Tag Archives: Salva Kiir

Splintering of South Sudan conflict makes peace hard to find says UN

Reuters

Splintering of South Sudan war makes peace more elusive – United Nations

By David Lewis | JUBA

JUBA South Sudan’s civil war has mutated from a two-way fight between the president and his ousted former deputy to a fragmented conflict, making it harder to put it back together and peace more elusive, the top U.N. peacekeeper in the country said.

David Shearer, head of the 13,000-strong United Nations mission, welcomed signs that regional leaders were rejuvenating the peace process but said any initiative must include all factions, including that of former Vice President Riek Machar, and discourage the multiplication of armed groups.

South Sudan slipped into civil war in 2013, just two years after becoming independent from Khartoum, and some 4 million people – around one third of the population – have fled to neighbouring countries or to pockets of relative safety.

The conflict, ignited by a feud between President Salva Kiir and Machar, has resulted in ethnic cleansing between the leaders’ respective Dinka and Nuer communities.

However, an escalation of fighting since last July that forced Machar to flee the country a month later has seen clashes spread to previously unaffected areas.

“The situation now is somewhat different to what it was a year ago, when it was largely bipolar,” Shearer told Reuters in an interview late on Monday.

“We are seeing a lot more of the conflict being played out at a very local level and that is worrying because as it fractures it becomes more difficult to try to put the pieces back together again.”

Fighting has in particular affected the southern Equatoria regions, previously largely spared violence. The spike in fighting resulted in South Sudan having the fastest growing refugee population in the world as civilians poured into Uganda.

Tens of thousands of civilians have fled to camps within South Sudan that are ringed by U.N. troops.

Peacekeepers have frequently been criticised for failing to do enough to protect civilians but the U.N. leadership says troops are obstructed and restricted by the army.

A combination of red tape and unwillingness meant it took eight months for the first of 4,000 U.N. reinforcements approved to start deploying after last year’s fighting.

PLACES AT THE TABLE

Analysts and diplomats say regional peace efforts have stumbled for much of the last year as Uganda, Ethiopia and Kenya adopted a more bilateral approach to the conflict.

But Shearer was optimistic that a recent meeting of regional leaders in Ethiopia would result in a more collective approach to the crisis.

“There was a sense that they want to rejuvenate the peace agreement and start moving that forward. That collective effort hasn’t been apparent for the last year,” he said.

Machar remains in exile in South Africa, excluded from the process.

Shearer said while regional leaders were reluctant to return to the “old formula” of insisting on a potentially explosive face-to-face between Kiir and Machar, there was recognition that Machar’s camp needed to be represented in talks and he could too, further down the line.

The U.N. chief said there was a delicate balance between a rejuvenated and broadened push for peace and creating incentives to add to the plethora of armed groups.

“What we don’t want to do is to encourage a greater degree of conflict or arming of groups in order to be relevant and have a place at the table,” he warned.

(Editing by Michael Perry)

East African leaders urge South Sudan to resume peace process

Reuters

Africa leaders push South Sudan sides to revive peace, delay vote

By Aaron Maasho | ADDIS ABABA

ADDIS ABABA East African leaders said late on Monday they would try and push South Sudan’s warring sides to revive collapsed peace efforts and delay elections currently scheduled for August next year to a more realistic date.

Heads of state meeting in Ethiopia said they would set up a forum where the rivals could discuss ways of restoring a ceasefire more than three years into an ethnically-charged civil war that has plunged districts into famine.

The forum would be set up urgently, leaders from the East African bloc IGAD said, without specifying when or what form it would take.

Fighting broke out at the end of 2013 after President Salva Kiir sacked his rival Riek Machar as vice president, just two years after South Sudan’s independence from Sudan.

After numerous failed peace deals, Kiir and Machar signed a power-sharing pact in August 2015, agreeing to a transitional government and elections.

But that deal stalled and Machar left the country.

IGAD said on Monday their new forum would include “estranged groups” and discuss ways of implementing the peace deal.

The forum would also develop a “revised and realistic timeline and implementation schedule towards a democratic election at the end of the transition period,” IGAD added in a statement.

South Sudan’s new vice president, Taban Deng Gai, had asked Monday’s meeting to bar Machar from any future forums. Gai also said elections should go ahead as planned – a position initially backed by Yoweri Museveni, the president of South Sudan’s neighbour Uganda, according to diplomats at the talks.

But the delegates finally decided warring sides would be invited and it would be “too premature” to stage the vote given the current levels of violence, diplomats said.

The war has split the impoverished country along ethnic lines, often between Kiir’s Dinka group and Machar’s Nuer. It has also nearly halved oil production and fueled Africa’s biggest cross-border refugee crisis since the 1994 Rwandan genocide.

The United Nations has said the violence amounts to ethnic cleansing and risks escalating into genocide.

