31 August - 6 September 2015
Compiled by Vincent Marquis
- Tense political climate amidst ceasefire violation
- Discussions continue over peace agreement
- Violence against journalists and activists continues
1. Tense political climate amidst ceasefire violation
(Sudan Tribune, independent/privately-owned online media platform, article dated August 31, 2015, in English) S. Sudan rivals trade accusations over ceasefire violations
- Rival forces in South Sudan have issued statements counter-accusing each other of violating the permanent ceasefire hours after it came into effect on Saturday as declared by President Salva Kiir and armed opposition leader Riek Machar.
- The spokesperson of the government forces, Colonel Phillip Aguer, issued a series of statements accusing forces loyal to the Vice President Riek Machar to have carried out attacks on positions held by forces allied to President Kiir in Malakal.
- “Their intention is to gain more territories. This is the purpose of these attacks. That was why they attacked the positions of our forces in Malakal yesterday (Saturday) and again today (Sunday),” said Aguer.
- The spokesman of the armed opposition leader said government forces moving with barges and gunboats from Juba to Malakal along the river Nile have been attacking their bases.
(Sudan Tribune, independent/privately-owned online media platform, article dated September 2, 2015, in English) US warns S. Sudan warring parties over renewed hostilities
- The United States has condemned the recent fighting in parts of South Sudan’s Jonglei and Upper Nile states, warning that any of the parties violating the recently signed peace agreement would “face consequences”.
- “We call on all parties to immediately cease provocative action and hostile engagement, and to further develop security arrangements at the planned security workshop starting September 5,” Deputy Spokesperson for the US State Department Mart Toner stressed.
- The US government, Toner said, would work with the United Nations Security Council partners to pursue, as needed, sanctions as authorized by UNSC Resolution 2206. However, Toner added that Washington would continue to stand with those who choose peace and are committed to faithful implementation of the agreement.
(Gurtong, independent/privately-owned online media platform, article dated September 3, 2015, in English) UNSC to consider imposing arms embargo, sanctions on South Sudan’s parties to conflict
- The United Nations Security Council (UNSC) has announced its vigorous preparedness to impose arms embargo and additional targeted sanctions on any party, government or opposition group that fails to implement its provisions of the recently signed peace agreement.
- In a statement, the UN Security Council clarifies that the measure will prevent the country’s social, political, economic and humanitarian situation, from further worsening due to continued violence.
- The UNSC, further promises that it will swiftly adapt a resolution to update the mandate of the United Nations Mission in South Sudan (UNMISS) to support implementation of fundamental provisions of the peace agreement.
(Sudan Tribune, independent/privately-owned online media platform, article dated September 5, 2015, in English) South Sudan army requests UN, US to provide ceasefire monitors
- South Sudan’s army Chief of Staff, Gen. Paul Malong Awan, formally asked the United Nations and United States to monitor the permanent ceasefire until regional countries set up a military observers’ team.
- The SPLA Chief described the Intergovernmental Authority on Development (IGAD) mediated peace document as “flawed” when it comes to the creation of the ceasefire monitoring and verification team.
- “The SPLA called upon the members of the international community, particularly the UN and the US, to provide a joint monitoring and verification mechanism,” said the SPLA spokesperson Col. Philip Aguer. “This interim joint monitoring will help fill the gap created by the IGAD compromise peace agreement.”
(Sudan Tribune, independent/privately-owned online media platform, article dated September 6, 2015, in English) South Sudan President warns army of punitive actions over ceasefire violation
- Salva Kiir has unexpectedly warned officers of the army of punitive actions against them if they continued to violate the peace agreement’s ceasefire, revealing that some of his officers’ actions were aimed at derailing the peace deal by taking advantage of his government’s reservations over the accord.
- “There are people who want to take advantage of our genuine concerns and reservations…Any officer, no matter what position of service, showing lack of discipline will have to answer,” President Kiir told a tribal Jieng [Dinka] Council of Elders.
