24 - 30 August 2015
Compiled by Vincent Marquis
- President Salva Kiir signs peace agreement
- Violence against journalists at critical level
- Deadly communal fighting in Lakes State
- Violence resumes in Unity State
- Tensions along the South Sudanese / Ugandan border
1. President Salva Kiir signs peace agreement
(Sudan Tribune, independent/privately-owned online media platform, article dated August 26, 2015, in English) S. Sudan’s Kiir signs final peace accord
- South Sudanese president, Salva Kiir has finally signed the long-awaited peace agreement, saying the government was faced with the option of either rejecting peace or accepting war to continue against the will of the South Sudanese people.
- However, Kiir accused forces loyal to former vice-president and armed opposition leader Riek Machar of attacking government forces just hours before: “As we have gathered here, the spoilers of peace have just launched an attack on the position of our forces in Bentiu and in Nhialdiu…You can now see who is for peace and who is for continuous war.”
- John Prendergast, Founding Director of the Enough Project said concerted pressure from neighboring governments and the broader international community was instrumental in convincing Kiir to sign the deal after missing the 17 August deadline.
- Amnesty International said the signing of the peace deal was an important and vital step in ending the violence and addressing the massive human suffering in the nation and reiterated calls for both parties to embrace an unequivocal commitment to accountability.
(Sudan Tribune, independent/privately-owned online media platform, article dated August 26, 2015, in English) World leader react to peace deal in South Sudan
- World leaders have welcomed the signing of the South Sudan’s peace agreement, but said the “reservations” mentioned by the President Kiir were therefore meaningless, warning of sanctions against his government should he attempt to bring them up during the deal’s implementation.
- UN Secretary General Ban Ki Moon issued a statement welcoming the deal and urging the parties to fully implement it. The UN also called on the former rivals to cooperate with regional and international bodies for its full implementation.
- Both the White House and the State Department in Washington welcomed the peace agreement and urged the South Sudanese parties to fully implement the deal without any reservation, warning that any party that will obstruct its implementation will face sanctions.
(Eye Radio, independent/privately-owned online media platform, article dated August 26, 2015, in English) UNMISS urges parties to honor peace deal once signed
- The UN Special Representative to the Secretary General in South Sudan, Ellen Margrethe Loj, says the warring parties to the conflict should implement the peace agreement in good faith, once it is signed.
- Ms Loj called upon the warring parties to cease all hostilities immediately in the interest of the people of South Sudan. “Peace, stability, and prosperity will not come to South Sudan overnight; this process will require concerted and sustained efforts from both national stakeholders and international partners.”
- Ms Loj also noted that fighting in the Greater Upper Nile region has remained intense, and that further escalation of hostilities in southern Unity State has had increasingly severe consequences for the civilian population.
(Eye Radio, independent/privately-owned online media platform, article dated August 27, 2015, in English) Kiir’s reservations won’t affect peace deal implementation
- The reservations of President Salva Kiir on the peace agreement signed on Wednesday will not affect its implementation, said Peter Mayen, chairperson of the People’s Liberal Party.
- President Kiir has reservations on the proposed demilitarization of Juba, Reparation and Compensation Authority, composition of the executive body of the transitional government, amongst other things.
- Mayen says the reservations will be another means for dialogue. “This will not affect the implementation but actually [lead to] further dialogue into how those areas or those reservations should be implemented.”
(Gurtong, independent/privately-owned online media platform, article dated August 30, 2015, in English) President Kiir declares ceasefire with rebels
- President Salva Kiir has declared a permanent ceasefire with the rebel faction of former Vice President Riek Machar in a bid to implement the newly-signed peace agreement.
- Presidential Spokesperson Ateny Wek Ateny said the President gave the order to Chief of General Staff Paul Malong Awan for implementation: “The SPLA forces shall cease any military operation all over the country. That means they cannot attack any position of any other forces. They cannot go on offensive.”
- Ateny added that “the rebel leader has to reciprocate because one party does not fight itself; it is the two parties that fight so if the government has declared ceasefire we hope that the rebel leader will be replicating the same.”
2. Violence against journalists at critical level
(Eye Radio, independent/privately-owned online media platform, article dated August 28, 2015, in English)UN: Violence against journalists at ‘critical’ level in South Sudan
- The United Nations says the rate of attacks and violence against journalists and media workers in South Sudan is increasing and has now reached a critical level, a statement that comes eight days after the killing of journalist Peter Moi, who was shot dead in Juba on the way to his house.
