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Wednesday, Oct 01st, 2014

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South Sudan Rebels Recapture Malakal, Government Troops on the Run

Malakal, February 18, 2014 (SSNA) -- Rebel forces loyal to the South Sudanese Former Vice President Dr. Riek Machar have recaptured Malakal in the early hours of Tuesday.

The rebels seized the capital of the oil-rich Upper Nile State early Tuesday after days of fierce fighting. The government of South Sudan depends heavily on oil revenues.

A rebel commander who spoke to the South Sudan News Agency on condition of anonymity said their troops have defeated combined forces of Uganda and South Sudan stationed in Malakal.

“They are running toward Paloch and our forces are pursuing them”, the source said.

Rebels demand the withdrawal of Ugandan troops from South Sudan and want the four remaining political prisoners released. But, Uganda refuses, asserting that it has interests in the young nation and that Juba also requests military help from Kampala.

Senior figures of the ruling Sudan People’s Liberation Movement (SPLM) party who are still in government custody are: Majak D’Agoot, Pagan Amum, Ezekiel Lol Gatkuoth, and Oyai Deng Ajak.

A Call for the Direct Participation of Civil Society in South Sudan’s Peace Talks

By Citizens for Peace and Justice

17 February 2014

February 17, 2014 (SSNA) -- Citizens for Peace and Justice (CPJ), a coalition representing more than 30 civil society organizations, is deeply concerned with the grave human suffering brought about by the conflict in South Sudan. We condemn all actions and inactions that have resulted in the death, injury, sexual violence, displacement, destruction of property, and gross disruption of life for an untold number of our people.

CPJ appreciates the ongoing efforts by the Intergovernmental Authority for Development (IGAD) to end hostilities and resolve the conflict through a negotiated agreement. We strongly support the calls for a more inclusive process that provides for the meaningful participation of all citizens, including civil society, women’s groups, youth groups, religious leaders, traditional authority and academics. CPJ believes that this is the only path to a just and sustainable peace.

From 9-12 February 2014, CPJ held a conference in Nairobi, Kenya in order to develop concrete plans for civil society in its efforts to secure a resolution to the crisis. The conference brought together more than 60 representatives of civil society from South Sudan and the diaspora.

At the close of the conference, we resolved the following:

First, CPJ calls on IGAD to provide for the direct and independent participation of civil society in the peace talks currently underway in Ethiopia. We specifically ask that CPJ representatives be given the necessary accreditation such that they can actively participate at all meetings of the parties; contribute proposals for consideration in the talks, including draft language for any agreements; and offer their expertise and advice to the mediators.

Second, we request the following issues be included in the agenda for the peace talks:

• Comprehensive institutional reforms, with a focus on constitutional reform, political party reform, electoral reform and security sector reform
• Mechanisms for securing truth and reconciliation
• Mechanisms for securing justice and accountability
• Humanitarian access and protection of civilian populations
• Management of oil and other natural resources
• Foreign military intervention

Third, we propose that IGAD use the following 13 Principles as criteria to develop and assess proposals for a transitional political arrangement:

1. Stop the violence – There must be sufficient buy-in from belligerent parties to immediately and credibly implement the cessation of hostilities agreement.

2. Enjoy the support of the people – Political settlements should not be forced on the people of South Sudan. The direct participation of civil society in the mediation process will help to ensure that proposals are in line with the needs and wishes of the people.

3. Provide access for humanitarian and development support – The conflict has had a devastating impact on people throughout the country. At risk populations must be provided with the support they need to reestablish their lives.

4. Foster unity, respect diversity and build national identity – The nation-building process should encourage the development of an inclusive national identity that finds strength in diversity.

5. Protect sovereignty – South Sudanese have sacrificed greatly to achieve their independence. The transitional arrangement must safeguard our right of self-determination.

6. Allow space for political and civic engagement and for comprehensive governance reforms.
– To achieve sustainable peace, South Sudan must address the underlying governance crisis.
Reforms must be designed and implemented in an inclusive manner.

7. Support democracy, embrace a multi-party system and ensure free and fair elections – For the past decade, South Sudan has struggled to establish democratic institutions. We must take into account the successes and failures of past elections and establish a strong electoral process to set the stage for a more democratic system of governance.

8. Promote truth, justice and reconciliation – If South Sudan is to come to terms with its violent past, the government must provide space for an independent and inclusive process of truth, justice and reconciliation.

9. Disincentivize violent behavior – Political settlements should not reward those who engage in acts of violence, particularly those responsible for violations of international human rights and humanitarian law.

10. Empower local government – The governance system should ensure the meaningful devolution of decision-making authority and resources to the local level, thereby helping to counter regional development imbalances.

11. Harness resources to benefit the people – South Sudan’s natural resources have done little to raise the living standards for our people. We should have clear plans and the necessary oversight to ensure that resources are not wasted through corruption and poor governance, but are directed towards socio-economic development.

12. Maximize job creation, service delivery and infrastructure development – We must ensure that our government has the necessary expertise to jumpstart economic development.

