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South Sudan: Humanitarian Response Eases Famine, But Food Insecurity Reaches Unprecedented Levels (22.06.2017)

Following the famine declaration, humanitarian organizations ramped-up their response in Leer, Mayendit, Koch and Panyinjiar, reaching more than 320,000 People.

GENEVA, Switzerland, June 22, 2017 – The Humanitarian Coordinator for South Sudan, Eugene Owusu, today welcomed the findings of the latest Integrated Phase Classification (IPC) data which highlight that early warning and the mobilization of a large-scale, multi-sectoral humanitarian response, have eased famine in Leer and Mayendit counties, and prevented it in Koch and Panyijiar counties, in South Sudan.

“I applaud the humanitarian community for the rapid scale-up of humanitarian response in famine-affected and at-risk areas in Unity,” said Mr. Owusu. “We deployed teams to dangerous and difficult locations and faced many challenges along the way, including clashes which forced us to relocate aid workers and delay distributions. But we were not dissuaded, and our collective efforts ultimately prevented the catastrophe from escalating.”

The Humanitarian Coordinator, however, urged the international community and humanitarian actors not to become complacent, as an unprecedented 6 million people are now severely food insecure, including 45,000 facing catastrophic food insecurity in Leer, Koch and Mayendit in Unity, and Ayod in Jonglei, and 1.7 million in IPC Phase 4, on the brink of famine.

“Half of the people across this country are severely food insecure, we are facing the longest and most widespread cholera outbreak since South Sudan became independent, and the number of people internally displaced has topped 2 million,” warned Mr. Owusu. “These are the devastating consequences of conflict, which has taken a daily toll on the desperate civilians of this nation.”

Following the famine declaration, humanitarian organizations ramped-up their response in Leer, Mayendit, Koch and Panyinjiar, reaching more than 320,000 people. Rapid response missions were carried out in at least 17 locations, and humanitarian organizations delivered vital and life-saving services, including food, emergency healthcare, vaccinations, nutritional treatments, seeds and tools for livelihoods, clean water, and critical non-food items, such as blankets, kitchen sets and mosquito nets. Each of these interventions played a critical role in halting and preventing famine.

“Despite the good news today that we have arrested the localized famine in Leer and Mayendit, we face greater needs in South Sudan than ever before,” said Mr. Owusu. “This is the time to redouble our efforts and expand our response. To do this, we urgently need free, safe and unhindered humanitarian access, and funding to respond to the escalating crisis. I call on all parties to the conflict to cease attacks against civilians, and to uphold their responsibilities under international humanitarian law. Until the violence stops, humanitarian needs will continue to grow.”

“Nimble and pro-active” peacekeeping response to be replicated in other crisis situations in South Sudan (22.06.2017)

David Shearer, the Head of the UN peacekeeping mission in South Sudan, UNMISS, was speaking in Aburoc in the Upper Nile region where up to 25,000 people had taken refuge from conflict.

JUBA, South Sudan, June 22, 2017 – United Nations peacekeepers in South Sudan have been praised by the most senior UN official in the country for a “nimble and pro-active” response in support of humanitarians dealing with an emergency.

David Shearer, the Head of the UN peacekeeping mission in South Sudan, UNMISS, was speaking in Aburoc in the Upper Nile region where up to 25,000 people had taken refuge from conflict.

The village, which numbered some 5,000 people before the arrival of the displaced people, was lacking in water, food and health services.

UNMISS helicoptered in 80 Rwandan peacekeepers together with armoured vehicles to Aburoc at the beginning of April creating better security conditions for the arrival of the humanitarian community, two days later.

Mr Shearer, who is also the Special Representative of the UN Secretary-General, in South Sudan said “the presence of peacekeeping troops undoubtedly provided the security and confidence that humanitarian agencies needed to operate in this remote and dangerous area.”

“A cholera outbreak was stopped,” he added, “and hundreds of lives were saved as a result of this combined action together with a highly effective response by humanitarian agencies.”

“With the possibility that Aburoc was going to become a humanitarian disaster area it was important that everyone moved quickly,” Mr Shearer said. “I was very pleased peacekeepers were ready to deploy nimbly and proactively. A light and effective footprint on the ground was what was needed.”

“It’s great that UNMISS has shown this response to an emergency situation and are ready should another crisis occur in other parts of South Sudan,” he added.

The UNMISS deployment to Aburoc was planned to last a month but was extended by two weeks.

