“We have been driven back to the bush,” James Gadet, a spokesman for Machar, told the AP on Saturday in a call from Nairobi, Kenya” (New Wires, 2016)
This is serious, this is sad and this is dangerous. The fleeing rebel have gone back to his safe haven in Khartoum where he we’re back-in-the-day when the SPLM/SPLA we’re fighting for liberation from the Khartoum government and free the South Sudan republic. So we’re full-circle with that.
Dr. Riek Machar just came back in late April 2016 and not before long. He wouldn’t return if he didn’t get his military arm into Juba. As much as the Peace Agreement we’re supposed to get the SPLA-IO into the SPLA or the ordinary army; there seemed to be no intention by either party to really make that happening. Just as the TGoNU government we’re fixed together with enough ministerial positions for both parties. So the parties we’re starting of the parliamentary actions. So that the government we’re not only supposed to follow Presidential Decree, but with parliamentary procedures as agreed upon in the Peace Agreement.
Dr. Riek Machar we’re fleeing after the Skirmishes in July where the returned fights between Gen. Salva Kiir’s bodyguards and the soldiers of Dr. Riek Machar.
This was mentioned of the skirmishes before Riek Machar fled the country:
“War started in South Sudan at 5:10pm and all Riek Machiar’s bodyguards killed.As we speak both Salva and Riek are held up at statehouse in Juba and general Paul Malong whos the chief of staff has deployed tanks surrounding statehouse and he’s believed that he’s the one that incited Salva’s bodyguards to kill all Riek’s bodyguards and even the mad Paul Malong ordered his soldiers to open fire at American CIA vehicle” (Taifa Takatifu-News, Opinon and Analysis, 08.07.2016).
After this one and the return of skirmishes in Juba, the battles continued in Wau in Western Bahr El Ghazal and the SPLA-IO closed the Kaya Road in Yei at the Morobo County. There we’re also battles between the armies in the Central Equatoria.
So when the battles between SPLM/A-IO and the SPLM/A continued the rebel leader Dr. Riek Machar fled the country. These happen while the battles happen in Juba and the rest of the county. So the place where he where fled we’re questioned.
Until MONUSCO spelt the beans:
“On 17 August, at the request of the Government of the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) and acting on humanitarian grounds, the UN Stabilization Mission in the DRC (MONUSCO) extracted the former Vice-President of South Sudan, Mr. Riek Machar, his wife and son along with 10 aides from a location inside the Garamba National Park, Haut Uélé province, in the north east of the DRC. Mr Machar had crossed into the DRC from South Sudan, accompanied by several hundred people, including armed elements and civilians” (…) “In total MONUSCO has handed over 117 individuals, including Riek Machar, his wife and son to the DRC authorities. Weapons have been removed from all those transported by MONUSCO” (MONUSCO, 2016).
Just as all this was happening the TGoNU under the leadership of President Salva Kiir went on and asked for Dr. Riek Machar to come back, but not for indefinite time. With that in mind the TGoNU appointed Gen. Taban Deng Gai to the First Vice-President and take the position of Machar. This has been over time established as the return of Machar we’re more unlikely. Even a battalion of 6000 soldiers deflected from SPLM/A-IO to the Juba Government. While the Maribor Garang de Maribor resigned from his ministerial post and turned back to Machar. There been deflection both ways and also different reasons for why people does so.
By late August the Khartoum government we’re saying they accepted the fleeing rebel into their capital as he was healing from wounds and we’re getting recuperating there in safety. Just in the same days the FVP Taban Deng Gai where in the Sudan Capital discussing the peace-agreement between the nations in bilateral talks while the South Sudanese Authorities we’re disappointed in the Sudanese for letting him stay there.
The new FVP Taban Deng said this in an interview 22. August in Khartoum:
“Riek Machar did not comply with my advice when he arrived Juba. After he was sworn in, he chose to locate behind Jebel Kujur and continued the same practices that led to the outbreak of the last war in 2013. He is not aware of the things that might anger and please the president, which could influence the relationship between them. Choosing this isolated place after coming back sent the wrong message, suggesting that he was preparing a parallel army” (…) “We did not try to assassinate Riek. If I wanted to do so, I would have withdrawn his guards. He moved with a great force, which led to a clash between the parties. In my opinion, Riek planned to kill Salva Kiir because he moves with great guard force and Salva Kiir wanted to kill him. All his guards died and Salva Kiir assumed responsibility for returning Riek to his house and was concerned with this matter. He asked an officer named Marial to give him a ride to his house and told him literally, “I do not want Riek to be hurt” (…) “Angelina’s ambition to be the first lady led him to this situation. Machar has not looked back since 1991, when many people were killed. In 1997, he signed an agreement with al-Bashir and was not able to implement it, which led to splitting the Nuer into small groups fighting each other. There are problems with Machar’s behaviour – he did not learn a lesson from the previous events, especially with regard to Angelina’s ambition. I am sure the events of July 7 and 8, upon which Machar left Juba, were planned by Angelina who gives orders and says she is the defence minister” (Yam, 2016).
