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March 23 - 30, 2014

Media Monitoring Report for South Sudan
Posted on March 30, 2014

1. Detainees and peace talks

Sudan Tribune, (Online News Site, Based in Paris for the Diaspora), March 24th 2014

  • Reports that the government dropped the ban of the 7 political detainees’ participation in the Addis Ababa peace talks
  • This means that the detainees, joined by the widow of the SPLM founder, could participate as a third bloc in the peace talks
  • Calls by civil society to be able to participate have been rejected
  • There is concern that if this round of peace talks are not successful, instability will continue
    • UN officials warn that if the planting season is missed because of instability, there could be famine and malnutrition

Sudan Tribune, (Online News Site, Based in Paris for the Diaspora), March 25th 2014

  • The government denies that it dropped the ban on the participation of the detainees
  • “The rumour mongers are spreading the lies that the government has abandoned its position to allow [the] participation of the seven former detainees. This is not true,” announced the spokesperson for the government delegation 
  • They say they are willing to include third parties after the talks between the two warring sides have concluded: “There will be an inclusive dialogue after the conclusion of the talks” said the spokesperson

South Sudan, Government Webpage, March 24th 2014

  • Talks could resume that day in Addis Ababa. The talks were scheduled to resume on March 20th, but have been delayed because the government wanted one provision to be removed from the IGAD’s communiqué.

J4J4 Facebook Page, March 28th Status Update:
“Our Objectives are to:

  1. Demonstrate the innocence of the Juba 4
  2. Seek the immediate release of the Juba 4
  3. Ensure the Juba 4 get a fair trial and due process, in accordance with international standards
  4. Ensure the Juba 4’s human rights are protected and fostered, including their rights to a fair, freedom of expression and political association
  5. If the above cannot be achieved through the current special court process {which it inherently can not} and there is presented a "case to answer' {which would justify them to prove their demonstrable innocence}, foster the establishment of a new independent tribunal, to international standards, with international oversight.
  6. Foster renewed dialogue and peace between all sides.
  7. Seek justice for the victims, and the accountability of those responsible, for the killing of thousands of people since December 2013

Sudan Tribune, (Online News Site, Based in Paris for Diaspora), March 26th 2014

  • The four detained officials accused of the alleged coup are still on trial. They deny the charges of treason
2. Government calls for return of illegally acquired weapons

Sudan Tribune, (Online News Site, Based in Paris for Diaspora), March 24th 2014

  • South Sudan security started a house-by-house search to look illegal weapons among residents. Many people were caught unaware
  • SPLA spokesperson said: “I don’t think there should be any cause of alarm of fear. This is a normal exercise to ensure are citizens are protected so from insecurity,” he said. They uncovered a large amount of arms
  • The police spokesperson said: “It is surprising that civilians were in possession of weapons such as RPGs, automatic rifles and grenades. These are weapons for major assaults.”

Eye Radio, (Independent News Radio and Website), March 30th 2014

  • The government instructed members of Organized Forces and civilians holding illegally possessed guns to hand them over
  • Those who resist will be shot, according to the Deputy Inspector of Police
3. Opinions on interim agreements

Sudan Tribune, (Online News Site, Based in Paris for Diaspora), March 28th 2014

  • Different ethnic groups in the country have mixed feelings about the interim agreements. Dialogue as a good start, but they have mixed reactions on the proposition of an interim government

The Sudan Tribune conducted interviews among citizens and government officials.
Below are excerpts from their interviews:

  • Oyet Patrick, SPLM Eastern Equatoria: “As member of the SPLM, war has never been a choice to advance democratic ideals. The SPLM as a historical party, fought against all forms and attitudes which undermines democracy and good governance. It would therefore be unwise for us in the SPLM to go against the very fundamental rights and the ideals which constituted the basis of our struggle”
  • Patrick Adel Majut, South Sudanese from Warrap State: “I challenge people with ideas, especially those talking about reforms to come out clearly and say what they mean by the reforms and why it is necessary to form [an] interim government without President Salva. I need to be educated so that I understand. Maybe there is something I have not understood. The reforms being talked about could mean something different”,
  • Charles Shadrack Manyang, Lakes State: “From own analysis, I find that the interim arrangements we are discussing now simply mean installment of Riek Machar into the presidency by the western powers. Otherwise there is nothing else. The so-called reforms are basically reflective of the so-called six points of Riek Machar”, argued Manyang.
  • Joseph Samuel, Western Equatoria: “It’s essential for economic reform to take place, but it depends whether the aim of the next government is political stability or economic reform. There is indeed a need for a visionary leader who would come and figure out how to reign in an ascendant security apparatus, and an isolated and often politically embarrassing judiciary
4. Paanluel Wel posts resolution of the African Commission on Human and Peoples’ Rights

Paanluel Wel, South Sudanese Bloggers, March 25th 2014

  • Published the resolution of the African Commission on Human and Peoples’ Rights resolution on the human rights situation in the Republic of South Sudan. This is the one part of the resolution, recognizing the responsibility of the commission:

“The Commission:
Strongly condemns
the attacks on the civilian population perpetrated by the parties to the conflict;
the Government of South Sudan to ensure the full protection of the civilian population;
Calls on
all parties to immediately halt the violence, peacefully resolve their differences and follow through on peace agreements;
Calls on
the Government of South Sudan to ensure that perpetrators of the human rights violations are held accountable for their actions
the Government of South Sudan to cooperate with the African Union Commission of Inquiry; and
Calls on
the Government of South Sudan to immediately ratify and domesticate the African Charter and other fundamental human rights instruments”

5. Government committed to improve relations with UNMISS

Government of South Sudan Web Page, March 25th 2014

  • South Sudanese government reaffirmed its commitment to reestablish good relations with UNMISS. The foreign affairs minister said: “UNMISS is in South Sudan because of the willingness of the people and the Government of South Sudan, before and after the independence, the Government will always cooperate with UNMISS, they are our guest and in the country with our permission” He also said that they received a formal apology from UNMISS.
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