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IGAD: Communique of the 58th Extra-Ordinary Session of IGAD Council of Ministers on the Situation in South Sudan (24.07.2017)

Troika and EU Joint Statement on South Sudan (25.07.2017)

WASHINGTON D.C., United States of America, July 25, 2017 – The members of the Troika (Norway, the United Kingdom, and the United States) and the European Union condemn the continuing violence in South Sudan, especially the Government of South Sudan’s current offensive against SPLM-In Opposition (SPLM-IO) forces near Pagak, as well as ongoing road ambushes and attacks by the SPLM-IO. The Pagak offensive is a clear violation of the unilateral ceasefire declared by President Salva Kiir on May 22, and calls into question the government’s commitment to reach peace through the National Dialogue, notwithstanding the sincere efforts undertaken by the leaders of the Steering Committee.

The Troika and EU repeat and endorse the June 12 call by the leaders of the Intergovernmental Authority on Development (IGAD) for President Kiir to ensure that his forces respect the unilateral ceasefire, for the armed opposition groups to reciprocate the ceasefire, and for all groups to allow the unfettered delivery of humanitarian assistance to all those in need. We also welcome IGAD’s announcement of a High-Level Revitalization Forum for the South Sudan peace process. We call upon IGAD to expeditiously convene the Forum, and to include the current principal parties to the conflict. Likewise, we urge all parties to fully participate in the Forum. The Troika and EU agree with IGAD that the Forum should focus on achieving a ceasefire and resuming political dialogue that focuses on updating the agreement’s timelines and other provisions that are now obsolete in light of the expansion of conflict since 2015.

The proliferation of violence, displacement, and food insecurity renders any discussion of elections in the foreseeable future as an unnecessary diversion from the primary goals of achieving peace and reconciliation. South Sudan’s leaders, neighbors, and regional and international partners must first focus on achieving peace in order to create the conditions needed to hold credible elections. To achieve these urgent goals, we look forward to the prompt revitalization of an inclusive and credible peace process by IGAD; such progress would be required in order for the Troika and EU to commit further resources to institutions designed to implement the agreement.

South Sudan: Have little faith in reviving ARCSS or the Peace-Agreement 2015, which is the new effort started by IGAD in Juba today!

It’s been a while since the ‘Compromise Peace Agreement on the Resolution of the Conflict in South Sudan’ on the date 26th August 2015, where the different parts of the South Sudanese conflict together with Ethiopian diplomats and IGAD secretariat made an inclusive agreement for all parties. This peace-agreement was short lived, as the stay of Dr. Riek Machar and his SPLM-IO wasn’t long in Juba. The months after the IGAD-Plus mediation after the Peace-Agreement fall apart in 2016. He came back in July 2016 to implement the Peace Agreement with the SPLA/M and President Salva Kiir Mayardiit. It was the same month the fires between Kiir’s guards and Machar’s guards that flared the skirmishes and the whole civil war between these war-lords.

The moments of peace in the new Republic has been short… nearly glimpse of hope of a new journey as a nation. The IGAD, JMEC and UNMISS have all been involved together with Troika of Norway, United States of America and United Kingdom, they have all set their provisions and their mandates to make the place better. Still, with all these organizations, multi-national organization, all sort of dialogue and extra-ordinary meetings in Ethiopia, Ugandan and in Kenya. Still, the measures haven’t added-up.

SPLM-IO is split in two fractions, different opposition rebellious groups tied down to bring down SPLA/M, the SPLM-IG, the President Kiir fraction by force and by will of the guns. That wasn’t there when the latest Peace Agreement in 2015 was signed and supposed to be implemented in 2016. Still, the IGAD are meeting today and tomorrow for yet another extraordinary meeting in Juba. Its like the Ethiopian and IGAD Secretariat tries to make themselves important and revive a dead agreement. It is sad to say the 2015 Agreement gone to the wind, but the blazing rifles and massive amounts of refugees should be powerful statement of misguided policies towards the Nation. It might have been done in good-will and with good-purposes. However, the War-Lords have not put the guns and tactics of the bush-wars.