So when news broke about the recent outburst and plans of the SPLM/A-IO in Khartoum and the war-cry from Riek Machar, we all should know there are giant possibility of these men to fight each other with armies to secure supremacy instead of dialogue as the IGAD-Plus extraordinary meetings seems to be as fruitful to peace as the former Tanzanian President Benjamin Mpaka lead Inclusive Inter-Burundian effort. Nearly pointless as the Generals and their battalions are ready to fight over the spoils while the soils is not tilled and 1 million citizens has fled the scene and the United Nations forces are not capable to keep calm in the PoC camps. There are too many disastrous outcomes of the conflict and to many people hurt by it. This also leads to loss of food production and weaken efforts to build institutions and facilities to serve the public. Those who earn on this the suppliers of army equipment like the Canadian firm selling War Trucks to the SPLA and the others who serve it with loyalty and earning huge profits.
This is what Riek Machar was saying:
““wage a popular armed resistance against the authoritarian and racist regime of President Salva Kiir.” (News Wires, 2016).
If this wish get into the hands of the soldiers and they listen to Dr. Riek Machar than there are more bloodshed awaiting with the ones who just lost their lives recently. Not only with the current news of possible draught and loss of food production; has this resulted into hunger and civil war in republic? This has been a battle between the two leaders who wants to run the cash-strapped nation who has been blessed once in a while by the Troika, U.S., UK and Norway. FAO has told about possible hunger and less farming as the fleeing citizens and the ones inside camps instead of having their own farming. They fled because of army battles and insecurity. This reacts into the unstable yields and safety. That with the war-cry of yesterday doesn’t make the outcome of food security any better. With the amount of South Sudanese refugees in Ethiopia, Democratic Republic of Congo and Uganda; the Adjumani refugee camps has grown substantially over the recent months. This is happening while the international community is not pledging enough funds for the men and woman who has left everything behind because of the battle to run South Sudan continues.
The War-Cry yesterday is not bringing hope of dialogue as these men are continuing to show that it is easier to grab the AK-47 or order tanks than speaking of process and making institutions. The War-Cry of Dr. Riek Machar against President Salva Kiir shows the wish of power by the opposition and the extent he will go to take it. This is happening as the return are just briefly months since it happen and the Swearing into be a part of the TGoNU. So the time and work for the Peace Agreement must be seemed as a sham deal by either party. The works of the IGAD and Troika have been a dodged even before the ink got dry.
So now in September, not far away from April; we are returning to 2013 and new rounds of ammunition as the uncertainty of the battalions, armies and loyalties. The friction between who is SPLM/A together with who is SPLM/A-IO?
Together with the resurgence of the SPLM-N in Sudan in the Darfur conflict that lingers on without any kind of stop from rebels and government forces. The peace in the region is continuing to be a question of utopia and not a reality. The Generals cannot talk and apparently only shoot at each other.
This is not the end of battle between Kiir and Machar, they will not stop apparently to one flees or dies. They use force to silence each other. The dialogue and Peace Agreement are not worthy of the paper and time spent on making it. As the months from when it was conceived, to when it was started implemented and now to its end as the SPLM/A-IO is dismantling it with a cry of bush-war and calling counterparts a rogue regime. While the FVP Taban Deng Gai claims the wife of Machar is the one behind the recent skirmishes in Juba.
There the fickle situation turns bloody quickly already in 31st July I wrote “Worrying signs of a new Civil-War in South Sudan”. Now the words of wishing to create it come from Khartoum by Dr. Riek Machar. None of us should accept this as there are already to many people who has suffered in this power struggle. There are too many who has fled their homestead in fear of rebels and government soldiers taking advantage of the situation. The burning of homes, fields and killings of neighbors will continue with the war-cry of Machar. The ones who believes he wouldn’t act upon it, has not followed the man’s wish for power by any means. As much as Salva Kiir Mayardit has no plans to step down from the Presidency.
