Ugandan troops stay in South Sudan as withdrawal deadline nears

The East African

Uganda’s People Defence Forces’ (UPDF) Special Forces commandos participate in drills near the South Sudan border. PHOTO | FILE |   AFP



  • The peace agreement gave all foreign armies and militia 45 days to withdraw.
  • Under the agreement, an Igad force from Kenya, Ethiopia and Rwanda was supposed to replace foreign armies.
  • Uganda Peoples’ Defence Forces deployed between 2,500 and 3,000 troops in South Sudan following the outbreak of war mid December 2013.

The deadline for Ugandan troops to leave South Sudan is less than two weeks away but Kampala is yet to give the order for its forces to start withdrawing as demanded by the peace agreement signed in August.

The agreement, which President Salva Kiir signed on August 26 — a week after his rival and former deputy Dr Riek Machar had appended his signature — gave all foreign armies and militia 45 days to withdraw.

Uganda Peoples’ Defence Forces deployed between 2,500 and 3,000 troops in South Sudan following the outbreak of war mid December 2013, to fight alongside forces loyal to President Salvar Kiir.

Under the agreement, an Inter-Governmental Authority on Development force from Kenya, Ethiopia and Rwanda was supposed to replace foreign armies, but it was always difficult to have replacement boots on the ground, Kampala argues.

“Internationally mediated security arrangements are always fluid. We are committed to pulling out as a unilateral arrangement, but the army never leaves a vacuum. If we withdrew now, where is the Igad force that is going to deploy in our place? That’s why you are getting mixed signals [on our withdrawal]” deputy government spokesman Col Shaban Bantariza said.

‘No order for withdrawal’

Earlier, UPDF spokesman Lt Col Paddy Ankunda also said that the army leadership was aware of the impending deadline but the troops were to stay put because no order for withdrawal had been given.

The peace deal, signed in the Ethiopian capital Addis Ababa ;eft President Kiir in a weaker position — by demanding the pull-out of UPDF, the main foreign force backing him, as well as demilitarisation of a 25-km radius around the capital Juba and handing Riek Machar a more central role in government.

President Kiir expressed “serious reservations” about some of the clauses in the peace deal and how the mediation was conducted, although it ensured that the conflict ended.

Col Bantariza said the UPDF will follow a phased withdrawal.

“The military, the world over never jumps out; its withdrawal from operations is always phased out sector by sector,” he said.

Indeed, such a phased pull-out, considering the few days remaining before the deadline, presents a logistical nightmare for UPDF, which has to move personnel as well as heavy equipment, some under the cover darkness, for security reasons.

Yet, with a peace agreement in place, the switch of position by Kampala that its troops will stay runs counter to claims that UPDF’s deployment in South Sudan has achieved its objectives — to stop genocide, secure South Sudan’s key installations and the trade routes between Uganda and Juba.

South Sudan – rebels accuse army of attacks despite ceasefire


Rebels accuse South Sudan government of attacks weeks after peace deal

South Sudanese rebels said on Saturday government troops had attacked their positions over the last three days, casting further doubt on a fragile peace agreement in the world’s youngest country.

No one was immediately available to comment from the government – but both sides have regularly accused the other of breaking the ceasefire ratified by parliament last month under pressure from the United Nations, regional and world powers.

“For the last three days we have received a report of the government forces on the offensive, attacking our positions in Unity state,” rebel spokesman James Gatdet Dak said, referring to an oil-producing region on the northern border with Sudan.

“The intention was actually for them to control the areas we have been holding for a number of months, and this is a clear violation of the permanent peace agreement.”

South Sudan split away from Sudan in 2011 under the terms of a peace deal that ended decades of north-south civil war.

But a political row between President Salva Kiir and his sacked deputy Riek Machar descended into fighting inside the country in Dec. 2013, often along ethnic faultlines.

The fragile deal, which followed a series of failed ceasefires, came under further pressure when Kiir announced late on Friday he had increased the number of administrative states to 28 from 10, an action the rebels say was taken unilaterally.

