all similarly unacceptable; the people of South Sudan, your friends, your neighbors and communities are all suffering abuses against civilian populations. Forced displacement, disruption to livelihoods, diversion and looting of humanitarian aid, and the killing of aid workers are all unacceptable.

It is time for local and regional leaders and the government of South Sudan to put an end to these conflicts and start unifying the country and bringing well-deserved peace to the people of South Sudan.

In Western Bahr el Ghazal, we are concerned by recent clashes between Sudan People’s Liberation Army-In Opposition and South Sudan People’s Defense Forces units, accompanied by the arbitrary detention of civilians and attacks on civilian vehicles. We welcome the establishment of a delegation with leaders from both sides and urge immediate dialogue to reduce tensions, forestall further clashes, and prevent a broader threat to the peace agreement ceasefire.

In Western and Central Equatoria, we note an uptick in clashes between SSPDF and the National Salvation Front in the past week, accompanied by displacement of civilians and civilian abductions.

We urge all parties to immediately adhere to the Agreement on the Cessation of Hostilities, comply with their Rome Resolution obligations, and resume dialogue on a political solution to the conflict.

In Jonglei, we remain deeply concerned by the large-scale mobilization of armed groups and fighting on an ethnic basis. We welcome all efforts to address the base causes of the recent violence in South Sudan but it is going to take more work. It is going to be hard, but now is the time for all the people who took or accepted the responsibility to lead this country, to work towards a nation of unity where everybody has a right to speak in public without fear of repercussion, where every has a right to education, where everybody has a right to live in their home of choice without fear of violence. The leaders of South Sudan cannot sit back and wait for things to happen; they need to make them happen.

Denay Jock Chagor A Man Who Came Through Political Elimination Within SSOA

Denay Jock Chagor, speaks to Radio Miraya about the government’s plan to provide assistance for students stranded in foreign countries | Photo: Radio Miraya

Opinion| By Tut Kuany Kok

July 16, 2020 (Thessherald)–There has been political infighting within the SSOA Coalition over who to lead and who should not. And this has brought about misunderstanding between Changsong Lew Chang, the leader of (FDP/SSAF) and the leader of NDM Lam Akol Ajawin.

Last month, Dr Lam Akol nominated his secretary as the would-be Governor of Jonglei State but Changson and his staunch supporters were against his unilateral decision. On 15-7-2020, the SSOA picked Denay Jock Chagor, the former Minister of Higher Education as the Governor of Jonglei State. But many South Sudanese have been questioning whether Denay is capable to do the job perfectly or he is going to sleep like the old men? Let’s look into what happened to Jonglei under former Governors who knows better than Denay Jock Chagor

This is the list of the Governors in Jonglei State who rule but there never been any ounce of peace in the land of Jonglei, in lieu of most of them have good understanding of what’s boiling that land for years.

[1] Philip Thon Leek, the first Governor
[2] Kuol Manyang Juuk, the second Governor
[3] John Kong Nyuon, the third Governor
[4] Maker Thiong Mal, fourth Governor (under 32 states)
[5] Denay Jock Chagor

Jonglei State is home to the Dinka, Nuer, Murle and Anyuak. And in South Sudan, it is the only state to have witnessed circles of ethnic violence since independence.

Much of which is over land, water, cattle and even individual grudges. Though many peace conferences have been held in order to bring about peace and reconciliation between the Murle ethnic group, Lou Nuer and the Dinka Bor, unfortunately senseless killing, abduction of women and children and cattle rustling have never been stopped. Then all the Governors who rule this very state, who also have vast knowledge about the Jonglei. Failed to bring peace among the communities living there. All their efforts exhausted and they couldn’t do anything to serve this state from falling apart hitherto. But will Denay succeed in bringing peace in Jonglei?

Now who’s Denay Jock Chagor, the Lost Boy to lead this delicate State and who have no knowledge about what has been boiling the land? Per my understanding, it’s unfortunate that the SSOA leadership had nominated someone who has never been a leader of a small community association let alone the Jonglei State. Therefore, this is a sign that South Sudan will never have peace at all. Moreover, a few weeks in the office of the Ministry of Higher Education, Cde Denay exposed his weaknesses by releasing the $3M in the name of students schooling in foreign countries, but only a few students received 20$ each in Egypt. Then the rest of the money disappeared into thin air and their private accounts as it has been the culture of South Sudanese when one ascending to big political seat . So if Denay is incompetent to run a small sector like the Higher Education, what miracle are we going to expect in Jonglei?

