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SSNCA orders the Internet Service Providers to block/ban several media houses in South Sudan!

Today Radio Tumazuj, Upper Nile Times, Nyamilepedia and Sudan Tribune has been blocked by Internet Service Providers in South Sudan. This has been done with provisions done by the South Sudan National Communication Authority. Also the director of South Sudan Broadcasting Company (SSBC) Adil Faris Mayat have been arrested for not properly broadcasting his speech earlier in the month. Clearly, the civil war between rebels and government has gone to a level where the reporting are taken as hostages and under threat. If they don’t comply with the government orders and message.

Certainly, the government cannot handle the reporting of the battles in the different provinces, the different comments and statements made by former SPLM/A personnel, who has fled to opposition forces. Secondly, the current famine and fleeing citizens show’s the lacking governance. Where even reported that villages flee when they hear the government army are coming. Instead, of fleeing when the rebels are coming and they are giving food to rebels. This show’s the concerning state of fights in different parts of South Sudan.

That President Salva Kiir Mayardiit and First Vice-President Gen. Taban Deng-Gai feels more alone, most been seen with the attempt to silence media reporting from the battle-lines. Foreign reports has also been banished and been taken out of service in the recent months for their expression of the current conflict. Clearly, the President and the regime cannot manage reporting on the situation. The lack of control from the Central Government and the problems of their conduct. Must be the reason for doing this. Since they want the message that are made correctly for the vision of the President.

All of the media has now to be gagged and silenced, this is worrying. That they can suspend the Internet Service Providers to see certain media houses and newspapers. Also, can arrest journalists and editors. Like it has done in the past. The SPLM/A has to man-up for their crimes and the violence that has been created, they have done lots of it and the same has the rebels. That is why the National Dialogue is currently useless as SPLM/A-IO under Dr. Riek Machar is not participating, which is run by Ugandan President Yoweri Kaguta Museveni. He is the weapon brother of the South Sudanese President. So surely, that must be reason why SPLM/A-IO and Machar doesn’t trust it.

The same shows the media, who the is there to report on injustice and on the violence, who is not allowed or trusted to do so. Are now gagged and silenced by many. The ISP are directed by the SSBC to not show their content in South Sudan, because of their reverse propaganda against the state. This shows that the state cannot handle reporting or articles critical to their agenda. The civil war is taking a toll on their moral and the need for freedom of expression in South Sudan. Peace.

The 691st meeting of the AU PSC on the situation in Darfur, Sudan, and the activities of the AU-United Nations Hybrid Operation in Darfur (UNAMID) – (14.06.2017)

ADDIS ABABA, Ethiopia, June 14, 2017 – The Peace and Security Council of the African Union (AU), at its 691st meeting held on 12 June 2017, adopted the following decision on the situation in Darfur, Sudan, and the activities of the AU-United Nations Hybrid Operation in Darfur (UNAMID):

Council,

1.    Takes note of the Joint Special Report of the Chairperson of the African Union Commission and the Secretary-General of the United Nations on the strategic review of the African Union-United Nations Hybrid Operation in Darfur (UNAMID) [S/2017/437], which was undertaken from 5 to 17 March 2017, as well as of the introductory remarks by Ambassador Smaïl Chergui, the Commissioner for Peace and Security, and the presentation provided by the Joint Special Representative of UNAMID, Ambassador Kingsley Mamabolo. Council also takes note of the statements made by the representatives of Sudan and Egypt, in its capacity as an African Member in the United Nations Security Council (UNSC), as well as those of the Permanent Members of the UNSC, namely, France, United Kingdom and the United States of America;

2.    Recalls its previous communiqués and press statements on the situation in Darfur, including communiqués PSC/PR/COMM.(DCV) and PSC/PR/COMM.(DCLXXIII), adopted at its 605th and 673rd meetings, held on 13 June 2016 and 29 March 2017, respectively. Council also recalls the UN Security Council resolution 2296 (2016)  of  29 June 2016 ;

3.    Reiterates its appreciation to the UNAMID leadership, in particular the Joint Special Representative, the Force Commander and the Police Commissioner, as well as to the Mission’s personnel, for their dedication and contribution to the promotion of peace, security, stability and reconciliation in Darfur. Council notes with appreciation the efforts made in the implementation of UNAMID’s mandate, particularly with respect to the protection of civilians. In this regard, Council pays tribute to the UNAMID personnel who have paid the ultimate sacrifice in the line of duty for the cause of peace in Darfur. Council also conveys messages of condolences to the Government and the people of  Nigeria in honour of the peacekeeper, who lost his life recently in line of duty;

