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South Sudan: Have little faith in reviving ARCSS or the Peace-Agreement 2015, which is the new effort started by IGAD in Juba today!

It’s been a while since the ‘Compromise Peace Agreement on the Resolution of the Conflict in South Sudan’ on the date 26th August 2015, where the different parts of the South Sudanese conflict together with Ethiopian diplomats and IGAD secretariat made an inclusive agreement for all parties. This peace-agreement was short lived, as the stay of Dr. Riek Machar and his SPLM-IO wasn’t long in Juba. The months after the IGAD-Plus mediation after the Peace-Agreement fall apart in 2016. He came back in July 2016 to implement the Peace Agreement with the SPLA/M and President Salva Kiir Mayardiit. It was the same month the fires between Kiir’s guards and Machar’s guards that flared the skirmishes and the whole civil war between these war-lords.

The moments of peace in the new Republic has been short… nearly glimpse of hope of a new journey as a nation. The IGAD, JMEC and UNMISS have all been involved together with Troika of Norway, United States of America and United Kingdom, they have all set their provisions and their mandates to make the place better. Still, with all these organizations, multi-national organization, all sort of dialogue and extra-ordinary meetings in Ethiopia, Ugandan and in Kenya. Still, the measures haven’t added-up.

SPLM-IO is split in two fractions, different opposition rebellious groups tied down to bring down SPLA/M, the SPLM-IG, the President Kiir fraction by force and by will of the guns. That wasn’t there when the latest Peace Agreement in 2015 was signed and supposed to be implemented in 2016. Still, the IGAD are meeting today and tomorrow for yet another extraordinary meeting in Juba. Its like the Ethiopian and IGAD Secretariat tries to make themselves important and revive a dead agreement. It is sad to say the 2015 Agreement gone to the wind, but the blazing rifles and massive amounts of refugees should be powerful statement of misguided policies towards the Nation. It might have been done in good-will and with good-purposes. However, the War-Lords have not put the guns and tactics of the bush-wars.

The deserters and opposition forces are maneuvering, while the National Dialogue meetings are not for anything more than making more people loyal to the President. Since it is not involving all parties or all parts of the SPLM. That shows the intent of the Ugandan President Museveni who knows how war-games and shadow games work in politics. Therefore when I read statement from the Ethiopian government on the meeting, I am not hopeful:

Dr Workneh Gebeyehu arrives at Juba Airport, South Sudan in the afternoon for talks on revitalization of the Agreement on the Resolution of Conflict in South Sudan (ARCSS) as per the decesion reached by the 57th extraordinary Session of IGAD Council of Ministers. Up on arrival Foreign Minister of the Republic of South Sudan Deng Alor Kuol warmly recieved his Ethiopian counterpart. Ambassador Fisseha Shawol and Staff members of Ethiopian Embassy in Juba also joined the occassion. Foreign Ministers of the Sudan and Djibouti are also in the Republic of South Sudan for the revitalization talk. The delegation led by Dr Workneh included State Minister Mrs. Hirut Zemene and Ambassador Shamebo Fitamo among others. IGAD led by Dr Workneh will meet the president of South Sudan and will have discussion with AU, UN, EU, Troika and other partners on the revitalization process of the peace accord” (The Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Ethiopia, 23.07.2017).

So now two years after the 2015 agreement they want to breath life into the dead and after three days Jesus came-up from the dead, he walked out of the grave and walk into the desert. Well, the same will not happen for ARCSS, the rebels will not accept the power-structure and the possible interference from President Kiir. Seems like the foul play that has been done. Not that this only be the answer, all of the parties are not at the meeting in Juba. The foreign partners of the legit government SPLM-IG are sitting drinking coffee and tea, discussion provision and possible amendments passing the minutes and trying to figure out the troubling affairs. As the villages has been burned, the famines has hit areas and even corridors of food supplies has to come across the borders through Sudan to feed the hungry. This proves the volatile situation.

