Tag Archives: South Sudan

South Sudan – presidency warns former army chief Malong against returning to home state

Sudan Tribune


May 15, 2017 (JUBA) – The office of South Sudan President Salva Kiir said the country’s former army chief, General Paul Malong Awan should seek medical attention as a “priority” than returning to his home state of Northern Bahr El Ghazal.

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Paul Malong arrives at Juba Airport 13 May 2017 (ST Photo)

The presidential press secretary, in a statement released on Sunday evening, said a meeting between the South Sudanese leader and four delegations representing ex-army chief, that lasted six hours, tried to seek amicable solution to the standoff.

“It was acknowledged that the attempt by Gen. Paul [Malong] to defy the Presidential Decree was miscalculated act, citing his close friendship with the President, and that he should have first acknowledge the importance of change and handover the duties to the new army Chief, and then ask the President for permission to leave,” reads the statement.

Family members of the former army chief, who attended the meeting reportedly demanded his freedom of movement to Awiel, the headquarters of former Northern Bahr El Ghazal were Malong served as a governor and remains his strong support base.

But his request, according to the press statement, has been rejected by government.

“Responding to the request of the family to the President that Gen. Malong should be allowed to go home in Aweil, the President and the delegations held that the medical attention was the priority,” the statement said, citing that “Gen. Malong had suffered serious high blood pressure while he was in Yirol.”

Kiir told reporters last week that Malong was “in fighting mood” and this affected his health.

Sunday’s meeting between President Kiir and four groups led by Eastern Lakes State governor Bor Philip Wutchok Bor, a delegation from Juba, which included Malong’s personal friends headed by South Sudan ambassador to Russia Telar Ring Tekpiny Deng, a delegation from Gogrial State led by Governor Gregory Deng Kuac and a delegation from Greater Aweil States which included Malong’s own family members was meant to iron out the differences that led to the former army chief of staff leaving the capital Juba after being fired as top army officer on Tuesday.

The president agreed to meet Malong and “pardoned those [army] generals and other officers and non-commissioned officers who accompanied Malong when he fled Juba last week.

“That he [President Kiir] will be reflecting on the request by the delegation to allow General Malong to leave the country or to where appropriate seek further medical attention,” the statement added.

The former army chief returned to Juba on Saturday to “listen to those who called him”, but insisted on “going home” in Awiel after being relieved from his duties.

He told reporters it was his “choice to go home.”

“I am somebody who is having a good family. I want to live with my family if I am not asked to do anything for the nation. I should do something for myself,” he told journalists at his thunderous reception at Juba airport on Saturday.

(ST)

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)

UN condemns attack on South Sudan base

Reuters

JUBA Unknown assailants attacked a U.N. operating base in northern South Sudan overnight, showing “callous disregard” for civilians and aid workers, the head of the U.N. mission said.

The assault in the town of Leer, which lies in an oil-producing region, was repelled by Ghanaian peacekeepers. There were no reported injuries.

The assailants’ identity was not clear. David Shearer, head of the U.N. mission, said the attack overnight from Wednesday into Thursday was launched from the direction of a nearby government-held town.

“We call on all parties to the conflict to respect the sanctity of U.N. premises,” Shearer said in a statement.

“We are here to protect and support the people of South Sudan,” he added. “It is clear the attackers have no consideration for their plight, given those who most desperately need help will suffer more because of a likely resulting delay of humanitarian aid.”

Government officials were not immediately available for a comment.

South Sudan’s main rebel force, SPLA-IO, denied any involvement.

“UNMISS (the U.N. mission) is protecting our civilians in government areas while we protect the ones in the liberated areas. Therefore, we can’t attack their base in any way,” deputy SPLA-IO spokesperson Lam Paul Gabriel said.

Separately on Thursday, U.N. High Commissioner for Human Rights Zeid Ra’ad Al Hussein called on the Juba government to halt offensives towards Aburoc in the northern Upper Nile region, which borders Sudan, where between 35,000 and 50,000 people have sought refuge.

