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Poverty and turmoil: South Sudan’s post-independence history

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The UK study found that the deaths from the civil war in South Sudan, which started in December 2013, were concentrated in the northeast and southern regions of the country (AFP PHOTO)
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South Sudan’s leaders have announced they will remain in power two years beyond adeadline, sparking criticism from foreign partners.

Here’s a look at the tragic history of the world’s newest nation.

On July 9, South Sudan proclaims itself independent from Sudan following six years of autonomy and decades of war.

The president is Salva Kiir, with Riek Machar as his deputy. The rivals, who belong to two different ethnic groups, led the Sudan People’s Liberation Movement (SPLM) that spearheaded the push for independence.

Kiir fires Machar and all government ministers, their deputies and several police brigadiers on July 23.

After a night of fighting in the capital Juba, Kiir says on December 16 his forces had thwarted an attempted coup by Machar, who denies the claim.

The fighting spreads beyond the capital, fuelled by rivalries between Kiir’s Dinka group and Machar’s Nuer.

It sets off tit-for-tat massacres, spiralling into five years of war.

Machar and Kiir sign a peace accord in August 2015.

Machar returns to Juba and is sworn in as vice president on April 26, 2016.

But fighting between supporters of both leaders breaks out again in July. Machar goes into exile, accusing Kiir of trying to have him killed.

Kiir and Machar meet for the first time in two years on June 20.

On September 12 they sign a new peace agreement to end a war that has killed nearly 400,000 people and displaced roughly four million.

The deal paves the way for a power-sharing government which, after much delay concerted international pressure, is eventually installed in February 2020, with Machar reinstated as vice president.

However, armed violence remains widespread, with recurring bloodshed beween rival ethnic groups, and an insurgency in the country’s south displacing hundreds of thousands of people.

The UN several times extends its peace mission, as well as an arms embargo.

A UN report in April warns that the slow pace of implementing the peace accord risks a relapse into “large-scale conflict”.

On May 8, after a delay of more than a year, Kiir includes opposition lawmakers in a new parliament.

In March, the UN accuses the government of rights violations amounting to war crimes over attacks in the southwest last year, calling for investigations against dozens of individuals, including for abuses against children.

The same month, the UN’s World Food Programme (WFP) warns that over 70 percent of South Sudan’s 11 million people will face extreme hunger this year because of natural disasters and violence.

In April, Kiir and Machar agree on the creation of a unified armed forces command, a key provision of the peace deal after years of deadlock.

Four months later, they announce that the transitional government will remain in power two years beyond the agreed deadline, in a move foreign partners warned lacked legitimacy.

Martin Elia Lomuro, the minister of cabinet affairs, says the decision was taken “to address the challenges that impede the implementation of the peace agreement”.

But the United States, Britain and Norway boycott the announcement, expressing concern that the extension did not involve consultations with civil society or international partners, among other groups.

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Gen. Buay rejects investigation committee on Mayom extrajudicial killings

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General Stephen Buay Rolnyang [Photo via Facebook]
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JUBA – South Sudan opposition commander and leader of the holdout South Sudan People’s Movement/Army (SSPM/A) Gen. Stephen Buay Rolnyang has downplayed impact of a recent investigation committee formed by President Kiir to investigate Mayom extrajudicial killings.

In July, fighting between rebel forces belonging to Buay and South Sudan People’s Defense Forces resulted in the killing of Mayom County Commissioner who was attacked and assassinated in his house at dawn on July 21.

The government responded by hunting down rebel forces and was able to convince Sudan to handover to them those who had fled to Sudan. Four opposition commanders who were handed over by the Sudanese authorities were later on executed.

The killing parked public outcry with President Kiir being urged by members of the public to remove the governor of Unity State Nguen Manytuil Wijang who is accused of direct involvement in the killing of the opposition commanders.

Kiir then formed a committee to investigate the rising insecurity in Unity State and told the committee to receive a report in a period not exceeding two weeks.

Speaking to Sudans Post this afternoon, General Buay said he doubts that something will be done by the committee, citing previous committees formed without tangible results.

“The SSPM/A has learned with great concern the formation of the investigation committee that was formed by the regime to investigate the extrajudicial killing of the SSPA officers who were kidnapped in Fula state, Sudan on 6 August 2022 and summarily executed in Mayom by the governor of unity state on 8 August 2022,” he said.

“It has been a tendency of the regime to form an investigation committee which usually ends up without any tangible results or outcome,” he added.

