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Wednesday, Dec 02nd, 2015

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Scores feared dead after South Sudan’s plane crash

Nairobi, November 4, 2015 (SSNA) -- An Antonov plane destined for northern Upper Nile State crashed on Wednesday soon after it took off from the Juba international airport, killing at least 36 people.

South Sudan Red Cross (SSRC) says 36 bodies have been pulled out of the shattered plane, An-12B cargo.

SSRC added that two survivors including a small child were also pulled out of the plane’s wreckages.

It has also been reported that the crashed cargo keeps  operating after it has been grounded by its parent company, Ukrainian-based Antonov, for failing to "undergo timely technical servicing."

South Sudan’s rebels accuse government troops of “fresh attacks”

Addis Ababa, November 4, 2015 (SSNA) -- South Sudan’s armed opposition has accused government forces of launching fresh attacks on its positions, saying Juba has violates the recently signed “security arrangements” deal.

Rebel Spokesman James Gatdet Dak, who is the official Spokesperson for the rebel leadership said in a statement extended to the South Sudan News Agency (SSNA) that Juba-backed troops have been shieling Canal and Khorfulus for two days in an attempt to capture them from the SPLA-IO.

“Our bases have been attacked by government forces for the last two days. This aggression by the regime in Juba is a violation of the peace agreement, particularly the ceasefire. They have been shelling Canal and Khorfulus. Their aim is to try to close both the Sobat River and White Nile in an attempt to capture our bases,” Gatdet said in a statement.

The armed opposition Spokesperson added that continued attacks against the SPLA-IO by Juba-backed soldiers must end and called on IGAD and the international community put pressure on Juba to stop its attacks against rebels and implements the power-sharing peace deal.

“The regime has continued with the offensive against our forces despite the signing of the security arrangements. IGAD and the wider international community should put pressure on the government to stop the fighting and implement the peace agreement,” he added.

The accusation came days after the IGAD-Plus announced a breakthrough in weeks-long security negotiation between the two warring factions in the Ethiopian capital, Addis Ababa.

Nuer Supreme Council calls for calm after AU atrocities report, warns of “dire consequences”

November 2, 2015 (SSNA) -- The Nuer Supreme Council (NSC) on Monday called for calm among the Greater Nuer Community, saying the killing of Nuer civilians in Juba by Salva Kiir’s government that was supposed to protect them is a pain that will never be forgotten and urge members for the community worldwide to be courageous so that the people of South Sudan can move forward. The community also urges the entire Naath community to embrace peace.

The call came days after the African Union Commission of Inquiry released its report on South Sudan’s atrocities.

The NSC, which is headquartered in Canada and has branches around the world, warns of “dire consequences,” after it finds what it described as “missed step and gross mischarge of justice,” in the report and calls on the African Union Commission of Enquiry on South Sudan Conflict to reconsider some of its findings.

The NSC didn't elaborate exactly what it means about the consequences, should it's demands fail.

The Nuer Supreme Council says it commends the African Union Commission of Enquiry on South Sudan Conflict for making the Human Rights violations and other crimes committed in South Sudan public, adding that it is disappointed over the Commission’s inability to find reasonable grounds for crimes of genocide despite the fact that there are strong evidence of genocide committed against Nuer in December of 2013.

The Council blasted the report, saying it is a “missed step and gross mischarge of justice” in its pure form and may have dire consequences,, adding that it fully supports the ongoing peace process, asserting that it will stand shoulder-to-shoulder with the Greater Nuer Community to promote peace and justice for the victims of Kiir’s government, adding that it is also committed to end impunity and guarantees accountability for those who carries out crimes against Nuer civilians in Juba.

“The Nuer Supreme Council (NSC) takes this opportunity to calls on the Greater Nuer Community (aka Naath) around the global for calm and encourages them to embrace peace,” a statement obtained by the South Sudan news Agency (SSNA) reads in part.

The NSC, which also called the Naath Supreme Council, states that the Greater Nuer Community should keep calm and embrace peace even after their anger was validated after the African Union report on South Sudan’s conflict.

“While the Council acknowledges the pains the Nuer Community is going through after the release of long waited AU Report on South Sudan conflict, where the Commission found that there was a State’s sanctioned summarily execution policy against Nuer innocent civilians, the Council feel it’s paramount to remain calm and strategizes for ways forward,” the document said.

