JUBA, South Sudan, December 30, 2016 – End of the year 2016 message, on behalf of Moustapha Soumaré, the Acting UNMISS SRSG and Head of the United Nations Mission in South Sudan:
I would like to extend warm greetings to all the people of South Sudan as we enter this holiday season. As we approach the end of 2016, let us be reminded of the universal values of unity, equality and compassion, which bind us together as human beings – the spirit of Ubuntu (humanity). These values should always be far stronger than anything that divides us.
Sadly, our hopes for sustainable peace were not realized this year and prospects for an end to the conflict have been thwarted with a resurgence of violence in the capital and in many other areas of the country. This has resulted in terrible humanitarian and economic consequences for many South Sudanese. I call on all those engaged in conflict, be with organized forces, armed groups, militias, youth groups with arms and others, to stop all fighting and silence the guns immediately.
While there is no doubt that the fighting has cast a dark shadow over the implementation of the August 2015 peace agreement, we must never lose sight of the ultimate goal – a peaceful and prosperous future for the people of South Sudan. My colleagues and I serving with the United Nations stand ready to support South Sudan as it renews its commitment to the peace process and to help address its pressing humanitarian needs.
No matter if it is local politics, if it international or trade, the most important backbone to policies in the next year will be polarization. That is not Polar Bears dancing on the dwindling ice, if so the U.S. TV station would have better ratings. No, this is the importance of local and national industries, while stressing ignorance towards immigration and imports to add more GDP value and also stop inflation. A balance that is hard to carry as the trust in local currency and local production doesn’t change overnight. That has to happen with steady policies and ability to trade products and create market for the ones that we’re in the past produced far away.
“Definition of polarization
1: the action of polarizing or state of being or becoming polarized: as
a (1) : the action or process of affecting radiation and especially light so that the vibrations of the wave assume a definite form (2) : the state of radiation affected by this process
b : an increase in the resistance of an electrolytic cell often caused by the deposition of gas on one or both electrodes” (…) “2 a : division into two opposites b : concentration about opposing extremes of groups or interests formerly ranged on a continuum” (Merriam-Webster – Polarization, link: https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/polarization).
We are dividing ourselves while the world is into more conflicts that need assistance and securities to secure peace. There internal conflicts in Burundi, Democratic Republic of Congo, Ethiopia, South Sudan, Somalia, Afghanistan, Yemen and Syria. Where the conflict is bloody, where people are detained for the political affiliation, where innocent dies in the streets and where guns are imported to silence the ones who is not succumbing to the regimes who hold power.
We are living in a time where opposition victors doesn’t get into power, because the leaders of old are not allowing and keeping power by the gun, are using the police force and army to monitor the opposition and even rigs the election to secure the “validation” of their rule. This has happen in many Republics and Nations this year and proves that progress of governance and accountability is dying, like innocence and justice is impartial and only for the elites. The rest of us just have to be lucky to see just systems and laws for the common folk.
Like Adama Barrow is the President-Elect in Gambia, Jean Ping should have become the President in Gabon, Dr. Kizza Besigye in Uganda and Moise Katumbi should have risen to power in DRC if there we’re any justice and transition of Power in the Republic. But the big-man and long ruling Presidents of these nations doesn’t give-in or leave office. They continue to stay without any fear or without any mercy as the monarchs they acts of. Instead keep polarising the political elites and societies with paying the elites and silencing the ones who stand in their path. Also, by forging alliances with nations to make sure justice doesn’t prevail in their path.
While these tragedies are appearing in front of our eyes in our times, the borders and the helping hands are not appearing, the funds and allocations of necessary funds to the refugee camps, the direct food aid and agents of humanitarian actions are not sufficient. The reality of these missing steps should boggle our mind and should freeze our hearts out, as the news of burning convoys into Aleppo, lack of food into refugee camps in Adjumani in Uganda and the lacking rations of food in refugee camps in Tanzania. These should all be a reminder of the fate we have put our world in. The steps of lost grace and mercy on the weakest of humanity, where hospitals and humanitarians are put in the lines of bullets and grenades in between the battlefield as the soldiers fight for keeping merciless tyrants to stay in power.
While the superpowers are claiming the fight for justice, the innocent dies, the towns are battlefields and turns into dust, the graves are not cleared and the lives are lost in vain. This while UN cannot impose arms-embargoes or create a possible cease-fire to get civilians into safety, this while Italian and Greece authorities are working and trying to find ways to impose fleeing civilians on Turkey, because the rich European states fears that fleeing civilians could be terrorists. The humanity and just behaviour is dying while the states are flogging their responsibility to the ones in need.