The IGAD meetings now, is in good spirit, but out of bound. Out of reach and doesn’t have the focus, just like the National Dialogue meetings at the Okello State in Entebbe, Uganda. They are with good intentions, but when all parties aren’t present, when all voices aren’t included and the rebels are running large, when the new groups are appearing will to risk it all to get rid of the Central Government. When reports that civilians are running and fleeing when government forces are coming, but giving food to rebels. Because the rebels shows more mercy than the forces supported by the President in Juba. You should know the are certain approaches and certain roads not taken…

There been many bridges burned, lot of water under the same bridge and even more more huts put on fire. The reality is these talks are not sincere, and will not been seen as honest efforts. When you have not engaged the whole specter of forces or voices, who uses guns and tactics to overthrow Kiir. There are not like in 2015, about SPLM-IG and SPLM-IO, now the situation are more complex and grown more dire. It isn’t just two elephants fighting and hurting the grass. So I am less than hopeful for the efforts done by IGAD, IGAD-Plus or any sort of body trying to intervene. Not because I don’t want peace.

If there is supposed to be real peace, there needs to be talk between all the ones who is hurt, all the ones who is someone and also the leadership of the rebels, armies and whatnot involved in the battles, done in the states, towns and villages. These ones cannot be silenced because the IGAD doesn’t recognize their effort to undermine international contribution, neither can National Dialogue if it is a sincere way of generating hope not include the SPLM-IO, but they don’t. It show lack of will and also wish of total control. Hope that the ones with biggest army and biggest fund will be able to sustain the warfare longer than the rebels. Peace.

CEPO South Sudan: IGAD FMs to meet in Juba over peace agreement implementation (19.07.2017)

Troika and EU Joint Statement on South Sudan (21.07.2017)

The text of the following statement was issued jointly by the Governments of the United States of America, the United Kingdom, Norway, and the European Union.

LONDON, United Kingdom, July 21, 2017 – The members of the Troika (Norway, the United Kingdom, and the United States) and the European Union condemn the continuing violence in South Sudan, especially the Government of South Sudan’s current offensive against SPLM-In Opposition (SPLM-IO) forces near Pagak, as well as ongoing road ambushes and attacks by the SPLM-IO. The Pagak offensive is a clear violation of the unilateral ceasefire declared by President Salva Kiir on May 22, and calls into question the government’s commitment to reach peace through the National Dialogue, notwithstanding the sincere efforts undertaken by the leaders of the Steering Committee.

The Troika and EU repeat and endorse the June 12 call by the leaders of the Intergovernmental Authority on Development (IGAD) for President Kiir to ensure that his forces respect the unilateral ceasefire, for the armed opposition groups to reciprocate the ceasefire, and for all groups to allow the unfettered delivery of humanitarian assistance to all those in need. We also welcome IGAD’s announcement of a High-Level Revitalization Forum for the South Sudan peace process. We call upon IGAD to expeditiously convene the Forum, and to include the current principal parties to the conflict. Likewise, we urge all parties to fully participate in the Forum. The Troika and EU agree with IGAD that the Forum should focus on achieving a ceasefire and resuming political dialogue that focuses on updating the agreement’s timelines and other provisions that are now obsolete in light of the expansion of conflict since 2015.

The proliferation of violence, displacement, and food insecurity renders any discussion of elections in the foreseeable future as an unnecessary diversion from the primary goals of achieving peace and reconciliation. South Sudan’s leaders, neighbors, and regional and international partners must first focus on achieving peace in order to create the conditions needed to hold credible elections. To achieve these urgent goals, we look forward to the prompt revitalization of an inclusive and credible peace process by IGAD; such progress would be required in order for the Troika and EU to commit further resources to institutions designed to implement the agreement.

SSNCA orders the Internet Service Providers to block/ban several media houses in South Sudan!

Today Radio Tumazuj, Upper Nile Times, Nyamilepedia and Sudan Tribune has been blocked by Internet Service Providers in South Sudan. This has been done with provisions done by the South Sudan National Communication Authority. Also the director of South Sudan Broadcasting Company (SSBC) Adil Faris Mayat have been arrested for not properly broadcasting his speech earlier in the month. Clearly, the civil war between rebels and government has gone to a level where the reporting are taken as hostages and under threat. If they don’t comply with the government orders and message.

