22-28 February 2016
Compiled by Vincent Marquis
- South Sudan announces formation of transitional government
- Alleged ceasefire violations by warring factions
- South Sudan under international pressure
- Angola backs UN proposal for arms embargo on South Sudan
- Deadly attack in Boma State
1. South Sudan announces formation of transitional government
(Sudan Tribune, independent/privately-owned online media platform, article dated February 23, 2016, in English) S. Sudan peace partners to form transitional government in March
- The South Sudanese government and its armed opposition faction have agreed to form an interim government in the first week of March, announced the Information and Broadcasting Minister, Michael Makuei Lueth.
- “We have agreed to establish the transitional government of national unity by the first week of March despite the [issue] of 28 states, despite the absence of the constitution,” said Makuei, speaking to reporters after the meeting converged by the Joint Monitoring and Evaluation Commission (JMEC), a body overseeing the implementation of the peace agreement.
- Minister Makuei said the SPLA forces in Juba have been moved out as agreed and 1,370 opposition forces will be transported to Juba by the end of February so that Machar returns to Juba and forms a transitional government with President Kiir.
(Eye Radio, independent/privately-owned online media platform, article dated February 23, 2016, in English) Peace partners agree on ‘compromise’ security for Juba
- The Joint Monitoring and Evaluation Commission says the parties to the Peace Agreement have accepted compromise security arrangements for Juba, and will deploy 1,370 troops instead of the more than 2,000 demanded by SPLM-IO leader, Dr. Riek Machar.
- JMEC chairman, Festus Gontebanye Mogae, told the media after the meeting that he hoped the SPLA-IO forces will be in Juba before the end of this month. “We have just had this tentative agreement that the Opposition has accepted. The government has said they have no problem with that number which we have proposed and the Opposition has accepted the compromise,” Mr Festus said.
- “That gives me hope that within the next two weeks we could have the First Vice President inside South Sudan.” Mr. Festus continued. He said that donors have also accepted to transport the SPLA-IO forces to Juba.
(Eye Radio, independent/privately-owned online media platform, article dated February 25, 2016, in English) Kiir vows to implement peace deal
- President Salva Kiir has assured UN chief Ban Ki-moon that he will ensure that the peace agreement is fully implemented, an annoucement that came after a closed-door meeting with the UN chief held with President Salva Kiir in Juba this week.
- For his part, Ki-moon said he is going to convince Dr Riek Machar to return to Juba as soon as possible. “The secretary-general also assured the president that he will urge Riek Machar to come as soon as possible so that the transitional government of national unity can be formed,” Foreign Minister Dr Barnaba Marial told the media after the meeting.
- Mr Ki-Moon also held discussions with several officials during the one-day visit before he left for the Democratic Republic of Congo to assess the humanitarian situation there.
2. Alleged ceasefire violations by warring factions
(Eye Radio, independent/privately-owned online media platform, article dated February 23, 2016, in English) Government violated ceasefire in former WES
- Ceasefire monitors say government forces violated the ceasefire in the former Western Equatoria State between December and January, saying some of the violations were reported by the SPLM-In Opposition and investigated independently by the monitors.
- The ceasefire monitors say government forces killed a number of civilians in Mundri, Lanyi and Lui, as well as established bases in Lui and Lanyi, causing more than 66,000 civilians to flee the area.
- The Monitoring and Verification team say they interviewed members of the SPLA, UNMISS and civilians to verify the violations. The monitors called on all parties to restore order in the greater Mundri area.
3. South Sudan under international pressure
(Eye Radio, independent/privately-owned online media platform, article dated February 22, 2016, in English) Government asked to identify and punish IDP killers
- The US government has urged authorities in South Sudan to investigate last week’s clashes in the Malakal UN camp and punish those responsible. The medical charity, MSF, says 18 people, including two of its workers, were killed in the incident. More than 70 others were reported injured.
- UNMISS and Eastern Nile state government officials say the fighting was between two ethnic communities living in the camp, but the US says there are credible reports that a large group of government soldiers were involved.
- In a statement, the US National Security Advisor, Susan Rice, says government troops entered the Malakal camp and opened fire on civilians seeking protection there. Ms Susan Rice says the camp was also looted and burnt down.
