Tag Archives: SPLM

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.


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.


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

Sudan Tribune


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.


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.


South Sudan – officials say transitional unity government may rule until 2021

Sudan Tribune

(JUBA) – South Sudan’s Transitional Government of National Unity (TGoNU) could, after implementing the 2015 peace agreement in good faith, remain in power until 2021, a prominent member of the Jieng Council of Elders (JCE) has said.

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South Sudanese president Salva Kiir (AFP)

The peace agreement, Aldo Ajou Deng Akuei said, still requires total restoration of national security, the unification of South Sudan army (SPLA), the reconciliation process, accountability and hybrid court, national census, the election commission law and the making of the permanent Constitution before any elections.

The JCE is a group of veteran politicians who advise President Salva Kiir on political issues.

“Two years will not be enough to get the weakened country back on its feet. Let’s be sincere, elections will not take place in 2018 if we mean genuine implementation of the peace deal in good faith. I think there are very strong reasons for TGoNU to continue into 2021, to be fair to ourselves and others”, Akuei posted on his Facebook.

The JCE official also cast doubt on whether the elections could be held on time because the people of South Sudan are not in their homes.

“Thousands are internally displaced. About 450,000 have crossed our borders to neighbouring countries, seeking refuge. And about 5,000,000 are facing lack of food in the whole country. With all these problems, we have no money to implement the peace deal. The international is not ready or committed to assist South Sudan”, he said.

The accord, Akuei stressed, has been overloaded with “a very huge national agenda”, requiring time implement it with care and trust.

In August last year, President Kiir called for an early election, two years ahead of schedule and before the completion of the implementation of the peace deal, which recommends a lot of institutional and political reforms for two and a half years of the transitional period.

He said the reason for calling for an early election is to avoid attempts to ascend to the office by other means than elections, claiming some people may take advantage of the lack of a new mandate from the people.

“We need to hear the voice of the people. If [we] don’t do so, maybe someone will wake up one day and declare a coup,” Kiir told country’s lawmakers, without hinting on whether he would step down from power.

Elections in the war-ravaged nation, in accordance with the timetable outlined in the 2015 peace agreement, are to be conducted in 2018.


South Sudan – government rejects additional 4,000 UN troops

Al Jazeera

More than 12,000 UN peacekeeping mission troops have been in South Sudan since it gained independence in 2011 [File: EPA]

South Sudan has announced it will no longer accept the deployment of an additional 4,000 United Nations peacekeepers, saying the security situation in the county has improved.

The regional protection force, authorised by the UN Security Council in August after renewed fighting in the capital, Juba, is meant to strengthen the 13,500-strong UN peacekeeping mission in South Sudan

UN dismisses South Sudan peacekeeping force chief

“The government of South Sudan has the ability to provide security and stability for the country and for its citizens without the deployment of a … protection force,” South Sudan’s Foreign Ministry’s spokesperson Mawien Makol Ariik said on Wednesday.

The government’s move is a reversal of its earlier decision in November to accept the troops’ deployment.

Defence Minister Kuol Manyang Juuk also said there was no need for the regional protection forces to be deployed in South Sudan.

“Most of the people abroad still believe that there is fighting in Juba and around the country … but Juba is now secure,” Juuk told DPA news agency.

READ MORE: South Sudan accepts 4,000 more UN peacekeepers

Juuk’s remarks contradict reports of recent fighting in the north and south of the country.

The South Sudanese government had warned in August 2016 that the deployment of more UN forces would marginalise its sovereignty, but later gave its consent amid the threat of an arms embargo.

In December, a UN human rights commission urged a rapid deployment of the additional peacekeepers amid reports of ethnic killings.

A political split between President Salva Kiir, an ethnic Dinka, and his former deputy Riek Machar escalated into a military conflict in December 2013. Tens of thousands have been killed and more than two million displaced.

A unity government was formed in April, but fighting broke out again in July, sending Machar into exile.

The UN’s top human rights official has previously blamed South Sudanese government troops and rebels loyal to the president of ethnically targeted violations, including extrajudicial executions and sexual violence incidences in August 2015.

The United Nations Mission in South Sudan (UNMISS) has previously faced criticism for failing to fully protect civilians facing violence.

In early November, Ban Ki-moon, the former UN secretary-general, dismissedthe commander of the UNMISS force following a damning report that accused the peacekeepers of failing to protect civilians during the outbreak of violence in July.

The report from a UN special investigation found that a lack of leadership in the UNMISS ended in a “chaotic and ineffective response” during the heavy fighting in the capital, Juba, from July 8 to 11 that killed dozens of people.

South Sudan – presidential spokesman says Kiir alive and well, following death rumours

Sudan Tribune

October 12, 2016 (JUBA) – South Sudanese President Salva Kiir is alive and healthy, his spokesman Ateny Wek Ateny said, dispelling rumors that the former was “dead”.

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South Sudanese Presidential spokesperson Ateny Wek Ateny addresses journalists following renewed fighting in Juba July 11, 2016 (Reuters Photo)

“We would like to inform all our citizens that the information which came few hours ago, in various social media that President Salva Kiir has died is yet another wishful thinking,” Ateny told the state-owned South Sudan Broadcasting Corporation.

Social media was dominated by rumors of President Kiir’s ill health and death on Tuesday, prompting Ateny to respond. Juba became tense when large number of troops deployed on streets last night.

The President, his office said, held a meeting at state house in Juba on Tuesday.

“President Salva Kiir is healthy and is going about is duties normally. He was in his Office today until 3:00 pm and had no any complaint about his health,” stressed Ateny.

There no public knowledge of President Kiir’s health, widening room of rumors. But Ateny said he met Kiir after reading about the news of his demise on the social media.

“On hearing those rumors, I went to his house just to find him reading in his home Library. So, I would like to inform our citizens to ignore such rumors mongering and remain focus of their normal duties,” further explained the presidency spokesperson.

Ateny accused some main stream media, including the Voice of America (VOA) for fueling news on Kiir’s ill health, allegations Sudan Tribune could not easily establish.


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


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)