Wednesday, January 29, 2014

South Sudan Conflict: Fighting carries on in despite peace deal

Monday, January 20, 2014

S Sudan troops recapture key oil town Malakal -BBC News -

The BBC's Mark Lowen in a hospital in Bor: "Rebels shot patients in their beds"
The South Sudanese army says it has recaptured the key town of Malakal from rebels, after days of heavy fighting.
But the rebels have told the BBC they are still in control of the town.
Rebel forces staged an attack last week to seize Malakal, which is the gateway to the oilfields of the Upper Nile region.
Around 500,000 people have been displaced in South Sudan's month-long conflict between the government and rebels, according to UN estimates.
Some 200 civilians drowned in a Nile ferry accident while fleeing fighting in Malakal last Sunday.
Talks to try to find a ceasefire are continuing in Ethiopia.
'Flushed out'

Malakal has already changed hands several times since the conflict broke out in December.
Army spokesman Philip Aguer said on Monday that the rebels "were flushed out of the town" and Malakal was "finally in the hands" of South Sudanese troops again.

Andrew Harding explains why the Nile is such an important boundary for those fleeing the fighting
He told BBC Focus on Africa there had been casualties on both sides after fierce fighting.
But a spokesman for the rebels denied that they had left Malakal.
"Malakal is still in the hands of our forces", Brig-Gen Lul Ruai Koang said.
"Some elements from the government forces attempted to attack Malakal from the southern part of that town and they were repulsed and they suffered heavy casualties."
Government troops earlier regained control of the key strategic town of Bor in Jonglei state.
The fighting has turned the town into a scene of absolute devastation, the BBC's Mark Lowen, in Bor, reports.
Meanwhile, ceasefire negotiations are being held in a hotel in the Ethiopian capital, Addis Ababa.
Correspondents say the talks have stalled because both sides are aiming for an upper hand in the fighting before real negotiations begin.
The release of political detainees continues to be a key issue that must be resolved.
The recapture of Malakal - the last major town under rebel control - may break the deadlock in ceasefire talks, but rebels still control large areas of the countryside.
Reports of atrocities

On Friday, UN Human Rights fact finder Ivan Simonovic said both government soldiers and rebels had committed atrocities.

The BBC outlines the background to South Sudan's crisis - in 60 seconds.
He told the BBC there had been reports of "mass killings, extra-judicial killings, arbitrary detention, enforced disappearances, sexual violence, widespread destruction and looting of property and use of the children in conflict".
The violence first erupted on 15 December between forces loyal to President Salva Kiir and soldiers backing Riek Machar, his former vice-president.
President Kiir is a member of South Sudan's largest ethnic group, the Dinka, while Mr Machar is from the Nuer community - the country's second largest.
The president accuses his ex-deputy of plotting a coup - an accusation Mr Machar denies.
The conflict has seen reports of mass killings along ethnic lines even though both men have prominent supporters among their rival's community.
The UN estimates that more than 1,000 people have died in the unrest.
South Sudan seceded from Sudan in 2011 after a long and bloody conflict, to become the world's newest state.
mapFighting erupted in the South Sudan capital, Juba, in mid-December. It followed a political power struggle between President Salva Kiir and his ex-deputy Riek Machar. The squabble has taken on an ethnic dimension as politicians' political 

