Friday, August 21, 2015

South Sudan journalist Peter Moi shot dead - BBC News

South Sudan journalist Peter Moi shot dead - BBC News: "South Sudan journalist Peter Moi shot dead
20 August 2015
From the section Africa

Peter Julius Moi was killed on the outskirts of Juba on Wednesday evening
South Sudan strife

South Sudan: Obstacles to a lasting peace
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Tracking down South Sudan's missing
South Sudan economy 'in intensive care'
Gunmen have killed South Sudan reporter Peter Julius Moi by shooting him twice in the back in the capital, Juba, his family said after identifying his body.
He is the seventh journalist to be killed this year in South Sudan, where a civil war is ongoing.
His killing comes days after President Salva Kiir threatened to kill reporters "working against the country".
A presidential spokesman said the words were taken out of context and police were investigating Mr Moi's death.
Ateny Wek Ateny said a statement would be issued to clarify President Kiir's remarks, made at the airport in Juba before he went to Ethiopia for peace talks to end the civil war.
BBC Africa Live: News updates
Mr Moi worked for South Sudan's Corporate Weekly newspaper and was killed at about 20:00 local time (17:00 GMT) on Wednesday night by unidentified gunmen on the outskirts of Juba.
Juba-based journalist Jason Patinkin told the BBC's Focus on Africa radio programme that the killing of Mr Moi was a very worrying development for the journalist community in South Sudan, which has seen a steady decline in press freedom since the outbreak of the civil war in December 2013.
The Committee to Protect Journalists (CPJ) says security agents shut down two privately owned newspapers earlier this month as well as a media group that produced a popular radio series.
The media freedom lobby group has also been critical of Mr Kiir's comments, which local journalists believe were connected to media criticism of the protracted peace negotiations.
"The leader of any country threatening to kill journalists is extremely dangerous and utterly unacceptable," the CPJ's Tom Rhodes said in a statement.

President Salva Kiir has ruled South Sudan since independence in 2011
Mr Kiir has also been under fire from diplomats for failing to sign a peace deal on Monday.
The US state department has said he has now promised to sign after "a couple more days of consultation".
But the US has submitted draft proposals for a UN arms embargo on South Sudan.
Nearly two million people have been left homeless since conflict broke out in the world's newest state in 2013.
Fighting erupted after Mr Kiir accused rebel leader Riek Machar, his former deputy, of plotting a coup.
Mr Machar signed the accord in Ethiopia's capital, Addis Ababa, on Monday - the deadline set by mediators.

South Sudan's elusive peace
At least seven ceasefires agreed and broken since conflict started in December 2013
Nearly one in five South Sudanese displaced by the current conflict, from a total population of 12 million
Former rebel leader Salva Kiir became president of South Sudan, the world's newest state, when it gained independence in 2011
South Sudan has been at war for 42 of past 60 years"

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Tuesday, August 18, 2015

Leaders of Sudan, Ethiopia, Uganda, Kenya and S. Sudan Hold Close-door Summit

Leaders of Sudan, Ethiopia, Uganda, Kenya and S. Sudan Hold Close-door Summit in Addis Ababa

Addis Ababa - The Presidents of Sudan, Ethiopia, Kenya, Uganda and South Sudan Sunday held a close-door meeting at Sheraton Addis Ababa as part of the IGAD efforts to achieve solution for the dispute in South Sudan State.

The President of South Sudan, Salva Kiir, arrived in Addis Ababa on Sunday.

On Saturday evening, the leaders of Sudan, Ethiopia and Uganda held a tripartite summit which reviewed the efforts of the countries that are neighboring to South Sudan for solving its problem.

SUNA learned that Nigeria, Rwanda, South Africa, Chad and Algeria were added by the African Union to join the IGAD group of Sudan, Djibouti, Somalia, Kenya and Uganda, while the IGAD partners' group includes Britain, the United States and Norway.

SUNA learned that the IGAD summit will be held on Monday between the two groups and participation of the African Union, the European Union and China.

