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[Nairobi, CPJ] - South Sudanese authorities should immediately launch an independent, thorough investigation into the abduction and beating of journalist Joseph Afandi and punish those responsible, the Committee to Protect Journalists said today. Colleagues found Afandi dumped near a graveyard in Juba today, beaten and bearing marks of torture, according to press accounts.

[Kigali, Rwanda, By James Karuhanga, TNT], The decision to admit South Sudan as the sixth member of the East African Community is one of the most “historic” by the EAC Heads of State Summit, Amb. Valentine Rugwabiza, the minister for EAC affairs has said.

[Rome, RR] Pope Francis met with bishops from Sudan and South Sudan. The latter is the youngest country in the world, proclaiming its independence in 2011.

One by one, the Pope greeted each bishop. They were accompanied by Cardinal Fernando Filoni, who thanked the Pope during the encounter.

They spoke about a wide variety of topics at the meeting: peace, poverty, and vocations in each country. South Sudan has been in civil war for the last two years, and the violence has created more than a million refugees and internally displaced people.

Afterward, Pope Francis gave them a written message and made sure that all the bishops had it.

"Who will take it to the sick?”

The apostolic nuncios in both countries joined the meeting, which finished with a traditional group photo. The bishops also invited the Pope to visit both countries.

[Mombasa Kenya, by PSCU] President Uhuru Kenyatta has nominated Amb. Lt. Gen. Augostino S.K. Njoroge (Rtd) as Vice Chairperson to the Joint Monitory and Evaluation Commission (JMEC) on the implementation of the South Sudanese Peace Agreement.

[By CHristianheadlines] Christian persecution is widespread and, according to the magazine Crux, is only increasing in many places.

By Primates 2016

[Yei,South Sudan, TCT] Yei - Rainbow FC girls’ football beat their City Stars FC counterpart to win the football trophy in Yei River State. The colorful game was played at Yei freedom square attended by thousands of fans including officials from state government and nongovernmental organizations in the town.

MTN South Sudan, which is part of MTN Group, the largest telecommunications company in Africa, has expanded its investment policies to uplift sports standards in South Sudan.

[Juba, South Sudan, TCT] A nation’s progress is based not on the natural resources it has but on critical mass of educated populace that have the knowhow to convert available resources into useable and profitable products.

[Wau, South Sudan, RT] Broadcasts of the Catholic Radio Voice of Hope in Wau of South Sudan's Western Bahr el Ghazal State have been disrupted following demands from the staff to increase their salaries.

[Juba, South Sudan, TCT] In a meeting presided over by the Chairperson of Joint Monitoring and Evaluation Commission [JMEC], former President of Botswana Festus G. Mogae on Thursday, the parties to conflict in South Sudan, the Government of South Sudan, SPLM-IO, SPLM-FDs, and other Political parties have finally selected ministerial portfolios as part of the formation of South Sudan Transitional Government of National Unity.

[Juba, South Sudan, TCT] The Archbishop and Primate of the Episcopal Church of South Sudan and Sudan (ECSS&S), Daniel Deng Bul Yak in a live televised event on January 3 2016 has consecrated Rev. Canon Precious Omuku as bishop in his province bringing a total number of ECSS& S bishops to over 50.

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[New Delhi, TCT]  Leading IT training institute Koenig Solutions has introduced a new Platinum Series of exclusive and highly specialized IT training programs to its already wide range of IT training and certification programs to help equip its corporate clients with high-end technical skills. The Platinum series was launched in a gala event at Oberoi, Bangalore in the presence of over 100+ IT Partners and esteemed customers on 12th February, 2016.

ACNS, by Gavin Drake] The Bishop of Kericho, the Rt Revd Jackson Ole Sapit, has today been elected to serve as the sixth Archbishop and Primate of the Anglican Church of Kenya and Bishop of the Diocese of All Saints’ Cathedral.

The 52-year-old bishop was baptised in 1977 and confirmed eight years later. His first church role was as evangelist and community motivator in Narok, which he undertook from two years from 1987 before joining the Berea Theological College. He was ordained a deacon in July 1991 and a priest a year later.

He served as vicar of Belgut Parish in the diocese of Nakuru and then as vicar of Kilgoris Parish and project manager at Transmara Rural Development Programme.

Throughout this time he continued his education, gaining a Bachelor of Divinity from St Paul’s University in Nairobi and a Certificate in Research and Consultancy at Nairobi’s Daystar University. In 1997 he studied for an MA in Social Development and Sustainable Livelihoods at the UK’s University of Reading.

He returned to Kenya to take up the role of mission and development coordinator for the Diocese of Nakuru; before serving as the Suffragan Bishop of the Kericho area; becoming diocesan bishop when the area was carved out of Nakuru Diocese to become a diocese in its own right.

In 2012 he was awarded a Doctorate of Professional Studies by the Global University for Lifelong Learning in California, USA.

A profile published by the Anglican Church of Kenya in advance of today’s election says that Bishop Sapit “managed to nurture the young Diocese of Kericho” both in spiritual terms and in community development. Read more on ACNS

[Juba, South Sudan,TCT] South Sudanese leaders President Salva Kiir and his first vice president Dr. Riek Machar and second vice president Wani Igga are expected to attend along with new cabinet a special prayer function for peace and healing on Saturday in Juba organised by the South Sudan Council of Churches (SSCC).

According to reliable source close to SSCC, the special event to be conducted at national parliamentary affairs ministry in Juba will be presided over by the heads of churches including Catholic Archbishop Paulino Lokudu Loro and Daniel Deng Bul of the Episcopal Church of the South Sudan (ECSS)

National cabinet members including other constitutional post holders in the newly formed Transitional Government of National Unity are expected to turn up for the event meant to usher in the top leaders particularly President Kiir and Riek  to open a new page of working together for delivery of service to the poor, forgiveness and reconciliation of the nation. 

Community Empowerment for Progress Organization (CEPO) underlined that there was still a wider gap of trust and confidence between the two leaders despite forming the unity government. The local organization worries that the poor relations between the two leaders could endanger the progress and implementation of the compromised peace arrangment.

A source familiar with the program of the event disclosed that the special prayers is to usher in the new cabinet with prayers accompanied with the word of God from church leaders to bridge-gap high level of mistrust among political leaders. 

[ACNS] The Archbishop of Congo, the Most Revd Henri Isingoma, has stepped down, the Province de L'Eglise Anglicane Du Congo (Anglican Church of Congo) announced today. Archbishop Henri, who is also Bishop of Kinshasa, has taken the decision to have a health improvement break and return to theological academia.