South Sudan – rebels says they repulsed army attacks in Unity State

Sudan Tribune

(GANYLIEL) – South Sudanese rebels say they twarted attempts by pro-government forces (SPLA) to recapture Taiyar port in Payinjiar county, south of Unity state.

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SPLA soldiers sit in a pick-up in the key north oil city of Bentiu after capturing it from rebels on 12 January 2014 (Photo: AFP/Simon Maina)

The rebel-appointed commissioner for Payinjiar county, John Tap Puot said their forces pushed back the enemy on Thursday.

“Our forces have repulsed the attackers, and we are still speedily pursuing them towards Shambe port,” he toldSudan Tribune over satellite phone from Ganyliel payam.

Heavy fighting reportedly occured east of Ganyliel payam at Lieda, some 10 kilometers south of Taiyar main port the country’s armed opposition faction and forces allied to President Salva Kiir, according to local officials and aid agencies operating in the area.

The attack comes a day after President Kiir signed the long-awaited IGAD-brokered peace agreement to end the 20-months old onflicts in the country on Wednesday.

Puot accused government forces of renewed military offensives against their forces in the area.

He claimed forces loyal to President Kiir heavily shelled Taiyar port at 4:30pm and largely accused the Juba government for failing to adhere to the recently signed peace accord.

“It is not a surprise to us that pro government will violate this document, which they have signed yesterday [Wednesday]. Our position is to inform the international community that the government of Juba does not stick on its words and this has reflected [that] they are not ready to bring peace to the people of South Sudan,” Puot told [Sudan Tribune].

The official further claimed the rebels mainly reacted in self-defense and warned of imminent attacks should government forces continue attacking their positions.

“I want to tell our supporters around the world that Payinjiar county shall never and will never be captured by anyone. It would be better we all die first than surrendering our home land to the enemies,” he added.

Puot says the armed opposition leadership remains committed to the peace deal, but claimed the Juba regime was not supporting an end to the war through negotiations.

A source, who asked not to be named, said the government-appointed Payinjiar county commissioner, William Nyuon Joak commanded forces that attacked the area Thursday.

Sudan Tribune was, however, unable to independently verify these claims.


Chad sentences 10 Boko Haram fighters to death


members of Nigeria-based Islamist group Boko Haram sitting in court in N"Djamena, during the opening of the trial of ten suspected Boko Haram members
Image captionThe three-day trial was held behind closed doors

Chad has sentenced 10 members of the Islamist militant group Boko Haram to death on terror charges, after a three-day trial in the capital N’djamena.

The 10 were convicted over their roles in attacks on the capital in June and July, which killed at least 53.

The attacks were the first by the Nigerian-based group in Chad, which hosts the headquarters of a regional force set up to fight the militants.

In July, Chad reintroduced the death penalty for acts of terror.

Mozambican journalist Paulo Machava killed in drive-by attack

Mail and Guardian

For some, it will also bring memories of the 2000 murder of celebrated Mozambican investigative journalist Carlos Cardoso.

The style of killing was similar to that in early March of constitutional lawyer and government Cistac (pictured).
The style of killing was similar to that in early March of constitutional lawyer and government Cistac (pictured).

A VETERAN  Mozambican crime journalist was killed in a drive-by shooting in downtown Maputo on Friday in an attack that echoed the murder of a prominent lawyer six months ago.

Paulo Machava, publisher of the online Diario de Noticias, was gunned down while taking his daily morning jog along one of the capital’s main streets.

“A group of armed individuals fatally shot Paulo Machava before fleeing,” police spokesman Arnaldo Chefe told a news conference.

The gunmen, who was driving a white pick-up truck, fired between four and six shots before speeding off, according to preliminary police investigations.

Street vendors who witnessed the attack confirmed to AFP that the shots were fired from a vehicle.

Machava, who was in his 50s, had previously worked for the independent weekly Savana and for state radio.

The style of killing was similar to that in early March of Gilles Cistac, a naturalised Mozambican citizen of French origin and a constitutional law expert who was highly critical of the government.

For some, it will also bring memories of the 2000 murder of celebrated Mozambique journalist Carlos Cardoso. His murder followed his newspaper’s investigation into corruption in the privatisation of Mozambique’s biggest bank.

-Additional reporting by M&G Africa Reporter.

