Tag Archives: South Sudan

South Sudan peace accord impeded

Brussels 03.12.2020 Implementation of South Sudan’s 2018 peace accord has stalled, while the authorities have blocked humanitarian access to areas where conflict has restarted, the U.N. panel of experts said.
Deng Dau Deng, the deputy minister of Foreign affairs, has underlined that the experts themselves had been allowed entry into South Sudan, which shows “that the government of South Sudan is committed to meet the U.N. resolutions on South Sudan”.

Experts have also underlined that there was a lack of transparency in how the government collected and spent oil and other revenues. The government disputed the findings, saying agencies had access to all areas and it was making efforts to make the economy function.

South Sudan erupted into civil war soon after securing independence from Sudan in 2011, leading to an estimated 400,000 deaths and one of the worst refugee crises on the continent since the 1994 Rwandan genocide. A fragile peace accord between President Salva Kiir and former rebel leader Riek Machar was agreed in 2018 and they formed a government of national unity in February, creating a frame for potential peace.

However since then implementation has “mostly stalled, as the signatories have failed to adhere to the deadlines set in the peace agreement and have backtracked on aspects of its political, security and economic provisions,” the U.N. experts said. While the sporadic fighting has erupted in areas across the country, the panel experts found that South Sudan People’s Defence Forces and National Security Service “routinely blocked the United Nations Mission in South Sudan and peace monitors from accessing conflict areas”.

The experts also noted that the government, which relies mainly on oil for its revenue, has turned to resource backed loans and contracts as it struggles to deal with budget deficit projected to hit $700 million.

“South Sudan is cooperative,” he told Reuters on Thursday. “The U.N. mission in South Sudan (UNMISS) and other agencies have full access to all the areas.” He also said, without providing details, that his government was working to improve the deficit situation in the country.

Borrell on Sudan “Historic Day”

Brussels 03.10.202 “Today is another historic day for #Sudan, its citizens and the whole region. Many have worked tirelessly and courageously to make this Peace Agreement a reality. The EU will continue standing by your side to implement it #AUEU” said Josep Borrell, the EU top diplomat, while addressing the developments in Sudan. Borrell on Sudan “Historic Day”

Sudan’s transitional government and several rebel groups have signed a peace agreement aimed at resolving years of civil war in which hundreds of thousands of people perished and millions displaced in different regions across the country.

Cheers rang out as representatives from the government and a coalition of armed groups called the Sudanese Revolutionary Front (SRF) signed the deal on Saturday, a year after the peace talks began, at a ceremony in Juba, the capital of neighbouring South Sudan.

Present at the event guarantors of the deal from Chad, Qatar, Egypt, the African Union, European Union and United Nations also put their names to the agreement.

“Today we have reached a peace agreement. We are happy. We have finished the mission,” Tut Gatluak, head of the South Sudanese team of mediators said, shortly before the signing of the deal, taking plac a year after the peace talks were launched.

However, two powerful rebel groups – the Darfur-based Sudan Liberation Movement (SLM) faction led by Abdelwahid Mohamed al-Nour and the Sudan People’s Liberation Movement-North (SPLM-N) led by Abdelaziz al-Hilu have refused to sign, reflecting the serious challenges still facing the peace process.

The deal establishes terms to integrate rebels into the security forces, be politically represented and have economic and land rights. A new allocated fund of $750 million a year for 10 years to the impoverished southern and western regions and the opportunity of return for displaced people is also guaranteed.

Sudan’s leaders, including Prime Minister Abdalla Hamdok and head of the transitional sovereign council General Abdel Fattah al-Burhan attended the ceremony.

South Sudan: scores killed in disarmament operation

Scores of people have been killed in the South Sudan region of Warrap State following heavy fighting between armed civilians and government forces carrying out a disarmament exercise, the military’s spokesman said on August 11. While initatlly Reuters news agency repored 81 dead, the Eye Radio has later announced 127 casualtes. General Lul Ruai said that also 31 servicemen were also wounded.

On Monday, August 10,local officials said dozens of people were killed in Luanyjang County when armed civilians clashed with government forces.

Lul Ruai Koang said that the two-day clashes erupted over the weekend after some armed youths in the Greater Tonj area started engaging the security forces.

It was not immediately clear what triggered the fight, he said, adding that an investigation has been started.

“Among the dead are 55 members of the security forces and 26 civilians. Another 31 servicemen were also wounded,” Koang said, adding that the death toll could rise.

The military headquarters is urging the educators, legislators, local chiefs and residents of Warrap state to support the disarmament exercise to ensure restoring peace and security.

Last week, the South Sudan Action Network on Small Arms suggested that the communities may resist disarmament if the government does not offer them and their cattle enough protection.

The wounded security personnel were flown to the military hospital in the capital Juba for treatment, he said, adding that calm had returned to the area as authorities restored order.

