17-23 August 2015
Compiled by Vincent Marquis
- Peace negotiations continue amidst political tensions
- Journalist shot dead in Jebel Kunjur
- Deadly communal fighting in Lakes State
- Fighting resumes between government and rebel forces in Unity State
1. Peace negotiations continue amidst political tensions
(Sudan Tribune, independent/privately-owned online media platform, article dated August 17, 2015, in English) South Sudan’s Kiir demands more time, as Machar sign final peace agreement
- South Sudanese rebel leader Riek Machar signed the final peace agreement to end the civil war in the country. but President Salva Kiir refused to sign the deal now, requesting more time to consult with his political and military officials back in the capital, Juba.
- At the same event, the recently reinstated Secretary General of the Sudan Peoples’ Liberation Movement (SPLM), Pagan Amum, signed the peace agreement on behalf of the former detainees, despite reservations from the ruling party chairman.
- Kiir asked the IGAD-Plus mediation team to allow him to make further consultations with his officials in the next two weeks, even though IGAD leaders reportedly spent much time trying to convince him to sign the agreement.
- According to the new agreement, Machar will receive 15% of the seats in each of the seven states of Warrap, Lakes, Western Bahr el Ghazal, Northern Bahr el Ghazal, Central, Western and Eastern Equatoria states.
- In Jonglei, Upper Nile and Unity states, the government will get 46%, the SPLM-IO 40% and former detainees and political parties 7% each.
- The current membership of 325 seats at the national parliament in Juba will be maintained, and the capital will be declared a demilitarized zone with a radius of 25 km.
(Gurtong, independent/privately-owned online media platform, article dated August 18, 2015, in English) Opposition party welcomes signing of peace deal
- South Sudan’s opposition party, the People’s Liberation Party (PLP), has welcomed the signing of the IGAD-led peace agreement by the opposition sides in the South Sudanese conflict.
- PLP leader Peter Mayen Majongdit told reporters that the signing of the peace deal by the SPLM-IO and former political detainees in Addis Ababa was a major milestone towards lasting peace in South Sudan.
- “We welcome the agreement reached and we congratulate the signatories, the SPLM-IO, FD, and all the mediators for having reached this important step. We believe that President Salva Kiir’s position to have an inclusive consultation with the rest of his government is essential”, Majongdit said in a statement.
- “We need to know who is against peace here, now that the SPLM-IO and FD have made their stand clear, the people’s eyes are on the government”, he said as he expressed hope that the government will eventually sign the agreement.
- Majongdit called on South Sudanese to stand against any attempt that will block peace in the country
(Sudan Tribune, independent/privately-owned online media platform, article dated August 18, 2015, in English) UN chief urges S. Sudan’s Kiir to endorse peace agreement
- The United Nations Secretary General Ban Ki-moon has welcomed the signing by former South Sudan Vice President Riek Machar and former detainees of the compromise peace agreement initiated by the East African regional mediators to end the conflict in the country.
- Ban Ki-moon’s spokesperson said “he takes note that President Salva Kiir initialled a copy of the agreement with some reservations [and] expresses his strong hope that President Kiir will sign the agreement by the end of the 15-day deadline.”
- In his statement, Ki-moon thanked the IGAD and its mediation team for its “tireless” efforts to help the parties reach an agreement. The UN chief was encouraged by regional and international consensus in support of the agreement, which the world body also signed as a witness.
(Eye Radio, independent/privately-owned online media platform, article dated August 19, 2015, in English) US pushes for sanctions against peace obstructors
- The US government has started consultations at the United Nations for the Security Council to sanction those who undermine peace, US National Security Advisor Susan Rice has said.
- In a statement, Rice said the sanctions could be imposed if the South Sudanese government fails to sign the Compromise Agreement within the next two weeks.
(Eye Radio, independent/privately-owned online media platform, article dated August 20, 2015, in English) Government must sign the peace accord within 15 days — Mesfin
- IGAD chief mediator Seyoum Mesfin says government consultations within the next two weeks must not lead to a new round of negotiations.
