Monday, December 5, 2016

South Sudan accuses Ethiopia and Sudan of complicity in Machar isolation - South Sudan News Agency

South Sudan FVP Gai. Photo: Radio Tamazuj/File
South Sudan FVP Gai. Photo: Radio Tamazuj/File
Addis Ababa/Khartoum, December 2, 2016 (SSNA) — South Sudanese First Vice president Taban Deng Gai says governments of Ethiopia and Sudan agree with South Sudan to ban rebel leader Dr. Riek Machar from traveling in East African region, suggesting that Khartoum and Addis Ababa agreed to Juba’s request to isolate the armed opposition leader from their countries.
On November 23, the South Sudan News Agency (SSNA) obtained a video in which FVP Gai lashing out at Machar, calling him a “negative person” who has been rejected by the region and perhaps the whole African continent.
Gai, who speaks both in English and Arabic in the audiovisual, declares that the rebel chief was first told by the government of South Africa not to travel outside South Africa because nobody wants him in East Africa and that he is safe in the Republic of South Africa. Gai also said the former First Vice President was initially given a fake visa by an individual in Nigeria and that when the Nigerian government learned about the illegal visa, it went ahead and cancelled it, adding Nigeria is still investigating who gave Machar the visa.
The FVP mocks the rebel chief by telling the seemingly anxious audience that Machar is using the passport for the First Vice president and questions who is the legitimate FVP of South Sudan. He suggests that the armed opposition head should stop calling himself the legitimate FVP of the Republic of South Sudan because he was dismissed by the SPLM-IO, adding that Dr. Machar was also relieved from his FVP post by President Salva kiir. Gai even told the listeners that an experienced lawyer who can legally explain the legitimacy of First Vice President of the Republic of South Sudan was in attendance.
Mr. Gai told his audience that Dr. Machar was asked by the Ethiopian government to choose where he should go because Addis Ababa does not want him and believes his presence in South Sudan would amounts to crisis or escalation of the ongoing civil war.
“When he arrived in Addis, he was told, friend, you have nowhere to go because your visa to Nigeria has been canceled by the Nigerian authorities therefore we will not take you to Nigeria,” Gai said.
“So tell us where you would like to go from here? He said he would go to Pagak, South Sudan. The Ethiopian authorities told him no, because your intention of going to Pagak means crisis, means fighting, and so we are not going to allow this,” he asserted.
Mr. Gai also claims in the video that Machar asked Ethiopia authorities to be allowed to go to Sudan and that Addis Ababa told him they cannot do it because the rebel leader has no entry visa to Khartoum.
At one point, Gai appears bothered by what he believes “uncivilized Ethiopians” allowed Machar to board a plane to Sudan.
“So, the uncivilized Ethiopians allowed him to board a plane to Khartoum, Sudan,” Gai protests.
“When he arrived in Khartoum, the Sudanese told him you have no resident in Khartoum. We don’t want you in Khartoum. They delayed the Ethiopian Airlines and told the Airlines that they should take this man [Machar] back to where you brought him from,” he continues.
Gai further explains that Ethiopian government contacted them after Machar was allegedly rejected by the Sudanese government. He assures the listeners that the rebel chief is free to come to Juba but he is not the First Vice President.
“He returned to Addis, Ethiopia. Upon arrival, the Ethiopians contacted us and said this person has nowhere or place to go to. We say ok! He is a south Sudanese. Let him choose including coming to Juba.
“Okay! He was supposed to come, by the way. He was supposed to come. He was supposed to come and stays like you. He would have not been taken to jail. But, he is not the FVP. He would have come and stay. If he was a strong man and an intelligence person who know how, he would have come to us,” Gai stated.
Gai further claims Machar demanded to talk to Sudan’s Bakari but his request was denied and told by Khartoum that his problem is a responsibility of the Sudanese Security and Immigration authorities not Bakari, adding that Machar negotiated with Sudan for four (4) hours and was eventually told by the Khartoum that he is not needed in Sudan.
The South Sudan’s First Vice President even alleged that Ethiopia government found one of Machar’s bodyguards with Ethiopian passport and the body guard was then asked by Ethiopian authorities to abandon Machar because the guard is an Ethiopian not South Sudanese. Gai also said the rebel leader didn’t sleep for two days because of issues surrounding his East Africa tour.
The SSNA understands that between November 19 and November 20, Dr. Machar experienced entry visa problems in Addis Ababa, which ultimately led Ethiopian immigration authorities to ask him to go back to South Africa and follow proper visa procedures there before returning to Ethiopia. A senior rebel official later told the SSNA that the rebel leadership blames itself for Machar’s visa difficulty because the SPLM-IO’s protocol office did not follow proper channels with the Ethiopian Immigration body, dismissing deportation claims as “false reports” and “over-exaggerated piece of information.” The South Sudan News Agency confirmed that Machar voluntarily choose to go back to South Africa after failed attempts to get an entry visa at the Bole International Airport.
The rebel leader fled Juba in July after government troops tried to assassinate him. Kiir later replaced him with Mr. Gai as the First Vice president.
The SPLM-IO says Gai betrayed the armed opposition simply because Machar refused to appoint him minister of petroleum, adding that he should not call himself SPLM-IO leader since he was dismissed from the party before Kiir appointed him.
The SSNA has contacted officials at Ethiopian Ministry of Communication and Information Technology and Sudanese government through email and phone for comment but hasn’t received a response.
Secret arms deal between Ethiopia and South Sudan
A leaked document which the South Sudan News Agency cannot independently verify reveals secret arms deal between Ethiopia and South Sudan. The document bears signature of Lt. Col. Solomon Tor Kang who identify himself as Deputy Defense Attaché. The contract discloses that Addis Ababa sold a total of two million, nine hundred and ten thousand, and one hundred and seventy four (2,910,174) ammunition to Juba. The total sale includes 1,821,600 7.62x54mm PKM ammunition, 1,040,000 7.62x39mm AKM ammunition, 20,000 RGD-5 Hand Grenade, 610 122mm ammunition, 20,000 Rocket 107mm HE, and 7,964 60mm Mortar ammunition.
The document dated November 25, 2016, also says South Sudan national army (SPLA) agrees to pay $55,000 dollars to Ethiopia’s Ministry of National Defense, adding that the money covers transporting ammunition from Ethiopia’s stores to Ethiopia’s air force base located in Debreziet town.
The SSNA is still investigating the authenticity and actual cost of the alleged arms deal.

