21-27 September 2015
Compiled by Vincent Marquis
- Ceasefire violations continue in Unity State
- National discussions continue over peace agreement
- Ugandan forces to withdraw from South Sudan
- Demilitarization process begins in Juba
1. Ceasefire violations continue in Unity State
(Sudan Tribune, independent/privately-owned online media platform, article dated September 22, 2015, in English) S. Sudan rival forces conclude ceasefire workshop without security arrangement deal
- South Sudan’s rival parties to the conflict have concluded a one-week ceasefire workshop without reaching consensus over contentious matters, including forming a joint command as part of the security arrangement.
- Representatives of the two warring sides cited differences over the size of the protection force required to remain at the national capital, Juba. The government proposed an army division of between 10,000 and 18,000, while armed opposition officials said such an arrangement amounts to the militarization of the capital, in violation of the agreement’s provisions.
- General Dau Aturjong Nyuol, Deputy Chief of General Staff of the opposition forces in Bahr el Ghazal, blamed the government for intransigence at the workshop and failing to reach a consensus over the implementation of a security matrix.
(Sudan Tribune, independent/privately-owned online media platform, article dated September 22, 2015, in English) South Sudan armed opposition accuses government of further ceasefire violations
- The South Sudanese armed opposition faction led by Riek Machar has accused forces loyal to President Salva Kiir of committing further violations of the permanent ceasefire provision contained in the peace agreement signed in August.
- The opposition leader’s press secretary, James Gatdet Dak, stated that “soldiers of Salva Kiir have continued to attack our bases in a clear violation of the ceasefire. They attacked areas in Leer county in Unity state including Thoonyor payam, displacing civilians in the area.”
- Dak also said fighting has been ongoing in Western Equatoria state, in Mundri and Maridi counties, further accusing the government of launching offensives against their bases and civilian settlements.
(Sudan Tribune, independent/privately-owned online media platform, article dated September 25, 2015, in English) South Sudan warns of military escalation in Unity state
- Authorities in South Sudan’s Unity state have expressed “grave concerns” over the continued escalation of violence in the area despite rival leaders in the conflict affirming their commitment to the full implementation of the recent peace agreeement.
- Unity state Minister of Youth, Culture and Sports, Lam Tungwar, told Sudan Tribune that “there have been serious violations of the peace ceasefire by the rebels. Our bases have been attacked by the rebels in Duar and it has been going on for the last three days…Peace is being abused now.”
- “IGAD needs to address this with urgency; otherwise such activities would undermine the implementation of the peace agreement and could lead to full-scale hostilities once again,” warned Tungwar, adding that the situation could get out of control any time.
- At least 62 fighters were reportedly killed after fresh clashes erupted last week in the area between government forces and armed opposition fighters outside the government-controlled town of Bentiu, capital of Unity state.
(Sudan Tribune, independent/privately-owned online media platform, article dated September 26, 2015, in English) South Sudan’s armed opposition denies attacks on government forces in Unity state
- South Sudan’s armed opposition denied reports by the government according to which they initiated the recent episodes of fighting in Unity state.
- Major Weirial Puok Baluang, Press Secretary for the rebel-appointed governor of the oil-rich state, dismissed the claims as fabrications against their forces on the ground. “Our gallant army is committed to the recently signed peace deal…Therefore, we can’t breach the deal.”
- Baluang also denied statements by Minister Lam Tungwar Kueigwong about attacks by rebel fighters, saying such declarations are “total propaganda” aimed at confusing the public about the government’s violations of the peace agreement.
2. National discussions continue over peace agreement
(Sudan Tribune, independent/privately-owned online media platform, article dated September 23, 2015, in English) South Sudan’s Amum accuses President Kiir of reneging on peace agreement
- The reinstated Secretary General of South Sudan’s governing party, the Sudan People’s Liberation Movement (SPLM), Pagan Amum, has accused President Salva Kiir of attempting to abrogate the recently signed peace agreement with the armed opposition leader, Riek Machar and his group of former detainees.
- Amum recalled President Kiir’s comments when he said the agreement was neither a Quran nor a Bible, adding that the South Sudanese leader was imitating the same comment which former Sudanese president Nimieri uttered when he was about to abrogate the Addis Ababa agreement of 1972.
- Amum also accused his party chairman of trying to fail the Arusha agreement on the reunification of the SPLM party, saying the President has been reluctant to implement or pursue the party accord and that its implementation had been “frustrating.”
