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.- In anticipation of Pope Francis’ first visit to their country, the head of the Ugandan bishops conference has called on Catholics to make themselves ready to welcome the Pope though prayer and charitable works.

“The Pope's visit and presence during the celebrations requires us to prepare in a special way. The nature of this visit is primarily pastoral and spiritual,” Archbishop John Baptist Odama of Gulu said in his Oct. 7 pastoral letter on behalf of his fellow bishops. Read more here on CNA

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.

An investment company in Yei has agreed to sponsor Yei Municipal Football Club through provision of the team’s requirements. The club was founded in 2004 by a group of committed players, and it plays in the first division.

Yei Central Girls’ Football Club on Saturday evening won the Mayor’s Cup finals after defeating Rainbow Girls two goals to one at the Yei Freedom Square.

The Confederation of African Football (CAF) has selected four South Sudanese referees to officiate at the upcoming 2015 African Championship League matches scheduled to start next month.

[Juba, South Sudan TCT] Dr. Barnaba Marial Benjamin, Minister of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation, and Dr. Mitsuaki Furukawa, Chief Representative of Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA) South Sudan, recently visited the construction site of the New Nile Bridge known as the Freedom Bridge. The bridge is being constructed with the support from the Government of Japan with implementation by JICA. Dr. Benjamin and Dr. Furukawa walked across the temporary bridge and were briefed of the progress of the construction work. Mr. Norio Umeda, Resident Engineer of CTI Engineering International Co., Ltd. who is in charge of the site, explained that although there have been challenges due to increased river water levels during the rainy season, the construction is progressing on schedule. He added that upon completion, the bridge will be able to be used for over 100 years if it is maintained properly. After visiting construction site, Dr. Benjamin thanked the Government of Japan, JICA, and the engineers and workers on site for their cooperation. “This Freedom Bridge is strategically important for South Sudan because it will connect the east and the west of the Nile,” Dr. Marial told the chief representative of JICA and the workers at the site. “It will increase and boom the business, improve the movement of people and encourage the investment to come in,” he added. In addition, Dr. Marial acknowledged the employment opportunity the project has created for over 100 South Sudanese workers at the construction site, and equally praised them for their hard work. Dr. Furukawa expressed appreciation to the Minister for his visit to the site and added that it is important to see the progress of Freedom Bridge. Dr. Furukawa said JICA is happy to be part of the project, and that it is an example of the friendship between Japan and South Sudan. The Freedom Bridge is a new 560-meter bridge across the Nile River to provide permanent crossing point. Currently, Juba Bridge is the only crossing point over the Nile River along the road connecting Juba and Uganda, and it does not have the sufficient structural capacity to accommodate increasing traffic and cargo loads. The Freedom Bridge will provide a reliable and efficient route for the distribution of goods and services, and is expected to contribute to the economic development of South Sudan. The construction is expected to complete in June 2018.

[Yei, South Sudan] Two primary one kids in Yei, Central Equatoria State are writing their final examinations with legs chained and padlocked as form of disciplinary action imposed on them by the father. The two boys aged 7 and 9, who are studying at St Paul Primary School in Yei, have been padlocked and chained by the father at night. According to the mother of the kids, Victoria S., she said, the father charged the kids of being naughty, and reporting home late as well as not attending classes when sent to school. The mother also confirmed that the children do not reach to school when send to school. “They come home late. So he chained them so that they will listen”, said Victoria the mother of five. The mother reported that the father entered through a window at night into the house where the children were sleeping, chained and padlocked them thinking it could be an alternative solution of disciplining the children. The mother also described that the father had earlier beaten the children, beating them with bicycle padlock which inflicted wounds on their bodies of these kids. But she reported it to the school administration so that a solution may be found. Lomuja Moses Joseph, the Head Teacher of St Paul Primary School, said the incident was the first of its kind in the school, however, he intervene as the children were given unfair punishment. “We discussed with these parents earlier and sent them home warning them that, canning will not be a solution to these children. It is actually the first of its kind to see these kind of incidents”, he told TCT at the school on Friday. According to the head teacher, the school administration and parents had lengthy discussions on the situation of the children with the parents accepting to change mentality of treating the children badly. He called on parents to cease from corporal punishment against children, pleading to the local government to ‘take action’. The head teacher also disclosed other incidents which have happened to other children. He said he was informed about a parent who punished his child by using heated fork spoon and pressed it on the chest. The head teacher also said, a soldier by profession went to the school and asked for permission to let him kill his child claiming his child was difficult to discipline. According to subsection (f) in section 1 of article 17 of the South Sudan Transitional Constitution 2011, “every child has the right to be free from corporal punishment and cruel and inhuman treatment by any person including parents, school administrations and other institutions.” The Inspector of Gender and Social Welfare in Yei Municipality, Juma Denis Daniel, warned the parents to face legal action, should they fail to set the children free to avoid continuous violation of their rights. He described the incident inflicted against the two children as a “complete mistreatment of children and denial of child rights to other entitled rights” including right to feeding, freedom and protection. The government officer warned after meeting the school administration and the parent at the school and called for collective responsibility of the government, community to tackle abuses against children rights. “Corporal punishment and cruelty against children would lead to psychological torture”, he said. The two children attend primary one class along with other 58 pupils. There are 380 pupils at St. Paul’s Primary School altogether. Efforts to reach the accused father for comments on the accusation was unsuccessful.

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“Son of man, I have made you a watchman for the people of Israel; so hear the word I speak and give them warning from me.” Ezekiel 33:7 To the Faithful of the Global Fellowship of Confessing Anglicans and friends from Archbishop Eliud Wabukala, Primate of Kenya and Chairman of the GAFCON Primates’ Council October 2015