Home | News    Wednesday 31 August 2011

Warrap links rising food prices to closure of North-South borders

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By Ngor Arol Garang

August 30, 2011 (JUBA) - The government of Warrap State on Tuesday broke its silence on rising food prices in the area and said it was due to the closure of supply routes between Sudan and newly-independent South Sudan.

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Southern Sudanese women carry sacks of food distributed by the World Food Programme (WFP) in Juba on January 6, 2011 (AFP)

Makuc Makuc Ngongdit, a political advisor to state governor Nyandeng Malek, said in an interview with Sudan Tribune that food and prices of other basic commodities have increased as a result of the closure by authorities in Khartoum.

Until July 9 Sudan was a one country, with South Sudan running its own affairs in a semi-autonomous government, as part of a 2005 peace ending decades of war. A referendum earlier this year paved the way for the secession of South Sudan.

South Sudan’s independence has thrown up many challenges for the two nations. Many post-independence issues remain unresolved, including citizenship, border demarcation, wealth sharing and the status of the contested border region of Abyei.

While the African Union, through an established high level panel under former South Africa President Thabo Mbeki, is exerting efforts to resolve differences between the two countries, officials in the south have accused Khartoum of unilaterally closing borders and giving support to both political and armed opposition groups operating against the Juba-based government. Khartoum deny this.

“Prices of basic commodities have increased. This is because the government in Khartoum has closed the supplying routes not only for Warrap but for other neighbouring states at the borderline”, said Makuc.

He said that some in South Sudan fail to accept that the issue of soaring prices being a national issue. All South Sudan states that neighbour Sudan; Northern Bahr el Ghazal, Unity, Western Bahr el Ghazal and Upper Nile state have suffered, he said.

The goods sold in the markets in these states come from North Sudan and are expensive because of transport and other costs, he explained

Around 358, mostly returnees from North Sudan, are reported to have died from hunger in Warrap state. Governor Malek and other high ranking officials in her administration were quick to deny this and attributed the cause of death to lack of adequate medical supplies in the area.

The state assembly has tasked a parliamentary committee to investigate the cause of the deaths.

Reverend Amet Amet Kuol, the chairperson of the state’s peace and reconciliation committee in an interview with Sudan Tribune last week said representatives of the victims showed his committee more than 35 graves of people reported to have died of hunger. He said more graves were shown to an executive committee appointed by the state administration.

But the senior government official who is also Secretary General of the South Sudan’s ruling party, the Sudan People’s Liberation Movement (SPLM) in the state, categorically refuted these reports claiming the prevalence of hunger in the area was “political”.

Makuc described security situation in the area as “calm and normal”.

“Generally, the security situation as of now is relatively calm and normal. The issue of cattle rustling and sectional fights between the two clans of Luackoth and Akok which you may have heard in Tonj East County has been resolved”, said Makuc.

He said a company of the South Sudan army (SPLA) has been deployed to the area. “There is no any other problem there. Law and order has been restored by the deployment of the SPLA. The government is now looking for culprits”, he said.

He appealed for cooperation between the executive and the legislative branches of the state’s administration, saying they need to work together to deliver basic service to the electorate, with a unified development policy and programs.

Kuac Rou Mawien, a resident of Kuacjok, capital of Warrap State, in a separate telephone interview with Sudan Tribune confirmed the increase in prices in basic commodities in the area.

"The market is generally expensive," he said.

"Food commodities are very, very expensive. All the traders have raised up, doubling charges which ordinary people do not afford”, said Mawien complaining that other basic commodities are hardly affordable because of high demand.

“There are days like yesterday I was in the market hunting for sorghum without success. The prices are constantly climbing up. This was why I failed to get [some sorghum] not because they are not available. It was because I was not able to afford selling prices. The money I had was less than the selling price”, he explained.

(ST)

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  • 31 August 2011 10:34, by Antigraft

    Warap youth should go back home to start tilling land to produce food. land grabbing and idleness in Juba will not hel them. Let them go home and dig and also to stop corruption. where is the dura store they took the contract and where is the dura. let’s stop blaming khartoum for most of our home grown problem brought about by our thugery and criminal tradition.

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    • 31 August 2011 11:26, by AgwerJimmy

      Dear anti..., you are right to blame no specific person in Warrap for the current crisis. One thing you need to know is that it is not only Warrap where prices of food commodities are high but across the new Republic of South Sudan. I am not happy to read that "graves were shown and the situation was politicised". It is completely shameful for the state gov’t to leave the citizens to die of hunger without shouting for help and only shows graves at the end. That is totally wrong if the report is correct.

