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South Sudan hopes to start exporting
livestock products by 2040: official

JUBA South Sudan (Xinhua) -- South Sudan is implementing 28 livestock development projects in a bid to boost quality of the country’s untapped livestock resources and begin export by 2040, a senior government official said.

James Janga Duku, Minister of Livestock, Fisheries and Animal Resources told Xinhua on Monday that his ministry would invest at least 12.5 million U.S. dollars on development of livestock infrastructure such as slaughter houses, laboratories and disease control programs, among others.

Duku said South Sudan is home to 12 million cattle and over 28 million goats and sheep, but it cannot export its livestock due to threats posed by diseases such as the deadly Foot and Mouth Disease (FMD) and Rift Valley fever.

“We have developed a plan that by 2040, we should be able to be confident that South Sudan will export if we can implement the programs,” Duku told Xinhua after opening a four-day animal health workshop in Juba.

He added resources from the livestock sector would reduce the country’s dependence on oil revenue and boost prospects of economic recovery.

“We are still pinned to the oil which is our only source of revenue but we want to push ourselves into livestock to diversify the economy,” he said.

Duku said the government is working with the United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) to develop disease control strategies to enable the nation tackle its current animal health crisis and strengthen efforts to join the global trade on meat and livestock products.

“If we don’t eradicate the diseases threatening us at the moment, they will become endemic and then they will render us impotent from our plan to export livestock and livestock products,” Duku said.

Abdal Monium Osman, FAO senior program officer in South Sudan said the UN agriculture agency would support South Sudan in the quest to improve its livestock sector.

“FAO has different interventions and long term strategy to support the livestock sector in South Sudan, not just animal health but in other aspects of livestock production including education and milk production,” Osman said.



South Sudan urges investors to tap 70 pct of unexplored oil sector

JUBA  South Sudan (Xinhua) -- South Sudan on Wednesday said 70 percent of its country’s oil producing fields have remained unexplored and urged international energy companies to explore them in a bid to spur the country’s economic revival.

Ezekiel Lul Gatkuoth, minister of petroleum said that despite Africa’s youngest country only exploring 30 percent of its oil fields, he is optimistic that by the end of the year, the country will restore production to the level before the civil war.

“By the end of Dec. 31, 2018 we must go back to what we used to produce, which is 290,000 barrels per day before the war broke out in mid-December 2013,” Gatkuoth told a three-day energy forum in Juba.

He said the government has signed exploration agreements with three international oil and service companies as part of plans to boost the production so as to achieve a win-win partnership between the government and the oil companies.

“We have been working closely with our partners to realize the resumption in block 1, 2 and 4. We really thank them for their opportunity that they are providing to the people of South Sudan,” the minister said.

Gatkuoth revealed that Juba and Khartoum are working jointly to rehabilitate the Unity Power Plant in order to increase oil production as soon as possible.

Azharia Abdalla, Sudan’s petroleum minister said that President Bashir’s government is committed to supporting President Salva Kiir’s administration to expand its oil exportation to the world market.

“As I speak to you now there is more than 800,000 barrels of South Sudan oil in Port Sudan ready for export now,” Abdalla said.

He disclosed that the two countries will soon sign an agreement that will see South Sudanese geologists, engineers, and technicians visit Khartoum oil facilities to learn and borrow some of the successful technologies that they use.

South Sudan in partnership with African Oil and Power (AOP) organized a three-day international energy forum to woo foreign oil companies and services in an effort to revamp its vital energy infrastructure and spark economic growth.

According to the World Bank, South Sudan is the most oil-dependent nation in the world, with oil accounting for almost all of its exports and around 60 percent of its gross domestic product (GDP).


South Sudan and South Africa sign oil deal

JUBA South Sudan (Xinhua) -- South Sudan’s petroleum ministry on Friday signed an agreement with South Africa that will allow the Johannesburg-based state-owned oil company to invest in energy sector in Juba.

Ezekiel Lul Gatkuoth, South Sudan’s petroleum minister, said the agreement which he signed with visiting  South African counterpart Jeff Radabe, will allow the two countries to work jointly in the country’s oil industry and gas to improve the economy.

“What we have signed this morning is a cooperation deal between our two national oil companies and the funding will come from the Central Energy Fund of South Africa,” Gatkuoth told journalists in Juba.

He said the joint cooperation with South Africa will help Juba build its oil refinery that will allow the country to sell refined products to Ethiopia, Sudan, Kenya and Uganda.

The minister said the east African oil-rich nation will be the hub of oil in the region and also in the continent, adding that the new deal will see the two countries create alternative routes of transporting its crude oil.

“We will continue to use the pipeline going to Port Sudan but for the oil that will be discovered in the southern part of the country, we will have to find a means to transport the crude and that is why it is important to have a new partner,” Gatkuoth said.

Jeff Radabe, energy minister of South Africa said the agreement is to ensure that the peace process is anchored with economic development by exploiting the oil resources for the prosperity of the country.

Radabe said the planned oil refinery will have a capacity of producing up to 60,000 barrels of oil per day and that is why the investment is a huge undertaking.

The South African minister also announced a donation of mineral laboratory to South Sudan’s petroleum ministry as part of his government commitment to the deal.