What we can now that the words and actions of July, the Ethiopians saying their borders are closing for Machar, that the little friends in diaspora is dwindling for SPLM/A-IO while the government of Kiir will have just defense war against Machar. While the U.S. might discuss a Arms Embargo, but to what effect it will have as long as Kiir has loyal support from President Yoweri Museveni in Uganda as long as he pays. Museveni has friends from Moscow to Washington if he needs arms equipment and training. Something Museveni has no problem to deliver as long as the payments are happening without the Parliament or the Central Government in Kampala really knows.
Machar doesn’t have that suction unless Omar Al-Bashir still wants to align himself with him as he let him be there to “heal”. What we can now that the peaceful nation building is getting further and further away as the heads are colliding in the bush and in words. We could hope for another outcome, but the Generals stay Generals and their knowledge of guns and ambush is greater than of process and procedure. That is the proof of the acts of these men and lost are the potential state-building of youngest nation in the world. Peace.
News Wires – ‘South Sudan rebel chief urges armed resistance against government’ (24.09.2016) link: http://www.france24.com/en/20160924-south-sudan-rebel-chief-riek-machar-kiir-urges-armed-resistance-against-government?ref=tw_i
MONUSCO – ‘MONUSCO EXTRACTED HUNDREDS OF INDIVIDUALS FROM THE GARAMBA NATIONAL PARK ON HUMANITARIAN GROUNDS’ (11.09.2016) link: http://monusco.unmissions.org/en/monusco-extracted-hundreds-individuals-garamba-national-park-humanitarian-grounds
Yam, Bel – ‘Angelina Teny caused the war in South Sudan, says Taban Deng’ (04.09.2016) – Link: http://welyam.com/news/aangelina-teny-caused-the-war-in-south-sudan-says-taban-deng/#sthash.qSI7AW1u.dpuf
While the Government Spokesman of Ethiopia Getachew Reda have claimed that the first shot on the border came from Eritrean forces and claimed they we’re at fault for the military operations on the 12th June 2016. This happens while the Eritrean Ministry of Foreign Affairs claim it was the TLPF that was attacking the Eritrean border forces around the Tsorona Front.
With this in mind, it is not easy when these are sending conflicting information and also using all tactics to address each other internal misgivings. Just like the recent Human Rights Violation in the United Nations Reports from the Group of Experts in June 2016. While the Eritrean are claiming the internal oppression of the Omoro people and the killing of demonstrators; also silencing of media; the issue is that both nations have their blames and violations. The Ethiopian ruling party has total control and military control of the nation, the media is controlled and bloggers are detained for questioning the government, the Omoro demonstrations are hunted down and shut down with military forces. So the Ethiopian Government is far from innocent in their internal bravery.
But the Eritrean are nicknamed the “African North Korea” for a reason, all control is in the hands of the President Isias Afewerki, as the UN reports claim is that there is unlimited subscription to the army, slavery, rape and misuse of the citizens from the government officials, as the centralized power is all in the name of the president as he has control of the economy as the national budget is never released and the control of the money running of Eritrea as all under control of Afeweki. UN Report 2016 Eritrea this blog or article explains the matters of how I see on the report on the Human Rights Violations.
With all of this in mind, with the knowledge of the current affairs, and the escalation and worry of new conflict between Ethiopia and Eritrea, as the fellow nations has been in war before. Eritreans are the ones really blasting Ethiopia in international media and defending their ways of government, as they are blaming Ethiopia even for making the accusations that are made by the experts in the recent report. That proves the level of animosity from Eritrean government towards Addis Ababa, as they might feel left alone in Asmara.
While the Ethiopian in the 12 June military operations claimed the aggression was directed from the Eritreans. After that the Eritreans claimed it was the Ethiopians… so there are a limbo and uncertainty, especially since none of these governments are really open to the media or having press freedom in either nation; while the assurance of the reality on the ground and the intelligence is unsure as they both are secretive from the beginning.
None of these nations are perfect, no nation in this world is, but both nations have scruples and has issues with tampering with human rights violations of different levels, they both have different supporters and allies that need the armies or alliances to mend on other issues either on the African Horn, like the Ethiopian who has soldiers in the AMISOM and other Peacekeeping missions and are an ally of the United States and their AFCON, surely as they pulled more armies from Africa after the failed “Black Hawk Down” in Mogadishu and with that in mind then President Bill Clinton pulled the army of around 1100 soldiers in 1993 from the Horn of Africa. And have been for long a steady military ally against terrorism in the region and also a place where the Americans have had military bases, as recently closed the United States Air Force base at Arba Minch in January 2016.
