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Archive for the tag “SPLA Forces”

South Sudan: IGAD – Resolution – Meeting of the Parties to the R-ARCSS 2018 on the Status of Implementation of the Pre-Transitional Tasks and the Formation of the RTGoNU (03.05.2019)

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South Sudan: IGAD – Draft Resolution – Meeting of the Parties to the R-ARCSS 2018 on the Status of Implementation of the Pre-Transitional Tasks and the Formation of the RTGoNU (May 2nd – 3rd 2019)

The South Sudan Civil Society Forum: Civil Society Calls for Renewed Commitment and Allocation of meaningful National Resources for Implementation of R-ARCSS (01.05.2019)

SPLM/A-IO: Statement on the Execution of Comrades Aggrey Ezboni Idri and Dong Samuel Thot by the Regime (30.04.2019)

A brief look into the United Nations Expert Report on South Sudan of April 2019

Another day, another revealing story from the Republic of South Sudan. I will bring especially some few extract from a report to shed a light on some misgivings in the Republic. This as the state is still preparing and building on the R-ARCSS agreement and cease-fire. Therefore, the Transitional Government of National Unity (TGoNU) under the leadership of President Salva Kiir Mayardit.

What this report is doing is verifying existing news, also showing the systemic inefficiencies by the authorities itself. As they have not moved forward or not swiftly enough. However, there are several of revelations in the report, but I will just show three of them. First the way the NSS got rid of two government dissidents, as they kidnapped in Kenya and executed at the detention facilities in Luri. Also, showing how the UPDF is inside South Sudan and also the illegal gold export from the Republic. Finally dropping the conclusions of the experts, because that is important.

Execution of Idri and Luak in January 2018:

The Panel has received and reviewed a number of independent reports from multiple, highly credible and well-placed sources. These accounts corroborate each other across a number of key details, leading the Panel to conclude that it is highly probable that Aggrey Idri and Dong Samuel Luak were executed by Internal Security Bureau agents at the Luri facility on 30 January 2017, on orders from the commander of the National Security Service training and detention facilities in Luri, the Commander of the National Security Service Central Division and, ultimately, Lieutenant General Akol Koor Kuc. Their tragic deaths offer a sobering reflection of the challenges posed to the implementation of the revitalized peace agreement by the violent legacy of South Sudan’s conflicts, while highlighting the increasingly unchecked discretionary power of the National Security Service” (UNSC, P: 15, 2019).

UPDF inside South Sudan:

Also in its interim report, the Panel noted the presence of armed Uganda People’s Defence Forces in the Equatorias. Soldiers from these Forces continued to be present in Yei River State in subsequent months, including in Yei town and along its connecting roads between 18 and 21 January 2019. Reports suggest the presence of a significant number of troops (40-50) as well as around six military vehicles. The Panel is not aware of any exemption having been sought for this deployment, as required by paragraph 5 of resolution 2428 (2018). In a meeting with the Panel, representatives of the Uganda People’s Defence Forces confirmed the presence of these forces in Yei, noting that they were providing protection to Ugandan engineers who were surveying the road between Yei and Uganda. The Panel also discussed this deployment with the Minister of Defence of South Sudan, who reiterated that the Uganda People’s Defence Forces were there for the purpose of protecting engineers” (UNSC, P: 26, 2019).

Illegal Gold Trade:

The trade in gold in South Sudan is almost entirely unregulated and there is no effective legal framework to regulate the export of South Sudanese gold. Few export certificates have been issued and no gold exports are recorded. While also partly the consequence of limited state capacity, all of South Sudan’s gold exports are therefore, in principle, illegal” (…) “A significant number of these traders are foreign nationals, with the majority of gold “smuggled” across the border into Uganda where it is sold in border towns such as Arua and Koboko, but also in Entebbe and Kampala. Members of both SPLM/A-IO and NAS confirmed to the Panel that they had sold gold mined in South Sudan in Uganda. Some smaller volumes are also traded directly to Dubai via Juba International Airport. As is common in the region, most gold is hand-carried and transported by road or on civilian flights” (UNSC, P: 37, 2019).

Conclusions:

The revitalized peace agreement represents a significant milestone in efforts to bring an end to the conflict in South Sudan. The outcome of the agreement, however, remains uncertain, as challenges continue to face its implementation, particularly with regard to accountability, security provisions, financial transparency and the devolution of centralized power. Careful monitoring of the implementation process will therefore be essential to providing effective and meaningful support to the accord” (UNSC, P: 44, 2019).

This is a lot of information, also very striking. That is the sort of stories, that break a heart. This shows the acts of the government, the techniques and choices of oppression. The execution of these two gentlemen are really proof of how far the government goes to get rid of dissidents and activists.

