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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

UK Continues to Support Most Vulnerable in Sudan Through Cash Assistance (21.08.2017)

KHARTOUM, Sudan, August 21, 2017 –  The United Kingdom has contributed £4.5 million (US$5.8 million) to the United Nations World Food Programme (WFP) to provide essential food assistance to nearly 370,000 internally displaced people (IDPs) in Darfur for two months.

The Department for International Development (DFID) contribution will allow WFP to support IDPs through cash-based transfers, which will provide people with vouchers and e-cards so they can buy food and essential supplies of their choice at contracted local traders.

“The UK Government is committed to working with WFP to meet the humanitarian needs of displaced people within Sudan,” said Acting Head of DFID Sudan Kate Orrick. “We have provided a total of £53.5 million to WFP since 2013, providing vital assistance to hundreds of thousands of people in Sudan and enabling them to start rebuilding their lives.” 

“The use of cash and vouchers enables greater choice and dignity for vulnerable Sudanese, stimulates the local economy, and has the greatest positive impact on those receiving our support,” Orrick added.

WFP will use the contribution to support 288,000 IDPs in North and West Darfur states and nearly 81,000 IDPs in Otash camp, located in South Darfur state.

“We are grateful to the people and Government of the UK for this contribution towards our cash programmes, which is a more efficient form of assistance and allows for greater autonomy and dignity while providing a lifeline to those most in need,” said WFP Sudan Representative and Country Director Matthew Hollingworth.

With UK support, WFP successfully launched the first cash programme in Sudan last year in Otash camp in South Darfur. During the pilot phase of the cash transfer programme (October 2016 to March 2017), nearly 75,000 IDPs in Otash camp received approximately US$37.50 per person for five months. The assistance was provided through a prepaid card swiped against a Point of Service (POS) device at pre-selected shops.

In Sudan, the introduction of vouchers in 2009 and cash assistance in 2016 continues to transform the relationship between vulnerable displaced people and their food needs. Cash-based assistance provides people with greater choice of food items and access to locally-preferred ingredients, while stimulating the local economy and supporting WFP’s needs-based approach in a protracted crisis. Over the past six years, WFP in Sudan has expanded the use of cash over regular food distributions. Evidence gathered through ongoing monitoring and feedback from people receiving WFP support shows that cash-based transfers are generally the preferred form of assistance.

Throughout 2017, WFP plans to support more than four million vulnerable people in Sudan, including IDPs, refugees, people affected by climate change and host communities. WFP provides such support through a range of activities, including emergency food assistance, cash-based transfers (or vouchers), nutritional support, and resilience-building activities to help communities become increasingly independent.

Opposition Chief Whip Ssemujju provoking Besigye supporters just like Mwenda!

There are just some days, the true colors of some people appear, the real reason and the double-edged sword comes into play. There are times when the grandeur of support dwindles away like a dot-com bubble. It is this time and this sort of attacks within own party shouldn’t exist. Apparently it do, the Forum for Democratic Change (FDC), has been a party where the different leaders has discussed matters and followed protocol. Also, ever since Reform Agenda of early 2000s the leadership has changed and other deserters from National Resistance Movement has come into the fold.

It has been the strongest opposition party because of how the internal party organization has been built, the trust between the aides of leaders and the members. This has been an element of a party structure that has been done with grass-root work and steady campaigning. The proof of being different and also wanting a possible peaceful change from the Museveni era. That has not happen, because of the oppression and the constant rigging. Also, the control of the army. Therefore, you can wonder why Besigye who was part of the foundation and creator of FDC are no under-fire from his own. That also sounding like Mwenda, who has become the giant commentator who really despises him. I wouldn’t expect this sort of words form someone in the FDC NEC, but everything is allowed in politics, I guess.

