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South Sudan risks full-fledged to implement peace deal: activist

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South Sudan risks full-fledged to implement peace deal: activist

September 17, 2021 (NEW YORK) – Despite consensus by key signatories on a road map to complete South Sudan’s democratic transition to elections and the formation of a new government, the country risks an all-out civil war over delays to implement the peace deal, an activist told the United Nations Security Council.

While briefing a meeting of the UN Security Council on Friday, Lilian Riziq, President of the South Sudan Women Empowerment Network (SSWEN) said that failure of the peace process in South Sudan coupled with the subsequent extension of transition deadlines will lead to an inevitable outbreak of civil war inflicting further suffering of civilians.

The 2018 peace deal signed between the key players in South Sudan’s long-running civil war, meant to provide a road map for durable peace has brought only some progress towards implementing the agreement.
However, most of the goals set out in the 2018 peace deal towards a democratic transition remain unachieved largely over political disputes, corruption, inter-communal conflicts, economic hardships and a deteriorating humanitarian situation.
Riziq said the power-sharing agreement has neither ended the violence nor delivered the much-awaited reforms.
“The situation in South Sudan is unsustainable. The whole country is breaking down,” she warned adding that there was “rampant insecurity” and enforced displacement of civilians.
Sexual assaults
“Women and girls are routinely subjected to sexual violence,” she said, citing to a joint human rights report published by UNMISS and the Office of the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR).
The joint human rights report, released on September 6, 2022 documented horrific gender-based violations and abuses of human rights in South Sudan.
The report documented 131 cases of rape and gang rape, including girls as young as eight years old and a nine‐year‐old girl who was gang‐raped to death.
Government failed
The South Sudanese activist added that the recent graduation of unified security forces by the so-called revitalized transitional government had failed to bring about stability.
“The current government has failed to carry out its mandate, including implementing the peace agreement and protecting civilians from state corruption and misuse of resources, especially oil revenue.”
“Therefore, extending the current government’s term despite its failure to engender peace, democracy and development will prolong the suffering of ordinary citizens.”
“In fact, the extension of the term of the government without an inclusive participation of civil society and other political and social groups will entrench the parties and encourage the government to remain in power,” she added.
Riziq warned that delays would lead to violence and an outbreak of a fully-fledged war.
Collapse of South Sudan
“The war will lead to a total collapse of South Sudan,” she said further urging the international community to support calls for a “broad-based process to ensure the inclusivity of South Sudan’s transition to peace, democracy and development.”
“In this regard, we support the Fordham University initiative to convene a broad-based meeting on South Sudan as a follow-up to the roundtable discussion held in New York on June 3, 2023,” she said.
Last month, South Sudan extended transitional government to stay in power by additional by two years delaying elections scheduled for December this year, raising concerns among Western nations supporting its peace process.
On his part, Nicholas Haysom, Special Representative of the Secretary-General for South Sudan and Head of the United Nations Mission in South Sudan (UNMISS) said that although key provisions of the Agreement are set to end by February, the parties agreed in August on a Roadmap that extends the current transitional period by 24 months.
He welcomed the development but reminded that “there is no alternative to the implementation of the peace agreement”.
“Let me underscore that the roadmap is a way point, not an end point”, he said.
He said the extension of the transitional period has been met with mixed emotions from many South Sudanese who had hoped that they would be voting by now.
The UNMISS chief stressed the importance of an inclusive political process and the opening of civic spaces as “essential conditions” for a robust and competitive electoral process.
He further outlined some steps underway – from President Salva Kiir and first Vice-President Riek Machar’s agreement to resolve the parliamentary impasse, to the graduation of the first class of joint armed forces recruits – for which budgetary resources, integration and deployment, are vital to allow a broader security sector transformation.
“Failure to address these critical issues…has the potential to reverse the gains made,” Mr Haysom warned.
Litmus test
He asserted that the next few months would be “a litmus test” for the parties to demonstrate their commitment to the Roadmap, warning against “delays and setbacks”.
In closing, the Special Representative reaffirmed the importance of the international community’s support.
“Our collective task now is to support the parties in fulfilling their obligations to the people of South Sudan as per the timing of the Roadmap,” he added.
During Thursday’s meeting of the Security Council delegates heard that South Sudan was one of the most dangerous places to be an aid worker in 2021, with 319 violent incidents recorded against humanitarian workers and assets in the country.
According to the UN report, five aid workers were killed in 2021 and five more have died since the beginning of this year.
Despite efforts by the UN Mission in South Sudan to bring about sustainable peace, Haysom detailed continued outbreaks of inter-communal violence.

 

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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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