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From refugee to high court advocate

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Advocate Juliet Yaiya Mangok Kuot
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It’s a big jump from being a refugee and an orphan to being a qualified advocate of the high court in two African countries. Akelle Waguma spoke to Juliet Yaiya Mangok Kuot who made that huge leap. Sep 15, 2022 Akelle Waguma Share Save

As Warsan Shire, a Somali British writer wrote in her poem Home, “No one leaves home unless home is the mouth of a shark.” Juliet Yaiya Mangok Kuot and her family fled the conflict in South Sudan and settled in the neighboring refugee camps of Kakuma in northern Kenya in 1998.

“Kakuma was very hot and dusty, also food was not enough, but as a child I did not feel the pangs of the adversity we faced,” she remembers. “As children we played and had fun.”

Two years later the family joined the exodus from the camps to Eldoret town in the Rift Valley region of Kenya. “Life changed. I was enrolled in Uasin Gishu Primary School,” she explained. Yaiya loved school and is grateful for her mother who insisted that her daughters receive the bare minimum of secondary education before being married off.

“My father was a colonel and a politician, and the custom then dictated his daughters be married off at a young age, but Mother wanted something different for us.”

When Yaiya was in Form Two her father died in a plane crash and her mother followed a month later. Alone in a foreign country, Yaiya admits she was devastated and nothing could prepare the young family of four for the uncertainty that lay ahead.However, they pushed on.

After completing secondary school, Yaiya got married but wanted to pursue higher education. Her elder sister, Jackline Mangok Kuot, an advocate at the Kenya High Court, encouraged Yaiya to take up law. Jackline had already paved the way for Yaiya and other foreign students in Kenya by winning a case against the Council of Legal Education and Kenya School of Law in petition 309 of 2018, when she and two others were precluded from sitting law examinations on the basis that they were South Sudan citizens.

Yaiya subsequently enrolled at the Mt Kenya University School of Law, and soon knew she had made the right career choice. Although it was an arduous journey, Yaiya graduated with honors and began working as a legal officer at Nalo and Okoth LLP in Nairobi.

However, Yaiya says the Kenyan legal system is over populated and getting good opportunities there is not easy. “Also, as foreigners, we need work permits to work legally which is quite expensive. In memory of our father, my sister and I decided to go back home and set up Tripple J Advocates.”

As Kenya and South Sudan are both members of the East African Community, Yaiya’s Kenyan qualification enabled her to practice in South Sudan too.

Yaiya confirms that the legal system in South Sudan is not as developed as Kenya’s, but, as an advocate of the High Court of Kenya and the High Court of South Sudan, she believes she has the right qualifications to help revamp the legal system and the judiciary in her home country.

“The changes I would like to see, whether it’s through me or others, include judicial independence first. At the moment there is a lot of negative executive interference in the operation of the judiciary, and underfunding is another major issue. I would love for us to have a school of training for advocates to sit for the bar to preserve the quality of legal education just like in most of the East African countries,” she said.

 

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Gen. Buay rejects investigation committee on Mayom extrajudicial killings

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General Stephen Buay Rolnyang [Photo via Facebook]
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JUBA – South Sudan opposition commander and leader of the holdout South Sudan People’s Movement/Army (SSPM/A) Gen. Stephen Buay Rolnyang has downplayed impact of a recent investigation committee formed by President Kiir to investigate Mayom extrajudicial killings.

In July, fighting between rebel forces belonging to Buay and South Sudan People’s Defense Forces resulted in the killing of Mayom County Commissioner who was attacked and assassinated in his house at dawn on July 21.

The government responded by hunting down rebel forces and was able to convince Sudan to handover to them those who had fled to Sudan. Four opposition commanders who were handed over by the Sudanese authorities were later on executed.

The killing parked public outcry with President Kiir being urged by members of the public to remove the governor of Unity State Nguen Manytuil Wijang who is accused of direct involvement in the killing of the opposition commanders.

Kiir then formed a committee to investigate the rising insecurity in Unity State and told the committee to receive a report in a period not exceeding two weeks.

Speaking to Sudans Post this afternoon, General Buay said he doubts that something will be done by the committee, citing previous committees formed without tangible results.

“The SSPM/A has learned with great concern the formation of the investigation committee that was formed by the regime to investigate the extrajudicial killing of the SSPA officers who were kidnapped in Fula state, Sudan on 6 August 2022 and summarily executed in Mayom by the governor of unity state on 8 August 2022,” he said.

“It has been a tendency of the regime to form an investigation committee which usually ends up without any tangible results or outcome,” he added.