Ibrahim Nganda Ssemujju on the 16th August 2017:

That is how many FDCs, including sophisticated ones like Musumba, viewed anyone who dared contest against Besigye. This is because Besigye is the most charismatic and selfless leader that the FDC either has inherited or produced. He is nearly more popular than the party. Contesting against him is almost criminal, punishable by isolation and other social boycotts. Yet that is exactly what motivated Muntu. I remember interviewing him while still working with The Observer and he feared FDC was making the same mistake senior leaders in the NRM made – not contesting against Museveni. Today, we still have people in FDC who think Col Besigye’s word is law and opposing it is a crime. Unfortunately, some of them are senior leaders. When you win over state power with that sort of mentality, I am sure you will be another criminal gang. Because Besigye’s mobilization and presidential campaign catchword was ‘defiance’, even those who have never chased a caterpillar in their lives are dismissing the rest of the party members as being “compliant”. Therefore, to them, this campaign for the FDC presidency is between defiance and compliance. The truth of the matter is that this campaign is between blind loyalists and those opposed to the idea” (Ssemujju, 2017).

Andrew Mwenda on the 7th January 2017:

Dr. Kizza Besigye is totally convinced that he has a large number of extremely loyal supporters armed with fanatical zeal to die for him. Besigye supporters are equally convinced that they have a leader willing to die for their cause. Both sides are involved in a game of deceit and deception and here is how. Besigye die hards are either cowards or hypocrites or both. While they make the loudest noise on how they are ready to die for him, they have done nothing (except for insulting critics on social media) to prove they are worthy of their claims. Each time Besigye goes to town, Kale Kayihura sends only eight (8) police men who pick Besigye like chicken, bundle him over a pickup truck and take him to police as these “ready-die-for-our-man” fanatics watch helplessly. For many months after the elections in February 2016, Kayihura kept a small police contingent at Besigye’s home of not more than 20 police officers. This “large mass” of “ready-to-die-for-our-man” people couldn’t pass this small poorly equipped force to rescue their hero. What kind of loyalty is this? Besigye is deluded to believe in his fanatics” (Andrew Mwenda, 07.01.2017).

Why did I take a Facebook article from Mwenda and this week attack piece from Ssemujju, it is because they use same sort of form to attack Besigye. It is special and unique. I never thought Ssemujju would use the same of tricks of the trade to address greatest Museveni nemesis Besigye. This is just weird. Because, Ssemujju has often been a man of reason, a man of sound judgment, but this time, I beg to differ.

Mwenda wrote this: “Dr. Kizza Besigye is totally convinced that he has a large number of extremely loyal supporters armed with fanatical zeal to die for him. Besigye supporters are equally convinced that they have a leader willing to die for their cause”. We can easily detect that anyone supporting Besigye has to be a die-hard supporter and dying for his cause. Because the support of Besigye has to be this hard, then seeing Ssemujju: “Today, we still have people in FDC who think Col Besigye’s word is law and opposing it is a crime. Unfortunately, some of them are senior leaders. When you win over state power with that sort of mentality, I am sure you will be another criminal gang. Because Besigye’s mobilization and presidential campaign catchword was ‘defiance’, even those who have never chased a caterpillar in their lives are dismissing the rest of the party members as being “compliant””. You can see that Ssemujju also calls Besigye radicals, as it is criminal not supporting him inside the FDC. That is the coded language used for, that the ones standing against Besigye is a “criminal gang”. This sort of addressing it, shows how he tries to make the decisions of Besigye into attack on the FDC Organization. That since Besigye has and wanted to be different than the NRM and the government itself. Since, if they gave way to the government, then there was no difference. If Besigye supporters really did boycott and stopped being part of state, the FDC would be legitimate opposition party. What is worrying is how he uses the same sort of words to address Besigye.

I would not expect that Ssemujju would write in a manner of Mwenda, but he did. It is right, Besigye is not perfect, but he has given way to other parts of the party, that has opened windows of more than just “hard-liners”. If it wasn’t so, the FDC NEC wouldn’t have the power and the ability to become a Shadow Government with Shadow Cabinet. Something Gen. Mugisha Muntu and Party President was voting for, while Besigye was in house-arrest and detained. If Ssemujju feared the prison and the oppression to the levels of Besigye, he might have turned a bit more radical himself. But safety of Parliament salaries and remuneration must surely put the ideology on the side.

It is a sad sight seeing Ssemujju turning this way, instead of actually being honest, being up-front for why he uses Besigye, who is not standing for the FDC Presidency and that Gen. Muntu is also an incumbent. Another “No-Change”. Since Gen. Muntu has been the Party President since 2012 after Besigye stepped down after being elected in 2005. So it is not like Besigye acts like he is bigger than FDC. That is lie, if it was so he would be like Museveni who is the Party President and the President of the Republic. Its a big difference there. So the rants against Besigye and his supporters should be futile. If not it is the Muntu fraction that fears the Besigye supporters will be behind his aide Byamugisha.

