Sudan Tribune:

116 students graduate from C. Equatoria’s vocational institute

April 17, 2014 (LAINYA) – A total of 116 students completed four-month courses in various areas at Lainya vocational institute in South Sudan’s Central Equatoria state.

JPEG - 69.2 kbSome of the beneficiaries from Plan South Sudan support in Kapeota county in Eastern Equatoria state April 16, 2014 (ST)

The students who completed training in auto-mechanics, electrical installation, tailoring and business management, were the first batch to graduate since the institute was inaugurated last year.

Seven of the 116 students were who completed training were female. The students were trained for free, courtesy of financial support provided by Plan South Sudan.

Sebit Kenyi, a project manager at the organisation, said the scheme targets 12,000 students for a three-year period.

“With vocational training, there is no hustling for jobs,” said Kenyi.

“This training equips students with skills, in fact six of the graduates are already employed and eight more have been called to places where they did attachments to be employed,” he added.

Sachin Bharti, a technical advisor at Plan South Sudan, said the training was basically on employable skills.

“We did a research and found out there was overwhelming need for this kind of training,” stressed Bharti.

“The program was designed in a manner that does not require candidates to posses high literacy knowledge,” he added.

The three-year project, Plan South Sudan officials said, was funded the European Union and mainly targets the youth.

Central Equatoria state’s education minister said his department initially preferred a new curriculum of education in which vocational training was emphasized.

“We have adopted a new curriculum and dropped that of Sudan,” said Hastin Yokwe Anisio Roba, adding “We must establish more vocational schools to train our youth.

Joseph Alex Lemi, the principle of Lainya vocational institute agitated for upgrading of the institution to include carpentry and joinery, agriculture, building and aquaculture.


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Sudanese opposition suspends Turabi’s party over participation in national dialogue

April 17, 2014 (KHARTOUM) – The opposition alliance National Consensus Forces (NCF) decided to freeze the membership of Hassan Al-Turabi party because they accepted to take part in the national dialogue process.

JPEG - 99.1 kbFrom left to right; Leader of the Popular Congress Party (PCP) Hassan Al-Turabi, Reform Now Party (RNP) head Ghazi Salah Al-Deen Al-Attabani; National Umma Party (NUP) Al-Sadiq Al-Mahdi and 2nd Vice President Hassabo Abdel-Rahman attend a speech by president Al-Bashir to announce the national dialogue initiative on 27 Jan 2014(SUNA)

The NCF which gathers the Communist party and other small political forces said they suspend the Popular Congress Party (PCP) and another small formation called Justice Party, for their participation in the political process launched by president Omer Al-Bashir last January.

The decision to freeze the membership of the two parties was taken by the NCF in a meeting held on Wednesday “because the PCP breached the common position of the coalition on the issue of dialogue”, NCF spokesperson Sideeq Youssef told Sudan Tribune on Thursday.

“How we can say that we are allies and stand in one platform while at the same time express sharply divergent views,” he stressed.

The opposition official reiterated the NCF firm rejection of dialogue with the regime unless the ruling party fulfils a number of conditions, including measures to ensure freedom of expression, formation of a national unity government, and the signing of a cessation of hostilities with the rebels.

The National Umma Party (NUP), which also participates in the dialogue, suspended its membership in the NCF in October last year over disagreement with the alliance on the stance towards the regime.

The two major opposition forces, NUP and PCP, say they accepted the dialogue, but nevertheless they intend to bring the ruling National Congress Party to implement their demands before to effectively engage in the process.

PCP political secretary, Kamal Omer, expressed to Sudan Tribune their regret for this decision adding they will call for a meeting at the leadership level to discuss this development.

Omer further said they stick to the membership of the opposition alliance, terming the decision as “unfounded”.

He however disclosed they have initiated a series of contacts to mull over a new large alliance for democracy and freedom in the country.

The opposition Congress Party spokesperson, Abu Bakr Youssef, stated the NCF can review their its decision, if the Popular Congress Party reconsiders its participation in the national dialogue.

The opposition coalition was founded in 2009 before the general elections by the SPLM which is now the ruling party of the independent South Sudan, UNP, PCP, Communist Party, Congress Party, Baath Party and other political formations.