The SSOA Coalition has shown us that they’re not caring about the well-being of the people of Jonglei. Though Pibor Administrative Area was detached from Jonglei still the conflict won’t end. It should be better if Denay bungle the entire South Sudanese in the Ministry of Higher Education than burying the whole Jonglei State because of the party nomination. Candidly, Denay didn’t deserve that gubernatorial seat for he is not familiar even with the path leading to Jonglei. But Jonglei deserves someone who has once interacted with the local communities and who knows what they like and what they don’t like. What’s reason why Johnson Olony was rejected?

Then the same thing ought to happen to Denay by those who need peace in the State of Jonglei than someone who will just come and sleep without fixing the problem. Even though the agreement said that, any party has right to bring its nominee, Denay isn’t the capable person for the job because he won’t change the situation in Jonglei. In conclusion, I’m urging the leadership of SSOA to desist from political wrangling and purge for the sake of peace in South Sudan.

The author is a concerned citizen and he is reachable via his

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Breaking: Kiir appoints Denay as Jonglei Governor

Denay Jock Chagor, former minister of higher education science and technology, talks to Radio Miraya about the government’s plan to provide assistance to students stranded in foreign countries. Photography: Radio Miraya

July 15, 2020 (Thessherald)–South Sudan’s President Salva Kiir Mayardit in a presidential order announced on the nation’s SSBC has appointed Denay Jock Chagor as Governor of Jonglei State, ending weeks-long power wrangling within the South Sudan Opposition Alliance (SSOA).

Jock has served as Minister of Higher Education Science and Technology following his appointment in line with the provisions of the peace agreement.

In a related development, President Kiir has appointed Gabriel Changson Chang as Minister of Higher Education Science and Technology in exchange for Denay Jock Chagor.

Since last week, there has been a sharp disagreement among members of the opposition coalition over who should be the Governor of Jonglei State.

As the disagreement had continued, Dr. Lam Akol Ajawin, the Secretary-General of SSOA and leader of the National Democratic Movement (NDM) nominated NDM Secretary-General Mahjoub Biel as a candidate for the Jonglei governor.

Rights group Calls on Kiir to appoint religious leaders and Civil Society Representatives

President Salva Kiir Mayardit signing a document | Photo: File

CPA | Press Release

June 26, 2020 (Thessherald)-The Center for Peace and Advocacy (CPA), a Juba-based human rights organization, welcomes the presidential order issued by the president of the republic H.E. Salva Kiir Mayardit on Tuesday 23rd, June 2020. The order aimed at resolving the endless and on-ongoing inter-communal violence in Jonglei State is a welcome move in the direction.

However, the Center for Peace and Advocacy (CPA) takes this order at face value. It has to be noted that, several attempts were made since 2005 to deal with the communal fights in Jonglei, but all efforts were rendered futile and ineffective.

Despite the presidential order being a good gesture and a welcomed move, the Center for Peace and Advocacy (CPA) strongly object the composition of the high-level committee and seriously doubts whether it will be able to deliver. The decade’s long tension in the Greater Jonglei area that involves the Nuer, the Dinka and the Murle tribes cannot be without unknown root causes that deserve a committee to find out. It is an open secret that the inter-communal feuds if not all but most of the times are issues related to revenge attacks usually accompanied by cattle raids, child and women abductions, rapes and other revenge-inducing crimes.

The Center for Peace and Advocacy (CPA) therefore urges the president to reconsider reconstituting the membership of the high-level committee to include representatives from the civil society and religious leaders, but most importantly there should and must be tribal chiefs from the ground representing respective conflicting tribes; they are well informed with issues affecting them, unlike politicians. Appointing politicians to head the process is nothing but another opportunity for politicians to empty the state’s coffers. If appointing politicians solves anything, the Greater Jonglei’s inter-communal fights would have been solved long time ago.

Conclusively, the Center for Peace and Advocacy (CPA) cannot help points out to the fact that, these communal feuds in Jonglei and other parts of South Sudan are as a results of state policy failures, anarchy and dysfunctionality. It is therefore a joke to expect a state that has presided over the chaos for over decades to overnight wake up and solve the problems they help created. The political elites in South Sudan have politicized and commercialized these inter-communal fights and should not be appointed to further their gains!

The president should as a matter of credibility appoints members from the ground not Juba-based politicians if he wants to solve the issue; something we are tempted to believe.

The problems in Jonglei do not end with finding the root causes but it is fundamentally tied generally to the prevailing situation of lawlessness and rampant insecurity countrywide. It has to do with provision of all forms of securities; justice and proper administration the rule of law, appointing politicians will not help it but aggravate it.

The Center for Peace and Advocacy (CPA) would like to urge the president to look at involving the civil society, religious leaders and paramount chiefs of the conflicting tribes from the ground, otherwise this is going to be another political appointment that has nothing to do with the common people but politicians.

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