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El Salam Camp for displaced persons, site of recent Khartoum military assault, is a prism for all Darfur (accompanied by three appendices), 9 August 2014

By Eric Reeves

August 9, 2014 (SSNA) -- One would never gather from the most recent report on Darfur and UNAMID by Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon (July 22, 2014) that the realities of El Salam camp over the past half year are painfully representative of camp conditions throughout Darfur (notably, as of August 9, 2014 this report does not appears on the UN's UNAMID website).  In fact, Ban far too often settles for vague and unsupported generalizations in many areas, relying chiefly on a UNAMID force whose reporting integrity lies in shambles, given what we have learned from recent investigative journalism and past reporting (see also "Refusing to See Darfur," Sudan Tribune18 May 2014).  The picture of Darfur that emerges in the Secretary-General's report has little to do with the realities reported from the ground, including by Radio Dabanga, Sudan Tribune, and confidential sources.

There are modest reporting improvements in this quarterly report: it has a brief section on sexual violence (the subject was omitted entirely from two reports from 2013), but the figures used are those provided by UNAMID and vastly understate the scale of this critical issue.  Ban reports, for example, that "there were 58 cases of sexual and gender-based violence, involving 103 victims." This is a preposterously low figure; Kalma camp alone suffered 39 rapes in the months of April and May of this year.

Most notably, however, the report acknowledges that the figure for displaced persons in Darfur is "2.5 million," a remarkable revision of the figure promulgated by the UN Office for Humanitarian Affairs just a year ago: "1.4 IDPs registered in Darfur camps (excluding IDPs outside camps)" (Sudan Humanitarian Bulletin, Issue 33 | August 12 – 18, 2014).  In other words, the figure OCHA had used for many months understated—if we use the current figure—by 1.1 million IDPs.  The UN push to reduce the number of Darfuri IDPs has been a scandal going back several years, one I have repeatedly detailed.  The figure corresponds well with a recent Darfur Regional Authority (DRA) survey that determined that about 2.3 million remained displaced.  The pre-war population of Darfur was likely between 6 million and 6.5 million; hundreds of thousands have died as a result of the war; 2.5 million people is a staggering percentage of the entire population, and it is overwhelmingly people of non-Arab/African ethnicity.  The DRA is hardly a reliable source, but the coincidence of its findings with the UN figure in notable.

Ban Ki-moon declares more fully in his report that:

Humanitarian needs generated by this new displacement come on top of the needs of some 2.5 million internally displaced persons, 1.7 million of who live in the camps. (§21)

But his report does remarkably little to explain how the humanitarian needs of the 800,000 displaced who are not in camps are surviving, and what kind of humanitarian access they have.  And in fact he can't: he relies on UNAMID for the vast majority of his information and UNAMID simply does not have a presence outside its bases that would allow for meaningful assessment of this critical issue.  Moreover, Khartoum continues to deny access to both UNAMID and humanitarian organizations, allowing some movements but denying others.  Ban Ki-moon notes, as if this were of consequence, that the UN is now issuing monthly "notes verbales" to the Khartoum regime concerning its obstruction of UNAMID, which are no doubt read as simply comical exercises in diplomatic futility.

Perhaps most disgracefully, Ban indulges in painfully disingenuous accounts of improvement: "humanitarian access [in Darfur] improved in April and May"—but only comparison with an even more repressive period, "the first quarter of 2014" (§19).  And again, Ban is relying on thoroughly discredited UNAMID reporting. At times the disingenuousness is utterly shameless and meant to mollify Khartoum: he speaks, for example, of "the withdrawal in May of an international non-governmental organization from West, South, and East Darfur [that] left gaps in health and nutrition assistance."  But the organization in question, Merlin (UK), was expelled from Darfur by the Khartoum regime; their "withdrawal" was compulsory.

Appendix One (http://wp.me/p45rOG-1nQ/) offers a brief overview of key claims, data, and generalizations in the Secretary-General's report.  It is all too clear that UN deference to Khartoum overrides any commitment to tell the truth about human suffering and destruction in Darfur.

