3 - 9 August , 2015
Compiled by Vincent Marquis
- Tense reactions to peace agreement proposal
- Calls for peace in Jonglei state
- Inter-clan clashes in Warrap state
1. Tense reactions to peace agreement proposal
(Sudan Tribune, independent/privately-owned online media platform, article dated August 3, 2015, in English) S. Susan opposition party says IGAD proposal a ‘one party’ solution
- The People’s Liberal Party (PLP) said in a statement that South Sudan’s ruling party (SPLM) would control 93% of the government in the nation if the current regionally and internationally supported proposal was to be agreed on by the country’s warring parties.
- “IGAD [is] focusing on the ways to resolved the current conflicts without thinking about the political future of the country,” said Peter Mayen Majongdit, the interim chairman of the PLP. “You cannot empower one party with 93% of power; one party that has failed to deliver for the last ten years,” he added.
- Majongdit said mediators have failed to address the root cause of the conflict, and called on all political parties to reject participation in the proposed government dominated by the ruling SPLM party.
(Gurtong, independent/privately-owned online media platform, article dated August 3, 2015, in English) Bor community rejects IGAD-Plus latest proposal
- Hundreds of people residing in Jonglei State have rejected the latest IGAD-Plus peace proposal to end the war in South Sudan.
- A petition addressed to IGAD peace negotiators and signed by youth representatives, women’s groups and three paramount chiefs of Twic East Bor and Duk County said that Greater Bor will not forgive those who committed crimes against humanity, especially those who committed atrocities in 1991 and 2013.
- Jonglei State Speaker Peter Deng Aguer claimed that opposition forces should not be given 53% of the power sharing in Jonglei, Upper Nile and Unity States.
(Sudan Tribune, independent/privately-owned online media platform, article dated August 5, 2015, in English) South Sudan says will unveil domestic peace deal with rebels
- The South Sudanese government said it was conducting consultations to unveil a domestic peace deal with the armed opposition leadership, with indications that Juba had rejected the peace compromise proposal from mediators of IGAD-Plus.
- “It’s no secret that the IGAD has been less interested in allowing the parties to negotiate the terms of the agreement to end this conflict,” Mark Nyipuoch, the Deputy Speaker of the National Assembly told Sudan Tribune
- Presidential Spokesperson Ateny Wek Ateny separately told Sudan Tribune that President Kiir was still consulting with different groups and stakeholders in the country in order to come up with a unified position in response to the proposal of IGAD-Plus.
- President Kiir, Ateny said, has also been soliciting ideas and input from independent opinion leaders and consulting leaders from all 10 states in the country for guidance.
(Gurtong, independent/privately-owned online media platform, article dated August 5, 2015, in English) NBG State residents demonstrate over IGAD-Plus peace proposal
- Joining other states in South Sudan, thousands of residents of Northern Bahr el Ghazal marched peacefully, on Wednesday, protesting the latest IGAD-Plus proposal for ending the conflict in the country.
- Civil society organizations, comprising the Women League, Youth League, Teachers Union, Traders Union, government workers and students, marched from Freedom Square to the UNMISS office where they handed over their petition to the UNMISS Coordinator.
- The Chairman of the civil society organizations declared: “We are marching today to show the world that we are not part of the proposed peace deal…We need a just and equal peace deal [and not one] that favours one side.”
(Eye Radio, independent/privately-owned online media platform, article dated August 5, 2015, in English) The Church asks warring parties to sign IGAD-Plus deal
- Church leaders are appealing to the government and the SPLM-In Opposition to sign a final peace agreement this month. Bishops say the 20-month-long conflict must end so that the people of South Sudan can begin to re-build their lives.
- Paulino Lukudu Loro, Archbishop of Juba, says although some provisions in the draft agreement are weak, the parties must sign it in order to end the violence. “We are stressing on peace. Peace must be signed. This document must be signed in order to produce peace,” Loro said.
- The Catholic Bishops also urged the government to help end the violent incidents in Western Equatoria State.
(Sudan Tribune, independent/privately-owned online media platform, article dated August 7, 2015, in English) South Sudan’s peace talks resume with little optimism
- Peace negotiations aimed at ending the domestic conflict in South Sudan have resumed in the Ethiopian capital, Addis Ababa, but with little hope to sign a final peace deal by 17 August as parties give divergent views in response to the IGAD-Plus peace proposal.
