“The unilateral cessation of hostilities announced by Presidential Spokesperson Ateny Wek Ateny, came after days of fierce fighting between the government and SPLA-IO forces. President Kiir ordered the Sudan People’s Liberation Army (SPLA) and all other regular forces not to shoot any SPLA-In Opposition soldiers who surrender.“All the commanders of these forces are hereby directed to cease any hostility and abide by this order, control their forces and protect the civil population and their property,” the presidential order directed. “All the commanders deployed at the checkpoints within Juba city, shall reduce and limit such checkpoints to only essential and important installations,” the presidential order further states. Machar has subsequently declared a ceasefire, ordering his forces to stop fighting. After the ceasefire announcement by President Kiir, Juba was rocked by celebratory gunfire. Fighting already erupted on Friday July 8, at the State House in Juba, while President Salva Kiir and First Vice President Riek Machar, as well as Vice President James Wani Igga met to discuss insecurity in South Sudan’s capital, just days before the country marked its fifth independence anniversary on July 9. South Sudanese rivals Machar and Kiir signed a peace agreement in August 2015 after a civil war that started in December 2013 as a result of a power struggle within the ruling Sudan People’s Liberation Movement (SPLM). Over 10,000 people are believed dead and 2.3 million people fled their homes” (MICT. Office, 2016)
“South Sudan where President Salva Kiir has called for a ceasefire following five days of fighting. It comes as we’re hearing reports of more violence — this time around the US embassy. The United Nations is also threatening to impose an arms embargo against the country. Our correspondent Patrick Oyet is in the capital, Juba. We spoke to him a little earlier” (CCTV Africa, 2016).
“Orders of the president must be respected in letter and spirit” – Taban Deng Gai
As the state of affairs are escalating, as the fifth celebration of Independence from the Sudan and Khartoum, the Juba government and the South Sudanese Authorities went back into their old ways, and picked up their guns and ammunition. This has escalated as the President Salva Kiir and VP Riek Machar have since early July 2016, have had forces and battles between them, as their guards have in the city of Juba shot at each other and killed soldiers.
Even as the Peace Agreement and the not so long ago return of Dr. Riek Machar to Juba to fulfil the agreement, the recent days shootings and killings let the cease-fire in jeopardy and the also the security into shambles, as the efforts from the Trioka and the International Community to mediate, must have not given the effect the South Sudanese wished or looked out for, if not the easier way to deal with Power-Struggle is to grab the gun and assassinate dissidents than actually dialogue for peace.
This forgotten analysis came into my eye today:
“War started in South Sudan at 5:10pm and all Riek Machiar’s bodyguards killed.As we speak both Salva and Riek are held up at statehouse in Juba and general Paul Malong whos the chief of staff has deployed tanks surrounding statehouse and he’s believed that he’s the one that incited Salva’s bodyguards to kill all Riek’s bodyguards and even the mad Paul Malong ordered his soldiers to open fire at American CIA vehicle” (Taifa Takatifu-News, Opinon and Analysis, 08.07.2016).
Hard to know if this is true, as this will late be said not to be true, as the South Sudan News, will on the 10th July say something else. Reports from yesterday in Juba, are up to 400 have been killed in the skirmish in the city, as the SPLA/SPLM have attacked the base of SPLM-IO, the SPLA/SPLM are connected with the President the SPLM-IO is the ones behind the armies in the civil war between Machar and Kiir, and these are the ones fighting today.
In wake of this Kenya Airways have suspended their routes from Nairobi to Juba, as they do not want to risk casualties. The American Government through their mission in the country have given this warning today:
“Message to American Citizens – The situation in Juba has significantly deteriorated. There is serious ongoing fighting between government and opposition forces, including near the airport, UNMISS locations, Jebel and elsewhere throughout Juba. U.S. citizens in Juba should remain vigilant. You should shelter in a safe location, preferably away from doors and windows, and avoid non-essential movements. The Embassy continues to monitor the situation and will update you as appropriate” (US Mission in Juba, 10.07.2016).
The Health Ministry official numbers of killings in the battles in Juba are 300. Though differing from the reports reported yesterday, still proves there massive battles between the SPLM and SPLM-IO. The battles have for instance taken place between Eye Radio and a UN base on the Jebel Kujur, so the positions and the nearby locations for the violence don’t matter at this point. The Protected of Civilians (PoC) in the UN base might be the next in line as the escalations is not easy to know. There been reports of even army helicopter flying of Airport road and dropping missiles as the fighting are turning from single army men into full-fledged war, as there been seen tanks in middle of the streets dipping through traffic. There been also reports of two helicopters flying around in Jedel and Gudele, where they also where bombing, as locals have reported. SPLA Spokesperson has confirmed that fighting have broken out in Tong Ping close to the UN base.