El Salam as our prism for seeing Darfur

I recently posted with brief comments a Radio Dabanga dispatch on the attack by Khartoum's military and security forces on El Salam camp, just to the southeast of Nyala—the largest town in Darfur and where a very substantial contingent of UNAMID forces is based.  The original dispatch from Radio Dabanga was shocking in implication:

"Military raid on South Darfur’s El Salam camp," Radio Dabanga, 5 August 2014 (El Salam Camp, Bielel Locality, South Darfur)

A large military force stormed El Salam camp for the displaced in Bielel locality, South Darfur, on Tuesday morning [5 August 2014]. The army troops searched the camp and detained 26 displaced. “At 6.30am on Tuesday, army forces in about 100 armoured vehicles raided El Salam camp,” Hussein Abu Sharati, the spokesman for the Darfur Displaced and Refugees Association reported to Radio Dabanga on Tuesday afternoon. “The soldiers searched the camp, treating the displaced in a degrading and humiliating way. They assaulted the people, treating them as suspects, and detained 26 camp residents. The market was pillaged, and the personal belongings of many displaced disappeared.”

According to Abu Sharati, the search for criminals, motorcycles, vehicles without number plates, and weapons in the camp, was done “under the pretext of the new emergency measures issued by the Governor of South Darfur State.”  “But in fact the main objectives of this attack is terrorising the camp population, and the dismantling of the camp.” “Searches in this way constitute a violation of international humanitarian laws. They attacked the camp, beat and robbed the displaced, and pillaged the market. We do not know how many people were wounded yet. We are still are checking them, and inventorying the items missing.” 

On August 8, 2014, Radio Dabanga published a follow-up report on the attack on El Salam:

The displaced of Darfur hold the UN Security Council and UNAMID responsible for the military raid on El Salam camp for the displaced in South Darfur, at the beginning of this week. In a statement to Radio Dabanga, the coordinator of the South Darfur camps said the attack on the El Salam in Nyala is contrary to the rules of displacement and the United Nations. “It is the UN and UNAMID’s responsibility to protect the displaced. The camps are not havens for criminality; people enter these camps because of the ravages of war.”

The leader of El Salam camp, Sheikh Mahjoub Adam Tabaldiya, confirmed to Radio Dabanga that a combined force consisting of security services, the army, and the police stormed the camp with more than 150 military vehicles, led by Abdulrahman Gardud, Commissioner of Nyala locality. Sheikh Tabaldiya termed the raid a farce. “When they entered the camp, they told the elders that they were searching for alcohol and drugs, but they were really looking for vehicles belonging to the armed movements, and families of rebels.

“The military force did not find anything, but arrested more than 75 people and took them to the military court in Nyala. As there was no proof against them, all but four were released.” Aaron Saleh, Jacob Abdul Rahman Abdullah, Mahmoud, and Saleh Abdullah are reportedly still in detention in Nyala. Tabaldiya said that during the raid, 23 displaced people received various injuries as a result of beating and whipping.

To date there has been no public response from either UNAMID or the UN Secretariat, and even if such a response is forthcoming, it will certainly be no occasion for Khartoum to reconsider its actions.  A similar assault could take place tomorrow on any of the camps around Nyala—or el-Fasher, or el-Geneina, or indeed any of the roughly 100 camps, formal and informal, to which displaced persons have fled.  And UNAMID would be just as helpless to respond as it was when "a combined force consisting of security services, the army, and the police stormed the camp with more than 150 military vehicles."  Here we should note that there have been a number of very recent militia assaults on IDP camps, reported in detail by Radio Dabanga.

There are a number of serious violations of international human rights and humanitarian law in such attacks, and at the very least we should hear these enumerated by international actors of consequence.  This is unlikely, and in the case of the African Union Peace and Security Council virtually inconceivable.