- “We call on the Government of South Sudan immediately to conduct an investigation of this violence, to identify the soldiers responsible, and to bring the perpetrators to justice,” she said in the statement.
(Eye Radio, independent/privately-owned online media platform, article dated February 22, 2016, in English) South Sudan faces risk of fragmentation
- The office of the UN Human Rights Commissioner says South Sudan risks being divided further into militia groups due to excessive use of military force by the government to address insecurity in the country.
- Currently, several militia groups have risen against the government, which include the Arrow Boys, in the Western Equatoria region, the militia group loyal to General Yoanis Okich in the Upper Nile region, and others.
- “The reconciliatory rhetoric propagated by government and opposition actors has deflected from the fact that the parties to the conflict continue to attack, kill, abduct, rape, arbitrarily detain, and forcefully displace civilians, and pillage and destroy their property,” partly read the statement.
- The statement said that there are increasing numbers of armed defense groups that have emerged in response to the government’s highly militarized approach to addressing insecurity, noting that there is widespread armed conflict in all parts of the country, and creation of local armed groups fighting against government troops.
(Eye Radio, independent/privately-owned online media platform, article dated February 25, 2016, in English) Kiir and Machar face individual sanctions
- US Secretary of State John Kerry says President Salva Kiir and SPLM-IO leader Dr Riek Machar will face individual sanctions if the peace agreement fails.
- The statement comes weeks after the Joint Monitoring and Evaluation Commission reported to the AU Peace and Security Council that the implementation of the peace agreement is lagging far behind schedule.
- This has been blamed on the creation of 28 states and Dr Riek’s demand for the full establishment of security arrangements before he returns to Juba for the formation of the interim government.
- “This is a critical moment for South Sudan’s survival and it’s important for people who hold themselves up to be leaders to actually lead,” Mr Kerry said during a US House of Representatives subcommittee hearing on the US State Department’s budget.
(Eye Radio, independent/privately-owned online media platform, article dated February 26, 2016, in English) Government ‘must’ start protecting civilians
- The UN Secretary General, Ban Ki-Moon, says the government must start taking the responsibility of protecting its people and not leave the duty to humanitarian action. Mr Ban made the call in a press statement during his one-day visit, just before he left the country.
- The UN leader condemned the killing, rape, and conscription of children into the army and described the corruption levels in the country as “epic”. Mr Ban says the humanitarian needs in the country need a political solution.
- “The protection camps are not a long term solution. As important as it is, humanitarian action can never be a substitute for political solutions,” Mr Ban said. The UN Secretary-General also called for uninterrupted access for humanitarian agencies to areas in which people are in need of assistance.
4. Angola backs UN proposal for arms embargo on South Sudan
(Sudan Tribune, independent/privately-owned online media platform, article dated February 27, 2016, in English) Angola now backs UN proposal for arms embargo on S. Sudan
- Angola, a country that opposed last year’s calls for a United Nations arms embargo on South Sudan, is now urging the UN Security Council to implement the move, a shift that comes in the wake of the recent outbreak of violence at a UN protection of civilian camp in Malakal.
- “The situation evolves and you have to evolve with the situation. Now what is necessary to do is an arms embargo,” Angola’s ambassador to the UN, Ismael Abraao Martins was quoted saying on Friday.
- Angola, an elected member of the UN Security Council, had earlier argued that the South Sudanese warring factions be allocated more time to implement the peace deal.
5. Deadly attack in Boma State
(Gurtong, independent/privately-owned online media platform, article dated February 24, 2016, in English) 9 people killed in Boma State violence
- At least 9 people were killed during the violence that broke out in Boma State between the South Sudan army and the cobra faction forces on Tuesday, after bodyguards of the newly appointed Boma State Governor visited Pibor to prepare for his reception.
- Since the appointment of Baba Medan as Boma State Governor, there has been tension between the Cobra faction or SSDA forces loyal to David Yauyau and supporters of the new Governor of Boma State.
- Boma State Coordinator Gabriel Amakori said forces of David YauYau attacked the SPLA position and killed five SPLA soldiers. He said four members of the Cobra faction were also killed on the spot.
- “Many areas were burnt down and even most of the main market was burnt down. This was because of the cross fire between the forces of cobra faction and the army,” Amakori said. He added that investigations into the extent of damage caused and casualties are still underway.