- “We have signed the peace [agreement] and we have to show our commitment, so that we are not portrayed as not interested in ending this war. They want to turn our people against us. We have to observe ceasefire requirements,” Kiir said in his first public response to the ceasefire violations.
2. Discussions continue over peace agreement
(Sudan Tribune, independent/privately-owned online media platform, article dated September 1, 2015, in English)S. Sudanese opposition group wants fresh talks to resolve crisis
- A South Sudanese opposition movement has asked the East African regional bloc (IGAD) to initiate fresh peace talks aimed at resolving the conflict in the young nation.
- In a statement issued Monday, the Revolutionary Movement for National Salvation (REMNASA) asked IGAD to consider the views of the people of South Sudan and initiate negotiations between the unified South Sudan ruling party regime and other armed opposition fronts in the country to achieve lasting peace.
- “The “Compromised Peace Agreement” signed by the SPLM-IG of Salva Kiir, SPLM-IO of Riek Machar and SPLM-FD of Pagan Amum is not worth to bring peace as it has been rejected even by the key members of the conflicting parties that signed the agreement,” partly reads the statement signed by its spokesperson, Col. John Sunday Martin.
- REMNASA said it is worried the peace agreement concluded last week in Juba may remain on paper without effective implementation. “Never will any peace be sustainable when warring factions are not involved in sustaining it,” stressed the group.
(Sudan Tribune, independent/privately-owned online media platform, article dated September 2, 2015, in English) SPLM-IO says ready to fully implement peace agreement
- South Sudan’s armed opposition faction said they are ready to fully implement the recently signed peace agreement with President Salva Kiir’s government, urging their counterpart to also do the same.
- “We are fully committed to implementing the peace agreement without reservations. We want to alleviate the suffering of the people of South Sudan,” said the top opposition leader’s spokesperson, James Gatdet Dak, on Wednesday.
- “The First Vice President, in accordance with the peace agreement, has the responsibility to ensure full implementation of the agreement by coordinating it with national, regional and international stakeholders and guarantors,” he said.
(Gurtong, independent/privately-owned online media platform, article dated September 4, 2015, in English) IGAD Plus peace agreement under threat says CEPO
- The Community Empowerment for Progress Organization said it is concerned that despite the signing of the peace agreement and the subsequent declaration and orders to observe complete ceasefire in the country, the forces of the warring parties nevertheless violated the agreement.
- “CEPO calls upon leaders of all forces to demonstrate commitment to implementing the peace agreement and take disciplinary actions against commanders who defy orders and violate the agreement or threaten to destabilize the country for whatever reasons they may have” CEPO Executive Director Edmund Yakani Berizilious declared.
- CEPO is appealing to the IGAD Plus and members of the international community to pressure the parties and all allied foreign forces to respect the peace agreement and work together for its implementation for the common good of the South Sudanese people.
3. Violence against journalists and activists continues
(Sudan Tribune, independent/privately-owned online media platform, article dated August 31, 2015, in English) Youth activist killed in South Sudan’s Lakes state
- Renowned youth activist Makuer Bol was killed in Rumbek East County in South Sudan’s Lakes state, relatives and officials told Sudan Tribune. The Criminal Investigation Department said a team was dispatched to probe the incident.
- “Although Makuer was the most influential youth member, he never took sides on any of the cycles of revenge occurring in Lakes state,” said an officer who wished to remain anonymous.
- The state government has intensified the search for the suspected gunmen. 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.
(Eye Radio, independent/privately-owned online media platform, article dated September 2, 2015, in English) Activists call for protection of journalists
- The End Impunity Organization has called for increased protection of South Sudanese journalists. Regional director Angelina Daniel says journalists are killed and no proper investigations are conducted on the murders.
- “If there is something you are unhappy about from the journalist or opinion writer, there is a law that can punish that person, but you can’t punish a person with his life,” she told Eye Radio.
- “Before, those incidents happened and the international community came but nothing happened. If you have a problem with anyone please don’t take the law into your hand,” she added.
- At least seven journalists have been killed this year in South Sudan. Activists on press freedom have condemned the increasing rate of killing.