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Opinion: IGAD wants sanctions revoked against Sudan, the Employee wants to deliver for its Member!

Ambassador Mahboub Malim said this in August: ““First of all, I am an employee of President Kiir, among other presidents. So, to ask me what I can tell him, is like asking your house helper to tell you to change something in your house. But this is on a light note” (Lumu, 2017).

Again, the Intergovernmental Authority on Development (IGAD) had their meeting in Khartoum, holding their Inter-Parliament Union there. So to show their loyalty between the IGAD Parliamentarians, they have decided that in good faith and also their support of the Republic of Sudan. Member States are clearly now getting positive service and to the government inside the IGAD. Therefore, the supporting effect of the IGAD is dwindling down, since it is more a big microphone, than actually being there for strengthening the nations themselves.

The final communique has called for revolting the unjust economic sanctions imposed against the Sudan so that the country would take its natural position at the regional and international arenas. The conference has meanwhile called for boosting the roles of the government in achieving peace and raising awareness on issues related to environmental questions. The conference also stressed the need to put in place legislations that encourage agricultural investment, urging government to exert more efforts for the stability at home and to refrain from intervention in the domestic affairs of others” (SUNA, 2017).

Khartoum, Sep. 18 (SUNA) – Meetings of the 12th session of the Executive Council and Ninth Conference of the Speakers of Parliaments of the IGAD Member States were Monday concluded at the Friendship Hall. The conference recommended lifting of the American sanctions being imposed on Sudan to enable it restore its normal position at the regional and international levels” (SUNA, 2017).

That IGAD wants the Sudanese government to get their sanctioned ceased. This while the arms are getting distributed in Darfur. Also the troubles in Blue Nile State. The Sudanese State are clearly involved with crimes against humanity and the vicious violence against their own citizens. Therefore, the IGAD proposing to end sanctions should have made more progress. As even militias and state army has inflicted hurt to UN PoC Camps in Darfur. If they want the moral high-ground they should actually make sure one of their states are in peace. That Sudanese government can work with SPLM-N and other opposition parties in the Republic.

IGAD are now acting indifference to the situation, as the government has troubles with their domestic affairs. Since they have civil-war in Darfur. There is also trouble in other states, as well as the relationship and the border states of South Sudan. IGAD should try to make sure the Sudan government had made sure for peace, not to build-up their confidence and think they could get away with violence in Darfur, that continues for years upon end. And still continuing! Peace.

Reference:

Lumu, David – ‘IGAD boss applauds Uganda on South Sudan’ (23.08.2017) – New Vision Article

Sudan News Agency – ‘IGAD Parliamentarians Call for Revoking Economic Sanctions against the Sudan’ (18.09.2017) link: http://suna-sd.net/suna/showNews/354065/en?utm_source=dlvr.it&utm_medium=twitter

Sudan News Agency – ‘Ninth Conference of the Speakers of Parliaments of the IGAD Member States Concluded in Khartoum’ (18.09.2017) link: http://suna-sd.net/suna/showNews/354068/en?utm_source=dlvr.it&utm_medium=twitter

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Arms proliferation continues in Darfur, but area remains largely calm, Security Council told (14.09.2017)

NEW YORK – The situation in Darfur has been largely calm in recent months, but there is continued violence fuelled by a proliferation of weapons and competition over natural resources, a senior United Nations official today told the Security Council.

“Most of the insecurity currently experienced in Darfur can be attributed to the tensions originating from the underlying causes of the conflict, exacerbated by the proliferation of arms in the hands of civilians and militia groups,” said Jeremiah Mamabolo, Special Representative and Head of the African Union-UN Hybrid Operation in Darfur (UNAMID).

“Inter-communal disputes usually triggered by competition over land, water, livestock and mineral resources, have become increasingly violent due to the availability of weapons,” added Mr. Mamabolo.

The Government is carrying out an arms control campaign but reactions to the arms collection campaign “vary,” according to Mr. Mamabolo, who noted that the opposition and groups who did not sign the peace agreement are opposed to it.

Briefing the 15-member Council in New York on quarterly developments in the region of Sudan, Mr. Mamabolo noted progress on the implementation of the peace agreement is “limited.”

That agreement was signed in 2012 by the Government of Sudan and the Liberation and Justice Movement (LJM), based on the Doha Document for Peace in Darfur (DDPD), which calls for a permanent ceasefire and comprehensive peace agreement to end the fighting.

