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Troika Statement on the Formation of South Sudan’s Revitalized Transitional Government of National Unity (22.10.2019)

The following is the text of a Troika Statement on the Formation of South Sudan’s Revitalized Transitional Government of National Unity.

JOHANNESBURG, South Africa, October 22, 2019 – South Sudan faces a critical moment in the journey toward a peaceful and prosperous future. There are now less than four weeks for political leaders to form a transitional government as they committed to in the Revitalized Agreement on the Resolution of the Conflict in the Republic of South Sudan. The United States, the United Kingdom, and Norway (the Troika) have consistently welcomed assurances by the parties to implement the agreement and meet its deadlines, and hoped that recent meetings between South Sudan’s leadership show a renewed spirit of cooperation. We commend the actions of the Intergovernmental Authority on Development (IGAD) to broker the agreement and maintain momentum and take hope from the continued reduction in overall violence in South Sudan.

For too long, conflict has been waged at the expense of South Sudan’s most vulnerable and continues to exacerbate humanitarian needs. We encourage the parties, especially the current government, to take concrete steps to build trust through enhanced cooperation. With the November 12 deadline looming, extended from May, much more needs to be done urgently to ensure the success of the transitional government. Progress would help maintain the confidence of all the parties and the international community, demonstrate that the parties have the political will to work together during the transitional period, and provide the opportunity for the international community to engage productively with an inclusive, new government.

We welcome the discussions of IGAD countries in Addis Ababa last week; the region and the international community’s investment and engagement in a peaceful South Sudan remains important. The Troika will continue to stand with and support the people of South Sudan, who want and deserve peace and a government that protects its people. We urge the South Sudanese parties to meet the November 12 deadline to form a transitional government that will enable the conditions for a constructive relationship during the next phase of South Sudan’s peace process. We encourage South Sudanese leaders to build on momentum generated by the ongoing UNSC visit to South Sudan to accelerate such progress.

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South Sudan: Does Mr. Amsterdam knows who he gotten retained by?

The South Sudanese rebels of Thomas Cirillo Swaka of National Salvation Front (NAS), Gen. Paul Malong of South Sudan United Front/Army (SSUF/A) and Gen. Pagan Amum of Real-Sudanese People Liberation Movement (R-SPLM) through a press release made by Amsterdam & Partners LLP revealed that they had retained the company.

I don’t know if the lawyers and representatives knows who they represent, as the statement is directly putting all blame for all the issues in South Sudan on President Salva Kiir. Surely, parts of the problems is his fault, but not all of them. Certainly, there are more actors and more heads involved, which these gentlemen knows. Because, they know they have history with the government and what it has done over the years.

Like for instance Gen. Paul Malong, who is known for: “Malong served as Chief of General Staff of the SPLA from April 23, 2014, to May 2017. In his former position as the Chief of General Staff, he expanded or extended the conflict in South Sudan through breaches of the Cessation of Hostilities Agreement and breaches of the 2015 Agreement on the Resolution of the Conflict in South Sudan (ARCSS). As of early August 2016, Malong reportedly directed efforts to kill South Sudanese opposition leader Riek Machar. Malong, knowingly countermanding President Salva Kiir’s orders, ordered the 10 July 2016 tank, helicopter gunship, and infantry assaults on Machar’s residence and the Sudan Peoples’ Liberation Movement in Opposition (SPLM-IO)’s “Jebel” base. Malong personally oversaw efforts from SPLA headquarters to intercept Machar. As of early August 2016, Malong wanted the SPLA to attack Machar’s suspected position immediately and informed SPLA commanders that Machar was not to be taken alive. In addition, in early 2016 information indicates that Malong ordered SPLA units to prevent the transport of humanitarian supplies across the Nile River, where tens of thousands of civilians were facing hunger, claiming that food aid would be diverted from civilians to militia groups. As a result of Malong’s orders, food supplies were blocked from crossing the Nile for at least two weeks” (United Nations Security Council – Paul Malong).