“Civilians in Aburoc are at serious and imminent risk of gross human rights violations, inter-ethnic violence and re-displacement,” Zeid said in a statement.

“The civilians in Aburoc have nowhere left to go, with the (army) closing in from the south and options to flee northwards severely limited and fraught with danger,” Zeid said.

Civil war erupted in South Sudan in late 2013. The fighting has forced more than 3 million people to flee their homes and plunged parts of the country into famine, creating Africa’s biggest refugee crisis since the Rwandan genocide in 1994.

(Reporting by Clement Uwiringiyimana; Editing by Richard Lough and Andrew Heavens)

 

South Sudan opposition calls for meaningful dialogue

Sudan Tribuneseparation


President Kenyatta with 7 South Sudanese former detainees, Rebecca Garang, his son and Dalmas Otieno special envoy for the peace process 12 February 2014
May 01, 2017 (JUBA) – South Sudan opposition parties, including rebels armed groups, have set conditions for an inclusive national dialogue process to end the over three-year conflict and achieve a genuine democratic change in the country.

“Wide consultation is essential for any national dialogue to be representative, legitimate and, most importantly, effective,” reads partly a statement extended to Sudan Tribune on Monday.

President Kiir announced a national dialogue initiative in December, as a bottom-top approach, to end the more than three years conflict. A steering committee he announced in January has to be reconstituted due to lack of “inclusivity” as stated by the opposition politicians.

Opposition politicians appointed by President Kiir last week including Rebecca Garang the widow of SPLM founder John Garang and former finance minister Kosti Manibe declined the appointment citing lack of consultation prior to selection to the committee.

The oppositions, including the armed SPLM in Opposition led by former First Vice Riek Machar, the National Democratic Movement (NDM) of former Agriculture Minister Lam Akol, said consultations would be a concession from the government of President Salva Kiir as “a resolute effort to silence the guns, create an enabling security environment.”

“Hard compromises (…) are required for advancing the peace process and the stability, peace, state and nation building efforts,”

The six opposition groups, including armed and nonviolent forces, suggested four steps as prerequisites for a meaningful dialogue including “an agreement on the process to end the war, a negotiated and enforceable permanent ceasefire.”

“A genuine commitment to an immediate, full and unconditional deployment of Regional Protection Forces and demilitarisation of Juba and other major cities,” the statement notes, adding that people displaced to refugees and internally displaced persons’ camps should be repatriated to “enable them to participate in the political process.”

The United Nations and the African Union should help facilitate the political process to end the war before supporting the National Dialogue, the opposition said. It is not clear if their silence over the IGAD regional block means they refuse its inclusion in the process, as some armed groups professed.

In addition to the SPLM-IO and NDM, the letter is signed by Former Political Detainees, Federal Democratic Party led by Gabriel Changson Chang, the National Salvation Front of Gen. Thomas Cirillo Shaka and South Sudan National Movement for Change of former Western Equatoria Governor Joseph Bangasi Bakosoro.

(ST)

South Sudan famine could block peace process

Sudan Tribune(JUBA)- The head of the Joint Monitoring and evaluation commission, a regional appointed body to oversee the implementation of peace agreement which armed and non-armed opposition parties to the conflict have signed in 2015 to end war, has warned that famine in the country could undermine efforts.

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Botswana’s former president Festus Mogae (Photo File AFP)

Speaking at plenary briefing to representatives of the parties to the peace, the former president of Botswana, Festus G.Mogae, who chairs the monitoring group, warned that famine in the country could undermine peace efforts if no immediate actions are taken to arrest the situation from deteriorating further.

“There can be no doubt that we now face a crisis within a crisis. Security is the foundation stone upon which we build economic and social confidence. This foundation stone no longer exists, confidence has evaporated, commerce is seizing up, prices are escalating and as a result we now face a crisis of hunger that is undermining all our efforts to make peace”, said Mogae

He said women in South Sudan face a daily struggle with inflation, never knowing if the money in their pocket will be sufficient to feed their family, adding that Insecurity creates food shortages, which in turn drives inflation that in turn results in hunger.

