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[The Arms supplier to SPLA] President Museveni are involved in developing a work-plan for peace in South Sudan!

Entebbe State House 26. May 2017

There are something very wrong when an arms supplier of two decades like President Yoweri Kaguta Museveni of Uganda, are involved in the mediation and peace negotiation in South Sudan. Even if President Salva Kiir Mayardit are wanting him. They have had a longstanding relationship, which is the proof of the arms trade and helping each with armies when needed be. Therefore the impartiality with having Museveni isn’t there. Museveni will secure Kiir and his fraction as that pays him in the long-run and not necessary the best for South Sudan. Just take a look!

On the 26th May at the State House:

Chaired a meeting of three different South Sudanese factions, seeking to reunite the South Sudan People’s Liberation Movement. The meeting at State House, Entebbe was attended by representatives of the SPLM in government, SPLM in opposition and former detainees. This followed a request by His Excellency Salva Kiir that I help in the mediation process. The meeting agreed to establish a working committee that will develop a workplan on implementation of the Arusha Accord, end the war and plan for peace. The meeting tasked as me as mediator, and new chair of the East African Community to determine time and venue for the next meeting, which I will do” (Yoweri Kaguta Museveni, 26.05.2017).

The relationship between Museveni and the conflict in South Sudan, can go back in to old libraries like the report from the Independent paper in the United Kingdom:

The Nigerian-owned Boeing cargo plane was forced to land at Larnaca on Tuesday during a flight from from Tel Aviv to Entebbe in Uganda. According to the Cypriot civil aviation authorities, it was carrying weapons to Uganda. A senior Ugandan official said yesterday it was the first his government knew of the consignment, and there is speculation that the weapons may be destined for the Sudan People’s Liberation Army, struggling for survival in southern Sudan” (…) “The Sudanese government seems to regard Uganda as a supplier of the SPLA. Reliable sources in the area say Khartoum has been supplying dissidents elements in Uganda who have mounted random attacks near Sudanese refugee camps in northern Uganda” (Dowden, 1994). So Museveni has supplied the SPLA weapons for over 20 years and the recent reports show similar activity with Ukraine plane and pilot, instead of being a Nigerian one like the old report. Therefore, with the history of supplying weapons and ammunition to the SPLA. There isn’t like Museveni has chosen side in the conflict. The National Dialogue, which isn’t allowing Dr. Riek Machar and therefore excluding the real SPLM-IO, as well as the newly forged rebel-groups. Which is either dissidents of the SPLM-IO or the SPLM/A in the recent year.

So with the sanctions of who is taking part of the National Dialogue, it will not be sincere, since all of the parties are not involved. The rebels and their leaders are not in communication with the government. Therefore, President Kiir has an ally in the negotiation instead of mediator without any inside agreements. That means that President Museveni will be on the side of Kiir and not on a genuine peace-talks.

Like the interview of SMC in mid-May:

Q. What about IGAD efforts now in South Sudan?

A. For the South Sudan crisis the IGAD was also supported by the international community. In fact the agreement is ‘IGAD-plus agreement’. The IGAD on the one hand and on the other hand, the members of the international community including the TROIKA and a number of other countries were involved in bringing the government of South Sudan and the SPLA together in agreement. So on the ground there is an extensive understanding and cooperation between the IGAD and the international community” (SMC, 2017).

So even if it is a ceasefire now, the attacks and skirmishes still happens in different states. The situation is still dire and my faith in the National Dialogue isn’t there. As the IGAD-Plus Agreement haven’t been respected, by neither party. As the turmoil and crisis is in the matter of the current leadership. Both from the rebels and also from the central government.

With all this in mind, what will be President Museveni motives to make a work-plan for the mediation and implementation of the Arusha Accord. Will it be to generate a real peace or for the help of his friend in troubling time. With the knowledge of the connection between Ugandan Army and the SPLA, Museveni is more important to keep Kiir as an ally, than generate a real peace. The National Dialogue is flawed and it doesn’t help that you have a partial motivated leader like Museveni helping out. It is not to give the mediation any credibility. Since the weapon-brother and the ammunition supplier of the SPLA would not be sincere in wishing peace. He has made sure that President Kiir could battle his enemies and had enough bullets to silence them.

I never had faith in Museveni to deal with this, might the rest of the world do, but then they are naive and not thinking of the implications of selling guns and than discussing peace afterwards. It doesn’t seem to be real and fit. Like a beer producers are promoting careful drinking is insincere as they are in the business of trading the brew and not safety. Peace.

Reference:

Dowden, Richard – ‘Israeli weapons ‘bound for rebels’ in southern Sudan: Arms may be destined for SPLA fight against Khartoum’ (19.03.2017) link: http://www.independent.co.uk/news/world/israeli-weapons-bound-for-rebels-in-southern-sudan-arms-may-be-destined-for-spla-fight-against-1430077.html

The Sudanese Media Center (SMC) – ‘Interview: IGAD Special Envoy in Khartoum Lissane Yohannes’ (15.05.2017) link: http://smc.sd/en/interview-igad-special-envoy-khartoum-lissane-yohannes/

South Sudan: ‘Fighting must stop now’ so millions can be spared from famine, say UN agency chiefs (25.05.2017)

José Graziano da Silva, head of the United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) and WFP’s David Beasley made the call during a visit to the former Unity state, one of the areas in South Sudan worst hit by the current hunger crisis.