Certainly, the government cannot handle the reporting of the battles in the different provinces, the different comments and statements made by former SPLM/A personnel, who has fled to opposition forces. Secondly, the current famine and fleeing citizens show’s the lacking governance. Where even reported that villages flee when they hear the government army are coming. Instead, of fleeing when the rebels are coming and they are giving food to rebels. This show’s the concerning state of fights in different parts of South Sudan.

That President Salva Kiir Mayardiit and First Vice-President Gen. Taban Deng-Gai feels more alone, most been seen with the attempt to silence media reporting from the battle-lines. Foreign reports has also been banished and been taken out of service in the recent months for their expression of the current conflict. Clearly, the President and the regime cannot manage reporting on the situation. The lack of control from the Central Government and the problems of their conduct. Must be the reason for doing this. Since they want the message that are made correctly for the vision of the President.

All of the media has now to be gagged and silenced, this is worrying. That they can suspend the Internet Service Providers to see certain media houses and newspapers. Also, can arrest journalists and editors. Like it has done in the past. The SPLM/A has to man-up for their crimes and the violence that has been created, they have done lots of it and the same has the rebels. That is why the National Dialogue is currently useless as SPLM/A-IO under Dr. Riek Machar is not participating, which is run by Ugandan President Yoweri Kaguta Museveni. He is the weapon brother of the South Sudanese President. So surely, that must be reason why SPLM/A-IO and Machar doesn’t trust it.

The same shows the media, who the is there to report on injustice and on the violence, who is not allowed or trusted to do so. Are now gagged and silenced by many. The ISP are directed by the SSBC to not show their content in South Sudan, because of their reverse propaganda against the state. This shows that the state cannot handle reporting or articles critical to their agenda. The civil war is taking a toll on their moral and the need for freedom of expression in South Sudan. Peace.

UN in South Sudan concerned about civilians fleeing clashes in Upper Nile (13.07.2017)

Reports from the UN International Organization on Migration (IOM) “suggest that Government forces are now approaching the town of Maiwut, 25 kilometres north-west of Pagak”.

WASHINGTON D.C., United States of America, July 13, 2017 – Thousands of South Sudanese civilians are fleeing to neighbouring Ethiopia as Government troops advance on a rebel stronghold in the Upper Nile region, a senior United Nations official today said, expressing grave concern about what is already the world’s fastest growing refugee crisis.

Reports from the UN International Organization on Migration (IOM) “suggest that Government forces are now approaching the town of Maiwut, 25 kilometres north-west of Pagak. I’m gravely concerned by this ongoing situation,” the Special Representative of the Secretary-General in South Sudan, David Shearer, told reporters from Juba, the capital.

He added that while it is unclear which side began the fighting, the military advance by the South Sudan forces “is not in the spirit of the unilateral ceasefire” declared by the Government in May.

Mr. Shearer said there has been “active military engagement” over the past week north of Pagak, and at least 25 aid workers have relocated in the area as a result of the insecurity.

The senior UN official, who is also the head of the UN Mission in the country, or UNMISS, also voiced great concern about an orphanage near Torit, south of Juba, surrounded by Government and rebel fighters who are preparing to fight.

“It’s unacceptable that 250 innocent children, and the people who care for them, find themselves in no-man’s land between the warring parties,” Mr. Shearer stressed.

Requests by UNMISS to access the Hope for South Sudan Orphanage have been denied “locally, on the ground.”

The Government forces central command in Juba yesterday gave UNMISS “the go-ahead to send peacekeepers to the orphanage. I’m hopeful that will happen today,” he added.

Mr. Shearer urged both sides to reflect on President Salva Kiir’s Independence Day message of peace and withdraw from the facility.

In addition to accessing the orphanage, a group of Nepalese peacekeepers have been sent to protect civilians and the UN base in Torit.

“The number of patrols we can undertake in the town will increase with the additional peacekeepers. In turn, that should provide more security and boost confidence,” said Mr. Shearer.

He noted that his deputy, Moustapha Soumaré, is travelling to Torit tomorrow and will report back.