The dispute parties participating in the IGAD summit are South Sudan government headed by President Salva Kiir, the group of Dr. Riek Machar and the group of former detainees who were released after Arusha agreement led by Pagan Amum.

The American envoy for Sudan and South Sudan and the envoys of Britain and Norway have arrived in Addis Ababa

Friday, August 14, 2015

South Sudanese rebel leader in negotiations with defected commanders - Sudan Tribune: Plural news and views on Sudan

August 13, 2015 (JUBA) - South Sudanese rebel leader Riek Machar is in negotiations with some of the senior commanders with whom he had political and security disagreements over the approach to handle the talks with the government, revealed assistant press officer in the rebel camp.
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Riek Machar sits in his field office in a rebel controlled territory in Jonglei State February 1, 2014. (Photo/Reuters/Goran Tomasevic)
Rebel commanders led by Peter Gatdet Yak, former deputy chief of general staff for operations in the rebel movement and Gathoth Gatkuoth, former deputy chief of general staff for logistics, both of whom were relieved from the positions last month by Machar, announced at a press conference in the Sudanese capital, Khartoum, on Tuesday to have” denounced and disowned” Machar from the leadership of the rebel movement.
It was not immediately clear how many officers attended the conference, although unverified reports indicated Maj. Gen. Gabriel Tanginye, Maj. Gen. Chuol Gakah, Maj. Gen. Gathoth Gatkuoth, Maj. Gen. Malith Gatluak and Brigadier Gen. Gatwec Puoc were among those who have declared their defection.
Five other politicians allegedly issued a separate statement announcing their support to the decision of the commanders in which they claimed to have dismissed Machar.
Former minister of youth, culture and sports, Gabriel Changson Chang, their ring leader, Timothy Tot Chol, Thomas Thoan Teny, Michael Mariew Dhuor and Gabriel Yoal Dok were said to have been among those who issued the statement denouncing the manner in which Machar had managed the leadership and the movement.
Several opposition figures have in response to the defection downplayed the significance of the decision of the rebel commanders and accused the government of having allegedly played a role to create a rift between the members of the opposition leadership using all means available at its disposal, including the use of monetary enticement by way of bribery to defecting officers and members of their families.
Dickson Gatluak Jock, who claimed to be assistant press secretary in the office of the armed opposition leader, Machar, said the press release denouncing his boss was not written and sent by the commanders but politicians wanting to pull the commanders out from the movement and against Machar in order to divert his vision, reduce his dignity from the entire Nuer community and South Sudan at large.
“This is to let him go. The sacrifices he made for the sake of his nation to go in vain. Their objectives are meant to spoil an anticipated peace agreement which may be signed in the coming 17th of this month”, said Jock in a statement extended to Sudan Tribune on Thursday.
The aide of the opposition leader, however, asserted that obstructing peace wouldn’t make sense because it’s the demand from the public in South Sudan rather than individual interest.
He said Machar had already sent a team to Khartoum to negotiate the return of the defected rebel commander, Peter Gatdet Yak.
"As I am writing, Peter Gatdet is in Khartoum, Sudan, engaging in negotiating with the team sent to him by the chairman of SPLM/A Dr. Riek Machar to get him back to Pagak as well as the Nuer elders over there,” he said.
He admitted that there were differences between Machar and commanders but these differences, he explained, could have been addressed in the recent consultative conference held at the headquarters of the opposition group inside South Sudanese territory at the border with neighbouring Ethiopia.
“Yes there were differences sometimes back when the two generals were relieved but the leadership in Pagak during the consultative meeting ironed out all these issues and resolved that the generals would be assigned to other positions with in the SPLA IO military headquarters. These are normal ways of making thing in the system,” he added.
“If they accept to dialogue and present their complaints to the leadership of the movement, then they will be reassigned”, he explained.
The rebel official charged that “elements that are running up and down to create division within the movement for their own personal interest would not be given room.”