Tuesday, November 22, 2016

S. Sudan rebel leader stopped in Ethiopia, returns to South Africa - Sudan Tribune: Plural news and views on Sudan

S. Sudan rebel leader stopped in Ethiopia, returns to South Africa

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November 21, 2016 (JUBA) –The leader of South Sudan’s armed opposition faction (SPLM-IO), Riek Machar has been prevented from entering Ethiopia and was forced to return to South Africa, SPLM-IO officials told Sudan Tribune on Monday.

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South Sudan’s FVP, Riek Machar, departing from Bole International Airport, Addis Ababa to Pretoria, South Africa, 14 February 2016 (SPLM-IO courtesy photo)
A senior rebel officials said Machar was stopped by the Ethiopian authorities upon his arrival from South Africa at Bole International Airport in Ethiopia and forced later to board another flight back to Johannesburg.

The rebel official, who preferred anonymity, said the rebel leader was heading to the SPLM-IO headquarters in Pagak near the Ethiopian border.

Machar was detained at the airport in Addis Ababa for four and half hours and was later advised either to board back to South Africa or risk being deportation to Juba,’’.

Last October, the deposed first vice president left Khartoum to South Africa to for medical treatment. He had arrived to Khartoum from the Democratic republic of Congo after clashes in Juba between his troops Juba

The Security Council members are considering a draft resolution to impose an arms embargo and additional targeted sanctions that could be brought to a vote as early as this week. The Associate Press disclosed that the U.S. proposed to impose travel bans on Machar and freeze his assets.

Washington blamed him for issuing a statement on 25 September 2016 declaring war on President Salva Kiir’s government following a meeting held in the Sudanese capital.

Several sources from the armed opposition reached by the Sudan Tribune said their leader was safe, but declined to disclose his whereabouts.

