March 31, 2007 (JUBA) ? The minister for Telecommunication and postal services of government of the southern Sudan, Major general Gier Chuang said his ministry has, yesterday, made a major breakthrough on making Juba as an exchange office for southern Sudan international parcels.

He said all international paces would now be directly delivered to Juba postal office than being first taken to Khartoum, Port Sudan or Halfa then re-channeled to Juba postal office for distribution to their respective individuals or organizations in southern Sudan.

Minister Gier Chuang announced the breakthrough during briefing press on 200 day action plan implementation and new plan of his ministry for this year, adding that his counter ministry of telecommunication and postal service in Khartoum signed with him the landmark deal on March 29th 2007.However, he regretted that media was not inform in time on the vital achievement in history of GoSS. H

e further said his ministry has prepared a memorandum of understanding (MOU), waiting to be sign by Khartoum telecommunications and postal services; who, he said, had wanted to used the 2001 act of Islamic law to denied southern Sudan right to own telecommunication and postal. N

evertheless, we are waiting for Khartoum to come for MOU signing soonest or else we will go ahead because the CPA provides for one country two systems, therefore Khartoum has no right to deny GoSS telecommunication rights to operate independently, declared Minister Gier Chuang. H

e disclosed that Gemtel Telecommunications has 12500 subscribers from Juba, Yei, Rumbek and Wau.Meanwhile the minister cautions general public particularly in Juba not to buy Gemtel sim cards because 350 were stolen from their car this month and those numbers has been destroyed from circulation. C

urrently Gemtel uses the Ugandan gateway. ?There is a contract between Gemtel and the national Ugandan Telecom Company (UTC), to use the gateway, Gemtel is paying US$50,000 a month? said Lugga. T

he GoSS minister claims that the current Sudan telecommunication frequency range (249) should be shared with the South. Once the MOU between the federal government and the southern Sudan governments is signed the one should call 249 for the Sudan and then 1 or 2 for the South. S

udan telecommunications and postal service was privatized in 1993, and it pave ways for establishment of Sudatel, Mobitel in the north while the southern Sudan then under the SPLM/A administrative areas initiated the NOW and Gemtel communication system that covers Juba, Yei, Rumbek and Wau and that it will soon extent to other remaining states of southern Sudan. O

therwise, ?Without telecom southern Sudan can never make meaningful progress in security control and development?, he remarks. A

dding that proper management of southern Sudan telecommunications would safe guard GoSS security and offer development opportunity to potential investors in any part of southern Sudan. T

he minister said Southern Sudan would soon get its gateway and hence, it has planned to construct and supply the ten states of southern Sudan with sophisticated modern equipments that could be use for monitoring all form of communications within southern Sudan space territory. H

owever, availability of premises remains an obstacle especially accommodation of the five directorates in the ministry headquarter including states. M

inister Gier Chuang acknowledged that, as the first minister of GoSS telecommunication and postal service, he had major obstacles from some political interest groups who were and are still clouding with director general of Sudan telecommunications and postal services in Khartoum to swindle money from GoSS on pretext that the current building was a property of an individual that ought to be accounted for by his ministry. Unfortunately, Gier Chuang says, ?The political interest group agreement was signed after signing of the CPA on January 9th 2005, therefore I would not honor such dubious deal?, declared Gier Chuang. T

he GoSS telecommunication and postal services ministry was established in year 2002 and it under went many obstacles ranging from restriction from Khartoum government, lack of funds, infrastructure, professional human resource and power among other major hindrances the ministry has marginal operation budget. T

he ministry constituted a fact finding committee who visited the ten states of southern Sudan in order to assess telecommunications and postal services situation and the committee discovered some potential well trained engineers in states but they are mostly of 1980s graduates who needed updating on current technology, besides, some are getting old and hence could not be send for further training. T

ELECOMMUNICATIONS BUDGET T

he ministry?s approved budget for financial year 2006 stood at US dollars 1,796,219 but only US$ 1,249,269 was released by GoSS ministry of finance and economic planning to cover both salaries of 148 personnel and services. This amount is nothing compared to the heavy work load of telecommunications which is the heart of GoSS governance in term of security and development propagation. Regrettably, GoSS cabinet is short sighted on vitality telecommunications for security control and development, remarks Chuang. M

eanwhile the sum of US$ 74,624.34was used for office renovation. The ministry had earlier prepared renovation budget of US$ 401,652.64. M

inistry Chuang further disclosed that his ministry has purchased eight cars (2 land rover crusher, 2Toyota pickup, 2 hard up Toyota and 2 Toyota hylux) at the cost of US$ 263,584. H

e said the ministry has sent eight staff for advance training in Uganda and the republic South Africa, adding that Rwandan president Paul Kagema has offered to sponsor ten southern Sudanese to train in field of telecommunications in his country.

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  • Guest - Rogasiano Felix Andrea

    Well done but we need a fresh news for a new progress, we are a new nation where is the feed back from the New era

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