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Tuesday, Oct 06th, 2015

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Juba Airport: Air traffic controllers in precarious and unacceptable situation

By Touembou Ngueyap Romuald

We have suffered enough; we came out from 21 years of civil war. In 2011, we were hoping for a bright future but it's a total mess now. Someone like me, my mind is wild, I grew up in bush, struggle alone to build up myself , my country ... Today the government pay less attention in civil aviation .... Air traffic controllers are suffering here ... we are doing heavy job with less money ... All air traffic controllers here are puzzled by this situation .If there was another opportunity, I am sure that many will leave, said JEPHREH (borrowed name), Air Traffic controller at Juba Airport.

July 7, 2015 (SSNA) -- $ 200it is not the Visa fees to get in South Sudan but the monthly wage of the South Sudanese air traffic controllers. (Sometimes less than that depending on USD inflation). Yes $200 as monthly salary. Here, Working conditions are revolting... Even equipment is still basic and primary; Airport infrastructure is inadequate and non-developed.

Mostly trained in Kenya (8 months training in aerodrome control at EASA, East African School of Aviation), devoted Air Traffic controllers at Juba airport contribute as much as little to the air safety in this poor country of the east of Africa.

Although opened from 0430am to 0530pm, the runway 13/31 at Juba Airport long with its 2400 meters long is one of the most utilized in the region. On the 118.4 MHz (Approach frequency), it is about 200 movements daily processed. These mostly consist of commercial airlines, cargo and especially humanitarian and military.

Indeed, since its independence on 9 July 2011, South Sudan has entered in an infernal cycle of violence with political and tribal overtones.

Frustration and exasperation are visible among air traffic controllers at Juba Airport.

The treatment of air traffic controllers here is unacceptable. Don’t speak about UNION or GUILD because the delicacy of the security situation has led to an authoritarian management of the country.

"Promises, promises and promises” said another controller. 03 months without incentives, irregular wages: That is the sad situation in which the valiant air traffic controllers try to work.

Some are frustrated, other revolted. To make ends meet ABID (alias) embarked for 1 year on Rap Music and this seems to smile: it is now one of the remarquable young figures in this underdeveloped country for about 11 million habitants.

LIECH DAMAI RUEI, meanwhile defected in September last year to join the armed rebellion of the Sudan People's Liberation Army.

Yet since 2011, significant efforts have been made by the foreign partners to upgrade civil aviation in South Sudan: US financing through ICAO, technical expertise of the ASECNA (western Africa ANSP) and retraining of air traffic controllers by United Nations mission: Everything has been put to accompany the development of civil aviation in this vast country of 644,324 Km2: Unfortunately the war! From 04 air traffic controllers in 2011, Juba ATS center currently has about 27 active Air traffic controllers which 5 only have license. Two (02) expatriates (Kenyan air traffic controllers Kenyans) also bring their experience. The airport extension started last year by a Chinese company is now interrupted because of instability: War and War again!!!


The Author can be reached at This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it .

End Peace Talks Through IGAD!

By: Luk Kuth Dak

July 6, 2015 (SSNA) -- It's time for Dr. Riek Machar Teny to come up with a totally new strategy in handling the affairs of the movement he chairs. It must begin by admitting that the name SPLM/ A-In- Opposition doesn't make any sense in the real world, that peace will never come to South Sudan by way of the so-called IGAD, and that a unified SPLM/A will never be reconstituted.

Because the deeply seated division has already happened and will not be reversed. The unfortunate reality is that the SPLM/A is no longer the powerhouse movement it once was under the leadership of the late Dr. John Garang De Mabior.

Today, mostly everybody in South Sudan- including fair-minded Jieeng- believe that the SPLM/A has long been buried alongside its founding father, Dr. Garang.

The current SPLM/A, deeply tribal, bigoted, corrupt, divisive and beholden to Uganda, shouldn't be an example to follow. Quite frankly, If anything, this SPLM/A is nothing but a total disgrace to the people of S. Sudan and thier allies around the world. Certainly, that's not what Dr. John Garang had intended when he founded the movement in 1983.

