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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.

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)

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