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Archive for the tag “EAC”

Communique of the 68th Session of the IGAD Council of Ministers on Sudan and South Sudan (19.06.2019)

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UNMISS repairs 2500kms of roads to encourage economic growth and peace in South Sudan (13.06.2019)

Engineers from Bangladesh, China, India, Thailand and South Korea have spent six months working intensively levelling and grading roads.

JUBA, South Sudan, June 13, 2019 –

Engineers serving with the United Nations Mission in South Sudan have repaired more than 2500 kilometers of roads to support economic growth and rapprochement so the conflict-affected country can build a peaceful and more prosperous future.

“When South Sudan gained its independence, it inherited infrastructure that was in a dire state with only about 250 kilometers of sealed roads. War and weather have also taken a toll over the years, leaving many roads impassable in the rainy season,” said the Special Representative of the Secretary-General and Head of UNMISS, David Shearer.

“The efforts of our engineers to rehabilitate major supply routes will make a big difference to people’s lives.” Engineers from Bangladesh, China, India, Thailand and South Korea have spent six months working intensively levelling and grading roads as well as repairing supporting infrastructure, such as culverts and bridges. They have focused on major routes from Juba to Bentiu (940km), Juba-Bor-Pibor (400km) and Malakal (200km).

“We know that when people are able to travel to meet with each other, it is easier to build trust and confidence. In many areas where roads have been improved, we have seen a decrease in violence between groups and an increase in reconciliation and peace-building activities.”

“Many families are also beginning to have the confidence to return to their homes as the security situation improves. Better roads will enable them to travel safely and more easily,” said David Shearer.

“Improved access will also encourage trade, create jobs and economic growth.” “Importantly, humanitarian agencies will be able to reach communities in need and save millions of dollars travelling by road rather than relying on transporting aid by air. UNMISS will also be able to supply its bases and deploy peacekeepers to locations around the country more efficiently and effectively.”

“I would like to thank the countries that have sent their engineers to serve the people of South Sudan. Their efforts are improving people’s lives as well as the prospects of South Sudan securing a peaceful and more prosperous future,” said David Shearer.

Rwanda Revenue Authority: Announcement (07.06.2019)

UNMISS welcomes ratification of International human rights convenants in South Sudan (07.06.2019)

IMF: South Sudan is in a deep economic crisis!

The International Monetary Fund has today released their press release on the economic and financial crisis, which is there. The IMF is really stating the facts, the dire needs of the state and the need for reform. Transitional Government of National Unity (TGoNU) really has a lot of work to fix this. South Sudan needs peace to fix this and not more civil war. However, what the IMF is stating is really vital to fix the economy.

The Republic of South Sudan needs some serious revamp of the economy when the IMF state it like this. Clearly, the government has more than enough on its plate, but they surely has to focus to get this in order. That shows the pressure on the state to get it fixed.

Take a look!

South Sudan is in a deep economic crisis. Economic conditions have deteriorated rapidly since the beginning of the civil conflict in late 2013. Real GDP is estimated to have declined by 2.4 percent in 2017/18 adding to a cumulated decline of about 24 percent in the last three years. Overall, real disposable income (adjusted for terms of trade) is estimated to have declined by about 70 percent since independence in 2011, contributing to an increase in poverty headcount ratio from 50 percent in 2012 to about 82 percent in 2016” (…) “Fiscal policy has been weakened by the loss of fiscal discipline, deteriorating public financial management, and contracting of non-transparent oil advances, which have increased corruption vulnerabilities” (…) “The banking sector is yet to recover from the adverse effects of the civil conflict, high inflation and strong currency depreciation. Consequently, many domestic banks are heavily undercapitalized and face rising non-performing loans” (International Monetary Fund – ‘IMF Country Report No. 19/153 REPUBLIC OF SOUTH SUDAN 2019 ARTICLE IV CONSULTATION—PRESS RELEASE; STAFF REPORT; AND STATEMENT BY THE EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR FOR THE REPUBLIC OF SOUTH SUDAN’ 04.06.2019).

We are seeing now what is at stake for the government in Juba to fix and ensure that they get to stabilize the economy, as well as finalizing the peace-agreements. So, that the public get enough peace to get the banking sector working, the financial markets running and possibly stop the economic crisis. Which has only been made worse by high inflation, strong currency depreciation and grand corruption. All of this has to get in order and get corporate governance, and financial statutes to safeguard the economy.

