South Sudan: Gen. Paul Malong Awan letter – “Re: Position statement on the ongoing Crisis and Peace initiative” (08.11.2017)

Harvest season provides meagre respite to South Sudan’s hunger crisis (06.11.2017)

The number of people experiencing severe food insecurity across the country is likely to drop to 4.8 million for October to December, down from six million in June.

JUBA, South Sudan, November 6, 2017 – The current harvest season in South Sudan will not end the hunger crisis as conflict persists in most of the country and hyperinflation puts food out of reach for many, according to the updated Integrated Food Security Phase Classification (IPC) released today by the Government of South Sudan, the UN’s Food and Agriculture Organization, UN Children’s Fund, the World Food Programme, and other humanitarian partners.

The number of people experiencing severe food insecurity across the country is likely to drop to 4.8 million for October to December, down from six million in June. However, the 4.8 million who are severely food insecure are 1.4 million more than at the same time last year, and much of this growth has been in the Emergency category (step 4 on the IPC’s 5-step scale).

“The harvest season has not brought much relief to the millions of people in South Sudan who don’t have enough food. The country’s greenbelt has been ravaged by fighting, and finding a peaceful solution to this man-made tragedy should be the top priority or the situation will get even worse next year,” said Serge Tissot, FAO’s Representative in South Sudan.

The food security situation is projected to deteriorate at the start of 2018 and the ‘hungry season’ – when households typically run out of food before the next harvest – is forecast to start three months earlier than usual. Many people have few means of coping with the stresses of the lean season, and the situation is forecast to become increasingly fragile.

“A massive humanitarian response helped stop famine in parts of the country this year. But even in the current harvest period, millions of people need sustained assistance to survive,” said Adnan Khan, WFP Representative in South Sudan. “It is chilling to see that in a worst-case scenario, similar conditions could appear in multiple places in the lean season in 2018.” 

The teams who conducted the analysis identified two counties, Wau and Ayod, where a total of 25,000 people are facing catastrophic conditions according to the IPC scale. Of greatest concern is Greater Baggari, a sub-area of former Wau, where 10 per cent of the population is facing famine-like conditions because insecurity has heavily constrained livelihood activities and humanitarian assistance.

There is an urgent need for a humanitarian corridor from Wau to Greater Baggari area to allow agencies to provide comprehensive assistance.

Critical levels of malnutrition

Malnutrition has also worsened compared to the same period last year, with surveys showing malnutrition rates in most communities well above the World Health Organization’s emergency threshold of 15 percent, and with more than 30 percent of the population malnourished in several counties.

More than 1.1 million children under the age of five are forecast to be malnourished in 2018, including nearly 300,000 severely malnourished and at a heightened risk of death.

“Too many children are going hungry in South Sudan. More than one in five of those struggling to feed themselves is a child under five years of age,” said Mahimbo Mdoe, UNICEF’s Representative in South Sudan. “This has created a malnutrition crisis that is putting many lives at risk.”

Food prices soar

Insecurity continues to hamper food production and disrupt markets. Coupled with a failing economy, this has led to extremely high food prices. Large sacks of staples such as sorghum, maize, and wheat flour have increased in price by up to 281% compared to last year, and were as high as 560% during May, the peak of the lean season.

In Juba, a 100kg bag of sorghum costs 11 285 South Sudanese Pounds (SSP), compared to 4 314 SSP a year ago, and is vastly beyond what most families can afford.

Nationally, millions of people are surviving on humanitarian assistance in South Sudan, and if security conditions further threaten organizations’ operations the situation will rapidly worsen.

The report warns that continued conflict coupled with further access constraints on aid agencies and economic instability will likely result in the deterioration of already dire conditions in multiple locations across South Sudan in 2018.

Rapid response

Humanitarian teams are facing enormous logistical and security challenges to reach communities in need.

FAO has provided fishing, crop- and vegetable-growing kits to more than 4.2 million people, many in difficult to reach or conflict-affected areas, to support them to grow or catch their own food. FAO has also vaccinated more than 4.8 million livestock, to protect these livelihood assets for vulnerable families.

UNICEF, together with its partners, has treated more than 160,000 children with severe acute malnutrition (SAM) so far this year. It has a target for the year of reaching 207,000 malnourished children across the country. As part of its multi-sectoral approach to addressing the issue, UNICEF has also provided over 750,000 people with safe drinking water and a further 230,000 people with access to sanitation facilities.

WFP and its partners have has assisted 4.6 million people in South Sudan so far in 2017 with cash or food, including nutrition support for children under the age of five years. Emergency mobile teams usually travelling by helicopter on over 135 missions to areas isolated by conflict have supported 1.8 million people this year.