In his decree, Kiir said it would move more power into the regions and create a more federal government.

“This presidential decree is a violation of the peace agreement and is a clear message to the world that president Kiir is not committed to peace,” Machar said in a statement.

South Sudan – Kiir unilaterally splits 10 states into 28

Sudan Tribune

(JUBA) – South Sudanese president Salva Kiir has unilaterally decreed expansion of the current 10 states to 28 federal states in the country in an unexpected move announced on South Sudan Television (SSTV) Friday evening, prompting reaction from the armed opposition leader, Riek Machar, that the unilateral move was a serious violation of the peace agreement.

JPEG - 30.1 kb
South Sudan’s President Salva Kiir (seated) signs a peace agreement in Juba, August 26, 2015. (Photo Reuters/Jok Solomu)

President Kiir, in order read on SSTVat 8:20pm, criticized his current governance system which he said has been holding the people’s power in the center in Juba, saying there was need to adopt a federal system of governance in the country, surprisingly in line with the demand of Machar’s rebel movement which the government had been rejecting at the peace talks in the Ethiopian capital, Addis Ababa, for nearly two years.

“Over the last ten years, the power which was given to you by the CPA [Comprehensive Peace Agreement] has remained in the center,” said Kiir, referring to the peace deal signed on 9 January 2005 with Sudan by then SPLM rebels to end 21-year long civil between north and south of the former Sudan.

The CPA granted South Sudanese a referendum on self-determination which resulted to overwhelming vote for secession from Sudan in 2011. He said his rationale for delaying creation of more states in devolution of powers to the people was because he was allegedly busy preparing for referendum from 2005 to 2011.

“My administration in the center was busy with issues to do with your self-determination such that you become free and sovereign state. Now, indeed you are free, therefore, there is no reason for me to retain your constitutional right for self-governance, self-reliance, self-development and determine your through free, fair and democratic elections in three years to come,” he claimed.

He went on to say that the creation of 28 states, which shall come into effect within 30 days, will provide an opportunity to “develop your locality, your home villages through mobilization of local and states resources.”

“We should therefore abandon culture of war and embrace culture of peace, co-existence and hard work such [that] you and I together develop our country because our country is a country of opportunities,” he said.

The order number 36/2015 AD for creation of new states of South Sudan said the president will now have the chance to nominate more state governors and additional members of the state assembly in his newly created states.

The sitting state members of parliament (MPs) will be maintained at 21 members in each state and there will be no more than 21 lawmakers.

The president acknowledged that his administration has been facing economic declines, surging unemployment as a consequence of the war which erupted on 15 December 2013.

It is not clear where more resources will be mobilized to fund the development of the states as the creation of 18 more states has become as a surprise to the nation and the international community.

In the breakdown of the states, Kiir created 8 states for greater Equatoria which included Imatong, Namurnyang, Maridi, Budi, Amadi, Jubek, Terekeka and Yei river.

For greater Bahr el Ghazal he decreed into being 10 states namely, Wau, Aweil, Ngor, Aweil East, Twic, Gogrial, Tonj, Eastern Lakes, Western Lakes and Gok.

In greater Upper Nile he also decreed 10 states to include Leer, Northern Guit, Ruweng, Eastern Nile, Jonglei, Western Nile, Eastern Bie, Lajor, Buma and Western Bie.

Kiir also acknowledged that the new states will create difficulties or conflicts in determining their respective boundaries, but added there shall be state border disputes committee to address issues that may arise.


The leader of the armed opposition faction of the Sudan People’s Liberation Movement (SPLM-IO), Riek Machar, in response to the abrupt unilateral change, said the move by president Kiir was a violation of the peace agreement he signed with him on 17 and 26 August, respectively.

Machar questioned the rationale behind the initial rejection by president Kiir of his demand to adopt federal system of governance which initially sought to create 21 states based on colonial districts which had clear boundaries so that the expansion of the states should have been incorporated into the peace agreement and in the constitution of the country.

