June 29-July 5, 2015
Compiled by Vincent Marquis
- Tensions and preparation ahead of peace negotiations
- Fighting contines in Upper Nile state
- Sanctions and resolutions from the United States and United Nations
- Report on human rights abuses in Upper Nile region
- Inter-clan violence in Upper Nile and Lakes states
1. Tensions and preparation ahead of peace negotiations
(Sudan Tribune, independent/privately-owned online media platform, article dated June 28, 2015, in English) Rebel leader meets AU high representative for South Sudan
- South Sudan’s former vice-president, Riek Machar, who leads the SPLM-IO, has discussed challenges to the ongoing peace process with former president of Mali, Alpha Konare, who is the African Union’s high representative for South Sudan.
- “Former president of Mali, Alpha Oumar Konare, who is the AU’s high representative for South Sudan, met with our chairman, Dr. Riek Machar, on Saturday,” said James Gatdet Dak, the rebel leader’s spokesperson. “They discussed the peace process,” he added.
- Machar and the AU’s envoy, Dak said, had “cordial discussions” in which they shared ideas on the ongoing peace process to end the 18-month long civil war in the country, particularly on the challenges faced in the process.
(Sudan Tribune, independent/privately-owned online media platform, article dated June 28, 2015, in English) South Sudanese rival leaders urged to make proposals over outstanding issues
- Positive advances have taken place in the consultative meetings between two top rival leaders in South Sudan when Kenyan President Uhuru Kenyatta provided room for further negotiations and called the parties to propose their respective position papers on the issues.
- The initiative aims to relax a would-be imposed peace agreement floated by the mediators of the Intergovernmental Authority on Development (IGAD), to end the 18-month conflict in South Sudan.
- “Our leadership welcomes the positive initiative by President Uhuru Kenyatta which encourages the two leaders to propose position papers and negotiate on the outstanding issues in the IGAD-led peace process,” Machar’s spokesman, James Gatdet Dak, said in a statement to the media.
- Any agreement between the two leaders would be incorporated into the IGAD-Plus peace proposal while allowing for further negotiations on any other contentious issue once the talks resume in Addis Ababa around the third week of July.
(Eye Radio, independent/privately-owned media, article dated June 29, 2015, in English) Kiir-Riek talks progressing well, Amum
- There has been progress in the meeting between the president Salva Kiir and Riek Machar in Nairobi, the SPLM Secretary-General, Pagan Amum, has said. Mr. Amum told Eye Radio from Nairobi that a final peace deal will be signed soon.
- “The efforts of his excellency President Uhuru Kenyatta is to remove the obstacles that have been facing us…as well as removing obstacles preventing us from implementing the Arusha Agreement to reunite the SPLM,” Mr Amum said.
- In the Arusha agreement signatories vowed to comply with the provisions of a cessation of hostilities agreement reached nearly a year ago, and to make a “public apology to the people of South Sudan for what has happened since December 15, 2013.”
(Sudan Tribune, independent/privately-owned online media platform, article dated July 1, 2015, in English) S. Sudan peace committee starts consultations in Warrap
- Officials from South Sudan’s peace committee have started community consultations in Warrap state after weeks of grassroots campaigns in Juba.
- In a statement issued Wednesday, the Committee for National Reconciliation and Healing said it conducted consultations in 39 payams of Warrap.
- “During the consultations…communities were asked to voice out their internal and external grievances that present their community with obstacles to peace and harmony among themselves and with others," said Peter Kuot, the committee’s communication manager.
- Warrap is the pilot state of the committee’s three-year vision of collecting narratives from the people of South Sudan at the grass roots to ensure that South Sudan’s reconciliation journey is driven and shaped by its citizens’ rich experiences, knowledge, and needs.
2. Fighting continues in Upper Nile state
(Sudan Tribune, independent/privately-owned online media platform, article dated June 30, 2015, in English) S. Sudan admits losing strategic town of Malakal to rebels
- The South Sudanese government has admitted losing the Upper Nile state town of Malakal, which fell to the armed opposition forces over the weekend.
- Defence Minister Kuol Manyang said government forces pulled out of the strategic town to avoid damage and loss of lives, but were within the outskirts of Malakal.
- Minister Manyang, however, assured the population that pro-government forces were capable of defending the young nation, as well as re-taking full control of Malakal “soon”.
- The Upper Nile capital has changed hands several times between the South Sudanese army and the armed opposition forces since violence broke out in the country in 2013.
3. Sanctions and resolutions from the United States and United Nations
(Eye Radio, independent/privately-owned media, article dated June 30, 2015, in English) No to sanctions ‘without strategy’ — Crisis Group
- The international Crisis Group says the UN Security Council’s decision to blacklist six military leaders ‘undermines the renewed impetus for a coordinated international approach to peacemaking in South Sudan’.
