25-31 January 2016
Compiled by Vincent Marquis
- Debates and discussions over implementation of peace agreement
- Controversy over creation of 28 states continues
- Deadly attacks in Gok and Awiel States
1. National discussions continue over implementation of peace agreement
(Sudan Tribune, independent/privately-owned online media platform, article dated January 25, 2016, in English) South Sudan denies being obstacle in forming new government
- The South Sudanese government has denied obstructing the formation of the national unity government as provided in the peace agreement, accusing the opposition of complicating the situation by raising matters that could be resolved later on.
- “The government remains fully committed to the implementation of the agreement. It is the other party which is dragging their feet by unnecessarily taking position on issues which can be sorted later when the transitional government is formed,” declared Information Minister Michael Makuei Lueth.
- Lueth’s comments follow a joint statement by the members of the troika countries comprising the United States, the United Kingdom and Norway expressing deep concern with the delay in the formation of the transitional government of national unity.
(Sudan Tribune, independent/privately-owned online media platform, article dated January 26, 2016, in English) South Sudan’s Kiir, Machar should face sanctions: UN experts
- South Sudan’s President Salva Kiir and the armed opposition (SPLM-IO) leader Riek Machar should face sanctions since they control forces that have committed atrocities against innocent civilians, a United Nations panel of experts said in a report.
- According to the report, troops loyal to the two rival leaders, despite a peace agreement reached in August last year, committed human rights violations in the form of sexual violence, torture and extrajudicial killings in the world’s youngest nation.
- “There is clear and convincing evidence that the majority of acts of violence committed in the course of the war has been directed by or undertaken with the knowledge of senior individuals at the highest levels of government and within the opposition,” observed the UN report.
- “The impact of the continued influx of arms has been devastating to the civilian population and to the overall security situation in South Sudan,” stated the report while also calling for an arms embargo on the conflict-ridden country.
(Eye Radio, independent/privately-owned online media platform, article dated January 28, 2016, in English) Government and opposition forces withdraw from war front
- A new report based on a research by the Centre for Peace and Development Studies at the University of Juba says the government and the SPLM-IO have withdrawn their forces from the front lines in what were the war zones.
- The report says that although the disengagement, separation and withdrawal of forces were done, it did not meet the timeline in the peace agreement. It states that the allied forces were supposed to withdraw within 45 days after the signing of the agreement in August, but it dragged on until the tenth of October, when the Ugandan forces officially started leaving.
- “IGAD has to justify and inform the general public about the presence of the UPDF elements in the South Sudan capital, Juba, because the UPDF are part of the forces tracking the Lord’s Resistance Army leader in Western Equatoria state,” part of the report reads.
- The report recommends that IGAD monitors visit locations concerned and report on any movements or presence of armed groups. The report says this should be done within the next 30 days.
2. Controversy over creation of 28 states in South Sudan
(Sudan Tribune, independent/privately-owned online media platform, article dated January 25, 2016, in English) President Kiir’s 28 states are obstacle to peace in South Sudan: Troika
- A joint statement issued by the Troika member countries including the United States, United Kingdom and Norway, has blamed President Salva Kiir’s government for insisting on the 28 states it created outside the peace agreement, saying this has become an “obstacle to peace” in the young country.
- “The Members of the Troika (United States, United Kingdom, and Norway) express their deep concern at delays in forming the Transitional Government of National Unity, which was due to be completed today [22 January],” reads the statement extended to Sudan Tribune from Washington.
- “We urge all parties to make immediate efforts to resolve this impasse and to form the transitional government as soon as possible. It is time for leaders on all sides to put aside partisan bickering and prioritize the interests of the South Sudanese people,” Troika further urged.
- The Troika countries participated in the mediation and sponsoring of the two-year-old peace talks between the parties including the government, the armed opposition led by Riek Machar, former detainees led by Pagan Amum and other political parties and stakeholders in the country.
(Sudan Tribune, independent/privately-owned online media platform, article dated January 25, 2016, in English)Jieng Council of Elders warn of war over new states
- The Jieng Council of Elders warned that reversing President Salva Kiir’s decree, which saw South Sudan divided into 28 new states from the constitutionally recognised 10, could instigate a new war, if not contained.
- “The council feels it would be unwise to reverse the order and advise the two parties to place the interest of the country above personal ambitions. The interest of the people should not be subjected to negotiation. The people are now watching and waiting what the two parties will say,” said General Bona Bhang Dhol.
- “The council feels that reversing the order which has been welcomed by the majority of our people will not be accepted and this means another war. The council does not support war and therefore calls on the parties to abide by the desire and interest of the people,” Dhol told Sudan Tribune.
3. Deadly attacks in Gok and Awiel States
(Eye Radio, independent/privately-owned online media platform, article dated January 25, 2016, in English) Five shot dead in Gok state
- Five people have been shot dead in an attack by gunmen in Gok State, which was created from the former Lakes State. Residents say gunmen stormed a village in Chueibet last night and killed the victims before escaping. The cause of the attack is not clear.
- “According to the local people they suspect youth from Tonj state because one of the attackers was also killed. Among them, [the victims] one child was killed and four young men,” said Eye Radio reporter Michael Makuach. Officials in the state have confirmed the attack.
- “The unknown group came and attacked one person in his house with his children and his wife. All of them were killed except one child who was wounded. And also in the road when people are following them another youth from Gelweng killed was on the way,” said Turic Bil, an executive director in Chueibet.
(Gurtong, independent/privately-owned online media platform, article dated January 27, 2016, in English) 6 killed, 7 injured in a cattle raid in Twic-Thon cattle camp
- At least 6 people have been confirmed dead and 7 others injured during a cattle raid attack on Saturday at Twic-thon in the newly created State of Twic. Governor Deng Deng Akuei of Aweil East State visited the wounded at the Malualkhon health centre and condemned the incident.
- He accused the messirya of carrying out the attack saying that the incident occurred at a time when the two communities were discussing how to peacefully coexist. Deng said that the critically injured have been taken to Aweil hospital for further medical attention.
- A relative of one of the victims said the attackers came during night hours shooting randomly. “What I have seen is that six persons were killed and seven others wounded by those gunmen who wore black uniform,” he said. Other eye witnesses say more than 170 cattle were also stolen during the incident.