South Sudan: Maj. Gen. Saki James Palaoko resignation from SPLM-IO to join National Salvation Front (NAS) – (12.07.2017)

The Political Opposition Forces – “All-inclusive negotiations toward a new agreement are essential to sustainable peace in South Sudan” (11.07.2017)

 

 

UNISFA condemns recent attacks in Abyei (12.07.2017)

To date, Abyei has no police service system in place and there is no functioning joint local administrative structure.

ABYEI, South Sudan, July 12, 2017 – The United Nations Interim Security Force for Abyei (UNISFA) condemns all attacks perpetrated by unknown armed groups in Abyei Area which resulted in deaths and injuries of civilians.

UNISFA expresses its deepest condolences and sympathy to the family of the victims and vows to investigate swiftly the attacks with the Joint Peace Committee, the traditional leaders, as well as Sudan and South Sudan governments, and bring the perpetrators to justice.

UNISFA emphasizes its commitment to implement its mandate to secure Abyei Area and to protect civilians under imminent threat of physical violence, without prejudice to the responsibilities of the relevant authorities.

To date, Abyei has no police service system in place and there is no functioning joint local administrative structure. The absence of these systems has resulted in the increase of criminal cases.

The current influx of population in Abyei has contributed towards increased economic and social activities in the area. The unemployment among the youth is a cause of concern which also leads to manifestation of crime in various forms.

In light of the recent incidents, UNISFA has stepped up its security measures particularly in and around Amiet common market which is a vital economic hub for different tribal groups including Ngok Dinka and Misseriya. Most of the criminal incidents in recent months have taken place in the vicinity of the common market.

The last two months have seen an upsurge in cases of cattle-rustling, carjacking attempts and robbery/shooting incidents. In May, a grenade exploded in Amiet market resulting in injuries to some civilians.

UNISFA reaffirms that criminality in all its forms is a serious threat to the security situation in Abyei Area.

UNISFA urges all communities and groups to support the Mission in its efforts to maintain the degree of peace and stability that Abyei has been experiencing over the last two years. The criminal activities should not deter the significant progress made towards improving relations between the Messiriya and the Ngok Dinka communities.

UNHCR welcomes the support of the European Union for South Sudanese new arrivals in Sudan (10.07.2017)

GENEVA, Switzerland, July 10, 2017 – UNHCR’s Representative in Sudan, Noriko Yoshida, welcomed the contribution of EUR 3.1 million in humanitarian funds from the European Union (EU) for South Sudanese new arrivals in Sudan.

“We are seeing a great increase in the number of refugees coming across the border into Sudan, indicating that things are not getting better in South Sudan despite all our hopes for peace and security there. Support from the EU and others is heartily welcomed”, Yoshida said.

Nearly 160,000 South Sudanese refugees have newly arrived in Sudan in the first half of 2017. Yoshida expressed her gratitude to Sudan for its continued generosity hosting over 400,000 South Sudanese refugees since December 2013, and an estimated 350,000 South Sudanese remaining in Sudan following South Sudan’s secession.

Impressed by the generosity of ordinary Sudanese people who share very limited resources with South Sudanese refugees in dire need, Yoshida said UNHCR and its partners are seeking to scale up their assistance to host communities receiving refugees.

“More funding is needed so that we can meet the existing and growing needs of refugees and host communities. Support from EU and other donors will ensure we have the resources to meet immediate needs and put in place adequate services to improve the quality of the current response”.

EU humanitarian funding covers three states (White Nile, East and South Darfur states) out of five states which have been considerably affected by the influx of South Sudanese refugees. The funding is earmarked to registration activities, reception support and shelter and provision of basic household items.

EU humanitarian aid has previously supported UNHCR in the response and provided EUR 4.4 million in 2016 towards UNHCR’s efforts to respond to critical life-saving needs.

UNHCR and its partners have appealed through a Refugee Response Plan for USD 221 million in 2017 to assist refugees and host communities in Sudan. As of June 2017 less than 20% of the funds have been received.

South Sudan: National Salvation Front – “Independence Day Message” (09.07.2017)

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