- The Brussels-based group wrote that “imposing sanctions on these generals at this time would also turn individuals and communities in South Sudan who currently favour a peace agreement against the international community…The Security Council should hold off on this sanctions package and reframe its South Sudan sanctions strategy.”
- Members of the UN Security Council are currently seeking to adopt sanctions against six generals, three each from the government and the opposition sides.
(Sudan Tribune, independent/privately-owned online media platform, article dated July 1, 2015, in English) South Sudan rejects draft resolution to appoint human rights special rapporteur
- The South Sudanese government has urged the international community to withdraw a draft resolution aiming to appoint a special rapporteur to monitor and report on human rights in South Sudan.
- “The Government of the Republic of South Sudan is perturbed by the proposition and having considered the gravity of this proposal carefully, wishes to vehemently register its objection,” said the South Sudanese Foreign Ministry.
- The Ministry argued that such démarches by the main sponsors of the IGAD-negotiated peace process would negatively impact the ongoing efforts to achieve lasting peace in the country.
(Gurtong, independent/privately-owned online platform, article dated July 2, 2015, in English) Six South Sudanese individuals sanctioned by UN Security Council
- Six South Sudanese individuals have been sanctioned by the United Nations Security Council (UNSC) for fuelling the ongoing conflict and contributing to the devastating humanitarian crisis in their country.
- “Effective from 1 July 2015, the UN Security Council Committee approved the addition of six entries to its list of individuals and entities subject to travel ban and assets freeze,” said a statement from US Permanent Representative to the UN Ambassador Samantha Power.
- The sanctioned individuals are Major-General Marial Chanuong Yol Mangok, Lieutenant-General Gabriel Jok Riak, Major-General Santino Deng Wol, Major-General Simon Gatwech Dual, Major-General James Koang Chuol, and Major-General Peter Gadet.
(Sudan Tribune, independent/privately-owned online media platform, article dated July 3, 2015, in English)US sanctions two more South Sudanese rival commanders
- The United States designated for sanctions South Sudanese military commander General Gabriel Jok Riak and armed opposition commander General Simon Gatwech Dual.
- In the statement from the Office of Foreign Assets Control, the United States explained that the resolution was in accordance with the executive order (E.O.) 13664, authorizing the department to sanction South Sudanese individuals responsible for threatening the peace, security, or stability of South Sudan and for expanding or extending the conflict or obstructing peace talks or processes in South Sudan.
- “As leaders of opposing groups in South Sudan, both Gabriel Jok Riak and Simon Gatwech Dual are responsible for perpetrating violence and breaching ceasefire agreements,” said Acting OFAC Director John E. Smith.
4. Report on human rights abuses in Upper Nile region
(Gurtong, independent/privately-owned online platform, article dated June 30, 2015, in English) UNMISS uncovers human rights abuses in Upper Nile region
- According to a statement released by the United Nations Mission in South Sudan, evidence has been found of widespread human rights abuses allegedly committed by the SPLA and associated armed groups during the recent escalation of violence in Unity State.
- Ellen Margrethe Loej, the Special Representative of the United Nation Secretary-General (UN-SRSG) for South Sudan and head of UNMISS has called for accessibility to verify the reported violation.
- “The survivors of these attacks reported that SPLA and allied militias from Mayom County carried out a campaign against the local population that killed civilians, looted and destroyed villages and displaced over 100,000 people” said UNMISS.
- The Mission said some of the most disturbing allegations compiled by UNMISS human rights officers focused on the abduction and sexual abuse of women and girls, some of whom were reportedly burnt alive in their dwellings.
5. Inter-clan violence in Upper Nile and Lakes states
(Gurtong, independent/privately-owned online platform, article dated July 3, 2015, in English) One person killed, six injured in Malakal UNMISS camp shooting
- Sources in Malakal, Upper Nile State, have reported that inter-clan fights occurred on Wednesday in the United Nations’ Protection of Civilians site (PoC) in which one person was killed and six others injured.
- The UNMISS has condemned the shooting and said that it had received information that three members of the forces belonging to either the SPLA-IO or the allied militia led by Gen. Johnson Olony who are currently controlling the Upper Nile state capital are responsible.
- UNMISS peacekeepers returned fire against the assailants and are currently engaging with senior commanders of armed opposition forces in an attempt to identify the perpetrators.
(Gurtong, independent/privately-owned online platform, article dated July 5, 2015, in English) Renewed clashes between sub-clans leave 15 dead
- Authorities in Cueibet County of Lakes state have reported that at least 15 people have been killed and 21 others injured in renewed clashes between the Pan-Nguong and Pan-Awuor sub-clans.
- The Acting Minister of Information and Communication, who is also the Minister of Local Government and Law Enforcement Agency in Lakes State, Jok Ayom, said that measures are being taken to arrest all culprits of the clashes.
- Local police say state authorities have become increasingly isolated, with the public refusing to share information with law enforcement officers, making it difficult to investigate killings and maintain law and order in the region.