1-7 December 2015
Compiled by Vincent Marquis
- National discussions continue over implementation of peace agreement
- Rebels accused of attacking government positions
- Controversy over creation of 28 states in South Sudan
- New inter-clan attacks in Lakes State
- South Sudan criticizes UN report on effects of conflict
1. National discussions continue over implementation of peace agreement
(Eye Radio, independent/privately-owned online media platform, article dated December 3, 2015, in English) Invest in peace deal implementation, IGAD told
- The UN Undersecretary for Peacekeeping Operations says the time has come for the UN Security Council and the IGAD Plus international partners to invest in the implementation of the peace agreement.
- Hervé Ladsous says the peace process has now reached a critical stage, and needs more support, especially from the international community, or the progress made could be lost. A statement by the UN quotes Mr. Ladsous saying the implementation process is moving very slowly with a number of challenges.
- “We must work collectively on increasing the buy-in of the parties to the implementation of their Agreement, and actively support the institutions it has provided to put an end to this senseless conflict,” Mr. Ladsous said.
- He urged the UN Security Council and the IGAD PLUS international partner countries to invest politically in supporting the beginning of the transformation. He also called for an increase in the number of 500 UNMISS troops and 600 police in the country.
2. Rebels accused of attacking government positions
(Gurtong, independent/privately-owned online media platform, article dated December 2, 2015, in English) Rebels attack government position in Wau
- Western Bahr el Ghazal State Governor, Rizik Zackaria Hassan, accused the SPLM In Opposition forces of attacking government forces in the state, south west of the State capital. Rizik said the attack happened at 5:30 am in Tirka, between Boo and Bazia Payam along the Yambio-Wau road.
- “This morning at around 5:30am, our forces in Trika between Boo and in Bazia came under attack by the rebels. When we tried to send in reinforcement from Wau to go and handle the situation, the reinforcement that we sent also fell into an ambush,” said Hassan.
- “The situation is still tense, that is why we are now managing the crisis and even that is why the commander of the army couldn’t come because they are there and they are trying to handle the situation,” said Hassan to the media.
3. Controversy around creation of 28 states in South Sudan
(Eye Radio, independent/privately-owned online media platform, article dated December 2, 2015, in English) Court postpones hearing case against creation of 28 states
- The Supreme Court of South Sudan has postponed a hearing on the case presented by the National Alliance to nullify the establishment of the order for the creation of 28 States in South Sudan. Officials say the hearing was adjourned because the judges were on a workshop.
- In October, the Alliance petitioned the Supreme Court to stop implementation of the order, and declare it void. But the effort was not successful. A lawyer for the Political Alliance, Agok Makur, says no new date has been set for the hearing.
- On Monday, NLA Speaker Magok Rundial fired 5 parliamentary committee chairmen over what the lawmakers described as retaliation for boycotting the vote for a constitutional amendment meant to accommodate the creation of new states.
4. New inter-clan attacks in Lakes State and Abyei
(Sudan Tribune, independent/privately-owned online media platform, article dated December 1, 2015, in English) Over 10 people killed in Lakes state tribal clashes
- At least 19 people were reportedly killed in tribal clashes between the Aliap and Gony clans of Rumbek East county in South Sudan’s Lakes state.
- A senior Criminal Investigation Department (CID) officer confirmed the clashes, but said the government was prepared to restore calm in the area. Clashes erupted when a soldier killed a person from the Aliap section, prompting revenge targeting those from the Gony section.
- Lakes State has been locked into a cycle of revenge killings, with activists, traditional authorities and intellectuals calling for the removal of the caretaker governor Maj-Gen Matur Chut Dhuol, whom they accuse of having failed to quell down insecurity.
(Sudan Tribune, independent/privately-owned online media platform, article dated December 6, 2015, in English) At least 14 people killed in Lakes’ Cueibet clashes
- Violence between sections of the Dinka community in Cueibet county has reignited on Wednesday when a head teacher was killed for a revenge murder earlier on Tuesday, with the death toll reaching at least 14 people.
- “The government in the county is working hard to make sure that the suspected person who killed [the] head teacher is arrested,” said the county’s executive director, Turic Bil.
- Bil also expressed fear that victims may come under attacks again if security is not increased in the hospital where they now are, saying suspected armed youth were moving at night around the fence of the hospital and maybe planning to storm the hospital to kill.
- “There is fear in this county hospital – there are armed youth moving here at night and indeed I am worried of their movement. There is need for county authorities to increase hospital security” said the hospital’s medical director, Abraham Chingoth.
(Sudan Tribune, independent/privately-owned online media platform, article dated December 6, 2015, in English) Cattle rustlers kill four people in Abyei
- Cattle raiders killed four people in the disputed area of Abyei, following two separate attacks carried out last Thursday, said the United Nations Interim Security Force for Abyei (UNISFA). The unidentified cattle rustlers killed one person and wounded three others in an attack on a cattle camp in the center of Abyei town.
- The UNISFA condemned the two attacks and announced the deployment of troops “in strategic locations as part of the efforts to apprehend the criminals behind the incident while investigations continue.”
- The two countries have been unable to successfully conduct a referendum to determine the fate of the border area, mainly because they still disagree on who is eligible to participate in the potential vote.
5. South Sudan criticizes UN report on effects of conflict
(Gurtong, independent/privately-owned online media platform, article dated December 1, 2015, in English) South Sudan disputes UN report
- The government of South Sudan disputed a United Nations report according to which 7.5 million people South Sudanese are food insecure following the devastating conflict.
- “This is a complete lie that is meant to mislead the world”, said the Minister of Humanitarian Affairs and Disaster Management, Hon. Awut Deng Achuil. “The total population of the three States currently affected by the conflict does not reach 3 million people.”
- Achuil said that based on the 2008 census report South Sudan’s population is estimated at 8.2 million people, of which the UN statement indicated that 94% would therefore be food insecure. She added that according to the latest report by the Integrated Food Security Phase Classification (IPC), it is estimated that 3.9 million people are classified as severely food and nutrition insecure.
- Achuil advised that, as Member State, South Sudan would expect the UN to always share and validate such reports before being disseminated to the public.
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