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South Sudan’s N. Bahr el Ghazal denies reports that hunger caused death


August 17, 2011 (AWEIL) - An official in Northern Bahr el Ghazal state government on Wednesday refuted media reports alleging that citizens in the region were dying of severe hunger, less than two months since South Sudan became Africa’s newest nation.

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Bona Makuac Mawien, the Northern Bahr el Ghazal state minister for information and communication addresses the media in Aweil. South Sudan. August, 17, 2011 (ST)

Speaking at a hastily convened press conference in Aweil, the state capital, Bona Makuac Mawien, the state minister for information and communication acknowledged the presence of hunger in some counties, but said the situation was not bad enough to cause deaths.

The minister was responding to a local media, which alleged that an unidentified woman from Luo Aguer Geng village in Aweil East reportedly died as a result of lack of food.

But during the press conference, Mawien blamed some sections of the media for misinforming the public through presenting inaccurate reports without verifying sources.

“In my view, misinformation plus prejudgment equals to injustice and unfairness.” He asked journalists in South Sudan to follow proper procedures to verify information and to report objectively.

The information and communication minister mainly attributed the hunger problem in parts of the state to this year’s unpredictable rainfall, which delayed harvests. He also blamed high food prices for shortages, which he claimed resulted from economic blockades imposed by the North Sudan after South Sudan seceded in July.

“Much as some of these issues I have mentioned were far beyond our control, the state government has been very instrumental in providing the basic needs of the population in line with its rightful mandate.”

The state government, he added, has put in place the necessary institutional framework and departments to protect its citizens, having been given that mandate in last year’s general elections.

South Sudan’s government has established a four year plan to improve security, development, economic growth, and poverty reduction.

Despite a 2005 peace deal with Khartoum, Northern Bahr el Ghazal, like many areas of South Sudan have struggled to reduce poverty and health services and improve security.

Currently good security, good governance and the need to improve security along its borders reportedly top state priorities.

In neighbouring Warrap, the state’s governor has also denied that hunger has caused the death of over 300 people since June, despite reports from local chiefs to the contrary.


  • 18 August 22:47, by Mayok

    Mr. minister Bona Makuac Mawien,
    you know it’s your job to help those poor citizens, and make sure that supplies are necessary reach to them without delay. Our people are not supposed to be suffering in their own home since we are no longer in war.

    Reply to this message

    • 19 August 11:56, by Nan dit

      Mr.Minister, to proved that the iccidents is not true or true,it has to be investigate where it happen visit the location. The reports might be true if there are no consultation to those communities affected

      Reply to this message

  • 25 August 13:23, by Madingthith

    @ Bona Makuac Mawien,

    Your position as minister for Information and Communication in the Government of Northern Bahr el Ghazal does not mean that you denied the mere hunger gap that is looming all the states of South Sudan and you take the example of Akong where more than 7 people dies because of starvation in Northern Bahr el Ghazal in Aweil East County.Your own judgement and analysis is not correct in real sense as you said that misinformation plus prejudgement is equal injustices. Don,t denies any report concerning hunger gap and currently people are eating wild fruits as a source of food and some other food items.

    Reply to this message

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