Tuesday, August 11, 2015

Martin Elia and associates deported from Ethiopia | Radio Tamazuj

Martin Elia and associates deported from Ethiopia | Radio Tamazuj: "
Martin Elia and associates deported from Ethiopia

JUBA (10 Aug.)
A group of pro-government political parties headed by South Sudan's Cabinet Minister Martin Elia Lomuro have been deported from Ethiopia in response to Juba preventing opposition leader Lam Akol from traveling to the Addis Ababa talks.

Elia and his group traveled to Addis Ababa with the government delegation last week to participate in the peace talks, but Akol, who leads a group of independent opposition parties, said he was prevented from boarding his flight minutes before takeoff on orders of President Salva Kiir.

Speaking on Sunday at a hotel in Juba, Elia said an IGAD administrator approached his delegation hours after they arrived in Addis Ababa and told them arrangements were made for them to return to South Sudan the next day.

Elia said the administrator showed them a document reading: "unless Dr Lam Akol is allowed to travel with his delegation, the IGAD mediators reject your participation and have directed us to inform you accordingly."

The minister in Kiir's cabinet said IGAD was not fully informed about what happened to Lam in Juba. He claimed that Akol was requested to obtain clearance and wait for travel permit from authorities but refused to wait. Akol said a police official prevented him from boarding the plane.

"Why didn’t the IGAD mediators prevent the government delegation from traveling because it was the government not political Parties which Prevented Dr. Lam Akol from traveling?" Elia also charged.

Elia accused IGAD of bias against Kiir's government, and urged the venue of the peace talks move to either Tanzania, Rwanda, or South Africa.

"The attitudes of the IGAD mediators seem to favour groups both internal and external that are opposed to the democratically elected government of South Sudan in fulfillment of their regime change agenda," he accused.

"It is now our conclusion that for peace to return to South Sudan the entire IGAD mediation team must be reconstituted. While [Kenyan] General Lazarus Sumbeiywo may be acceptable definitely, Seyoum Mesfin [of Ethiopia] and Mohammed Ahmed Mustaffa El Daby [of Sudan] must be replaced," he said.

He said the two latter countries are undemocratic and have their own rebels so are unfit to negotiate peace in South Sudan.

This is the latest incident in an ongoing power struggle within the "political parties" group of stakeholders meant to participate in the peace talks between Akol's group of opposition parties and Elia's group parties which have joined the government.

Last year IGAD deported Elia's associate Martin Tako from Ethiopia. Tako had claimed to represent the political parties after South Sudanese authorities prevented Lam from traveling to Addis Ababa during a previous round of talks.


Mediators call on Juba to allow Lam Akol group to travel to peace talks (7 Aug.)

Kiir stops Dr. Lam Akol from going to peace talks (6 Aug.)

IGAD mediators ask Martin Tako to leave South Sudan peace talks (23 Sep.)

Kiir's cabinet minister Martin Elia excluded from opposition platform (25 Jul.)

Photo: Martin Elia Lomuro Credit: The Niles"

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Monday, August 10, 2015

IGAD-plus mediate South Sudan peace talk in Addis Ababa -Coastweek -

ADDIS ABABA Ethiopia (Xinhua) -- Under the mediation of the IGAD-Plus, the South Sudan peace negotiation kicked off on Thursday in Ethiopia’s capital Addis Ababa.The East African bloc, the Intergovernmental Authority on Development (IGAD), has been mediating the peace process of South Sudan towards ending the crisis erupted since mid-December in 2013 in the world’s youngest nation.
In this latest round of peace talks, participants in the South Sudan peace process will, for some days, deliberate on the IGAD-Plus proposal, the Compromise Agreement on the resolution of the conflict in South Sudan.At the recently convened meeting in Addis Ababa, the IGAD-Plus agreed on the urgent need to resolve the conflict, which has devastated South Sudan.

The IGAD-Plus mediation has put it that the Compromise Agreement is signed by August 17 towards resolving the crisis in South Sudan.

