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Archive for the tag “South Sudan”

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.

UPF: Press Release – “Alleged ‘Ban’ of Age Limit Debate in Univresities by IGP” (15.07.2017)

FAO issues alert over third consecutive failed rainy season, worsening hunger in East Africa (14.07.2017)

Number of people needing humanitarian assistance on the rise.

ROME, Italy, July 14, 2017 – Poor rains across East Africa have worsened hunger and left crops scorched, pastures dry and thousands of livestock dead – according to an alert released today by the UN Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO).
The most affected areas, which received less than half of their normal seasonal rainfall, are central and southern Somalia, southeastern Ethiopia, northern and eastern Kenya, northern Tanzania and northeastern and southwestern Uganda.

The alert issued by FAO’s Global Information and Early Warning System (GIEWS) warns that the third consecutive failed rainy season has seriously eroded families’ resilience, and urgent and effective livelihood support is required.

“This is the third season in a row that families have had to endure failed rains – they are simply running out of ways to cope,” said FAO’s Director of Emergencies Dominique Burgeon. “Support is needed now before the situation rapidly deteriorates further.”

Increasing humanitarian need

The number of people in need of humanitarian assistance in the five aforementioned countries, currently estimated at about 16 million, has increased by about 30 percent since late 2016. In Somalia, almost half of the total population is food insecure. Timely humanitarian assistance has averted famine so far but must be sustained. Conditions across the region are expected to further deteriorate in the coming months with the onset of the dry season and an anticipated early start of the lean season.

The food security situation for pastoralists is of particular concern, in Ethiopia, Kenya and Somalia, where animal mortality rates are high and milk production from the surviving animals has declined sharply with negative consequences on food security and nutrition.

“When we know how critical milk is for the healthy development of children aged under five, and the irreversible damage its lack can create, it is evident that supporting pastoralists going through this drought is essential,” said Burgeon.

Livestock prices have plummeted because of poor animal body conditions and this, coupled with soaring cereal prices, has severely constrained pastoralists’ access to food.  Rangeland and livestock conditions are expected to further deteriorate at least until the next rainy season starts in October.

Poor crop prospects

In several cropping areas across the region, poor rains have caused sharp reductions in planting, and wilting of crops currently being harvested. Despite some late rainfall in May, damage to crops is irreversible.

In addition, fall armyworm, which has caused extensive damage to maize crops in southern Africa, has spread to the east and has worsened the situation. In Kenya, the pest has so far affected about 200 000 hectares of crops, and in Uganda more than half the country’s 111 districts are affected.

In Somalia there are unfavourable prospects for this year’s main gu crops, after the gu rains were late with poor rainfall and erratic distribution over most areas of the country. In the Lower Shabelle region, the main maize producing area, seasonal rainfall was about 50 percent below- average and drought conditions are currently affecting up to 85 percent of the cropland.

In Ethiopia, unfavourable belg rains in southern cropping areas are likely to result in localized cereal production shortfalls. Drought is also affecting yields in Kenya’s central, southeastern and coastal areas. In Tanzania, unfavourable rains are likely to result in localized cereal production shortfalls in northern and central areas, while in Uganda there are unfavourable production prospects are unfavourable for first season crops in the southwestern and northern districts.

Cereal prices are surging, driven by reduced supplies and concerns over the performance of current-season crops. Prices in May were at record to near-record levels in most markets and up to double their year-earlier levels.

IGP Kayihura bans debates on “Presidential Age Limit” or the Article 102 (b) of the Constitution!

“When a man is denied the right to live the life he believes in, he has no choice but to become an outlaw.”Nelson Mandela

“Age limit debate is strictly in parliament, but not in schools or villages. It is supposed to be debated in parliament and should be among MPs,” he said” (…) “Kayihura instructed security personnel to work closely with the leadership of universities and students to keep law and order in and out of the campuses. “It was an embarrassment to security to see students carrying the coffin with the picture of the president in Mbarara. It showed there is no intelligence network in Mbarara,” Kayihura reportedly said during the meeting. The police chief also told police commanders to work closely with crime preventers. “You must work with crime preventers in your areas to make sure that you block local leaders from discussing the age limit bill with residents because the bill has not been tabled in parliament,” another source quoted Kayihura as saying” (Taremwa, 2017).

Clearly, if even a small mind like Gen. Kale Kayihura can understand the powers of his words. That only the elite and the selected people of the Parliament can talk about laws and extent of the powers within it. The constitution that binds the Republic and set the standard of all laws in the Republic. Are now under order by him to allow simply put talking about it or debated in villages, schools, surely in canteens unless an MP are present.

The IGP Kayihura is clearly showing arrogance and lack of understanding of the value of freedom of expression. He knows his intent and the extent of his powers. When he can take one of the most controversial and flamboyant changes of the constitution and push only to one venue. Like the bribed and subdued MPs would stand their ground and all defend the just cause. When their master, the same master that the IGP orders them to vote for his life Presidency.

This is supposed to happen in silence, not allowed to talk about and not debated is insane. It is beneath all common decency and what is seen as just. Certainly, age limit is a touchy subject, because with time Museveni will need as foreign health care treatment for his illnesses as President Mugabe. Therefore, the steady new Presidential Jets will come in handy and not only for showing off to his other totalitarian mates.

That the Police Force and their security organizations plans to block debates and talks in public about it is just bonkers. There are not anything sane about such a move and proves the volatile state of the National Resistance Movement, when it knows the people’s concern about this sort of provision and law. That only benefit President Museveni and the ones who gets paid to vote for it. This will only make more people outlaws, as the laws are more for the subject of President Museveni, than for the common good of the state.

This sort of measure only provides the totalitarian effort to pass a law for the sake of keeping the skeleton of NRM alive. Not providing more development or concern for service delivery. Since the delivery of this sort of constitutional amendment is only for the life of President Musveni. As it was when the Constitution it was amended to abolish term limits for the President.

Now if you become a group standing up against it, even if you’re a NRM Youth member or anything else. The Police will detain you and if you speak against the age limit, and they will hurt you. Since speaking against the age limit is speaking against the patriotic movement and the President. Who has all rights and reasons to stay in charge until his last breathe?

That is the message the Police sends. That the Police can within their means and functions to silence opposition towards a coming law. A law that is only for ONE man out of the millions living in Uganda. The Republic with this amendment only serves one purpose and one cause, the cause being Museveni and his lifelong Presidency. No succession or no change of Executive. Only him. Only him and no one else. Apparently, that is what the Police believes as well.

Since the MPs and Plenary, those sorts of debates is the only one allowed by the Police. The citizens has to silent and not talk, the debates at schools and in village councils are not allowed, this measure is supposed to stop the controversy and let it go away. Instead, this sort of act shows the lack of morals, common sense and even core freedoms that are now swept away, because the President needs it to be so. With the help of Police Force who enforce his rule.

The IGP Kayihura have tried in the past to lecture media how to work, opposition parties how to conduct their party functions, and the newest steer public agenda. The Old Man with the Hat is clearly ordering him to do so. So now the talk of this will not be in the open, but behind closed doors in people’s homes. If people get the wind of it in church or in a pub, it might get rumors that spreads to a Crime Preventer or a Police Officer, who will detain the fellow who did the forbidden: “speaking about the old man and his will to rule forever”. This are our days and times. That is the price of oppressive regime of the NRM and President Museveni. Who has no issues with silencing the people for his own gain! Peace.

Reference:

Taremwa, Johnson – ‘Kayihura ‘bans’ age limit debate in universities’ (14.07.2017) link: http://observer.ug/news/headlines/53841-kayihura-bans-age-limit-debate-in-universities.html

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.

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