Progress is particularly limited on issues such as “durable solutions to displacement, the administration of land, water, and other scarce resources, and the issue of armed militias,” Mr. Mamabolo said.

He also noted that efforts on an inclusive peace agreement by the AU High-level Implementation Panel (AUHIP), with support of UNAMID, remain “inconclusive” due to a stalemate between the Government and one of the parties.

“We call upon the Council and those with influence on the parties to stress the importance of a political settlement and desist from bringing more suffering to the very people that they profess to represent,” said Mr. Mamabolo.

Among other issues raised, Mr. Mamabolo said that cooperation between the UN and the Government of Sudan has “noticeably improved” with a more open humanitarian environment and faster approval of movements within Darfur and clearance of visas, except for human rights staff.

UNAMID expresses concern over allegations of improper team site handovers (11.09.2017)

In line with the mandate, the Mission is reducing the number of military, police and civilian personnel, and has earmarked 11 team sites for closure across Darfur.

KHARTOUM, Sudan, September 11, 2017 – UNAMID is concerned about recent allegations of improper handover of team sites in North Darfur as part of its mandated reconfiguration.

The Mission would like to reiterate that as per the United Nations Security Council Resolution 2363, of 29 June, 2017, extending UNAMID’s mandate until 30 June 2018, its strategic priorities in Darfur remain the same—protecting civilians, facilitating access and security for humanitarian actors and working to ameliorate the root causes of communal conflict.

Furthermore, moving forward, UNAMID will take a two-pronged approach incorporating both peacekeeping and stabilization.

In line with the mandate, the Mission is reducing the number of military, police and civilian personnel, and has earmarked 11 team sites for closure across Darfur.

Four team sites have been closed to date: Malha, Mellit and Um Kadada, North Darfur, and Muhajeria, East Darfur. Seven team sites are yet to be closed. These are Abu Shouk, Tine, Habila, Forobaranga, Tulus, Eid Al Fursan and Zam Zam.

Closed team sites have been handed over to the Government of Sudan or appropriate private parties as per lease agreements signed by the Mission.

Opinion: Ambassador Mahboub Maalim in an interview states the IGAD failure in South Sudan and why!

The Intergovernmental Authority on Development (IGAD) have been in-charge and had a pivotal role in the peacemaking in South Sudan. Not that it has stopped the civil-war that has escalated since June 2016. The Sudanese People’s Liberation Movement/Army (SPLM/A) and Sudanese People’s Liberation Movement/Army In-Opposition (SPLM/A-IO), also between more rebel fractions inside the Republic, as the Ugandans are trying to enforce unite inside the SPLM. This as there are different states that the rebels and opposition have been strong, while the United Nations Mission in South Sudan (UNMISS) has not had the leadership to secure the Protection of Civilians sites in the Republic. Therefore, the interview of Mahboub Maalim of IGAD in New Vision was exposing something dire. Take a look!

Ambassador Mahboub Maalim on IGAD:

First of all, I am an employee of President Kiir, among other presidents. So, to ask me what I can tell him, is like asking your house helper to tell you to change something in your house. But this is on a light note. President Kiir has been told a lot by his compatriots, heads of state from the region and African Union (AU), and those in the international community circles. People know that the South Sudanese do not have to continue dying after having achieved what they fought for. The situation in South Sudan is very unfortunate, and like you have said, IGAD has done a lot to try to stay on top of it. Recently, the heads of state of IGAD appointed a special IGAD envoy for South Sudan. Hopefully, we will see a lot of changes in the run-up to the operationalisation of the peace agreement in South Sudan” (…) “If the people in South Sudan are saying that we have failed them, I would not get surprised. If I was in their shoes, I would say the same. If I was like them, sitting in a sewage-logged UN camp in my own country, I would feel the same. But just to encourage them, IGAD has tried very much to ameliorate the problems in South Sudan since the problems started in 2013. In 2014, IGAD heads of state had a special meeting to just discuss South Sudan. It has never happened in our history that over 14 heads of state convene to discuss one subject. South Sudan is at the heart of everybody. Of course, whether this will be solved today or tomorrow depends on the goodwill of the South Sudanese themselves” (Lumu, 2017).

That the Ambassador said one vital thing, that he could not push the member states around. Since he could not tell what was wrong in someones else house, like to President Salva Kiir Mayardiit and his South Sudan. The Ambassador also wasn’t shocked if the they felt the IGAD had failed. They have really failed since ARCISS (Agreement for a Resolution of the Conflict in South Sudan, Agreement on the Resolution of the Conflict in the Republic of South Sudan, 2015). Doesn’t seem to be revived or anywhere near being fulfilled.