Some officials claim Machar crossed into South Sudan, while others said the rebel leader returned safely back to South Africa.

Thomas Magok Chuol, SPLM-IO representative to Uganda confirmed to Sudan Tribune that Machar had indeed returned back to South Africa.

“Yes, it is true Dr. Riek Machar has been told upon his arrival in Ethiopia to return to South Africa. It is not yet known the reason behind the decision,” he said.


Sunday, November 6, 2016

Over 30 S. Sudanese students protest in Ethiopia, arrested - Sudan Tribune: Plural news and views on Sudan


November 5, 2016 (RUMBEK) - 38 South Sudanese students were arrested after they staged a protest in front of their embassy in the Ethiopian capital, Addis Ababa over delayed allowances.

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South Sudanese students at their embassy in Kampala, Uganda (ST/File)
Dut Makur Mapur, a representative of the students claimed their acting ambassador, Darious Garang ordered for their arrest.

The affected students were from the universities of Mekelle, Bardar, Jimma, Awasa and Technical Vocational Training Institute (TVET).

"There are two groups of students from South Sudan to Ethiopia, the first group was from 2012/ 2013 comprising of 23 students doing different departments in Mekelle university and the second group from 2014/ 2015 comprising of some students to Bardar, Jimma, Mekelle and Awasa universities and the target group is in technical vocational training institute known as TVET," said Dut.

The students are entitled to $100 monthly and a round ticket at the end of the academic year from South Sudan government.

"Up to now, we have almost four years without receiving our stipend, the same is true for the second group. They haven’t received [their stipend] for two and half years," stressed Dut.

The students’ representative called on South Sudan government to instruct its acting ambassador to avoid mistreating them over their rights.

“I condemned that act and I urge immediate release and solution to their problems. I call upon the government to act wisely and instruct ambassador Darious Garang to get a better solution," said Dut.

Monday, October 31, 2016

Sudan and Ethiopia sign security cooperation agreement - Sudan Tribune:

Ethiopian Prime Minister Hailemariam Desalegn (L) meets with Sudan's President Omer al-Bashir at the Presidential Palace in Khartoum on December 3, 2013 (AFP Photo)

October 29, 2016 (KHARTOUM) - Sudan and Ethiopia Saturday have signed in Addis Ababa a memorandum of understanding providing to enhance joint security and military cooperation between the two neighbouring countries to fight terrorism.

The signing ceremony took place on the sidelines of the meetings of the Joint Ethiopian Sudanese Higher Military Committee chaired by Sudan Defence Awad bin Auf and his Ethiopian counterpart Siraj Fegessa.

The agreement was signed by the head of the General Staff of the Sudanese army Lt. Gen. Imad al-Din Adawi and his Ethiopian counterpart, General Samora Mohamed Younis.

The Sudanese defence minister reiterated the importance of military and security cooperation between the two countries "to counter terrorism in all its forms".

"The signed memorandum of understanding provides to secure the borders, the exchange of criminals, and prevent any hostile activity to the two countries, especially from the anti-peace groups," he said in statements reported by the Ethiopian TV after the signing ceremony.

The terms "anti-peace" and "terrorism" are used in the two countries to describe rebel groups .

From his side, Minister Fegessa stressed the desire of the two countries to work together to combat terrorist activities on the common border.

"The two countries also stressed the need to develop the capacity of the joint defence forces," he said, adding that Khartoum and Addis Ababa were able to stop cross-border crimes through coordination and cooperation.

Last March during the 14th meeting of the joint Sudanese Ethiopian technical committee in Khartoum, Sudan proposed to deploy joint border units on the border between the two countries.


Saturday, October 29, 2016

Ethiopia and South Sudan sign anti-rebels’ security agreement - Sudan Tribune: Plural news and views on Sudan

Ethiopian Prime Minister Hailemariam Desalegn (L) greets the President of South Sudan Salva Kiir in Addis Ababa on January 5, 2013 - (AFP Photo)

October 28, 2016 (JUBA) - leaders of Ethiopia and South Sudan have signed a series of cooperation agreements on Friday, including a security arrangement to stop hosting armed opposition groups in their respective countries.