Also, how it decides not to follow protocol to have a foreign force within its borders. Even for the most noble causes, the UPDF shouldn’t be there, unless the TGoNU had sought the exemption as it should. Therefore, the deployment is illegal.

Just like the gold-trade from South Sudan, which is hugely exported through Entebbe and Kampala. This meaning the Ugandan traders are earning fortunes on the illegal gold trade from South Sudan. That shows the reasons for the closeness between Juba and Kampala. As they are both earning on the misfortune there. It seems also intentionally from the state, as they have no legislation or certification of it. This is so, that its not traceable.

Surely, this report is damaging to the regime in Juba. This whole report is not a good look, but should be a reality check, if it want to be transparent and be just. The stories told in this report is really heartbreaking. All the various testimonies done to the UN Experts are really shattering.

Like this one: “When we arrived here we thought we were safe. Women go out to fetch water or fire wood they are raped. Recently, in late January, a 30-year-old and a 13-year-old left the POC and just outside they were both raped. You can talk to both survivors – they are in this camp. We are humiliated and we have scars and mine has not healed since that time, a reminder that we are hunted like animals to be humiliated.” (…) “Interviews with confidential sources, in Bentiu, February 2019” (UNSC, P: 23, 2019).

Still, in the midst of the Republic, the innocent civilians are still suffering. The rebels, the state officials and the authorities are still not keeping them safe. The United Nations are also not able or capable to keep them safe either. This is all troublesome and its just sad to read, that even more people are scorn by the ones with weapons. There is no end and the cycle of violence has to end.

Still, there are people working for the cease-fire for the peace. To Save the Last Train. However, these people combined with the ones in power, need to step-up and show their intentions. Government of South Sudan should address the concerns and recommendations of the UN Experts Reports of April 2019. Not just talk, but actually do something about it. Peace.

Reference:

United Nations Security Council (UNSC) Report – ‘Final report of the Panel of Experts on South Sudan submitted pursuant to resolution 2428 (2018)’ – S/2019/301

Troika statement on South Sudan (30.04.2019)

The members of the troika (Norway, the United Kingdom and the United States) have made a new statement on the South Sudan peace process.

OSLO, Norway, April 30, 2019 – Read the statement here:

The members of the Troika (Norway, the United Kingdom, and the United States) express their appreciation of IGAD’s role in advancing the South Sudan peace process. The September 2018 Revitalized Agreement on the Resolution of the Conflict in the Republic of South Sudan (R-ARCSS), represents an opportunity to build peace and stability in South Sudan.

The R-ARCSS is at a critical juncture, with the scheduled date for the formation of the transitional government days away. The parties to the conflict and in the region need to redouble their efforts to move the peace process forward. To demonstrate political will, we urge the parties to work together in a spirit of compromise to build trust among South Sudanese leaders and the South Sudanese people.

The agreement has brought a welcome reduction in violence in most parts of the country; but civilians are bearing the brunt of continued fighting, and a troubling pattern of sexual violence persists.

The implementation of the R-ARCSS is behind schedule and key benchmarks have been missed. We urge the parties to agree on priorities and implement their commitments. Any decision on forming the transitional government as scheduled or delaying to a later date should be made through consensus of the parties. If the parties come to a consensus that a delay is required, they should develop an achievable plan to resolve outstanding issues and move forward in a defined timeframe. An open-ended delay could slow momentum and put the peace process at risk.  Regardless of a delay in the formation of the transitional government, elections should be held by March 13, 2022, as originally scheduled under the R-ARCSS.

We support IGAD’s Special Envoy Ismail Wais in his efforts to engage non-signatories of R-ARCSS. It is crucial that all South Sudanese support this opportunity for peace and make the process inclusive. IGAD will also have a key role in overseeing discussions about the formation of the transitional government, including at the forthcoming summit in Addis Ababa. We appeal to IGAD to appoint a permanent chair to the Revitalized-Joint Monitoring and Evaluation Committee, which monitors the agreement’s implementation.

The Troika reiterates its commitment to the people of South Sudan and urges the parties and the region to seize this opportunity for Peace.

South Sudan: The TGoNU hires a US Lobbying firm to block the establishment of the Hybrid Court!

Paulino Diing Madol Atak, the Deputy Chief Protocol of the Office of the President have signed an lobbyist agreement with Gainful Solutions INC for the Government of South Sudan through the Office of the President of South Sudan. This is now know, after the Gainful Solutions Inc registered itself as a Foreign Agent for the Republic. Where they lay ahead what is the agreement and planned efforts between the parties. This agreement was signed on the 2nd April 2019 and registered in the FARA register on the 18th April 2019.

