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Archive for the tag “Lt. Gen. Johnson Ondieki”

South Sudan’s leaders bear ‘direct responsibility’ for conflict, UN Security Council told (25.08.2017)

Despite the August 2015 peace agreement that formally ended the conflict, fighting and instability have persisted.

WASHINGTON D.C., United States of America, August 25, 2017 – A senior United Nations peacekeeping official today called on the leaders of South Sudan to show genuine political will to achieve sustainable peace in the strife-riven country, stressing that those whose long-time rivalry sparked the ongoing conflict can be the ones to resolve it.

“The conflict in South Sudan is a man-made conflict for which the leaders of South Sudan bear a direct responsibility,” Assistant Secretary-General for Peacekeeping El-Ghassim Wane told the Security Council. “But the same leaders can also bring the country back from the impending abyss.”

He noted that the dire economic situation and continued conflict in the country have combined to create a dangerous and precarious situation for its citizens, and all that is needed is genuine political will to halt military operations, peacefully negotiate and make the necessary compromises.

“I would also urge the Security Council to pronounce itself in this regard. It is critical that the leaders of South Sudan hear the international community’s unified demand of what is expected of them,” he stated.

Tomorrow marks the second anniversary of the signing of the South Sudan Peace Agreement between warring parties – the Sudan People’s Liberation Army (SPLA) loyal to President Salva Kiir and the SPLA in Opposition backing then First Vice-President Riek Machar.

South Sudan, the world youngest country, which gained its independence from Sudan in 2011, has faced ongoing challenges since a political face-off between the two leaders erupted into full blown conflict in December 2013.

Despite the August 2015 peace agreement that formally ended the conflict, fighting and instability have persisted.

According to Festus Mogae, Chairman of the Joint Monitoring and Evaluation Commission (JMEC), “little meaningful progress” has been achieved in the implementation of the agreement, Mr. Wane said.

“More than ever before there is a critical need for continued and close coordination” between Intergovernmental Authority for Development (IGAD), the African Union, the UN and the larger international community to leverage collective influence to bring an end to the suffering of the civilian population and help put South Sudan on a more positive trajectory, he stated.

IGAD comprises Djibouti, Eritrea, Ethiopia, Kenya, Somalia, South Sudan, Sudan and Uganda.

Security situation remains cause for ‘very serious concern’

Mr. Wane said the security situation in South Sudan remains a cause for “very serious” concern. The expected ceasefire remains elusive as military operations continued during the reporting period, mostly in Upper Nile.

In July, 136 access incidents were reported by the humanitarian community – the highest number recorded in any one month since December 2013.

Incidents of looting also spiked during July, with 15 incidents reported across the country. Of particular concern were the six major looting incidents of warehouses and trucks in transit leading to the loss of 670 metric tons of food meant for vulnerable communities in Eastern Equatoria, Lakes, Upper Nile and Warrap.

In meetings between UN Under-Secretary-General for Peacekeeping Operations Jean-Pierre Lacroix and South Sudan’s key government officials earlier this month, President Salva Kiir and his cabinet members expressed reservations on the inclusion of some personalities such as Riek Machar in any dialogue process, Mr. Wane said.

But there was, however, an acknowledgement that sizeable communities cannot be left out of a process just because they were led by or that they supported a particular individual, he added.

While the National Dialogue has made some progress, it continues to be criticized for its lack of inclusivity.

Briefing the Council via videoconference, Nicholas Haysom, Special Envoy of the Secretary-General for Sudan and South Sudan, also expressed concern about the security situation and the trajectory and depth of the crisis.

Calling for a “clear commitment” to an inclusive and credible peace process, he described several recent international and regional support efforts – including Uganda’s initiative to reunify factions of the Sudan People’s Liberation Movement and Kenya’s initiative to host opposition parties – which had achieved varying levels of success.

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Another proof of the UN misfiring Lt. Gen. Ondieki as leader of the UNMISS in South Sudan after Juba July 2016 skirmishes!

