‘Dropped Morobo MP Afekuru arrested for holding diplomatic passport, nationality illegally’-Police

The police have said dropped nominated Morobo woman member of parliament, Animu Afekuru Risasi, is being held by their directorate of immigration on charges of illegally holding a South Sudanese nationality identity card and a diplomatic passport.

The deputy spokesperson of the South Sudan National Police Service (SSNPS), Brigadier General James Dak Karlo, told Radio Tamazuj Wednesday that they were the ones holding Afekuru and not the National Security Service as rumored.

“The lady is in the custody of immigration and passports, not in the National Security. She is going to be handed over to the Ugandan government,” Gen. Dak said. “She is detained because they are taking her statement. She was found in possession of illegal South Sudanese nationality and a diplomatic passport. She was even dropped as a member of parliament because it was discovered that she was not a South Sudanese national. Her membership was scrapped off.”

He added: “The new development is that she was found with a South Sudanese national identity card because is a non-South Sudanese and then diplomatic passports are issued to the diplomatic corps through the ministries of interior and foreign affairs. So she will have to answer how she obtained them.”

On Afekuru not being presented in court if she has a case to answer, Gen. Dak admitted that it was indeed an error but said the delay was because the South Sudan government was trying to coordinate with their Ugandan counterparts.

Phillip Anyang, an advocate of the High Court in Juba who is representing Afekuru said he met his client this morning in the presence of the director-general of immigration.

“This morning I managed to see Animu (Afekuru) in front of the director-general of immigration. I had a lengthy chat with her on when, why, and how she was picked,” Advocate Anyang explained. “She told me that she was picked on 22 December at Phenicia by National Security Service and she was taken to the central division facility and later transferred to immigration where she was kept for 3 days.”

He said his client was being escorted to Nimule for unknown reasons because there was no instrument of arrest or document or order provided.

“She was taken to Nimule where she was kept the whole night and in the morning the South Sudan security operatives linked up with the police in Nimule and tried to hand over to the Ugandan authorities,” Anyang narrated. “The Ugandans refused to take those directives and said Animu is a South Sudanese and all the records in their system and the South Sudan system showed as such.”

He added: “Secondly, there was no clear documentation showing that she was being deported and reasons for deportation. Nothing was done legally.” So, Animu was brought back on 27 December and she is undergoing medication now. She is being held on no clear grounds.”

Anyang said that the immigration director-general averred that she is allegedly being held because she is being called a Ugandan.

“We have asked if there is any case opened against her, but no such thing has come up. The director-general confirmed to me that they are in contact with the ministry of foreign affairs and the government of Uganda,” Anyang said. “I asked if she can be visited by family and if she can be released on bail and who is the complainant against her. I presented all the documents to the immigration director-general this morning so I will follow up this afternoon and see if they will grant her bail.”

Advocate Anyang revealed that there is a pending case in court by his client against the immigration department to stop harassing her which was filed in 2019 and the court summoned the immigration department but they did not show up.

“We also informed the justice ministry to notify the immigration that there is a case against them but none of them showed up. The case has been pending in court awaiting disposal,” Anyang said. “This issue of Animu has been coming up often. We have asked the government that whoever has a case against her and alleges that she is a foreigner, a Ugandan, come forward and tell us and prove it in the courts of law and we close the matter. No one is coming forward or taking charge of the matter and it is becoming political. We do not know who is responsible for all this mess.”

He asked the government to immediately release his client and take her to court if there is a case against her.

“Animu’s or any other citizens’ rights should not be abused but protected. The constitution is very clear about rights so there is no reason to keep her without due process of the law. It is the eighth day she is in detention today,” Anyang said.

Source: Radio Tamazuj

2 killed, cattle raided in Duk County

Local authorities in Duk County of Jonglei State said two herdsmen were killed and 23 head of cattle stolen during a raid by armed men on December 26.

John Chatim, the Duk County commissioner, told Radio Tamazuj said the herdsmen were ambushed by between while on their way to Pajut town.

“On December 26, some of our civilians moving from Duk Padiet Payam to Patuet area of Pajut town were waylaid by assailants and 23 cows were raided,” Commissioner Chatim said. “Those civilians tried to defend themselves but they were overpowered.”

