JUBA South Sudan (Xinhua) --
South Sudan on Monday issued exploration
and production rights in its hitherto dormant Block B3
oil field to Nigeria-based Oranto Petroleum Limited.
field that straddles across northern region of Jonglei,
Lakes and Central Equatoria will cost about 3 billion
U.S. dollars within four years of exploration leading to
have just signed is an Exploration Production Sharing
Agreement (EPSA) for Block B3. This Block (B3) is
awarded today to Oranto Petroleum Limited,” The minister
of petroleum Ezekiel Gatkuoth told journalists in Juba.
will immediately start exploring this Block. They are
sharing this Block with our Nile Petroleum Corporation (Nilpet)
and the distribution of the shares of this Block, 90
percent will go to Oranto and 10 percent to Nilpet,” he
South Sudan is reeling from hyper inflation nearing 800
percent, following more than three years of violent
conflict that reduced oil production capacity in
northern oil fields located in Unity and Upper Nile
production declined from over 350,000 barrels per day
(bpd) to less than 130,000 bpd due to fighting
destroying oil infrastructure, and the situation was
further exacerbated by the low global oil prices, hence
battering South Sudan’s nascent economy which depends 98
percent on crude oil export to finance its fiscal
that the petroleum resources in block B3 are vast; to
reach our target in this Block we must move quickly to
explore and double our current oil production,” Gatkuoth
government is working hard to make sure the petroleum
industry is explored so that we can have more revenues,”
Oranto petroleum limited Chief Executive Officer Prince
Arthur Eze, downplayed probable risks surrounding the
EPSA reached with the South Sudanese government, vowing
to fast track the unexploited oil well despite security
contract says first phase two years, and then second
phase two years. We start now to better the data,
process, interpret it and plan for our way to drill
(oil). We are in hurry the country is changing and we
want to change with the country,” he said.
descended into violence in December 2013, following
political dispute between President Salva Kiir and his
former deputy Riek Machar. The war has killed tens of
thousands, displaced more than two million from their
violence in July 2016 threatened to tear apart a fragile
2015 peace agreement to end the conflict, and the UN in
late February declared famine in some parts of the
country leaving 100,000 people starving and 5.5 million
in urgent need of humanitarian food assistance.
South Sudan IDPs accuse
gov’t of blocking students from taking exams
Sudan (Xinhua) -- Displaced people living at a UN
civilian camp in Juba said on Monday that the government
has barred some 965 secondary school students from
writing their examinations at the UN camp.
school students across conflict-hit South Sudan started
their final year examinations on Monday morning after
the exercise was postponed late 2016 due to inadequate
resources, insecurity and logistical challenges.
people are living in the Protection of Civilian Site (POC)
1 and 3 after fleeing their homes in December 2013
following deadly clashes between supporters of South
Sudanese President Salva Kiir and his former deputy Riek
Machar which left tens of thousands dead.
secondary school children have been taking examinations
in several UN protected camps across South Sudan for the
past three years.
Machar, Deputy Chairman of the Protection of Civilian
Site (POC) 3 told Xinhua that the students refused a
proposal by the government to do examinations outside
the UN camp over safety concerns.
information today that the government is not ready to
give examinations to students in the POC three yet all
necessary requirements were met. We tried to make
inquiries but no tangible outcome. So maybe this is
politically motivated,” Machar said.
He called on
the UN Mission in South Sudan (UNMISS) and civil society
organizations to intervene and ensure that the student’s
concerns are addressed.
to the stakeholders to give more pressure to the
government to allow the students in the POC to take
their examinations because we are all South Sudanese and
it is our right to education,” he added.
Dhol, Secretary General of South Sudan Examinations
Secretariat, confirmed to Xinhua by phone that students
at the UN missed their final examinations because they
refused to travel to the government protected
decided that they (students) should come and sit the
exams outside the UN camp because the government is
capable of providing security. They will sit the exams
if they accept to come,” Dhol said.
A total of
19,484 candidates are sitting for the examinations in 25
states. Three states of Gok, Southern Liech and Latjor
in northern South Sudan were excluded from the secondary
leaving examinations due to insecurity.
The boys to
girls’ ratio still remains wide as only 5,905 girls
females (30 percent) registered for the examination
compared to the 13,579 male students.
has one of the lowest literacy rates in the world as
only 15 percent women and 40 percent men of the
country’s 12 million population are able to read or
write, according to official data from the Ministry of
South Sudan hikes work
permit fees for foreigners amid economic crunch
JUBA South Sudan (Xinhua) --
South Sudan has increased work
permit fees for foreign workers amid biting economic
crunch to widen its revenue base, officials said in a
circular seen on Monday.
of Public Services released circular listing new work
permit fees for all foreign workers in the war-torn
the work permit rates for professional/business class
from 400 U.S dollars to 10,000 dollars, blue collar jobs
to 2,000 dollars and casual laborers 1,000 dollars
effective from the date of issue on March 2.
that came after the UN declaration of famine in parts of
the country in late February, has been viewed as a
veiled target on foreigners working in humanitarian
agencies that are helping majority of South Sudanese
displaced and suffering from the more than three years
of brutal conflict.
President Salva Kiir’s spokesman Ateny Wek Ateny
dismissed allegations of clamping down on humanitarian
workers, saying the decision was driven by national
is a routine. Any country in the world has a right to
impose work permits on foreigners. If you can’t pay
10,000 dollars, then you hire a local person instead (of
foreigner),” he said in Juba.
any in the world that does not have regulation for
foreigners. Instead the government of South Sudan was
asleep and it has now woken up,” he added.
He added the
decision was not likely to have a diplomatic backlash on
the landlocked country which depends entirely on it’s
neighbors for her imports.
South Sudan in 2016 got admitted into the regional trade
bloc East African Community (EAC) which among member
countries calls for removal of non-trade barriers,
harmonization of work permits and free movement of
people and labor across borders.