This was not always so.  Attacks on the camps began almost a decade ago, and I have regularly chronicled them.  The first major attack occurred in Aro Sharow in September 2005, and at the time the AU Ambassador Baba Gana Kingibe, Special Representative of the Chairperson of the AU Commission on Darfur (October 1, 2005) spoke forcefully and directly (see analysis of 9 October 2005):

On 18 September 2005, simultaneous attacks at Khartoum Djadeed, Sandego, Khasantongur, Tary, Martal and Djabain resulted in the death of 12 civilians, 5 seriously wounded, and the displacement of about 4,000 civilians. Heavy and small weapons mounted on vehicles were reportedly used by the Government of Sudan, in close coordination with about 300 Janjaweed Arab militia. Most of the displaced people moved to ZamZam and Tawilla Internally Displaced Persons camps. (Transcript of Kingibe press conference, Khartoum, October 1, 2005)

On 28 September 2005, just four days ago, some reportedly 400 Janjaweed Arab militia on camels and horseback went on the rampage in Arusharo, Acho and Gozmena villages in West Darfur. Our reports also indicate that the day previous, and indeed on the actual day of the attack, Government of Sudan helicopter gunships were observed overhead. This apparent coordinated land and air assault gives credence to the repeated claim by the rebel movements of collusion between the Government of Sudan forces and the Janjaweed/Arab militia. This incident, which was confirmed not only by our investigators but also by workers of humanitarian agencies and NGOs in the area, took a heavy toll resulting in 32 people killed, 4 injured and 7 missing, and about 80 houses/shelters looted and set ablaze.

The following day, a clearly premeditated and well rehearsed combined operation was carried out by the Government of Sudan military and police at approximately 11am in the town of Tawilla and its IDP camp in North Darfur. The Government of Sudan forces used approximately 41 trucks and 7 land cruisers in the operation which resulted in a number of deaths, massive displacement of civilians and the destruction of several houses in the surrounding areas as well as some tents in the IDP camps. Indeed, the remains of discharged explosive devices were found in the IDP camp. During the attack, thousands from the township and the IDP camp and many humanitarian workers were forced to seek refuge near the AU camp for personal safety and security.”

For his part, Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon doesn't even mention the very recent attacks on IPD camps, the most conspicuous evidence of the failure of the UNAMID mission.  Appendix Two (http://wp.me/p45rOG-1nP/) offers examples of such violence by Khartoum-allied militias from just the past few weeks.  Again, none of this is discussed by Ban Ki-moon.

The displaced persons of El Salam include some of the most typical of Darfuris affected by relentless violence.  The arrival in early March 2014 of some 6,400 newly (and violently) displaced persons overwhelmed the ability of relief efforts in the camp and the area generally, with the result that Radio Dabanga reported shortly before the attack on the camp:

The 6,387 newly displaced people in El Salam camp in Bielel locality, South Darfur, who arrived at the camp for more than five months ago, have not been provided relief until now. Camp sheikh Mahjoub Adam Tabaldiya told Radio Dabanga that though the newly displaced have been registered, they have not received any aid. “They have nothing to eat, and are still living in the open and sleeping on the ground, since they arrived at the camp early March. The rains have worsened their suffering.”

The newly displaced fled their villages in the area southeast of South Darfur’s capital of Nyala when paramilitary Rapid Support Forces launched widespread attacks on more than 100 villages in the area on 27 and 28 February. Tabaldiya said that the Sudanese Humanitarian Aid Commissioner of South Darfur State, Jamal Yousif, visited the camp on Saturday. “After the leaders of the newly displaced explained their problems to him, he promised to solve their problems within 48 hours. Nothing happened so far.”  The camp sheikh appealed to relief organisations to provide tents or tarpaulins, and food to the newly displaced “as soon as possible." (Radio Dabanga, 5 August 2014)

Instead of humanitarian relief, the people of El Salam suffered a brutal assault by a large military operation utterly unconstrained by international norms and laws.  But the problem of those who arrived at Al Salam in March is repeated again and again throughout Darfur: 800,000 newly displaced persons over the past two years have overwhelmed humanitarian capacity, given the needs of those already displaced.  Again and again, Radio Dabanga reports on camps that have not received food for months, or where water rations are far below SPHERE standards, or where medical resources are non-existent.  I will be returning in subsequent briefs to particular problems in relief capacity and access in various sectors (water, food, primary medical care, sanitation, education), but for the moment Appendix Three (http://wp.me/p45rOG-1nO/) offers various very recent examples of the kinds of acute deprivation that 6,400 people in El Salam camp have experienced for almost half a year.  Again, none of this figures in Ban Ki-moon's report except in the most general and abstractly statistical form.