4.    Commends the Government of Sudan for its cooperation with the Joint Strategic Review Team and constructive approach to the review of UNAMID. Council welcomes and notes with satisfaction the Outcome Document of the 23rd Tripartite Coordination Mechanism meeting held on 22 May 2017 and the spirit of cooperation that characterized the deliberations, as well as the commitment to strengthen coordination between the Government of Sudan, the AU and the UN towards sustainable peace and security in Darfur. Council also welcomes the report of the Joint Working Group (JWG) of 26 February 2017 on the UNAMID Exit Strategy, which acknowledged an improvement in the security and humanitarian situation in Darfur;

5.    Notes the significant decrease of hostilities between the Government of Sudan and the rebel forces, as well as the declaration by the Government, the Sudan Liberation Army/Mini Minawi (SLA-MM) and Justice and Equality Movement/Gibril (JEM/Gibril) of unilateral ceasefires. Council commends the steps taken by the Government and the Darfur State Authorities towards the creation of a safe and secure environment and further applauds progress made to secure the Chad-Sudan border, as a result of the political commitment of the two countries and the work of the Joint Border Monitoring Force established in 2010;

6.    Strongly condemns the recent incursion of armed groups into Darfur and remains concerned over alleged claims of use of neighboring countries as launching grounds for such acts. Council further calls on the Government of National Unity and the rebel movements to pursue the path of direct political talks for a durable solution to the Darfur conflict;

7.    Notes the important steps taken by the Government of Sudan to advance the Darfur political process, including the incorporation of the Doha Document for Peace in Darfur (DDPD), which contains critical provisions that address the root causes of the conflict, into the Constitution. Council further notes the conclusion of the National Dialogue process on 10 October 2016, with the adoption of a national document, as well as steps taken towards its implementation, including the appointment of a Prime Minister, on 1 March 2017. Council commends the subsequent formation of a Government of National Unity, as well as the signing, by the Government of Sudan, the SLA-MM and JEM/Gibril, of the Road Map Agreement proposed by the AU High-Level Implementation Panel (AUHIP), in March and August 2016, respectively;

8.    Stresses that the overall positive evolution of the situation is consistent with the findings of the visit undertaken by Council to Khartoum and Darfur from 15 to 18 May 2017. Council expresses its appreciation to the Government of Sudan for the assistance availed to its Delegation during the visit;

9.    Underlines that, in spite of the significant progress made, a number of challenges that may impede the speedy restoration of sustainable peace, security, stability and reconciliation, as well as socio-economic recovery remain. In particular, Council notes that the security situation remains fragile, mainly due to the continued activities of armed militias, the proliferation of weapons and the prevalence of acts of banditry and criminality, as well as the continued occurrence of inter-communal conflicts closely linked to the root causes of the conflict. Council further notes, with great concern, that such challenges exist within a context of inadequate capacity and effectiveness of the rule of law institutions. Furthermore, Council condemns the recent attacks perpetrated by Darfuri armed movements in East and Northern Darfur. Council reiterates the fact that only an inclusive and participatory dialogue can ensure sustainable peace, security and peaceful coexistence in Darfur;

10.    Notes with concern that, in spite of the improvement of the security situation in the past months, a total of 2.7 million people are displaced, of whom 2.1 million are in need of humanitarian assistance, and that 300,000 Sudanese refugees are located in neighboring Chad. In this regard, Council appeals to the AU Member States and the international community at large, to continue to extend their support to the population in need in Darfur;

11.    Underlines the relevance of the new strategic orientation for UNAMID as proposed in the Special Report, namely a two-pronged approach combining peacebuilding in the areas outside the Jebel Marra area, where there has not been fighting for an extended period of time, and peacekeeping and emergency attention in the Greater Jebel Marra area, due to the insecurity prevailing in the areas, which is preventing Internally Displaced Persons (IDPs) from voluntarily returning to their homes;