- Special Rapporteur on freedom of expression, David Kaye, and on extrajudicial executions, Christof Heyns, have condemned the killing, saying “any threats or attacks are completely unacceptable and only embolden perpetrators to commit further violence against journalists.”
- Heyns, said: “I am deeply disturbed by the allegations of attacks against journalists in South Sudan. The brutal killing of Mr. Moi…needs to be urgently and thoroughly investigated and the perpetrators must be held accountable.”
(Sudan Tribune, independent/privately-owned online media platform, article dated August 29, 2015, in English)Fears as South Sudanese journalist disappears for weeks
- A South Sudanese journalist has been missing nearly a month after he was arrested and detained by security operatives in Eastern Equatoria state, his relatives and community members told Sudan Tribune.
- Clement Lochio Lormonana, formerly a reporter with Gurtong Trust, was arrested on 6 August in Eastern Equatoria’s Budi county, the Haula community, an association of the Didinga and Buya communities in Canada and the United States.
- Eastern Equatoria Governor, Louis Lobong Lojore, declined to answer queries regarding the arrest of three individuals in the capital, Juba. He instead said any suspect arrested by security forces would be investigated and then released if found innocent.
3. Deadly communal fighting in Lakes State
(Sudan Tribune, independent/privately-owned online media platform, article dated August 25, 2015, in English)Four killed, five others wounded in Lakes revenge attack
- Four people were killed and five others seriously wounded following a revenge attack in Lakes State. Makuei Tingjok, a county official, said those responsible were still at large.
- Unknown groups of people, Makuei told Sudan Tribune, opened fire on people in their houses before they retreated.
- There are growing calls among state residents for the caretaker governor’s removal, but President Salva Kiir has so far overlooked such demands. Local police say state authorities have become increasingly isolated, with the public refusing to share information with law enforcement officers, making it difficult to maintain law and order in the region
4. Violence resumes in Unity State
(Sudan Tribune, independent/privately-owned online media platform, article dated August 24, 2015, in English) South Sudan admits killing civilians in Unity state
- A senior government official from South Sudan’s oil-rich Unity State has admitted civilians were killed by government forces in an operation against rebels, but blamed the latter for starting the war which resulted in the massacre.
- “We know why Riek Machar took up arms: the reason was he does not want a son from Mayom county to lead this state. When Joseph Nguen Monytuil [the current governor] was appointed by the President he was the first person who condemned and referred to it as unconstitutional,” said Colonel Bol Mayak, Commissioner of Mayom county.
- Earlier last month, the UNMISS and Human Right Watch (HRW) accused government forces of carrying out deadly attack on civilians, killing hundreds and displacing hundreds of thousands of people during a village to village hunting of civilians. Government officials denied the accusations at the time.
(Sudan Tribune, independent/privately-owned online media platform, article dated August 29, 2015, in English) SPLM-IO condemns continued attacks by government forces
- The SPLM-IO has condemned government forces for allegedly continuing military offensives against their bases in violation of the peace agreement signed by the opposition leader, Riek Machar and president Salva Kiir on 17 and 26 August, respectively.
- “Government forces on Friday shelled our bases in the west bank of the River Nile near Malakal, Upper Nile state’s capital,” said James Gatdet Dak, spokesperson of the opposition’s leadership, in a press statement.
- Dak called on the international community to exert pressure on the government to stop the war and abide by the declared ceasefire. Government officials, however, denied the accusations and blamed the fighting around Malakal on the opposition fighters.
4. Tensions along the South Sudanese / Ugandan border
(Eye Radio, independent/privately-owned online media platform, article dated August 30, 2015, in English)Government: UPDF to maintain positions in S. Sudan
- The South Sudanese Ministry of Foreign Affairs says Uganda will not withdraw all its troops from South Sudan as stated in the peace agreement.
- In provisions of the new peace deal, all foreign forces are required to leave the country within 45 days. But the Spokesperson of the Ministry, Mawen Makol, says Uganda will maintain some of its UPDF troops in South Sudan as part of a bilateral agreement between the two countries.
- The UPDF was deployed in South Sudan in December 2013 after the conflict between the government and the opposition.