Wednesday, January 15, 2014

South Sudan crisis talks begin in Ethiopia

Africa Oil Announces Additional Oil Discoveries in Kenya and Ethiopia-

Africa Oil Announces Two Additional Oil Discoveries in Kenya
VANCOUVER, BRITISH COLUMBIA--(Marketwired - Jan. 15, 2014) - (TSX VENTURE:AOI)(OMX:AOI) Africa Oil Corp. ("Africa Oil" or the "Company") is pleased to announce that the Amosing-1 and Ewoi-1 exploration wells in Block 10BB, onshore Northern Kenya, have resulted in the discovery of two new large oil fields. These two wells continue the 100% success rate in the South Lokichar Basin with seven out of seven discoveries to date.
Based on results of drilling, wireline logs and samples of reservoir fluid, the Amosing-1 well has intersected potential net oil pay of 160 to 200 metres, significantly exceeding pre-drill expectations. Amosing is located 7 kilometres southwest of the previously announced Ngamia discovery along the western basin bounding fault trend commonly referred to as the "string of pearls".
On the eastern side of the basin known as the rift flank play, the Ewoi-1 well has encountered potential net pay of 20 to 80 metres and has continued to de-risk the basin flank play opened up by the Etuko-1 well in 2013 located 4 kilometres to the east.
Following completion of logging operations, the wells will be suspended for future flow testing which will confirm the net pay counts. These two rigs will mobilize to drill the Emong-1 prospect (formerly called Ngamia West), and the Twiga South-2 appraisal well, both located in Block 13T.
Africa Oil has a 50% interest in both discoveries with operator Tullow Oil plc holding the remaining 50% interest.
The Etuko-1 well testing in Block 10BB is underway and is scheduled to be completed later this month and the Ekales-1 well test should commence shortly. Drilling continues on the El Kuran discovery in the Somali region of Ethiopia and is expected to reach the new revised total depth of 3,500 metres by the end of the first quarter. New basin opening wells at Sala-1 in Block 9 in Kenya and the Shimela-1 well in the Chew Bahir Basin in South Omo Block in Ethiopia are expected to spud in February and April, respectively. The partnership has elected not to continue into the next exploration phase in Block 10A in Kenya and the previously planned test of the Paipai well has been cancelled due to concerns over economic viability.
Keith Hill, President and CEO of Africa Oil commented, "The continued success of our exploration program in northern Kenya will allow us to drive development plans forward with greater certainty. Given that we have now had a 100% success rate on exploration prospects in the basin, we expect to see more growth in resources and more discoveries as our aggressive drilling program unfolds in 2014. In addition, the several new analogous basin opening wells being drilled during this program also have the potential to bring a step change in company valuation upon success."
About Africa Oil
Africa Oil Corp. is a Canadian oil and gas company with assets in Kenya and Ethiopia as well as Puntland (Somalia) through its 45% equity interest in Horn Petroleum Corporation. Africa Oil's East African holdings are within a world-class exploration play fairway with a total gross land package in this prolific region in excess of 250,000 square kilometers. The East African Rift Basin system is one of the last of the great rift basins to be explored. Seven new significant discoveries have been announced in the Northern Kenyan basin in which the Company holds a 50% interest along with operator Tullow Oil plc. The Company is listed on the TSX Venture Exchange and on First North at NASDAQ OMX-Stockholm under the symbol "AOI".
Forward-Looking Statements
Certain statements made and information contained herein constitute "forward-looking information" (within the meaning of applicable Canadian securities legislation). Such statements and information (together, "forward-looking statements") relate to future events or the Company's future performance, business prospects or opportunities. Forward-looking statements include, but are not limited to, statements with respect to estimates of reserves and or resources, future production levels, future capital expenditures and their allocation to exploration and development activities, future drilling and other exploration and development activities, ultimate recovery of reserves or resources and dates by which certain areas will be explored, developed or reach expected operating capacity, that are based on forecasts of future results, estimates of amounts not yet determinable and assumptions of management.
All statements other than statements of historical fact may be forward-looking statements. Statements concerning proven and probable reserves and resource estimates may also be deemed to constitute forward-looking statements and reflect conclusions that are based on certain assumptions that the reserves and resources can be economically exploited. Any statements that express or involve discussions with respect to predictions, expectations, beliefs, plans, projections, objectives, assumptions or future events or performance (often, but not always, using words or phrases such as "seek", "anticipate", "plan", "continue", "estimate", "expect, "may", "will", "project", "predict", "potential", "targeting", "intend", "could", "might", "should", "believe" and similar expressions) are not statements of historical fact and may be "forward-looking statements". Forward-looking statements involve known and unknown risks, uncertainties and other factors that may cause actual results or events to differ materially from those anticipated in such forward-looking statements. The Company believes that the expectations reflected in those forward-looking statements are reasonable, but no assurance can be given that these expectations will prove to be correct and such forward-looking statements should not be unduly relied upon. The Company does not intend, and does not assume any obligation, to update these forward-looking statements, except as required by applicable laws. These forward-looking statements involve risks and uncertainties relating to, among other things, changes in oil prices, results of exploration and development activities, uninsured risks, regulatory changes, defects in title, availability of materials and equipment, timeliness of government or other regulatory approvals, actual performance of facilities, availability of financing on reasonable terms, availability of third party service providers, equipment and processes relative to specifications and expectations and unanticipated environmental impacts on operations. Actual results may differ materially from those expressed or implied by such forward-looking statements.
Keith C. Hill, President and CEO
Africa Oil's Certified Advisor on NASDAQ OMX First North Stockholm is Pareto Securities AB.
Neither the TSX Venture Exchange nor its Regulation Services Provider (as that term is defined in the policies of the TSX Venture Exchange) accepts responsibility for the adequacy or accuracy of this release.
Africa Oil Corp.
Sophia Shane
Corporate Development
(604) 689-4250
(604) 689-7842