12.    Endorses the recommendations of the Strategic Review of UNAMID, as contained in the Special Report , including issues relating to:

a.    the establishment of the Jebel Marra Task Force and the reconfiguration of UNAMID in two phases of six months each, resulting in the reduction of the strength of the military component by 44% and that of the police component by 30%, the closure of 11 team sites in the first phase and the withdrawal of the military component from another 7 team sites in the second phase, it being understood that the Mission shall retain adequate and mobile quick response capabilities to be able to respond to security challenges as they arise;

b.    the effective implementation of the DDPD, including a comprehensive assessment of its provisions, with the view to ensuring a sustained focus on the outstanding provisions of the Agreement, as well as continued support to the AUHIP efforts towards an all-inclusive political process linked to the national dialogue and a national constitutional reform process;

c.    protection of civilians (PoC), with a lead role for the aforementioned Jebel Marra Task Force, working closely with the humanitarian country team, while in the rest of Darfur, PoC efforts will revolve around livelihood issues and police/rule of law capacities;

d.    inter-communal conflict, with priority given to those conflicts that have the potential to cause the highest number of causalities and derail the national political processes;

13.    Looks forward to the full cooperation of the Government of Sudan with UNAMID, as well as with the AU Commission and the UN Secretariat, to facilitate the effective implementation of the recommendations of the review as approved by Council and the UN Security Council. In this respect, Council underscores the imperative need for the Government of Sudan to ensure sustained cooperation with UNAMID in the discharge of its mandate, including the respect of UNAMID’s freedom of movement, timely issuance of visas and customs clearances. Council notes with satisfaction the progress made in this respect over the past months and underscores the need to reinforce this cooperation during this critical transitional period;

14.    Strongly urges the Government of Sudan, working with UNAMID and the UN Country team, to ensure that it fills the security and humanitarian vacuum that may arise out of the withdrawal of UNAMID, in order to consolidate the progress made on the ground;

15.    Stresses the need for building capacities of the Sudanese defence and security institutions and for the Government of Sudan to initiate the Security Sector Reform (SSR) process based on the national context, in line with the AU Policy Framework on Security Sector Reform endorsed by the Assembly of Heads of State and Governments Assembly/AU/Dec.472(XX), during its 20th Ordinary Session, held in Addis Ababa, in January 2013;

16.    Expresses its deep concern over the widespread proliferation of weapons in the areas of returns of Internally Displaced Persons (IDPs) and urges the Government of Sudan to urgently implement its Disarmament, Demobilization and Reintegration (DDR) programme, in order to disarm all armed militia, movements and civilians. Furthermore, Council calls on all relevant stakeholder to extend their support, in this regard;

17.    Reiterates its full support to the AUHIP for its efforts to resume negotiations between the Parties on the basis of the Roadmap Agreement including facilitating a cessation of hostilities between the Government of Sudan and the Darfur armed movements. Council encourages that despite the recent flare of hostilities, all parties continue to demonstrate readiness to engage in the quest to find agreement on cessation of hostilities. Council strongly condemns continued refusal by Sudan Liberation Army/Abdul Wahid (SLA/AW) to join the mediation process and, once again, urges this movement to demonstrate the required spirit of responsibility and expresses its intention, should SLA/AW persist in its current attitude, to impose targeted measures against its leadership and to seek the support of the UN Security Council, to this effect;

18.    Encourages the Government of Sudan, with the support of the international community, to work towards finding durable solutions for the IDP’s in Darfur, on the basis of relevant international humanitarian and human rights law instruments, including the Kampala Convention on IDP’s;

19.     Appeals to the international community to provide all the necessary support to the Government of Sudan, including financial support, in its peacebuilding efforts in Darfur, in particular, in socio-economic recovery and development, the setting up the rule of law institutions and the establishment of the institutional and legal framework to address issues of land and management of resources;

20.    Requests Chairperson of the AU Commission and the Secretary-General of the United Nations, working with international partners, to explore the possibility of convening a pledging conference to generate resources to assist the Government of Sudan with critical post-conflict and reconstruction projects that would assist in averting a relapse to conflict in Darfur, before the end of the first year of commencement of the withdrawal of UNAMID;

21.    Strongly condemns all hostile actions and attacks against UNAMID personnel and assets, as well as against humanitarian organizations and their staff, and urges the Government of Sudan to spare no efforts towards arresting and prosecuting all perpetrators of these criminal acts;

22.    Decides to extend, for a further period of 12 months, the mandate of UNAMID as defined in communiqué PSC/PR/Comm.(LXXIX) of its 79th meeting held on 22 June 2007 and in UN Security Council resolution 1769 (2007) of 31 July 2007, in line with the recommendations contained in the Report of the Joint Strategic Review. Council requests the UN Security Council to do the same;

23.    Requests the Commission, in collaboration with the UN and UNAMID, to provide quarterly assessments of the implementation process of the reconfiguration of UNAMID military and police components and the evolution of the situation on the ground, in order to enable Council to provide guidance as necessary;

24.    Decides to remain actively seized of the matter.

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.

