Thessherald—The Commissioner of Maiwut County, Hon. Bang Kawich Deng has called on all displaced communities to return to their places of residence and resume their farming activities during the rainy season.
Kawich made the remarks while meeting with representatives and members of Chany and Wadu communities in Jekou and Zinke, respectively.
“I want to assure you that peace has returned to Maiwut — we are dealing with so many things at the moment but our top priority is to ensure that peace prevails in Maiwut.”
Hon. Bang Kawich
On the same note, Kawich urges international and national NGOs to intensify operations and provide life-saving humanitarian assistance in areas previously affected by inter-communal violence and armed conflicts.
Since assuming office on May 5, 2021 Kawich has been working around the clock to bring peace and stability in the area.
Maiwut is one of the nine Counties in Upper Nile State which was affected by the conflict between the rival forces of SPLA I-G and the SPLA –IO which occurred in July, 2017 in Pagak and within Maiwut.
This has led to mass displacements of the civilian population and some were forced to move to areas where they felt safe like Jekow and some IDPs had to cross the Ethiopia boarders where they were received by UNHCR and got settled as refugees in Tharpam Refugees Camps in Gambella, Ethiopia.
Thessherald—Refugees in South Sudan are receiving COVID-19 jabs during the rollout of the country’s national vaccination campaign, joining Ethiopia, Rwanda, Sudan and Uganda in including refugees in their COVID-19 vaccination plan in the East African Region. Today, 13 people, among them 10 refugees from the Gorom Refugee Settlement located some 20km outside of Juba and three members of the host community including one health worker visited the Buluk Police Hospital for their vaccine.
For vulnerable refugees, their inclusion in the national vaccination campaign could not have come soon enough, “I came to receive my first dose of COVID-19 vaccine, I feel very fine, there is no pain and the process is very simple,” shared Ojullu Ochan Ochan, a refugee from Ethiopia. “I encourage all refugees in South Sudan and the region including the host community to take the vaccine to protect themselves and their families” he added.
Health workers are among the group to receive the jab in line with the national vaccination plan of prioritizing frontline workers in the country. “I came today to take my COVID-19 vaccine in order to share my experience with others and bring home the message that I am doing very well and to encourage others to take the vaccine to protect themselves, their families and their communities,” explained Dut Yual Agoth, a volunteer health worker from the host community with UNHCR partner ACROSS.
Since the start of the pandemic, UNHCR, the UN Refugee Agency, in collaboration with its partners and the government, has scaled up its COVID-19 response activities to keep refugees, internally displaced people, returnees as well as the communities hosting them safe across South Sudan. Life-saving support such as boosting water and sanitation services, increasing access to healthcare including the renovation of health facilities and provision of ongoing regular services including nutrition programmes continued despite the pandemic.
The organization also provided three ambulances to state authorities, installed six COVID-19 testing machines in refugee settings in Maban, Jamjang, Makpandu, and in Yei, as well as airlifted various medical items including oxygen concentrators, portable ventilators, emergency supplies including soap. UNHCR also established two intensive care units in Maban and in Pariang, and COVID-19 isolation units in all refugee camps. Personal protective equipment such as masks, gloves, gowns, and sanitizers continue to be supplied to health facilities that are serving the forcibly displaced families across the country.
The roll-out of the national vaccination campaign has also heralded good news for students. Schools have reopened following more than one year of closure. Since March of 2020, UNHCR and education partners have supported remote learning for refugee and host community students, however in-class attendance and the joy of studying alongside friends everyday has been greatly missed. To support the reopening of in-person learning this May, UNHCR also made improvements to water and sanitation facilities in primary and secondary schools.
“Today, I wish to commend South Sudan for the continued generosity to include refugees as well as internally displaced people in the national preparedness and response plans since the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic,” said UNHCR’s Representative, Arafat Jamal. “Safeguarding refugee health also protects the health of their host communities and wider society, and UNHCR is working with the Ministry of Health, the World Health Organisation, UNICEF and partners to support the roll-out in all refugee hosting locations.”
UNHCR participates in the National COVID-19 Steering Committee, headed by the Ministry of Health and the World Health Organization, and in its various technical working groups, headed by other partners in implementing the national COVID-19 preparedness and response plan including among forcibly displaced populations.
UNHCR reiterates that refugees, internally displaced and stateless people and their local host communities must be included on an equal footing with citizens in national responses to the pandemic, including public health access, vaccines, and social safety nets, and the South Sudan government has shown this.
Statement on the Shooting of Bishop-Elect of Rumbek Diocese April 26. 2021
Thessherald—I have learned today with dismay the unfortunate incident that involved the Rt Rev. Christian Carlassare, Bishop elect of Rumbek Diocese, who was shot last night by the unidentified gunmen.