We can question ourselves if this is right, if we can sleep knowing the indebtedness we have in riches. In the time of peace in our states, where we have possible houses and shelter for the ones fleeing possible genocides and acts against humanity; Europe impose stricter rules on immigration and Brexit proves the fear of Polish and other ethnic groups as they want to secure their borders as key argument to stop being an EU Member State.
We can wonder why the world has come to this that polarization of between ourselves the ones who see the innocent die and the ones who want to keep their own by any means. That the own nationals are going against each other and seeing it as only fit, instead of thinking for instance for a hot minute, what if the war came to our shores and to our homes, wouldn’t we flee? Wouldn’t we do what we could to leave our wealth, our riches to save our own?
Why shouldn’t the Syrians and all other who are in conflicts leave grenades, tanks and bombs, would we live on the streets with daily shooting and killing if we had an option to flee? Would we stay and risk everyday our lives to get a loaf of bread? I doubt that. We would travel to safety and to places where we could resettle and rehash the future of ourselves and our kids. If not we would be risking ourselves and the future of our kin. That is because it’s natural.
Still, the Europeans and citizens of fellow states don’t see it this way with fear-mongering politics and internal polarization of demagoguery, which is out of proportion. This will continue as these conflicts leads to more hurt and damage of lives, where more shelter and more merciless killings to stay in power, where more rigging of elections and more police-states are controlling the civil society. Where the states are more totalitarian and the power controlled by a little elite, while the average citizens are struggling, they will seek fortunes other places instead of in their birth-nations. Just as we would do if our destiny we’re in the limbo, if our homes were shacks and our sockets could electrocute us.
So the world of 2017, will be inflicted with the unfinished business of past, like all years has been, with as much uncertainty as the start of 2016, but with new issues and new struggles, with new people behind bars because of political affiliation, more families lost loved ones because of demonstrations, more people fleeing as the machetes and burning villages for land-grabbing, foreign investors taking land while locals cannot get deeds, as the central government are getting needed funds to supply the army with equipment and salaries, civil servants are left behind with reunification and it is happening so many places. Nobody confess nobody impose on it or even sanction this. We should question the economic challenges and the way they allocate funds, especially when many of these states get based government loans from the IMF and World Bank to basically could function; together with the reasonable taxation they can be able get from their citizens.
We shouldn’t silent on the merciless acts of men, we shouldn’t be ignorant of the world of oppression and fear, as the grand masters of our times are destroying and depleting lands for fortunes, as the multi-national companies see only profits and not see the populations they are forcing into unjust working conditions to trade resources into high profits abroad. These acts shouldn’t be forgotten, as industries and the trade are made for the international companies to gain and not all locals, therefore the polarization are created in these, create more havoc and even more injustice, as the unfair world we live in doesn’t give hands to ones in need. The rich can get it all, while the poor is lucky if they have enough for a jerry-can to buy water. That isn’t justice, that isn’t right when others are only drinking imported expensive French Water.
We should questions the systems and revise them for more balanced between the rich and poor, for more functioning United Nations, for more diplomatic efforts and for stronger laws that cannot make Presidents into Emperors! The reality is that 2017 will start where 2016 and that is not in positive looks into the future, because the powers we have, the armies and police are targeting fellow citizens who deserves better. We all deserve better and we all should know better. Peace.
Adoption Fails by 7 Votes in Favour, 8 Abstentions amid Doubt over Wisdom of Punitive Steps as Government Reports Progress on Ground
The Security Council voted this morning against imposing an arms embargo on South Sudan and targeted sanctions on three key Government and opposition figures whose dispute has spiralled into widespread violence in the young nation.
Defeated by a vote of 7 in favour to none against, with 8 abstentions, the draft would have instituted a ban on arms sales to South Sudan as well as designating three officials as subject to an asset freeze and travel ban: Paul Malong, Chief of Staff of the Government’s Sudan People’s Liberation Army (SPLA); Michael Makuei Lueth, Minister for Information; and former First Vice-President Riek Machar, leader of the Sudan People’s Liberation Movement/Army-In Opposition (SPLAM/A-IO).
