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January 13-19, 2014

Media Monitoring Report for South Sudan
Posted on January 13, 2014

Museveni and Uganda’s involvement in the conflict
Regional Media

New Vision (Uganda), state-owned, January 21st 2014

  • The Uganda People’s Defense Forces praised Museveni’s intervention in South Sudan. South Sudan News Agency, independent US-based news site, January 18th 2014
  • The Ugandan President, Yoweri Museveni is intensely involved in the conflict. He has been giving the president food resources, which this article reports is a way to tap into the oil money of the country.
  • The article reports that Museveni is the “real mastermind behind the December 15 genocide in Juba.”
  • On the 8th of January 2014, the Ugandan fire jets and helicopters began bombing to attack all forces that are loyal to the rebels, under Riek Machar.
  • The author’s opinion is stated in: “it is clear to me that Kampala wants to commit a second genocide for blood money, regardless of what the world says.” The author is representative of many South Sudanese who wish for Museveni to remain outside of their affairs.

Sudan Tribune, English-language news site, based in France, January 16th 2014

  • Reports that Museveni stated that power struggles within SPLM is what caused the contemporary conflict.
  • Museveni confirmed the involvement of the Uganda Peoples Defense Forces in the conflict, and also accused Machar of an attempted coup on the capital: “If Riek Machar did plan a coup in Juba, then why did his supporters capture Malakal, Bor, Akobo, etc.? The SPLA has flushed them out of Bentiu and Malakal.” He argues that Machar should have instead retreated to a remote area and start talks to resolve the problem.
At least 200 killed in ferry accident, in an attempt to flee the violence in Malakal
Domestic independent or private Media

Radio Miraya (Online Article), operated by the UN Mission in Sudan, January 14th 2014

  • The SPLA confirms that at least 200 people died in the sinking of an overloaded barge that was fleeing Malakal (Upper Nile State).
  • The SPLA spokesperson, Col. Philip Aguer argues that the anti-government forces should be held responsible: “Riek Machar group were passing messages to everybody by phone that Malakal was under attack, and people started running in all directions. One of the barges used to cross the river to Shilluk Kingdom was overloaded with more than 200 women and children and unfortunately it sank and all the passengers perished.”
  • The spokesman also confirmed that Malakal is under attack, as well as fighting occurring in Bor.

Sudan Tribune (Online), English-language news site, based in France, January 15th 2014

  • The government has decided to shut down the mobile phone network in Malakal for what they claim to be security purposes. The presidential spokesperson, Ateny Wek said that “you cannot leave the network up in a place where there are rebels. You have to cut the network where they are.” Sources in the oil-rich Upper Nile state say that the mobile phone networks have been cut in the entire state, in all but two towns.
  • Rebel forces claimed to have recaptured Malakal, but the SPLA denies that claim.
  • It is important to note that Malakal is where the bulk of the production of South Sudanese oil occurs, which is why it is the site of such tremendous clashes.
The fight for Malakal
Regional Media

Business Day Live, national daily newspaper in South Africa, January 14th 2014

  • Reports that rebel forces are closing in on Malakal, and they expect to recapture the town within 24 hours.
  • After Nigeria and Angola, South Sudan has Sub-Saharan Africa’s largest oil reserves. But the Assistant Secretary of State for African Affairs, Linda Thomas-Greenfield states that the fighting has halted most of the production of oil: “there’s some oil left in the pipeline but much of the pumping has ceased.”
Domestic independent or private Media

Eye Radio (Online Article), funded by US government aid body, USAID, January 15th 2014

  • The southern part of Malakal is still amidst fighting, according to Upper Nile State authorities.

Eye Radio (Online Article), funded by US government aid body, USAID, January 18th 2014

  • Officials report that over 30,000 people who have fled Malakal will be evacuated to Meluth County, Upper Nile State. This is due to the difficulty that aid agencies are having to supply assistance to Internally Displaced Persons (IDPs).
  • Authorities in Meluth say the area is calm with oil production continuing.

Radio Miraya (Online Article), operated by the UN Mission in Sudan, January 19th 2014

  • Upper Nile State authorities say that fighting is still going on in its capital, Malakal. Most of the town’s civilians have fled, according to the State Minister for Information. He has told the remaining civilians to stay inside.
South Sudan could face charges of war crimes and other human rights abuses
International Media

Rappler, January 16th 2014

  • On January 16th, the Human Rights Watch called for international probe into human rights abuses by the South Sudan rebels as well as government forces. They also feel that the UN should freeze assets and travel to anyone linked to the human rights abuses.
  • Human Rights Watch interviewed over 200 victims and witnesses in Juba and Bor since the conflict began.

Bloomberg Businessweek, January 16th 2014

  • African leaders have ordered a probe into crimes including murder and sexual violence in South Sudan and Central African Republic. They have deployed their committee on genocide, war crimes and crimes against humanity to audit the situation. Domestic independent or private Media

Radio Miraya (Online Article), operated by the UN Mission in Sudan, January 18th 2014

  • The UN says that the situation in South Sudan can now be labeled an internal armed conflict under international law.
  • The UN mission in the country has evidence and received allegation of abuses committed by both sides that could be considered war crimes.

Radio Miraya (Online Article), operated by the UN Mission in Sudan, January 18th 2014

  • The SPLA has strongly rejected accusations that their soldiers have committed crimes in the ongoing conflict.
  • The UN Human Rights Chief accused both the SPLA and Rebels of human rights violations including mass killings, recruitment of children and sexual abuse.
  • The SPLA spokesperson, Aguer welcomes any investigation.
Further Readings:
(An article by McGill professor, and expert on Sudan, Khalid Mustafa Medani, and the contemporary situation in South Sudan and its importance of oil)
(Images from space that illustrate some of the destruction caused by the conflict thus far)

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