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Archive for the tag “Leadership”

UN strongly condemns the harassment of humanitarian staff and looting of humanitarian premises in North Darfur (23.01.2020)

Zalingei/Khartoum, 23 January 2020- “This emerging trend of harassment of UN and NGO staff and subsequent looting and vandalization of UN and NGO premises and assets is not only very disturbing but totally uncalled for. UN and NGO staff are in Darfur to provide critical humanitarian and peacekeeping support in the region and deserve the full support and appreciation from the communities they serve,” UNAMID’s Joint Special Representative/Joint Chief Mediator, Jeremiah Mamabolo stated in response to reports received about the wanton destruction of property in Kabkabiya, North Darfur.

On 22 January, a large crowd of men, women and children harassed staff from the International Organization of Migration (IOM) who were on mission to distribute non-food items to victims of flooding that occurred in Kabkabiya, North Darfur last October. The distribution commenced on 20 January at the premises of an implementing partner and was supposed to conclude on 22 January. However, towards the end of the distribution program, some looters attacked the IOM staff alleging that they were not included in the distribution matrix. It was later reported that the premises of five other local NGOs were also looted.

Later in the day, government security forces intervened whilst UNAMID’s Pakistan Contingent based in the area, also secured the World Food Programme (WFP) premises and four local staff remaining in the offices.

“We appeal to both federal and state government authorities to thoroughly investigate above incidents and bring all persons responsible for these unwarranted actions to book,” JSR Mamabolo added.

The Humanitarian Coordinator in Sudan, Gwi-Yeop Son, condemned the attacks on humanitarian offices, assets and looting of humanitarian supplies in Kabkabiya, North Darfur.

“I condemn these acts and call upon the Government authorities to launch a swift investigation and bring those responsible to account,” Ms. Son said. “Attacks against humanitarian actors and operations endanger lives, violate the protection of civilians, including humanitarian workers, under international humanitarian law, and jeopardize the provision of life-saving aid to people in need.”

Over the past year there were several other incidents of looting of humanitarian supplies in Darfur.

UNAMID continues to monitor the situation and will take taking appropriate measures to continue to facilitate humanitarian access in Darfur, in line with its protection of civilians’ responsibilities as mandated by the United Nations Security Council.

2020 Sudan Humanitarian Response Plan (HRP) launched (23.01.2020)

Families cannot afford a nutritious meal – let alone other essential needs such as medical care, water, and education.

KHARTOUM, Sudan, January 23, 2020 – The 2020 Humanitarian Response Plan (HRP) partners plan to support 6.1 million of the most vulnerable people in Sudan, which will require US$1.4 billion. Due to the current fragile economy, more people are unable to meet their basic needs, as high inflation continues to erode households’ purchasing power. An average local food basket takes up at least 75 per cent of household income. Families cannot afford a nutritious meal – let alone other essential needs such as medical care, water, and education. With fewer resources, people adopt negative coping mechanisms, exposing them to more protection risks—particularly gender-based violence and increasing school dropout and child labour. The economic crisis has overwhelmed already-weak public services, further deepening humanitarian need in the central and eastern parts of Sudan, where humanitarian partners have a limited presence. The 2020 HRP will scale up assistance in these areas. However, humanitarian response alone is not enough to reduce needs, vulnerability and risks; longer-term action is also urgently needed. The UN and partners are committed to work closely with the Government and the people of Sudan to create a strong foundation for Sudan that realizes the hope and aspirations of the Sudanese people.

Donors show strong international support for Sudan in 2020 On 17 January, at a High-Level Roundtable in London co-hosted by the UK, Sweden, OCHA and with participation of the Sudanese Government, 19 international donors affirmed the importance of scaling up humanitarian assistance to Sudan in 2020 and providing resources early in the year. The participants emphasized the importance of providing funding effectively, including through multi-year and flexible support modalities. Sudan also received assurances from the UN and NGOs to step up response to address the country’s urgent humanitarian needs.

For a link to the full 2020 Sudan Humanitarian Response Plan (HRP) document click here

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)

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.

Sudan: The Mutiny proves the Skeletons of Al-Bashir haunts the Republic

The end may justify the means as long as there is something that justifies the end.”Leon Trotsky

President Omar Al-Bashir might be behind bars and be charged for several offences. In the Sovereign Council, the Transitional Military Council (TMC) still have vital places in the technocratic government with militarised leadership in it. Its not like wholly elected entity of civilian government. There are still bits and pieces of the henchmen, which the National Congress Party (NCP) and the armed organizations it had.

The TMC and Sovereign Council have reorganized the National Intelligence and Security Security (NISS) to the General Intelligence Service (GIS). It was in this organization the mutiny came from this week. This was from an organization, which was loyal to the President and his mandate. That is why the Sovereign Council have also put a warrant on Salah Gosh. Now, the Lt Gen Abubakir Dambalab has resigned and there is a new chief in town.

However, this proves that even if you get rid of the head. Their systems and their trained personnel are still there. The GIS or former NISS, who has not only a reputation for torture, monitoring citizens and handle the public with vicious intent. The GIS might start doing the same for the Sovereign Council too. They were trained to do so.

The mutiny or the failed revolt shows something is wrong and vacuum not filled by the Sovereign Council. The technocrats and the military men in power knows this. They have not reformed in such a manner, where the skeletons and the ones whose possibly causing trouble might return. Even if the head of the old regime is gone. Many of his players are still around.

The Sovereign Council knows this, but they are careful. Doing so by small measures like in South Kordofan, but there are troubles in Darfur still. There are acts are shown. The mutiny is a signal, that the ones fallen by the revolution wants to return.

Though, the Sovereign Council is what the revolution fought for. It is a half-way trick. Hopefully ending up in a civilian government, but that is still a dream. As the Sovereign Council are taking all measures slowly.

That is why things like these erupt and unless, they act upon the former heads and the ones loyal to Al-Bashir. There will happen more like this. The system was rigged for him. Al-Bashir had the whole system pumping for him. Some of the ones in Sovereign Council lived for that too. Until the revolution happened they wouldn’t have accepted the fall of Al-Bashir.

Therefore, this is not yet the end. This is a sign of maybe more to come. Unless, the Sovereign Council acts upon their mandate and dully find their ways. It will not be easy, but they are some of the former henchmen of Al-Bashir.

Nevertheless, we still have to hope for change. But, I don’t expect the guns of the former to be totally silenced. Unless, they are squashed or arrested. Than, again the Council has to work against themselves too. That is if they believe to truly reform. If not they are just stalling for time, hoping the public forget the causes for the revolution in the first place. Peace.

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)

Brexit: PM Boris Johnson letter to Nicola Sturgeon MSP (14.01.2020)

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