South Sudan: “Issuance of Orders to the Chief of Defense Force of the SPLA, 2017 A.D.” – The order stop of privileges of Gen. Paul Malong Awan (30.10.2017)

South Sudan: Anei Malong States that Gen. Paul Malong Awan lost his privileges (03.11.2017)

The government has escalated its move against my father Gen. Paul Malong Awan by removing his privileges

This afternoon my father was informed he must release his body guards to their units, surrender his cellphones, guns and that all visitations of any kind to him including those from family members children and wives are not permitted except with approval from the authorities.

This message was delivered by Lt. Gen. Magar Buong Aluenge on behalf of the SPLA Commander in Chief and the President of the Republic of South Sudan, Gen. Salva Kiir Mayardit. Lt. Gen. Buong was accompanied by the Director General of Military Intelligence.

Since we are all in the dark on the reasons behind this escalation, I am informing the public of this move to ensure that they are in the know in case of further escalations.

_ The End _
Anei Malong

Note to Correspondents on South Sudan (15.05.2017)

NEW YORK, United States of America, May 15, 2017 – On the margins of the London Conference on Somalia, the Secretary-General discussed the situation in South Sudan with a number of international stakeholders. In this respect, on 10 and 11 May 2017, he met with the Chairperson of the Inter-Governmental Authority on Development (IGAD), Prime Minister Hailemariam Desalegn of Ethiopia, President Yoweri Museveni of Uganda and the Chairperson of the African Union (AU) Commission, Moussa Faki Mahamat.

In the course of these consultations, the Secretary-General reiterated the United Nations’ deep concern at the prevailing security and humanitarian situation in South Sudan, highlighting the untold suffering being inflicted on the civilian population. He underlined the imperative of renewed regional and international efforts to bring to an end the unfolding tragedy in that country, in particular through the immediate cessation of hostilities, unfettered humanitarian access to the millions of people in need of assistance, freedom of movement for the United Nations Mission in South Sudan (UNMISS) and the promotion of a credible and truly inclusive process involving all the opposition forces in line with the principles enshrined in the August 2015 Agreement for the Resolution of the Conflict in South Sudan.

The Secretary-General is encouraged by the commitment of all his interlocutors to further enhance their efforts towards ending the violence tearing South Sudan apart, bearing also in mind the need to prevent further negative repercussions on regional security and stability. The United Nations looks forward to working closely with the IGAD and the AU in the period ahead to identify practical steps that would help arrest the current downward trend towards greater fragmentation of South Sudan, escalating violence and deepening hardship and sustainably put the country back on the track of peace and reconciliation.

New York, 12 May 2017

South Sudan: Uncertainty looms in the Republic, King Malong “boxed-in” and Opposition working together!

There are certainly not any clear indications of good news coming from Juba, the continued civil-war and warfare isn’t stopping, the death toll and the countless refugees are telling their own stories. As the state are grappling with the laws of staying in power, by any means. President Kiir, uses all the tricks in the book to stay and have loyal men in power. As there been rumors that King Malong had also plans to overpower him and therefore was sacked, but none by sources that is credible yet. But there are other, whom we can look at with interests. As the flow of information and uncertainty is there. This being the Opposition trying to make the government look foolish and evil, while the government tries to with their military operation annihilate them. Therefore, these latest reports proves there some sudden approaches, that should worry President Kiir. Just take a look!

What U.S. Intelligence report says about South Sudan:

Clashes between Juba and the armed opposition will continue, heightening ethnic tensions and exacerbating the humanitarian crisis and famine amid a declining economy. Both sides’ use of ethnic militias, hate speech, and the government’s crackdown against ethnic minorities raise the risk of additional mass atrocities. The government will probably continue to restrict political freedoms and civil liberties and obstruct humanitarian assistance” (Coates, 2017).

Opposition groups consolidating to topple Kiir:

A group of seven South Sudanese opposition movements said they had agreed to work closely against the current government in Juba. Signatories of the agreement included Henry Odwar, deputy chairman of the SPLM-IO faction led by Riek Machar, FDP party leader Gabriel Changson Chan, Thomas Tut Doap of UDRA, SPLM-FDs member Kosti Manibe, SSNMC leader Joseph Bakasoro, and NDM leader Lam Akol, as well as Thomas Cirillo Swaka, leader of the newly formed National Salvation Front (NAS). “There is great value in working together and, as a result, the opposition groups will actively work together with a view of seeking a united front on common strategic and operational issues, the group wrote in a joint statement dated 11 May” (Radio Tamazuj, 2017).

