13-19 July, 2015
Compiled by Vincent Marquis
- Tensions and preparation ahead of peace negotitions
- Tensions between South Sudan and the United Nations
- Inter-clan violence intensifies in Lakes states
- Clashes between the South Sudanese army and the Mundri tribe
1. Tensions and preparation ahead of peace negotiations
(Sudan Tribune, independent/privately-owned online media platform, article dated July 13, 2015, in English) IGAD calls on South Sudanese warring parties to sign final peace agreement by mid-August
- A new timetable has emerged for the long awaited resumption of peace negotiations between warring parties in South Sudan under the mediation of the East African regional bloc, IGAD, where a final agreement is expected by 10 August.
- According to the timetable seen by Sudan Tribune, the South Sudanese parties will convene in Addis Ababa on 24 July and will be presented with a new IGAD-Plus draft of the would-be peace agreement.
- The parties, according to the timetable, will be given 10 days to study the draft and discuss it in consultation with their respective principals in Juba, the government’s national capital, and Pagak, General Headquarters of the armed opposition faction of the SPLM-IO.
- The negotiating teams of the warring parties will then be called back to Addis Ababa on 5 August to negotiate on the draft peace agreement, and, around 7 August, will be joined in Addis Ababa by their respective leaders, Kiir and Machar.
- This final negotiation process will give the two warring parties the chance to agree on any outstanding issue and improve on the language of the draft agreement as it may suit them.
(Sudan Tribune, independent/privately-owned online media platform, article dated July 16, 2015, in English). South Sudan hopeful of peace deal with rebels at next talks
- Senior members of South Sudan’s ruling Sudan People’s Liberation Movement (SPLM) expressed optimism on the possibility of reaching a peace agreement in the next round of talks with armed opposition groups.
- South Sudan’s foreign affairs and international cooperation minister, Barnaba Marial Benjamin, said he was optimistic peace would soon return to the country, provided the armed opposition fighters show commitment and willingness to make compromises.“Peace is coming. From day one, the government has never shown any indication of unwillingness to bring peace and end this crisis…90% of the issues have been resolved. It is this 10% which we want to close,” stressed Marial.
2. Tensions between South Sudan and the United Nations
(Sudan Tribune, independent/privately-owned online media platform, article dated July 13, 2015, in English). South Sudan president rejects UN sanctions on top commanders
- South Sudanese President Salva Kiir has reiterated his objection to the United Nations sanctions imposed on three of the army’s top military officers allied to his regime, describing them as “a misguided” move.
- On 2 July in New York, the UNSC imposed sanctions on six military generals, three from each side of president Salva Kiir’s government and the armed opposition faction led by former vice president, Riek Machar. The sanctions include travel bans and assets freezes.
- South Sudan Press Secretary declared: “We believe the path to justice and tranquillity is only through dialogue. Foreign sanctions are misguided, and we need to remove obstacles obstructing peace, not create new ones.
- “Sanctions imposed on South Sudan,” he continued, “will not only hinder the peace process but inherently be felt by our countrymen and women down to the very basic level.”
(Sudan Tribune, independent/privately-owned online media platform, article dated July 13, 2015, in English). S. Sudan to expel head of UN office in Unity state over reported human rights abuses
- The government of Unity state announced it would not allow the head of the United Nations Mission in South Sudan (UNMISS), Mary Cummins, to return to the state, because of UN reports accusing the government of human rights abuse.
- Unity state Deputy Governor, Stephen Mabek Lang, told Sudan Tribune that the decision was made by the cabinet after the latter was allegedly unable to provide evidence substantiating allegations of human right abuses on the part of government forces.
- If implemented, the expulsion of Cummins will be the second unilateral decision of the government of South Sudan to expel a top official of the UN after the expulsion of the head of humanitarian affairs, Toby Lanzer, in May 2015.
(Sudan Tribune, independent/privately-owned online media platform, article dated July 16, 2015, in English). South Sudan vows not to expel UN official from Unity state
- The South Sudanese government said it would not expel the UN coordinator in its oil-rich Unity state, saying the state administration has no constitutional mandate to expel UN officials or member of the diplomatic community.
