15-21 February 2016
Compiled by Vincent Marquis
- South Sudan delays formation of transitional government
- Controversy continues over creation of 28 states
- Alleged ceasefire violations by warring factions
- Inter-communal fighting at Malakal UN camp
- Hundreds flee violence in Wau State
- Inter-communal peace conference in Twic East County
1. South Sudan delays formation of transitional government
(Sudan Tribune, independent/privately-owned online media platform, article dated February 19, 2016, in English) South Sudan delays formation of transitional government
- The South Sudanese government has announced that it will delay the formation of a transitional government of national unity (TgoNU) which President Salva Kiir had earlier said would be formed by Friday this week.
- The South Sudanese Information and Broadcasting Minister, Michael Makuei Lueth, told reporters that the the formation of the TGoNU will be delayed until after forces of the SPLM-IO are deployed in Juba to allow the return of their leader, Riek Machar.
- Earlier, opposition factions and the Joint Monitoring and Evaluations Commission (JMEC) urged President Kiir not to form the new government without the participation of all the parties to the peace agreement they signed in August last year.
- The other parties and JMEC, however, called on the relevant authorities to “expeditiously” implement the security arrangements including the demilitarization of Juba and the transportation of the opposition forces to the capital.
2. Controversy continues over creation of 28 states
(Sudan Tribune, independent/privately-owned online media platform, article dated February 21, 2016, in English) South Sudan government proposes referendum to determine number of states
- The South Sudanese government has come out with a proposal seeking to conduct a referendum to determine the number of states through which the country should be governed in a move which is not provided for in the peace agreement.
- Speaking at a public briefing in Juba, Information and Broadcasting Minister Michael Makuei Lueth said the government would not revoke the decision of the president to create more states unless a nationwide referendum is conducted to determine the number of states.
- Lueth was reacting to a criticism by the Secretary-General of the communist party in South Sudan, who questioned the basis of the creation of 28 states, arguing that the government should return the country to the structure of the 10 constitutionally-recognized states.
3. Alleged ceasefire violations by warring factions
(Sudan Tribune, independent/privately-owned online media platform, article dated February 19, 2016, in English) South Sudan’s opposition faction accuses government of targeting civilians
- A senior official of the SPLM-IO has accused troops loyal to President Salva Kiir’s government of “inflicting maximum sufferings on the civilians” in various parts of the country in violation of the peace agreement signed five months ago.
- Speaking to reporters in Juba, Henry Odwar, who leads the SPLM-IO’s team for constitutional amendment as part of the advance team in Juba, accused the government of continuing to attack locations of their forces in Wau, Maridi, Mundri, Mvolo, Ezo, Yambio, Wondurba, Lobonok, Northern Bari, Mwagi and Ikotos – counties located in Bahr el Ghazal and Equatoria regions.
- The opposition’s advance team has been in Juba since 21 December, 2015, to try to finalize the demilitarization of Juba and deployment of their joint forces in the capital ahead of arrival of their leader, Riek Machar.
4. Inter-communal fighting at Malakal UN camp
(Eye Radio, independent/privately-owned online media platform, article dated February 19, 2016, in English) Malakal: UN camp attack death toll rises
- The death toll of the inter-communal fighting at the UN camp in Malakal has risen. On Thursday, Eastern Nile authorities reported that three of the wounded people who were taken to a hospital died while five were killed inside the UN camp.
- However, Médecins sans frontières said 18 people, including 2 of its staff, have been killed in the violence which erupted on Wednesday and continued until Thursday.
- “Youth from two particular communities in the camp clashed at the base, using machetes, sticks and guns,” according to the UNMISS and state government officials. “The cause of the clashes is not clear.”
- MSF says its hospital in Malakal has treated 36 people who were wounded in the incident. 25 patients had suffered minor gunshot wounds and eight others required surgery. MSF says more casualties are continuing to arrive at their facilities.
- “This attack on civilians is outrageous and we demand that armed groups stop these actions,” said Marcus Bachmann, coordinator of MSF projects in South Sudan. The humanitarian group says the violence initially forced about 600 people, mostly women and children, to leave their tents and gather inside the hospital.
(Sudan Tribune, independent/privately-owned online media platform, article dated February 20, 2016, in English) UN Security Council, EU, Troika condemn Malakal attack
- The United Nations Security Council (UNSC), European Union (EU) and Troika countries (United States, United Kingdom and Norway) have condemned the killing of civilians inside a UN camp in Malakal which hosts over 47,000 internally displaced persons, accusing.
- In a strong-worded statement on Friday, the UNSC also accused government forces of taking part in the attacks on Shilluk and Nuer communities in the camp and condemned in the “strongest terms all attacks and provocations against civilians and the United Nations.”
- The EU similarly condemned the attacks, stating that “the Heads of Mission condemn the outrageous attacks on civilians that occurred starting Wednesday within the United Nations’ Protection of Civilians site in Malakal, South Sudan, carried out by elements that are still to be determined.”
- The Troika countries (US, UK, and Norway) also condemned what they said was “credible reports” that government troops took part in the massacre of civilians inside the UN compound.
- The United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) says up to 26,000 more people may have been displaced by the Malakal fighting inside the UNMISS camp.
5. Hundreds flee violence in Wau State
(Sudan Tribune, independent/privately-owned online media platform, article dated February 16, 2016, in English) Hundreds flee violence in South Sudan’s Wau state
- Renewed clashes in South Sudan’s Wau state between the army and the armed opposition faction have caused hundreds of people to flee their homes, residents and eyewitness said on Monday.
- The incident took place in the western part of the state capital, Besilia, forcing hundreds, mainly women and children, to seek food and shelter. According to multiple residents who arrived in Wau town on Sunday, both sides of the conflict were involved, burning down huts to the ground.
- The deputy governor of Wau state, Andrea Dominic, condemned the attack by the armed opposition, describing it as a violation to the ceasefire deal. “We want to know if these ruminant rebels in Wau state are not part of the agreement or they are not under the control of the SPLM-IO so that our forces can respond to them,” she said.
- The armed opposition leader in Wau state denied that their forces were the first to attack government troops in the specified areas.
6. Inter-communal peace conference in Twic East County
(Gurtong, independent/privately-owned online media platform, article dated February 18, 2016, in English) Peace conference between Ayual and Diachuek clans begin
- The Commissioner of Twic East County, Dau Akoi Jurkuch, said that a three-day peace conference that will address the ongoing conflict between the Ayual and Diachuek clans has begun in Maar Payam, Twic East County.
- Commissioner Akoi is hopeful that the peace conference will resolve and address the long term conflict that has existed for more than five years between the two sections.
- Last year, the parties to the conflict discussed the possibility of “blood compensation” so that lives lost during the 2010 and 2011 sectional violence would be paid back, but one Chief out of the nineteen Chiefs of Ayaul opposed the it.
- On Monday, Jonglei Governor Philip Aguer Panyang said the dialogue will unify the Ayual position from opposing the compensation. Commissioner Akoi said talks were conducted on Wednesday to know the opinions of those opposing the negotiations.