Humanitarian agencies remain in Aburoc providing life-saving services to the almost 11,000 people who remain there. UNMISS support is being continued through air patrols from Malakal.

South Sudan: The National Dialogue meetings in Entebbe under the leadership of Museveni seems like a front!

Entebbe State House 26. May 2017

South Sudan People’s Liberation Movement/ Army (SPLM/A) In-Government (IG), the central leadership of South Sudan and the party of the President. This is the leadership of President Salva Kiir Mayardit and his First Vice-President (FVP) Taban Deng-Gai. They have launched the National Dialogue and the Government facilitated peace negotiations.

This is going on with the chief peacemaker President Yoweri Kaguta Museveni, who has had three meetings at the State House in Entebbe in Uganda. That has happen recently with different parts som SPLM/A, but not parts of the SPLM-IO. Other parts of the National Dialogue are lacking the implementation and the needed focus of all stakeholders in the conflict. Since the peace meetings with Museveni and on accord from President Kiir haven’t included the rebels or other militias. Therefore, the SPLM/A meetings in Entebbe is more for show, than initial peace meetings. Unless, these are to reign in all parts of the SPLM/A Organization and keep them loyal to the President.

The South Sudanese meditation of Intergovernmental Authority on Development (IGAD) that we’re with the 31st Extraordinary Summit on the crisis in South Sudan, this was a planned meeting and mediation there. A meeting that had a delegation from SPLM/A-IG, but not with the President Kiir. That Festus Mogae who works for Joint Monitoring and Evaluation Commission (JMEC), who monitors the crisis, but has a weak mandate, therefore not possible to reach the states and the violations of the agreements. The same can be said by IGAD, also the African Union is not using their powers or the essential powers to stabilize the republic. As well, as there is no will in the East African Community (EAC), to act upon the troubles and take charge, even as the peacekeepers from AU and United Nations (UN) has had the impact execpt for keeping the Internally Displaced People’s (IDPs).

So with this in mind and the refugee crisis as well from the Republic. The Ugandan counterpart is only follow protocol on accord basis with President Kiir. Since he is not involving anyone, unless Kiir gives way. Therefore, the National Dialogue with the partnership of Museveni isn’t real. The reality of the dialogue is a side-show who buys Kiir time to find ways to solve their outstanding issues. Instead of finding peace, but finding weakness of rebels so he can overpower them.

With the external facilitation is not there and strong enough to control the SPLM/A-IG or have consultation of the rebels. There are enough issues at hand, as the international organizations are feeding the needed with corridors of transport through Sudan. So there are enough issues as hand, that even rebellion and leadership problems inside the SPLM-N in Sudan. That is why you know Museveni only touches this one, because he can see fortunes coming his way later.

Bu the true peace will not come through the National Dialogue, just like the JMEC, IGAD or AU have solved the crisis and civil war between the fractions of South Sudan. It has lasted so long already and nearly been moments of rest. The arms and guns, the instability and the acts of violence continues. The innocent are fleeing and their villages are burning. This is not how it is supposed to be. Peace.

South Sudan: GoU letter to SPLM-IO – “Re: Invitation to Attend SPLM/A Consultation Meeting in Entebbe on the 16th June 2017” (15.06.2017)

South Sudan: SPLM-IO – “Re: SPLM/A Consultation on 16 June 2017 in Entebbe, Uganda” (15.06.2017)

South Sudan: More weapons and ammunition destroyed in Abyei (15.06.2017)

About 25 weapons and more than 470 ammunition confiscated by the troops of UNISFA were destroyed by the Ethiopian Demining Military Platoon (EDMP) and United Nations Mine Action Service (UNMAS).

ABYEI, South Sudan, June 15, 2017 – As part of the continuing efforts to reduce the impact and risk of explosive hazards in Abyei, the United Nations Interim Security Force for Abyei (UNISFA) on 12 June 2017 conducted another destruction exercise of confiscated weapons and ammunition.

About 25 weapons and more than 470 ammunition confiscated by the troops of UNISFA were destroyed by the Ethiopian Demining Military Platoon (EDMP) and United Nations Mine Action Service (UNMAS).

The weapon and ammunition management (WAM) activity took place after the soldiers of the EDMP completed a training course conducted by experts of UNMAS. The course was designed to provide quality assurance WAM activities, as well as to enhance the knowledge of soldiers and experts to meet international mine action standards.

