Tag Archives: Salva Kiir

South Sudan – President Kiir set to establish more states

Sudan Tribune

(JUBA) – South Sudan’s President, Salva Kiir, will soon issue another controversial order to increase the number of states from 28 states to undisclosed number, according to his second deputy and longtime ally.

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South Sudan’s president, Salva Kiir, delivers a speech in the capital, Juba, on 10 June 2013 (Reuters)

Speaking after Tuesday’s meeting, Vice President, James Wani Igga, flanked by the controversially newly appointed First Vice President, Taban Deng Gai, said the presidency has agreed to increase the number of states but will soon start with the issue of Malakal and Lol state as the first priority.

Malakal, is a contested capital between West Nile and East Nile states, but which was given to the East Nile by the presidential decree in October last year. Lol is another controversial state in Bahr el Ghazal region.

The two places, according to the Vice President in a statement broadcast by the state owned South Sudan Broadcasting Corporation (SSBC), are where communities have protested either splits, asserting the order had divided their communities or have been annexed to communities with whom they share nothing in common in that they would prefer to remain alone.

“We have resolved and agreed to increase the number of states but the first thing is the issue of Raja and Malakal. A committee has been formed under the First Vice President and this committee will have to complete their work and report back to the President within seven days,” revealed Vice President, Igga.

He did not say how many more states will be added to the already controversial 28 states.

The two issues the presidency had discussed and resolved, he further added, were the reinstatement of the civil servants who either abandoned their positions or rebelled, either in Juba or in the states, when the conflict erupted in 2013.

The other issue was the issue of cantonment sites for the opposition forces of the SPLA-IO. Two cantonment sites, he said, will be in central Equatoria, one in Eastern Equatoria and another in Western Equatoria.

(ST)

South Sudan – Machar pledges to return home

Sudan Tribune

(KAMPALA) – South Sudan’s former first Vice-President, Riek Machar has vowed a return to the country, months after violent clashes forced him out of the capital, Juba.

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Machar speaks on a mobile phone after an interview with Reuters in Kenya’s capital Nairobi July 8, 2015

In an interview on BBC’s Hard talk programme, Machar said he was optimistic of negotiating a peace deal with South Sudan President Salva Kiir.

“I’m going to return to South Sudan,” he said from South Africa, adding, “Because President Salva Kiir doesn’t want democratic and transparent and fair elections to be conducted, he attacked us, he has restarted the war.”

Machar’s forces and those loyal to President Kiir clashed in Juba on the eve of the country’s Independence Day, leaving over 200 dead. The incident forced the rebel leader out of Juba, to the Democratic Republic of Congo and Khartoum for treatment.

Renewed violence in the young nation, aid agencies say, has forced over 100,000 civilians to flee into South Sudan’s neighbouring nations.

Machar, a signatory to the now fragile peace deal that led to formation of a coalition government, urged regional and African leaders to help in the restoration of South Sudan’s peace process.

“But I am hoping that wise leaders in the region, and in Africa and the rest of the world will throw up a political process which will bring about peace again, and the resuscitation of the peace agreement, and the reconstitution of the transitional government of national unity,” he told the London-based station.

The rebel leader said he was not warmonger, stressing that his troops only defended themselves against attacks from government forces.

KIIR CONDITIONS MACHAR’S RETURN

President Kiir said Machar would only be allowed to return to the young nation if he denounces violence and allows the current coalition government to implement the 2015 peace agreement.

“The region should stand with the transitional government of national unity to implement the agreement on the resolution of the conflict in the republic of South Sudan. This was the agreement they [regional leaders and friends] made themselves despite our observations but we accepted because we wanted peace and stability in this country,” Kiir said Saturday.

He added, “And I believe the events of July should themselves be proof of concerns which South Sudanese were raising. If they want this agreement to be implemented, they should allow the current first vice president and his team to work with me and other leaders ready to cooperate to implement this agreement.”

The South Sudanese leader was speaking at an occasion he hosted at his residence. A number of with senior cabinet members, security and high-ranking military officers attended the event, a few days after rumour spread that the president had “died”.