The deal per a communiqué signed at the presidential palace in the South Sudanese capital, Juba, on Friday between President Salva Kiir and his visiting Ethiopian counter-part, Hailemariam Desalegn, calls on Ethiopia not to support armed groups, probably targeting members of the Sudan People’s Liberation Movement (SPLM-IO) under the leadership of the controversially ousted former First Vice President, Riek Machar.

Ethiopia hosted and led the mediation of the the peace process between Kiir and Machar which was signed in August last year to end 21 months of civil war, but which implementation has been disrupted by the recent renewal of violent conflict between the two factions in July in Juba, resuming the war.

In his statement, the Ethiopian Prime Minister, Hailemariam Desalegn, has reiterated the commitment of his administration and the people of his country to help in the implementation of the peace agreement, saying he would want to see a peaceful and prosperous South Sudan.

“We are very keen to see South Sudan be a peaceful country and a prosperous country... because we believe that the South Sudanese people have suffered enough for half a century and peace should prevail in South Sudan,” Prime Minister Desalegn said.

“We will not support an armed struggling group or anyone who opts for path of war and therefore we will not allow any armed movement which is detracting from peace in our region both in Ethiopia and South Sudan and will cooperate in a strong army-to-army cooperation where the president has agreed to send his chief of staff quickly to Addis Ababa and they will agree on the common cooperation of making our borders and also inland secure,” he said, while speaking to the media in Juba alongside South Sudanese President Kiir.

During the one day visit to Juba, Ethiopian Prime Minister, Deselagn, also addressed the Transitional National Legislative Assembly and reiterated his country’s support to peace in South Sudan in addition to a few economic and infrastructural agreements the two nations want to jointly implement.

Other agreements signed include five roads construction project - with Ethiopia funding two highways through a loan to South Sudan. Oil agreement and trading was another area of agreements signed by respective ministers of both countries.

President Kiir on his part said he was happy with the agreement with Ethiopia on security and development projects, saying he was hoping to see change coming.

"We will be vigilant always to review all the agreements for the benefit of the two countries and we are hopeful that things will change," said Kiir.

The agreement would deny hosting or support of Machar and his faction, implying that the Ethiopian government would recognize the current setup in Juba after the 8 July violence which kicked out Machar from the capital.


Machar’s spokesperson James Gatdet Dak, said the SPLM-IO and its army, the SPLA-IO, are both intact inside South Sudan and will use all means necessary, including peaceful dialogue and revival of the peace deal and the right to self-defence through popular armed resistance, to save the country from the “failed anti-peace regime” of President Kiir.

He further dismissed claims that their armed opposition and its leadership has been isolated in the region, saying what is happening is a temporary misunderstanding by some leaders which will be sorted out in time through engagement.

Some IGAD leaders who have not yet met Machar after he escaped the assassination in Juba, he said, may still want to hear from him in a face-to-face engagement before they could have a better picture of the situation.

Dak, said there seemed to be misunderstanding among some leaders of IGAD, saying some of them were reneging on their communiqué of last August which called for reinstatement of Machar as First Vice President and the implementation of the agreement once a regional force is deployed.

However, he said Machar will be consulting with such leaders in order to clear the air by telling his side of the story of what transpired in Juba and to undo the “lies” told by the regime in Juba.


Saturday, September 3, 2016

#EBCበክልሉ በሰው ህይወትና በመሠረተ ልማቶች ላይ በደረሰው ጥቃት ማዘኑን የአማራ ክልል መንግስት ገለፀ፡፡

Foreign-owned flower farms attacked in Ethiopia unrest -growers - Times LIVE

Foreign-owned flower farms attacked in Ethiopia unrest -growers

REUTERS | 03 September, 2016 09:55
All plots are close to Bahir Dar, the Amhara regional capital. "Details are still being gathered. The scope of damage requires further investigation," the statement said. File photo

At least seven foreign-owned flower farms in Ethiopia's Amhara region have been burnt to the ground or partially damaged in political violence afflicting the country over the past two months, producers said on Friday.