South Sudan: SPLM-IO – A Brief Response to Taban’s Attempt to Distort Facts (09.06.2017)

South Sudan: Kiir not attending IGAD Extraordinary Summit on 12th, because of advice from close associates!

President Kiir’s spokesman, Ateny Wek Ateny, said Kiir will not attend the IGAD summit. “He [President Kiir] will not attend the IGAD summit. The president has already sent a letter of apology through the minister in his office,” said Ateny when contacted by Radio Tamazuj” (…) “There are no reasons, but the president is attending to other things here in South Sudan. The team that will represent the president has not yet been formed,” he added” (Radio Tamazuj, 2017).

While several sources on the ground is saying that the negotiator and the one foreign leader legitimizing the National Dialogue of the Transitional Government of National Unity (TGoNU) or the Sudanese People’s Liberation Movement/Army – In Government (SPLM/A-IG). That are advised by the Uganda counterpart Yoweri Kaguta Museveni, which has even different parts of SPLM to discuss and find a common-ground for peace. That he would advice President Salva Kiir Mayardit wouldn’t surprise as Museveni has helped out in the past.

The other one giving advice on skipping the IGAD summit is the First Vice-President Gen. Taban Deng Gai, who has also said he shouldn’t attend. This means that the core problems of South Sudan would be discussed without any key leadership of the conflict at the 12th June 2017 in Addis Ababa. This would mean their decisions in Ethiopia would be outsiders looking in. As the SPLM-IO or other rebels wouldn’t be part of it, neither would the SPLM/A-IG. That means the two warlords and counterparts in the conflict would not be parts of it.

While most likely one of the one giving advice and being there to direct the talks are President Museveni, who will come with all sorts amendments and insights to secure that Kiir stays in power. That is the most likely opportunity, as the SPLM/A-IG will be in conflict with the rest of the IGAD over the grand-issues, as they will feel the fire and feel instructed to act by foreign powers.

Therefore the words of prof. Peter Adwok Nyaba wrote a piece called: “What do we expect of the IGAD Summit”, which he wrote on the 5th June 2017: “What then is new in the situation of South Sudan necessitating IGAD summit? Recently, Dr. Riek Machar has a rare opportunity to address, in a video teleconference, the members of the UN Security Council. This drew the wrath of the government of South Sudan in the person of Taban Deng Gai, the de factor Kiir’s first vice president. This UN Security Council’s gesture is welcome. However, it alone could not have triggered the regional reaction in form of a summit. The regime’s arrogant stubbornness and lack of concern for the deteriorating social, economic and political crisis seem to be paying off. The Archbishop Tutu Fellows of the African Leadership Institute on 25 May 2017 wrote to the IGAD Plus leaders urging them to act. A visiting US Senator threatened to stop US aid to South Sudan until the government stopped the war. These political developments could have freaked the regional leaders’ conscience to prompt a summit” (…) “A dilemma confronts the IGAD Summit. Whether to order a new political process to resolve the conflict or resuscitate ARCISS. Both options require the presence and participation of Dr. Riek Machar, the SPLM/A (IO). This puts the regional leaders in an awkward situation with President Salva Kiir and President Yuweri Museveni, who swore to prevent Dr. Riek Machar becoming leader of the Republic of South Sudan. In order to save face and avoid commitment to another political process or the resuscitation of ARCISS, President Salva Kiir might delegate Taban Deng Gai, who definitely and for obvious reasons will put up a strong resistance to both options. Taban Deng is determined to keep Dr. Riek Machar away from the region. In this President Museveni ensures him the absolute support. This will bring the summit to a dead end” (Prof. Peter Adwok Nyaba, 05.06.2017).

So if President Museveni and FVP Deng Gai advised President Kiir to not attend, because the dilemma of not only FVP Deng Gai role, but also the weakness of keeping Dr. Riek Machar away from South Sudan. With this the stalemate will continue as the SPLM/A-IG are continuing their skirmishes and the battles that continue to destroy the core republic, like agriculture and living conditions, as the refugees are fleeing to Sudan, Ethiopia, Democratic Republic of Congo and in Uganda.