This will not happen over night, but the IMF is really warning in their press release and in their staff report. I just showed the gist of it. But it wasn’t positive.

To end with a few final statements from the Executive Board Assessment: “Directors observed, however, that the country is facing a deep economic and humanitarian crisis, and underscored the importance of decisively implementing key reforms to restore macroeconomic stability, strengthen economic buffers, improve governance, and rebuild credibility with the international community” (IMF, 04.06.2019). Peace.

Community of Bur and herdsmen resolve to share pastures and water in dry seasons (31.05.2019)

The feuding communities resolved to share pastures and water points and buried their differences.

JUBA, South Sudan, May 31, 2019 –  We have agreed together to hold anyone that will cause conflict between us accountable, like thieves of goats and cattle,” said Oburak Alex, the landlord of Bur who oversees all traditional rituals and land ownership disputes in the area.

The Bur community in Eastern Equatoria has frequently voiced concerns over aggressive behaviours displayed by pastoralists from Torit East. Incidents of rape, elopement, adultery and destroying crops by letting cattle graze on farm lands, are among the transgressions that have upset the people of Bur.

With indications that violence may have been about to escalate, the Civil Affairs Division of the United Nations in South Sudan decided to support an inter-communal forum aimed at resolving conflicts and strengthen traditional mechanisms to address disputes.

At the end of the two-day get-together, the feuding communities resolved to share pastures and water points and buried their differences, but with a few caveats.

“We are ready to receive them again and give them land to graze for their cattle to graze, but they [the herdsmen] have to come with their wives,” said John Okori Obi, one of the youth representatives in Bur, stressing the importance of immediately implementing the resolution agreed on to put an end to adulterous behaviour.

It was also decided that ambulating pastoralists will communicate their intended movements and appoint someone to speak on their behalf should crimes be committed.

“What you have done is commendable, so we encourage you to implement the resolutions,” said Leah Chan, a representative of the UNMISS civil affairs division in Torit.

South Sudan: UN Arms embargoed renewed, but will it make a difference?

Well, I beg to question if the United Nations Security Council Arms Embargo on the Republic of South Sudan is functional enough or even good enough implemented. As there are already well known facts that a foreign force is on its soil, without the needed mandate. This being the Uganda People’s Defence Force (UPDF). The same army known for exporting arms, training SSDF/SPLA or the government army itself.

That is why I have little faith in the Arms Embargo. Not that I don’t want to see peace and prosperity in the Republic. To the contrary, that is what I want to see, but with the War-Lords, the tensions and the postponement of implementation of the recent Peace Agreement. You can wonder if this is yet another false-flag operation. Since there are little or no movement into peaceful territory.

There been some ceasing of violence, killings and rapes, but its still there. There is still questionable attacks on IDPs and others. Therefore, the army itself and the militias are still pursuing supremacy. It is just a matter of time, before something blows up. Like it did in the last go-around when tanks started moving in the middle of Juba and Dr. Riek Machar had to flee to the Democratic Republic of Congo.

That is why I am sceptical of a renewed arms embargo, as the porous borders to Chad, Uganda and Ethiopia gives way to further import questionable arms and ammunition. As long as there is possible use of petrodollar for that. It will happen, even if we wished it otherwise. To be spent on roads, schools and hospitals. Alas, that is not the case.

We can play around with fun and games, but when IGAD, CSTAM, JMEC and AMISOM are all there, but still not able to find the way through the hurdles. There are so many organizations and people eager for the spoils. You can wonder if they are playing for themselves or for their communities. You can wonder if they really believed in this peace process or only see it again, as a temporary cease-fire. Which I am afraid it might be, because the interests and the parties involved are very slow in implementing the vital parts of the agreement. Even trying to use US Lobbyist to not pursuit it even.

That is why the UN Arms Embargo is good in theory, but not in practice. Because, it seems splendid on paper, but as long as the UPDF get a hold and get products across borders. As long as there are options from elsewhere. The unregistered arms will end up in the battlefield. Because, someone wants to profit of the hurt. Peace.

South Sudan: Letter to all Hotel Managers in Juba – “Ref: Revising the letter of Notification for Termination of NPTC Members Accommodation” (27.05.2019)

Uganda-Rwanda Tensions Part V: Deadly Deceptions!