- The UN Secretary General, Ban Ki-moon, urged South Sudanese authorities to fully cooperate with its peacekeeping mission by providing support to enable humanitarian workers to deliver supplies and have unfettered access to people.
3. Inter-clan violence intensifies in Lakes state
(Sudan Tribune, independent/privately-owned online media platform, article dated July 13, 2015, in English). Nine killed, dozens wounded in Lakes state clashes
- At least nine people were killed and dozens wounded during inter-clan clashes between the Panyon and Dhiei clans in Lakes state. The clashes, according to authorities, were largely due to continuous cycles of revenge in the region.
- Acting Minister of Information and Communication Jok Ayom Majak called on the elders and politicians of the state to work in concert with the country’ broader peace campaign rather than disseminating unfounded speeches that will divide communities.
- According to several eyewitnesses, no government officials or members of the police forces intervened to separate the two rival communities during the clash in Rumbek East.
(Sudan Tribune, independent/privately-owned online media platform, article dated July 13, 2015, in English) 27 killed, dozens wounded in Lakes state raid
- Over 27 people, including several women and children, were confirmed dead following a cattle raiding incident that occurred at Papul camp in South Sudan’s Lakes state on Sunday.
- The Yirol West county commissioner, George Kuac, suspects the attack was carried out by pastoralist youth from Rumbek East, Rumbek North and Rumbek Central counties.
- Matur Mathiang, a youth member who led a peaceful demonstration in Yirol West county on Monday, also confirmed that 27 people, including 6 women and 7 children, were killed.
- The protestors, in their petition, urged the state government to employ minimum use of force while handling peace demonstrators. Some youth, however, accused the caretaker governor of allegedly introducing divide-and-rule policy to govern the state.
(Sudan Tribune, independent/privately-owned online media platform, article dated July 16, 2015, in English). Over 70 houses burnt in Lakes state dispute
- More than 70 houses were set on fire Wednesday by pastoralists in Lakes state’s Rumbek Central county, officials and eyewitnesses said.
- The incident reportedly occurred when youth from Pakam and Kuei assaulted their counterparts from Panyon in what is believed to be yet another revenge attack.
- “75 houses belonging to Panyon section in Cueiadukan were burnt to ashes. All goats and goods were also looted and thousands of people were displaced", declared the Criminal Investigation Department.
4. Clashes between the South Sudanese army and the Mundri tribe
(Sudan Tribune, independent/privately-owned online media platform, article dated July 13, 2015, in English) 8 die in clashes around Juba as CES condemns S. Sudan army’s brutality
- The Central Equatoria state (CES) government has condemned the South Sudanese army (SPLA) of “brutality” after clashes with fighters from the Mundri tribe near the capital, Juba, left at least 8 people dead on Sunday.
- “It is unfortunate some lives have been lost due to unruly behaviours of elements in the SPLA whose actions appear to have been influenced by tribal tendency,” Ladu Subek, an official with Central Equatoria state government, told Sudan Tribune.
- Subek said fighting erupted on Sunday at a military base of Guerkek, a few kilometres north of Juba, when the Mundri youth were provoked by soldiers belonging to the South Sudanese army.
- Subek blamed the general command of the SPLA for not taking immediate action by identifying and withdrawing the responsible elements, saying the army overreacted with excessive force.
4. Inter-clan violence in Lakes states
(Gurtong, independent/privately-owned online platform, article dated July 6, 2015, in English)
Revenge attack leaves 16 dead in Lakes state
- 16 people have lost their lives and 16 others sustained injuries during a revenge attack between the Panaguong and Panawur sub-clans in Duony Payam in Lakes State.
- Mayom Malek, Cueibet County Commissioner, said fighting occurred within the Pagook Section when one of the clans attacked the other in what is believed to be a revenge attack.
- Malek said the situation is now calm following the deployment of security forces in the area. He also said that the wounded are now receiving treatment. Investigations will be launched to clarify the circumstances of the attack.