13. Build international support – Without the support of our international partners, South Sudan’s path to independence would have been far more difficult. We must work to maintain and build upon this international support.

Lastly, we call for the development of a Transitional Roadmap for South Sudan, which can be used as a platform to coordinate activities by civil society and other actors in promoting the resolution of the crisis in South Sudan and the monitoring and implementation of any peace agreements.

Signatories:

Joyce Lamanya Solomon Abaha, Kush Center
Ramadan Adam, Citizen
Agyedho Adwok, Citizen
Rev. Tijwog Hather Agwet, Dwogo (DRRC)
John Apuruot Akec, Academics and Researchers Forum for Development
Zachariah Diing Akol, The Sudd Institute
Julia Akur, South Sudan Women Lawyer’s Association (SSWLA)
Abraham Awolich, The Sudd Institute
Mer Ayang, Artist
Emmanuel Ben, South Sudan Land Alliance (SSuLA)
Laura Beny, South Sudanese Professionals in the Diaspora
John Beny, Citizen
Luka Biong, Kush, Inc.
Awak Bior, Leaves Bookshop
John Mairi Blackings, South Sudanese Professionals in the Diaspora
Chuol Gew Nhial, Citizen
Simon Buony, Nile Hope
Rev. Orozu Lokine Daky, Serving and Learning Together (SALT)
Kuer Dau, New Sudan Women’s Federation (NSWF)
Dagu David, Citizen
Anyieth D’Awol, The Roots Project
David De Dau, Agency for Independent Media (AIM)
Atong Demach, Citizen
Daniel Deng, Kush, Inc.
David K. Deng, South Sudan Law Society (SSLS)
Augustino Kuol Deng, South Sudan Youth Peace and Development Organization (SSYPDO)
Robert Deng, University of Juba
Valentino Deng, Citizen
Pio Ding, Citizen
Julia Duany, Citizen
Kueth Duany, South Sudanese Friends International
Geoffrey L. Duke, South Sudan Action Network on Small Arms (SSANSA)
Tiondi Francis, Peace and Development Collaborative Organization (PDCO)
Emmanuel Gale, Institute for the Promotion of Civil Society (IPCS)
Samuel Lony Geng, Centre for Livelihood, Research and Poverty Reduction (CLIP-Poverty)
Daud Gideon, Citizen
Obwaya Joe Isidoro, South Sudan Human Rights Defender Network (SSHRDN)
Lona James, Voice for Change (VFC)
Rev. George Riak Kuirthoi, Nile on Aid of Hope (Noah)
Peter Lasu Ladu, Equatoria Rehabilitation and Development Association (ERADA) and Juba Civic
Engagement Center (JCEC)
Laila Lokosang, Rally for Peace and Democracy (RPD)
Alfred Lokuji, Citizen
Merekaje Lorna, South Sudan Democratic Engagement, Monitoring and Observation Programme
(SSuDEMOP)
Rev. Both Reath Luong, Nuer Peace Council (NPC)
Beny Gideon Mabor, Citizen
Don Bosco Malish, Citizen
Peter Gai Manyuon, South Sudan Law Society (SSLS)
Wani Mattias, South Sudan Law Society (SSLS)
Jackline Nasiwa, Citizen
Rev. James Ninrew, Assistance Mission for Africa (AMA)
James Keah Ninrew, Universal Intervention and Development Organization (UNIDO)
Priscilla Nyagoah, South Sudan Law Society (SSLS)
Paleki Obur, South Sudan Women’s Empowerment Network (SSWEN)
Rev. John Phillip Omot, Miakdell
Catherine Pita, EVE Organization for Women
Isaac Lony Ruot, South Sudanese Network for Democratic Elections (SSuNDE)
Henry Swaka, Civil Society Alliance
Rev. Peter Tibi, RECONCILE International
Abila Reuben Tom, Voice for Change (VFC)
Lam Tungwar, Artist
Koma James Vens, Peace and Development Collaborative Organization (PDCO)
Samson Wassara, Citizen
Ayom Wol, Citizen
Edmund Yakani, Community Empowerment for Progress Organization (CEPO)
Emile Yakani, Citizen

CPJ Contacts:

In South Sudan: Lona James
Voice for Change (VFC)
Tel: +211 955 022 367
Email: This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it
 
In Kenya: David K. Deng
South Sudan Law Society (SSLS)
Tel.: +254 703 754 068
Email: This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it

Destructive Move by Presidents Kiir and Museveni Towards IDPs in UNMISS Compound

H.E. Barack Obama: The President of the United States of America
H.E. Vladimir Putin: The President of Russia
H.E. Xi Jinping: The President of the People’s Republic of China
H.E. David Cameron: The Prime Minister of United Kingdom
H.E. Francois Hollande: The President of the French Republic
H.E. Stephen Harper: The Prime Minister of Canada
H.E. Ban Ki Moon: UN Secretary General
 
Destructive Moves by President Kiir and President Museveni Towards IDPs and Civilians, UNMISS Compounds/Camps, Juba, South Sudan
February 9-11, 2014

Your Excellencies:

February 16, 2014 (SSNA) -- We, the members of the South Sudan International Advocacy for Human Rights, (SSIAHR), request your immediate attention and official public condemnation for the February 9-11, 2014, inhumane actions, within the UNMISS Compounds/Camps, Juba, South Sudan, which were both authorized and instigated by both President Kiir, and President Museveni.