While this have been also reported today:
“General Dau Aturjong Nyuol, the SPLA Liberation hero who due to some personal grievances, joined the IO in 2013 has now confirmed and have defected from IO back to the SPLA-IG where he is now with Paul Malongand Kuol Manyang. General Dau had bravery fought to liberate his people during Khartoum war. SPLA army have welcomed him back but on supervision under Chief of Staff hand. Talking to South Sudan News was a close person to the Chief of General staff and he had told us that he came by himself without army” (South Sudan News, 10.07.2016).
Some have reported that their not only between President Kiir and VP Machar, but also one force driven by Gen. Manyang, but the reports are not verifying those rumors as the evidence of the whole situation is hard to get by, as there we’re reports that Kiir had called his old friend Museveni, and hired the UPDF to deal with the newfound situation, as they have been a hired army for him before. There been reports that the Ugandan authorities telling the world that they are not involved now.
Another report is that NGOs are leaving their offices and evacuate from Juba into Kenya, though the ones doing so is not mentioned, as they live in amp speed from the violence. Like ICRC have stated they cannot work in this kind of state: “Fierce fighting going on in Juba, South Sudan in unclear circumstances. Our teams not able to work” (ICRC, 10.07.2016).
There are more to it, as this has been reported to the BBC Africa: “According to the BBC’s Africa Editor Mary Harper, the spokesman Colonel William Gatjiath said Mr Machar’s troops were advancing towards the centre of Juba from different directions. He said hundreds of soldiers from both sides had been killed in the several hours of fighting. What started as relatively minor clashes on Thursday have now escalated to something far more serious. South Sudan marked its fifth anniversary of independence on Saturday, but there was little to celebrate. It looks like Africa’s youngest country could be slipping back into civil war” (BBC Africa, 10.07.2016).
There been also reported that the house of Dr. Riek Machar have been raided, bombed by helicopter twice this Sunday. So the direct attacks are not only from the Government forces, or the SPLA/SPLM towards the base of the SPLM-IO. The SPLM-IO have later in the day closed off the roads in Yei and Luri roads, that are roads that are connecting South Sudan with Uganda. So the precautions for former helper UPDF have been done this time by Dr. Riek Machar’s soldiers. There been also reported that the SPLM-IO have been fleeing towards the Jebel Lado, as there been heavy fighting today on the Jebel Hill, as there been reports from local newscasters as Nyamilepedia.
This has also been reported:
“General Dau Aturjong have defected from Dr Riek camp with 1000 soldiers and he joined the National Army SPLA forces and Dr Riek left to Pagak” (Africa Security News, 10.07.2016).
This is the official reported numbers:
“A statement attributed to the Ministry of Health says the death toll from Friday’s fighting in Juba is 271. There were 32 civilians among the dead.“The SPLA lost 44 soldiers, South Sudan National Police 5, and the other 190 dead are believed to be SPLA-IO given their distinctive uniform. 34SPLA, civilians and police are being treated for their injuries at Juba Teaching Hospital (15), The Juba Military Hospital (15) and two (2) at Peace Hospital, a private Chinese health facility in Juba. More information will be made available as appropriate. The Ministry regrets loss of lives. Heath professionals are doing their best to ensure lives are saved and minimise the suffering,” the statement read. The death toll is expected to rise as these are preliminary figures” (South Sudan Today, 10.07.2016).
There will be more to come as this unfolds, as the death-toll and the staggering violence from both SPLA/SPLM and the SPLM-IO continues at speed, as the bullets, the army attacks from both sides, as the losses continue to pile up, the endless of fleeing civilians and the loss of hope for the facilitations of the recent peace-agreement of 2015 to be hold-on to. As the President Kiir and VP Machar does what they can to take grip of power, and use their fellow citizens and soldiers as shield for ambition, instead of bridging peace and progress for the youngest nation. The newly incorporated nation into the East African Community (EAC) and their Protocol, as the nation who has even works with Kenya as they are to settle to the pipelines and infrastructure plans with the rest of East Africa. Instead they go back to guns and ammunition, where the peace, turns into war, the cease-fire cease to exists and the tat-tat-tat continues until darkness. The assassinations and the plots to take down army leaders on both sides will be the next, as they want ‘headless chickens’ in battle and not men of leadership behind the barracks and barricades of the enemy. Instead of peace, there will be bloodshed, even as the United Nations, fellow neighbor countries President and PM, Kenya and Ethiopia condemns the actions, the violence is still happening. This was not how the 5th Year Anniversary should have happen, it should be with hope of progress and peace, instead it is the opposite. Peace.
JUBA, South Sudan, April 28, 2016 – The United Nations strongly condemns an attack that took place on 25 April against the compound of the United Nations Mission in South Sudan (UNMISS) in Bentiu, where a rocket propelled grenade landed inside the perimeter of the compound and partly damaged one of the containers located in the humanitarian hub.
Initial investigations indicate that the projectile, along with earlier small arms fire, was directly targeted at the UNMISS compound. The location of the UNMISS compound is well known and there were no known armed forces in the vicinity of the base at the time of the attack.
The United Nations takes this opportunity to remind all South Sudanese actors of the sanctity of UN staff, equipment and installations, including the Protection of Civilians sites and their residents.