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UN condemns “deadly attack” on Jonglei’s Bor camp

April 17, 2014 (JUBA) – The United Nations Mission in South Sudan (UNMISS) has strongly condemned Thursday’s alleged attack by armed youth on it base in Jonglei state capital Bor, which left at least 30 people dead.

JPEG - 27.1 kbSouth Sudan’s Jonglei state was the scene of fierce fighting after conflict erupted in the country in mid-December, with thousands of civilians seeking shelter at the UN base in the capital, Bor (Photo: Reuters)

In a statement issued on Thursday, UNMISS said it was as yet unable to confirm the number of dead and injured.

The UN base, housing an Indian contingent of peacekeepers, was reportedly overrun by armed youths from the Dinka Bor tribe, who opened fire on civilians indiscriminately, including women and children.

The site is currently providing protection to about 5,000 internally displaced people (IDPs), predominantly from the ethnic Nuer group to which rebel leader Riek Machar hails.

“The UN Mission in South Sudan strongly condemns today’s (Thursday’s) deadly and unprovoked attack on its base in Bor,” the statement, extended to Sudan Tribune reads in part.

The agency has called on South Sudan’s leadership to uphold its responsibilities to protect all South Sudanese civilians and maintain public order.

“UNMISS additionally calls on all national, state and local authorities and forces to protect all civilians, to ensure that the inviolability of United Nations premises is protected, and to take effective measures to prevent a recurrence of such attacks,” the statement said.

The raid at the UN base reportedly occurred after armed local youth entered the site to deliver a protest letter calling for IDPs to be relocated from the area.

It’s believed protesters were angered after witnessing the celebrations of IDPs after the Unity state capital, Bentiu, was recaptured by pro-Machar rebels on Monday.

However, youths claimed they were simply responding after being fired on from the UNMISS camp.

UNMISS has disputed these accounts, saying the armed mob forced its way inside despite repeated warning shots fired by its forces.

“The armed mob forced entry into the site and opened fire on the internally displaced persons sheltering inside the base. UNMISS peacekeepers returned fire, and the mob retreated from the base,” the agency said in its statement.


The UN secretary-general, Ban Ki-Moon, issued a statement on Thursday, saying any attack on UN peacekeepers constitutes a war crime.

“This attack on a location where civilians are being protected by the United Nations is a serious escalation,” the statement said.

“The secretary- general expresses his condolences to the bereaved families and pledges all possible support to those wounded in this attack,” it adds.

Medical sources have put the death toll from the incident at about 30, but this has not yet to be officially confirmed

Bior Kuer, a health worker at Bor hospital, said 14 people were being treated after being wounded in the attack, while three other people from the Dinka Bor tribe had died.

“These youth tell us that some bodies are still lying outside the UNMISS camp, but we don’t know how many,” said Kuer.

There are conflicting reports emerging about the incident, with UNMISS health officer William Oyual putting the death toll at 20

“Very many people are injured and the death toll could rise anytime,” he told Sudan Tribune by phone from the UNMISS base.

Kuer claimed youths came under fire from UNMISS, while Oyual said armed elements had overwhelmed peacekeepers and forced their way into the site.

“The UNMISS soldiers ran for their protection and these youth entered [the] POC (Protection of Civilians site) and began shooting at people,” said Oyual.

Two UNMISS peacekeepers also sustained injuries during the incident.

In December, the UNMISS camp in Akobo, a Nuer area, also came under attack, leading to the death of two peacekeepers and 20 civilians of Dinka origin.

President Salva Kiir, a Dinka, has accused his former deputy, Machar, of staging a coup in mid-December that kick-started the four-month-old conflict.

Machar has denied the claims, but admits heading a rebellion comprised largely of defected army personnel and armed Nuer civilians.

A political power struggle between Kiir and Machar erupted in violence on the 15 December 2013, with loyalties in the country dividing along tribal lines.

The South Sudanese army (SPLA) has accused Sudan’s feared Arab Janjaweed militia of supporting rebels in Bentiu following the strategic oil-rich town’s recapture earlier this week.

The latest round of violence has shattered a tenuous ceasefire deal between South Sudan’s warring parties, negotiated during peace talks in the Ethiopian capital, Addis Ababa.


- 30 people killed following clashes at UN base in Jonglei: reports
- Rebels say they have recaptured Unity state’s Bentiu from South Sudan army

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