Then you have Thomas Cirillo, who has done this: “To bolster positions in areas under their influence, NAS and affiliated armed groups/elements resorted to violence to compel civilian cooperation and to prevent communities from supporting the local administration. To this end, they engaged in targeted killings, including through beheading, as a deliberate strategy to terrorize local populations. SPLA-IO (RM) elements employed similar tactics to dissuade civilians from supporting NAS and affiliated armed groups/elements” (…) “In addition to the 50 civilians killed by organized armed opposition groups during clashes between September and December 2018, HRD documented 11 victims of targeted killings. In these cases, the victims were male and were killed after being captured at checkpoints, while traveling to farms or markets, or as they were returning to their villages. According to eyewitnesses and family members of the victims, most were killed while travelling without the alleged “authorization” delivered by these armed groups and were suspected of providing information or other support to the Government” (UNMISS – ‘CONFLICT-RELATED VIOLATIONS AND ABUSES IN CENTRAL EQUATORIA – September 2018—April 2019 (3 July 2019)).

Then there is the final man, Gen. Pagan Amum: “(SBU) Manoa claimed that the NCP wants Pagan Amum to be Minister of Cabinet Affairs in order to weaken the SPLM. He pointed out that although the NCP considers Amum to be pro-unity, originally Pagan Amum began his political activity as a member of “Anyanya-2,” a southern separatist movement in Khartoum” (Cablegate: Splm Ministers Sworn in, Pagan Amum Is Minister of Cabinet, 27.12.2007). “Cde Pagan, you would wish me dead as I am the only person who could expose you as a former terrorist (Hostage taker for ransom) and a communist who is hypocritically in bed with USA establishment. Cde Pagan, you also know that I am aware that Sudan Communist Party had recalled back all their card holding members including you. Of course no body knows other than me that you have been both running SPLM and Sudan Communist Party offices in Havanna – Cuba all the years you have been there. Beside the above, the most serious fundamental difference between me and you is that you believe in New Sudan and I am a simple Southern Sudanese Nationalist who fought hard and sacrificed my life for people of Southern Sudan to exercise the Right of Self Determination. In the last INC meeting, I proposed frankly to the INC in your presence the need to abolish the position of a Secretary General in the SPLM because I clearly detected Stalinism rapidly sprouting in you and must be nipped in the bud before it is too late. Cde Pagan, you positively identified the leadership inheritance syndrome in the Chairman and took advantage of it” (Aleu Ayieny Ale – You Remind Me Comrade Pagan, 06.07.2015).

Surely, Robert Amsterdam, the attorney retained should know this. That even as they are in opposition. They are not the cleanest crew. These are not the angels on the side-lines, which he can white-wash and prepare to walk in the halls of fame. This are warlords, these are people with a reputation and history, which cannot be forgotten. No matter how bad the government is too. Because, they have to answer for their own misgivings and trouble created, in civil war, during cease-fire and so-on.

Even if Amsterdam says this: “The people of South Sudan have been subjected to a series of systemic human rights violations by the current administration and its security services for years; something which the new nation may not recover from for a whole generation or more,” said Robert Amsterdam (…)“According to Mr. Amsterdam, “to date, no justice has been delivered to the many victims of this long-running conflict, which we argue was instigated by Mr. Salva Kiir himself in December 2013.” (Amsterdam, 21.10.2019). Which is true in a way, he should know whom he represents, and what they have done in power. As well as in opposition and they continue to do so. These people are not peace speaking monks, but generals, soldiers and warriors in a long-term battle. Therefore, he should know that the stories might be twisted to fit their prerogative. Peace.

South Sudan: Troika Statement, October 2019 (21.10.2019)

The text of the following statement was issued jointly by the governments of the United States, Norway, and the United Kingdom:

South Sudan faces a critical moment in the journey toward a peaceful and prosperous future. There are now less than four weeks for political leaders to form a transitional government as they committed to in the Revitalized Agreement on the Resolution of the Conflict in the Republic of South Sudan. The United States, the United Kingdom, and Norway (the Troika) have consistently welcomed assurances by the parties to implement the agreement and meet its deadlines, and hoped that recent meetings between South Sudan’s leadership show a renewed spirit of cooperation. We commend the actions of the Intergovernmental Authority on Development (IGAD) to broker the agreement and maintain momentum and take hope from the continued reduction in overall violence in South Sudan.