(Reporting by Aaron Maasho; Editing by Andrew Heavens)

South Sudan – President Kiir and former army chief Malong reportedly reconciled

South Sudan


(JUBA) – South Sudan President Salva Kiir has “reconciled” with former chief of army General, Paul Malong Awan.

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S Sudan’s President Salva Kiir is received by former Chief of General Staff of the SPLA Paul Malong Awan at the airport in Juba March 6, 2015 (Reuters)

The presidential spokesman, Ateny Wek Ateny described Thursday’s meeting between Awan and the president as “cordial and friendly.”

“I can now report to the South Sudanese that President Salva Kiir Mayardit and former chief of staff General Paul Malong Awan have reconciled. They reflected on their long comradeship, friendship dating back to the time of war of liberation and small differences were easily resolved,” Ateny told reporters in the capital, Juba.

The meeting was the first encounter between the two ever since Awan was sacked from the army after about four years in charge.

Kiir replaced Awan with General James Ajongo Mawut, who has been described my many as a moderate veteran military officer.

Despite his removal, however, the former South Sudanese army chief is credited for helping the national army win several battles against the armed opposition faction loyal to ex-Vice President Riek Machar.

Not much was divulged on the outcome of Thursday’s meeting between the South Sudanese leader and his former army chief.

(ST)

South Sudan – sacked army chief Malong leaves Juba for home state raising fears of rebellion

Reuters

JUBA South Sudan’s sacked former army chief Paul Malong has left the capital Juba for his home state, its defence minister said, raising concerns over his next move as a civil war drags on.

Malong’s removal followed a slew of resignations by senior generals in recent months alleging tribal bias and war crimes. Some of the departed officers subsequently said they might join the revolt against President Salva Kiir.

Malong left Juba in a convoy of several vehicles for Aweil state in the country’s northwest shortly after his dismissal was announced on Tuesday, Defence Minister Kuol Manyang Juuk said.

“We do not know exactly what the reasons may be,” he told Reuters, adding Malong may have departed out of “anger”. Kuol said he had since spoken with Malong and convinced him to return to Juba, but that it was unknown when that would happen.

Malong, who was replaced as army chief by General James Ajongo, could not be immediately reached for comment. Ajongo is a member of an ethnic minority, the Luo, also from Aweil.

South Sudan, which obtained independence from Sudan in 2011 and is the world’s youngest nation, has been mired in civil war since 2013 when Kiir, an ethnic Dinka, fired his deputy, Riek Machar, from the rival Nuer community.

The move triggered a conflict that has pitched parts of the oil-producing country into famine, paralysed public services and forced 3 million people – a quarter of the population – to flee their homes. The United Nations has said the violence amounts to ethnic cleansing and risks escalating into genocide.

In February, the military’s logistics chief Thomas Cirillo Swaka resigned, citing rampant human rights abuses by Kiir’s armed forces and the dominance of the president’s Dinka group.

His announcement triggered a spate of further resignations by generals and civil servants who made similar accusations against the government.

Officials in Juba have played down the significance of Malong’s removal, calling it “normal practice”.

Ajongo joined the Sudan People’s Liberation Army, the formal name of the South Sudanese military, in 1983, when the SPLA was still a rebel group fighting for independence from Sudan.

(Editing by Aaron Maasho and Mark Heinrich)

South Sudan – war forces wo million children to flee home

Reuters

 

KIGALI War and famine have forced more than 2 million children in South Sudan to flee their homes, creating the most worrying refugee crisis in the world, the United Nations said on Monday.

The civil war in the oil-producing country began two years after it won independence from neighbouring Sudan, when President Salva Kiir fired his deputy in 2013.

The fighting that followed split the country along ethnic lines, spurred hyperinflation and plunged parts of the nation into famine, creating Africa’s biggest refugee crisis since the Rwandan genocide in 1994.

“No refugee crisis today worries me more than South Sudan,” Valentin Tapsoba, the Africa chief for the U.N. refugee agency UNHCR, said in a statement.

In a country of 12 million people, nearly three in every four children do not go to school, UNHCR and the U.N. children’s agency UNICF said. More than 1 million children have fled outside South Sudan while another 1 million are internally displaced.

The agencies said more than a thousand children have been killed in the fighting. The true figure may be much higher since there are no accurate death tolls available for South Sudan, one of the world’s least developed nations.

Many South Sudanese refugees have fled into neighbouring Uganda, Kenya, Sudan or Ethiopia, nations which are already struggling to provide enough food and resources for their own populations.

(Reporting by Clement Uwiringiyimana; editing by Richard Lough)

South Sudan security chief wants chief justice sacked

Sudan Tribune

Tuesday 25 April 2017


Justice Chan Reec Madut (AP Photo)

April 24, 2017 (JUBA) – South Sudanese security service officials have allegedly advised President Salva Kiir to remove and replace the country’s Chief Justice, Chan Reec Madut, warning that a delay to could result in the situation being exploited by political dissidents and sections of frustrated populations to go on a mass demonstration.