Netherlands pledge to support South Sudan peace process

JUBA South Sudan (Xinhua) -- Netherlands said Thursday its committed to supporting efforts for lasting peace in South Sudan and would support implementation of the recently signed peace deal.

Janet Alberda, Netherlands ambassador to South Sudan, said the new peace deal offers hope and opportunities for South Sudan to rebuild itself after suffering five years of devastating civil war.

Alberda urged the parties to the pact to exert maximum political will and ensure that the peace process is successful and inclusive for all.

During a ceremony in Juba, the Netherlands government unveiled a contribution of 9 million U. S. dollars to the UN World Food Programme (WFP) to improve roads in the conflict-torn country.

South Sudan descended into civil war in late 2013 and the conflict has killed tens of thousands of people and displaced over 4 million others both internally and externally.

Several warring factions signed a new peace deal in September and the pact appear to be holding as fighting has subsided across the country.

But many western countries, who initially backed South Sudan after its independence from Sudan in 2011 have so far shown little interest in supporting the new peace deal after a similar one collapsed in July 2016.

Adnan Khan, WFP Country Director in South Sudan said the funds would improve smallholder farmers’ access to markets by rehabilitating and maintaining roads in South Sudan over the next four years.

Khan added that the new peace agreement has improved the conditions for aid delivery in South Sudan and urged the parties to the conflict to work extra hard to lift restrictions on movement of humanitarian actors.

“Improved access for farmers to markets is essential to increase agricultural production, generate economic growth in rural areas and reduce hunger and poverty,” he said.

“For two years in a row, South Sudan has been declared one of the most dangerous country for humanitarians. It is our desire that South Sudan gets off that list if there is political will present from all sides,” he added.


UN to increase troops in South Sudan town to shore up security for returnees

JUBA South Sudan (Xinhua) -- The United Nations Mission in South Sudan (UNMISS) said Thursday it plans to increase peacekeepers in the once restive Upper Nile region to shore up security and boost confidence among internally displaced persons (IDPS) returning home.

David Shearer, Special Representative of the Secretary-General and the Head of the UNMISS, told journalists they are eager to support IDPs who are returning to their homes since fleeing the towns of Kodok, Aburoc and Renk during intensified fighting which displaced tens of thousands since May 2017.

“We are looking to boost our forces in Kodok on the west side of the Nile (river). We will establish a new base to support peace-building in the area so that people have confidence to return. This means that we will need to reconsider the amount of efforts we put into other areas,” Shearer told journalists in Juba.

Fighting between government troops and rebels allied to former first vice president Riek Machar displaced thousands, including some 30 aid workers who were withdrawn during the violence forcing the UNMISS to deploy troops at its temporary base in Aburoc.

He said he visited Malakal, Kodok and Renk in Upper Nile where the security situation has improved and people are beginning to return to the area from Aburoc, Sudan and other places where they had sought refuge during the height of the conflict.

Shearer said they are expecting the number of returnees to increase and are working on creating secure environment to support them and enable humanitarians to deliver assistance to them.

UNMISS is comprised of 14,500 peacekeepers, including forces under the Regional Protection Force (RPF) already partially deployed to secure key installations and patrolling major high ways.

South Sudan descended into civil war in late 2013, and the conflict has created one of the fastest growing refugee crises in the world.

A peace agreement signed in 2015 to end the violence was again violated in July 2016 when the rival factions resumed fighting in the capital, Juba, forcing Machar to flee into exile.

President Salva Kiir, his former deputy and arch rival Machar and several opposition groups in September signed a new power-sharing deal in the Ethiopian capital aimed at ending the five-year old conflict.

The UN estimates that about 4 million South Sudanese have been displaced internally and externally.


Number of displaced people in South Sudan rises to 1.97 million

JUBA (Xinhua) -- The number of displaced people in South Sudan increased to 1.97 million as of October, the UN humanitarian agency said on Monday.

The UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) said 32,113 displaced people were registered in Juba’s two Protection of Civilians (PoC) sites, marking an 18 percent drop since the 2016 figures.

“Almost half of the decrease is due to the relocation of 3,379 people following inter-communal tensions in September,” OCHA said in its latest report released in Juba.

Hundreds of thousands of people sought safety in UN bases after the breakout of conflict and widespread violence in South Sudan in 2013.

According to the UN agency, civilians were reported to have been displaced from Minyori following continued fighting around Yei, Central Equatoria.

“Of those displaced, more than 629 have been identified in Yei town. Partners provided humanitarian assistance to the IDPs, but food remains the main gap,” it said.

OCHA said more than 3,000 displaced people in Boma State, Jonglei, were reported to be in need of humanitarian assistance in Labarap County.

“They were reportedly displaced by cattle raiding, in which 12 children were reportedly abducted during fighting,” said the UN agency.

South Sudan descended into civil war in late 2013 and the conflict has created one of the fastest growing refugee crises in the world as some 4 million people are said to be displaced internally and externally since 2013.

A peace deal signed in August 2015 broke down in July 2016 following renewed violence in the capital Juba and quickly spread to previously peaceful areas.

Parties to the five-year conflict in September signed a new powering-deal in neighboring Ethiopia aimed at ending a civil war that had killed tens of thousands of people.



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