For too long, conflict has been waged at the expense of South Sudan’s most vulnerable and continues to exacerbate humanitarian needs. We encourage the parties, especially the current government, to take concrete steps to build trust through enhanced cooperation. With the November 12 deadline looming, extended from May, much more needs to be done urgently to ensure the success of the transitional government. Progress would help maintain the confidence of all the parties and the international community, demonstrate that the parties have the political will to work together during the transitional period, and provide the opportunity for the international community to engage productively with an inclusive, new government.

We welcome the discussions of IGAD countries in Addis Ababa last week; the region and the international community’s investment and engagement in a peaceful South Sudan remains important. The Troika will continue to stand with and support the people of South Sudan, who want and deserve peace and a government that that protects its people. We urge the South Sudanese parties to meet the November 12 deadline to form a transitional government that will enable the conditions for a constructive relationship during the next phase of South Sudan’s peace process. The UNSC visit to South Sudan offers an opportunity for the international community to discuss with South Sudanese leaders how to accelerate such progress.

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South Sudan: R-TGoNU in waiting

Well, today’s reports from Juba says itself. The deadline for the R-ARCSS of 12th November 2019 will not be met. Even if the foreign stakeholders and United Nations pressure the parties to settle it by that time. This might be a push to hard, as the positioning of the South Sudan Opposition Movement (SSOM), SPLM-IO and others might not be met. The cost will be another marriage, which will end in tanks on the streets of Juba like in 2016. And we don’t want to see that.

Therefore, even as the deadline looms. Maybe give the parties time to settle things. Even if it costs. Because, SPLM, SPLM-IO, Real-SPLM, SPLM-FD and SSOM needs to be part of the new transitional government on terms accepted by all. This means, that Kiir and Machar doesn’t only need to keep their soldiers at bay, but also ensure that the others doesn’t violate the requirements made. That is not an easy task. That’s why the IGAD, the UNMISS, CSTAMVM, RJMEC and so-on needs to continue to oversee and ensure the stakeholders do their thing. Since, they are all there already and we don’t want to see it go out of hand. Let them stop the cease-fire and let the full force of contained soldiers on the loose. We don’t want that, because that might happen if we force the R-TGoNU to fast.

Here’s today’s statements, which is interesting, but telling.

Government Press Release:

President Salva Kiir Mayardit and the opposition leader Dr. Riek Machar were briefed by the leadership of the Security Council, the Joint Defense Board at the State House on Sunday. The meeting focused on addressing the outstanding critical issues related to security arrangements and number of states hindering the implementation of the peace deal. The Minister of Information and Telecommunication, Michael Makuei Lueth who is the official government spokesperson said, President Kiir and Dr. Riek were presented with the security report concerning the implementation of the security arrangements. Michael Makuei said, the two parties will meet again to come out with the final decision on whether the transitional government of national unity will be formed or otherwise” (South Sudan Presidential Press Unit, 20.10.2019)

SPLM-IO Press Release:

On the Meeting of President Salva Kiir and Dr. Riek Machar with the R-ARCSS Security Mechanisms. H. E. Salva Kiir Mayardit, President of the Republic of South Sudan and H.E. Dr. Riek Machar Teny-Dhurgon, Chairman and Commander in Chief of the People’s Movement SPLM/SPLA (IO), held a fruitful meeting with the R-ARCSS Security Mechanisms today at the State House (J1), as agreed upon by the two principals during the face-to-face consultative meeting held yesterday October 19, 2019. The Two principals received comprehensive updates from all Security Mechanisms on the status of the security arrangements, the achievements, the ongoing activities, the timeline and the challenges. The Mechanisms was instructed to proceed conducting their activities as per the Revitalized Agreement. Cde. Puok Both Baluang, SPLM (IO) Director for Information and Public Relations” (SPLM-IO, 20.10.2019).

Let us all remember that its just a little minute ago since the parties agreed upon the 27th June 2018 and sign the Khartoum Declaration. Later last year they agreed upon R-ARCSS on the 12th September 2018. So, November 2019 would only be one year and month after the signing of the comprehensive agreement and ceasefire arrangement. Therefore, to consider the implications and the implementation of it in that short span was well, in hindsight that was a short time-frame to finish such an extensive agreement.