The certainty and clarity is not here in this matter, as there are many undisclosed reports, as the battlefield are kept for the armies and the media are not free in neither Ethiopia or Eritrea, as the stages are set for propaganda from both parties, as the ones who are speaking free on their blogs in for instance in Ethiopia ends behind bars. While the Eritrean are the best news from diaspora who have trusted messengers through online forums, as the silence and fear of detaining or slavery work for questioning the regime, therefore the amount of people going into exile from Eritrea.
So with this knowledge the battle of 12th June 2016 can only be discussed and knowingly gain the needed intelligence when the men on the ground can speak freely and address thoroughly. If not they are realizing footage or pictures of the activity, while also proving the validity of the battlefield. As there will always from a warzone and skirmishes even be false statements, even wrong estimates and the reality will come closer, if not juked to fix the stages for either Eritrea or Ethiopia, as both need a straight face towards their citizens and their international allies and community. As there reports of UAE and Yemen supporting the Eritrea, while Western nations as United States and others are supporting Ethiopia; but that is in general and their obligations world-wide and in military operations, as IGAD and others.
Therefore I cannot say who did what, as the implications of who did what is not certain. The Eritreans are the ones that beating the drum the most in international media, as they want to silence the UN report on Human Rights Violations. While the Ethiopian is easily getting the world to forget the violations against the Omoro demonstrations and Omoro Liberation Front (OLF); with these in mind, these skirmish or military operations just happen when the Eritreans wanted the world to forget the slavery and other accusations and the same with the killings of demonstrators from the Ethiopian regime. What we will not certainly know as these are actions and activity, kept behind sound minds in the central governments in authoritarian regimes who are militarized and not democratic. So the knowledge we will get is indications, but not the actual facts, as the numbers will be spoilt to make Ethiopia or Eritrea bad, the rhetoric will clearly defacing the other by all means. Though the response have been the clearest from Eritrea and accusations the loudest, that does not make it true, if it was so, then the screaming Donald Trump would be wisest politician ever; Ethiopia have another approach and more subtle, though countering the Eritrean, as they also claimed was the reason for the 12th June 2016 skirmishes.
That there been rumors of a plot of taking down President Isias Afeweki of Eritrea, nothing is yet certain about that either, as the “rumored plot” have come in the waters from a unnamed source inside the military intelligence of the Ethiopian hierarchy, and for the moment it is hearsay, but the Eritrean are paranoid; so they do what they can to sell it to the world and those stories are better to sell then slavery and unlimited military subscription of their youth and citizens.
So what I said with many words, nothing is clear, there aren’t enough transparency or accountability to take a true stance, the only thing certain, is that there are taken some shots and that the armies did attack each other, too what extent is not easy to say; as the spokesmen and ambassadors are not talking about that, I am sure that is confidential at both parties. What is surely the fact is that there are fallen men and reported men taken by both armies. That Eritrea has taken Ethiopian men’s life and Ethiopian has taken Eritrean men’s life. Peace.
The Whole Interview:
Worth a watch right? Interesting, right? Peace.
“Eritrea’s Ambassador to the UN has told RFI that Ethiopia was responsible for attacking first in heavy fighting earlier this week. Ethiopia had previously said their forces were responding to an attack by Eritrea around the Tsorana area. Tanks and heavy artillery were involved – although fighting has now subsided. RFI’s Daniel Finnan spoke to Girma Asmerom, Eritrea’s Ambassador to the UN…” (RFI English, 2016)
“We fought for Eritrean independence from the colonial rule of Ethiopia. TPLF has paid a sacrifice for Eritrea greater than the combined sacrifice of the two Eritrean organizations – ELF and EPLF. Even if today Eritrea is attacked, EPRDF will jump into Eritrea, join the Eritrean people and engage the enemy.” – Sebhat Nega on Radio Woyane (May 28, 2007).
Just as the news and confirmed skirmishes on the border between Eritrea and Ethiopia, both nations have not only traded bullet, but also blame for the current aggression. The Eritrean takes their whole Liberation history and blames every bullet ever shot on their soil on Ethiopia, while Ethiopia say the recent ones was the last straw; also they did answer to new shots of guns and artillery from the Eritrean side. As they have not only sent bullet towards the Ethiopian Government, but also sent spies and others to try do create terrorism in Ethiopia.