President Kiir and Dr. Riek Machar of SPLM/A-IO are really battling for supremacy. Together with all the deflectors and deserters from both major armies that are making the situation more problematic. Since the IGAD has not made the peace-agreement work, nor had the capacity to make a successful negotiations between all parties. The South Sudanese should feel betrayed, when the Ambassador Mahboub Maalim are saying: “I am an employee of President Kiir, among other presidents. So, to ask me what I can tell him, is like asking your house helper to tell you to change something in your house”.

So it is not like the IGAD wants to rock the boat, as it is an entity respecting its member states and their direct leadership. Peace.

Reference:

Lumu, David – ‘IGAD boss applauds Uganda on South Sudan’ (23.08.2017) – New Vision Article

UK Continues to Support Most Vulnerable in Sudan Through Cash Assistance (21.08.2017)

KHARTOUM, Sudan, August 21, 2017 –  The United Kingdom has contributed £4.5 million (US$5.8 million) to the United Nations World Food Programme (WFP) to provide essential food assistance to nearly 370,000 internally displaced people (IDPs) in Darfur for two months.

The Department for International Development (DFID) contribution will allow WFP to support IDPs through cash-based transfers, which will provide people with vouchers and e-cards so they can buy food and essential supplies of their choice at contracted local traders.

“The UK Government is committed to working with WFP to meet the humanitarian needs of displaced people within Sudan,” said Acting Head of DFID Sudan Kate Orrick. “We have provided a total of £53.5 million to WFP since 2013, providing vital assistance to hundreds of thousands of people in Sudan and enabling them to start rebuilding their lives.” 

“The use of cash and vouchers enables greater choice and dignity for vulnerable Sudanese, stimulates the local economy, and has the greatest positive impact on those receiving our support,” Orrick added.

WFP will use the contribution to support 288,000 IDPs in North and West Darfur states and nearly 81,000 IDPs in Otash camp, located in South Darfur state.

“We are grateful to the people and Government of the UK for this contribution towards our cash programmes, which is a more efficient form of assistance and allows for greater autonomy and dignity while providing a lifeline to those most in need,” said WFP Sudan Representative and Country Director Matthew Hollingworth.

With UK support, WFP successfully launched the first cash programme in Sudan last year in Otash camp in South Darfur. During the pilot phase of the cash transfer programme (October 2016 to March 2017), nearly 75,000 IDPs in Otash camp received approximately US$37.50 per person for five months. The assistance was provided through a prepaid card swiped against a Point of Service (POS) device at pre-selected shops.

In Sudan, the introduction of vouchers in 2009 and cash assistance in 2016 continues to transform the relationship between vulnerable displaced people and their food needs. Cash-based assistance provides people with greater choice of food items and access to locally-preferred ingredients, while stimulating the local economy and supporting WFP’s needs-based approach in a protracted crisis. Over the past six years, WFP in Sudan has expanded the use of cash over regular food distributions. Evidence gathered through ongoing monitoring and feedback from people receiving WFP support shows that cash-based transfers are generally the preferred form of assistance.

Throughout 2017, WFP plans to support more than four million vulnerable people in Sudan, including IDPs, refugees, people affected by climate change and host communities. WFP provides such support through a range of activities, including emergency food assistance, cash-based transfers (or vouchers), nutritional support, and resilience-building activities to help communities become increasingly independent.

IGAD Revitalizing South Sudan Peace Process (18.08.2017)

UN Peacekeeping Mission Head insists on “zero tolerance approach” to militarization of South Sudan’s displaced people camps (10.08.2017)

UNMISS currently protects some 218,000 people in seven POC sites across the country where people have fled due to the ongoing conflict in South Sudan.

JUBA, South Sudan, August 10, 2017 – The Head of the UN Peacekeeping Mission in South Sudan (UNMISS) has insisted that the mission maintains a “zero tolerance approach” to the militarization of camps for people displaced by conflict and that the camps remain civilian in nature.

David Shearer, who is also the Special Representative of the UN Secretary-General, was speaking in Bentiu in the north of the country, where some 115,000 people are currently living in the Mission’s largest Protection of Civilians site or POC.

Last month, 22 armed men in civilian clothes were taken into custody by Mongolian peacekeepers, after they tried to break into the camp to seek shelter from fighting.