But it is with sadness, that a bright mind like Ssemujju are using rhetoric and tricks of Mwenda’s playbook. Sorry brother, you should know better and should also be wiser. You are FDC leader, not a NRM Stooge, right? You give respect to Besigye, but same time slams him. What are you trying to say, only the ones supporting Muntu and his side of the Party are the ones justified? Since Besigye garn different kind of support, but you will quickly embrace the man, when you need votes?

Is that your game as well, we have seen similar acts of late, when the chips are down the people leave the fold, but when the tide is rising the people come running back. Peace.

Reference:

Ssemujju, Ibrahim Nganda – ‘Why I am for Gen Muntu this time’ (16.08.2017) link: http://observer.ug/viewpoint/54408-why-i-am-for-gen-muntu-this-time.html

South Sudan refugees in Uganda pass 1 million mark, UNHCR renews call for help (18.08.2017)

Over the past 12 months, an average of 1,800 South Sudanese have been arriving in Uganda every day.

GENEVA, Switzerland, August 18, 2017 – UNHCR, the UN Refugee Agency, is today reiterating its call to the international community for urgent additional support for the South Sudan refugee situation and Uganda in particular, where the number of refugees from South Sudan has now reached 1 million.

Over the past 12 months, an average of 1,800 South Sudanese have been arriving in Uganda every day. In addition to the million there, a million or even more South Sudanese refugees are being hosted by Sudan, Ethiopia, Kenya, Democratic Republic of the Congo and Central African Republic.

In Uganda, more than 85 per cent of the refugees who have arrived there are women and children (below 18 years in age). Recent arrivals continue to speak of barbaric violence, with armed groups reportedly burning down houses with civilians inside, people being killed in front of family members, sexual assaults of women and girls, and kidnapping of boys for forced conscription.

With refugees still arriving in their thousands, the amount of aid we are able to deliver is increasingly falling short. For Uganda, US$674 million is needed for South Sudanese refugees this year, but so far only a fifth of this amount (21 per cent) has been received. Elsewhere in the region, the picture is only marginally better – in all US$883.5 million is needed for the South Sudan situation, but only US$250 million has been received.

The funding shortfall in Uganda is now significantly impacting the abilities to deliver life-saving aid and key basic services. In June, the World Food Programme was forced to cut food rations for refugees. Across settlements in northern Uganda, health clinics are being forced to provide vital medical care with too few doctors, healthcare workers and medicines. Schooling, meanwhile is also being impacted. Class sizes often exceed 200 pupils, with some lessons held in the open air. Many refugee children are dropping out of education as the nearest schools are too far away for them to easily access.

Since December 2013, when South Sudan’s crisis erupted in Juba, more than two million South Sudanese have fled to neighbouring countries, while another two million people are estimated to be internally displaced.

IGAD Revitalizing South Sudan Peace Process (18.08.2017)

UN Peacekeeping Mission Head insists on “zero tolerance approach” to militarization of South Sudan’s displaced people camps (10.08.2017)

UNMISS currently protects some 218,000 people in seven POC sites across the country where people have fled due to the ongoing conflict in South Sudan.

JUBA, South Sudan, August 10, 2017 – The Head of the UN Peacekeeping Mission in South Sudan (UNMISS) has insisted that the mission maintains a “zero tolerance approach” to the militarization of camps for people displaced by conflict and that the camps remain civilian in nature.

David Shearer, who is also the Special Representative of the UN Secretary-General, was speaking in Bentiu in the north of the country, where some 115,000 people are currently living in the Mission’s largest Protection of Civilians site or POC.

Last month, 22 armed men in civilian clothes were taken into custody by Mongolian peacekeepers, after they tried to break into the camp to seek shelter from fighting.

“The only way to keep women and children safe in this camp and others is to make sure they do not become militarized,” Mr Shearer said.

UNMISS currently protects some 218,000 people in seven POC sites across the country where people have fled due to the ongoing conflict in South Sudan.