Conclusion: El Salam and the Future of Darfur

The future of Darfur may be seen under three aspects.

[1]  UNAMID: So long as the African Union supports this failing operation, the UN will not have the nerve to end it.  Ban Ki-moon's rambling comments on making UNAMID more efficient, removing the civilian bloat from the mission, mandate review, and increasing the vigor of responses speak to no fundamental change, without which Darfur's current catastrophe will only increase.  If the African Union Peace and Security Council continues to speak of UNAMID as a force worth "emulating" in future missions, they may think that they are rescuing themselves from immediate association with failure; but in the long run, such an assessment ensures that no one, including the UN Department of Peacekeeping Operations, will take them seriously.

Adequate human security and humanitarian access simply cannot be achieved by the present force.

[2]  The Doha Document for Peace in Darfur (DDPD):  The African Union has few partners who continue to support the DDPD as a means to secure peace in Darfur.  Darfuris—both the consequential rebel groups and Darfuri civil society—have overwhelmingly rejected the DDPD, and for good reasons.  Khartoum, on the other hand, firmly and exclusively supports the DDPD precisely because it is unworkable and it has been rejected by Darfuris.  This provides an excuse not to engage in meaningful peace negotiations under auspices other than those provided by the Qataris; the "failure" of the DDPD is also, perversely, a means of justifying their continuing military efforts in the region, most significantly by way of the reconstituted Janjaweed, the "Rapid Support Forces" (RSF).

Ban Ki-moon, however, speaks as though the DDPD were a viable means of achieving peace in Darfur, ignoring all evidence to the contrary.  His extensive commentary on the DDPD is largely blather and takes no cognizance of the quiet recognition by non-UN and non-AU actors that the DDPD is a diplomatic dead letter, flogged to no purpose by the UN Secretariat because it does not wish to anger Khartoum and because it has no alternative to offer.

The Obama administration privately acknowledges the failure of the DDPD, and indeed the Sudan Tribune reported on April 10, 2014 the views of the U.S. ambassador to the UN, Samantha Power:

Last month, the US ambassador at the UN, Samantha Power, reportedly called on African Union Peace and Security Council (AUPSC) members to find an alternative forum to resolve the Darfur crisis, saying the DDPD has become outdated and cannot be relied on. Power’s remarks drew strong condemnation from Khartoum which said that US actions encourage the non-signatory groups to impose their own agendas on Darfur people and Sudanese people in general. (http://www.sudantribune.com/spip.php?article50610 )

Bur ironically the incoherence of Obama administration policy toward Darfur was made clear in the same report by the Sudan Tribune, which began by noting:

The United States deputy charge d’affaires in Sudan Christopher Rowan affirmed that the solution to the Darfur conflict could only come through dialogue and negotiations and not through arms, stressing his country’s support for the Doha Document for Peace in Darfur (DDPD).

Khartoum thrives on such ambiguity and confusion, and the Obama administration sent deeply mixed messages to its European and other potential allies about beginning a serious peace forum for Darfur.

[3]  Regime change: The signing in Paris (August 9, 2014) of an agreement between Sadiq al-Mahdi's National Umma Party (NUP) and Malik Agar's Sudan Revolutionary Front (SRF) has as its clear subtext regime change.  Indeed, the goals agreed to—and much remains to negotiate between the various elements of the SRF and the NUP—all presume removal of the present regime.  None of the announced shared goals can be achieved so long as the National Islamic Front/National Congress Party regime retains power.  The commitment of the SRF to regime change by force if necessary presents a problem that has been finessed for the present, but there can be little doubt that Khartoum will now resist even more vehemently any truly national dialogue.

For Darfur—and several of the main Darfur rebel groups are part of the SRF—regime change cannot come too soon.  A dismantling of the militia forces; bringing the military under democratic civilian control; and ending the obstruction of humanitarian relief efforts: all these would have an immediately beneficial effect.