"The IGAD-Plus are united in their determination to see that the Compromise Agreement is signed by August 17, which will go a long way to ease the suffering of the people of South Sudan," according to a statement released earlier by the mediation.
Speaking at the opening of this round of negotiation, Seyoum Mesfin, IGAD Chief Mediator, noted that the latest peace talks is a critical moment whereby the participants would make decision that might impact the destiny of the youngest nation and the people of the country.
Participants attend the mediation peace process of South Sudan peace negotiation in Addis Ababa | Coastweek
ADDIS ABABA Ethiopia (Xinhua) -- Participants attend the mediation peace process of South Sudan peace negotiation in Addis Ababa, capital of Ethiopia. The East African bloc, the Intergovernmental Authority on Development (IGAD), has been mediating the peace process of South Sudan towards ending the crisis erupted since mid-December in 2013 in the world’s youngest nation. XINHUA PHOTO - MICHAEL TEWELDE
"We have now reached at critical juncture whereby participants of this phase will make decisions that may impact the destiny of the people of South Sudan and their youngest nation," said Seyoum.
The IGAD-Plus include the IGAD member states, the five members of the African Union High-Level Ad Hoc Committee, the Troika, China, the African Union Commission, the European Union, the United Nations and the IGAD Partners Forum.


Juba prevents opposition delegation from travelling to peace talks in Ethiopia
KHARTOUM (Xinhua) -- A delegation of South Sudanese opposition parties has said the Juba government has prevented them from travelling to Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, to take part in the peace talks between the South Sudanese warring parties.

"We have been doing our travel procedures when a police officer told us that there were directives from the Presidency to prevent the delegation from travelling," Lam Akol, head of the opposition delegation, told reporters at Juba airport Wednesday.

"Such decisions do not serve the peace issue in any way," Akol said, describing the move as "a flagrant violation" of freedom of movement stipulated in the country’s constitution as well as international laws.

He further reiterated that the delegation has received a formal invitation from the Inter-Governmental Authority on Development in Africa (IGAD), which is mediating between the South Sudanese rivals who are to resume talks in the Ethiopian capital Addis Ababa on Friday.

The South Sudanese opposition parties’ alliance brings together about 18 political parties that are not participating in the government.

Earlier IGAD announced a reviewed proposed draft peace agreement to be considered by South Sudan’s warring parties, the government led by President Salva Kiir Mayardit and the South Sudan People’s Liberation Movement in Opposition, led by former vice president Riek Machar.

The mediators availed the two sides until Aug. 17 to sign a peace deal to end the violent clash in the newly-born state.

Despite many rounds of talks under IGAD’s patronage, the two South Sudanese rivals have failed to reach a peace deal.

South Sudan plunged into violence in December 2013 when fighting erupted between troops loyal to President Kiir and defectors led by his former deputy Machar.

The conflict soon turned into an all-out war, with the violence taking on an ethnic dimension that pitted the president’s Dinka tribe against Machar’s Nuer ethnic group.

The clashes have left thousands of South Sudanese dead and forced around 1.9 million people to flee their homes.

Sudan oil minister denies war in South Sudan to harm oilfields
KHARTOUM (Xinhua) -- Sudan’s oil minister Mohamed Zayed Awad has denied that the on-going civil war in South Sudan would disturb the country’s oilfields, affirming that petroleum is a source of wealth for the two neighbors.

Awad arrived in the South Sudanese capital of Juba on Friday, and met with President Salva Kiir Mayardit.

"The two warring parties in South Sudan are aware that harming the oilfields would harm all sides," Awad told reporters at Juba airport.

"We do not expect any harm to be inflicted on the oilfields", noted the Sudanese minister.

He said the cooperation between Khartoum and Juba was continuing, pointing out that the oil deal was the "most distinctive" among the agreements signed by the two countries.

The South Sudanese oil minister, Stephen Dhieu, meanwhile, said Juba welcomes bilateral cooperation in oil production sector and other domains.

