23 — 29 November 2015
Compiled by Vincent Marquis
- National discussions continue over implementation of peace agreement
- Demilitarization process begins in Juba
- Controversy over creation of 28 states in South Sudan
- Violent attacks and reconciliation in Lakes and Western Equatoria States
1. National discussions continue over implementation of peace agreement
(Sudan Tribune, independent/privately-owned online media platform, article dated November 23, 2015, in English) IGAD regional leaders postpone South Sudan peace implementation summit
- A regional peace summit of East African heads of state, which was scheduled to take place on 23 November in Juba, has been postponed amid indications that the government was going to implement President Kiir’s order to expand the constitutionally recognized 10 states to 28.
- The summit would have been an opportunity for IGAD leaders, special envoys and representatives of South Sudan to launch the peace building process, as well as call for international support and mobilize resources for the implementation of the peace deal.
- Critics highlight growing frustration over the government’s alleged intimidation of MPs to amend the constitution in a way that allows for the creation of more states and for President Kiir to bolster his powers.
(Gurtong, independent/privately-owned online media platform, article dated November 26, 2015, in English) Ministers call on South Sudanese to implement peace agreement
- Jonglei State Minister of Parliamentary Affairs has called upon the people of South Sudan to embrace peace and implement the Compromise peace agreement that was signed in August.
- Hon. Suzan Lith Aluong has acknowledged that the implementation of the peace agreement is the hardest part of the process, which requires the participation of all parties involved. “We are in preparation to receive most of the opposition with open hearts for the sake of peace,” she said.
- She made this remarks during the official opening of the 6th session of parliament in Jonglei. She urged members to defend the governments’ policies to the communities, in the hope of promoting multiparty democracy and supporting good governance.
(Sudan Tribune, independent/privately-owned online media platform, article dated November 27, 2015, in English) South Sudan president vows commitment to peace deal amid fears of collapse
- President Salva Kiir reaffirmed his personal commitment to fully implement the peace agreement he signed in August with his former deputy, Riek Machar, despite fears that renewed fighting between members of their forces could lead to the collapse of the deal.
- “The president has taken very difficult but bold decisions to reaffirm his personal commitment to fully implement the peace agreement. Because of this we welcome the coming of the former detainees and their participation in the opening and operationalization of the office of the joint monitoring and evaluation commission,” said Information and Broadcasting Minister Michael Makuei Lueth.
- The United States, Britain and Norway have warned the deal could collapse if the rivals continue to miss deadlines. “We urge South Sudan’s leaders to establish the transitional government now and recommit to the timeline of the agreement, or the peace process will unravel,” the countries claimed in a joint statement.
(Gurtong, independent/privately-owned online media platform, article dated November 27, 2015, in English) Troika expresses dissatisfaction over delay to implement transitional government
- The Troika Nations (the United States, Norway, and the United Kingdom) have issued a joint statement expressing concerns and dissatisfaction over the delay by the South Sudanese warring factions in forming the Transitional Government of National Unity (TGONU).
- “Each day, the fighting and abuses continue, and an already grave humanitarian situation grows worse. We urge South Sudan’s leaders to establish the transitional government now and recommit to the timeline of the agreement, or the peace process will unravel,” the statement reads.
- In a related development, the Troika asked the Chairperson of the Joint Monitoring and Evaluation Commission (JMEC), Festus Mogae, to announce a meeting designed to lay the groundwork for the implementation of the fragile peace deal.
2. Demilitarization process begins in Juba
(Sudan Tribune, independent/privately-owned online media platform, article dated November 23, 2015, in English) South Sudan partially pulls out army from Juba
- The South Sudanese government announced it would redeploy more than 250 soldiers outside the capital, Juba, allegedly in compliance with the implementation of the security arrangements which demanded the demilitarization of the national capital and other towns.
- Major General Samson Mabior Lual told reporters at a news conference on Monday in Juba that more than 250 men and women are going to be relocated to the Magiri area, located 25 km outside of Juba, in compliance with security arrangements contained in the peace agreement.
- Spokesman of the government forces Colonel Philip Aguer said only 4,380 forces, according to the security arrangements and ceasefire agreement, will remain in Juba to provide protection to vital installations and key government officials during the interim period.
3. Controversy around creation of 28 states in South Sudan
(Sudan Tribune, independent/privately-owned online media platform, article dated November 26, 2015, in English) SPLM-IO calls on IGAD, Troika to help reverse unilateral creation of 28 states in South Sudan
- South Sudan’s armed opposition faction (SPLM-IO) has called on IGAD and the Troika countries (the US, Norway and the UK) to put “meaningful” pressure on President Salva Kiir to reverse his unilateral decision to create 28 states in the country.
- The SPLM-IO blamed Kiir’s government for creating a situation unfavourable to the implementation of the peace agreement, saying the government’s attitude makes it impossible to implement the peace deal according to the agreed schedule.
- Opposition spokesman James Gatdet Dak said that the creation of 28 states is a recipe for another war as some sections of the South Sudanese society, such as the Shilluk community, have already started to violently resist the presidential order which takes away some of their ancestral lands.
4. Violent attacks and reconciliation in Lakes and Western Equatoria States
(Gurtong, independent/privately-owned online media platform, article dated November 24, 2015, in English) Revenge killings claim more lives in Rumbek
- The government of Lakes State say that at least three people have been confirmed dead in Rumbek’s separate counter revenge attacks since Saturday.
- Lakes State Security Advisor Marial Amuom Malek said that a man who took the law in his hands and avenged his son’s death has been arrested.