Kenya -new anti-graft Forum

Daily Nation


In Summary

Uhuru to lead a multi-sectoral forum in waging war against vice.

Ministers, Principal Secretaries, independent commissions and counties to have role.


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President Uhuru Kenyatta will take direct charge of a new fight against corruption in the country.
Mr Kenyatta will be the patron of the National Forum on Integrity, according to recommendations of the Kenya integrity plan.
The team will meet annually to review the achievements of state agencies on the war against corruption and take action.
Attorney-General Githu Muigai and Head of Public Service Joseph Kinyua led other stakeholders in the adoption of the four-year plan on Thursday at the Serena Hotel in Nairobi.
The main goals are to promote integrity and combat corruption and unethical conduct, raise competitiveness in doing business and forge strategic alliances against corruption.
Members of the forum include Cabinet Secretaries, Principal Secretaries, and heads of commissions, among others. They will be required to provide policy direction.
Each sector will be required to develop an internal framework to enhance effective and efficient implementation of the plan.
The Kenya Integrity Plan replaces the National Anti-Corruption Plan, which has been in place since 2006 and, which Prof Muigai admitted on Thursday, had been ineffective.
“We must be honest with ourselves and admit National Anti-Corruption Plan did not achieve the goals for which it was established,” said Prof Muigai. He said the development of the Kenya integrity plan has been ongoing for the last two years and seeks to unite and harness the fight against corruption.
It will involve the agencies and institutions carrying out the fight against corruption, the devolved government, commissions and independent offices, civil society, religious organisations and the media.
Prof Muigai admitted that corruption continues to hurt and destroy the fabric of society.
“There is no sector in Kenya that does not experience the negative effects of the vice. It is now widely accepted that a multi-sectoral approach using a range of diverse strategies constitutes the best anti-dote to combat and prevent the vice,” he said.
Prof Muigai said Kenya is collaborating with other East African countries to develop a regional protocol on preventing and combating corruption.
He maintained that law enforcement agencies alone cannot eliminate corruption given its pervasive and conspiratorial nature.
The attorney-general added that the much awaited National Ethics and Anti-Corruption Policy was nearing completion.
Mr Kinyua insisted that all government resources must be put into the right use to avoid wastage.
He added that the government was committed in fighting corruption.
Mr Kinyua asked teachers to inculcate a good culture in their learners from an early age so that they can discard the culture of corruption that has taken root in society.
Ethics and Anti-Corruption Commission chief executive Halakhe Waqo said the decision to review the National Anti-Corruption Plan was made in 2012. County governments have been included in the new plan.
“This plan draws from the experience of all Kenyans and recognises that corruption requires a consistent, coherent and collective approach with a long-term perspective,” said Dr Waqo.

South Sudan – rebels and government accuse each other of breaking ceasefire


South Sudanese rebels and the army have accused each other for the second time this week of attacks, this time barely a day after President Salva Kiir signed a peace deal that looks increasingly fragile.
Rebel leader Riek Machar said that South Sudanese government troops had attacked towns held by the insurgents but army spokesman, Col. Philip Aguer, rejected the accusation and said it was the rebels who had attacked the government soldiers.
Late on Thursday, state television said Kiir had decreed that a permanent ceasefire, meant to end a 20-month conflict, would go into effect at midnight on Aug. 29.
Kiir signed the peace deal on Wednesday but said he had “serious reservations” on a number of provisions in the peace proposals, including plans to demilitarise the capital. During the signing ceremony Kiir said the rebels had attacked government troops in the north of the country.
Kiir’s long-time rival Machar, who is expected to become the country’s First Vice President under the deal, signed the agreement last week in Ethiopia. Kiir and Machar have signed several ceasefire deals before only to violate them within days.
Machar said in a statement late on Thursday that a government convoy of gunboats and ferries had attacked the rebel-held towns of Tayar and Ganylel in Unity State, which has suffered some of the worst of the violence over its oilfields.
He said the government’s latest offensive was aimed at capturing ports in Unity and neighbouring Upper Nile State.
“The government offensive against the SPLM/SPLA (rebels) is continuing unabated despite Salva Kiir signing the Agreement on Resolution of the Conflict in South Sudan,” Machar said.
“We are wondering whether the government is genuine on signing the agreement. We condemn the regime’s continued offensive in the strongest possible terms.”
Aguer said it was the rebels who had struck at them.
“On Wednesday it was the rebels attacking the SPLA in Nhialdiu and the SPLA repulsed them. There are casualties but we don’t have the details up to now,” he said, referring to another Unity State town.
“Definitely, the army command will implement the government policy and we will only fight in self-defence if the rebels attack our positions.” 
Kiir, who has led South Sudan since it seceded from Sudan in 2011, last week asked for more time for consultations but was given a two-week deadline to sign or risk U.N. sanctions.
Fighting has killed thousands of people and displaced more than 2.2 million, 500,000 of whom have fled the country since the civil war began in 2013. Many rely on aid to survive.