Certainly, this is interesting, as the United States Lobbying Firm is run by Michael Ranneberger, whose previous been an ambassador to Mali, Kenya and Somalia. He was also a Special Representative to the Secretary of State, where he was part of the diplomatic mission who helped to craft the Sudan Peace Agreement of 2005. However, in Kenya he had a controversial stint as an Envoy, as had leaked communiques by WikiLeaks, that showed his unfavourable view of public officials. Also, that he at one point went to Rift Valley and asked the public to not show support for William Ruto. Therefore, this is a man who plays with high-stakes. So, he knows what he does, when he takes the money from Juba to lobbying. He knows this, because surely he seen how the South Sudanese elite is spending funds in Nairobi, where he resided for years as Envoy from 2006 to 2011.

So, the South Sudanese counterparts have put their money into crafty hands, to someone who really knows how to wave a storm. Ranneberger and company will surely feel the pressure, not only from Juba because of the questionable sources of funding, but from the Washington D.C. because of their associates.

Clearly, the mission they got combined show something sinister is going on. Especially these parts are worrying: “4. Delay and ultimately block establishment of the hybrid court envisaged in the R-ARCISS.

5. Mobilize American companies to invest in the oil, natural resources, and other sectors.

6. Persuade the Trump administration to open a military relationship with South Sudan in order to enhance the fight against terrorism and promote regional stability”.

By doing this and other tasks for the South Sudanese, the lobbying firm get a retainer of $1,2m and direct payment for services as of $3,7m. This surely will be done to hopeful fulfil the mission and ensure, that the US Government doesn’t put pressure on the Transitional Government of National Unity (TGoNU) to establish the Hybrid Court. This shows signs, that the current leadership doesn’t want to be able to answer for its crimes and answer for all the people hurt in the civil war. This is showing weakness, but also lack of responsibility.

UNMISS reported on the 27th January 2017: ““The victims will also feel relieved when their voices are heard,” said Romano, adding that the aspect of justice and accountability is key for reconciliation and realizing sustainable peace. The hybrid court, characterized by a blend of international and national judicial mechanisms, will have jurisdiction with respect to the crimes of genocide, war crimes, crimes against humanity and other serious crimes committed under national and international law” (UNMISS/Patricia Okoed – ‘ADVOCATE ROMANO: HYBRID COURT KEY FOR EFFECTIVE JUSTICE AND ACCOUNTABILITY’ 27.01.2017).

Global Centre for the Responsibility to Protect reported on the 31st October 2018: “Without any further delay, the government should work with the African Union to establish the long overdue Hybrid Court for South Sudan. War criminals and perpetrators of crimes against humanity, regardless of their position or affiliation, should not be granted amnesty. South Sudan has experienced recurring armed conflict and atrocities for the majority of the country’s seven years of independence. Accountability and justice would show the people of South Sudan and the world that this peace agreement is a genuine break with the past” (Global Centre for the Responsibility to Protect – ‘Statement on Peace Celebrations in South Sudan’ 31.10.2018).

This is just two pieces of plenty on the international community supporting a hybrid court for South Sudan, as accepted upon in the R-ARCSS in Chapter V. However, this deal between the parties and stakeholders in South Sudan doesn’t totally matter to the TGoNU. As they are willing to bend on this and stifle the introduction of it. That seems like an attempt to dig over the possible war-crimes and evidence of crimes against humanity. As there is no-one innocent in war. That is why the ones who was in-charge and had responsibility for the actions done. Doesn’t want their work and their past checked in a court, as they have fought for power and doesn’t want to loose that over trial in a newly functional court.

Than its better to pay foreigners millions of dollars to try to stop the International community from putting pressure on building and operating one. That is better and cheaper, as this will buy time to continue to reign without questions of the past. A civil war and horrific acts, which is a reason for why the Republic has so many fled and why so many is Internally Displaced People. Risking the R-ARCSS while keeping power seems more feasible, than actually risking exposing the acts done in war. This seems the idea of the leadership of Juba.

Certainly, the king who ordered to send the pawns for slaughter, doesn’t want the public to know why he sent them there. He just knows they are now gone and hope the towers, the queen and other high-ranking players doesn’t tell the stories. Which would be told in a Hybrid Court. That would really damage the key-players and the ones who has the reign in the TGoNU. This is why they don’t want it out. Peace.

South Sudan: IGAD letter to SSOA – “Re: Invitation to a Meeting of the Leadership of the Parties to the R-ARCSS” (24.04.2019)

Security Council Renews Mandate of United Nations Interim Security Force for Abyei to Continue Supporting Joint Border Verification Mechanism – Resolution 2465 (2019) – (12.04.2019)

South Sudan: Joint AU, IGAD and UN Statement (12.04.2019)

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