But chaos has been sown so deeply by the current Khartoum regime that critical problems will endure for years if not decades.  Land tenure issues and the ability of non-Arab/African farmers to return to their lands in safety will be at the top of the list, but the scars of war are deep, and ethnic hatred of a sort unprecedented in Darfur's history will be extremely difficult to overcome.  The collapse of the educational system in many parts of Darfur and in the displaced persons camps (the subject of a future analysis) leaves an unnerving prospect for the future.  It is all too well articulated by UNICEF's Representative in Sudan, Geert Cappelaere:

The UN children’s rights and relief organisation, UNICEF, has warned that an entire generation in Darfur may be lost as a result of more than ten years of violence in the region. “Life in the camps might produce a new generation without ambition,” the UNICEF Representative in Sudan, Geert Cappelaere, said in a press statement issued on Saturday. “In particular as about 60 percent of the displaced in Darfur are minors.” ("'Entire generation may be lost in Darfur': UNICEF Representative in Sudan," Radio Dabanga [Khartoum] 12 May 2014)

We find no such honesty in the accounts of Darfur offered by Ban Ki-moon or the African Union, and this will do much to contribute to future "El Salams."

************

Appendix One (http://wp.me/p45rOG-1nQ/) offers a brief overview of key claims, data, and generalizations in the Secretary-General's report.
Appendix Two (http://wp.me/p45rOG-1nP/) offers very recent examples of violence by Khartoum-allied militias
Appendix Three (http://wp.me/p45rOG-1nO/) on acute humanitarian distress in Darfur

Eric Reeves' new book-length study of greater Sudan (Compromising With Evil: An archival history of greater Sudan, 2007 - 2012; www.CompromisingWithEvil.org; review commentary at: http://wp.me/p45rOG-15S)

Riek Machar and the Issue of Self-determination for South Sudan

By Kuir ë Garang

August 9, 2014 (SSNA) -- There’s a big difference between proposing something and making it actually happen. Someone who proposes a given phenomenon and another one who actually makes it happen can both be credited; however, it would be wrong to confuse the correct contribution of each one of them.

Self-determination was first proposed by South Sudanese participants of Juba conference in 1947. Anyone who pretends to be the one, who initiated it, if he or she wasn’t present during that conference, is just abusing history.

Besides, Federal System for South Sudan was first proposed by leaders ofthe Liberal Party in 1953/54 and emphasized by leaders of Southern Federal Party in 1957, a year before the first general election in 1958. In that case, anyone claiming credit now is abusing History!

Dr. Riek Machar has to be very careful or else he’d be seen as taking South Sudanese for fools. We are informed and we know who did what and when!

We have to know that neither Dr. John Garang nor Dr. Riek Machar initiated the idea of Self-determination. It was first initiated when they were either little boys or not born.

Since SPLA doctrinal core was for the total liberation of South Sudan, any talk of Self-determination between 1983 and 1991 landed one in hot water. Those who wanted independence of South Sudan, such as Akuot Atem de Mayen, Abdalla Chuol and Gai Tut, were vilified by Garang and his core supporters. These three men were seen as anti-revolutionary and were vilified in ‘revolutionary songs’ even if they took up arms before John Garang: twice! Independence of the South was their core objective; something John Garang didn’t see as the primary goal of the Southern cause.

Remember, Garang wasn’t actually against South’s independence. He just didn’t think it was the right way to go about things. So self-determination wasn’t first among Garang’s ideological fronts. However, it would become one of the alternative solutions to the Sudanese problem in his famous Vend-Diagrams.

However, it has to be remembered too that Riek’s and Lam’s rebellion brought Self-Determination back into the spotlight and the mainstream political discussion all over Sudan. The duo first proposed it to Khartoumers in Frankfurt, Germany, in 1992 and later forced it through the throats of SPLA-Torit (Mainstream) in Abuja I in 1992.

Dr. John had to instruct his delegation in Abuja to accept Self-Determination to the surprise of not only the Nasir Duo but also, Garang’s allies in the National Democratic Alliance (NDA).

While Riek can be credited as having participated in bringing back Self-Determination into the Southern mainstream politics, it wasn’t Riek Machar who made it possible. Riek’s attempts failed with the failure of Nasir programs and his subsequent return to Khartoum where his only success was shameful exit and eventual return to SPLM/A under Dr. John.

