6-12 July, 2015
Compiled by Vincent Marquis
- Tensions and preparation ahead of peace negotiations
- Salva Kiir sworn in for three more years in office
- Fighting continues in Upper Nile and Unity states
- Inter-clan violence in Lakes states
1. Tensions and preparation ahead of peace negotiations
(Sudan Tribune, independent/privately-owned online media platform, article dated July 6, 2015, in English) Former detainees vow commitment to reunifying SPLM leadership
- A group of South Sudanese former political detainees (G10) said they have embarked on ways to bridging the gaps over a host of issues which the two main warring parties in the conflict have been unable to reach consensus on since the regional led negotiations began in January 2014.
- Former South Sudanese cabinet affairs minister, Deng Alor Kuol, told Sudan Tribune on Monday that he and his group were determined to ensuring that peace comes to the country through the reunification of the ruling party.
- “We are talking about the unity of the SPLM leadership, about the unity of our people and the country. I know there are challenges but I still believe that even with this staggering movement in the process of searching for peace, we will get out of the situation,” Kuol said.
(Sudan Tribune, independent/privately-owned online media platform, article dated July 9, 2015, in English) South Sudan president blames rebels for war in the country
- President Salva Kiir said hopes after achieving independence of the country were dashed when his former deputy, Riek Machar, allegedly attempted a “coup d’état” and launched “rebellion” in December 2013.
- In his speech marking the 4th anniversary of the country’s independence on Thursday, President Kiir said that this war was a creation from within, unlike the previous wars which the people of the region fought against Khartoum’s successive regimes.
- However, Kiir claimed that his government is working hard to bring peace back to the country and urged citizens to support him in working towards an inclusive negotiated process and not an imposed peace agreement.
2. Salva Kiir sworn in for three more years in office
(Sudan Tribune, independent/privately-owned online media platform, article dated July 8, 2015, in English) South Sudan president sworn in for three more years
- South Sudanese president Salva Kiir has vowed to end the 19-month long civil war in his country “at any cost” and commended the national legislature for extending his term for three more years despite its expiry on 21 May this year.
- President Kiir also said 8 July was the beginning of a three-year transitional period in the country following his swearing in ceremony per extension of his term. He made the vow on Wednesday while addressing the national legislature in launching the three years extension.
- He claimed that in the three-year term granted to him by parliament he would achieve peace and set up a development programme for the country.
(Sudan Tribune, independent/privately-owned online media platform, article dated July 8, 2015, in English) Machar declares president Kiir illegitimate, calls on him to step down
- South Sudanese former vice president, Riek Machar, who leads the SPLM-IO, has declared president Salva Kiir illegitimate as of Wednesday, 8 July, and called on him to step down or face moves to overthrow his regime.
- “The SPLM/SPLA would therefore like to categorically declare the government of Salva Kiir, the national legislature, and the state governments and the state legislative assemblies as unconstitutional and illegitimate as of midnight of July 8, 2015,” declared Machar in a statement.
- Machar called on the people of South Sudan to rise up and overthrow the regime of president Kiir, which he said was from now on unconstitutionally imposing itself on the people of the new country, adding that the nation was “elapsing into very serious constitutional crisis.”
(Sudan Tribune, independent/privately-owned online media platform, article dated July 10, 2015, in English) US rejects extension of Kiir’s term of office, as world leaders react
- The United States government has rejected President Salva Kiir’s unilateral renewal of the regime’s mandate for three more years, saying that only through a peace agreement such a mandate could be renewed pending elections.
- “Over the past 19 months, the government [of South Sudan] has abdicated its responsibilities, failed to protect its citizens, and squandered its legitimacy. Instead of negotiating a resolution to the conflict, it has subverted democracy and unilaterally extended its mandate,” US National Security Advisor Susan Rice wrote in a statement.
- Rice who was part of a small group of activists that lobbied the American administration to support the independence of the South Sudan vowed that the US will not abandon the people of South Sudan. “We will continue to stand with all those who dream of a better tomorrow. The United States will continue to work hard to help you to achieve lasting peace and justice.”
- The United States has been leading calls for sanctions to be imposed on the warring parties in the 19-month long civil war, labelling the war-ravaged nation as posing a security threat to the region.
3. Fighting continues in Upper Nile and Unity states
(Gurtong, independent/privately-owned online platform, article dated July 6, 2015, in English)
SPLA gains full control of Malakal
- The SPLA has gained full control of the strategic oil town of Malakal, after fierce fighting with rebel forces since Sunday.
- State Minister of Information Peter Hoth Tuac claimed: “The government troops are in full control of Malakal town…The rebels are being pursued. Our gallant SPLA forces entered Malakal…and they are now pursing the rebel forces outskirts of the town.”
- The governments’ Army Spokesman, Col. Philip Aguer Panyang, accused the rebels of violating the cease fire signed several times, saying they have been attacking government positions.
- The control of Malakal has changed hands between government and rebel fighters several times since the conflict erupted in December 2013.
(Sudan Tribune, independent/privately-owned online media platform, article dated July 6, 2015, in English) South Sudanese rebels say regained control of Unity state oil field
- South Sudanese rebels allied to former vice president Riek Machar have taken full control of Koch county in Unity state, including the main oil production site at Tharjath, a spokesperson for the rebel-appointed governor disclosed.
- Major Weirial Puok told Sudan Tribune on Sunday that their forces regained control of the strategic oil production site on Saturday, as their troops advance towards the capital, Bentiu.
- “Many from the pro-government forces died and few of them surrendered when our forces took control of the area…We are on high speed towards Bentiu town,” he added.
(Sudan Tribune, independent/privately-owned online media platform, article dated July 7, 2015, in English) South Sudan army vows hot pursuit of rebels after retaking Malakal town
- The South Sudanese army said it will pursue rebels after regaining control of Malakal, capital of the oil-rich Upper Nile state, sparking security and humanitarian concerns after armed opposition fighters allied to Riek Machar withdrew from the town on Monday.
- “This time we will not leave them. It will not be like the other operation. We have tolerated their criminal activities…We will go after them since they do not abide by what they themselves have agreed and signed,” claimed Lieutenant General James Ajonga Mawut, SPLA deputy chief of general staff for operations.
- The takeover was later confirmed by UN Deputy Spokesman for the Secretary-General, Farhan Haq.
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.
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.