President Kiir relieved Machar of his post, appointing the rebel’s ex-chief negotiator, Taban Deng Gai as the first Vice President in South Sudan’s interim government.

Machar has, however, described Gai’s appointment as “illegal”.

The opposition leader has called for rapid deployment of the African Union-approved regional forces in order to salvage the peace agreement signed in August 2015.

(ST)

South Sudan – 60 killed in fighting in last week

Reuters

By Denis Dumo | JUBA

Fighting in South Sudan killed at least 60 people this week, the military said on Friday, stoking fears the region could plunge back into full-scale war.

Army spokesman Lul Ruai Koang accused the rebels of “burning civilians, maiming women and child abductions and setting ablaze properties”.

Armed men loyal to former Vice President Riek Machar killed 11 government soldiers and 28 civilians from Saturday to Thursday, Koang said in a press statement. Twenty-one rebels were also killed, he said.

A spokesman for the rebels denied the accusations.

“Those who are committing atrocities and raping are deserted SPLA (government) soldiers who have not been paid for several months and their families are starving. Our forces are aiming to target only those in uniforms,” the deputy spokesman for the opposition forces, Dickson Gatluak, told Reuters by phone from Ethiopia.

South Sudan, the world’s youngest nation, sank into civil war in 2013 after President Salva Kiir, an ethnic Dinka, sacked Machar, a Nuer, from his position as vice president. Subsequent fighting often followed ethnic lines and human rights groups say both sides targeted civilians.

A peace pact in 2015 ostensibly ended the fighting but has frequently been violated. Major clashes broke out again in July. Machar fled the country and is seeking medical treatment in South Africa. He has been replaced as vice president by General Taban Deng Gai.

The government wants the international community to designate the rebels as terrorists and take punitive measures against them.

Koang said that could include “travel bans, asset freeze and extradition to ICC of key players including … Riek Machar.” The Hague-based International Criminal Court (ICC) tries suspects accused of war crimes and genocide.

On Monday, the United Nations Mission in South Sudan (UNMISS) said it had received reports of horrific attacks on civilians, including some who were burned to death, and urged both sides to control their forces.

(Writing by Katharine Houreld, editing by Larry King/Mark Heinrich)

South Sudan – UN chief on lack of progress on more peacekeepers

Reuters

By Michelle Nichols | UNITED NATIONS

A pledge by South Sudan’s government to allow the deployment of more U.N. peacekeepers and to improve access for U.N. troops already on the ground in a bid to avoid an arms embargo is yet to translate into action, U.N. chief Ban Ki-moon said on Monday.

President Salva Kiir agreed during a U.N. Security Council visit to South Sudan last month to accept 4,000 extra peacekeepers and to allow some 12,000 peacekeepers already on the ground to move around freely in order to protect civilians.

In an August resolution – after heavy fighting in July in the capital, Juba – the 15-member council had threatened to consider a possible arms embargo within five days of a report by Ban that Kiir’s government was not fulfilling both measures.

In a letter to the council on Monday, seen by Reuters, Ban said “while the public commitments and relative improvements … are a welcome sign, it will take some time to evaluate whether these commitments translate into improved freedom of movement on the ground or amount to business as usual.”

It was not immediately clear if Ban’s letter would trigger a consideration by the council of an arms embargo on South Sudan.

Political rivalry between Kiir, an ethnic Dinka, and his former deputy Riek Machar, a Nuer, sparked a civil war in 2013 that has often followed ethnic lines. The pair signed a shaky peace deal a year ago, but fighting has continued and Machar fled the country after the July violence. He is now in Khartoum.

South Sudan gained independence from Sudan in 2011.

Ban said that, while the deployment of more peacekeepers and the improvement of access for U.N. troops and aid workers already on the ground “would help alleviate some of the suffering of the people of South Sudan, they will not resolve the conflict.”

He said the war was “a direct result of serious shortcomings in governance and the instrumentalization of ethnicity to further political objectives” and expressed concern about a recent call to arms by Machar.