He said the attack was carried out by cattle raiders suspected to have come from Greater Pibor Administrative Area (GPAA).

Joseph Mayen Akoon, the state police commissioner, condemned the incident as unfortunate and said that they were not able to intervene because it occurred in the bush. He urged the locals to be cautious as they move to and fro during the festive season.

For his part, Lokali Amae Bullen, the GPAA chief administrator, also condemned the incident and said that he would work with his Jonglei State counterparts to crack down on criminals in the region.

Source: Radio Tamazuj

Malakal: Civil servants demonstrate over pay

Civil servants in Malakal town in Upper Nile State on Tuesday morning peacefully demonstrated in front of the General Secretariat of the state government over non-payment of six months’ salary arrears and the new amendments to the salary structure.

Several of the state government workers told Radio Tamazuj that they were demonstrating due to the non-disbursement of salary arrears since August and the nonpayment of civil service allowances.

An employee of the state education ministry, who only identified himself as Zakaria, said they were asking the government to pay salary arrears from August and to include civil service allowances in the salaries.

“The salary for the month of July was paid and the government promised to pay the month of August,” He said. “We did not ask for wages for the months of August, September, October, November, and December.”

Another state worker, Santino said, “We are asking the government for six months salary arrears, so we organized a peaceful demonstration in front of the government secretariat so that they can respond to the worker’s demands.”

For his part, Chol Atem, the police official, confirmed that the employees went out in peaceful demonstrations demanding financial dues from work allowances, saying: “Yes, there was a demonstration that took place and they were addressed by the authorities and the demonstration was ended.”

For his part, state finance minister Val Deng said what happened was a misunderstanding and that they reached a consensus with the workers’ committee regarding the payment of financial benefits and salary arrears.

“The demonstrators’ committee presented the workers’ demands, including bonuses and allowances, and we reached an understanding with them that the state will pay these benefits from local revenues, and this needs time,” Minister Deng said.

Source: Radio Tamazuj

Machar’s SPLA-IO admit losing base to Kit Gwang faction

The SPLA-IO component loyal to Vice President Dr. Riek Machar has admitted that the breakaway faction commanded by Gen. Simon Gatwich Dual took over one of their bases after heavy fighting in the northern part of northern Upper Nile State on 27 December.

Dr. Machar’s SPLA-IO military spokesperson, Col. Lam Paul Gabriel, told Radio Tamazuj on Tuesday night that the Kit Gwang forces of Gen. Gatwich took over their Amoud base on Boxing Day after they tactically withdrew from the area.

“On 26 December, clashes occurred between ours and their forces on patrol and they were repulsed back to their base in Magenis,” Col. Lam explained. “They imagined that we had attacked them and they attacked our base in Amoud on 27 December and took it over because our forces had tactically withdrawn from there because we are at peace and it is a festive season.”

He added: “We did not think there would be heavy fighting and did not prepare for it so we withdrew outside of Amoud. So, up to now, the Kit Gwang forces are in Amoud.”

Asked who started the fighting, Col. Lam blamed the Kit Gwang SPLA-IO faction for sparking the clashes.

“They are the ones who attacked us and took over our base in Amoud. During the fighting they deployed an armored vehicle which killed many people and forced us to withdraw,” Lam said. “Again, yesterday (Tuesday) at around 1 pm, they left Amoud and wanted to attack the place we withdrew to but we repulsed them back to Amoud.”

He said there has not been any fighting since Tuesday because Dr. Machar ordered his forces not to go attack the breakaway SPLA-IO faction.

“We are not attacking. Our Commander-in-Chief, Dr. Riek Machar ordered us not to attack Gatwich Dual’s forces again because this is a time of peace and if there is an issue it should be resolved using dialogue,” Col. Lam said. “South Sudanese should not kill each other because this is a time of peace. Our forces are observing the orders not to engage in combat. So, we are now telling the Kit Gwang group that the people now want peace and not war. Whatever they want can be discussed and does not require war. War takes us backward.”

On the number of soldiers they lost, he said the fighting was heavy and many people died for nothing.