      The pple who are now dying of hunger are the true citizens who will vote politicians to power in the near future.
      Northern Bhar el Ghazal and Warrap states gov’t should take serious measures to handle these situations. B’se the same cases were reported in Aweil but the hon. Minister for information in the state considered them as incorrect reports emerging from premature judgements by journalists.

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      • 31 August 2011 11:54, by Antigraft

        I agree with you Jimmy, very few of us can look at it that way but our politicians are tricky enough to decieve our innocennt citizens and continue pilling blame on Khatoum while we are already independence state. This kind of lies was one time adapted by a minister when they quarell with the wife he concluded it was arabs who made them to fight. So please our politicians let us face reality and stop this blame game forever. We have been mandated by those dying people of Warrap and Aweil. These people are just victims of poor leadership. I for one have a lot of respect for some Aweils and Warrap moderate politicians who need the graft in the Administration be exposed so that those responsible for creating the situation be held to account. Let us move out of our traditional thugery and theft, because if we continue to hold onto them, our people will suffer and consequently and indirectly Dinkas are depopulating their own population by subjecting their own kins and other South Sudanese nationals to abject and squalid way of life. Unless we change and fit into wider and global society, then we will be called the most uncivilized race in the world.

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      • 31 August 2011 11:57, by victor sani

        Dear Ajwer jimmy

        I Have Agreet with your statement .

        you know the power is very sweet ,so they cannot Accept their mastake.

        ref to Antigraff.

        they Hight prices is not only Warrap State its all over the South Sudan .am sorry of puting it only to warrap youths.
        also those who are playing demo there in juba are not from warrap only .its all South Sudan youths who refused to go down to villages and dig.to fight Hunger in the new nation so forget about only tell warrap youths to go home .that mean you dnt know what you are writing for .
        God Bless south Sudan

        Victor Moses kenyi

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        • 31 August 2011 14:11, by Antigraft

          Victor,

          I agree with you anyway. It is encambent upon all South Sudanese youth to engage in food production. But why I refered to youth from Warrap, or Aweil they are the first to to work for their community, and idleness and rumour mongering in Juba is greately being practiced by Dinkas and Baris, where they are sitting most of the hours in a day taking tea and rumour mongering. If we can fight idleness, rumour mongering, corruption and any other graft, then there will be no cattle rustling, hunger, and mismanagement of public resources. Infact these states, Aweil and Warrap would have not been crying right now had it not because of criminal behaviour of the boys from that areas where they made away with a lot of money culminating into the current dura saga, when they ended up buying hummers and keeping roaming in Juba.

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    • 31 August 2011 15:18, by Abraham Ayom

      Antigraft
      Landgrabing and warrap youth in Juba have nothing to do with rising food prices in Warrap State. Stop such Ideology for equatorian people for being jealousy. Always complaining about land grabbing and Dinka community being in Juba or elsewhere in Equatoria. Juba represents a capital city for all souths Sudanese people that are why people are here and if you don’t like people in Equatoria, perhaps you can introduce again your regime call Kokara

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      • 1 September 2011 07:32, by Antigraft

        Ayom
        for your information, I am not from equatoria, and let me tell you will never understand when I tell you that corruption that happened in the Dura contract was done by the Warraps and Aweil boys mostly. So there is hullabaloo at their backyard. Who suffers? it is your parents and brothers and sisters so long as you keep on denying the truth.

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  • 31 August 2011 12:23, by mohammed ali

    The habit of blaming the jalabba should stop. People in Khartoum are screaming about the high food prices and all over the world the prices are rocketing.

    Blaming jalabba will not solve your problems. Stop "stuffing" your fat bellys with the loooooted money of the marginalized southerners and nobody will die from hunger!

    repondre message

  • 31 August 2011 16:00, by Madingthith

    @Nyandeng Malek,

    What is the evidence that you and your government of Warrap broke out long silence and said that the closure of the North - South border has contributed to the expensiveness of the food prices in the state.

    Now there will be concrete evidences that shows there is starvation in the state that killed 358 people not diseases according to Nyandeng the woman Governor.

    There is a say which say the truth will not cover it still emerge by themselves.

    Madingthith a man of justices, accountability and transparency.

    Next Governor of Warrap State 2020.

    repondre message

  • 1 September 2011 05:41, by BBCs

    In my opinon, i recommented the removal of the state governor,state financial minister,state police commissinary for their misconduct and blindfull to identify the serious problems in the states which led to the dead of thousands people for hanger something which never happen before in Dinkas community.

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