Nigeria – China sign factory construction deal with Dangote


Aliko Dangote

A Chinese state-owned engineering company has signed a deal worth $4.3bn (£2.8bn) to build factories for a Nigerian cement company run by Africa’s richest man, Aliko Dangote.

China’s Sinoma will build seven plants across the continent and one in Nepal.

The new factories will add around 25 million tonnes to the firm’s existing cement capacity of 45 million tonnes.

Mr Dangote’s company also produces food, fertiliser and is investing in oil refineries.

He is keeping a close eye on China’s economic problems and the ensuing lower oil price.

“Of course we are affected,” he said, “but we are not badly affected because we are not 100% in oil.

“We are a fully diversified company. So today if oil is doing [badly] it doesn’t mean we are doing [badly] and that’s the good thing about diversification.”

Africa’s economies have been hit hard by the fall in commodity prices but many are seeing a boom in infrastructure, for which cement is vital.

South Sudan – Machar calls for Kiir to drop peace reservations

Sudan Tribune

By Tesfa-Alem Tekle
August 27, 2015 (ADDIS ABABA) – Leader of the armed opposition faction of the Sudan Peoples’ Liberation Movement (SPLM-IO), Riek Machar, on Thursday welcomed a final peace agreement signed by President Salva Kiir, aimed to end the 20-month long conflict in South Sudan.
Riek Machar answers questions during a press conference in the Ethiopian capital Addis Ababa on July 9, 2014 (Photo AFP/Zacharias Abubeker)

