21-27 March 2016
Compiled by Vincent Marquis
- Alleged ceasefire violations by warring factions
- Criticism around creation of 28 states
- International criticism of political inaction in South Sudan
- Risk of famine in Greater Upper Nile State
1. Alleged ceasefire violations by warring factions
(Sudan Tribune, independent/privately-owned online media platform, article dated March 21, 2016, in English) S. Sudan accuses armed opposition of Koch county ambush
- A South Sudanese official accused the armed opposition allied to ex-vice president Riek Machar of allegedly carrying out an ambush, which claimed 12 lives and left over 50 wounded on Koch county road last week.
- The Northern Liech state information minister, Lam Tungwar claimed some members of the armed opposition masterminded the attack. “We condemn in the strongest term possible the criminal acts being committed by certain groups of individuals, claiming allegiance to the current SPLA-IO, one of those incidents among many others was the current atrocities committed in Koch county,” said Tungwar.
- The official urged the international community, the East African regional body, the Troika countries and the United Nations to put pressure on the armed opposition to respect the terms of the peace agreement.
- Tungwar, however, said the state governments had taken measures to ensure such an incident does not occur again. He warned those who carried out the attack to refrain from banditry acts and asked them to honor the August 2015 peace agreement.
2. Criticism around the creation of 28 states
(Eye Radio, independent/privately-owned online media platform, article dated March 22, 2016, in English) Council of States speaks against 28 states
- Some members of the Council of States have condemned the creation and the implementation of more counties by some of the new governors without the approval of the council, claiming the act is against the law.
- About two weeks ago, almost all governors of the 28 states submitted their requests for new counties, with the exception of Eastern Nile State. Most of the governors argued that they needed more counties to decentralize power and to allow services to reach people at the grass roots.
- The Council of States earlier said it was still discussing standard modalities to guide the formation of the counties before it can give its approval. However, MPs in the Council say some governors went ahead to create new counties without that approval.
- “This country must run on principles of law. It disturbs me that we continue to create situations outside law,” said Hon Clement Janda, an MP from the former Central Equatoria State.
- Nelson Lomata, Member of Parliament representing Yei River State, says the creation and operationalization of new counties without the approval of the Council of States is a violation of the law.
- The Council says the creation of the new counties is acceptable, but it should have been done according to the guidelines that will be set by the Council.
3. International criticism of political inaction in South Sudan
(Sudan Tribune, independent/privately-owned online media platform, article dated March 22, 2016, in English) US envoy urges S. Sudan’s warring parties to quickly form unity government
- The United States envoy to Sudan and South Sudan, Donald Booth, has urged South Sudan’s rivals to quickly form a transitional government. Booth made the remarks during a meeting in Addis Ababa on the progress of South Sudan’s peace agreement.
- “We will continue to work closely as Troika countries with IGAD to try to bring about an implementation of South Sudan’s peace agreement," Booth told reporters in Addis Ababa.
- The US ambassador’s call comes as the two South Sudanese conflicting parties continued to trade blame over protracted delays in forming a transitional government.
- The Ethiopian Prime Minister reassured the Troika of his country’s commitment to strengthen the partnership with the international community to make sure that South Sudan’s political stakeholders engage themselves for peace and stability in the country.
(Eye Radio, independent/privately-owned online media platform, article dated March 24, 2016, in English) International community ‘loses patience’ with peace partners
- The international community is losing patience with the main parties to the peace agreement for failing to fully implement the deal, the Joint Monitoring and Evaluation Commission Chairman has said.
- The JMEC Chairperson, Festus Mogae, expressed those concerns during the opening of the seventh meeting of the commission this morning, saying both the government and the SPLM in Opposition have continued to violate the ceasefire in some parts of the country.
- The JMEC also noted that the two parties have failed to execute the transitional security arrangements in time, and also failed to expedite the formation of the government of national unity. It has been over a month since the opposition leader, Dr Riek Machar, was expected in Juba to take up his position as the First Vice President, following his appointment.
- The meeting will receive reports on the progress made by the government and the opposition in the implementation of the transitional security arrangements for Juba, as well as reports from the ceasefire committee about its investigation into ceasefire violations.
4. Risk of famine in Greater Upper Nile State
(Eye Radio, independent/privately-owned online media platform, article dated March 25, 2016, in English) Aid groups warn of looming famine
- Some parts of the Greater Upper Nile are likely to be hit by famine this year if no concrete step is taken to address the humanitarian situation in the country, international aid organizations have warned.
- The International Organization for Migration has warned there are fears that the former Unity state could be hit by famine anytime, saying people in the area do not have access to food. There have been reports of continued fighting between the government and the opposition in the region.
- In an interview with the American ‘Guardian’ media, the IOM Officer for Communications, Ashley McLaughlin says the area is faced with prolonged displacement and limited humanitarian access. Ms McLaughlin says the situation should be prioritized as a major concern.
- The warning comes amid concerns by aid agencies that donors have become reluctant to provide financial assistance to fight the worsening humanitarian situation, due to the continued conflict in the country.