Voting in favour of the draft resolution were representatives of France, New Zealand, Spain, Ukraine, United Kingdom, United States and Uruguay. Speaking after the vote, they recalled that United Nations officials had sounded multiple warnings about an impending deterioration of the carnage in South Sudan, and about long-term non-cooperation with the United Nations Mission in South Sudan (UNMISS) on the part of parties to conflict. They said that although the measures proposed in the text would not have been a panacea, they would have reduced the violence, addressed impunity, kept the country from spending precious resources on arms, and created momentum for a peaceful resolution of the conflict.
Delegations that abstained were China, Russian Federation, Angola, Egypt, Japan, Malaysia, Senegal and Venezuela. China’s representative said his country was committed to restoring peace and stability in South Sudan as soon as possible. Describing the Government’s announcement of an inclusive national dialogue and the approved deployment of the Regional Protection Force as positive steps, he emphasized that the international community should support them instead of taking counter-productive actions. It should also support full implementation of the Agreement on the Resolution of the Conflict in the Republic of South Sudan (the Peace Agreement) and the mediation efforts of the Intergovernmental Authority on Development (IGAD), he added.
The Russian Federation’s representative and others who abstained criticized the readiness of those who had voted in the draft’s favour to impose sanctions, maintaining that such measures had failed to have a positive effect in other situations of a similar nature.
South Sudan’s representative, described the tabling of today’s draft as unfortunate, given that President Salva Kiir had ordered the formation of the National Dialogue Steering Committee just a few days ago. Such a commitment pointed to a more encouraging direction. Those targeted for sanctions were critical to implementation of all agreements, he said, emphasizing that the draft had revealed a lack of good faith. It could have invited controversy, disagreement and hostility, rather than the necessary cooperation, he said, warning that punitive measures could only harden positions.
The meeting began at 9:33 a.m. and ended at 10:39 a.m.
So far, 1,932 children have been released by armed forces: 1,755 in 2015 and 177 this year.
JUBA, South Sudan, December 16, 2016 – According to new figures released by the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF), some 1,300 children were recruited by armed forces and armed groups in 2016, bringing the total number of children used in conflict since 2013 to more than 17,000.
“Since the first day of this conflict, children have been the ones most devastatingly affected by the violations,” said Leila Gharagozloo-Pakkala, UNICEF’s Regional Director for Eastern and Southern Africa.
“Now, as the fighting intensifies – and despite repeated pledges by all to end child recruitment – children are once again being targeted,” she added.
The Sudan People’s Liberation Army (SPLA) and SPLA in Opposition have both signed agreements with the UN in order to end and prevent the recruitment and use of children in the conflict.
So far, 1,932 children have been released by armed forces: 1,755 in 2015 and 177 this year.
Nonetheless, UNICEF reports that violations against children have continued to occur since 2013, including 2,342 who have been killed or maimed, 3,090 who have been abducted, and 1,130 sexually assaulted. There have also been 303 attacks or military use of schools and hospitals.
Since November, the UN has documented at least 50 children who have been abducted and recruited in the Greater Upper Nile region. Additional reports indicate that another 50 have been recruited in the Greater Bahr el Ghazal region and that violations against children have occurred in the Greater Equatorias area, but due to the high level of insecurity and restricted access, the UN has been unable to verify such claims.
In addition to the ongoing armed conflict, South Sudan is suffering an economic crisis that has brought inflation to more than 800 per cent, leading to widespread food insecurity and childhood malnutrition at emergency levels throughout most of the country.
UNICEF and its partners have treated 184,000 children with severe cases of malnutrition this year – an increase of 50 per cent from last year and more than 135 per cent higher from 2014.
“UNICEF’s concern is that with the prospect of increased hostilities and atrocities, the suffering that children have endured will have no end,” said Ms. Gharagozloo-Pakkala. “The children of South Sudan must no longer live under constant fear of hunger or conflict. They need sustained peace, care and support.”
South Sudan has faced ongoing challenges since a political face-off between President Salva Kiir and his Vice-President Riek Machar erupted into full blown conflict in December 2013. The crisis has produced one of the world’s worst displacement situations with immense suffering for civilians.
Despite the August 2015 peace agreement that formally ended the war, conflict and instability have also spread to previously unaffected areas in the Greater Equatoria and Greater Bahr-El-Ghazal regions of South Sudan.
The UN Mission in South Sudan, known as UNMISS, has been operating in the country since 2011. Just hours before it was set to expire, the Security Council this evening voted unanimously to extend the Mission’s mandate for one day and is expected to come back to the matter tomorrow afternoon.