(18th June, 2013) - The authorities in Yei, Central Equatoria State, have on Monday issued an order banning all illegal timber dealings in the County.
(17th June, 2013) - The Juba High Court has sentenced a 33-year old manconvicted of murdering his father in-law over a dowry dispute to seven years...
(13th June, 2013) - Juba City Council has given traders with temporary structures along Yei road in Juba two months to remove their stalls and put...
(7th June, 2013) - Eleven women farmers groups have received seeds and farming tools from Food and Agriculture Organization and a humanitarian...
(12th June, 2013) - Amnesty International said that civilians living in Sudan’s rebel controlled areas of Blue Nile State are being deliberately...
(15th June, 2013) - The Ministry of General Education and Instruction has on Friday announced that the inter schools sports and cultural tournament...
With the independence of South Sudan in July 9, 2011, several ethnic groups were involved in a vicious cycle of revenge and counter revenge that were fueled by historic feuds and struggle over natural resources and political wrangling.
The country also gained independence while several armed movements, some of which were allegedly sponsored by Khartoum, were still active in parts of the northern states.
President Kiir offered a general amnesty to all who carried arms against the state. Many of them accepted and rejoined the army and the ruling party, except one, George Athor.
After the country's democratic elections in April 2011, a new rebellion erupted in Jonglei led by General George Athor.
Athor was contesting as an independent candidate, but lost to Lt Gen Kual Manyang Juok. He contested the results and opted to take arms against his comrades of the SPLA/M.
Athor was allegedly supported by Khartoum in what seems a proxy war, several attempts to negotiate peace with Gen Athor failed.
Nevertheless, the main threat to security in South Sudan was not Athor, but Sudan Armed Forces, as the SPLA spokesperson Philip Aguer put it after the failure of talks with Athor in Niarobi in November 2011:
"...the SPLA will continue to implement two policies; a policy of peace and reconciliation that will be reached by the government; and implement a mission of protecting the civil population and the territories of the Republic of South Sudan. So it's a matter of time SPLA is capable of bringing this rebellion to an end; for us, it is not a major issue; the major threat to South Sudan is the Sudan Armed Forces; its Khartoum; not George Athor".
Athor was killed in Morobo County, Central Equatoria State on December 19th; one month after signing a peace agreement with President Kiir in Kenya, which the government said Athor had later rejected.
Paradoxically enough, the killing of Athor was followed by an attack of Lou Nuer youth on Murle communities, in Bibor County on December 23rd.
More than six thousand Lou Nuer youth carried out the attack in response to an attack by Murle on their villages in Uror County in August 2011.
The attack resulted in the death of more than nine-hundred people in different villages in Pibor and the displacement of thousands, according to United Nations estimates.
With such deterioration of the security situation in Jonglei, President Kiir formed the 'Presidential Peace, Reconciliation and Tolerance Committee for Jonglei' led by Archbishop Daniel Deng of the Episcopal Church and included members from almost all churches in the country.
The committee worked through a lot of difficulties to realize peace agreements among the communities of Jonglei. Archbishop Deng made this appeal to the people of Jonglei.
"I am appealing to our people in Jonglei State; Lou Nuer and Murle and Dinka. They need to refrain from this aggression of each other; they need to be away from this cattle raiding; because this will not give us a new country. It will destroy our country. I am appealing for them; let us sit down in peace and let us solve our problems while sitting together".
The communities of Jonglei started to sign peace agreements in May 2012 and that brought positive changes with high reduction of cattle raids and abduction of women and children.
The violence in Jonglei also prompted a strong disarmament operation in the state.
More than fifteen thousand soldiers and police were deployed to Jonglei to assist civilian disarmament in April 2012.
Ten thousand arms were collected in the first week alone, according to the Lt Gen Kuol Deim Kuol, commander of the "Operation Restore Peace in Jonglei".
"We have now collected more than ten thousand guns and we have gone to very far areas; we are now in the towns of Sobat, we are in Juam, we are in Rabrab, we are very far to Khart Flous, Fangak, very very difficult areas to be reached".
The army says the disarmament will continue until the state is clear of all fire arms in the hand of civilians.
The United Nations mission in South Sudan assisted the disarmament operation and the peace process through logistics and technical advice and deployment of forces.
Hilda Johnson, the Head of the United Nations Mission in South Sudan says:
"We have actually operated one thousand-nine-hundred flights in support of the peace process in Jonglei to the South Sudan government, to the church who has been very active and to the government appointed presidential committee. This is a huge effort on our part and it has also included deployment of our military to help calm things down and protect civilians on the ground. We did actually in the middle of the major attack in Pibor County help contribute to protect thousands of civilians' lives."
The monitoring role of the United Nations resulted in a report of the Human Rights Division in UNMISS which called for investigation and trial of those who were involved in the violations of human rights in Jonglei and adoption of mechanisms for permanent peace in Jonglei.
Richard Bennet, the head of the human rights division in UNMISS says:
"Because it is important that the facts of what happened are known to every one; that steps are taken to identify the perpetrators and to hold them accountable".
President Kiir has already appointed a fact finding committee to investigate the incidents in Jonglei and the results are yet out.
Another challenge for the provision of security in South Sudan was the lack of a police force both in number and quality.
Most of the police force have low standards of education and a considerable number of them were seconded from the SPLA.
Training was the greatest need for the police in South Sudan. Alison Manani Magaya, Minister of Interior speaking to more than six hundred police officers who took oath before the President, most of them returning from Sudan, to serve here:
"What is more important for us now is the emphasis on training as one of the pillars; training is a must, and you are going to help in that. And training is part of discipline. So training for us is the corner stone of the process of transformation into a professional service."
For capacity building of police service, President Kiir announced that the government will construct more than fifty police stations countrywide in his first one-hundred days in office.
By November 2011, thirty-one police stations were already constructed.
With support from the United Nations Mission in South Sudan, police officers of all categories have been passing-out from training.
The government has opened a Police College and a Police Academy this year.
Salaries of the police forces were almost doubled in the same period.
Another remarkable achievement was the launching of the new bio-tech passports and national identity cards for the citizens of South Sudan in January.
Citizens are now competing to obtain these documents which are also necessary for clearing the civil service from ghost names, as well ease travel, and perhaps for some sense of national pride.
Yet, criticism of the police continued to come out from many quarters and President Salva Kiir weighed in in one occasion.
"Our reputation is bad; because police in South Sudan are stopping vehicles, includes those of diplomats and ask them to give them something for breakfast or for tea or for anything. You have your own salary. Depend on it. That means you should respect yourself and the dignity of the country and the people. Do not be a beggar in the street."
Many citizens suspected that some policemen have been involved in crimes, but the police leadership has always assured that measures are taken on such elements.
Some criminals presented themselves as police personnel and robbed citizens.
Community policing is another successful initiative that is gaining momentum in some towns, supported by training from UNMISS police.
The capacity building and transformation of police will evidently need some time and the promise is that more training and sensitization will improve the police service.
With the peace process in Jonglei, the capacity building of police service, other agreements with rebel commanders in Jonglei and Unity State in this first year of independence have resulted in restoring peace and security to the extent that there is almost no armed dissident groups operating in the country, apart from those who attack from Sudan.
Several interventions on clashes among communities on natural resources have resulted in peace.
Security and peace remain on top of the agenda of the government and that is reflected in the allocation of more than fifty percent of the national budget for the organized forces alone.
And we must not forget that there is a special commission for peace and reconciliation.
This is just a brief on success stories on peace and security in South Sudan, and you might feel to add your own, why not!
By Radio Miraya Journalist Gabriel Shadar and Sani Martin