“It was very heavy fighting and they lost a lot and we also lost. On our side, we might have lost 10 soldiers but they lost more I am sure,” Col. Lam said. “What have they benefited from the fighting? Now the families of the dead soldiers will suffer.”

Source: Radio Tamazuj

N. Bahr el Ghazal State halts youth convention over gender representation

The Northern Bahr el Ghazal State has suspended ongoing arrangements for a planned youth convention over gender representation and other irregularities, a government official said on Tuesday evening.

The state ministry of culture, youth, and sports said the steering committee arranging the convention failed to consider gender representation and other queries from county commissioners.

Deng Wek Wekdit, the state minister of culture, youth, and sports, told Radio Tamazuj that his ministry has sent back the nomination lists with instructions to include five female delegates per county.

“After we got this problem, we sat and decided to send all the lists of delegates back to the various counties so that the county commissioners can consider gender balance because these lists from various counties had weak gender representation,” Minister Wek said. “Each county has sent around one to three female representatives out of fifteen delegates. They are supposed to be five per county.”

The minister also said he will soon establish a commission to discuss the amount of money to be paid by those contesting leadership positions.

Velantino Makuei Deng who chairs the Northern Bahr el Ghazal youth steering committee said the youth ministry was making unfounded allegations and that his committee is waiting for the governor to fix a date for the convention.

“That is an allegation from the ministry and we are currently waiting for Governor Tong Akeen Ngor to fix the date for the convention where the youth leaders will be elected,” Makuei said.

A youth, Bona Bak, accused the leader of the steering committee of not collaborating with the ministry.

“What Makuei is doing now in my own opinion is not right because every youth activity is handled by the ministry of youth as the line ministry,” Bak said. “Makuei is the chairperson of the steering committee but whenever there is a move, he can inform the minister and director-general in the ministry. But he used to submit all reports to the National Youth Union without consulting the state youth minister.”

Source: Radio Tamazuj

Sudan Gunmen Loot UN Food Aid Warehouse in Darfur


Sudanese gunmen have looted a World Food Program (WFP) warehouse containing about 1,900 metric tons of food aid in Darfur amid a surge of violence in the western region, officials said Wednesday.

Residents of El Fasher, the capital of North Darfur state, reported heavy gunfire near the warehouse late Tuesday, and the local authorities imposed a nighttime curfew on the town after the attack, state news agency SUNA reported.

“We heard intense gunfire,” local resident Mohamed Salem told AFP.

A WFP official said the organization was “conducting an audit into what was stolen from the warehouse, which contained some 1,900 [metric tons] of food products” intended to be lifesaving supplies for some of the most vulnerable people.

“One in three people in Sudan needs humanitarian assistance,” said Khardiata Lo N’diaye, the United Nations humanitarian coordinator for Sudan. “Humanitarian assistance should never be a target.”

On Twitter, Darfur Governor Mini Minawi denounced the raid as a “barbaric act” and said those responsible “will face justice.”

The vast, arid and impoverished region awash with guns is still reeling from a conflict that broke out under former President Omar al-Bashir in 2003, leaving hundreds of thousands of people dead.

While the main conflict in Darfur has subsided under a peace deal struck with key rebel groups last year, violence continues to erupt.

The region has seen a spike in conflict since October triggered by disputes over land, livestock and access to water and grazing, with around 250 people killed in fighting between herders and farmers.

Tens of thousands have been forced to flee their homes, according to the International Organization for Migration (IOM).

The violence has occurred while Sudan reels from political turbulence in the wake of a coup led by military chief General Abdel Fattah al-Burhan on October 25.

Last week, United Nations Secretary-General Antonio Guterres condemned looting and reported violence near a former U.N. logistics base in El Fasher that had been handed over to the local authorities days earlier.

A joint U.N. and African Union mission, UNAMID, ended 13 years of peacekeeping operations in December last year, but Guterres said “substantial amounts of equipment and supplies” from the looted base were intended to be used by Sudanese communities.

More than 14 million Sudanese will need humanitarian aid next year, according to the U.N. Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs, the highest level for a decade.

Source: Voice of America