More will come, but certainly Museveni is really interfering in the crisis in the Republic in a big-way, when he wants his friend to have his power and his mates around. Peace.

Reference:

Radio Tamazuj – ‘South Sudan’s Kiir declines to attend IGAD summit’ (08.06.2017) link: https://radiotamazuj.org/en/news/article/south-sudan-s-kiir-declines-to-attend-igad-summit

Opinion: The South Sudanese Authorities are afraid of foreign journalists telling stories!

If the South Sudanese government trust in the free speech, liberty and justice, they wouldn’t have done what they did today. If they had trusted and seen what the foreign journalists do in their Republic. The South Sudanese government under President Salva Kiir Mayardit must be afraid of what it does in provinces as the skirmishes between the SPLA and the rebles. These stories together with the famine and man-made drought has clearly been evident with the refugee crisis and the added food aid through corridors of Sudan. These are the stories that the SPLM/A-IG are afraid of now! Take a brief look!

The Media Authority has banned about twenty foreign journalists from entering or operating within the country for reporting what it termed “unsubstantiated and unrealistic stories”, the Managing Director of the regulatory body has said. Early, the chairman of the communications department in the secretariat of the steering committee of the national dialogue, Alfred Taban said that Media Authority has no right to bans Journalists. “The Media Authority law does not give this body the right to deny visas to Journalists on the ground that they write articles critical of the government,” Alfred said” (Danis, 2017).

Certainly, the South Sudanese government are afraid of something, they want to hide their policies as United Nations Experts and other Monitoring teams can report, but they would not do is as much as journalists. The local journalists would also fear the state and the repercussion of the media. That was supported by: “Important to note Media Authority, now taking visible role in #SouthSudan media crackdown, was supported by UNESCO, Scandanavian embassies” (Daniel Van Oudenaren, 07.06.2017). So even the free-nations of Scandinavia are clearly stopping the free-press together with a UN organization. This is flabbergasting!

That the Transitional Government of National Unity (TGoNU) and the National Dialogue will not get it their fair coverage, as the government will make sure the message of get to the press. But some critical stories will be expelled, as the journalists who covers stories not encouraged by the government will be silenced. The stories of violence and of the rebellions. Will not be taken to accord, as the victories of the SPLM/A-IG will be covered and spelled out. Since the others media-houses will fear spreading the reports who are in conflict with the message that President Kiir wants.

If they had trusted the media, they wouldn’t have banned foreign journalists. They are fearing and afraid of coverage of the Republic. They cannot manage the coverage and stories. The Republic of South Sudan, will now only have the message and propaganda of the SPLM-IG. Unless, people leak to people like me. Peace.

Reference:

Danis, Daniel – ‘Media Authority bans about 20 foreign journalists’ (07.06.2017) link: http://www.eyeradio.org/media-authority-bans-20-foreign-journalists-country/

South Sudan: The Leaked Points to be Discussed in Addis Ababa at the 12th June 2017 IGAD Summit (05.06.2017)

1. August 2015 Peace Agreement has fundamentally failed and there is no government in Juba Implementing it. What has to be done?

2. Roadmap to the new political process is needed and must be inclusive. What steps needed to be taken?

3. Returning of SPLM/A-IO leader Dr. Machar to South Sudan as a signatory to peace agreement has to be considered.

4. National Dialogue has to be used as a supplementary to August Peace Agreement not a replacement to a signed peace agreement.

5. Humanitarian crisis in South Sudan becomes worsening ever in African Continent. It needs urgent responses.

6. Government’s National Dialogue and unilateral ceasefire did not yield any improvement to the conflict so far. IGAD-backed by international community has a mandatory to take urgent action before genocide takes shape in South Sudan.

6. Taban Deng Gai’s break away group has to choose either SPLM-IO led by Former First Vice President Dr. Riek Machar Teny-Dhurgon or SPLM-IG led by Salva Kiir Mayardit in order to avoid a vacuum for confusions during the implementation of peace agreement.

IGAD-backed by international community pledged to lead and create a lasting peace ever witness in South Sudan.

South Sudan: SPLM IO MPs of Eastern Jikany in South Sudan Parliament- Transitional National Legislative Assembly (TNLA) on the incident that happened at various places in Maiwut state (05.06.2017)

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