Look where the crooks-Pagan Amum, John Luk Jok and Deng Alor who first instigated the crisis that ultimately resulted in the destruction of the nation- are today? In Juba. By so doing, they have proven what we had all along thought of them in the first place: agents of evil, whose goal from the very beginning has been sedulously dividing our people by using tribalism to foment hatred among them.

Well, they have succeeded. Didn't they?

Their flunkies are now in full blather praising them as heroes, but there is NO question about the innocent Nuer civilians, who were savagely massacred in a broad day light. 

Although the Nuer are well known for bravery and forgiveness among other things, they will never forgive Pagan Amum, for the disparaging remarks he made in the aftermath of the Nuer massacre at the hands of his boss, Salva Kiir.

Meanwhile, Dr. Machar faces increasing criticism from all angles, for not being tough enough with Juba, combine with failure to put together a solid coalition of the marginalized South Sudanese. As a result, the regime continues to score propaganda victories by showing up at peace talks just to distract him from being in the battle field.

Today, his fighters are starving for weapons and uniforms, not to mention that their commanders are ill-trained demoralized by the absence of their Commander-in- Chief.

Ironically, even some of Machar's strong supporters think that he's not the same person by any stretch of imagination. His return to Juba, they insist, is just a matter of time!!

I disagree.

Dr. Riek Machar's a moral leader and certainly a man of his word. He still has a chance to rally the nation behind him, but only if he maximizes his potential.

That remains to be seen.

Luk Kuth Dak is a former broadcasting journalist with Juba Radio. He can be reached at:  This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it .

Approaching July 9th celebration with mix feelings

By Kueth D. Yul

July 5, 2015 (SSNA) -- While approaching July 9th, a day that many South Sudanese would enjoy celebrating together, I stumble with mix feelings of proud and sadness. I am proud that I voted as first class citizen for my country's secession from the marginalized Government of Arab in the North. At the same time, I struggle with sadness of crisis that was created by incompetent leaders who happened to run the affairs of my new country by default. July 9th, is a day that everyone calling themselves, a South Sudanese would enjoy celebrating together with family, friends, and colleagues, to share happiness and relieve bad memories that we all endures together during the years of struggle.

Failing to gladly celebrate July 9th is even harder, especially at the time, when I see my American Neighbors, friends, and co-workers proudly raising flags of their country for July 4th, America's Independence Day. It hurt even more when someone asked me where I came from, and that question shut me off completely, because I feel embarrassed to introduce myself as South Sudanese, a citizen of a young Nation that is already in crisis before it reached its 3rd Independence birth day. As an individual with dual citizenship, a citizen of the US, and a citizen of South Sudan, I thought I would be more contented and overweening with courage and pride, than any person who celebrates just one independent day. Like any other persons holding dual citizenship, I thought I hit two birds with one stone for being a citizen of these two great nations, that celebrates their independence days just 4 days apart from each others.  

In my home state of Arizona, I remember the first July 9th Independent Day that we celebrated together as South Sudanese, with joys of traditional dances from many different tribes, variety of love, and the harmony of togetherness. It was one of the happiest moments that I've ever witness in my life.

Since July 9th, 2013, the South Sudan's Independence Day celebration has changed from National to mere group of family gatherings. The South Sudanese government leaders, local community leaders, and party representatives all over the world has been wrestling over the hosting of July 9th Independence Day's Celebration. Too many disagreements on country's Dependence Day that give everyone the same privilege and pride.

The causes of all these disagreements, mistrust, and hatred amongst my lovely society were all brought by incompetence leaders. People we all expected to lead our country to a peaceful destiny, but turn it to their own property, and become mere murderers and destroyers of our society. A leader must have a mercy heart for all his people, and care more about the lost of a single person's life in his country. I have trouble to comprehend the feelings of those who called themselves the leaders of South Sudan, especially at the time of the country's Independence Day.

May God continue to bless South Sudanese Population, especially those who voted for the freedom of this nation, but currently in hiding places, and struggles for safety of their lives.

The author holds a Master Degree in Criminal Justice. He currently pursuing a Jurisprudence  degree at Loyola University. He can be reached at This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it

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