As time is going and the revelation from all the actors of July 2016 comes forward, the reality of what happen in Juba, South Sudan will be more fruitful, than in the past. It is over a year ago. There has been heads rolling and the Lt. Gen. Ondieki got fired for his mismanagement. The United Nations Mission in South Sudan (UNMISS) approach to the flaring battles between SPLM/A-IG and the SPLM/A-IO. This done by the two parties who was starting the walk of the Transitional Government of National Unity (TGoNU). The fallout and the battles, that has lead to the now civil-war, shows how the lacking focus and problems of the action from the peacekeepers. These peacekeepers didn’t react, but deserted more from the conflict. They didn’t stand ground, but fled the scene.

Therefore, the newly revealed part of unreleased report are clearly showing that the Kenyans reactions to the sacking was justified. Since the previous reports on the days of flaring violence showed it was done recklessly. The violence and looting was done, because other battalions didn’t follow procedure, it was not all up to the leadership of Lt. Gen. Ondieki. Just take a look!

From an unreleased UN Report:

On the uniformed side, the Force did not operate under a unified command, resulting in multiple and sometimes conflicting orders to the four troop contingents from China, Ethiopia, Nepal and India, and ultimately underusing the more than 1,800 infantry troops at UN House. The Force Commander appointed the Chinese Battalion Commander as the Incident Commander, commanding all the forces at the UN House in addition to his own battalion. Furthermore, the Force Commander ordered the Incident Commander to retain an explicit and ultimately confusing command link to Sector South headquarters in Tomping, which was physically cut off from the UN House for the duration of the fighting” (…) “This confused arrangement, in combination with the lack of leadership on the ground, contributed to incidents of poor performance among the military and police contingents at UN House. This included at least two instances in which the Chinese battalion abandoned some of its defensive positions at POC [Protection of Civilians site] 1 on 10 and 11 July. The Nepalese Formed Police Unit’s performance to stop looting by some IDPs inside UN House and control the crowd was inadequate.” (Brautigam, 2017).

Wrongful sacking of Ondieki:

Lieut-Gen Ondieki had no direct control of deployment or response of the troops who were in the areas, according the UNMISS commanding framework. According to the rules of engagement, Lieut-Gen Ondieki could only send an order to the lead commanders who were in Juba, but they did not accept it. Therefore, Ban Ki-moon’s dismissal of Lieut- Gen Ondieki is not only an error in judgment, it is also unjust discrimination and a gross violation of his rights” (International Policy Group, P: 23 ,2016).

So the November 2016 Report is now more justified, as the leaked report on how the other peaceful-contingents didn’t follow procedures themselves. That a year later, the Chinese battalion abandoned their positions, therefore, the leadership under Lt. Gen. Ondieki was not all to blame. When other people moved without securing the PoC site like the UN House. These was ambushed and looted by the armies for stockpiles of needed supplies.

We can now wonder, who else also left their position and for what reasons, since this is just two paragraphs. The rest of the UN report might reveal even more, but with the knowledge that is out. The seemingly unfair treatment of Lt. Gen. Ondieki, especially when they acted on their own. Peace.

Reference:

Brautigam, Deborah – ‘UN Report confirms Chinese troops abandoned posts in South Sudan during 2016 fighting’ (21.08.2017) link: http://www.defencenewsindia.com/un-report-confirms-chinese-troops-abandoned-posts-in-south-sudan-during-2016-fighting/

International Policy Group – ‘Children of a lesser God – Report of the investigation into the power politics behind the removal of the Kenyan Force Commander of the UN Mission in South Sudan (UNMISS) – November 2016

Leaked U.S. Concept Note describes the wished changes in the UN Peacekeeping Operation Missions!

The United States delegation to the United Nations have leaked a document on planned discussion for the United Nations Security Council that are to be commenced in next month (April 2017). These notes are clearly setting the course and wish for the goals and ambition of the discussion in the UNSC. This concept note is supposed to be a Peacekeeping Operation Review. That would lead to certain decisions by the Member States and the Council Members.

