South Sudan

Kiir to Allies: We Can’t Decline Peace Deal Anymore

Parliament has banned the importation and use of Shisha – a water pipe tobacco delivery product common with the youth at popular social hangouts in the country.

The ban comes as Parliament, approved Tuesday  commenced consideration of the Tobacco Control Bill, viagra approved 2014, which intends to “protect the present and future generations from the devastating health, social, economic and environmental consequences of tobacco use and exposure.”

In the Bill, Parliament also banned the importation, manufacture, distribution, possession, sell, offering for sale or bringing into the country; an electronic nicotine delivery system, including the electronic vaporization device or cartridges with nicotine-containing liquid or other substances vaporized; or other substances to be used in the water pipe delivery system; and a smokeless or a flavored tobacco product.

Parliament passed the Bill, which will take effect six months after the Presidential assent.

Before the introduction of the Bill in March 2015, Members of Parliament had advocated for the banning of Shisha and Kuba, another chewable tobacco product, which they blamed for the increase in mental illnesses among the youth.

The Chairperson of the Committee on Health, Hon. Dr. Medard Bitekyerezo (Mbarara Municipality) said it was justified to ban Shisha which is “scientifically proven to be even more dangerous than cigarette consumption.”

Parliament had twice suspended consideration of the Tobacco Control Bill as disagreements over various clauses hampered progress in the Committee of the Whole House.

The Deputy Speaker, Jacob Oulanya asked the mover, concerned ministers and MPs with interest in the Bill to meet and agree on its contentious clauses.


The Minister of State for Health, Hon. Dr. Chris Baryomunsi; Minister of State for Finance, Hon. David Bahati and Hon. Nandala Mafabi (FDC, Budadiri West) said the meeting was finally held, and harmonized positions on clauses of the Bill.

Parliament also banned the sale of sticks of cigarettes, cigarillos or any other tobacco product that may not be part of an intact package, so as to discourage young people from easily accessing the products.

It was also agreed that the text and pictures comprising health warnings and messages shall appear together and shall occupy no less than 65 percent of each principal display area of the unit packet of a tobacco product.

How dangerous is Shisha?

Shisha has generally been defined as a glass-bottomed water pipe in which fruit-flavoured tobacco is covered with foil and roasted with charcoal.

The tobacco smoke passes through a water chamber and is inhaled deeply and slowly; the fruit-flavoured tobacco tastes smooth and smells sweet.

According to a report from the World Health Organization (WHO) a Shisha smoking session may expose the smoker to more smoke over a longer period of time than occurs when smoking a cigarette.

Also, due to the method of smoking—including frequency of puffing, depth of inhalation, and length of the smoking session—Shisha smokers may absorb higher concentrations of the same toxins found in cigarette smoke.

According to Tuhirirwe Karane, a law student at Makerere University, further research by the WHO shows that the “volume of smoke inhaled in an hour-long Shisha session is estimated to be the equivalent of smoking between 100 and 200 cigarettes.”

The Centre for Disease Control and Prevention based in Atlanta USA reveals more worrying statistics on the effects of Shisha smoking rise.

A typical 1-hour-long Shisha smoking session involves 200 puffs, while an average cigarette is 20 puffs.

The volume of smoke inhaled during a typical Shisha session is about 90,000 millilitres, compared with 500 to 600 millilitres inhaled when smoking a cigarette.

However, Karane says government should as well ban cigarettes in the country.

“Let’s solve the tobacco debacle in unison. If Shisha is to be banned, cigarette smoking should be banned as well and if cigarette smoking is to be regulated the same should be done for Shisha smoking,” he argues.
The South Sudan President, pilule Salva Kiir has said there is no way out for his government can disagree or even reject the current peace proposals by regional and international community body IGAD-Plus.

ChimpReports has exclusively learnt that President Kiir made the remarks while meeting his strongest allies, the Dinka Council of elders, who have been very influential in the political affairs of South Sudan since the days of the SPLA founding father, Dr. John Garang De Mabior.

Sources in Juba said the convention between Kiir and the powerful council of elders took place on Monday at the president’s private farm in Luri with a single item on the agenda – peace agreement.

The Compromised Peace Agreement proposal was released by the IGAD-Plus last week.

Both warring parties in the conflict are expected to sign the deal expected to deliver peace in South Sudan by August 17.

According to the said proposal, the Transitional Government of National Unity is supposed to come into force where Kiir is going to remain president while Dr. Machar shall take the unique position of the first Vice President, a title which will only exist during the transitional period.

“Committed to national reconciliation, accountability, healing and combating impunity among the highest priorities in South Sudan, the GRSS (Government of the Republic of South Sudan) and SPLA-IO (rebels) should  agree to form Transitional Government of National Unity (TGoNU), determined to build an inclusive and democratic society founded on the rule of law,” part of proposed peace deal reads in part.

The constituting of a government of unity that has been on table since the beginning of peace talks has already been agreed by both parties but the composition and the roles to be played by each is the point of contention.

Basically, the government is supposed to take 53 percent of the top positions, rebels 33 percent and 14 percent will be taken by other political parties and stakeholders in the oil rich but unstable nation.

The conflict has left an unimaginable trail of destruction of lives and property.

Speaking this week from Ethiopia which has been instrumental in the South Sudan peace talks, U.S. President Barack Obama said, “The possibilities of renewed conflict in a region that has been torn by conflict for so long, and has resulted in so many deaths, is something that requires urgent attention from all of us,” Obama said.

“We don’t have a lot of time to wait.”

Obama emphasised that failure to agree on the terms of the peace deal, the principals in the war should prepare for consequences.

He, however, assured that, “When all voices are being heard, when people know they are being included in the political process, that makes a country more successful.”

Rebel areas

Many officials in Juba including president Kiir’s spokesman, Mr. Ateny Wek have openly rejected the proposals, saying they are undoable.

The development made Kiir, who is expected to travel to Addis Ababa to sign the deal, to consult with his allies and also brief them on what should be expected.

The Dinka Council of elders, according to a source, disagreed with the proposal saying they largely benefit Machar and his group who tried to “overthrow” the government.

President Kiir, however, seemed to have accepted losing the diplomatic front before telling the elders that “there is no explanation for refusing to sign the agreement that can be tolerated” by IGAD-Plus apart from accepting the proposals.

“Comrades, things have gone so far and the only thing they (IGAD-Plus) want to hear from us is reconciliation and accepting to cooperate with our brothers the other side (Machar group) and to end the suffering of our people,” President Kiir reportedly told elders on Monday, according to a source who asked not to be named.

The meeting uncomfortably resolved to agree with the proposals but also strongly called for pushing for amendments that favour the Juba government.

The international community and regional leaders have previously exerted plenty of pressure on both parties to peacefully resolve the conflict that engulfed the world’s youngest nation in late 2013 – just four years after attaining independence from the majority Arab north.

The United States president Barack Obama who has been in the region for five days ending on Tuesday, kept on mentioning the South Sudan crisis and called on Kiir and Machar to accept peace.

The 20 months bloody civil war has claimed about 20,000 lives, displaced about 1.5 million people internally and another 600,000 to the neighbouring countries, according to the United Nations figures.


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