Riek signed Khartoum Peace Agreement in 1997 with Beshir but that agreement was dishonored and there was no Self-Determination given to South Sudanese. Dr. Riek could have been right had Khartoum Peace Agreement brought about Self-Determination and Independence of South Sudan.

While Garang didn’t bring back the idea of Self-Determination, he was the one who made Self-Determination possible. Riek initiated the idea however; he had neither means nor political strength to bring it about. We all know Self-Determination came under the leadership of Dr. John Garang not Dr. Riek.

No one, at least conscientious ones, would deny Riek’s contribution to bringing back the idea of Self-Determination; however, it’s completely erroneous and deceptive of Dr. Riek Machar to say that he’s the one who brought Self-Determination and Independence of South Sudan. Riek is wise enough to know where credit is due. He contributed, yes, but he failed in the path he’d chosen to bring Independence of South Sudan.

While many SPLM leaders contributed to the attainment of independence of South Sudan, it was Dr. John Garang who championed Self-Determination in the CPA and ultimately opened way for South Sudan Independence.

While President Kiir has now failed, he, together with Dr. Riek, was the one who saw that South Sudan became independent.

Riek and Lam reintroduced Self-Determination into the SPLM; Garang embraced it and championed it in the CPA; and then President Kiir made sure what Garang prepared was supervised to its logical end.

Let’s give credit where it’s due!

Kuir ë Garang is the author of ‘South Sudan Ideologically’. For contact, visit www.kuirthiy.info

Open Letter to the United Nations

To:  Toby Lanzer, UN Humanitarians Coordinator

CC. Ellen Margrethe Loj Special Envoy to South Sudan and head of the U.N. peacekeeping mission in the world's newest nation.
CC. The United Nations Security Council in New York, USA
CC. UN Secretary General, Ban Ki-moon
CC. President of the Republic of South Sudan, General Salva Kiir Mayardit
CC: Chairperson of the Sudan People Liberation Movement in Opposition Dr Riek Machar Teny

Dear Sir,

Re: Request for re-location of the Civilians in Unity State and Bor

I would like to take this opportunity to acknowledged the commitment and the hard work of United Nations Mission in South Sudan (UNIMISS) in this current crisis that have displaced thousands of civilians and others got killed in Bor on the 17th of April 2014, Juba on 15th, 16th, 17th and 18th of December 2013, as well Malakal and Unity State since the fight erupted within the Republican Guards in South Sudan.

To bring in to your attention about the situation of all the displaced persons, which I have seen have been worse and worse from time to time in some parts of the Country especially in the Unity State where most of people have nowhere to go at the movement, some of them stay on the top of trees, other dies every day in the UNIMISS Camp in Bentiu due to floods.

Sir, the reason of this open letter is to recommends some of the importance issues that need your immediate response as the person dealing with humanitarian work in the world newest nation.

Since December 15th, 16th, 17th, and 18th 2013 where the massacred took place in Juba the Capital City of South Sudan where thousands of Nuer tribes were killed and there after lead to some defections in the Army units across the Republic of South Sudan in December 2013. Most of the civilians were killed in bushes while trying to escape the massacred.

Mr. Toby, after I see civilians suffering in Unity State due to floods and no good hygiene as well, I got more concern to ask your kindness as the very person dealing with Humanitarians work in South Sudan as a whole.

According to what I have read about the United Nations mandate as per the current crisis is concern in South Sudan, I have noticed the followings as the current mandate if am not mistaken;