UN: Over 400,000 South Sudanese Uprooted By Conflict

The number of South Sudanese civilians driven from their homes by a month-long conflict has surpassed 400,000 in a major surge over the past week, with those fleeing to neighbouring countries nearly doubling to 78,000, according to United Nations figures released today.
The new estimate came as the UN Mission in South Sudan (UNMISS) reported heavy fighting between pro- and anti-Government forces in Malakal, Upper Nile state, since early this morning near a UN base, with combatants using heavy machine guns and tanks and stray bullets landing inside the base, wounding dozens of internally displaced persons (IDPs).
"With fighting still being reported in parts of South Sudan, mainly in the states of Jonglei and Upper Nile, and the slow progress in the political talks in Addis Ababa, we are anticipating further displacement both within and beyond the borders of South Sudan," UN refugee agency (UNHCR) spokesperson Adrian Edwards told reporters in Geneva in an update on the conflict that erupted between President Salva Kiir`s forces and those of former deputy president Riek Machar on 15 December.
The fighting has continued even as political talks with the parties in the Ethiopian capital seek to establish a ceasefire.
IDPs now number 355,000, up from 200,000 last week, with the added displacement fuelled by both the fighting itself and the fear of it, combined with deteriorating living conditions, including a lack of food in some markets, he said. Some 65,000 IDPs have sought refuge in UN bases across the country.
In its report on the fighting in Malakal, UNMISS said it is treating dozens of wounded at its hospital there, and called on all the parties to respect the integrity of UN installations. Due to today`s fighting the number of IDPs seeking refuge at the UN base there has nearly doubled to 20,000, protected by some 1,000 UN peacekeepers, including 110 newly-arrived police ordered in by the Security Council as part of 5,500-strong reinforcements for UNMISS.
The Mission has received reports that a boat carrying a large number of civilians fleeing fighting in the area capsized on Sunday in the White Nile River between Malakal and Lelo, and is seeking to verify reports of casualties.
Of South Sudanese fleeing across the borders, more than half have headed for Uganda`s West Nile region. "In all, 42,654 mostly women and children, from Nimule in South Sudan, are now in the Ugandan districts of Arua, Adjumani and Kiryandongo," Mr. Edwards said, noting that many men are taking their families to the Ugandan border and leaving them there before returning back to their country.
From the refugees we have spoken to we are hearing eye-witness accounts of killings, houses being burnt and shooting," he added, citing one woman, 65-year-old Adau from the town of Bor as saying she had seen people being shot.
"Houses were burning and people were being killed . . . from morning till evening people were shooting," she told UNHCR staff at the Dzaipi transit centre, originally designed to host only 400 people but now sheltering more than 32,500, most of them sleeping in the open with their children. They complain of cold at night. "Here life is too hard," said Adau, who was staying in a communal shelter with 9 family members.
"As well as shelter, they need clean water, food, and basic household goods, " Mr. Edwards said. As more people continue to arrive daily at Dzaipi we are working with the Ugandan authorities to set up additional camps. "
Ethiopia is also seeing an upsurge, with more than 18,600 people crossing into the Akobo area from Jonglei, and UNHCR is beefing up its staff to better help them. Nearly 6,800 people from Jonglei have fled to Kenya, many of them children.
In Sudan, available estimates are that 10,000 have crossed into West and South Kordofan, two states that are themselves volatile. "The majority are nomads and, so far, we have not been able to verify exact numbers due to lack of access," Mr. Edwards noted.
The Government of Sudan says only 1,371 of the new arrivals are South Sudanese refugees. UNHCR and the UN World Food Programme (WFP) with local partners are providing aid to these people as well as to nomads who are in dire need.
Meanwhile UN Assistant Secretary-General for Human Rights Ivan ┼áimonovic was due to arrive in South Sudan to assess the situation amid reports of rights abuses by both sides.