“We welcome the signing of the peace agreement by President Salva Kiir although it was nine days late from the scheduled signing ceremony,” Machar told Sudan Tribune on Thursday in an exclusive interview in the Ethiopian capital, Addis Ababa.
President Kiir signed the peace deal in Juba, South Sudan’s capital, on Wednesday more than one week after refusing to do so. Despite signing the long-awaited peace deal, the South Sudanese president has however expressed “serious reservations” he did not specify with regard to the mediation process, but said he would sign the deal even if his reservations were not considered in the document.
“With all those reservations that we have, we will sign this document,” Kiir told regional leaders before he signed, adding “some features of the document are not in the interest of just and lasting peace.”
“We had only one of the two options, the option of an imposed peace or the option of a continued war,” he added.
However rebel leader Machar, now designated first vice president, Machar, told Sudan Tribune that his opposition group had also reservations but had dropped the reservations and signed the peace agreement for the sake of peace, further calling on the president to do so.
“We dropped our reservations in favor of peace and he [president Kiir] should also drop his reservations in favor for peace. If he [president Kiir] has reservations he should keep them to himself like we kept to ourselves,” he added.
Machar however decline to reveal the reservations he said his side had, saying it was unnecessary to disclose now after a peace deal was signed.
However, opposition sources close to the peace talks said the rebels had reservations on many issues on governance, security arrangements, power sharing, accountability and justice as well as wealth sharing.
The rebels wanted federalism to be incorporated into the agreement and only implemented during the transitional period. IGAD Plus document says this will be worked out in the constitution making process by the unity government. Rebels also worked out a specific wealth sharing in the country which was also dropped, among others.
The former vice president expressed commitment to fully implement the internationally backed and regional brokered peace deal as he is put in charge of coordinating the implementation of the peace deal with all the stakeholders in the country, region and in the wider international community.
“We signed the agreement because we were convinced we can implement it,” he said, adding “We will implement it as long as the government is ready to do so.”
When asked if he trusted Wednesday’s peace accord signed by president Kiir, he said, “I can’t tell you I trust he will implement it,” pointing to the reservations the government in Juba raised.
The compromised peace agreement outlines what role the international community and the regional actors should play for the implementation of the peace agreement.
In terms of security, the agreement states that the capital Juba must be demilitarized within 25 kilometers radius to form a joint integrated police from both sides. Other towns such as Bor, Malakal and Bentiu, known as the most affected areas, will also be demilitarized according to the agreement.
However as that will take longer time, the international community is expected to temporarily take over the security of towns until a joint integrated police as well as united forces are deployed that would protect the barracks.
For the effective implementation of the agreement, Machar underscored a need by the international community and the regional actors to seriously look at the monitoring aspect. He also called on the international community to work on ensuring that the economy of the country is run properly.
According to the agreement, permanent ceasefire must take effect within 72 hours of the signing of the final peace deal, which is on Saturday evening. President Kiir issued a republican decree on Thursday evening declaring the permanent ceasefire to come into effect by 29 August midnight and ordered his forces to implement it accordingly.
Machar’s group however accused the government of carrying out offensive against their forces in Upper Nile region for the last three days in an attempt to recapture territories before the permanent ceasefire comes into effect.
But if the two sides failed to honor the agreement, the international community is expected to look other ways of imposing the peace agreement, with the United Nations warning to impose sanctions on party that will obstruct implementation of the deal.
The international community has previously threatened with tougher measures against any of the two sides that attempt to spoil the peace efforts.
Prior to Wednesday’s signing, the South Sudanese president accused forces loyal to Machar of launching attacks on government forces on that same day.
“As we have gathered here, the spoilers of peace have just launched an attack on the position of our forces in Bentiu and in Nhialdiu. They did this afternoon. You can now see who is for peace and who is for continuous war,” Kiir said in the capital, Juba.
Machar however dismissed the allegations as fabricated.
“When the president said yesterday that our forces were fighting in Bentiu, he was lying,” Machar told Sudan Tribune.
“It was his troops the ones that went south and attacked us in the locations south of Bentiu,” he said.
Machar accused government forces of yet being on the offensive. He alleged government forces were attacking their positions on Bor and around Malakal on Thursday. He warned the government’s continued attacks will spoil the peace process.
“Unless the international community comes in to pressurize the government to implement its part, the peace process would fail,” he further warned.
It is however feared that the split within president Kiir’s government between pro-peace and anti-peace political and military leaders may spoil the implementation of the deal. Kiir’s army chief of general staff, Paul Malong Awan, has declared opposition to the peace deal his commander-in-chief signed.
Also other political leaders, such as government’s spokesperson, Michael Makuei Lueth is said to be against the peace agreement and walked out of the Freedom Hall in protest in Juba as president Kiir was about to sign the deal.
A reporter of the state-owned South Sudan Television (SSTV), Abraham Garang, posted on his Facebook page that he was prevented from airing live program of the signing event by the TV director, citing that he was told the order came from minister Makuei.
Other senior officials, including members of the tribal Jieng Council of Elders (JCE), a Dinka community where the president hails, also were opposed to the peace agreement.
Meanwhile, Special Envoys of the Intergovernmental Authority on Development (IGAD), the regional bloc mediating South Sudan’s peace process for the past 20 months, have welcomed leaders of the two warring parties as well as other Stakeholders including the Adherents for signing the Agreement for Resolution of the Conflict in the Republic South Sudan.
“At this important juncture, we call upon the warring parties to strictly implement the Permanent Ceasefire within 72 hours of the signing of the Agreement, as provided for in Chapter II, Article. 1. of the Agreement,” the Special Envoys said in a statement, Thursday.
“We recognize that the signing of this Agreement is the end of the protracted phase of negotiations and the beginning of the implementation phase,” said the statement.
The mediators stressed a need to focus on the full and complete implementation of the agreement which is considered to be the biggest challenge ahead to completely resolve the political crises in the youngest east African nation.
“We are confident that, if this Agreement is implemented with sustained political will, courage, integrity and diligence, it will bring lasting peace and prosperity for the people of South Sudan.”
The IGAD Special Envoys further urged all parties to the conflict, the people of South Sudan, members of IGAD-PLUS and the entire international community to join hands in the full implementation and realization of the peace Agreement as well as the successful establishment of the Transitional Government of National Unity and beyond.