- However, Mesfin did say he is confident that South Sudanese will not say ‘no’ to the agreement during the consultations. “They don’t want this war to continue for a minute let alone for a day, for a week, for a month,” Mesfin told reporters in Addis Ababa.
- Mesfin insisted that amendments were made to satisfy the government and reminded the parties involved that no agreement can meet everyone’s expectations, urging the government to work towards comprises.
(Eye Radio, independent/privately-owned online media platform, article dated August 20, 2015, in English) SPLM organizes anti-compromise agreement campaign
- The SPLM is organizing a demonstration against provisions of the proposed peace agreement, including provisions that concern power sharing, the demilitarization of Juba, and consultations at the presidency.
- “We are rejecting the agreement being imposed on us by IGAD. We treat it as a conspiracy agreement against our political will as sovereign state,” said Simon Machuar, Secretary General of the SPLM High Coordination Committee.
2. Journalist shot dead in Jebel Kunjur
(Sudan Tribune, independent/privately-owned online media platform, article dated August 21, 2015, in English) South Sudan journalist shot dead after President Kiir threatened killing journalists
- Moi Peter Julius, a young South Sudanese journalist, was shot dead on Wednesday, only a few days after President Salva Kiir publicly threatened to kill journalists perceived to be working against his government and the country.
- President Kiir was quoted as saying that if journalists did not know that people died in the struggle to gain independence in South Sudan, it was time to show it to them — a comment interpreted to mean killing journalists.
- Sources and witnesses said he was returning home from his workplace when unidentified gunmen opened fire, shooting him dead at his home in Jebel Kunjur. His body was found lying on the ground on Thursday morning.
- The exact time at which the shooting took place remains are unclear. Authorities have not issued any statement concerning the event. The motive of the killing therefore remains unclear. No suspect has been apprehended thus far.
(Sudan Tribune, independent/privately-owned online media platform, article dated August 23, 2015, in English) South Sudan’s Kiir denies issuing threats to kill journalists
- The office of the South Sudanese presidency has denied reports that the country’s leader threatened to kill journalists working against the state, saying Kiir was quoted out of context.
- “The Office of the President would like to categorically reject this attribution of such dangerous statement to the President of the Republic in what appeared to be smearing campaign against President Salva Kiir Mayardit,” partly reads the statement.
- Presidency spokesman Ateny Wek Ateny said Kiir only urged journalists to observe ethics when doing their work. “We would like to assure the international community and all journalists to discard this serious misquote of the President’s intention. Nothing shall harm a journalist when going about journalistic profession,” he said.
3. Deadly communal fighting in Lakes State
(Eye Radio, independent/privately-owned online media platform, article dated August 19, 2015, in English) Lakes communal fighting leaves 9 dead
- Nine people have been killed and fifteen others injured in a clash between two communities in Rumbek East County, the security advisor in Lakes State has said.
- Marial Amum said the fighting took place at a road junction between the villages of Pachong and Panawach on Monday. He said the clash was revenge for the killing of a businessman on the same day.
- Amum visited the area and asked the communities to stop fighting. He claimed his forces were able to separate the groups.
4. Fighting resumes between government and rebel forces in Unity State
(Sudan Tribune, independent/privately-owned online media platform, article dated August 20, 2015, in English) S. Sudanese rebels accuse government force of renewed fighting
- South Sudanese rebels have accused forces loyal to President Salva Kiir of renewing violence by carrying out major offensives in the oil-rich Upper Nile state two days after the partial signing of the peace agreement to end the conflict in the country.
- Captain Paul Malieth Koang told Sudan Tribune that “our forces were under heavy attacks by pro-government [troops] at dawn, but we have repulsed them and still our forces are still holding their full control of territory,”
- Koang urged the IGAD, which has been mediating the peace negotiations, to condemn the attack in the strongest possible terms. He accused the Juba government of not being interested in bringing peace to the country.