WASHINGTON D.C., United States of America, May 25, 2017 –  Despite “appalling conditions” in South Sudan, it is not too late to save more people from dying, the head of the United Nations agriculture agency said today, joining the World Food Programme (WFP) chief in a call to all parties enmeshed in the country’s conflict to end the violence and work together to ensure access to food and other life-saving support.

José Graziano da Silva, head of the United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) and WFP’s David Beasley made the call during a visit to the former Unity state, one of the areas in South Sudan worst hit by the current hunger crisis.

“We can still avoid a worsening of the disaster, but the fighting has to stop now,” Mr. Graziano da Silva said. “There can be no progress without peace. People must be given immediate access to food, and farmers need to be allowed to work on their fields and tend to their livestock,” he added.

Around 5.5 million people in South Sudan, or almost half the population, face severe hunger ahead of the lean season, which peaks in July. Of these, more than 90,000 face starvation with famine declared in parts of former Unity state while another one million teeter on the brink. The UN stresses that this unprecedented situation reflects the impact of ongoing strife, obstacles to delivering humanitarian assistance and declining agricultural production.

Both UN officials stressed that an immediate, massive response is critical, combining emergency food assistance and support for agriculture, livestock and fisheries.

‘The fighting must end’ so investment in children can begin, WFP’s Beasley

In the former Unity state, they visited people coping with the hunger crisis with the support of both agencies and met with people facing famine on Kok Island, a refuge in the Nile River where many people have sought shelter from fighting.

The two agency heads saw aid workers from international and local partner organizations distributing WFP food and nutrition treatments, as well as seeds and FAO fishing kits.

“Food, treatment for malnourished kids, kits that help people fish and grow vegetables – these are the difference between life and death for people we met in Unity state,” Mr. Beasley said. “But we can’t keep scaling up forever. The fighting has to end to make the kind of investments that give the children of South Sudan any hope for the future they deserve.”

‘Saving livelihoods saves lives,’ says FAO’s Graziano da Silva

The two UN agency heads visited an FAO project aiming to provide women farmers and pastoralists with a place to process milk. With rising malnutrition levels across the country, the project is an innovative way to increase the availability of safe, quality milk and milk products – a major dietary staple and a source of protein vitamins and minerals, essential components for a healthy diet.

Mr. Graziano da Silva highlighted that saving livelihoods also saves lives, saying “South Sudan has great potential – it has land, water and courageous people. If it also has peace, then together we can work to end hunger.”

Both agency heads underscored the need for further international support to confront a $182 million funding gap over the next six months.

Mr. Beasley assured that while WFP would continue to stand by the South Sudanese, its leaders “must show good faith by facilitating humanitarian efforts, including getting rid of unnecessary fees and procedures that delay and hinder aid.”

CEPO: South Sudan and Sudan have six-month to resolve Abyei dispute – UN (20.05.2017)

South Sudan: Agreement on Cessation of Hostilities between the Youth of Dinka Bor and Murle Communities (23.05.2017)

SPLM-IO: On the One-Sided National Dialogue and Ceasefire of President Salva Kiir and his allies (22.05.2017)

South Sudan: Letter from SPLM-IO in Leer County to a Canadian Team (May 2017)

UN report exposes human rights violations and abuses against civilians in and around Yei, South Sudan (19.05.2017)

The report exposes cases of indiscriminate shelling of civilians; targeted killings; looting and burning of civilian property and cases of sexual violence perpetrated against women and girls, including those fleeing fighting.

GENEVA, Switzerland, May 19, 2017 – A United Nations report published today released the findings of an in-depth investigation into human rights violations and abuses committed in and around Yei town, Central Equatoria (150km southwest of the capital, Juba) between July 2016 and January 2017.

The report by the Human Rights Division of the United Nations Mission in South Sudan (UNMISS) and the UN Human Rights Office documents violations and abuses against civilians both sides of the conflict, based on ethnicity and/or their  presumed support for other side. This includes 114 killings by pro-Government forces. The extent of the abuses by armed opposition groups remains unclear due to lack of access to areas where these groups are active. The report finds that these violations and abuses may amount to war crimes or crimes against humanity and that they warrant further investigation.

The report exposes cases of indiscriminate shelling of civilians; targeted killings; looting and burning of civilian property and cases of sexual violence perpetrated against women and girls, including those fleeing fighting.

Until recently, Yei was largely a peaceful town, with between 200,000 and 300,000 residents of many different ethnicities. In July 2016, violence erupted between Government and Opposition forces, which led to the departure of Opposition leader Riek Machar together with a small group of followers across the Equatorias, into the Democratic Republic of Congo. As Government forces pursued him, fighting simultaneously broke out along the route, particularly in Yei. This violence fuelled strong divisions along ethnic lines and resulted in targeted killings, arrests, rapes and mass civilian displacement of more than half of the population of the town.

