22-28 April 2016
Compiled by Vincent Marquis
- Machar returns to Juba
- Salva Kiir forms Transitional Government of National Unity
- Salva Kiir apologizes to the South Sudanese people
1. Machar returns to Juba
(Sudan Tribune, independent/privately-owned online media platform, article dated April 26, 2016, in English) South Sudanese rebel leader arrives in Juba, calls for unity
- South Sudan rebel leader and first vice president-designate, Riek Machar, has finally arrived in the capital, Juba, in what is seen as a positive step in the formation of the country’s Transitional Government of National Unity (TgoNU).
- “There are challenges that we need to overcome,” said Machar. “The first challenge is security. The second challenge is stabilizing the economy. Third, we have a lot of displaced people – internally and internationally. We need to reach out to them,” Machar told reporters in Juba.
- Machar lauded those who supported South Sudan’s peace process, specifically citing the Troika countries – the United States, Britain and Norway.
- “With my arrival, we will push for the other obstacles and get rid of them and implement the peace agreement,” said Machar. “Peace should spread out throughout the country”.
- Akol Paul Khordit, who headed the Juba government delegation that received Machar remarked: “Today marks the watershed for peace in our country. [Machar’s] presence among us today in Juba signifies end of the war”.
- The country’s vice president until July 2013, Machar fled the country in December 2013 after a political dispute between him and President Kiir escalated into a civil war that took on ethnic dimensions. Following a peace agreement in August 2015, he was reinstated as first vice president in February this year.
(Sudan Tribune, independent/privately-owned online media platform, article dated April 27, 2016, in English) Machar’s return should ‘open a new chapter’: UN official
- The arrival in Juba of Riek Machar should open a new chapter for the world’s youngest nation and allow “the real transition to begin,” the United Nations peacekeeping head, Herve Ladsous told the Security Council on Tuesday.
- Ladsous stressed the security situation was still precarious amid a worsening humanitarian and human rights situation. “It is vital that the political and security trends now under way in the country change rapidly if we wish to see the peace process succeed,” said Ladsous.
- The senior UN official also urged the country’s warring parties to take this opportunity to show their genuine determination to move forward with the peace process.
- Ladsous also expressed concerns that the Government of South Sudan had continued to impose restrictions on the movement of the UN mission staff and humanitarian workers in the nation, in violation of the Status of Forces Agreement.
- The top UN official also expressed concerns over the recent clashes between the South Sudan army and armed groups in Western Bahar El Ghazal, leading to killings and displacement of civilians.
(Sudan Tribune, independent/privately-owned online media platform, article dated April 27, 2016, in English) US commends Machar’s return and oath taking as South Sudan’s First Vice President
- The United States government has commended the final return to the capital of Riek Machar, and his subsequent oath taking as South Sudan’s First Vice President, calling on the parties to form the long-awaited unity government soon.
- In a press briefing, the US State Department’s deputy spokesperson, Mark Toner, said the US also welcomed the statements from President Salva Kiir and Riek Machar during the occasion.
- “The return of Riek Machar to Juba and his swearing-in as first vice president today represents an important step towards the formation of a transitional government of national unity and a second chance to reclaim the promise that this young nation deserves,” Toner said.
- “South Sudan’s leaders now need to complete the formation of the transitional government, fully respect the permanent ceasefire agreement, facilitate humanitarian access to all areas of the country, and begin implementing the reform agenda of the peace agreement according to the timeline established by the parties,” he added.
2. Salva Kiir forms Transitional Government of National Unity
(Sudan Tribune, independent/privately-owned online media platform, article dated April 28, 2016, in English) South Sudan forms transitional government of national unity
- Four factions of South Sudan’s former warring parties and political rivals, turned peace partners, have finally formed the long-awaited transitional government of national unity (TGoNU) to administer the country for the next two and a half years, pending elections.
- This comes two days after the arrival to Juba of Riek Machar, newly sworn in First Vice President, and eight months after a peace agreement was signed in August 2015 to end 21 months of civil war.
- The war, which has killed tens of thousands and displaced millions more, erupted on 15 December 2013 in the national capital, Juba, when internal debates over political and institutional reforms within the leadership of the ruling party of the Sudan People’s Liberation Movement (SPLM) turned violent.
- The rival parties include the government led by President Salva Kiir, the armed opposition faction of the SPLM-IO led by First Vice President, Riek Machar, the Former Detainees (FDs) led by the now appointed Foreign Minister, Deng Alor Kuol, and Other Political Parties (OPPs) led by Lam Akol, Chairman of the Democratic Change (DC) party.
- Each faction nominated officials who have been appointed to the ministerial positions based on the number of ministerial portfolios allocated in the power sharing deal in the new 30-member cabinet.
- The government or SPLM-IG has 16 national ministers, SPLM-IO, 10 national ministers, FDs, two, and OPPs, two. This is in addition to a number of deputy ministers.
(Sudan Tribune, independent/privately-owned online media platform, article dated April 29, 2016, in English) Washington vows to support transitional government in South Sudan
- The U.S. administration has vowed to support the newly formed Transitional Government of National Unity in South Sudan in the country’s “reform agenda” but said those who committed gross crimes during the war will be brought to justice.
- The Special Envoy for Sudan and South Sudan, Donald Booth, in a statement on “South Sudan ’s Prospects for Peace and Security,” recommended to the American administration a number of measures to support the full implementation of the peace agreement.
- While the U.S. needs to support the implementation of all the sectors of reform in the country, he said, there is equally need to establish the agreed hybrid court to try some of the political and military officials who are accused of war crimes and crimes against humanity.
- “We fully support the peace agreement’s provision for the Hybrid Court for South Sudan, to be established by the African Union, as well as the Commission for Truth, Reconciliation, and Healing,” Booth said in the statement extended to Sudan Tribune.
- “We are pleased to see that the African Union has begun initial preparations to create the court, and we are prepared to support it in becoming the credible and impartial mechanism South Sudan needs to address the worst crimes of the conflict,” he further stressed.
3. Salva Kiir apologizes to the South Sudanese people
(Eye Radio, independent/privately-owned online media platform, article dated April 27, 2016, in English) Kiir apologizes over peace deal implementation
- President Salva Kiir Mayardit has apologized for the delay in the implementation of the peace agreement: “I repeat; our apologies to the people of South Sudan for the situation we the leaders have created. You have been patient throughout the duration of this crisis.”
- “Though the road ahead will still continue to have challenges, we are committed and determined to move our country forward. Thank you for the long patience and I ask you to continue to endure with us,” Kiir said in a statement following Machar’s swearing-in.
- “I also ask you to join me and my brother Riek Machar in the spirit of forgiveness and reconciliation. I call upon our politicians and all the citizens of South Sudan to put their differences and personal interests aside for the welfare of our independence,” Kiir added.
- President Kiir also thanked the international community – the UN Security Council, the UN Human Rights and humanitarian agencies, UNMISS, the Troika, AU, IGAD, EU, Russia, China, Japan and other regional and international partners – for their positive efforts and commitment.