He said “Several investigation committees were formed by the President himself and the results were undermined and sabotaged and thrown into dustbin with good example of the recent investigation committee that was formed to investigate atrocities that were committed by allied militias and SSPDF forces in South of Unity state, therefore, the investigation committee ended up without any tangible results. So, this investigation committee is not exceptional.”

General Buay further alleged that army generals who were involved “in the extrajudicial killing of the SSPA officers have been secretly sent to Khartoum by Hon. Tut Gatluak pretending to be sick to avoid investigation committee.”

These, he said, are General Joseph Manyuat, General Bol Mayak, and General Michal Makal Kuol Majak.

 

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South Sudan rejects Morocco’s request to severe ties with Sahrawi

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NEW YORK – South Sudan has rejected Morocco’s request for it to severe diplomatic ties with the Sahrawi Arab Democratic Republic, saying it supports the position of the African Union (AU) and United Nations (UN) on the matter.

The Sahrawi Arab Democratic Republic is a partially recognised state, recognised by 41 UN member states, located in the western Maghreb, which claims the non-self-governing territory of Western Sahara, but controls only the easternmost one-fifth of that territory.

On Tuesday, South Sudan’s Vice President for Services Cluster, Hussein Abdelbagi Akol met and held discussions with the Sahrawi Minister of Foreign Affairs on the sidelines of the 77th regular session of the UN General Assembly in New York.

 

 

The two leaders discussed bilateral relations, how to advance the interests of Africans, advocate for peace, security and supporting more than a decade-old policy in which they supported the continental body’s call for free self-determination of the Sahrawi people.

The meeting between the two leaders angered the Moroccan government, which protested in a letter it sent to the South Sudanese embassy in the North African country.

However, South Sudan’s Foreign Affairs ministry informed the Kingdom of Morocco government that “the meeting between our delegation and the Sahrawi Minister of Foreign Affairs does not negate our strategic bilateral relations with the kingdom.”

“The Republic of South Sudan is a member of the African Union and the United Nations and would want to reiterate that it does not see it fit to have contrary views to the position of the African Union and UN [Security Council] Resolution 690, as a viable engagement framework to find a lasting solution over the dispute on Western Sahara”, it added.

Juba further said it has not deviated from supporting the AU and UN’s position which insists the Sahrawi people be allowed to decide their future.

“South Sudan’s leadership and the government position on the Sahrawi Arab Democratic Republic is fully supportive of the decision of the Organization of African Unity turned African Union to admit SADR to its membership on 22nd August 1982, and the AU Charter which calls for the unquestionable and inalienable right of a people to self-determination,” stressed the ministry’s statement.

In 2017, Morocco’s King Mohammed VI visited South Sudan and held talks with President Salva Kiir aimed at “promoting friendship and solidarity” between both nations. The visit came at the time Morroco was seeking support to return to the AU.

Foreign policy experts, however, argue that the position of South Sudan would have backpedaled a decade-old policy in which African countries generally support calls for a referendum in a region Morocco claims is part of its territory.

 

 

 

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MoH deploys Ebola response team at southern borders

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Team of health workers deployed at the border towns of Nimule. (Photo: Mabior Kiir).
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The national Ministry of Health has deployed a technical team of 15 health workers to areas bordering Uganda and Democratic Republic of Congo to monitor and screen travelers amid the new Ebola outbreak in Uganda.

Dr. Victoria Anib Majur, the ministry’s undersecretary said a five-member team is heading to Yambio of Western Equatoria State.

The health personnel include public health officers, lab technicians, case management surveillance officers and infection and preventing control officers.

“The ministry of health is very determined to make sure that there are precautionary measures in place to make sure Ebola doesn’t enter to the country,” said Anib.

“On top of it, we want to send a message to people to adhere with measure by washing hand If any person develops symptoms of fever or suspects any symptoms, he should report it to the nearest health facility.”

Dr. Victoria who spoke to reporters upon the departure of the doctors from Juba Airport, revealed that the ministry has also dispatched similar five-member team to Yei and another to Nimule.

Team of specialists deployed in Yei to conduct surveillance on Ebola Virus Disease. (Mabior Kiir).
She said the health professionals will launch precautionary measures center to monitor suspect Ebola cases.

On Tuesday, health authorities in Uganda declared an outbreak of Ebola after a case of the rare Sudan strain was confirmed in Mubende district in the central part of the country.

So far, 31 confirmed and suspected cases, and 19 deaths have been reported by Uganda’s health ministryOn Friday, President Kiir’s cabinet meeting allocated 500,000 US dollars as funds for mitigation and prevention of Ebola following reported outbreak of the virus in Uganda early this week.

Via Eyeradio

 

 

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