As the Eritrean Ministry of Information wrote on 14th July 2016:
“The Government of Eritrea will issue detailed statement on the purpose, scope and implications of the latest act of military aggression by the TPLF regime. It is nonetheless clear that mounting opposition from popular movements of the Ethiopian people, endemic corruption and associated economic crisis, as well as the desire to stem promising progress in Eritrea are indeed some of the factors prompting the TPLF regime to indulge in reckless military adventures.” (Shabait.com, 14.06.2016).
“Ethiopia’s military was provoked into launching this week’s attack on Eritrean forces in a disputed border area” (…) ” “major military engagement” (…) “I hope this time around they won’t make that stupid mistake of inviting us to wage a full-scale war” – Government spokesperson Reda.
When you have this kind of strained relationship and also “non” friendship or even diplomacy, no matter what occurs the aggression is seen as a signal of war and cut off the cease-fire. This with the recent worrying reports:
“The Sunday attack of June 12, 2016, launched through the TPLF regime on the Tsorona Front was quashed on Monday (13 June) morning entailing heavy losses to its troops” (…) ” In this reckless attack whose ultimate aim is difficult to comprehend, more than 200 TPLF troops have been killed and more than 300 wounded. These are conservative estimates” (…) ”Why did this callous bloodshed happen? And, for what purpose?” (…) “Those who have instigated this reckless act have attempted to provide the TPLF with political, media and diplomatic smoke-screen, both before and after the attack. They have also deceitfully tried to apportion equal blame to the aggressor and the victim. The Government of Eritrea will address these dimensions of the attack in subsequent statements” (…) “Ministry of Information, Asmara, 16 June 2016 – Eritrean Government”.
While this is worrying enough and by all means the Eritreans wants the numbers as bad as possible for them, as they want to be violated and hurt, the killings would make Ethiopian Government bad, as they have not released any numbers of killings from the Eritrean Army towards them. Not that the numbers game are important, but the propaganda and winning the media war, is as important as the initial battle; Eritrea want to look decent, as the UN Report are addressing the harassment and torture of citizens. So the skirmishes are making people and states forgetting the human rights violations.
Therefore this have been floated and rumoured that the Ethiopian Government have answered towards the Eritrean counterparts:
“Sources familiar with the issue told Aigaforum the government has floated the idea to key western nations as a comprehensive plan for the horn of africa region. The Ethiopian government has informed many western nations that if Isaias Afewroki is not removed from power there will be war and Ethiopia will defend vigorously” (…) ”The issue of Isaias Afewroki’s removal from power gained momentum over the last few weeks with Al- Shabaab deadly attempt to overrun Ethiopia’s AMISOM military camp in Somalia. However, our sources told us the recent clash between Eritrea and Ethiopia in Tserona Northern Tigrai region may have given the proposal more ammunition” (…) ”Many in the government of Ethiopia are convinced the Eritrean army may rebel against Isaias Afeworki and if they are convinced about Ethiopia’s disinterest of overrunning Eritrea then they may reform and establish a government of their own that is willing to live in peace with its neighbors” (Aigaforum, 15.06.2016).
If this is so the Eritrean should worry about a full-fledged war against them as they would even get support from the United Nations Security Council, the donor-countries and the ones that are funding the Ethiopian Peacekeepers around on the African Continent; these are the ones that are offering training and educating the army of Ethiopia.
Not confirmed reports are that Gen. Deriba Mokonene of Tserona Front, have deflected from the Ethiopian side to the Eritrean, but that might just be hearsay. As non-official report, while the Ethiopian officials have also addressed the claim of 200 dead soldiers from their side:
“they are entitled to delude themselves” Ethiopia’s senior military official sarcastically responded to Awramba Times without giving further explanation, on conditions of anonymity” (Awramba Times, 16.06.2016).
This here will not be silent for a while as the aggression and military activity continues, while the relentless differing allegations and reports will not be able to verify, just as it took two days before the Ethiopian and Eritrean governments answered the claims of military actions in Tserona Front and around the border of the countries.
Every single person losing their lives on both sides is a sad loss of life, as this is both in the names of arrogance and leadership from above high, as the President of Eritrea and the Prime Minister of Ethiopia are both responsible for the loss of life. This is can be start of a new prolonged conflict between the nations and the brothers. This can be fuelled by the few allies of Eritrea, or even the allies of Ethiopia, as they both have something to earn. Both none of the parties will really win, as they both will lose citizens and lose peaceful development through diplomacy and mutual understanding. Instead there is a continued bloodshed in the name of the leadership and the legacy of the Eritrean state and also the Ethiopian leadership. Peace.