“Together, we are pursuing the fulfillment of the UNISFA mandate to confiscate and destroy small arms and ammunition in the Abyei Area,” said UNISFA’s acting Head of Mission and Force Commander Major General Tesfay Gidey Hailemichael.

The activity has become the benchmark of the cooperation between the EDMP and UNMAS, for the benefit of peace and security for both the residents and nomad communities in the Abyei area.

The destruction of weapons and incineration of ammunition were witnessed by UNISFA and UNMAS senior leadership namely Mr Alan Doyle, UNISFA Chief of Mission Support and Mr Leon Louw, UNMAS Programme Manager.

Since July 2016, a total of 41 weapons were destroyed and 1817 ammunition were incinerated by UNISFA and UNMAS. The cooperation between UNISFA and UNMAS started in December 2011, following a mine incident in August 2011, which killed four UNISFA peacekeepers and injured seven others. Since UNMAS’ deployment, no UNISFA personnel has fallen victim to either landmines or explosive remnant of war (ERW), and a substantial amount of work was done to rid the Abyei area of the threat of ERW and landmines.

There are a possible return of UPDF in South Sudan!

It is ironic as the National Dialogue for Peace is supposed to be implemented and worked upon, as the different stakeholders and parties would be listen too. Even if the SPLM/A-IO would send a team, but not Dr. Riek Machar. Still, the government and their army are meeting new rebellions and armies attacking them. The newest is in solidarity to King Malong, as they are this week started the South Sudan Patriotic Army (SSPA), these are starting their warfare in Northern Bahr Al Ghazal under the command of Agany Abdel-Baqi Ayii Akol. So it is more issues growing and more armies working against the SPLM/A-IG. That means so many are rebelling against President Salva Kiir Mayardit. This is worrying, as the National Dialogue are supposed to start talks and consider the different stakeholders. Instead, it seems more like ploy for the center-stage, so the international donors and such see that the central government tries to create peace. Therefore, the newest leaks of possible actions from Uganda inside in South Sudan. Show’ s the relationship between President Yoweri Kaguta Museveni and President Salva Kiir Mayardit. As the rumors and speculations of another time of redeployment, show’s that the Ugandan’s aren’t there just for peace, but for battling the demons of Kiir. Take a look!

The official allegedly said that South Sudanese President Salva Kiir wants Ugandan President Yoweri Museveni to deploy UPDF’s soldiers to some areas he deems a threat to his government. “There is an active discussion between South Sudan and Uganda over the possibility of Uganda’s military re-intervention in our country. Kiir and Museveni started talking about bringing back UPDF to South Sudan last month [May],” the official reportedly said” (…) “Meanwhile, the source was quoted as saying that Kiir and Museveni were infuriated when some leaders of the African Union, United Nations, and other countries publicly admitted that the August 2015 peace agreement is dead, adding, “Kiir and Taban believe the implementation of the peace agreement is going smoothly.” (…) “President Kiir is only implementing what he wants not the peace. The big problem here is that Taban Deng Gai who is now the First Vice President has no power to change anything Kiir wants and it is a big problem,” the source added. The official described the FVP Gai as ‘a man with no real power’ (Adongo, 2017).

In Juba: Uganda People’s Defence Force (UPDF) offered South Sudan border protection assistance which include a join effort on patrolling Juba-Nimule highway according to Press Secretary of the President, Ateny Wek Ateny. The proposal was made on Friday and more details are yet to be release” (MirayaFM, 11.06.2017).

That the Uganda People’s Defence Force (UPDF) and their battalions has been inside South Sudan and was vital part of the SPLA’s victory before the Peace Agreement in 2015. This sophisticated and armed army from Uganda played a big part and also helped the SPLA to secure their upper-hand. Therefore, with this intervention, the UPDF and President Museveni will intervene with more force. There are reports of weapons delivery, ammunition and technical help to the SPLA during this calendar year. So they are just adding and making sure the friendship between the Presidents stay.

President Museveni wants to be the king-maker and he has a loyal ally in President Kiir. This is something he wants to keep, therefore he was the only foreign President in the start of the National Dialogue during May 2017. Which I haven’t had much faith in and with reasons. These reasons are that President Museveni prefers battles he can conquer, not discuss or care about talks. Talks only have value to Museveni if he is the bloody genius and the one with the solving answer.