That should also the foreign stakeholders considers, as the costs of giving-up or even force it upon the parties. Might cost more, than actually just give way to them. So, that they can find the stipulations and the statutes to reconfigure again. Since, the try-out in 2016 didn’t go well. This time around, the parties might want to do it more. Because, they see the goodwill it gives both in Khartoum and in Addis Ababa.

Nevertheless, the situation and stalemate cannot last forever. This is one more hitch along the road. But that shouldn’t mean the process is over yet. Just that its one more hurdle and a little more to give before it hopefully returns a R-TGoNU and such. Peace.

With support from WHO, South Sudan establishes capacities for Ebola, influenza and other infectious disease surveillance (18.10.2019)

Juba, 18 October 2019: To enhance capacities for timely confirmation and prompt response to emerging disease outbreaks, South Sudan is establishing molecular testing capacities for influenza and other high-threat infectious diseases like Ebola virus disease (EVD), Yellow Fever, Marburg virus disease (MVD) and Rift Valley Fever (RVF).

The absence of in-country capacities for molecular testing has been a significant setback for prompt initiation of recommended public health responses to influenza outbreaks and other emerging threats. This gap prompted WHO Regional Office for Africa to fund procurement of a Real-Time Polymerase chain reaction (PCR) machine.

“This is very exciting and a big step forward for South Sudan”, says Dr Olushayo Olu, WHO Representative for South Sudan. “The National Public Health Laboratory has successfully tested two cases from Nimule with an average turnaround time of four hours from the receipt of the samples to reporting of results. This is a milestone in the country’s capacity reducing the time for diagnosis from days to hours.”

Diagnosing infectious diseases using PCR offers conclusive test results to support prompt initiation of recommended public health response. It also reduces the cost of transporting samples outside the country; and enhances national compliance to the International Health Regulations (2005) core capacities.

With the installation of the PCR machine, South Sudan is able to perform confirmatory testing for influenza, EVD and other high threat diseases, thus putting the country at par with other countries in the region., Real-time PCR technology options are increasingly being used in resource-limited settings because they are faster and have higher output.

As part of its efforts to strengthen the National Public Health Laboratory, WHO is providing ongoing mentoring and support of laboratory staff as testing methodologies and processes are setup. WHO will also support the establishment of a Laboratory Quality Management System for the molecular laboratory in South Sudan.

Since the declaration of EVD outbreak in North Kivu and Ituri provinces of the Democratic Republic of the Congo, a total of 92 alerts have been reported and tested in South Sudan using GeneXpert, of which 45 met case definitions, tested negative by GeneXpert in South Sudan and were sent to Uganda Virus Research Institute (UVRI) for confirmatory testing, once again all tested negative for EVD.

ABOUT WHO:

The World Health Organization is the specialized agency of the United Nations Public Health Organization. Its goal is to bring all people to the highest possible level of health. WHO’s role is to lead and coordinate international health within the United Nations system. It leads on key health issues and encourages partnerships where joint action is needed. Through offices in more than 150 countries, the World Health Organization supports countries in achieving their health objectives and supports their national health policies and strategies. For more information on WHO and its activities, visit www.who.int.

For Additional Information or to Request Interviews, Please contact:

Dr Wamala Joseph Francis
Tel : +211923362401
Email: wamalaj@who.int
Ms Jemila M. Ebrahim

Communications Officer
Mobile: +211 921 647 859
Email: ebrahimj@who.int

The 886th meeting of the Peace and Security Council on the situation in the Republic of South Sudan: Communique (15.10.2019)

ICJ Kenya: Open Letter to H.E. Uhuru Kenyatta – Re: A Call to Respect and Support Judicial Independence (18.10.2019)

Kenya: Babu Owino MP – Statement on Recent Happenings in Public Universities and the Way Forward (16.10.2019)

DPP’s Statement on the Kibra Constituency and Ganda Ward, Malindi Constituency Incidents (16.10.2019)

South Sudan: SPLM/A-IO – Press Release – Re: On the Statements of the US and British Ambassadors to Juba, South Sudan (14.10.2019)

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