Anti-government protests over disputed provincial boundaries and allegations of human rights violations have spread in the north-central province, the second region to be riven by turmoil this year alongside Oromiya province in central Ethiopia.
In June, Human Rights Watch said security forces killed at least 400 people in Oromiya protesting at government plans to incorporate some parts of the region within the city limits of the capital Addis Ababa.
"Around seven flower farms have been affected - some burnt to the ground, others partially vandalised during attacks that took place Monday to Wednesday," the Ethiopian Horticultural Producers and Exporters Association said in a statement emailed to Reuters. No injuries have been reported from the attacks.
The list of firms included Esmeralda Farms BV of the Netherlands, Italian owned-Alfano Fiori, Indian firm Fontana Flowers PLC, and others operated and owned by investors from Israel, Belgium and the Middle East, it added.
All plots are close to Bahir Dar, the Amhara regional capital. "Details are still being gathered. The scope of damage requires further investigation," the statement said.
Tensions have been rumbling for two decades over the status of Wolkayt district, a stretch of land that protesters from Amhara say was illegally incorporated into the neighbouring Tigray region to the north.
Though demonstrators have behaved mainly peacefully, there have been incidents where government officials and civilians perceived to be associated with the government have been attacked by protesters.
A spokeswoman for Flora Holland, the world's largest flower auction based in the Dutch city of Aalsmeer, said that growers were assessing the damage from the attacks.
"The scope of the damage differs greatly from business to business," Elizabeth Palandeng said, but she did not believe it would lead to a long-term problem with deliveries.
Hardest hit appeared to be a Dutch company, Esmeralda, which said in a statement that 10 million euros worth of investments "went up in smoke" in an attack on its farm on Sept. 29.
The African flower industry has grown quickly in recent years, with Kenya and Ethiopia together providing about 65 percent of the Dutch auction's total.
Any sign of unrest is closely watched in Ethiopia, an important Horn of Africa ally of the West against Islamist militants in neighbouring Somalia, and an economic power seen as a centre of relative stability in a combustible region.
Earlier this week, Ethiopian Prime Minister Hailemariam Desalegn said his administration would carry out "deep-rooted" reforms and pledged to address grievances, though he warned of measures if protests escalated into violence.

South Sudan opposition diplomat defects to government - Sudan Tribune: Plural news and views on Sudan

 A South Sudan opposition diplomat in Ethiopia on Friday declared his defection to join president Salva Kiir led government in Juba.
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The South Sudan Embassy in Ethiopia (Photo Wanderingmark)
David Dang, who had been serving as Deputy representative of the SPLM-IO mission office in Ethiopia says he has resigned from his position, arguing that the leader of the armed opposition group, Riek Machar, has failed to lead the movement.
"Machar has no vision, he is running the SPLM-IO like his own property, as a result I am no longer supporter of Dr. Riek Machar" David told Sudan Tribune on Friday.
David’s defection comes weeks after few opposition officials including Taban Deng, close aide of Machar and former SPLM-IO head negotiator defected to government to take the officie of the first vice president , replacing boss Machar.
David further said that he is now on wards the supporter of Taban Deng who also is chairman of the SPLM/A-IO splinter faction .
"Furthermore Gen. Taban Deng Gai knows what it takes to be a leader," he said.
David called on all people of South Sudan and particularly on Greater Nuer community to follow his move and join the leadership of Taban.
He said Taban is the right leader to implement the peace agreement brokered by the regional bloc, IGAD and to save South Sudan from sliding back into a bloodshed.
"If you want peace to prevail in South Sudan, please come and join the First Vice President, Taban Deng Gai who is ready to implement the peace deal," David said.
He added that the peace agreement signed in August last year is the only binding document which could stop the suffering of the people.
"Our people don’t deserve to be in the IDPs camps this too long in their own country; our children don’t deserve to grow in refugee camps without going to school" he added.
David Dang, switch sides to join the SPLM-IO, under leader ship of Riek Machar, in November 2014, while he was then serving as deputy head of mission of South Sudan Embassy in Ethiopia.
David, ethnic Nuer, then accused the ethnically Dinka dominated Kiir’s government of creating climate of fear at South Sudan embassies across the world to systematically force the Nuer diplomats abandon their posts.