(Sudan Tribune, independent/privately-owned online media platform, article dated September 23, 2015, in English) South Sudan VP reiterates commitment to peace
- South Sudan’s Vice-president, Jame Wani Igga, said the government is committed to fully implement the peace agreement signed last month. Igga will be relegated to third position once Riek Machar is made first Vice-president, in accord with the agreement.
- “Our people want to know our seriousness and genuine determination as a government to [implement] this peace [agreement],” said Igga, in a lengthy briefing. “I appeal to this house, if there is anybody affected by this agreement to forget [his/her reservations].”
- Igga said the government has one choice after the president inked the peace accord, and that is to implement it. He previously criticized the reservations put forth by his government. “There is no alternative, we must end the war. We want treatment for our country,” he said.
- While the two top rival leaders, Kiir and Machar, will share power and decision making processes in the eventual transitional government of national unity in December, Igga will only participate when the two agree to invite him to their presidency meetings.
(Eye Radio, independent/privately-owned online media platform, article dated September 24, 2015, in English) Government asks divided SPLM-IO to unite
- The government has called on the SPLM-IO to solve differences within the party to enable the implementation of the peace agreement. Some members of the opposition had split from the group before the signing of the peace agreement last month.
- Changson Chang, former Minister of Youth and Sports, is the leader of a breakaway group now calling itself the Federal Democratic Party (FDP). The group accused Riek Machar of fighting for his return to government as Vice-president and failing to address the root cause of the conflict.
- Micheal Makuei Lueth, Information Minister and government spokesperson, says Riek Machar should meet with the members to ensure there is no violation of the agreement, urging all parties to cooperate in the implementation of the peace agreement signed in August.
3. Ugandan forces to withdraw from South Sudan
(Eye Radio, independent/privately-owned online media platform, article dated September 22, 2015, in English) UPDF to start withdrawing from S. Sudan next week
- Uganda will start withdrawing its forces from South Sudan next week, according to the SPLA Deputy Chief of Staff for Logistics and head of the government delegation to the recent IGAD Security Workshop in Addis Ababa, Lt. General Ruben Malek.
- The Uganda People’s Defense Forces, UPDF troops, were deployed in Juba and other hot spot areas of the country in December 2013, when the conflict broke out.
- According to the agreement, all foreign forces allied to both the government and the opposition forces are supposed to leave the country within 45 days following the signing of the peace agreement. The UPDF has until 10 October to leave the country.
4. Demilitarization process begins in Juba
(Eye Radio, independent/privately-owned online media platform, article dated September 25, 2015, in English) SPLA commences Juba demilitarization process
- The SPLA has begun assessing potential areas to move the army 25 kilometers outside of South Sudan’s capital, Juba. Chief of General Staff Paul Malong and Head of the Presidential Guards Marial Chanuong marked the coordinates of the new locations on Thursday.
- According to General Malong, the demilitarization of Juba will begin once the new locations are approved by the general command. He said the army will seek permission to use the land from the Central Equatoria state government.
- According to the agreement signed by the warring parties, all military forces within Juba must be redeployed outside a radius of 25 kilometers. This process has to be completed with 90 days following the signature of the agreement.
(Eye Radio, independent/privately-owned online media platform, article dated September 26, 2015, in English) SPLA urges government and IGAD to support demilitarization of Juba
- SPLA spokesperson Colonel Philip Aguer has urged the government and IGAD to support the process of demilitarizing Juba, claiming the army does not have enough resources to carry out the process.
- “Definitely we will need to construct shelters for the soldiers, we need to construct bases, so now the Chief of Staff has launched this, but we need the other actors to come on board to support the process,” Aguer said.
- Colonel Aguer said that overseers of the ceasefire arrangement such as the Troika countries should also take part in the implementation process.
5. New revelations regarding media censorship
(Sudan Tribune, independent/privately-owned online media platform, article dated September 17, 2015, in English) South Sudan’s newspaper told to cease publication after criticizing government soldiers
- The independent newspaper Juba Monitor has been ordered by security agents in the South Sudanese capital, Juba, not to publish stories on Friday, a source told Sudan Tribune late on Thursday.
- The event occurred after the Editor-in-Chief, Alfred Taban, wrote an editorial castigating the behaviours of the national army in Wunduriba payam that led to the displacement of tens of thousands of people.
- The journalist suggested the army’s “rebooting” and restructuring to reflect the diverse composition of South Sudan. He lamented that South Sudanese communities have to send sons and daughters to the army, who are entrusted to propel nationalism as opposition to tribalism.