The incident of 25th May 2019 is really haunting the Republics. Each Foreign Affairs has two different stories. The same has the respective Police Authorities delivered statements of similar fashion. Therefore, the incident itself is in question. Both parties claims the incident happen on their soil and that they were justified in their actions. The Ugandan claims the Rwandan crossed their borders. While the Rwandan claims it happen on the other side and that the smugglers fled the scene. However, this is stories that doesn’t fit well together.

Here is snippet of the statements dropped within the last 48 hours:

While the Ugandan Foreign Affairs today claims the Ugandan national was shot on their territory by Rwandan soldiers. Also, an Rwandan Business Man was shot and died on its land. As the Rwandan soldiers even tried to intervene and bring back the dead from its territory. But because of local intervention and brining them to the nearest Health Centre, the soldiers had to retreat back to Rwanda. The MoFA promise the delivery of his remains on the 27th May 2019.

The Ministry of Foreign Affairs from Rwanda today claims the soldiers, which crossed the border was shot in Rwanda, but fled hurt and died in Uganda. They even says there was a meeting between Ugandan Rukiga District LCV Chairman and the Rwandan Nyagatare District Mayor, were the parties agreed the incident happen on Rwandan soil.

The Rwandan Police claimed yesterday that the suspected smugglers tried to cross the border from the Rwandan side, as the military intercepted them, the incident became violent. The authorities shot at the gang who tried to cross into Uganda. Killing two people, who fled across an un-gazetted border-point.

Earlier yesterday, the Ugandan Police Force in their statement, claimed that the incident happen on Ugandan soil. Where an Rwandan Business Man had crossed with merchandise across the border. Where the Rwandan Soldiers intercepted him, killed him and an Ugandan citizen as well. As they claim the Rwandan soldiers crossed illegally into the territory and then shot the two people, an Ugandan and the Rwandan national. Both got shot and died as they were taken to the closest health centre.

Doesn’t add up!

Certainly, these statements doesn’t add up. The last 48 hours, both parties have cried foul. There are two nationals, one Ugandan and one Rwandan national killed. The only thing that is consistent in the narrative, is that the Rwandan soldiers shot and intervened towards the deceased individuals. What is striking is how the people who gotten shot had the capacity after the violence to cross across the border to Kamwezi sub-county in Uganda. Just think about it driving on a boda-boda from Tabagwe, Nyagatare District to Kamwezi Health Care Centre. Which by Google Map is 15km and takes about 30 minutes. However, this is without stops and driving straight on target. Nevertheless, if the stories is told like it is.

There is a twist!

If driving while shot:

This is just the first weird thing about it, as the supposed smugglers crossed the borders on a motorcycle. One person was taking himself across the border, shot with used clothes and a deceased partner on it. As he was supposed to be able to cross, unnoticed with a body, smuggling merchandise and a bullet wound. That is part of the story that boggles me. Since, who else does this kind of stunts, except for a Hollywood Action Movie casting Jason Statham and Bruce Willis. One man with a bullet wound able to cross a border point and lack of strength. Certainly, the now deceased Ugandan national must have strong will-power in his final hours. I doubt the adrenaline or extra push from a shot fella can push this through. Unless, its scripted and his saving the world from an possible Armageddon.

That is why the conflicting stories doesn’t make sense. Unless the Rwandan counterparts are planing on exiting scripts for movies. Because, if the persons was killed on Ugandan soil. It makes some sense. Even if that means someone illegally crossed the border and without jurisdiction murdered two individuals of two different nationalities. This seems more reasonable, even if that implicates the Rwandan Authorities. Since, their stories make the Ugandan deceased man seeming like a superhero with the force of 50 Cent. We don’t know how and where he was hit, but the shot from the soldiers was fatal. Meaning, it wasn’t a flesh-wound, but something that stinged him.

We can wonder if the truth of this incident will come out, but right now. The stories are conflicting, and someone trying to deceive the public. One party is lying and the other party is maybe even not telling the whole truth. However, there are two people dead because of this and they deserve for the truth to come out. As they cannot speak on what happen, but only be used as martyrs and as tools in a narrative fitting each states agenda. Peace.

South Sudan: The Upper Nile Regional Conference – Communique (26.05.2019)

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