Sunday, August 7, 2016

S. Sudan's president accepts deployment of regional troops - Sudan Tribune

August 6 ,2016 (JUBA) - South Sudan president Salva Kiir has accepted the deployment of additional foreign troops from regional countries help protect and boost the fighting capacity of the United Nations mission as it defends civilians at risk of extreme violence.

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South Sudanese president Salva Kiir (Photo: Reuters)
Addressing reporters on arrival from Ethiopia on Saturday, South Sudan’s information minister Michael Makuei Lueth said the force will have limited roles.

"We accepted the force that will protect civilians in UNMISS, international NGOs and international facilities, not more than that," said Makuei who attended the Intergovernmental Authority on Development (IGAD) heads of states summit.

The regional troops, IGAD said in a communiqué issued at the end of the summit, will take control of Juba and vital installations as well as fighting, disarming and neutralize any South Sudanese forces igniting violence in the capital and around the country.

Sources within the presidency told Sudan Tribune that government resolved to accept the deployment of additional foreign troops in the country in compliance with the outcome of an ordinary summit of heads of state and governments in Addis Ababa.

“The government and the president have accepted the outcome of the summit of the IGAD heads of state and government held yesterday in Addis Ababa. The summit has now clarified the mandate of the new troops, which was not the case in the previous messages which our people were getting," a presidential source told this publication.

"The previous messages were confusing and creating panics to the society. The messages were vague the lacked clarity but now it is clear. It will now be a protection force, not an intervention force”, added the official.

The official said the South Sudanese leader and the government was now waiting for the final communique on the outcome of the regional summit and the briefing from the government delegation, which traveled to the Ethiopian capital, Addis Ababa.

Another senior government official separately said the summit resolved to send troops from neigbouring countries in the region under the United Nations with clear mandate.

"The outcome is not really bad, though the details are yet out. But it has been agreed at the summit that the mandate of the regional force will be clearly stated with participation of the government. Discussions have been concluded. It is now the technical committee of the IGAD secretariat which is left to work out the details and come out with the communique. I don’t know when it will be released but it may come out today," the source said.

He added, "But what is clear is that the mandate of this new force is that it will have to set a buffer zone between the warring parties as defined by peace agreement. It will also be mandated to respond to any side intending to violate the [peace] agreement.

Another very important mandate, the official further explained, is that this force will protect civilians at risk of danger by the activities of the two warring parties. It will have a role to play in reforming security sector by separating the military from politics.

"This is what the summit agreed on and government was happy with the outcome," he stressed.

Monday, July 25, 2016

South Sudan ex rebel leader fires possible rival

23 July 2016 - The United Nations Mission in South Sudan is appealing for help with the influx of people displaced following recent clashes between rival forces in the capital, Juba. Video: eNCA

South Sudan President Salva Kiir (R) shakes hands with former rebel leader and First Vice-President Riek Machar (L) after a new unity government was sworn-in, Juba, South Sudan, 29 April 2016. Photo: EPA/PHILLIP DHIL

Head of the rebel delegation General Taban Deng Gai, addresses journalists during South Sudan's negotiations in Ethiopia's capital Addis Ababa, January 8, 2014. Photo: REUTERS/Tiksa Negeri/File photo
Machar has not been seen in public since he left the capital Juba after clashes that threatened to destroy a 2015 deal to end the country's civil conflict.
His movement, the SPLM/A (IO), on Friday accused the government of seeking to replace Machar with Taban Deng Gai -- the former rebels' chief negotiator during the peace talks.
Any attempt to force out Machar would inflict "a devastating blow" to the unity government and the August 2015 peace accord, it warned.
In a statement addressed to President Salva Kiir and received by AFP on Saturday, Machar said he had fired Teng Deng Gai as minister for mines in the transitional government.
"I will nominate his replacement as soon as I return to Juba once the security arrangement is put in place by a third party force", he said.
This is a reference to an eventual deployment in Juba of a contingent of African troops as part of the UN mission in the country.
In the runup to the latest developments, Kiir had appealed for Machar to return to Juba and work together towards rebuilding peace.
He had pledged to guarantee his rival's safety.
"There is no point to come back to be assassinated," Machar's spokesman Goi Jooyul Yol told AFP on Friday, speaking from the Ethiopian capital Addis Ababa.
"Dr Machar is still being hunted around Juba," he said, adding that "we don't trust" Kiir's security pledge.
Juba was rocked by days of heavy fighting in early July between government forces and fighters loyal to Machar which erupted as he was meeting Kiir in the presidential palace.
More than 300 people were killed.
The violence escalated fears of a return to the brutal civil war that erupted just over two years after independence in 2011.
Kiir has rejected a proposal by the African Union to deploy a robust protection force in South Sudan and is also against beefing up the mandate of the UN peacekeeping mission UNMISS.
But the SPLM/A (IO) is in favour of an independent force.