He said although creation of more states based on federal system of governance has been a popular demand of the people of South Sudan since 1947, the unilateral way has been decreed by president Kiir after the peace agreement is a violation of the peace deal.

“The creation of more states in the Republic of South Sudan is the cornerstone of the vision of the SPLM/SPLA in the process to realizing a “Democratic Federal State” in South Sudan. The SPLM/SPLA, before the Peace Agreement, established 21federal states based on the former “British Colonial Districts.” The twenty one (21) colonial districts have clear delineated borders that were demarcated before 1st January 1956,” Machar said in a statement released on Friday in response to the order.

“The Presidential Decree issued unilaterally today, Oct 2nd 2015, by President Salva Kiir Mayardit creating 28 states in the Republic of South Sudan is a clear violation of the Peace Agreement on the Resolution of the Conflict in the Republic of South Sudan signed on 17th and 26th August 2015 by myself and President Kiir respectively. The peace agreement is based on 10 States,” he said.

President Kiir and his government had been rejecting the rebels proposed adoption of federal system of governance and creation of 21 states in the peace talks, dragging the talks for nearly two years. Government’s argument has been that South Sudan is not yet ready for federalism or more states, but the abrupt change of mind has come as a surprise.

Due to the disagreement between the government and the rebels at the negotiations table, the peace agreement was therefore based on the current 10 states until a permanent constitution making provides for creation of more states. The current transitional constitution also says South Sudan is composed of 10 states.

The agreement also gives the rebels 40% of power sharing in the two oil-producing Unity and Upper Nile states as well as Jonglei state, which president Kiir has now split into 10 states. It is not clear whether the governors of the new states coming out from Unity and Upper Nile will be nominated by Machar’s group.

The agreement also restricts national cabinet to 30 ministries with some having deputies and that no new ministerial positions should be created in the 30-month of the transitional government of national unity which will be formed in December.

Machar said the sudden unilateral move by president Kiir was a clear message to the world that he is not committed to the peace agreement and can violate it at any time of his choosing.

“In the light of the action of President Kiir, we call upon the IGAD Plus and the international community to take a position,” he concluded.

Analysts say the abrupt change of mind by president Kiir was to try to score a number of things: to claim credit for creation of more federal states, thus federalism, dismantle the oil-producing states given to the opposition by the peace agreement and set Machar against the people in case he opposes the creation of the new states.

Creating more states without historical known boundaries, they say, will likely create further crisis in the determination of new boundaries from the scratch as majority of them will not be based on of the colonial 1956 boundaries.


South Africa former Scorpions boss to receive DA Hitachi complaint to World Bank

City Press/news24

DA complaint on Hitachi to land on ex-Scorpions boss McCarthy’s desk

Leonard McCarthy

Leonard McCarthy

The former head of the Scorpions, Advocate Leonard McCarthy, would be responsible for taking up the Democratic Alliance’s complaint to the World Bank, it was confirmed today.

McCarthy is now the World Bank’s vice-president for integrity in Washington, and investigates allegations of fraud and corruption in projects funded by the bank.

Although the bank did not confirm receiving the DA’s complaint that the ANC had benefited from contracts to build the Medupi and Kusile power stations, it said that the vice-president for integrity would be the office to deal with it.

The bank granted a loan to Eskom in 2010 for the construction of the two power stations.

The DA yesterday laid the complaint, calling on the bank to investigate allegations that the ANC, through its investment company Chancellor House, allegedly benefited from a tender for the construction of the two stations. It is alleged that the Japanese company Hitachi Power Europe, to whom a tender to provide boilers for the power stations was awarded, made payments to Chancellor House in exchange for political influence in the awarding of government contracts.

McCarthy was among those who were accused of a “political conspiracy” against President Jacob Zuma due to the timing of corruption charges against the president.

His name is mentioned in the so-called spy tapes, which intercepted conversations between McCarthy and Advocate Bulelani Ngcuka, former head of the National Prosecuting Authority.