Monday, January 13, 2014

South Sudan crisis: US envoy meets rebel leader Machar -BBC News -

South Sudanese government soldiers in newly recaptured Bentiu, 12 JanuarySouth Sudanese government soldiers celebrated in newly recaptured Bentiu on Sunday
Efforts to broker a ceasefire in South Sudan have continued with a US special envoy and other mediators meeting the rebel leader, Riek Machar.
Special envoy Donald Booth met Mr Machar at an undisclosed location in South Sudan.
He said later mediators would continue to press for the release of jailed associates of Mr Machar for them to attend peace talks in Ethiopia.
A rebel spokesman said a ceasefire would be signed if they were freed.
Speaking to BBC News, spokesman Hussein Mar Nyuot dismissed claims from the South Sudanese government that its forces were now in full control of Unity State.

Start Quote

We buried him in the sand just there - He was a good brother. Now I have no-one to play with”
Peter, 12
He also described as baseless a government allegation that forces loyal to Mr Machar had damaged oil facilities there.
In another development, South Sudan's Oil Minister, Stephen Dhieu Dau, visited Khartoum to discuss the impact of the conflict on the oil industry with his Sudanese counterpart, Makawi Mohammed Awad.
South Sudan seceded from Sudan in 2011 after a long and bloody conflict, to become the world's newest state.
Most of the oilfields are in the South but the pipelines run through Sudan and oil is a crucial source of revenue for both countries.
The UN Security Council has urged South Sudan President Salva Kiir to release the political prisoners.
However, Mr Machar's forces appear on the back foot after losing the town of Bentiu, the capital of oil-rich Unity State, to government forces on Friday.
The government says it is mobilising thousands of troops to retake Bor - the last major town controlled by Mr Machar's forces.
The conflict began on 15 December between forces loyal to the president and forces loyal to Mr Machar, his former vice-president.
According to the UN, the fighting has killed "very substantially in excess" of 1,000 people.
mapFighting erupted in the South Sudan capital, Juba, in mid-December. It followed a political power struggle between President Salva Kiir and his ex-deputy Riek Machar. The squabble has taken on an ethnic dimension as politicians' political bases are often ethnic.

More on This Story

Thursday, January 9, 2014

South Sudan while IGAD seeks a political solution but Uganda's dictator to shore up