The reason why the United States delegation to the UNSC about the Peacekeeping operation:

As of January 31, 2017, there were 99,034 uniformed personnel – including 85,408 troops and 12,786 police – serving in the 16 peacekeeping operations overseen by the UN Department of Peacekeeping Operations, with an approved budget of $7.87 billion. UN peacekeeping is a vital aspect of the organization. However, a significant number of PKOs have mandates conceived years – in some cases decades – ago that are no longer supported by a political environment conducive to achieving the Council’s aims. It is crucial that missions contribute to increased safety and security, but they can also create a subsidized and unsteady peace that can quickly become a dependency that discourages long-term solutions. The UN becomes trapped in these frozen conflicts and peacekeeping missions that were initially conceived to provide temporary security to allow space for political solutions to take hold instead deploy for years without clear mandates or exit plans”.

Because of the cost, the longevity of the peacekeeping operations as they are creating a vacuum between the government hosts, the peacekeeping mission and the hostile forces. This is a consuming and makes it hard to generate any sort of sustainable peace, as the peacekeepers keeps a buffer and stops the need for a strong foundation of central government and their own security forces. They can always trust on the Blue Helmets to appear when needed and serve the citizens.

The United States has certainly ideas as this is their core idea for the discussion in the UNSC: “We encourage Council Members to consider whether current peacekeeping operations continue to be the best suited mechanisms for meeting the needs of those on the ground and achieving the Council’s political objectives, or if changes are needed”. So the US Mission to the UN wants the Peacekeeping Operations to achieve the political objectives and not be a stalemate operation that keeps the upkeep of unstability and uncertainty in the host nation. That is certainly a noble quest, but with that the UN Peacekeepers need to revise their missions, their mandate and their will of force, as their peacekeeping missions has been done in such diplomatic ways.

The United States delegates outcome of the review:

While no product is envisioned, we encourage the Council to apply the lessons and methods discussed in this meeting to our regular mandate review process to ensure that conditions still justify the missions and that political processes conceivably lead towards realistic, achievable solutions”.

That this is a quest and wishful thinking for the US mission, the United Nation needs votes and make sure the Members would strike agreement on the possible idea of changing the Peacekeeping Operations. The Blue Helmets are clearly on the loosing end of the stick, as their missions are not seen as fruitful, more like a costly operations not creating the effect and stage the peaceful transition in the host nations.

The UNSC and the Members should be hopeful to change the political climate and use the force to create the peace they are to make. If they weren’t peacekeepers than they wouldn’t be an issue, as if they we’re regular army on a territory, they should keep their citizens safe and the borders. The Peacekeepers has a mandate and mission, still they haven’t always been able to comply with that. Also, they have obligations not only to the United Nations, but to the host nations regime. Therefore, if the UNSC wants a bigger mission or extend their mandate, they still have to negotiate with the host nations.

The US Mission and the UNSC have to work on it and it is about time, as the AMISOM, MUNISCO, UNAMID, UNMISS and MINUSMA, who all should need a change of mandate and level of force if they should be properly creating the peace and make way for the central government. Peace.

NDM Statement on the UNSC Meeting Pertaining to the Situation in South Sudan (24.01.2017)

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South Sudan: Communique on Deteriorating Security Situation in Kajo Keji (25.01.2017)

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South Sudan: CTSAMM Deeply Shocked and Saddend by the Deat of One of its Opposition Liason Officers in Wau (25.01.2017)

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South Sudan: Abduction of the Dong Samuel and Aggrey Idri by Kenyan Authorities (25.01.2017)

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NDM: Press Statement on the Creation of Additional States by President Kiir (16.01.2017)

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New Head of the UN Mission in South Sudan arrives in Juba (20.01.2017)

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Letter: Buzzfeed try to claim that South Sudan’s National Courier and the Newspaper answers (16.01.2017)

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