March 6-12, 2015
Compiled by Kitty Shepard
1. South Sudan peace talks fail to negotiate successful agreement.
2. Sudan’s elections to void the Berlin Declaration.
3. National Umma Party asks AU to focus on conflict resolution in Sudan.
4. AU advice Kiir and Machar are not involved in transitional government.
5. Militia assaults in Central Darfur.
6. ICC Suspend Al-Bashir Case.
7. IGAD outlines new approach to South Sudan peace talks.
8. Crisis Group reports on the progression of the National Dialogue.
9. Peacekeeping mission in Darfur to be revised after failure to improve the situation.
South Sudan’s Warring Factions Disagree on a Deal, Peace Talks Suspended 6 th March 2015, South Sudan News Agency
- Peace negotiations concluded in Addis Ababa without reaching a successful agreement between the two Sudan People's Liberation Movements (SPLM)
- Ethiopia Prime Minister Hailemariam Desalegn expressed his disappointment of the two leaders; President Salva Kiir and Dr. Riek Machar to be unable to put differences aside and reach an agreement to resolve the conflict which has damaged the young nation.
- The failed peace negotiations prolongs the ongoing conflict which has resulted in 2 million displaced refugees in the area.
- Both Kiir and Machar have be accused of not compromising and waiting for an agreement which supports their own interests.
- The ongoing situation continues to escalate with the IGAD and AU failing to bring these two warring parties to resolve their differences.
Sudan opposition: ‘Elections end Berlin Declaration’ 6th March 2015, Radio Dabanga
- Sudanese opposition have expressed their hostility towards the general elections being held in April. The opposition parties intend to hold a meeting with President Al-Bashir to postpone these elections.
- The hostilities towards the elections has come from growing fear that it would terminate the recently signed Berlin Declaration.
- The Berlin Declaration is a joint agreement between the rebel SRF, the national Umma Party, the National Consensus Forces Coalition and the Civil Society Initiative. The National Dialogue was discussed with the National Congress Party in attempt ensure a democratic election.
- The declaration expires on the 13th July 2015 if President Al-Bashir still remains in power. The national dialogue discussed by the Sudan Appeal forces has been expressed as a last hope in resolving the corruption and oppression of Al-Bashir's party.
- In the event of Al-Bashir being re-elected the opposition parties have expressed the intent to hold a peaceful popular uprising in reaction to this outcome.
- Ahmed Bilal Osman , the information minister in Sudan, stated that the opposition coalition will not affect the national dialogue process and emphasized the oppositions repeated attempt to push the date of the elections
Sudan’s NUP calls on AU to distance itself from 2015 elections 7 th March 2015, Sudan Tribune
- The National Umma Party have expressed their recommendations that the AU should focus on a resolution for the ongoing conflict and ensure that the displaced populations are receiving necessary aid and access to social institutions.
- The African Union Commission (AUC) chairperson, Nkosazana Dlamini Zuma, stated that a pre-election evaluation group have been sent to Sudan to assess the progress of the elections.
- The AUC group, consisting of political affair personnel and four independent electoral experts, deployed to Sudan has an objective to assess the readiness, political climate and accordance of the African Charter on Democracy, which Sudan is a contracting party of.
- The opposition’s have expressed their support of delaying the national dialogue elections. They hope to postpone the elections to put Sudan in a transitional period where a new constitution would be created along with a revised electoral process.
- The NUP holds a well-respected position in Africa as it is the second oldest party in the continent.
- They commented on their boycott as a move against the four previous elections which have not been held by democratic principles. They further explained that the consequence of this is half the country remains occupied by conflicting parties.
- The NUP stressed that in the upcoming weeks to the election the Sudanese government have increased military action. The party appealed to the AU to postpone the elections in order to hold them in an appropriate environment.
- The NUP concluded the discussions by remarking that President Al -Bashir’s party have attempted to create a facade to protect the president from ICC prosecution
South Sudan’s warring leaders should be barred from caretaker government, says African Union 6th March 2015, the Guardian
- A leaked African Union report discussing the situation in South Sudan has revealed that neither leaders of the warring parties should have participation in a supervised government, as both have connections to organizing mass atrocities.
- The document has been leaked after the sequential failed crisis talks in an attempt to end the 14 month conflict.
- The report details that the country was divided along ethnic line of Dinkas and Nusers. Directly linking Kiir and Machar to the implementation of these mass atrocities.
