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XINHUA NEWS SERVICE REPORTS FROM THE AFRICAN CONTINENT

 

Kenya Special Envoy in South Sudan Kalonzo
Musyoka is pushing for peace implementation

by Julius Gale JUBA South Sudan (Xinhua) -- Kenya’s special envoy to South Sudan, Kalonzo Musyoka, arrived in the South Sudanese capital, Juba, on Thursday to follow up on the implementation of a September 2018 peace deal.

Musyoka met President Salva Kiir and other senior government officials to discuss the progress of the peace deal, the South Sudan presidency said in a statement issued after the meeting in Juba.

The Kenyan envoy will also meet signatories to the revitalized peace agreement to persuade them to form a transitional government of national unity by Nov. 12.

"The intention of his consultative meeting with the stakeholders and signatories to the revitalized peace agreement is to ensure that by the 12th of November 2019, all the arrangements will be in place for the formation of the transitional government of national unity," president Kiir’s office said.

Musyoka was appointed as special envoy to Juba in July to help promote peace, stability and reconciliation in the conflict-torn east African country.

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

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

A peace deal signed in August 2015 collapsed following renewed violence in the capital in July 2016.

Under the latest peace deal, opposition leader Riek Machar will be reinstated as Kiir’s deputy.

After missing the May 12 deadline to form a unity government, signatories to the pact agreed to extend the formation of the government by six months following delays in implementing key issues such as cantonment of forces and boundaries.
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EARLIER REPORTS:

South Sudan and Kenya seek to boost co-operation in oil sector

by Julius Gale JUBA South Sudan (Xinhua) -- South Sudan seeks to boost cooperation in the oil sector with neighboring Kenya, a newcomer in the oil business.

Daniel Awow Chuang, South Sudan petroleum minister, and his Kenyan counterpart John Munyes met in Juba on Wednesday and discussed ways of enhancing cooperation in the areas of oil infrastructure development and experience sharing, state-owned radio South Sudan Broadcasting Corporation (SSBC) reported Thursday.

"In the quest of evacuation of crude oil from Kenyan oilfields to the international market, there is need for cooperation between South Sudan, Kenya and Uganda and probably DRC," Chuang said.

Kenya announced last week that it made its first ever oil export of 200,000 barrels since the discovery of crude oil in the east African nation in 2012.

"My visit was to engage my colleague on how we can share experiences, learn from each other and find ways of cooperating in the area of infrastructure and building oil pipelines together," Munyes said.

Munyes said the talks also touched on how the countries in the east African region could build a joint pipeline to Kenya’s coast.

"There is a hope of having a joint pipeline together where the DRC, South Sudan and Kenya will come together so that our countries share the infrastructure through the port of Lamu," Munyes added.

In 2012, landlocked South Sudan agreed a deal with Kenya to build an oil pipeline to connect the conflict-torn country to the Kenyan port of Lamu in a bid to reduce the country’s over-reliance on its northern neighbor, Sudan for its oil export.

The project estimated to cost around 3 billion U.S. dollars is yet to start.
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South Sudan raises oil output by 6,000 barrels

by Julius Gale JUBA South Sudan (Xinhua) -- South Sudan has boosted its oil production by 6,000 barrels, bringing the country’s oil output to over 180,000 barrels per day, the petroleum ministry said on Wednesday.

Petroleum minister Awow Daniel Chuang, said the increase was realized following resumption of production at Block 1&2 in Manga Oilfield, which was closed six years ago due to insecurity in the northern parts of the country.

Chuang said the reopening of the Manga oilfields would boost the government’s ambitious efforts to reach the 200,000 barrels mark by the end of 2019.

"This is significant in our production and if we are to translate this figure into money, it would be a significant improvement in our revenue," Chuang told state-owned radio South Sudan Broadcasting Corporation (SSBC) on Wednesday.

"I am sure up to the end of this year, we shall be able to increase the production to our previous level to develop other sectors," he added.

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

But after the young nation descended into civil war in late 2013, oil production declined from 350,000 in 2011 to less than 130,000 barrels per day in 2014 amid soaring inflation.

Following the signing of a new peace deal in September 2018, conflict reduced and previously closed oilfields have reopened, and the landlocked country is hoping to raise daily output to over 200,000 barrels per day by the end of 2019.
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Kenya Commercial Bank plans investment in conflict-torn South Sudan

by Julius Gale JUBA South Sudan (Xinhua) -- Kenya Commercial Bank (KCB) South Sudan said Thursday it plans to boost investment after seeing positive economic indicators in the conflict-torn east African country.

Roba Waqo Jaldesa, KCB South Sudan managing director told reporters in Juba that the lender would step up investment in a bid to increase its presence across South Sudan.

"The shock that we received in 2016 is different from where we stand now. So I’m confident that next year we will be strong in terms of economic growth because now everything is taking the right perspective and direction," Jaldesa said.

KCB is east Africa’s largest lender by assets but its operations in South Sudan were hampered after the country descended into civil war in late 2013.

The bank had 23 branches across South Sudan, but only 11 are currently operational.

Jeldesa said the bank tolerated more than three years of uncertainty caused by war and hyper-inflation in the world’s youngest nation but recent positive trends have pined hopes of economic recovery.

"We will still not shy away from investing in South Sudan because we are there for long, we are not a temporally investor in South Sudan, we are a permanent investor in South Sudan," Jeldesa said.

As part of the bank’s expansion plans, Jaldesa said KCB launched its mobile banking platform in South Sudan on Monday and that would be followed by reopening of branches that were affected by the civil strife.
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South Sudanese ceasefire monitors concerned
about slow implementation of cantonment sites

by Daniel Majack JUBA South Sudan (Xinhua) -- South Sudan’s ceasefire monitors on Tuesday expressed strong fears on the slow progress to establish 35 cantonment sites for the opposition groups in line with the implementation of the security arrangements of the revitalized peace agreement.

The monitors expressed delay concerns as the November deadline of establishing a unified army of 83,000 personnel nears.

Desta Abiche Ageno, chairperson of ceasefire and transitional security arrangements monitoring, verification mechanism (CTSAMVM), said parties to the revitalized agreement need to urgently reassess gazetted sites for cantonment in a bid to support implementation of the peace deal.

"Some cantonment sites will need to be reconsidered because of the wet season.

"We have so far assessed 33 out of 35 such sites as specified by the joint defense board (JDB) and two have been verified as unsuitable for the forces," Ageno said in a statement issued in Juba.

Cantonment sites are places where units of an army may be encamped for longer periods during a military campaign.

Ageno urged parties to open cantonment sites and ensure that assembling points or barracks for the forces are implemented within the remaining four months of the pre-transitional extended period as agreed by the parties.

The warring parties agreed on May 3 to extend the pre-transitional period for another six months to address outstanding issues like security arrangements, which include assembling and screening of forces.

The parties to the peace pact had to disengage troops and achieve assembly and cantonment of forces within 30 days of the signing of the peace agreement.

However, the measure was delayed for four months for financial and technical reasons, as important details in this difficult process were left to the parties themselves to negotiate.

The peace monitors particularly the monitoring countries said Juba had to assume the costly enforcement of this process to prove its commitment to the peace agreement and encourage them to fund the remaining matters.

South Sudan descended into civil war in late 2013 and the conflict has created one of the fastest growing refugee crises in the world where the UN estimates that about four million South Sudanese have been displaced internally and externally.

A peace deal signed in August 2015 collapsed following renewed violence in Juba, in July 2016.

Under the September 2018 peace agreement, opposition leader Riek Machar, will be reinstated as vice president of South Sudan.

             

 

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