Reports from the UN International Organization on Migration (IOM) “suggest that Government forces are now approaching the town of Maiwut, 25 kilometres north-west of Pagak”.
WASHINGTON D.C., United States of America, July 13, 2017 – Thousands of South Sudanese civilians are fleeing to neighbouring Ethiopia as Government troops advance on a rebel stronghold in the Upper Nile region, a senior United Nations official today said, expressing grave concern about what is already the world’s fastest growing refugee crisis.
Reports from the UN International Organization on Migration (IOM) “suggest that Government forces are now approaching the town of Maiwut, 25 kilometres north-west of Pagak. I’m gravely concerned by this ongoing situation,” the Special Representative of the Secretary-General in South Sudan, David Shearer, told reporters from Juba, the capital.
He added that while it is unclear which side began the fighting, the military advance by the South Sudan forces “is not in the spirit of the unilateral ceasefire” declared by the Government in May.
Mr. Shearer said there has been “active military engagement” over the past week north of Pagak, and at least 25 aid workers have relocated in the area as a result of the insecurity.
The senior UN official, who is also the head of the UN Mission in the country, or UNMISS, also voiced great concern about an orphanage near Torit, south of Juba, surrounded by Government and rebel fighters who are preparing to fight.
“It’s unacceptable that 250 innocent children, and the people who care for them, find themselves in no-man’s land between the warring parties,” Mr. Shearer stressed.
Requests by UNMISS to access the Hope for South Sudan Orphanage have been denied “locally, on the ground.”
The Government forces central command in Juba yesterday gave UNMISS “the go-ahead to send peacekeepers to the orphanage. I’m hopeful that will happen today,” he added.
Mr. Shearer urged both sides to reflect on President Salva Kiir’s Independence Day message of peace and withdraw from the facility.
In addition to accessing the orphanage, a group of Nepalese peacekeepers have been sent to protect civilians and the UN base in Torit.
“The number of patrols we can undertake in the town will increase with the additional peacekeepers. In turn, that should provide more security and boost confidence,” said Mr. Shearer.
He noted that his deputy, Moustapha Soumaré, is travelling to Torit tomorrow and will report back.
Today’s resignation of Col. Nyarji Jermlili Roman, there is revelation of a weakness that can only benefit the rest of the rebels and the government troops itself. As a key sentence from Col. Nyarji Jermlili Roman that said:
“Finally, it is worth mentioning that, over three years, you intentionally failed to supply our forces in Equatoria with arms and the necessary logistical support, an act that endangered many of our men’s lives because their capacity to defend themselves was greatly affected, hence the death of Gen. Elias Lino Jada, and Gen. Martin Kenyi, among others” (Col. Nyarji Jermlili Roman, 11.03.2017).
Even reports in the mid-year last year showed that he was a powerful rebel and an important ally of the SPLM-IO rebellion towards the SPLM/A. This with the Dr. Lam Akol Ajawin with his own outfit National Democratic Movement (NDM) and the newly created by Lt. Gen. Thomas Cirilo Swaka with his National Salvation Front (NSF), who is now co-operating with Gen. Khalid Butros Bora of the South Sudanese Democratic Movement (SSDM).
So the SPLM/A has enough rebel outfits with military experience on their hands as the Japanese peacekeepers are leaving, but the greed of foreign workers paying $10,000 United States Dollars (USD) for visa in the South Sudan. That must be to get enough revenue to pay for the military operations and to battle the rebellions.
Certainly the SPLM-IO earns on the many more rebellions as the government forces has troubles to contain them alone, still the defeats of respected rebels like General Matin Kenyi, the General Staff of Training and seen as the leader of the Equatorians. Even in 2016 he was the ones who raided in Yumbe district in Uganda. So, the rebel was known also outside of South Sudan.
So this leader and rebel were important to the struggle of Dr. Riek Machar and SPLM-IO. The only proof of his death before was a little tweet by The Bell South Sudan, who wrote on the 14th August 2016 that he died in a battle in Lobonok and he died together with 14 more persons. Therefore, this today is the second message of his death, but since it is the Deputy Spokesperson of SPLM-IO.
The proof that SPLM-IO wanted it buried and not told is evident. As if died in August 2016 and it is now revealed, the SPLM-IO we’re afraid if more people wanted to leave and if the Equatorial states. Certainly the SPLA and the government can be proud of this moment, as the important generals and training officers is dying. Therefore, there is weakness in the SPLM-IO when they keeps silent of the death of central command.
The accountability by the rebels is not a good sign if they we’re to rule, they would just be other former warlords to rule the republic. As they cannot excel with information of the losses and then you cannot trust if they are really winning. Since their reports will be biased and less sincere as the withheld information is vital to their leadership, like the fall of the leader of Kenyi.
We can only wonder what sort of brigades that has been lost or vital positions, as the SPLM-IO want to seem stronger and wiser than they actually seem to be. SPLM/A are the winner in this one, even as the amount of rebels are rising on all fronts, and the wish for another less greedy and less corrupt Central Government. President Salva Kiir Mayardiit seen like a lost soul with the resignations and deflections, but with this he seems a bit stronger; since the SPLM-IO and Dr. Riek Machar cannot tell of their losses. It gets released with more people deserting from him as well, as SPLM/A has people creating their own outfits. The whole picture becomes more scattered as the famine and more issues approach.
Certainly, SPLM-IO has lost a vital and important General in Martin Kenyi, another reason for not telling about it and spelling out to the world about his fall. As his important position both locally and for training of soldiers must been seen as giant beating from SPLA. Therefore, President Kiir knows that his army has done something big in the late 2016 to weaken the rebels. Peace.