“The issue of chief justice is a recurring matter, and we have done our best to resolve the differences between him and his colleagues, including acting on his wish to remove his deputy but it seems this is now becoming a national security matter to be ignored,” high level South Sudanese security officer told Sudan Tribune on Monday.

“We have now advised the president to replace him and appoint a new person so that we see which others issue that will arise again from the lawyers and judges”, he added.

According to the official, president Kiir and the chief justice were expected to meet on Monday evening to discuss the way forward.

He, however, said he expects the South Sudanese leader to ask Madut to tender his resignation other than waiting to be dismissed.

“This will be an informal meeting at the residence of the president. The president was briefed and knows issues which judges and lawyers raised against chief justice”, further said the officer.

Sudan Tribune understands that judges, advocates as well as lawyers have started an open-ended strike as per initial statements.

Last week, judges and lawyers declared an open-ended strike, demanded the resignation of the chief justice and wage increment.

“The general assembly of justices and judges voted unanimously to enter into an open strike until the following demands are fulfilled; the honourable Chief Justice Chan Reech Madut must resign, provision of a car for justices and judges for transportation, provision of stationery and creation for a conducive working environment. Creation of courtrooms to each and every judge,” said Geri Legge, a Justice of the Court of Appeal after the general assembly meeting.

The senior judicial officials accused the chief justice of allegedly failing to follow up on promises made last year to increase wages and improve working conditions. In South Sudan, justices and judges receive monthly salaries between SSP 8,000 and SSP 12,000.

Judges and justices are among highly paid government employees but the depreciation of South Sudanese pound against the United States dollars means their wages are now less than $50 per month.

A chief justice is appointed by the president and it is not clear if he will act to resolve the judicial crisis. Last year, a similar strike was called off within a week after the government promised to address the conditions set forth, but the pledges were reportedly never met.

(ST)

South Sudan – Uganda’s Museveni says he and Zenawi shed blood against Sudan and secession was collective effort

Sudan Tribune

separation

April 9, 2018 (JUBA) – The Ugandan President Yoweri Museveni has rebuked the manner in which South Sudan’s affairs have been handled by its leadership, stressing that the country seceded from Sudan due to collective support its people received from the region.

salva_kiir_l_shakes_hands_with_uganda_s_president_yoweri_museveni_r_after_signing_a_peace_agreement_on_august_26_2015-2404f

President Salva Kiir (L) shakes hands with Uganda’s President Yoweri Museveni (R) after signing a peace agreement on August 26, 2015 (Photo AFP /Charles Lomodong)

“Meles Zinawi (late Ethiopian prime minister) , Isaias Afwerki (Eritrean president and myself, fought and shed blood in Sudan and compelled Bashir on the table to accept self-determination and independence for the people of South Sudan and now there this claim that the Dinkas liberated South Sudan,” Museveni told a meeting of South Sudanese leaders in at State House, Entebbe.

“Were we also Dinkas. What about 98.9 per cent voters in the referendum who endorsed your independence and those Americans and Europeans who supported you? Were they all Dinkas?” he asked.

Museveni, a close political ally of South Sudan President Salva Kiir, made the remarks during his recent meeting with some of South Sudan’s former political detainees led by Rebecca Garang, the widow of South Sudan’s former leader, John Garang Mabior.

The leaders, who included former Finance minister Kosti Manibe, ex-national Security minister, Oyay Deng Ajak, former deputy defence minister, Majak D’Agot, among other South Sudanese officials, met Museveni to discuss how the devastating conflict in South Sudan can be resolved.

A source who attended last week’s meeting said he was “personally touched and moved” by comments by the Ugandan leader.

“I looked at president Museveni and found myself touched by the remarks. We brought to ourselves a shame and this is what we tell our brothers and colleagues in SPLM, particularly president Salva that the interest of the nation, the plight of our people should override personal pride, privileges, enmity and accept to work together for peace so that we remove the country from this situation,” the source, who preferred anonymity, told Sudan Tribune Sunday.

“They don’t get it but the country is tearing apart and the region and the world is getting angrier and moving away from us every single day”, further added the source.

The official said the Ugandan leader was refuting a claim by a section of citizens in South Sudan, advocating views of some leaders, including President Kiir who reportedly sees him and his tribe as having played a big role in liberating south Sudan from Sudan.

“All of us, our people have contributed in the liberation of our country in our own different ways. We were contributors at different capacities and this contribution should not be the license to mismanage the affairs of the country,” said Museveni.

He added, “It should have been the source of our courage to perform better and be a guiding principle of whatever we do for our people.”

Tens of thousands of people have been killed and millions displaced in South Sudan’s worst ever violence since it seceded from Sudan in July 2011. In February, three United Nations agencies declared a famine outbreak in parts of the young nation, warning that an additional five million people were at the brink of starvation.

(ST)