The national government, formed this year after a deal to end a conflict that broke out in 2013, launched a disarmament exercise in Tonj county last month, saying that armed militias in the area were driving inter-communal violence.

EU: South Sudan «deserves peace»

“The people of South Sudan deserve lasting peace. The political and inter-communal violence occurring in Central Equatoria, Jonglei, Lakes, Warrap and other parts of the country is of great concern” reads the the declaration on South Sudan by the EU High Representative Josep Borrel, on behalf of the European Union, on delays in the implementation of the peace agreement and widespread violence

“The perpetuation of violence leading to a high number of fatalities, forced displacement, sexual and gender-based violence and other human rights abuses, must stop. These conflicts have also killed humanitarian workers and are hampering the delivery of principled humanitarian aid in areas affected by severe food insecurity and recurrent natural disasters.

“This situation is worsened by the regrettable stalling of the implementation of the peace agreement and the high proliferation of arms in the country. Violations of the ceasefire are also being reported and investigated by the monitoring bodies. The ceasefire must be fully respected by all actors, including those who are party to the Rome Declaration. The recent renewal of sanctions by the UN Security Council, including of the arms embargo on South Sudan is welcome in this regard and will help support an inclusive and sustainable peace in South Sudan. The fulfilment of security arrangements also remains imperative.

“In line with the declaration of the IGAD Council of Ministers on 23 April, which deadlines have unfortunately not been respected by the South Sudanese parties, a swift agreement on and completion of state governorships and other political nominations is vital, as is ensuring women represent 35% of those in public office.

“These gaps in national and local governance systems are hampering conflict resolution efforts. This is all the more important in view of the need for a whole-of-society effort in the containment of the COVID-19 pandemic.

“To step up EU support to South Sudan, genuine progress in the reforms foreseen by the peace agreement, including those related to transparent public financial management, is needed, as is accountability for human rights abuses to stop the culture of impunity. The set-up of transitional justice institutions is also paramount.

“The EU calls upon the South Sudanese government and all relevant stakeholders to redouble efforts to proceed in the timely implementation of the peace agreement through political compromise, to stop the widespread violence that is deeply impacting on the population of South Sudan and to facilitate the safe and unhindered access of humanitarian workers to those most in need and affected by the conflict. The EU supports and further encourages IGAD and its Member States to continue to step up their efforts to monitor and support peace implementation in South Sudan. The EU also supports the efforts of the AU, which will remain instrumental to support the full implementation of the peace agreement”.

South Sudanese security forces killed at least five people in Juba on June 3, 2020 during a violent confrontation over a land dispute and subsequent peaceful protests, Human Rights Watch said. They called the authorities to investigate thoroughly and promptly hold those responsible to account in a transparent civilian process.

South Soudan elections as key to stability

European Council today adopted conclusions stating the EU’s determination to stand by the people of South Sudan in their quest for peace and prosperity, and in facing the consequences of the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, which risks having far-reaching humanitarian and economic consequences on the newfound stability of the country.

In its conclusions the Council states that the EU welcomes the formation of the Revitalised Transitional Government of National Unity (R-TGoNU) in South Sudan as a key step towards a long lasting peace and inclusive and sustainable development in the country, and that full respect of the Cessation of Hostilities Agreement of December 2017 is imperative. In this context, the EU underlines the importance of the fulfilment of the security arrangements with the demobilisation of former combatants to ensure the safety and security of all citizens and calls on the UN Security Council to renew the arms embargo.

The Council conclusions stress that the holding of free and credible general elections at the end of the transitional period will be another step towards stability, and that journalists, civil society and human rights defenders must be enabled to operate freely.

At the same time the Council deplores widespread violations of human rights and the culture of impunity. The EU stands ready to adopt further restrictive measures if such violations continue or the peace process is undermined.

EU for «inclusive government» in South Sudan

The ongoing contacts by the heads of state of the region to bring together President Salva Kiir and Dr Riek Machar to enable the formation of a Revitalised Transitional Government of National Unity in South Sudan, scheduled for 12 November, are positive. A functioning inclusive government is what the citizens of South Sudan expect and south Sudan’s neighbours need.

In line with the UN Security Council Press Statement 6 November, all the South Sudanese parties must now honour their commitments and demonstrate genuine will to build peace in the country. The composition of the Revitalised Transitional Government must respect the provisions of the peace agreement which provides for inclusion of all signatory parties.

“Realistic and sustainable arrangements and deadlines must be set for the immediate implementation of the outstanding pre-transitional tasks, in particular those crucial to prevent a return to violence, such as the security arrangements and the agreement on the number and boundaries of states. The government’s financial commitments to enable the implementation of these tasks must be honoured.