Spokesperson for the World Bank in South Africa, Zandile Ratshitanga said today: “If the World Bank office in South Africa were to receive a complaint by the DA to investigate Hitachi activities at Medupi Power Station, this would be forwarded to the bank’s vice-presidency for integrity, who investigates allegations of fraud, corruption, coercion, collusion, and obstructive practices related [to] World Bank Group-financed projects.”

Ratshitanga added: “The unit would take up the issue and liaise directly with the complaining party. To ensure the independence of the [unit’s] activities, the vice-president for integrity reports directly to the president of the World Bank Group.”

Ratshitanga emphasised that the World Bank “did not finance the Hitachi contract because financing was already available from other lenders”.

The bank, however, in a statement of 2010 punted the loan to Eskom as “the bank’s first major lending engagement with South Africa since the fall of apartheid 16 years ago and aims to benefit the poor directly, through jobs created as the economy bounces back from the global financial crisis and through additional power capacity to expand access to electricity”.

In the complaint, DA leader Mmusi Maimane also asked the bank to insist on financial restitution from the ANC, which he alleges “benefited” from the transaction.

Weeks before the World Bank granted the loan, former DA leader Helen Zille also warned of this “benefit” to the ANC.

The ANC this week distanced itself from the Hitachi allegations.

Professor Pierre de Vos, a constitutional expert at the University of Cape Town, said that questions could arise about a possible conflict of interest for McCarthy.

“There can be a perception of a conflict of interest when a person who was close to the political party [ANC], now has to investigate a complaint implicating that party. Questions will be raised over how fair such an investigation can be.”

Eskom awarded a tender for the construction of boilers at the two power stations to Hitachi Power Europe, with the ANC’s Chancellor House investment arm as black empowerment partner.
Maimane now claims the World Bank through the loan was “effectively bankrolling the ANC through their share in Hitachi via Chancellor House”.

“In light of recent developments we believe the World Bank should invoke its power to demand financial restitution, in this case from the ANC, in cases where loans were employed to fund fraudulent, corrupt, collusive, coercive or obstructive practices,” he said in a statement.

McCarthy was appointed at the World Bank in 2008.

Nigeria – suspected Boko Haram bombings in Abuja

Premium Times

Suspected Bko Haram insurgents blow up, market, police station in Abuja


Persons suspected to be Boko Haram insurgents have blown up a market and a police station in Kuje Area Council of Abuja.

The insurgents struck Friday evening, killing a yet unknown number of people and wounding even more.

The Commissioner of Police for the Federal Capital Territory, Wilson Inalegu, confirmed the attack to PREMIUM TIMES on the telephone.

Mr. Inalegu, who said he was already at the scene of the bomb blast, however, could not speak on the number of fatalities so far recorded.

“I am already at the scene of the bomb blast but cannot tell you anything now,” he said.

Details later …

Former Nigerian oil minister arrested in London on suspicion of money laundering and bribery


Diezani Alison-Madueke in 2010 photoAFP  Diezani Alison-Madueke was oil minister in Goodluck Jonathan’s government

Nigeria’s former oil minister Diezani Alison-Madueke has been arrested in London, her family has said.

She is believed to be one of five people the UK National Crime Agency said it had arrested, but did not name, as part of an investigation into suspected bribery and money laundering.

Ms Alison-Madueke was oil minister between 2010 and 2015.

She denied wrongdoing when it was alleged that $20bn of oil money had gone missing when she was in office.

That accusation was made by Nigeria’s central bank governor Sanusi Lamido Sanusi in February 2014. Mr Sanusi was sacked soon after, accused of financial recklessness himself.

But it was one of a number of corruption allegations that dogged the presidency of Goodluck Jonathan, in whose administration Ms Alison-Madueke served.

The National Crime Agency said on its website only that its “recently formed International Corruption Unit has arrested five people across London as part of an investigation into suspected bribery and money laundering offences”.

The identities and nationalities of these people were not disclosed, but family members of Mrs Diezani Alison-Madueke confirmed that she had been arrested in London, Mansur Liman, editor of the BBC’s Hausa Service, reports.