Uganda to shore up South Sudan while IGAD seeks a political solution
Paul Joseph Nzeribe and Walter Sebastian
Modern Tokyo Times
President Salva Kiir of South Sudan is still seeking a political solution to the current crisis in this new nation state. Despite this, talks appear to be stalling in Ethiopia despite the goodwill of several regional nations. Not surprisingly, Uganda is alarmed by the current situation therefore this nation will send more military support to the government of South Sudan.
Uganda distrusts the motives of rebel forces under Riek Machar based on past history. This applies to suspicions in Uganda that Machar was involved in many intrigues with Joseph Kony. In Uganda the warlord Kony is notorious for many massacres being committed by his followers. On top of this, it is clear that Kony was involved in many brutal deeds based on the wishes of the Khartoum government in Sudan aimed at the people of South Sudan. Therefore, it is easy to envisage a link between Machar and the destabilization policies of Sudan against the newly formed state of South Sudan.
The Guardian reports Yoweri Museveni, the president of Uganda, is a strong ally of Kiir. The neighbouring countries have built a bond that goes back to South Sudan’s armed struggle for independence from Sudan and the Khartoum government. Museveni recently warned Machar that East African countries would unite to defeat him militarily if he does not agree to attend peace talks.”
“Some analysts say Museveni distrusts Machar and that stems, in part, from the latter’s alleged links to the Ugandan warlord Joseph Kony, who once operated in jungles that now fall in South Sudan’s territory and with the alleged support of Sudan’s government.”
Museveni is clearly watching events in South Sudan and currently approximately 1,200 soldiers from the armed forces of Uganda are based in this nation. These troops have been sent to protect important installations in Juba. However, if Machar, or other outside forces, threaten the integrity of South Sudan; then Uganda will increase its military power in this nation. Indeed, when Sudan threatened South Sudan last year based on boundary and energy issues; then Uganda made it clear that they would not tolerate any threats from Khartoum.
The Intergovernmental Authority on Development (IGAD) is a regional bloc in East Africa and currently peace talks are being held based on the collective involvement of major players in IGAD. This notably applies to Ethiopia, Kenya and Uganda who all favor a political settlement.
Ethiopia is also worried about regional instability and the intrigues of Eritrea and Sudan. At the same time, Ethiopia is trying to support the containment of militant Islamist forces in Somalia. Therefore, Ethiopia is trying to garner support alongside Kenya and Uganda in order to stabilize the situation in South Sudan. This can visibly be seen by ongoing peace talks in Ethiopia in relation to the current crisis in South Sudan.
IGAD is making it known that a major stumbling block between Kiir and Machar involves prisoners being held in South Sudan after Kiir alleged that they were planning a coup. Machar denies this therefore he is demanding that all eleven detainees are released prior to holding genuine talks. However, according to Kiir the decision about releasing these high level prisoners belongs to the judiciary of South Sudan.
It is promising that an envoy from IGAD has gone to Juba in order to speak openly about these political detainees with Kiir. Irrespective of the final outcome about this issue, it would appear that Kiir is open to holding sincere talks.
According to some reports more defections to the Machar camp are now happening in Central Equatorial, Jonglei and the region of the Upper Nile. If this is true, then it is incumbent on regional nations like Uganda to up the ante against forces that seek to destabilize South Sudan. Irrespective of the rights or wrongs of Kiir and Machar, they must surely know that ethnic tensions could fill the vacuum and spiral out of control. Therefore, it is essential that regional powers in IGAD put pressure on all players in order to resolve the issue.
If Machar continues to ignore regional powers then clearly it would appear that he is being backed by Sudan. After all, the only regional power to gain from the destabilization of South Sudan applies to Sudan.
Lee Jay Walker at Modern Tokyo Times says: “It is also essential that internal political reforms become introduced into the power mechanisms of the ruling political party in South Sudan. This notably applies to checks and balances in order to prevent power concentration. After all, it seems that Salva Kiir, Riek Machar, Rebecca Nyandeng Garang and Pagan Amum Okiech are all concerned about this area in relation to the chairpersonship of the Sudan People’s Liberation Movement.”
Overall, it is abundantly clear that IGAD faces a stern challenge ahead in trying to mediate between all interested parties. At the same time, if bloodletting increases then Uganda and other regional powers must step into the breach in order to stabilize South Sudan before it is too late.
Lee Jay Walker gave guidance to both main writers

Delegates of South Sudan's warring leaders meet in Addis Abbaba - YouTube

Delegates of South Sudan's warring leaders meet in Addis Abbaba - YouTube: ""

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Thousands flee to camps as fighting rages in South Sudan