He said “Several investigation committees were formed by the President himself and the results were undermined and sabotaged and thrown into dustbin with good example of the recent investigation committee that was formed to investigate atrocities that were committed by allied militias and SSPDF forces in South of Unity state, therefore, the investigation committee ended up without any tangible results. So, this investigation committee is not exceptional.”

General Buay further alleged that army generals who were involved “in the extrajudicial killing of the SSPA officers have been secretly sent to Khartoum by Hon. Tut Gatluak pretending to be sick to avoid investigation committee.”

These, he said, are General Joseph Manyuat, General Bol Mayak, and General Michal Makal Kuol Majak.

 

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South Sudan rejects Morocco’s request to severe ties with Sahrawi

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NEW YORK – South Sudan has rejected Morocco’s request for it to severe diplomatic ties with the Sahrawi Arab Democratic Republic, saying it supports the position of the African Union (AU) and United Nations (UN) on the matter.

The Sahrawi Arab Democratic Republic is a partially recognised state, recognised by 41 UN member states, located in the western Maghreb, which claims the non-self-governing territory of Western Sahara, but controls only the easternmost one-fifth of that territory.

On Tuesday, South Sudan’s Vice President for Services Cluster, Hussein Abdelbagi Akol met and held discussions with the Sahrawi Minister of Foreign Affairs on the sidelines of the 77th regular session of the UN General Assembly in New York.

 

 

The two leaders discussed bilateral relations, how to advance the interests of Africans, advocate for peace, security and supporting more than a decade-old policy in which they supported the continental body’s call for free self-determination of the Sahrawi people.

The meeting between the two leaders angered the Moroccan government, which protested in a letter it sent to the South Sudanese embassy in the North African country.

However, South Sudan’s Foreign Affairs ministry informed the Kingdom of Morocco government that “the meeting between our delegation and the Sahrawi Minister of Foreign Affairs does not negate our strategic bilateral relations with the kingdom.”

“The Republic of South Sudan is a member of the African Union and the United Nations and would want to reiterate that it does not see it fit to have contrary views to the position of the African Union and UN [Security Council] Resolution 690, as a viable engagement framework to find a lasting solution over the dispute on Western Sahara”, it added.

Juba further said it has not deviated from supporting the AU and UN’s position which insists the Sahrawi people be allowed to decide their future.

“South Sudan’s leadership and the government position on the Sahrawi Arab Democratic Republic is fully supportive of the decision of the Organization of African Unity turned African Union to admit SADR to its membership on 22nd August 1982, and the AU Charter which calls for the unquestionable and inalienable right of a people to self-determination,” stressed the ministry’s statement.

In 2017, Morocco’s King Mohammed VI visited South Sudan and held talks with President Salva Kiir aimed at “promoting friendship and solidarity” between both nations. The visit came at the time Morroco was seeking support to return to the AU.

Foreign policy experts, however, argue that the position of South Sudan would have backpedaled a decade-old policy in which African countries generally support calls for a referendum in a region Morocco claims is part of its territory.

 

 

 

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MoH deploys Ebola response team at southern borders

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Team of health workers deployed at the border towns of Nimule. (Photo: Mabior Kiir).
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The national Ministry of Health has deployed a technical team of 15 health workers to areas bordering Uganda and Democratic Republic of Congo to monitor and screen travelers amid the new Ebola outbreak in Uganda.

Dr. Victoria Anib Majur, the ministry’s undersecretary said a five-member team is heading to Yambio of Western Equatoria State.

The health personnel include public health officers, lab technicians, case management surveillance officers and infection and preventing control officers.

“The ministry of health is very determined to make sure that there are precautionary measures in place to make sure Ebola doesn’t enter to the country,” said Anib.

“On top of it, we want to send a message to people to adhere with measure by washing hand If any person develops symptoms of fever or suspects any symptoms, he should report it to the nearest health facility.”

Dr. Victoria who spoke to reporters upon the departure of the doctors from Juba Airport, revealed that the ministry has also dispatched similar five-member team to Yei and another to Nimule.

Team of specialists deployed in Yei to conduct surveillance on Ebola Virus Disease. (Mabior Kiir).
She said the health professionals will launch precautionary measures center to monitor suspect Ebola cases.

On Tuesday, health authorities in Uganda declared an outbreak of Ebola after a case of the rare Sudan strain was confirmed in Mubende district in the central part of the country.

So far, 31 confirmed and suspected cases, and 19 deaths have been reported by Uganda’s health ministryOn Friday, President Kiir’s cabinet meeting allocated 500,000 US dollars as funds for mitigation and prevention of Ebola following reported outbreak of the virus in Uganda early this week.

Via Eyeradio

 

 

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