“A hungry man is an angry man. And angry men do not make peace. Food shortages and increasing hunger are now our immediate problems. Out in the country, beyond the reach of government, the situation is increasingly desperate. Instability and hunger has created a surge of survival-criminality that further exacerbates the problem through stealing, looting and the prevention of free-flowing commerce”, he said.

The top peace monitor pointed out that violence in the country was either carried out with central command or taken on the basis of local situation without necessarily receiving directives from anybody to which the group attaches political allegiance.

“Violence and conflict on this level is either centrally directed or locally orchestrated. I fear it is now time to acknowledge that, across the board, among all armed forces and armed groups, central structures of command and control appear to have broken down. Violence around the country is increasingly based on local decisions taken at local level. Armed groups may declare an allegiance to one leader or another, but they seem no longer to take their instructions from them.”

The briefing was part of monthly activities at which the peace monitoring body presents report to the Board members, including representatives of the Transitional Government of National Unity, South Sudanese Stakeholders, IGAD member states, the UN, the Troika (US, UK, Norway), China, EU and International Partners Forum and Friends of South Sudan.

These reports are also received from the Transitional Government of National Unity (TGoNU), Ceasefire and Transitional Security Arrangements Monitoring Mechanism (CTSAMM), Joint Military Ceasefire Commission (JMCC), Joint Integrated Police (JIP), Strategic Defence and Security Review Board (SDSRB) and the National Constitutional Amendment Committee (NCAC).

Mogae decried the killing of the humanitarian situation, saying it was no longer acceptable to claim the lives of people who are working hard to salvage the situation of those in dire of humanitarian aids.

“Twelve aid workers have been killed in South Sudan so far this year. It is simply deplorable that in 2017 we must still plead with a government for the safety of those who deliver humanitarian relief,” said the former Botswana president.

“I can only repeat that this humanitarian situation is predominantly man-made and the result of violence, conflict and the deliberate denial of access. Men, women and children are suffering and dying of starvation because the leadership at various levels is failing to prevent it,” he further stressed.

(ST)

 

South Sudan – UN says some African states oppose return of Riek Machar

Reuters

By Michelle Nichols | UNITED NATIONS

UNITED NATIONS East African states and South Africa believe that allowing South Sudanese rebel leader Riek Machar to return to the war-torn country would not “necessarily be positive at this stage,” said United Nations envoy David Shearer on Wednesday.

Machar, who fled to Democratic Republic of Congo in August after fierce fighting in South Sudan, is being held in South Africa to prevent him from stirring up trouble, diplomatic and political sources told Reuters in December.

Shearer, who heads a U.N. peacekeeping mission in South Sudan, confirmed that was the case.

“The feeling very much within the region is that his role, in terms of bringing him back, wouldn’t necessarily be positive at this stage, so that’s the decision of regional governments and South Africa,” Shearer told reporters in New York.

South Sudan descended into civil war in 2013 after President Salva Kiir fired Machar as his deputy, unleashing a conflict that has spawned armed factions often following ethnic lines.

Shearer said Festus Mogae, the former Botswana president who heads the international mediation and monitoring body JMEC in South Sudan, and U.N. envoy for Sudan and South Sudan, Nicholas Haysom, had both visited Machar.

“What’s the most important thing — and I have made this point to everybody including President Kiir — is that the constituency he represents must be part of any peace process and any process that moves forward,” Shearer said.

The United Nations has warned of a possible genocide as millions have fled their homes, the oil-producing economy is in a tail-spin, crop harvests are devastated because of the worst drought in years and millions face famine.

The United States slammed Kiir on Tuesday for the African state’s “man-made” famine and ongoing conflict, urging him to fulfill a month-old pledge of a unilateral truce by ordering his troops back to their barracks.

U.N. sanctions monitors reported to the Security Council last month that South Sudan’s government is mainly to blame for famine in parts of the country, yet Kiir is still boosting his forces using millions of dollars from oil sales.

(Reporting by Michelle Nichols;

 

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)