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“It is crucial that all the parties publicly reaffirm their commitment to full compliance with the cessation of hostilities agreement of December 2017. Leaders need to strengthen mutual trust and engage in good faith in the reconciliation process. 

“Once the parties demonstrate that their commitment to peace is irreversible, the European Union will be ready to provide further support in the implementation of all the chapters of the peace agreement.”

EU allocates €3.5 million to Ebola emergency

As the deadly Ebola virus outbreak in the Democratic Republic of Congo continues, with the first cases emerging in neighbouring Uganda this week, the EU has announced further emergency funding of €3.5 million, of which €2.5 million is for Uganda and €1 million for South Sudan. The aid package will strengthen rapid detection and reaction to Ebola cases. Today’s funding comes on top of the EU support for the Ebola response in the Democratic Republic of Congo and prevention and preparedness actions in Uganda, South Sudan, Rwanda and Burundi.

Christos Stylianides, Commissioner for Humanitarian Aid and Crisis management and EU Ebola coordinator said: “We are doing all we can to save lives and stop further Ebola cases. Today, our main task is not only to help the Democratic Republic of Congo, but also assist neighbouring countries like Uganda. Here, our funding is helping with surveillance, work with local communities, and boosting local capacities for these countries to take timely and effective action. We are committed to continue our assistance to bring this outbreak to an end, for as long as it takes.”

In co-ordination with other international donors and in line with the World Health Organization’s Regional Strategic Ebola Response and Preparedness Plans, EU funding is contributing towards measures that include mainly:

  • the strengthening of disease surveillance at community level, health facilities and points of entry (border crossing points);
  • the training of rapid response teams;
  • the training of healthcare and frontline workers on contact-tracing, infection prevention and control measures, psychosocial support, and safe and dignified burials;
  • local capacity-building by equipping medical treatment facilities; and
  • community awareness-raising.

EU humanitarian health experts in the Democratic Republic of Congo, Uganda and the region are coordinating the response and they are in daily contact with the health authorities in these countries, the World Health Organization and operational partners.

Uganda delivered EU arms to South Sudan

Uganda helped to deliver European arms and ammunition to South Sudan at the height of its civil war, circumventing a European Union arms embargo on the East African country, a weapons monitoring group said.

The Conflict Armament Research (CAR) said South Sudan arranged for the Ugandan government to provide end-user assurances for purchases of weapons and ammunition from Bulgaria, Romania and Slovakia.

We have a paper trail from point of manufacture, through export to Uganda, through diversion to South Sudan, and to the recovery of the weapons on the battlefield,” said James Bevan, head of CAR.

The weaponry, delivered to Uganda in 2014 and 2015, was then transferred to neighboring South Sudan, CAR said in a report based on four years of research.

 

Juba celebrates peace

The EU gave positive evaluation of the initial steps taken towards the implementation of the  ‘Revitalised Agreement on the Resolution of the Conflict in South Sudan’, signed on 12 September under the auspices of the Intergovernmental Authority on Development (IGAD)’,  but Europe expects it should be followed by other actions in the same direction.

“In Juba South Sudanese parties reconfirmed their commitment to the The initial steps taken towards its implementation, are going in the right direction and should be followed by others”, the text of the European Action Service statement says.

“However fighting continues in some areas of the country. It is important that all parties immediately observe the provisions of the Cessation of Hostilities Agreement of December 2017 and disengage and separate their forces in close proximity as agreed by them. Full and unimpeded humanitarian access throughout the country is equally paramount. Recent reports have documented grave human rights violations and abuses in South Sudan, some of which may amount to war crimes and crimes against humanity. We expect all parties to hold perpetrators of violence to account, and ensure that transitional justice and accountability mechanisms are in place for the people of South Sudan.

“The full implementation of actions, such as releasing all prisoners of war and political detainees, would build confidence among South Sudanese parties and with the international community and is critical for an effective peace process, with political and economic inclusiveness, transparency and accountability.

“IGAD and its member states have a central role to ensure that the Agreement is implemented by the parties.The European Union will continue to support the region and to show solidarity with the people of South Sudan and remains committed to accompanying them on their journey towards peace, reconciliation, stability and resilience.

 

South Sudan girls abuse by military

Government and rebel forces in South Sudan abducted hundreds of women and girls this year and many have been raped and forced into sexual slavery, the UN mission to the country informed.

Other young people were forced to become child soldiers, according to a report by the UN Mission in South Sudan, which said that many of those abducted remain in the hands of their captors.

The abuses were committed during a civil war by forces loyal to the government of President Salva Kiir and rebels fighting for Riek Machar. The abductions violate international law and may amount to war crimes, the report said.

The girls are sometimes only 12 years old and were chosen as wives for the military. They had to parade in front of them and they (soldiers) could choose whomever they wanted. They used them and of course they were raped and (subjected to) sexual slavery,” the report said.

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