Fighting broke out in December of 2013 between different units of presidential guards after months of political scuffle among senior leaders of the ruling Sudan People’s Liberation Movement (SPLM) party.

Within a few days, thousands of civilians of Nuer ethnicity were rounded-up and killed in and around Juba, their bodies dumped in the Nile River and some were buried in mass graves hidden from public sites.

In weeks and months leading to fighting, South Sudanese president Salva kiir sacked his entire cabinet including his Former Deputy Dr. Riek Machar Teny, Former SPLM Secretary General pagan Amum, among other.

Kiir accused his rival, Dr. Riek Machar, of planning a coup. Machar denies the allegation saying Salva Kiir planned the alleged coup in an attempt to try to get rid of his rivals.

The Nuer Supreme Council says it is shocked but not surprised after seeing the AU’s report on the atrocities.

“The evidence of crimes on the report committed against members of the Nuer ethnic groups are “horrific,” and they includes forced cannibalism, castration of boys and left for dead, gang rapes and chopping off of young girls and women breasts after rapes, forced jumping on fire and forced drinking of human blood after being killed by the perpetrators,” the statement added.

The NSC admits that the Nuer community worldwide is very angry and sad after its nearly two years old call for accountability was answered and validated by the AU’s report; adding that the AU’s report is a victory and urges all members of the Nuer Community to embrace peace.

“The validation of these horrific crimes by the African Union’s report on South Sudan is a victory, but has regenerated angers and unease feelings among the Greater Nuer Community. In an essence, these crimes are horrific, unbearable and the NSC understands that Nuer society has a right to be anger,” the text further stated.

In the document, the leadership of the NSC calls for its members to rethink for what it described as “better strategic moves and answers,” adding that the killing of Nuer in Juba was carried out by Kiir’s trained militias and organized forces.”

“However, as a community, we need to take back step. Rethink for better strategic moves and answers to the problem. We also need to be thankful to the AU Commission of Enquiry on South Sudan for overwhelmingly and at last validating our long claim crime of genocide committed against Nuer civilians.

"This position has consistently been the Greater Nuer Community and the Nuer Supreme Council stance since the day conflict stated and massacre was carried out on the 15th of  December 2013 by non-other than Salva Kiir Mayardit, trained militias and organized forces against Nuer,” the text added.

The NSC reveals that the Nuer Community fight against Kiir’s regime is for self-defence and that the civil war was created and invited by Salva kiir himself. The community echoes the AU’s report, saying the Nuer massacre was a “state sanctioned, organized military operation, and furtherance of a State policy.”

Late last month, the African Union’s report on South Sudan’s atrocities concluded there were widespread systematic killings of Nuer and the operation against Nuer in Juba was a state sponsored, well-planned and organized.

The AU report further states that fighting in Juba, specifically in Giada, a suburb of Juba  was intended by the government to provoke the real intended target, resulting in death of so many Nuer civilians, many of whom were women, children, elderly, and youth.

The AU Commission on South Sudan’s atrocities disclosed that South Sudan’s government deliberately divided the capital, Juba, in four zones, road blocks were established in and around Juba, and house-to-house searches were carried out by government agents and security forces. The Commission further found that searched resulted in men of Nuer ethnicity being identified and killed on spot or in a group. The Commission also declared the killings of civilians as a crime against humanity.

In the document, the NSC states that Salva Kiir's continuous war against rebels is an attempt to avoid justice and called it a “desperate scheme,” The Nuer Supreme Council also acknowledges and thanks “educated young Nuer men and women and other open-minded South Sudanese” for exposing government’s hideous actions.

NSC blasts leader of rebel splinter group

The Nuer Supreme Council also blasted Gabriel Changson Lew Chang and his group, who left South Sudanese rebels led by Dr. Riek Machar.

NSC warns against joining Gabriel Changson and described him as a “disgruntled politician” who cannot be trusted by any Nuer.

The leadership of the NSC also says South Sudanese must distance themselves from Gabriel Changson and his renegaded Generals.

On October 21, the South Sudan News Agency reported that it has obtained a leaked audio recording of minutes of a meeting held on the 18th of October 2015 between the leader of the splinter group Changson and his supporters most of whom live in the United States. In the report, the SSNA said Changson can be heard complaining that the armed opposition leader is a dictator and that Machar appoints people and interferes with their works. In the audio Changson urges his supporters to help establish military bases in any area in Upper Nile, Unity, and Jonglei States.

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