Satellite imagery used to corroborate allegations shows that there was widespread burning of homes and businesses, resulting in the forcible displacement of tens of thousands of civilians. Even as people fled the violence, reports suggest that armed actors harassed, robbed and targeted them as they headed to Uganda to seek refuge.

The report documents “the profound human suffering caused by the ongoing conflict and the exploitation of local and ethnic divisions for political ends.”

“The conflict in Yei, in particular, highlights the startling level of impunity in South Sudan, which has fed successive cycles of violence across the country,” the report states.

South Sudan: Appointment of Mrs. Angelina Teny as Acting Chairperson of SPLM/A-IO (18.05.2017)

South Sudan: The National Resistance Front/Army (NRF/A) – “The Coalition of Clean Hands (CCH) – (10.05.2017)

Opinion: SPLA became today the SSDF, but suddenly the Republican Decree didn’t matter hours later!

Today, President Salva Kiir Mayardit, the Republic of South Sudan and their government has decided to change their name of their military arm. This arm has been since before the independence and while being a guerrilla or a militia who fought for decades to get freedom from Khartoum. Certainly, this is tainting the legacy of Dr. John Garang, but also trying to consolidate the power even more. If not he has gotten advice from President Yoweri Museveni, who himself changed his rebels into the Uganda People’s Defence Force (UPDF) from National Resistance Army (NRA), the military arm of the National Resistance Movement (NRM).

President Kiir yesterday renamed the national army, the Sudan’s People Liberation Army (SPLA) after former militia led by Riek Machar and Paulino Matip in 1990 and early 2000s. Through Republican Order Number 12/2017, the President restructured the Command of the SPLA. As the Republican Order was read out on SSBC, the subtle change of reference from the Chief of General Staff to Chief of Defense Forces marked a new change to the official reference of the army as the SPLA to South Sudan Defense Forces. The title South Sudan Defense Forces (SSDF) was previously the name of a pro-Khartoum militia first led by Riek Machar as Commander-In-Chief and later on led by the late Paulino Matip that fought against the SPLA for more than 15 years. The SSDF was the first militia to be integrated into the SPLA in 2006” (The National Courier, 16.05.2017).

Certainly, the name and structure is now different. But their acts still are the same. The renaming itself and the change of structure doesn’t stop the violence and the killings. So this might be a trying of enforcing a different approach, but for the moment it is more fiction, than reality. As the deaths, the man-made famine and the fleeing refugees will not see any different between an SPLA or a SSDF. It is a noble idea, but not life-changing. Until, the army is an institution and a vital part of government. Not a free militia run-by warlords and former rebel generals. That is the situation right now and therefore, the skirmishes and fierce battles, as the collaborated opposition is making the situation even more futile. Until the civil war ends, there aren’t really much to win, as the rebuilding and the create stability will take enormous time, as the warfare in the region has happened for decades upon decades without any end.

If he kicked off King Malong for this reason, as he knew the former general wouldn’t be satisfied being a leader of a national army and being re-branded. That is unknown, as there been indications that he wished to topple President Kiir, but nothing that has come to the surface. However, the government wish to “box” him in. So it is not like the government doesn’t fear that man and his allegiance.

Because of this hours after, the SPLA changed their minds, and didn’t change after all, since the same agency sent this to world, because they knew the issue of changing it:

The office of the president has issued a statement saying that the name of the national army has not been changed from the SPLA to SSDF. The presidential spokesman, Ateny Wek Ateny made the announcement on SSBC despite having told a National Courier journalist this morning that the name has been changed. The NC called Ateny to clarify on the new title of “Chief of Defense Forces” whether that meant the name SPLA has been dropped of which Ateny said it indeed has been changed to SSDF. Ateny told the NC that no country has maintained the name of its liberation struggle army giving several examples before adding that the change was long overdue. He said it was in accordance with recommendations of defence review committee. This was met with mixed reaction of equal praise and ferocious condemnation. In a statement clarifying the whole saga, Ateny said the name has not been changed only the structure” (The National Courier, 2017).

So the kid didn’t change name, apparently and the shadow game or whatever it was a few hours of mocking and also the truth. The SPLA and SPLM are the same, one is the military organization and the other political one. If there is a close difference or different procedure between them is surely only known by the ones who deserted or rebelled. There are certain some aspects here that the Office of the President Kiir changed his mind, as he knew what this would mean for him and his respect. Therefore, he didn’t dare to do so today.

You can wonder if the President Kiir will release the Republican Decree 12/2017! This should be seen as a historical document of a failed approach or wishful dream of making a swift change from a rebellious past, into a modern Republican Army. Instead, the SPLA and SPLM are still the same the famous SPLM/A. Certainly, the SPLM-IO and all the other rebel outfits must feel with joy that this maneuver. Who even didn’t last a day and the Spokesperson Ateny has really made himself look vulnerable. Since the last report ot the National Courier, really seemed like saving face after the bravado of changing name of the army came into full-effect. Peace.

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