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Archive for the tag “Intergovernmental Authority on Development”

South Sudan: Pursuing artificial deadlines will not create peace

The Revitalized – Transitional Government of National Unity (R-TGoNU) was supposed to be formed by 22nd February 2020. This after a 100 day extension of the last deadline. Both major parties like Dr. Riek Machar of Sudan People Liberation Movement/Army – (In-Opposition) (SPLM/A-(IO) and President Salva Kiir Mayardit of Sudan People Liberation Movement/Army – In Goverment (SPLM/A-IG). There is now talks of another 90 days extension.

The Revitalized Agreement on the Resolution of Conflict in South Sudan (R-ARCSS) had an original deadline that was on the 12th November 2019. That is why R-ARCSS needs time to be fixed and worked with. The Khartoum Declaration of 27th June 2018 was the start of this process, but clearly, the South Sudanese stakeholders needs time. They need more than small visits of SPLM/A-(IO) delegations. It needs more than tokens of hope from the Rome Declaration of 12th January 2020. It gives hope from the South Sudan Opposition, but it doesn’t stop the needed dialogue.

Kiir and Machar needs more time together. They need to sit with the South Sudan Opposition Alliance (SSOA) and others. So, that their grievances get met. That people are not using the uncertainty to fuel internal conflicts in various of states. This is what is happening. While the last train is going away.

What is bugging me, while following it. Is to see how the European Union, the Troika and United States are pushing hard for finishing it by the artificial deadline. The date of 22nd February 2020 shouldn’t be the final nail in the coffin. Especially, if they prolong the cease-fire, push for more negotiations and actually leads to something positive on the ground. That should matter than a put up date. Especially, after such a long and bloody conflict the South Sudanese has been through. Its like that is water under the bridge after the Independence from Khartoum.

Let’s be serious for minute. If it was fine with a 100 days in November 2019. What’s the big difference now in January 2020? Not so much right? 90 more days will not solve it, just like the 100 days before. However, it gives the party more time and actually do things that matters. Hopefully not just buy time for recruitments, but sit together with IGAD and Special Envoys to iron things out.

The R-ARCSS follows the previous deal, the ARCSS. It is many of the same players and stakeholders. They are all playing this as a way of gaining power. But if they get this done with whatever time it takes. It is better, that the parties are formal and conducting manners like this. Instead of going back to the battlefield and hunting each other. Another civil war will not be in anyone’s interest, unless they are merchants of death.

The international community are focusing on a date, instead of the results. The ones whose supporting this must see this flaw. They should instead facilitate and ensure the parties get to talk, get to walk through the steps of the R-ARCSS and get the TGoNU in order. Instead of forcing a marriage without the preen-up in order. The bride and the groom will get into a brutal divorce if so. That is at least what I see coming.

Last time it went bad. It was tanks in the streets of Juba. Machar fled to the Democratic Republic of Congo and the rest is history. However, with the knowledge of that. The dates where the negotiations ends shouldn’t be the focus, be the aim, but the progress and opening up more avenues for the stakeholders to actually succeed. That is if they care about the fate of the Republic.

No process is perfect, because we as people are not perfect, but humans with defects. That is why we need measures and mechanisms to secure our flaws for a better outcome. The International Community and the ones supposed to cheer on the stakeholders are not seeing this. They want the grand results without the needed work behind it. That’s not how they do it themselves, neither how any of them would allow being pushed to finish reforms at home. Therefore, they should give them more time. Not being locked to artificial dates, but instead salute progress and hope that each step is getting closer to the outcome everyone wants. Sustainable Peace, not a “fake peace”. Peace.

South Sudan Opposition Alliance (SSOA): Press Statement (19.01.2020)

South Sudan: SPLM/A-(IO) – Press Release (20.01.2020)

Somalia: Cooperation Forum between Federal Member States of Puntland and Jubbaland – Communique (20.01.2020)

United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) calls South Sudan to increase its public spending in education (20.01.2020)

2.2 million children do not have access to quality education in South Sudan, jeopardizing the future of the entire country.

JUBA, South Sudan, January 20, 2020 – South Sudan is not sufficiently prioritizing children’s education, UNICEF said today. While the internationally agreed international standard for education allocations is 20 per cent of the national budget, South Sudan only spends 5.6 per cent for 2019-2020, according the national budget. This is the lowest public education spending in East Africa, recent studies say.2.2 million children do not have access to quality education in South Sudan, jeopardizing the future of the entire country. As the country prepares for a new academic year, UNICEF is calling on the Government of South Sudan to prioritize education in its government spending.

“Education must be a top priority for the Government in South Sudan and sufficient allocations must be made to ensure every child in the country can go to school and learn,” said UNICEF Representative in South Sudan Dr Mohamed Ag Ayoya. “By investing in the education of its children, South Sudan is investing in the future and development of the whole country.”