- In a separate clash, two people were killed and two others sustained gunshot wounds in Rumbek East County in different locations. One person was killed in a cattle camp and another in Cueicok earlier Sunday. The clashes erupted between Gony and Dhei sections in what the State government suspected to be part of a revenge cycle.
(Gurtong, independent/privately-owned online media platform, article dated November 24, 2015, in English)Rival communities reconcile in Lakes State
- Three communities in Lakes States of Kuei, Pakam and Rup from Rumbek Central and Northern Counties, have agreed to bring to an end a seven-year-long conflict that has devastated the region.
- The warring communities brought three bulls during a three-day peace initiative as a sign of good will for sacrifices, after having agreed that they will cease fighting and embrace peace among each other.
- During a peace meeting held in Akon Buoi, the three communities agreed to share one cattle camp and one water point alongside river Naam and Lol Manyiel grazing land that have been areas of contention to the communities, taking effect in November 2015.
- Lakes State Security Advisor Marial Amum Malek confirmed that the meeting has addressed and resolved many issues of revenge killings and attacks, cattle rustling and road ambushes, as well as issues related to the attacks against organized forces in the villages where they are carrying out their activities.
(Eye Radio, independent/privately-owned online media platform, article dated November 28, 2015, in English) 50 killed in Mundri gunship attack
- 50 people have been killed and more than 100 wounded in a gunship attack in Mundri West County this week, an official has said. The incident forced thousands of civilians to flee to the bushes and neighboring areas for safety.
- Western Equatoria state authorities said the gunship has not been identified. However, only the army has gunships in the country.
- Western Equatoria State Information Minister Daniel Ezbon says the death toll was confirmed in the state council of Ministers. “We understand 50 people died and over 100 others have been wounded,” Mr Ezbon confirmed to Eye Radio.
- The incident occurred weeks after the SPLA and the local youth in Ezo County signed an agreement to end hostilities. The army is yet to comment on the matter
5. New state structure sparks controversy
(Gurtong, independent/privately-owned online media platform, article dated October 4, 2015, in English) President Kiir creates 28 States of South Sudan
- President Salva Kiir issued an executive order on Friday, demanding the creation of 28 States in the decentralized Republic of South Sudan. “The Establishment Order No. 36/2015 AD for the creation of the new South Sudan states” will come into force in thirty working days from the date of signature.
- The order’s objectives read as follows: “it will devolve power and resources closer to the people, gradually reduce the size of the national government, attract experts to work at the State and Counties level and promote social and economic development amongst rural communities.”
- The order in question divides the country into Equatoria Based States, Bahr Al Ghazal Based States and Upper Nile based States with 8, 10 and 10 states respectively.
(Sudan Tribune, independent/privately-owned online media platform, article dated October 3, 2015, in English) Kiir’s unilateral creation of 28 states aims to derail peace agreement: SPLM-IO
- The SPLM-IO said that President Kiir’s decree to unilaterally create 28 states aims to open up renegotiations and derail the implementation of the peace agreement. Machar warned that the move was a serious setback for the implementation of the deal, unless the decision was revoked or deferred to the constitutional-making process in accordance with the agreement.
- “The people of South Sudan, the region and the international community at large should not allow the regime to abrogate the peace deal and drag the nation back to square one,” Machar’s spokesman, James Gatdet Dak, told Sudan Tribune on Saturday.
- The 28 states idea, Dak said, should have been tabled by the government before the negotiators from the parties in Addis Ababa so that an agreement could be reached by the parties on how many states should be created, and on what basis and when they should come into effect.
6. Debates over publication of controversial Obasanjo Report
(Eye Radio, independent/privately-owned online media platform, article dated September 29, 2015, in English) AU Peace and Security Council on Obasanjo Report
- The African Union Peace and Security Council has decided that the report of the commission of enquiry into the South Sudan conflict should be published, a decision made over the weekend in New York during a meeting at the level of heads of state and government.
- A communiqué released Monday highlighted the findings of the commission, headed by former Nigerian President Olusegun Obasanjo, including extreme violence and sexual abuses by both parties against women, as well as acts of murder, rape, and torture against the civilian population.
- The leader said weak institutions, lack of accountability, rampant cases of impunity, and extreme ethnicity in politics and the military were some of the causes of the conflict. The Peace and Security Council has suggested that the AU Commission should establish an independent hybrid judicial court to be known as the Hybrid Court for South Sudan.
(Eye Radio, independent/privately-owned online media platform, article dated October 1, 2015, in English) Government maintains its position on the AU findings
- The Ministry of Foreign Affairs says the African Union should delay the publication of the findings of the Obasanjo commission, saying that publishing the report could negatively affect the implementation of the peace agreement.
- “Usually when you are implementing peace, you go for implementation process and then later on when you are finishing implementing the peace, then you come for accountability,” argued Amb Mawien Makol, spokesperson of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs.
- “You cannot put accountability ahead of the implementation, because what are you going to account for if the peace is not implemented?” he added.
(Eye Radio, independent/privately-owned online media platform, article dated October 1, 2015, in English) US on AU findings
- The United States has urged the African Union to work with the United Nations and the South Sudanese people to determine the mandate, structure, and location of the hybrid court for South Sudan, saying the court will be vital to ending impunity in South Sudan.
- The US government says the numerous and disturbing reports of abuses and violations by both parties involved in the conflict underline the need for a credible court to try those most responsible for atrocities.
- “The terrible human suffering exacted during South Sudan’s conflict – from ethnically motivated murders, to reprisal killings, to widespread sexual violence – demands nothing less than a full and impartial accounting,” partly read the statement