The reprehensible act of violence meted on him is unacceptable and it must stop. I call upon all South Sudanese to condemn the criminals who carried out this heinous crime in strongest terms possible. To ensure no such act is carried out against the clergy, I call upon authorities in Lake State to carry out an expeditious investigation that will lead to lawful apprehension and prosecution of criminals who perpetrated this crime.
If those who carried out this shameful act were doing so to intimidate the Church, they are sadly mistaken, The Catholic faithful Bishop Elect, Christian Carlassare, Was chosen to lead and authoritics in Lake State will stand by him and will not allow action of few criminals to affect die plans of ecclesiastical authority.
I pray for God to strengthen the Rt. Rev. Carlassare faith in serving our people so that he can come back to his flock with renewed determination to serve the faithful in the Diocese. I wish him speedy recovery. Salva Kiir Mayardit President, Republic of South Sudan Juba, South Sudan
Thessherald—An Italian-born missionary, Fr. Christian Carlassare, has been shot twice by unidentified gunmen in Rumbek, South Sudan, prompting nationwide condemnation on social media.
Fr. Christian Carlassare was recently appointed as the Catholic Bishop of Rumbek Diocese.
Speaking to the press on Monday, Lakes State Acting Information Minister William Kocji said that the unknown gunmen had ordered the bishop to open his door before they began shooting him twice in the legs.
“The bishop was attacked by two gunmen who went to his residence at the church compound and asked him to open his door, after failing to open, they started shooting at the door before forcing their way in,” the state official said in a brief statement.
He’s currently receiving treatment in the Kenyan capital, Nairobi.
Since the country descended into conflict in mid-December 2013, Rumbek has been a hotbed and fertile ground for criminal activities.
The proliferation of illegal firearms in the hands of civilians continues to weaken and impede law enforcement efforts in the country.
Thessherald—The wife of Peter Mayen Majongdit, Minister of Humanitarian Affairs and Disaster Management, has filed for divorce a day after her husband fired three shots in the air to disrupt a women’s soccer match on Saturday.
According to a reliable source, the wife insisted that she must file for divorce due to what she described as “reckless behavior” by her husband, who currently holds a public office in the unity government.
Mayen was trying to forcibly take his wife off the pitch while playing when he was stopped by security guards deployed at the stadium.
This is not the first time the Minister has been in the limelight over abuse of power and malfeasance in office.
Last year, Mayen traded blows with individuals after defaulting on outstanding debts, sparking an uproar on social media.
Mayen was appointed in March 2020, in line with the implementation of the peace agreement signed in 2018.
Thessherald—Universal for Knowledge & Empowerment Agency, a Juba-based national organization, spares no effort in its endeavor to improve livelihoods of vulnerable populations in hard-to-reach and flood-prone areas.
Last year, as part of its efforts to boost resilience among rural communities, UNKEA distributed hundreds of goats to vulnerable and elderly people in Ulang county, Upper Nile state – one of the states hit hard by devastating floods.
According to the United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA), the situation in South Sudan remains extremely dire across the country with approximately 7 million or 60% of the population still struggling to find adequate food every day.
In November 2020, UNKEA provided cash transfers to eligible groups in Upper Nile State in a bid to meet their basic needs, such as access to food, healthcare and shelters.
It also provides free education to thousands of children deprived of decent education as a result of conflicts in South Sudan.
South Sudan, despite having achieved peace, continues to face numerous challenges with economic collapse being the most difficult problem affecting vulnerable populations across the country.
The Minister of Health, Elizabeth Achuei Yol, has received her first dose of the Covid-19 vaccine and urged the country’s leaders to do the same. She’s the first person in the country to be vaccinated against the virus.
In the coming weeks and months, all frontline health workers in South Sudan will be offered the vaccine through a national vaccination campaign. Subsequently, people with co-morbidities and people above 65 years of age will also be offered the vaccine. 25 March 2021, South Sudan received 132,000 doses of the Astra Zeneca COVID-19 vaccine through the COVAX facility.
“The first phase of the vaccination is conducted in Central Equatoria State targeting health care workers as well as persons aged 65 years and older, given their increased risk of severe disease and death due to a potential COVID-19 infection”, said Minister of Health Hon Elizabeth Achuei. “The aim of the roll out of the COVID-19 vaccine is to protect the prioritized groups against COVID-19”.
South Sudan aims at vaccinating 40 per cent of its population against COVID-19. The COVAX facility has committed to providing half of the required doses meaning 732,000 doses in total. Therefore, the vaccination must be done in phases as the vaccines arrive.
“This is a significant moment for the people of South Sudan. “said Patience Musanhu, Gavi Senior Country Manager for South Sudan. “By protecting the most vulnerable groups, we can save lives, take pressure off health systems and ease the economic burden brought on by the pandemic.”