- The two warring factions are given until 17 August to reach a final peace deal. However, observers doubt the two sides will reach a comprehensive peace agreement by then, citing a number of ceasefire agreements previously signed but not honoured.
- While President Salva Kiir’s government indicated it rejected the proposal from the IGAD-Plus mediation team, the rebels under the leadership of former Vice-President Riek Machar said they would accept the peace proposal if their amendments are incorporated within it.
(Sudan Tribune, independent/privately-owned online media platform, article dated August 8, 2015, in English) South Sudan’s Kiir threatens war over IGAD imposed peace deal
- South Sudanese President Salva Kiir has written a scathing letter to the Ethiopian Prime Minister, Hailemariam Desalegn, threatening to reject the allegedly imposed peace deal with the armed opposition faction despite increasing regional and international pressure.
- President Kiir rejected the proposed power sharing arrangement and ratios that give 53% to the rebel group in the oil-rich greater Upper Nile’s three states of Unity, Upper Nile and Jonglei, saying there is need to allow the two parties to negotiate directly and reach an agreement.
- Kiir also objected to the proposal requiring him to carry out what his letter described as “collegial decision making” and continuous consultation with his two proposed deputies in decision making processes on contentious matters during the transitional period.
2. Violence resumes in Western Equatoria
(Sudan Tribune, independent/privately-owned online media platform, article dated August 3, 2015, in English) Juba delegation visits W. Equatoria state as nine dead in clashes
- The South Sudanese government sent a team of legislators, traditional leaders, and community personalities to Yambio, capital of Western Equatoria state, following a two-day clash between local youth and armed members of the Dinka ethnic group, which left at least 9 people dead.
- Upon arrival, the delegation met with Governor Joseph Bangasi Bakosoro, state leadership, and groups who were involved in the conflict and asked them to immediately cease any kind of violence for the sake of peace in the state.
3. Tensions along the South Sudanese / Ugandan border
(Eye Radio, independent/privately-owned online media platform, article dated August 5, 2015, in English) Tension rises as Ugandan army continues to occupy Magwi
- Tension is rising in Eastern Equatoria State along the border with Uganda. Residents of Phogee in Magwi County say Ugandan troops have entered and occupied territories more than 15 km inside South Sudan, which resulted in heavy gunfire on Tuesday and Wednesday.
- The chief of Phogee, Okot Vincent, said more than ten people went missing after the shooting and hundreds of people have now been displaced.
- Ugandan officials have confirmed the incident to the media. The online Insider reported that the UPDF opened gunfire while trying to evict South Sudanese farmers they accused of entering their territory.
4. Closure of independent media sparks protest
(Eye Radio, independent/privately-owned online media platform, article dated August 6, 2015, in English) PLP condemns closure of independent media houses
- The opposition People’s Liberal Party has called on the government to review its decision to shut down two newspapers — the Citizen English daily and Al-ray Arabic — and the office of the media organization Free Voice on Monday, for undisclosed reasons.
- The chairperson of the PLP, Peter Mayen, says the move is a restriction on freedom of expression, and said the government should accept difference of opinion among South Sudanese.
- The Editor in Chief of the Citizen, Nhial Bol, says his paper might have been shut down for publishing an article supporting the Compromise Agreement.
(Sudan Tribune, independent/privately-owned online media platform, article dated August 7, 2015, in English) S. Sudanese rights activist urges government to respect press freedom
- A leader of the South Sudan Human Rights Society for Advocacy (SSHURSA) has called on the government of South Sudan to reverse its decision over the recent closing down of The Citizen Newspaper and Free Voice Radio in Juba.
- Biel Boutros Biel, Executive Director of SSHURSA, stated that continued crackdown on media outlets represents a violation of article 24 of the transitional constitution of South Sudan that was adopted in July 2011.
- “Closing down media outlets is a violation of freedom of press, speech and expression, all of which are adored norms and values of normal society which a responsible government and its security institutions ought to respect and promote,” Biel said.
(Sudan Tribune, independent/privately-owned online media platform, article dated August 8, 2015, in English) S. Sudan’s crackdown on media draws condemnations
- The South Sudanese government has come under a series of critiques for its recent crackdown on independent media houses, with the European Union urging authorities to conform to international standards on freedom of the press.
- “Free, diverse and independent media constitute one of the cornerstones of a democratic society…We urge the Authorities of the Republic of South Sudan to guarantee the exercise of these freedoms in conformity with international standards,” the EU delegation in Juba said in a statement.