- The document outlines a progressive collaboration of the AU and UN to establish a 3 person panel, which will monitor the country’s transition over a period 5 years. The document explains that the countries oil revenue should be managed by the African Development Bank as well as an AU peacekeeping team to stay on the ground with a force which has not be deployed in South Sudan before.
- The document references the 2005 peace deal which consented the separation of South Sudan from Sudan in 2011. British, American and Norwegian parties have been criticized for supporting this agreement and not pursuing to resolve the failed negotiations.
- The deadline for a peace deal to be signed between Kiir and Machar and IGAD officials passed on March 6th. The negotiation promised for a transitional government to implement change. No further date has been announced.
- The document comments on the Sanctions regime which was approved by the United Nations Security Council this week. The document explains that the sanction are not extensive enough to prevent travel bans, freeze account or prevent arms from entering the countries.
- The leaked document has created human rights groups to express their disappoint of the AU for not publishing it and upholding a precedent of justice and democracy.
- As the conflict continues to escalate, the Famine Early Warning System Network has estimated that 3.5 million south Sudanese will require humanitarian aid.
- The previously signed ceasefire on 1st February 2015, has since been violated as government and rebel forces have clashed in Bentiu, Renk and Melut.
Militia kills three in hospital in second assault on Um Kheir, Central Darfur 6 th March 2015, Dabanga Radio
- Further attacks occurred in Um Kheir by Militiaman on Thursday. Three people were killed in hospital facilities and one women died earlier that day.
- In one day four people were killed in Wadi Salih, Central Darfur.
- The militiamen attacked several civilians on Thursday afternoon in police station and hospital environments. Individuals who attempted to intervene and prevent the violence were injured as well.
- The militiaman also burnt 20 acres of crops and looted 60 livestock animals’ essential resources for winter storage.
- A security force from Garsila has been sent to stabilize the town and prevent any other attacks. The injured were sent to Garsila for medical treatment. One of the victims was Abdelaziz Ahmend Bakhit, the brother of a high ranking local leader in Garsila.
- Two militiamen were held in custody by police forces which has created a counter revolt of relatives of the militiamen storming the station. The civilians confronted the militiamen in an attempt to prevent the violence. Maryam Adam was killed in these clashes.
- This ongoing conflict further undermines President Al-Bashir’s national dialogue promising a future of peace.
AU investigator found South Sudan capital was ‘ethnically cleansed’ 6 th March 2015, Radio Tamazuj
- The report gives further details to the accusation that South Sudan’s capital was ethnically cleansed in December 2013.
- The mass killings occurred on 16th December in Juba. An irregular body was created to complete the killings. The killings come after several tense days of President Salva Kiir prosecution of his rival Riek Machar for contesting the authority of the state.
- The leaked document states that the Nuer population of Juba were killed on mass with few of the ethnic group surviving.
- The motivation for the killing is to be based in political reasoning to achieve the polarization of society into two distinct groups.
- Displaced populations have reported the government’s creation of ethnic divides in South Sudan to UNMISS. These ethnic divides have been accompanied by appropriation of Nuer property.
- The reports of mass killings also include details of rape and forced carnivorism.
- The weeks before the killings President Salva Kiir participated in a press tour in his native province Bahr el Ghazal, where his speeches were televised. The content of the speeches discussed his termination of Dr. Machar and his party in government.
- The military forces who attempted to create an investigation into the killing were instructed to stop by the state after progressing to Colonel level to investigate involvement.
- The perpetrators of these mass killings are believed to have come from Bahr al Gazal and were recruited by the current chief of staff who was previously governor of the northern district.
ICC Accuses Sudan of failing to Help in Al-Bashir Case 9 th March 2015, Voice of America
- The ICC have stated that Sudan has failed to cooperate with the war crimes investigation against President Al-Bashir.
- The court now progresses to work with the United Nations Security Council to pursue the 2009 warrant for al-Bashir's arrest for war crimes, particularly genocide in Darfur.
- The ICC has only succeeded in 2 cases from the Congo which were resolved in 2002. Due to its lack of international police force it depends on internal parties to be cooperative. President Al-Bashir’s party has protected his position by refusing of collaborate with ICC persecutors.
- The report demonstrates a lack of dialogue between the ICC and Sudan.
- Prosecutor Fatou Bensouda had expressed her frustration in December at the Security Councils limited support in persecuting Al-Bashir.
- The only expressed interest in pursuing the persecution of Al-Bashir was in 2005, when the council gave permission to investigate suspected war crimes in Darfur which claimed 300,000 lives and displaced a greater population.
- This decree has not been discussed or revised since this date.