Tuesday, January 7, 2014

Warlords Unfit to Mediate in South Sudan | Kenya Stockholm Blog

The International Community must appoint honest brokers

Dr. Odora
Dr. Alex Odora
South Sudan, the world’s newest nation, lies in a dangerous neighbourhood. It is surrounded by countries with leaders who are warlords, dictators and/or indicted for war crimes by the ICC. These leaders have regrouped under the regional body IGAD. They blindly support President Kiir without first examining the root causes of the conflict and determining which party is at fault. South Sudan needs honest brokers from amongst past and present leaders with high moral standing who respect human values—not the current tainted IGAD leaders. The international community must not allow leaders investigated by the ICC for violations of serious international crimes to pretend to act like peace brokers. The people of South Sudan deserve better.
South Sudan, the world’s newest nation, lies in a dangerous neighbourhood. The ‘old’ Sudan, its most important and strategic neighbour, is headed by General Omar al-Bashir, an indicted war criminal at the International Criminal Court (ICC). He is busy pursuing his brand of peace with President Salva Kiir Mayardit.
South Sudan is one of the few countries he can visit without fear of arrest and transfer to the ICC. The Darfur conflict remains unresolved as women and children continue to be killed by his army and proxy militias.
The Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) is another unstable neighbour. The state is kept afloat by the United Nations peace-keeping force.
President Kabila faces a plethora of armed opposition groups; he used the ICC to get rid of his political opponents while protecting his soldiers and political allies from investigations and prosecutions. Since 1996, over five millions Congolese are believed killed by his army and by proxy militias of the governments of neighbouring Uganda and Rwanda.
The ICC is currently investigating situations in the DRC. Only a few weeks ago, one of the armed militias attempted, without success, to seize power by force in Kinshasa. In the process, many civilians were killed.
President Museveni, who seized political power in Uganda in 1986, has supervised the slaughter of more than 500,000 civilians in the various wars he has fought from Luwero, through eastern to northern Uganda. Outside Uganda, commanding the Uganda Peoples Defence Force (UPDF), President Museveni is responsible for many more civilians murders carried out by his soldiers and proxy militias in the DRC, South Sudan and the CAR.
Like General Kabila of DRC, General Museveni has also used the ICC to solve some of his political problems while fiercely defending members of the UPDF from investigation and prosecution by the ICC.
South Sudan’s other neighbour, the Central African Republic (CAR), is currently being ‘ruled’ by a war lord who cannot provide security even in the country’s capital, Bangui. The French and AU soldiers are responsible for keeping him in power.
Ethiopia, like Uganda and the CAR, has a government that came to power through the use of military force. For over twenty years Ethiopia’s ruling party has used the army to suppress the political opposition while periodically rigging elections to remain in power.
Like South Sudan, the so-called ‘liberation armies’ in Uganda, DRC and Ethiopia have transformed into ruling political parties without discarding their undemocratic and dictatorial tendencies.
The Kenyan situation is different from the traditional military regimes, but their leaders are currently facing charges of crimes against humanity at the ICC for the mass murders that took place after the 2007 presidential elections.
These leaders have regrouped under the Inter-Government Authority on Development (IGAD), a regional body in Eastern Africa. On 27 December 2013, at a meeting in Nairobi, primarily because of their track record, the IGAD leaders squandered an opportunity to demonstrate neutrality when they blindly supported President Kiir against Dr Riech Machar without first examining the root causes of the conflict and determining which party is at fault.
By issuing threats and taking sides with the principal antagonists, the IGAD leaders demonstrated their common dictatorial credentials and democratic deficit.
There is still a way out of the South Sudan political crisis which unfortunately is being addressed by military means. For a credible and lasting peace in South Sudan, individuals with high moral standing who respect human values from amongst past and present leaders need to be considered for appointment as mediators by the AU or the UN. South Sudan needs honest brokers and not the current tainted IGAD leaders.
One of the persons who enjoys respect from the antagonists is Kenya’s former foreign minister Mr Kilonzo Musyoka. He was a key player in the negotiations leading to the Comprehensive Peace Agreement (CAP) that led to the creation of the Republic of South Sudan. Similarly, General Daniel Opande, another impartial participant at the negotiations leading to the CAP, is neutral and generally respected by the antagonists.
Former OAU Secretary General, Salim A Salim is another suitable candidate He has an excellent track record for tackling difficult problems during his tenure. Ghana’s former President Kuffor is yet another candidate with respectable democratic credentials.
Africa is not short of talented mediators. It is unreasonable for the AU to send war mongers to negotiate peace. What the AU and the UN can do for South Sudan is to look at stable countries with democratic credentials like Botswana, Ghana, Namibia, Senegal or Tanzania  and tap mediators from any of those countries.
On the other hand, it is neither shameful nor un-African to go outside the African continent and seek the best peace mediators from any part of the world.  There are many competent and credible mediators in the Nordic region with excellent track record. They can provide the much needed neutrality in the Great Lakes Region in peace-making.
Occasionally mistakes are made and it is only natural to correct past mistakes. It was, for example, an error for the UN to request President Museveni to mediate in the South Sudan conflict. Uganda is already too involved in South Sudan going back to the mysterious death of John Garang. Uganda should be kept out of the South Sudan conflict.
President Museveni is neither an honest broker nor does he have democratic credentials. He is simply one of the many war lords on the Africa continent who has used force to achieve and retain political power. Over the years, he has tried to re-brand himself as a statesman but deep down, he remains a war lord.
Both his NRM and the SPLM are ‘liberation’ armies that failed to successfully transition to multi-party politics which accepts the separation of party and state. The NRM and the SPLM have remained undemocratic, dictatorial and has continued to use force, rig elections and retain power.
What Dr Machar demands in South Sudan is similar to demands made by Dr Kizza Besigye in Uganda: seeking reform of the electoral commission, an establishment of an impartial police force and an army with a national outlook. Instead, President Museveni has consistently threatened, arrested, tortured and detained Dr Besigye and other national politicians opposed to his regime. President Kiir is following his many bad examples.
President Museveni and the IGAD leaders are not only supporting President Kiir, they are supporting themselves. The undemocratic way in which President Kiir runs the state and the SPLM is no different from how President Omar al Bashir runs Sudan, President Museveni rules Uganda, President Kabila stumbles along in the DRC and Prime Minister Hailemariam Desalegn controls Ethiopia. They are not the right people to act as mediators.
The international community must not allow leaders from the ‘ICC states’ that is, Uganda, Kenya, DRC, CAR, Sudan—countries that are currently being investigated by the ICC for violations of serious international  crimes—to pretend to act like peaceful leaders seeking peace in that troubled country. The people of South Sudan deserve better.
Alex Obote-Odora, Consultant in International Criminal Law and Policy, Stockholm.