(a) Protection of civilians

  • To protect civilians under threat of physical violence, irrespective of the source of such violence, within its capacity and areas of deployment, with specific protection for women and children, including through the continued use of the Mission’s child protection and women’s protection advisers.
  • To deter violence against civilians, including foreign nationals, especially through proactive deployment, active patrolling with particular attention to displaced civilians, including those in protection sites and refugee camps, humanitarian personnel and human rights defenders, and identification of threats and attacks against the civilian population, including through regular interaction with the civilian population and closely with humanitarian, human rights and development organizations, in areas at high risk of conflict including, as appropriate, schools, places of worship, hospitals and the oil installations, in particular when the Government of the Republic of South Sudan is unable or failing to provide such security.
  • To implement a Mission-wide early warning strategy, including a coordinated approach to information gathering, monitoring, verification, early warning and dissemination, and response mechanisms, including response mechanisms to prepare for further potential attacks on United Nations personnel and facilities;
  • To maintain public safety and security within and of UNMISS protection of civilians sites;
  • To exercise good offices, confidence-building and facilitation in support of the Mission’s protection strategy, especially in regard to women and children, including to facilitate inter-communal reconciliation in areas of high risk of conflict as an essential part of long-term State-building activity;
  • To foster a secure environment for the eventual safe and voluntary return of internally displaced persons (IDPs) and refugees, including, where compatible and in strict compliance with the United Nations Human Rights Due Diligence Policy (HRDPP), through monitoring of ensuring the maintenance of international human rights standards by, and specific operational coordination with the police services in relevant and protection-focused tasks, in order to strengthen protection of civilians;

(b) Monitoring and investigating human rights

  • To monitor, investigate, verify and report publicly and regularly on abuses and violations of human rights and violations of international humanitarian law, including those that may amount to war crimes or crimes against humanity;
  • To monitor, investigate, verify and report specifically and publicly on violations and abuses committed against children and women, including all forms of sexual and gender-based violence in armed conflict by accelerating the implementation of monitoring, analysis and reporting arrangements on conflict-related sexual violence and by strengthening the monitoring and reporting mechanism for grave violations against children;
  • To coordinate with, and offer technical support to, where appropriate, the African Union’s Commission of Inquiry for South Sudan;

(c) Creating the conditions for delivery of humanitarian assistance

  • To contribute to the creation of the conditions for the delivery of humanitarian assistance, including by helping to establish the necessary security conditions and by exercising its good offices, confidence-building and facilitation, so as to allow, in accordance with relevant provisions of international law and United Nations guiding principles of humanitarian assistance, the full, safe and unhindered access of relief personnel to all those in need in South Sudan and timely delivery of humanitarian assistance, in particular to internally displaced persons and refugees;
  • To ensure the security and freedom of movement of United Nations and associated personnel where appropriate, and to ensure the security of installations and equipment necessary for implementation of mandated tasks.

Therefore, if all those are the mandates of United Nations Mission in South Sudan, what are you waiting for? Have you not identify the safe places to re-locate the civilians that have stranded in Unity state and Bor. The situation of the civilians in Unity State is the worse one compare to the others issue globally.

Sir, I have the followings recommendations that need your quick attention.

  • First of all, I need you to call for help from the world to relocate the civilians from Unity State headquarters to the Central part of the state, where there is no flood and people are living in healthy environment, if at all there are limited funds from the International Community and if there is funds for it, then issue a decree to re-locate the vulnerable people.
  • Secondly, I want your office to come out with the decree of either taking the civilians to the safest place in South Sudan because, once there is fighting between the two rivals forces, there is always cross fire/ shooting where some civilians got killed in big numbers.

Sir, when you look in to the current crisis that is still going on with no solution in both sides, it is good to take responsibility at this time to relocates the people who are in Bentiu and Bor to the safest places in South Sudan. Civilians that are in Jonglei, should be taken to either Greater Akobo like, Wuror, Waat and Akobo respectively. You remember very well that, on 17th of April 2014, civilians were killed in Bor when the UN Peace Keepers were just watching without retaliations and moreover you keep quite in your respected office as the person dealing with Humanitarians issues in South Sudan. What is wrong with your Sir?

In Unity State as well, most of the civilians were killed as well when the government forces retake Unity State Capital when an agreement was signed in Addis-Ababa by the two rival parties already.

In conclusion, I want to acknowledge and appreciates the momentum which the International Community and United Nations is putting as per the peace processes is concern in Addis-Ababa between the two rivals groups.

Your quick response toward this open letter will be appreciated.

You can as well reply me on my email, This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it .

Thanks,

Peter Gai Manyuon,
Independent Journalist and Columnist who has written extensively on the issues of Democratization and Human Rights in South Sudan
Email: This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it

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