The following information, Section I through VIII, provides key information, for your review, related to this ongoing tragedy. Actions were taken, by the direct authorization of President Kiir, to deploy Ugandans troops, February 9-11, 2014, for the purpose of harming and killing the Nuer civilians, currently residing in the UNMISS Compounds/Camps, Juba, South Sudan. These Nuer civilians were originally relocated to the safety of the UNMISS Camps, Juba, South Sudan, subsequent to the December 2013 massacres in Juba.

Section I

On the morning of February 9, 2014, SPLA and the UPDF forces arrived at the Tongpiny area of UNMISS Compounds/Camps, to supposedly conduct the routine security patrol to enforce the “Curfew” period. The prompt arrival of additional SPLA and UPDF forces, circling the Tongpiny area UNMISS Compounds/Camps, that has almost led to a confrontation when the SPLA and UPDF Commander forcefully demanded that the UNMISS forces immediate handover all IDPs who were under the protection of the UN forces.   After some hours with tough exchanges, the SPLA and UPDF Commander then subsequently agreed that only the women, children and elderly individuals be allowed to remain in the Tongpiny area of the UNMISS Compounds/Camps; the Commander remained firm in demanding that the UNMISS Compounds/Camps officials handover all of men.

Section II

UNMISS Compounds/Camps officials refused to hand over all the men which resulted in significant theft and damage to private property held by the IDP's who reside outside the Tongpiny Area UNMISS gates and premises. The SPLA and UPDF Commander authorized for all IDP's vehicles to be stolen and destroyed the IDP's site's public works installations, such as toilets in a massive looting action, on February 9, 2014. The seriousness of the crimes committed towards the IDP's, by the SPLA and UPDF, is not to be ignored, as these wrongful thefts and the destruction of IDP's properties, are not allowed, under UN peacekeeping force protection.

Section III

We, the members of the South Sudan International Advocacy for Human Rights, (SSIAHR), implore you to take immediate action, by the means of a public condemnation condemning the atrocities of President Kiir's continued efforts to massacre the Nuer civilians who are currently residing in the UNMISS Compounds/Camps. The safety of the Neur civilians, within the Tongpiny Area UNMISS Compound/Camps, is being compromised. These Neur civilians are the individuals who have survived the first round of killing in the December, 2013 Massacre, which was authorized by President Kiir. SSIAHR hereby requests that you ask the UNMISS forces, currently working in the Republic of South Sudan, to carry out a thorough investigation, in the Unity State, and the Upper Nile State, at large, to definitively determine the current extent of the Ugandan Air Force's destructive cluster bomb usage, in these two states.

Section IV

SSIAHR condemns the death and destruction caused by the culster bombs currently utilized by the Ugandan Air Force (http://nyamile.com/2014/02/12/un-condemned-the-use-of-cluster-bombs-in-south-sudan/) against the civilian populations in greater Bor, Pibor, and the Gukmakure (Mundari area) of theCentral Equatoria State.

Section V

We, the members of SSIAHR, hereby request that you consider taking immediate action to hold Uganda President Yoweri Museveni accountable for involving the Ugandan forces in the destructive efforts in South Sudan, to include your condemnation of Uganda’s use of cluster bombs, a very aerial munitions. Uganda's utilization of cluster bombs is very deadly; it has repeatedly resulted in the deaths of South Sudan's civilian population. One of the most devastating discoveries, about the cluster bomb, is the lack of accuracy, as it does not always reach its intended target. Additionally, the use of cluster bombs is one of the UN prohibited Munitions, to be use in any warfare.

Section VII

It is well established that the South Sudan government officials, and their citizens, will have the opportunity to approach peace, within their young country, only after the effective removal of all Ugandan forces. The Uganda troop presence, in South Sudan, is a major deterrent to South Sudan's effort to internally address peaceful resolutions.

Section VIII

SSIAHR is also asking you to impose a strong sanction on both the Republic of South Sudan government and the Ugandan government for failing to comply with the international norms. Uganda has openly refused to withdraw her forces from South Sudan, and South Sudan is still attacking rebels’ positions and holding some political detainees that the government has agreed to release when cessation of hostilities was signed in Addis Ababa.

Thank you, your Excellences, for your consideration, and the sanctions you elect to take, to genuinely assist with steps towards peaceful resolutions, for the young nation of South Sudan.

You may direct your questions to:

Peter Gatkuoth Wadar Kuel
Email: This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it
Website: www.southsudanadvocates.org
Email: This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it

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