The South Sudanese rebels, led by former vice president, Riek Machar, said earlier they were seeking to control the oilfields to prevent President Kiir from using the oil to prolong the war.

South Sudan’s oil production has dropped by nearly 30 percent since mid-December 2013, where the country’s daily oil production used to reach 245,000 barrels before the fighting broke out, but now that figure has been slashed to about 175,000 barrels.

South Sudan plunged into violence in December 2013, when fighting erupted between troops loyal to President Kiir and defectors led by his former deputy Machar.

The conflict soon turned into an all-out war, with the violence taking on an ethnic dimension that pitted the president’s Dinka tribe against Machar’s Nuer ethnic group.
The clashes have left thousands of South Sudanese dead and forced around 1.9 million people to flee their homes.

S. Sudan parties competing for majority power percentages in peace talks - Sudan Tribune: Plural news and views on Sudan

August 9, 2015 (JUBA) - South Sudanese rival warring parties in the resumed peace talks in Addis Ababa have presented different power sharing percentages in which each side sought majority representation in the proposed transitional government of national unity.
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South Sudan’s rival forces resumed peace talks on 6 August, as international pressure mounts ahead of an August 17 deadline to strike a deal to end 19 months of civil war. (Photo AFP)
“The negotiations have started. The two sides have gone into the real and tough engagement now. They all want to reach the peace agreement this time because both of them have challenges which they are trying to escape if they sign a peace [agreement],” leading member of the civil society alliance participating in the talks told Sudan Tribune on Sunday from the venue of the talks in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia .
The government, according to the activist, was keen to sign a peace deal which would not undermine the executive powers of the president and avoid demilitarization of the national capital, Juba, as well as the proposition of the two armies under separate command from the president as the commander in chief, whether during pre-interim period or during interim period.
He said the government was however willing to make compromise on the power percentage in the oil-rich Upper Nile region.
“From what I see, the government could sign the peace because it is already seen by some people in the country and also some western powers as an illegitimate government because it has no mandate from the people,” he said.
The life of the current government, the civil society activist said, was extended by the national legislature whose period had also elapsed, adding that from the legal and constitutional point of view, it was not right that another legally challengeable institution extended the term of another legally challengeable institution.
“The term of the assembly had expired, so was the term of the office of the president,” he explained.
This, he said, was one of the factors which would persuade the government to sign the peace so as to get new mandate through a peace agreement that will allow the conduct of new elections after the end of the transitional period.
Another factor, he added, was the international threat of government with the sanctions. On the side of the rebels, he pointed, the issue of sanctions and the latest reports of sharp division within the leadership would force them to make some compromise and accept peace deal.
The activist explained that both the government and armed opposition representatives demanded bigger percentages of power in a transitional government than what the mediating team had offered.
He said the government proposed to be given 70% of power sharing in the proposed transitional government and proposed only 20% to be given to the rebels and 10% to other political parties.
“Interestingly, they did not include a percentage to the former detainees. I think it is because they consider them as part of the government since they have returned to Juba,” said the activist.
Also, the rebel representatives in the talks have asked for 70% of power sharing in the government of national unity. They gave the government 20% and the remaining 10% to other political parties. They also did not mention former detainees in their proposal.
The proposals presented by the two main warring parties, he said, were not compatible to or in an agreement with the proposal of the regional mediating team which proposed different power percentages to both parties to the conflict.
After the last round of peace talks for South Sudan failed back in March, IGAD mediation drafted a compromise agreement that proposed that the government should have 53% of ministerial portfolios in a transitional government, the SPLM-IO should have 33%, and former detainees, majority of whom have returned to the country, with other political parties share 14%.
Sudan Tribune was unable to independently verify the credibility of the information, as none of the members of the delegation of the two parties was able to provide official comments on their presentations on power sharing percentages.
Several of their representatives however confirmed each had presented a proposal seeking majority representation in the proposed government of national unity, saying these proposals were subject for revision.