With this in mind, if the UPDF was re-deployed in South Sudan, it wouldn’t be surprising and shocking. That UPDF with battalions inside South Sudan fighting the rebels, the rebels who has gone against SPLM/A-IG in Juba. So that they would re-enter with battalions as someone says they are plannning. This would differ from the peaceful dialogue the SPLM/A and what President Museveni has said of his engagement in the National Dialogue.

The SPLA has so many fronts and so many rebellions, so if it is true and that the UPDF are going into South Sudan. Than, the President Kiir really has issues and needs help with the troubles at hand. President Kiir seem to need the UPDF and the strength of the Ugandan counterparts in the civil-war in South Sudan. Since he hasn’t had time to build the SPLA and army itself. If the SPLA was winning big and had control of the dire situation, they wouldn’t need the UPDF. Therefore, if this report is true, than the Kiir Government and SPLA are really in trouble with the different obstacles in crisis. And President Museveni would be happy to oblige as his army and his state reserves would not say “no” to the request of being ‘paid in full’ by President Museveni. Peace.

Reference:

Adongo – ‘Uganda plans to re-deploy in South Sudan – reports’ (15.06.2017) link: http://eagle.co.ug/2017/06/15/uganda-plans-to-re-deploy-in-south-sudan-reports.html

Communique of the 31st Extra-Ordinary Summit of IGAD Assembly of Heads of State and Government on South Sudan (12.06.2017)

Cessation of hostilities agreement between Dinka Bor and Murle “first step to dialogue and engagement” (12.06.2017)

David Shearer, who is also the Special Representative of the UN Secretary-General, was speaking during a visit to Bor and Pibor in former Jonglei State in the east of South Sudan.

JUBA, South Sudan, June 12, 2017 – A cessation of hostilities agreement between warring ethnic groups in the Jonglei region is a “first step to dialogue and engagement but we now need to build on that and show that there is a real dividend for peace,” the head of UN peacekeeping in South Sudan, UNMISS, has said.

David Shearer, who is also the Special Representative of the UN Secretary-General, was speaking during a visit to Bor and Pibor in former Jonglei State in the east of South Sudan.

“My hope is that the parties will follow through on their commitments,” Mr Shearer said. “Only through dialogue and engagement can there be any durable peace and then development.”  

“From our side, my visit has strengthened my view that we need to step up the patrolling of the key highway between Bor and Pibor. We will also increase our engineering work to improve roads and infrastructure in the Pibor and Bor region.

“Roads are the lifelines of communities in the area. They stimulate trade and economic activity and jobs. Some are closed because of insecurity, others through disrepair. We can help with both.”

Fighting has “disrupted trade, further degraded the economy causing real suffering for the people here,” Mr Shearer said. “I’ve visited markets in the towns of Bor and Pibor, where people told me that prices are high and produce scarce. That won’t help peace to take root.” 

The agreement between the Dinka Bor and Murle leadership to end hostilities between the two communities was agreed in May and witnessed by Mr Shearer. It outlined clear next steps; the establishment of an investigations committee and a peace conference to address the many grievances on both sides.

Jonglei region has a long history of fighting between ethnic groups which has centered around cattle raiding and child abductions.

South Sudan Diaspora activists condemned civilians killing in the ambush (10.06.2017)

June 10, 2017 (KAMPALA)-The International Youth for Africa has strongly condemned the killing of civilians along the Juba-Nimule road, and urges the South Sudanese rebels and pro-government to desist from civilians attack. Ter Manyang Gatwech, an executive director of (IYA), for the South Sudanese base human right organization in Kampala has blamed the rebels for killing four civilians in the ambush of Friday.

However, the rights body has called on the Sudan People Liberation Movement –In Opposition to stop attacking civilian convoy escort.

“IYA condemned in strongest term possible. Those who claimed the responsibility need to be taken to the court. Both SPLM-IG and SPLM-IO committed a lot of human rights abuse this including arbitrary detention, torture, killing, forced and disappears,” he said.

IYA is urging both the government of South Sudan and the rebels allied to former first vice president Riek Machar to sit down and iron out their differences, through peaceful and recommitted to the 2015 August peace agreement.

“A political agreement should be the first to stop the war then follow by the National Dialogue in the context of reconciliation, forgiveness and accountability.

The venue, should be two phases a constitutional round table to include political parties and main stakeholders, Opposition, Church, youth, women, and community leaders both interior and exterior,” he said.

However, he urged the regional leaders and the international community to pressure both sides to accept peace if it’s forceful mean.

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