Legacy of King Malong:

Major General Khor Chuol Giet, the Commander of the SPLA-IO 5th Division, told the South Sudan News Agency that Awan is responsible for recruiting ethnic militias who mercilessly kill civilians with impunity. “Awan is the one who recruited Mathianganyor militia group. Anyone who knows the story of this bloody-thirsty ethnic militias should not celebrate his [Awan] removal.” Giet said” (…) “However, one senior government official who asked for anonymity because of fear of reprisal told the South Sudan News Agency in Juba that Awan is capable of causing chaos in Juba and even overthrowing Kiir. “I wonder why Kiir wanted him back after he left Juba. But I understand the fact that the President probably realized how powerful Awan is after he sacked him on TV,” the official said. The South Sudan News Agency has learned from a reliable source that Kiir will ask Awan to serve in his government, adding, “The post will definitely be a boxed one.”(SSNA, 2017).

Clashes in Fashoda State:

The number of civilians who died of thirst after being forcibly displaced from their villages in Panyikang County in Fashoda State due to clashes between government troops and rebel fighters in late April, has reached to at least 50, according to an opposition official” (…) “Speaking to Radio Tamazuj on Friday, Morris Orach, the Minister of Information in the rebel-controlled area in Fashoda, said the 50 dead bodies were found along the Fashoda-Tonga road” (Radio Tamazuj, 2017).

Ukraine arms trade:

It said the aircraft manifest indicated that it contained two L-39 jets and engines provided by Musket OU, a company based in Tallinn, that were overhauled, and that the flight was operated by the Ukranian Defence ministry. “Subsequently, the government of Ukraine confirmed to the Panel that the two jets were listed as being operated by the Ugandan military and that the end user certificates indicated that the aircraft were to be used only for advanced piloting training,” the report reads. However, PoE disclosed it was investigating if the aircraft were transported to South Sudan following reports that there was a new military plane with obscured marking, parked at the Juba International Airport” (Oduha, 2017).

These initial signs are not of strengthening the republic, as the power is still all in the hands of President Salva Kiir Mayardit, who have again used his hands and changed leadership roles to be in-charge and not question of his authority. While this is happening, all of the famous rebels and rebel groups have decided to gather together in one unit. To all consolidate and work to topple President Kiir. Therefore, the insecure structure of opposition is now on a clear path. In the midst of military operations and the skirmishes. This is all creating the famine, the destruction of institutions, if so also stopping the build-up of government and local government operations. As the armed battles and military operations are the most important and imminent importance.

There is no indication of peace and rebuilding the state, as the arising power-structures are still bound by two warlords, this being the President and Dr. Riek Machar, who has two armies and soldiers battling in different states, now with deflectors and other smaller rebel-groups standing together with the SPLM/A-IO fighting the SPLM/A. This is not the look, the President, nor the hierarchy in Juba administration wants to see. We can only think of the consequences, as the President will continue to buy arms and use connections to be able to fight this, though Ukrainian or Ugandan counterparts, who deliver gladly for profit bullets, planes and rifles to the SPLM/A.

We can just wonder and hope when this will end, as so many innocent civilians has fled their villages and patches of lands, for a bit of hope in refugee camps in Uganda, DRC, Sudan and Ethiopia. This is not the reactions anyone want to see, but they don’t want to stay home, when their fields and patches becomes battlefields between armies. As well, as these battles also comes to the refugee camps, where even the killings appear. There is only uncertainty, and lack of will to generate peace, because two men and their allies are more keen power, than trying to forge peace. Peace.

Reference:

Coates, Daniel R. – ‘Statement for the Record Worldwide Threat Assessment of the US Intelligence Community – Senate Select Committee on Intelligence’ (11.05.2017) – Director of National Intelligence, United States

Oduha, Joseph – ‘Ukraine on the spot over arms sale to South Sudan’ (14.03.2017) link:http://www.africareview.com/news/Ukraine-on-the-spot-over-arms-sale-to-South-Sudan/979180-3926538-xjvisf/index.html

Radio Tamazuj – ‘South Sudan opposition groups agree to work together against Kiir’s government’ (14.03.2017) link: https://radiotamazuj.org/en/news/article/south-sudan-opposition-group-agree-to-work-together-against-kiir-s-government

Radio Tamazuj – ‘Thirst death toll rises to 50 in Fashoda State, official says’ (14.05.2017) link: https://radiotamazuj.org/en/news/article/thirst-death-toll-rises-to-50-in-fashoda-state-official-says

South Sudan News Agency – ‘Rebel General blasts ousted army chief over recruitment of “blood-thirsty ethnic militias”’ (13.04.2017) link:http://www.southsudannewsagency.com/index.php/2017/05/13/rebel-general-blasts-ousted-army-chief-recruitment-blood-thirsty-ethnic-militias/