Recently, new Nigerian President Muhammadu Buhari vowed to trace and recover what he called the “mindboggling” sums that have been stolen from the oil sector. He also promised to prosecute those responsible.

Belgium cuts aid to Burundi as EU sanctions bite


Fri Oct 2, 2015
Burundi's President President Pierre Nkurunziza delivers his speech after being sworn-in for a third term following his re-election at the Congress Palace in Kigobe district, Bujumbura, August 20, 2015. REUTERS/Evrard Ngendakumana

By Robert-Jan Bartunek and Robin Emmott

BRUSSELS (Reuters) – Former colonial power Belgium said on Friday it would halt some aid to the government of Burundi in protest at President Pierre Nkurunziza’s disputed third term as leader of the central African country.

Separately, the European Union imposed travel bans and asset freezes agreed earlier this week on four officials close to Nkurunziza who are accused of using excessive force during clashes in the run-up to his re-election in July.

Under agreements that ended a civil war in 2005, presidents were limited to two terms in Burundi, an ethnically divided country of just over 10 million people that has suffered months of violence and unrest since Nkurunziza said he would run again.

Belgium, from which Burundi gained independence in 1962, said it was immediately halting aid programmes benefiting the government, including its support for the justice system.

It said it would switch these funds to other programmes to help Burundians, for example via aid groups. Belgium will continue to finance health care initiatives.

“Aid that we know for sure will benefit the population will be kept,” said Alexander De Croo, minister for development aid.

Belgian aid for Burundi was just under 50 million euros ($55.8 million) in 2013, most of it going directly to the state.

The EU, which funds about half the annual budget of Burundi, is also considering whether to limit its aid, diplomats said, but is wary of hurting ordinary people.

nder the EU sanctions list published on Friday, European governments agreed to impose asset freezes and travel bans on the president’s chief of staff, Gervais Indirakobuca, accusing him of “obstructing the search for a political solution” and “issuing instructions that led to … acts of violence, acts of repression and violations of international human rights”.

A national intelligence officer, a former general and the deputy head of the national police are also on the EU list.



Burundi crisis: Nkurunziza aides and coup plotter face EU sanctions

President Pierre Nkurunziza of Burundi speaking to journalists in Bujumbura, 17 May 2015Reuters President Pierre Nkurunziza’s pursuit of a third term in office was seen as unconstitutional by his opponents

The EU has imposed an asset freeze and travel ban on three Burundi officials accused of ordering the use of excessive force after a failed coup.

The officials – overseeing intelligence and security bodies – are close to President Pierre Nkurunziza.

The EU has also imposed sanctions on a former general who took part in the attempted coup.

President Nkurunziza’s decision to pursue a third term in office triggered street protests and the coup attempt.

Opponents of the president say the decision was unconstitutional.

Following the failed coup in May, the president went to win an election.

Unrest continued in the central African country, with more than 100 people reported to have been killed over the summer.

Protest against President NkurunzizaImage copyrightReuters
Image captionStreet protests erupted over the president’s decision to stand for a third term

On Friday, the EU announced sanctions against:

  • Godefroid Bizimana, the deputy head of the national police, accused of decisions that led to the “disproportionate use of force and acts of violent repression”
  • Gervais Ndirakobuca, a cabinet official responsible for police matters, accused of giving instructions that prompted violations of international human rights law
  • Joseph Niyonzima, a senior intelligence official accused of arming and training a pro-government militia
  • Leonard Ngendakumana, a former general who took part in the coup, accused of “obstructing the search for a political solution”

Burundi’s government has yet to comment on the sanctions.

Belgium – Burundi’s former colonial power – has meanwhile said it will suspend aid for some development projects in the country because of the recent political instability.

Burundi: Key facts

The country is facing its worst turmoil since the 12-year civil war ended in 2005

  • 10.4m population
  • 50 years – life expectancy for a man
  • 2nd poorest country in the world
  • 85% are Hutu, 14% Tutsi
  • 300,000 died in civil war

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 1,295 other followers