Monday, January 6, 2014 South Sudan Civil war, Eritrean surrogates Leading the Talks, General Killed - YouTube South Sudan Civil war, Eritrean surrogates Leading the Talks, General Killed - YouTube: ""

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South Sudan general killed in ambush-BBC News -

The BBC's Alastair Leithead was with government troops when they were ambushed
A South Sudanese army general has been killed in fighting outside the rebel-held town of Bor.
A BBC correspondent with government troops said a convoy advancing on Bor came under heavy fire in an ambush.
The fighting is continuing as the warring parties meet in Ethiopia to try to agree a ceasefire. Substantive talks appear to have been delayed once again.
The conflict pits supporters of President Salva Kiir against rebels led by his sacked deputy Riek Machar.
It began on 15 December after the president accused Mr Machar of attempting a coup - which he denies.
At least 1,000 people have been killed and nearly 200,000 displaced in the conflict, which has taken on ethnic undertones. Mr Kiir is from the Dinka community and Mr Machar from the Nuer group.
Fighting rages
The BBC's Alastair Leithead was travelling with government troops from the capital, Juba, on Sunday when the convoy came under attack about 25km (15 miles) from Bor.

At the scene

The rebels are not just a ragtag group of civilians with guns - although there is an element of that.
It's actually a whole division of the South Sudan army that has joined the rebel side.
So you've got army fighting against army. They're both very well armed.
The government has been trying for a few days to retake Bor. It still hasn't managed to get through.
We've seen bodies on the road and two burnt-out tanks. We've seen very heavy fighting between two trained armies.
The commanding general - who has not been named - was killed in the ambush.
The government has been sending reinforcements to try to retake Bor in recent days, bringing the total number of army troops involved to some 2,000.
A whole division of the South Sudanese army has joined the rebel side, so the fighting in Bor in effect involves two trained armies, our correspondent adds.
He says he saw evidence of the intensity of the fighting, with burnt-out tanks by the side of the road.
Fighting is also continuing in other areas. Army spokesman Philip Aguer said there had been clashes in the oil-producing states of Unity and Upper Nile in the north.
Up until Friday, the talks in the Ethiopian capital, Addis Ababa, were conducted by mediators. Now, teams representing the opposing factions are expected to negotiate face-to-face.
A preliminary meeting was held late on Saturday. Key issues are establishing a ceasefire, and the rebels' demand for the release of what they see as political prisoners.
But substantive talks failed to get under way on Sunday, delayed by disagreements over the agenda and - an official was quoted as saying - by "protocol issues".
It seems each side is trying to gain as much leverage on the battlefield before they even consider a ceasefire, says the BBC's Africa editor Richard Hamilton.
International mediators may be losing patience with South Sudan's leaders whose delays are costing hundreds of lives, he says.
'Arm twisting'
It is now hoped talks will begin in earnest on Monday.
South Sudan spokesman Michael Makuei said the government would resist international pressure to free supporters of Mr Machar arrested in Juba at the start of the conflict.
He said releasing "those who attempted to overthrow a democratically elected government" would set a "bad precedent".
"Are we not risking the governments of Africa and the rest of the world to such attempts? We should not be arm-twisted because we are a new nation."
Meanwhile the first aid flight to South Sudan funded by the UK government has arrived in the country. The aircraft, carrying emergency aid and sanitation supplies, landed in Juba, on Sunday.
South Sudan is the world's newest state. It was formed in 2011, gaining independence from Sudan after decades of conflict.
The latest trouble has its roots in tensions that go back long before 2011.
bbc mapFighting erupted in the South Sudan capital, Juba, in mid-December. It followed a political power struggle between President Salva Kiir and his ex-deputy Riek Machar. The squabble has taken on an ethnic dimension as politicians' political bases are often ethnic.