September 21, 2022 (JUBA) – South Sudan has urged the United Nations to recognise the outcomes of a referendum held in the contested oil-producing region in October 2013.
Only Dinka Ngok participated in the controversial referendum. About 99% of the Ngok Dinka voted to join South Sudan but governments in Khartoum and Juba declined to recognise it.
During a meeting with UN Secretary-General, Antonio Guterres on Tuesday, South Sudan’s Vice President, Hussein Abdelbagi Akol described the situation in Abyei as “dire”, warranting the attention and support of the UN and the international community.
Akol said people in the disputed area have been marginalised and mistreated for a long time.
“The people of Abyei are frustrated and were now looking for the international community to stand by the decision of the people of Abyei. The people of Abyei have missed important opportunities,” he explained.
The 1972 peace deal, which ended the first civil war in Sudan from which South Sudan seceded in 2011, contained a provision that encouraged the President of Sudan to issue an executive order to return Abyei from Kordofan to which it was in 1905 to Bahr el Ghazal State in South Sudan. This provision was never utilised, yet it was an opportunity.
The 2005 Comprehensive Peace Agreement (CPA) also gave Abyei a special place with a protocol permitting the conduct of a referendum at which its natives could either decide to maintain the status quo or choose to return to South Sudan. The referendum was never held.
Abyei’s Dinka Ngok residents are culturally and ethnically allied to South Sudan and backed its rebel army during decades of civil war against Khartoum’s rule.
The Arabic-speaking Misseriya people also see it as their ancestral homeland and want to remain in Sudan. The territorial claim over the disputed area has allowed the cause to stagnant.
In line with a deal sealed in June 2011, the Sudanese government and the SPLM agreed a month before the independence to form joint administration in the disputed region.
The difference in who is eligible to participate in the self-determination referendum has delayed the organization of a referendum recognized by the two countries.
According to the comprehensive peace agreement, Abyei remains part of the Sudan until the organisation of the agreed vote to determine the fate of the border region.
Analysts agree that resolving the status of the Abyei Area is one of the essential steps Sudan and South Sudan need to take to ensure long-term peace in the region.
Gen. Buay rejects investigation committee on Mayom extrajudicial killings
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.
South Sudan rejects Morocco’s request to severe ties with Sahrawi
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.
MoH deploys Ebola response team at southern borders
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.
- Gen. Buay rejects investigation committee on Mayom extrajudicial killings September 25, 2022
- South Sudan rejects Morocco’s request to severe ties with Sahrawi September 25, 2022
- MoH deploys Ebola response team at southern borders September 25, 2022
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