A person being vaccinated with the Astra Zeneca vaccine requires two doses to ensure optimal immune response against the COVID-19 virus. The COVID-19 vaccination in South Sudan will be provided on a voluntary basis and free of charge. All people receiving the vaccine will be asked to consent prior to being vaccinated.
“The COVID-19 vaccination marks an important step towards control of COVID-19 in South Sudan, which pose a threat to our well-being”, said Dr Fabian Ndenzako, WHO Representative a.i. for South Sudan. “Safe, effective, and quality vaccines for COVID-19 are our best hope for bringing the pandemic under control, together with other public health interventions, such as physical distancing, washing hands and mask use”.
Over several months, COVAX partners have supported governments and partners, particularly in low-income countries including South Sudan, to prepare for the vaccination roll-out. This includes assisting with the development of national vaccination plans, supporting cold chain infrastructure, as well as stockpiling of half a billion syringes and safety boxes for their disposal, masks, gloves and other equipment to ensure that there is enough equipment for health workers to start vaccinating priority groups as soon as possible.
“If there is one lesson we can draw from the pandemic, it is that we need more partnerships like these in the world,” said the UNICEF South Sudan Representative Hamida Lasseko. “UNICEF is proud to have made vaccine deliveries all over the world including South Sudan on behalf of COVAX. Children in South Sudan are now safer because the warm hands of health workers are safer through vaccination.
A well-known and outspoken Catholic Emeritus Archbishop of Juba Diocese, His Grace, Paulino Lukudu Loro, has died in the capital, Nairobi after battling an illness.
“The Lord is my shepherd…Even were I to walk in the valley of the shadow of death, I fear no danger, for you are at my side… (Ps 23:1.8). My brothers and sisters in Christ and fellow-citizens of our great nation.
“I, your shepherd, by God’s will and design, bring to you the saddest news of my entire life-time: My predecessor and Father, His Grace Archbishop Paolino Lukudu Loro, a star that ceaselessly was shining over our church and nation for well over thirty years has this morning flickered out in the Kenyan Capital City of Nairobi.”
“This tragic and saddest of all news will not affect only the church but indeed the wider community of our South Sudan society.”
In a statement, the Archbishop of Juba declared three days of mourning in honor of Archbishop Paulino Lucudo Loro until the beginning of the Requiem Mass.
“I therefore announce, beginning as of today, a 4-day mourning period for His Grace Archbishop Paolino Lukudu Loro. Further pieces of information on the content of the mourning period will be announced as soon as they are available.”
“Eternal rest grant unto him, Oh Lord, and let your perpetual light shine upon him. May he rest in peace. Amen Eternal rest grant unto him, Oh Lord, and let your perpetual light shine upon him. May he rest in peace. Amen Eternal rest grant unto him, Oh Lord, and let your perpetual light shine upon him. May he rest in peace.”
Responding to the recent sanctions imposed by the European Union, South Sudan’s blacklisted military commander, General Moses Lokujo, says that travel ban and asset freeze will do him no harm, citing that he doesn’t have a bank account in Europe.
“This is rubbish, I have never gone to European countries nor will I set foot on their territory. Since I was fighting to defend my country and as long as I do not have an active bank account in Europe, the dogs may bark, but the caravan goes on,” said Moses Lokujo in an exclusive interview with Thessherald.
Earlier this week, the European Union imposed a travel ban on Musa Lokujo, for serious human rights violations, including extrajudicial killings and attacks on opposition forces in Kajo-Keji county.
“In South Sudan, the EU has imposed sanctions on Major General Gabriel Moses Lokujo for serious human rights violations in South Sudan in particular extra judicial killings.”
“Three officers of the Sudan People’s Liberation Army in Opposition were abducted and executed on the orders of Major General Gabriel Moses Lokujo,” the European Union.
“Lokujo Announcing his defection from the SPLM-IO to SSPDF Major General Lokujo defected in September 2020 from the SPLA-IO to the SSPDF and is responsible for the ensuing clashes in and around the Moroto Training Center in southern Central Equatoria.”
“As a consequence, several deaths and injuries were reported on both sides during the last quarter of 2020, and civilians were also displaced, especially in the Kajo-Keji area of Central Equatoria State. Major General Lokujo’s forces remained in the area where several further clashes have been reported and the safety and security of the civilian communities continue to be in jeopardy.”
Under the EU Global Human Rights Sanctions Regime established on 7 December 2020, the listed individuals and entities are subject to an asset freeze in the EU. In addition, listed individuals are subject to a travel ban to the EU. Moreover, persons and entities in the EU are prohibited from making funds available, either directly or indirectly, to those listed.