The deserters and opposition forces are maneuvering, while the National Dialogue meetings are not for anything more than making more people loyal to the President. Since it is not involving all parties or all parts of the SPLM. That shows the intent of the Ugandan President Museveni who knows how war-games and shadow games work in politics. Therefore when I read statement from the Ethiopian government on the meeting, I am not hopeful:

Dr Workneh Gebeyehu arrives at Juba Airport, South Sudan in the afternoon for talks on revitalization of the Agreement on the Resolution of Conflict in South Sudan (ARCSS) as per the decesion reached by the 57th extraordinary Session of IGAD Council of Ministers. Up on arrival Foreign Minister of the Republic of South Sudan Deng Alor Kuol warmly recieved his Ethiopian counterpart. Ambassador Fisseha Shawol and Staff members of Ethiopian Embassy in Juba also joined the occassion. Foreign Ministers of the Sudan and Djibouti are also in the Republic of South Sudan for the revitalization talk. The delegation led by Dr Workneh included State Minister Mrs. Hirut Zemene and Ambassador Shamebo Fitamo among others. IGAD led by Dr Workneh will meet the president of South Sudan and will have discussion with AU, UN, EU, Troika and other partners on the revitalization process of the peace accord” (The Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Ethiopia, 23.07.2017).

So now two years after the 2015 agreement they want to breath life into the dead and after three days Jesus came-up from the dead, he walked out of the grave and walk into the desert. Well, the same will not happen for ARCSS, the rebels will not accept the power-structure and the possible interference from President Kiir. Seems like the foul play that has been done. Not that this only be the answer, all of the parties are not at the meeting in Juba. The foreign partners of the legit government SPLM-IG are sitting drinking coffee and tea, discussion provision and possible amendments passing the minutes and trying to figure out the troubling affairs. As the villages has been burned, the famines has hit areas and even corridors of food supplies has to come across the borders through Sudan to feed the hungry. This proves the volatile situation.

The IGAD meetings now, is in good spirit, but out of bound. Out of reach and doesn’t have the focus, just like the National Dialogue meetings at the Okello State in Entebbe, Uganda. They are with good intentions, but when all parties aren’t present, when all voices aren’t included and the rebels are running large, when the new groups are appearing will to risk it all to get rid of the Central Government. When reports that civilians are running and fleeing when government forces are coming, but giving food to rebels. Because the rebels shows more mercy than the forces supported by the President in Juba. You should know the are certain approaches and certain roads not taken…

There been many bridges burned, lot of water under the same bridge and even more more huts put on fire. The reality is these talks are not sincere, and will not been seen as honest efforts. When you have not engaged the whole specter of forces or voices, who uses guns and tactics to overthrow Kiir. There are not like in 2015, about SPLM-IG and SPLM-IO, now the situation are more complex and grown more dire. It isn’t just two elephants fighting and hurting the grass. So I am less than hopeful for the efforts done by IGAD, IGAD-Plus or any sort of body trying to intervene. Not because I don’t want peace.

If there is supposed to be real peace, there needs to be talk between all the ones who is hurt, all the ones who is someone and also the leadership of the rebels, armies and whatnot involved in the battles, done in the states, towns and villages. These ones cannot be silenced because the IGAD doesn’t recognize their effort to undermine international contribution, neither can National Dialogue if it is a sincere way of generating hope not include the SPLM-IO, but they don’t. It show lack of will and also wish of total control. Hope that the ones with biggest army and biggest fund will be able to sustain the warfare longer than the rebels. Peace.

CEPO South Sudan: IGAD FMs to meet in Juba over peace agreement implementation (19.07.2017)

Troika and EU Joint Statement on South Sudan (21.07.2017)

The text of the following statement was issued jointly by the Governments of the United States of America, the United Kingdom, Norway, and the European Union.

LONDON, United Kingdom, July 21, 2017 – The members of the Troika (Norway, the United Kingdom, and the United States) and the European Union condemn the continuing violence in South Sudan, especially the Government of South Sudan’s current offensive against SPLM-In Opposition (SPLM-IO) forces near Pagak, as well as ongoing road ambushes and attacks by the SPLM-IO. The Pagak offensive is a clear violation of the unilateral ceasefire declared by President Salva Kiir on May 22, and calls into question the government’s commitment to reach peace through the National Dialogue, notwithstanding the sincere efforts undertaken by the leaders of the Steering Committee.

The Troika and EU repeat and endorse the June 12 call by the leaders of the Intergovernmental Authority on Development (IGAD) for President Kiir to ensure that his forces respect the unilateral ceasefire, for the armed opposition groups to reciprocate the ceasefire, and for all groups to allow the unfettered delivery of humanitarian assistance to all those in need. We also welcome IGAD’s announcement of a High-Level Revitalization Forum for the South Sudan peace process. We call upon IGAD to expeditiously convene the Forum, and to include the current principal parties to the conflict. Likewise, we urge all parties to fully participate in the Forum. The Troika and EU agree with IGAD that the Forum should focus on achieving a ceasefire and resuming political dialogue that focuses on updating the agreement’s timelines and other provisions that are now obsolete in light of the expansion of conflict since 2015.