The call for more public spending on education in South Sudan, comes as UNICEF is launching the global report ‘Addressing the learning crisis: an urgent need to better finance education for the poorest children’. Nearly 1 in 3 adolescent girls from the poorest households around the world has never been to school, the report says – launched as education ministers from all over the world are gathered at the Education World Forum, ahead of the World Economic Forum annual meeting.

Poverty, discrimination due to gender, disability, ethnic origin or language of instruction, physical distance from schools and poor infrastructure are among the obstacles that continue to prevent the poorest children from accessing quality education. Exclusion at every step of education perpetuates poverty and is a key driver of a global learning crisis.

The paper notes that the lack of resources available for the poorest children is exacerbating a crippling learning crisis, as schools fail to provide quality education for their students.

In South Sudan, lack of public investment in education is contributing to the critical shortage of qualified teachers. An estimated 62 per cent of primary teachers and 44 per cent of secondary teachers are not qualified. Also, many teachers leave the profession due to salaries not being paid on a regular basis.

UNICEF calls the Government of South Sudan:

  • to progressively increase the education share of the national budget to the international agreed standard of 20 per cent.
  • to ensure salaries of qualified teachers are paid and paid on time to increase teacher retention.
  • to allocate adequate resources to pre-primary education to ensure children are starting primary school well prepared.

“With South Sudan’s academic year commencing in a few weeks, it is prudent to commit to realizing every child’s right to an education, by ensuring the education sector has the necessary resources,” said Ayoya.

South Sudan: SPLM/SPLA(IO) Position to Enable the Formation of the Revitalized Government of National Unity (R-TGONU) at the End of the Extension of the Hundred Days (14.01.2020)

South Sudan Human Rights Commission (SSHRC): Press Statement (14.01.2020)

South Sudan: Rome Declaration on the Peace Process in the South Sudan (12.01.2020)

Opinion: Why are there no accountability with the drone strikes in Somalia?

I know this is a special subject. One that I don’t have the insights or the oversights over. As the number are sketchy at best. What is worst is the lack of real numbers of the civilians and innocent bystanders to the United States Drone Strikes in the Federal Republic of Somalia. Where the FGS and AMISOM is allowing the continuing strikes to occur.

In 2019 alone there is reported about 52 drone strikes in Somalia alone. Total killed about: 315-325. Civilians killed: 0-6. Children killed: 0-1. People reported injured: 0. These numbers are from the Bureau of Investigative Journalism. However, they are portraying the same numbers the press releases from the U.S. Africom does in Somalia. Therefore, these numbers aren’t everything, but only a fragment and the narrative the U.S. want to portray. I have hard time believe so few civilians are hit by all of these. Some are even claiming there was 55 drone strikes in 2019. That’s why numbers are hard to get verified and correct answers too.

The amounts of strikes has grown during the Presidency of Trump. Since being elected in 2016. In 2015, there was 11 strikes. In 2016 it risen to 14 and 2017 it went to 35. In 2018 it was 45 and last year it was 52. That shows an rise in usage and targeted approach by the Trump Presidency to use drone attacks in Somalia. It has gone from 11 in 2015 to 52 last year. That is over 4 times more in just four years.

Just like they sent three air-strikes on the 29th December 2019 and a new drone attacks on the 3rd January 2020. Who knows when the next ones is happening, but it will be nearly one every week and some extra surplus ones to add for the weeks in the year of 2020.

What is striking in this case is that the U.S. Africom, AMISOM and SNA doesn’t drop the real numbers from the strikes. I have hard time to believe the numbers of civilians and such from 2019. There got to be dark numbers, as the times we have looked into the numbers dropped from the strikes and the ones from the Al-Shabaab. They have differed, by all reasons the Al-Shabaab want it either to look bad or score points when they attack others. Therefore, all numbers has to be questioned from what story the armed parties want to tell.

What I cannot solve or resolve is the lack of numbers, also that the problematic issues of this. Also, bugging for a guy like me, does the U.S. Africom ask FGS before all of the drone strikes happening or do they do it on their own? .

Also, what I wonder about, does the U.S. Congress look into the actions and the usage of the drones in Somalia? Does the Lower House of Somalia accept these drone strikes? Does the Upper House accept it? Has AMISOM and UNSOM any say in it? Finally, does Villa Somalia silently let it all happen or do they accept the drones too?

I am just wondering, why there isn’t a bigger discussion on the value of the drones, does it help or is a damaging routine of the U.S. Africom in Somalia? Do the FGS accept these actions or are they bound by UNSOM/AMISOM mission there. I don’t have the answers, but I am wondering. While I got questions about the numbers that are kept in the dark. Because, I have doubt these drones hasn’t hit civilians in a larger scale. Since it doesn’t make sense to me. Peace.

South Sudan: IGAD – Subject: Submission of Position Paper for the Upcoming Consultation Meeting of the Parties to the R-ARCSS (09.01.2020)

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