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March 10 - 16, 2014

Media Monitoring Report for South Sudan
Posted on March 16, 2014

Conflict Between UNMISS and South Sudanese Population

Others note: A UN arms shipment was intercepted by South Sudanese authorities because UNMISS shipments by road. The agreement between the UN and government of South Sudan stipulates that arms can only be transported by air, not road. The matter is causing friction between the government and UNMISS, and has led to protest in Juba.

State Media

Government of Sudan, (Webpage), March 10th-

  • The conflict between the South Sudanese government and UNMISS is deepening as a result of the arms seizure last week. The government launched an investigation.
Independent Media

Sudan Tribune, (Online News Site, Based in Paris for Diaspora, March 10th-

  • The Member of Parliament of Lakes State has called for Hilde Johnson, the head of UNMISS, to step down after the recent arms seizure.

Sudan Tribune, (Online News Site, Based in Paris for Diaspora, March 11th-

  • The Ghanaian Force Commander of UNMISS has denied that that the arms shipment was intended for rebel troops. He insists that the shipment was for the Ghanaian peacekeepers.
  • His statement: “Let me be clear, the weapons and ammunition found in Rumbek were never intended to serve any other purpose than that of peace and protection of South Sudanese civilians.”

Eye Radio, (Independent News Radio and Website), March 11th-

  • UNMISS sent an investigation team from New York to investigate the weapon seizure. They insist that they take the matter very seriously.

Sudan Tribune, (Online News Site, Based in Paris for Diaspora), March 12th-

  • UNMISS has accused South Sudan authorities of restricting its movements. They argue that this goes against the Status of Forces Agreement (SOFA) that each party has signed.
  • UNMISS says the dangerous working conditions workers are exposed to makes it difficult for UNMISS to implement its mandate. They are calling on all parties to respect their work.

Radio Miraya, (Independent Public Services Media), March 13th-

  • A high-level delegation from the UN in New York has arrived in Juba to investigate the arms seizure shipment. The UN is insisting that these containers were improperly labeled.

South Sudan bloggers are also weighing in on the role of the UN, especially Hilde Johnson:
http://paanluelwel.com/2014/03/11/the-hildes-war/
http://paanluelwel.com/2014/03/11/is-south-sudan-at-the-mercy-of-the-un-and-other-hidden-powers/

Youth and Women in the Country: Involvement, Concerns

Sudan Tribune, (Online News Site, Based in Paris for Diaspora), March 10th-

  • On Saturday, the Youth League of SPLM held a youth rally in Western Equatoria State Capital, Yambio.
  • The Youth League chairman, Akol Paul Kordit called for youth to reject tribalism and unite for peace. He also was critical of UNMISS and its “smuggling” of arms.
  • He is asking for the UN to respect the nation’s sovereignty and to not meddle in their internal affairs.
  • He also asked for youths to not get caught in the cycle of war.

Radio Miraya, (Independent Public Services Media), March 11th-

  • Hundreds of youth in Juba held a peaceful demonstration organized by youths section of the ruling party, the SPLM. The demonstrators called for peace and reject the setting up of an interim government without Kiir considering that he has been elected.

Radio Miraya, (Independent Public Services Media), March 11th-

  • Hundreds of women trapped in IDP camps struggle to make ends meet. Some have started to run small businesses to make money for their families.
  • Women and girls IDPS are desperate for reproductive health services.

Sudan Tribune, (Online News Site, Based in Paris for Diaspora), March 14th-

  • Hundreds of children from Twic East and Duk counties are fleeing Jonglei for Lakes state in an effort to have access to security and education.
Alleged Coup Culprits Face Trial

Sudan Tribune, (Online News Site, Based in Paris for Diaspora), March 11th-

  • The trial of the four political figures accused of treason by the government for their alleged plot of the coup began in Juba on Tuesday.

Sudan Tribune, (Online News Site, Based in Paris for Diaspora), March 12th-

  • The government asked Juba’s special court for the maximum penalties for the four political detainees who have been accused of treason. “The charges against the four officials include treason, incitement of the masses, causing disaffection among police forces or defense forces, defaming the government of South Sudan and undermining authority of or insulting the president.”
  • Some independent analysts raised doubts about the independence of the judiciary.

Sudan Tribune, (Online News Site, Based in Paris for Diaspora), March 12th-

  • The chief negotiator of the SPLM-In Opposition rebel group said that they are trying to decide if they participate in the next round of peace talks if the court decides to charge the four detainees with treason. They will make a decision once the court has given its verdict.

Radio Miraya, (Independent Public Services Media), March 12th-

  • The prosecution presented phone conversations and press releases as evidence against the four political detainees accused of the coup against the government

Sudan Tribune, (Online News Site, Based in Paris for Diaspora), March 13th-

  • A South Sudanese activist demanded that the four detainees receive a fair trial. The activist is also skeptical of the independence of the judicial system in South Sudan.
Ongoing Violence and Effects on Health

Sudan Tribune, (Online News Site, Based in Paris for Diaspora), March 10th-

  • Rally for Peace and Democracy (RPD), an South Sudanse non-governmental organization, raised awareness about the worsening conditions in UN IDP camps. They say that children are dying and civilians are targeted by armed groups/

Eye Radio, (Independent News Radio and Website), March 10th-

  • The UNHCR says cases of malnutrition will continue to rise in refugee camps if the conflict continues, especially among children.

Radio Miraya, (Independent Public Services Media), March 14th-

  • The authorities in Central Equatoria are concerned that if the water and sanitation facilities are not improved, there could be a cholera outbreak.
Additional News:

Eye Radio, March 11-

  • The government rejected the establishment of an interim government without President Kiir, considering that he was elected in 2010 to serve a five-year term.

Sudan Tribune, March 13- 

  • One of the top military officers of the SPLA was ‘inadvertently assassinated’ in Juba on Wednesday. It is currently unclear what led to his death, though government officials claim that he died at the hands of the Central Equatoria Police force. Over 10 of these police officers were arrested at the time, but some have since been released.

Sudan Tribune, March 15-

  • Four exiled South Sudanese opposition parties in South Sudan have agreed to participate in peace talks as their own separate bloc. The four groups are : South Sudan United Democratic Alliance (SSUDA), National Revolutionary Democratic Party/Front (NRDP/F), Revolutionary Alliance for South Sudan (RASS) and the South Sudan Republican Party (SSRP). They will stand under the umbrella of SSUDA.
  • They accuse both Kiir and Machar of having a role in the division of SPLM leadership and believe they should allow the setting up of an interim government until the elections in 2015.
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