“The only way to keep women and children safe in this camp and others is to make sure they do not become militarized,” Mr Shearer said.

UNMISS currently protects some 218,000 people in seven POC sites across the country where people have fled due to the ongoing conflict in South Sudan.

“Undoubtedly, UNMISS has saved tens of thousands of lives by providing these sanctuaries from violence, but ultimately,” Mr Shearer added “we need to find a longer-term solution so that these people can return home and live productive lives.”

“Only those people in imminent danger and whose lives are at risk should be sheltering in these sites,” the UNMISS Head said.

UN Police Officers are working with community groups in the POC sites to ensure that military groups are unable to find refuge there.

“UNMISS is stepping up peacekeeping patrols outside many of its POC sites to build confidence for local people to return home,” said David Shearer. “That needs to go hand in hand with the efforts of humanitarian agencies to provide targeted assistance to surrounding communities to support that return.”

Southern Sudan Associated Advocates letter to the Kenyan Embassy: “Re: Targeting of South Sudanese in Kenya” (04.08.2017)

In South Sudan, UN peacekeeping chief pledges support to displaced civilians in Malakal (04.08.2017)

Continued civil conflict has plagued South Sudan, since December 2013.

WASHINGTON D.C., United States of America, August 4, 2017 – Having witnessed first-hand various security challenges and humanitarian efforts in South Sudan, the United Nations peacekeeping chief has wrapped up his three-day mission to the country, which included a visit to the UN Protection of Civilians site in Malakal, where he expressed the Organization’s resolve to support the return to stability.

“We are determined to continue doing our best to help the population,” said Jean-Pierre Lacroix, Under-Secretary-General for UN Peacekeeping Operations said after visiting Malakal.

Continued civil conflict has plagued South Sudan, since December 2013. A brokered peace deal signed in August 2015 has not completely taken hold, causing hundreds of thousands to flee amidst burgeoning humanitarian challenges.

Mr. Lacroix visited the UN Protection of Civilians (PoC) site in Malakal, where 30,000 people struggle to survive. Since its formation, the internally displaced persons (IDPs) site has offered refuge to countless South Sudanese escaping conflict around their homes.

Troops on the ground briefed him on various security concerns, obstacles and humanitarian efforts underway to assist the local population.

“My visit to Malakal was quite informative on the efforts that are being made to support the population there – the IDPs – but also the population as a whole, irrespective of their affiliation,” he maintained.

Through a translator, one IDP living there since December 2013 said, “in this camp we are secure,” adding “but still we need more security and peace in this country.”

Accompanied by Special Representative of the Secretary-General David Shearer, Head of the UN Mission in South Sudan (UNMISS), the UN peacekeeping chief spoke with local authorities, as well as the UNMISS team and representatives of UN agencies, both on the humanitarian and development sides.

“We had a good meeting with local authorities in Malakal and we agreed that we should continue to work together and increase our cooperation in order to help the return of stability and also generate better opportunities for the population there,” elaborated Mr. Lacroix.

During the meeting, Peter Col Wal, speaker of the Upper Nile state assembly, urged UNMISS to support peace activities in his state.

Today in the capital, Juba, after wrapping up his three-day visit to the country, Mr. Lacroix reiterated, at his final press conference, the importance of the initiative led by the Intergovernmental Authority on Development (IGAD) aimed to revitalize the peace agreement.

“Clearly it is a very important and positive thing that the countries in the region are being more engaged in helping South Sudan return to peace,” he said. “The UN has welcomed and supported this new engagement by the IGAD and looks forward to that process moving forward.”

He noted that the UN would continue to closely follow the national dialogue process to ensure that it is conducted in an inclusive and transparent manner, saying that it “can be a helpful instrument in bringing together stakeholders and helping them resolve their differences especially at the local level.”

The peacekeeping chief also called on all parties to stop fighting and to make all efforts towards a cessation of hostilities.

Finally, Mr. Lacroix expressed concern about the dire humanitarian situation and reiterated that the UN is working impartially to help everyone in South Sudan, irrespective of ethnic and religious affiliation.

“The UN is acting impartially in helping everyone in South Sudan, irrespective of their ethnic or religious or any other affiliations. I really appreciate that this impartiality was recognized by the leadership during my meetings with them. So we are determined to continue doing our best to help the population,” he said.

 

South Sudan: SPLM-FPD statement on Martyrs Day 2017 (31.07.2017)

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