Here is the basic outtake from a report that was released on the 9th March 2016 from the United Nations Office of Human Rights Council. This focused on the matters of human rights and dignity, as it looks at the laws and regulations, how the state affairs with the matter and create safety and security for their people while not taken away their trust and their justice as free men and woman. As the Government of South Sudan has signed and ratified certain statues and human rights laws into their own as a civilized government who want to be respected and seen as a respectable state.
The major problems and issues is not only stemming from sexual violence towards the public as many has addressed, I have also taken that into the picture, but I want to show you the more of it, but not go into the laws and the ratifications, as that is important. For the moment we should all just see the pains that have unjustified hit many of the South Sudanese as the differences between Generals has hurt them. Take a look!
Internally Displaced Persons in South Sudan:
“By December 2014, more than 1.4 million South Sudanese had been displaced internally, while approximately 467,000 people had fled to surrounding countries. Additionally, roughly four million people in the country faced serious food insecurity. Humanitarian access continued to be hampered by fighting and violence perpetrated by both parties to the conflict against aid workers, equipment and infrastructure. In Unity and Upper Nile states, active hostilities and insecurity continued to disrupt humanitarian assistance as well as, road and air access” (…)”By mid-December 2014, more than 100,000 civilians were housed in UNMISS compounds – designated “protection of civilians sites” (POC sites) – because they were too afraid to return home, fearing potential violence. The bulk of these internally displaced persons (IDPs) were in Bentiu (43,000 people), Juba (32,000) and Malakal (17,000)” (UN OHRC, 2016)
Violence against IDPs:
“For example in Bentiu the SPLA soldiers have taken aggressive postures towards civilians in the PoC site. On 30 September, UNMISS witnessed approximately 20 SPLA soldiers in uniform, including child soldiers, outside the entrance of the PoC site pointing their weapons, including a vehicle with a mounted machine gun” (UN OHRC, 2016).
In Lakes State:
“In Lakes State, inter-communal conflict among different Dinka clans has continued despite efforts by the Government and state authorities to defuse tensions. Revenge attacks, including acts of sexual violence, continued in relation to the killing of a Paramount Chief in Cuei-Chok Payam on 5 August. In response to the violence, the Government has increased its security presence in the State. However, this has given rise to further violations as a result of heavy handed measures sometimes adopted by the security forces” (UN OHRC, 2016).
In Easter Equatoria:
“Eastern Equatoria has also witnessed major incidents of inter-communal violence, including on 6 December, in Loronyo, Torit, where several civilians, including women and children were killed. Reports received indicated that human rights violations were committed by security forces sent to the area in response to the violence, including sexual violence and looting of property. Likewise, the deterioration in the security situation in Chukudum in Budi County, Eastern Equatoria, in September and October, led to allegations of human rights violations by the SPLA, including arbitrary detention, torture and extra-judicial killings” (UN OHRC, 2016).
In Western Equatoria:
“In Western Equatoria, the influx of armed Dinka pastoralists from Lakes and Jonglei with their large numbers of cattle has seen an increase in tension with host communities, particularly in the Mundri West County areas. In Central Equatoria State, UNMISS monitored developments in clashes between the Kuku and Madi communities spanning the border between Kajo Keji in South Sudan and Moyo district in Uganda, resulting in several deaths in both communities and the displacement of between 8,000 and 10,000 civilians from the Ugandan side to the South Sudanese side of the border” (UN OHRC, 2016).
Conflict related sexual violence:
“State officials allege that at least 20 women were abducted from Souq sabi, Dere, and Lich University and taken to Guit and Nhialdiu. Allegations have also been made that SPLM/A-IO used rape as a punishment for suspected Government sympathizers” (…)”In another incident, in December, three women out of a group of 30 were reportedly raped by SPLA soldiers while proceeding to a village located near the PoC site in Bentiu, after soldiers allegedly asked them to join them and then shot at the group” (…)”Incidents of sexual violence have also been reported in the context of inter-communal violence. In Lakes State, women and children have reportedly been used as proxies for revenge, including through rape. In Rumbek East, the allegation that the paramount chief of the Guony clan was murdered by the Thuyic clan reportedly ignited a wave of retaliatory attacks, including reports of rape against women and children” (UN OHRC, 2016).
“Child soldiers have been observed in Bentiu, Malakal and Kuajok. Between September and November, UNICEF documented more than 70 incidents of grave violations against children affecting more than 2,000 children” (…)”During the reporting period, the SPLA issued new orders prohibiting the recruitment and use of children by the SPLA as well as occupation of schools. On 8 October, the United Nations submitted to the Government and SPLA a list of 20 schools reportedly used by the SPLA for military purposes” (UN OHRC, 2016).
I think the words in the reports say’s enough and I won’t comment on it; as the violence and actions are so straightforward and harsh. The people are victims and the reasons behind it should be sorted out. As they are violated, injured, harassed and killed by armies and militias while they are searching for power or keeping power. Peace.
UN Human Rights Council – A/HRC/28/49: “Report on the human rights situation in South Sudan” (09.03.2016)