The proliferation of violence, displacement, and food insecurity renders any discussion of elections in the foreseeable future as an unnecessary diversion from the primary goals of achieving peace and reconciliation. South Sudan’s leaders, neighbors, and regional and international partners must first focus on achieving peace in order to create the conditions needed to hold credible elections. To achieve these urgent goals, we look forward to the prompt revitalization of an inclusive and credible peace process by IGAD; such progress would be required in order for the Troika and EU to commit further resources to institutions designed to implement the agreement.

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.

EPRDF (Ethiopian Government) to head the Media Forum at CAPP: Apparently, the Oppressors of Media running the show!

Isn’t this strange how the Ethiopian government get accolades and honors, the latest was this week in Niamey in Niger. What is special is that this one is about perception and about the profession of media. A profession that is dangerous to have in Ethiopia. In a country where journalists who writes articles are detained, editors detained and bloggers jailed. Two TV-Channels banned in 2016 during the ‘State of Emergency’ and other acts against the freedom of expression in Ethiopia. With this in mind, all of the detained journalists and bloggers in Ethiopia, the knowledge of this should been known by leadership and committee of Council of African Political Parties (CAPP). But they doesn’t seem to care, because if they did. The CAPP would know of the countless innocent citizens writing and spelling out the oppressive behavior of their government. Would see the light of day and not be incommunicado. The amounts of journalists who has been trialed and taken to serve time in prison. Also, the modern day bloggers who has gotten same ill-treatment. That is why this news of getting the lead in the Media Forum of CAPP. Just take a look!

Press Statement from ENA on CAPP:

Addis Ababa July 13/2017 The Constitutive Meeting of the Media Forum of the Council of African Political Parties (CAPP) held in Niamey, Niger, has elected the Ethiopian Peoples’ Revolutionary Democratic Front (EPRDF) to lead the Media Forum. Council of African Political Parties (CAPP) is a non-governmental organization established by 47 African political parties representing 35 African countries in the constitutive conference held in Khartoum, Sudan, in April 2013. According to a press statement issued by EPRDF, the party’s representative at the meeting, Kebede Kassa, commended the confidence the political parties have shown on Ethiopia and its ruling party” (…) “The Media Forum is an organization for the media cadres of the African Political Parties to advance their profession through updated technologies, discussions on issues of interest and exchange of experiences, it was learned. On the occasion, Secretary General of Council of African Political Parties (CAPP), Dr. Nafie Ali Nafie explained the need for the establishment of the Media Forum to realize the objectives of the council. According to him, “the Media Forum should play to correctly introduce Africa instead of the negative perception regularly viewed in particular by the western media.” (ENA, 2017).

The government in Ethiopia cracks down on the media and wants it’s fist on it. They are repressive against uprisings and freedom of expressions. Therefore, the Ethiopian government and the EPRDF is not fit to lead the Party. The Media Forum of CAPP will not help the troubles and the ones in need in jail. That the Council of African Political Parties (CAPP) are not considering the implications of their leaders and heads of their Forums, since they have elected one that can easily silence and oppress its own. So it is like having tobacco producers to run cancer studies and efforts for better health, when everyone knows the causes of the extensive use of tobacco.

Like reports in mid-July the Government wrote to all media and ordered them if they we’re to mention the deceased Prime Minister Meles Zenawi in a sentence either as “Great/Visionary”. So this is a state who orders the news and controls the messages. If it doesn’t fit the EPRDF it will be silenced or detained. Therefore, how come these sort of people shall introduce the world to Africa, which is just wrong. CAPP should had the possibility to pick someone with a little less oppressive track-record on the media among their member parties. Peace.

Reference:

Ethiopian News Agency (ENA) – ‘EPRDF Elected President of CAPP Media Forum’ (13.07.2017) link:http://www.ena.gov.et/en/index.php/politics/item/3483-eprdf-elected-president-of-capp-media-forum

UPDF: Military Police has not taken over Police Powers and Resources (21.06.2017)

Uganda: UPF Circular – “Individual Responsibility for Court Awards Arising out of Police Action” (13.06.2017)

Uganda: UPF Circular – “Arresting People for the Offence of Idle and Disorderly” (13.06.2017)

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