“Undoubtedly, UNMISS has saved tens of thousands of lives by providing these sanctuaries from violence, but ultimately,” Mr Shearer added “we need to find a longer-term solution so that these people can return home and live productive lives.”

“Only those people in imminent danger and whose lives are at risk should be sheltering in these sites,” the UNMISS Head said.

UN Police Officers are working with community groups in the POC sites to ensure that military groups are unable to find refuge there.

“UNMISS is stepping up peacekeeping patrols outside many of its POC sites to build confidence for local people to return home,” said David Shearer. “That needs to go hand in hand with the efforts of humanitarian agencies to provide targeted assistance to surrounding communities to support that return.”

Southern Sudan Associated Advocates letter to the Kenyan Embassy: “Re: Targeting of South Sudanese in Kenya” (04.08.2017)

In South Sudan, UN peacekeeping chief pledges support to displaced civilians in Malakal (04.08.2017)

Continued civil conflict has plagued South Sudan, since December 2013.

WASHINGTON D.C., United States of America, August 4, 2017 – Having witnessed first-hand various security challenges and humanitarian efforts in South Sudan, the United Nations peacekeeping chief has wrapped up his three-day mission to the country, which included a visit to the UN Protection of Civilians site in Malakal, where he expressed the Organization’s resolve to support the return to stability.

“We are determined to continue doing our best to help the population,” said Jean-Pierre Lacroix, Under-Secretary-General for UN Peacekeeping Operations said after visiting Malakal.

Continued civil conflict has plagued South Sudan, since December 2013. A brokered peace deal signed in August 2015 has not completely taken hold, causing hundreds of thousands to flee amidst burgeoning humanitarian challenges.

Mr. Lacroix visited the UN Protection of Civilians (PoC) site in Malakal, where 30,000 people struggle to survive. Since its formation, the internally displaced persons (IDPs) site has offered refuge to countless South Sudanese escaping conflict around their homes.

Troops on the ground briefed him on various security concerns, obstacles and humanitarian efforts underway to assist the local population.

“My visit to Malakal was quite informative on the efforts that are being made to support the population there – the IDPs – but also the population as a whole, irrespective of their affiliation,” he maintained.

Through a translator, one IDP living there since December 2013 said, “in this camp we are secure,” adding “but still we need more security and peace in this country.”

Accompanied by Special Representative of the Secretary-General David Shearer, Head of the UN Mission in South Sudan (UNMISS), the UN peacekeeping chief spoke with local authorities, as well as the UNMISS team and representatives of UN agencies, both on the humanitarian and development sides.

“We had a good meeting with local authorities in Malakal and we agreed that we should continue to work together and increase our cooperation in order to help the return of stability and also generate better opportunities for the population there,” elaborated Mr. Lacroix.

During the meeting, Peter Col Wal, speaker of the Upper Nile state assembly, urged UNMISS to support peace activities in his state.

Today in the capital, Juba, after wrapping up his three-day visit to the country, Mr. Lacroix reiterated, at his final press conference, the importance of the initiative led by the Intergovernmental Authority on Development (IGAD) aimed to revitalize the peace agreement.

“Clearly it is a very important and positive thing that the countries in the region are being more engaged in helping South Sudan return to peace,” he said. “The UN has welcomed and supported this new engagement by the IGAD and looks forward to that process moving forward.”

He noted that the UN would continue to closely follow the national dialogue process to ensure that it is conducted in an inclusive and transparent manner, saying that it “can be a helpful instrument in bringing together stakeholders and helping them resolve their differences especially at the local level.”

The peacekeeping chief also called on all parties to stop fighting and to make all efforts towards a cessation of hostilities.

Finally, Mr. Lacroix expressed concern about the dire humanitarian situation and reiterated that the UN is working impartially to help everyone in South Sudan, irrespective of ethnic and religious affiliation.

“The UN is acting impartially in helping everyone in South Sudan, irrespective of their ethnic or religious or any other affiliations. I really appreciate that this impartiality was recognized by the leadership during my meetings with them. So we are determined to continue doing our best to help the population,” he said.

 

South Sudan: SPLM-FPD statement on Martyrs Day 2017 (31.07.2017)

South Sudan: Lt. Gen. John Kenyi Loburon letter of Resignation from SPLM-IO to Join NAS (28.07.2017)

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