IGAD unveils new process to end South Sudan crisis 11th March 2015, Sudan Tribune
- The IGAD have vowed to continue peace talks in April 2015 to resolve the ongoing conflict in South Sudan.
- Tewolde Mulugeta, spokesperson for the Ethiopian foreign ministry expressed that the discussions will involve individuals from the AU, UN Security Council, and the Troika countries: US, Britain and Norway.
- Both warring parties have acknowledged the new peace talks. Kiirs spokesperson expressed the IGAD's adoption of a new model to progress peace talks. The SPLM-IO spokesperson also acknowledged the IGAD's revised approach to the talks.
- The IGAD’s new platform has been expanded to include internal and international countries and organizations to find a resolution to the ongoing conflict.
- South Africa and Tanzania will be approached to be included in the talks as key members of the AU.
- Ann Itto acting security general of governing SPLM, who has been connected to president Kiir, expressed that the party would continue working with the government to ensure stability of the country. She further expressed the awareness of the humanitarian situation as a consequence for the ongoing conflict.
- Itto's statement was furthered by deputy foreign affairs and international cooperation minister, Peter Bashir Gbandi who expressed the readiness of the SPLM to resume peace talks with the rebel group.
- The opposition have accused the government for requesting impossible demands and their ignorance to resolving the root cause of the conflict.
Sudan: The Prospect for “National Dialogue” 11th March 2015, Crisis Group
- The national dialogue was promised in January 2014 by President al-Bashir. The African Union High -Level Implementation Panel (AUHIP) expressed their interest in paralleling talks of the national dialogue with the peacekeeping activities in Darfur.
- The Berlin Declaration has created a unified position between opposition groups but has yet to progress the situation. The government has been hostile to completing these talks and acknowledging the escalating humanitarian issues in their state.
- The national dialogue was implemented to resolve outstanding issues from the 2005 peace talks. A recent increase in censorship of the media outlets and intellectuals as well as the renewal of Sudanese Armed Forces attacks in the decisive summer campaign, have create more attention around these remaining issues.
- The ICC's suspension of their investigation of President al-Bashir’s offences comes simultaneously with eased interest from anti-Muslim brotherhood Arab and Gulf States on the matter.
- The economic market of Sudan has strengthened through the ongoing conflict in South Sudan. Oil has become a steady import to the country at a stabilized price. However, the state remains secured in its political and military force.
- The AU is taking the responsibility to conducting, committing and being the main donor society of the national dialogue. African countries, the Gulf Cooperation Council and China have also given huge investments to reaching a peace deal.
- Several amendments to the national dialogue process have been expressed by Crisis Group in an attempt to resolve the political tensions in Sudan.
- Read the report
Darfur peacekeeping force to be cut back amid accusations of incompetence 11th March 2015, Crisis Group
- The peacekeeping forces have failed to provide adequate security to the Sudanese state of Darfur has resulted in a revision of the missions objectives.
- A report addressed to the UN Security Council stated that the mission was to be revised and eliminate unnecessary units and redeploy effective units in a perimeter to protect the civilians.
- The report also discloses that the peacekeeping force will be reduced in the area. The United Nations expressed their support of the reduction in peacekeepers to focus on a stronger UNAMID task force.
- The report hinted that military units who failed to respond effectively to militiamen intimidation will be dismissed from their duties. The revision of the mission comes after half a million people have been displaced from the conflict.
- Since the claims of President Al-Bashir forces committing mass rape in Darfur, the government in Khartoum has been hostile to allowing UN peacekeeping forces, as well as NGO’s, to have any effect on the ground. The UN have disclosed that talks with the Sudanese government have started to discuss an eventual exit strategy of the peacekeeping forces.
- UNAMID has been criticized for their ineffective missions in the area and the continued oppression of the Sudanese population.
- China’s Security Council member Ban Ki-moon, who has previously expressed their hostility towards the US sanctions regime, has further criticized UNAMID for its inability to gain control of the territory and protect the Sudanese people.
- Ladsous, the undersecretary general for peacekeeping operations, stated that if the next round of peacekeeping revisions fail to take effect, they will consider more drastic measures including the withdrawal of United Nations forces from these missions.
- The reluctance of Khartoum to cooperate has left the population in destitute conditions: 4.4. Million people will require humanitarian aid and a 2.5 million remain displaced from the conflict.
- The Enough Project, an NGO operating out of Washington, has commented that Sudan will be hostile to the UN withdrawing its mission from the area due to the $1.1 billion budget the security council has allocated to the country.