Ban said Ethiopia, Kenya and Rwanda had agreed to provide peacekeepers for the 4,000-strong regional protection force, charged with enforcing peace in Juba and protecting the airport and other key facilities, but that the South Sudanese government had not yet given its approval.

Ban said a note verbale had been sent to the South Sudanese mission to the United Nations in New York, naming the troop-contributing countries and stating that, if a response was not received from Kiir’s government by Sept. 26, the United Nations would begin preparing the deployment.

However, the South Sudanese government said it never received the note verbale from its mission and that “the lack of a response could therefore not be considered as consenting to the deployment of the aforementioned troops.”

(Reporting by Michelle Nichols; Editing by Paul Tait)

South Sudan – Lam Akol forms new movement

Sudan Tribune

(JUBA) – South Sudan’s former minister of agriculture minister, Lam Akol, has formed a new rebel faction after spending several weeks of consultations with different unarmed and armed opposition parties in the country.

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Lam Akol, chairman of South Sudan’s main opposition party (AFP/Samir Bol Photo)

Akol, according to a statement issued over the weekend and extended to Sudan Tribune has named the new rebel group as National Democratic Movement (NDM) and said that his aim is to overthrow by all means the government of South Sudan under the leadership of President Salva Kiir.

“The National Democratic Movement was born to wage the struggle, together with others in the field, against the totalitarian, corrupt and ethnocentric regime in Juba that is bent on dragging our country into the abyss,” the statement reads in part.

Akol, who previously chaired the Democratic Change Party (DCP) said he resigned and left the party last month because the members and the other leaders of the DCP believed in peaceful dialogue and non-violence as the only means to bring about change in South Sudan.

He described his new rebel faction as a front bringing together the social and democratic political forces as well as civil society activists, who want the political discourse in the country to be centred on the “transformation of the centuries-old conditions of extreme poverty, ignorance, illiteracy and cultural backwardness of the masses of our people.”

The movement, it explained, is founded on the principles and concept of national democratic revolution based on the core values of freedom, equality, justice and fraternity, and solidarity anchored in historical and philosophical perspectives. These values, it stressed, translate into fundamental rights and freedoms as provided for in the UN Conventions of civil, political, economic, social and cultural rights.

The political statement of the NDM set out in details what the NDM stands for and how to rid the people of the totalitarian ethnocentric regime in Juba and replace it with a pro-people inclusive government.

“It must be clear from the outset, the NDM is not just for change of personalities in Juba to replace them with others of the same feathers; it is out for a radical change in the country that will bring about genuine state-building and nation-building,” it emphasized.

He also said his new faction will closely work with the Sudan People’s Liberation Movement (SPLM-IO) under the leadership of the former First Vice President, Riek Machar.

It is not clear from whether the prominent politician will get military forces for his new faction.

(ST)

South Sudan – SPLM-IO says leaked UN reports says Kiir and Malong to blame for Juba violence

Sudan Tribune

(JUBA) – South Sudan’s armed opposition faction, the SPLM-IO, under the leadership of former First Vice President, Riek Machar, has appreciated the leaked report of the United Nations which has implicated both President Salva Kiir and his army chief, General Paul Malong Awan, for personally ordering the resumption of the recent fighting in the capital, Juba.

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James Gatdet Dak, Riek Machar’s spokesperson ’Reuters photo)

The excerpts of the UN report, published by the Associated Press (AP) and Reutersover the weekend, have revealed that President Kiir and Awan were responsible for the renewed violence which started at the presidential palace on 8 July between their forces and those loyal to his former first deputy, Riek Machar.

Machar with his small number of troops were dislodged from the capital and days later was replaced with his former chief negotiator, Taban Deng Gai, in a “suspicious” controversial process.

Produced by the UN panel which investigated the cause of the violence, the report also accused government forces of attacking foreign aid workers and raping their women at Terrain Hotel in Juba.

The opposition faction said it was obvious that the violence was orchestrated by President Kiir and his group.

