4-10 January 2016
Compiled by Vincent Marquis
- President Salva Kiir apologizes for suffering caused by the conflict
- National discussions continue over implementation of peace agreement
- Controversy over creation of 28 states in South Sudan
- Journalist Joseph Afandy goes missing
1. President Salva Kiir apologizes for suffering caused by the conflict
(Eye Radio, independent/privately-owned online media platform, article dated January 8, 2016, in English) Kiir expresses remorse over ‘unnecessary and unbearable suffering’
- President Salva Kiir has apologized to the South Sudanese people for what he calls ‘unnecessary and unbearable suffering’ caused by the conflict over the past two years.
- He described the apology as sincere and said the two years of the conflict have been the longest and most difficult for him.
- “I’d like to take this opportunity to apologize before the people of South Sudan because of the unnecessary and unbearable suffering you people of South Sudan and our beloved country have undergone for the last 24 months,” Kiir said.
- He made the remarks on Thursday at the opening of the ongoing SPLM convention in Juba. The President has also called for reconciliation among the people.
2. National discussions continue over implementation of peace agreement
(Eye Radio, independent/privately-owned online media platform, article dated January 7, 2016, in English) Peace partners share ministries
- The government, the SPLM in Opposition and the former detainees have agreed by concensus on the distribution of the ministries in the future government of national unity.
- In a statement, the chairperson of the Joint Monitoring and Evaluation Commision, Festus Gontabanye Mogae, says the government has 16 ministries, including Finance, Defense and Justice.
- The SPLM-IO has 10, including Petroleum and Interior, while the Former Detainees have two, Foreign Affairs and Transport. The Minister of Information, Michael Makuei, signed on behalf of the government, Taban Deng Gai for the SPLM-IO and Deng Alor for the Former Detainees.
(Sudan Tribune, independent/privately-owned online media platform, article dated January 8, 2016, in English) Peace partners share ministries
- President Salva Kiir has issued a republican decree appointing to the would-be transitional parliament 50 additional members of the armed opposition faction of the Sudan People’s Liberation Movement (SPLM-IO) under the leadership of former vice-president, Riek Machar.
- According to the peace agreement, previously elected members of the parliament, who were removed in 2013 for joining the opposition faction, will also be reinstated in the parliament, topping up the new 50 and increasing the number of lawmakers from the SPLM-IO.
- The reconstituted transitional parliament will sit for the first time and endorse the transitional constitution which currently is being amended and redrafted by the committee from the parties involved in the peace agreement.
- President Kiir is also expected to issue another republic decree appointing Riek Machar as first vice-president so that the two leaders can form a transitional government of national unity in Juba based on their respective quotas, totaling 30 national ministers.
3. Controversy over creation of 28 states in South Sudan
(Sudan Tribune, independent/privately-owned online media platform, article dated January 4, 2016, in English) Unity State governors deny warning of ‘massive war’ over new states
- Traditional leaders and state governors from the three states representing the former Unity State in South Sudan have issued a statement dismissing as misleading and false reports that paramount chiefs and other prominent traditional leaders in the area have warned of massive war if the creation of 28 states is carried out.
- “We, the three Governors of Ruweng, Northern Liech and Southern Liech, want to inform the international community and the people of South Sudan that no paramount chiefs from the Nuer of Greater Unity state condemned the creation of 28 states,” a statement by the governors claimed.
- The media reports, according to the group, aimed at undermining the traditional authority of the Nuer by naming people who are not chiefs as paramount chiefs of Bul, Leek and Jikany. The statement warned that anybody making false and unfounded allegations with regards to the boundaries of the newly created states was either putting the cart before the horse or is an anti-peace element who wants to ignite tribal conflict among communities.
(Sudan Tribune, independent/privately-owned online media platform, article dated January 8, 2016, in English) President Kiir’s 28 states is a ‘complicating factor’, says JMEC chairman
- The chairman of the Joint Monitoring and Evaluation Commission (JMEC), the highest body to oversee and monitor the implementation of the peace agreement, has admitted that the unilateral creation of 28 states by President Salva Kiir has become a complicating matter which threatens the implementation of the peace agreement.
- Mogae said there is a serious stalemate between the parties over the matter, saying his office will now instead concentrate on the formation of the national government and leave state governments until the matter will later on be resolved by the transitional government.
- Approximately 40 days after the peace agreement was signed, President Kiir came up with a unilateral decision to create 28 states, prompting condemnations from other parties and regional and international mediation groups.
4. Journalist Joseph Afandy goes missing
(Eye Radio, independent/privately-owned online media platform, article dated January 8, 2016, in English) CPJ calls for release of journalist Afandy
- The Committee to Protect Journalists is calling for the immediate release of Joseph Afandy, a reporter for the El-Tabeer Arabic daily newspaper, who went missing last week. The CPJ says Afandi had recently written an opinion article criticizing the SPLM for failing to protect the lives of its people and for presiding over the civil war that has devastated the country.
- “No journalist should be jailed for doing his job, which includes the right to publish or broadcast critical observations about public figures and institutions,” said CPJ Africa Program Coordinator Sue Valentine.
- South Sudan is one of the world’s deadliest countries for journalists. In January 2015, five journalists were killed in an ambush on a convoy in Western Bahr al Ghazal state.