“We appreciate that the UN has confirmed this in the report. We have been telling this truth to the world that the 8 July fighting in Juba; the attack on our leader’s residence and base at Jebel on 10 July and the subsequent attacks in the bushes hunting for him for over five weeks, were all resulting from a planned, calculated attempt by Salva Kiir and his group to eliminate him,” Machar’s spokesman, James Gatdet Dak, told Sudan Tribune on Sunday.

He said the suspected plan by Kiir was to kill Machar and dismantle the August 2015 peace agreement the two of them signed.

Dak said it was time for the UN to publish the full report for the public to know who was responsible for the renewed war in the country.

He also said the report would be used together with the African Union’s report which investigated the 15 December 2013 violence as references for future trials once the proposed hybrid court is established.

The hybrid court will try the suspected criminals responsible for the war crimes and crimes against humanity in the country.

The opposition leader’s spokesperson further commended the anticipated exposure on Monday of South Sudanese officials’ corruption, money laundering and arms deals with companies. The Sentry, a United States based organization of international experts, have announced to reveal for the first time the movement of money from South Sudanese officials and their regional and international in the crime, in a report produced after two years of investigation.

Dak said the “criminals” in Juba under the leadership of President Salva Kiir will not escape from their war crimes and crimes against humanity as well as charges for the corruptions, which he said have lagged South Sudan behind in the “stone age despite its natural riches.”

“They can run but they cannot hide. It is just a matter of time before their bitter chapter will be closed. They will surely be made accountable for the war and economic crimes they have committed,” Dak said.

The current leadership in Juba, he said, has been responsible for the endless suffering of the people of South Sudan.

(ST)

South Sudan to agree to more UN troops top avoid arms embargo

Reuters

By Michelle Nichols | JUBA

The government of South Sudan agreed on Sunday to accept 4,000 extra peacekeepers in a bid to avoid an arms embargo threatened by the United Nations Security Council, but said the details of the deployment were still being discussed.

The announcement came after a meeting in the South Sudanese capital, Juba, between President Salva Kiir and the U.N. Security Council, led by U.S. Ambassador Samantha Power.

The 15-member council last month authorized the deployment of a 4,000-strong regional protection force as part of the U.N. peacekeeping mission already on the ground, known as UNMISS. It threatened to consider an arms embargo if Kiir’s government did not cooperate.

“To improve the security situation the Transitional Government of National Unity gave its consent to the deployment, as part of UNMISS, of the regional protection force,” the South Sudanese government and the Security Council said in a joint communique.

The countries contributing troops to the force, UNMISS and the government would “continue to work through the modalities of deployment,” the statement said.

East African regional bloc IGAD pushed for a regional protection force and has pledged to provide the troops. South Sudan Minister of Cabinet Affairs, Martin Elia Lomoro, said the government had no objection to who contributes soldiers.

The council authorized the new force following several days of heavy fighting involving tanks and helicopters in Juba in July between troops loyal to Kiir and those backing former Vice President Riek Machar. The violence raised fears of a return to full scale civil war in the world’s newest nation.

In the resolution, the council pledged to discuss imposing a possible arms embargo on South Sudan if U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon reports back in mid-September that the government was not cooperating on the force and was obstructing the work of peacekeepers on the ground.

“The Transitional Government of National Unity commits to permit free movement to UNMISS in conformity with its mandate, including to protect civilians,” according to the statement on Sunday.

The government and the peacekeeping force will come up with “concrete steps to remove impediments to UNMISS’ ability to implement its mandate.”

U.N. peacekeepers have been deployed in South Sudan since 2011, when the country gained independence from Sudan.

Political rivalry between Kiir and Machar sparked a civil war in 2013, but while the pair signed a shaky peace deal a year ago, fighting has continued and Machar fled the country after the eruption of violence in July.

“The challenge now is to make sure that a piece of paper becomes operationalized,” Power told reporters after meeting Kiir. “Now we have to turn it into steps to improve life for people in great need.”

The government and the Security Council agreed “that the humanitarian and security needs of the people were paramount.”

(Reporting By Michelle Nichols; Editing by Mary Milliken)