Sunday, July 17, 2016

Ethiopia ready to send more peacekeepers to South Sudan

Addis Ababa - Ethiopia said on Friday it was ready to send more soldiers to strengthen the UN peacekeeping mission in South Sudan.
"We're more than willing to take on our part of responsibility in restoring calm in South Sudan," said government spokesperson Getachew Reda.
"We hope and expect the South Sudanese to bury the hatchet," he said, but added, "If push comes to shove, we'll have to carry the burden through strengthening the troop numbers."
The troops could be deployed as part of an "intervention brigade" with a more aggressive mandate mooted by regional bloc IGAD.
Ethiopia is already the largest contributor of troops to the UN Mission in South Sudan (UNmiss), providing 8 300 out of 13 500 uniformed personnel, including police.
Days of intense fighting in the South Sudanese capital Juba from Friday to Monday between forces loyal to President Salva Kiir and his rival, Vice President Riek Machar, left hundreds dead, tens of thousands forced from their homes and an already shaky peace agreement in danger of collapsing altogether.
"The leaders of South Sudan have failed miserably when it comes to keeping their promises to their people," said Reda.

Friday, July 15, 2016

Ugandan army crosses into S Sudan to evacuate citizens - News from Al Jazeera


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A heavily armed Ugandan military convoy has crossed into South Sudan to evacuate citizens trapped by recent fighting in the capital, Juba, according to officials.
The operation comes a day after the United Nations warned of the possibility of fresh fighting in Juba, despite a two-day ceasefire that followed a major outbreak of violence, in which almost 300 people were killed. 
Inside Story - What's gone wrong in South Sudan?
The Ugandan army convoy of around 50 lorries escorted by machine-gun-mounted armoured vehicles crossed the border on Thursday at Nimule, some 200km from Juba, to open up a secure corridor for fleeing civilians.
Al Jazeera has learned that the Ugandan forces have already reached the town of Nasitu, 20km south of Juba as of 12:00 GMT.
Al Jazeera has also learned that the entry of Ugandan forces into South Sudanese territory has been authorised by the government of President Salva Kiir.

"We plan to go to Juba to extract 3,000 Ugandans stranded by fighting, but that number may grow as we will evacuate anyone who wants to leave of any nationality," said army chief Brigadier Leopold Kyanda to the AFP news agency.
"There may even be some South Sudanese who want to leave."
"Juba is totally peaceful and calm now and we do not expect any problems. The problems could be on the road where there are some few thugs. The first responsibility of any UPDF soldier is to protect himself and we are confident in this," Kyanda said.
Kyanda said that the mission would probably last "two to three days".
Al Jazeera's Malcolm Webb, reporting from Uganda's capital, Kampala, quoted Ugandan military as saying there are about 3,000 Ugandan civilians in Juba, so many of those empty lorries deployed were to "bring back their civilians home".
Aid groups and churches in Juba have taken in some 35,000 displaced people [Reuters]
"Meanwhile, South Sudanese refugees who have been crossing from South Sudan into northern Uganda have complained that South Sudanese soldiers have been beating them, looting their property and some of them have been blocked from crossing," Webb added. 
"These are the kind of risks civilians have been saying that they are facing, so this is the reason that the Ugandan army are deployed to bring its civilians back home."
The Ugandan army joined the conflict in South Sudan soon after it began in December 2013, fighting on the side of President Kiir against a rebel force led by Riek Machar, now the country's first vice president.

The Ugandan presence helped prevent the capital from falling into rebel hands while its attack helicopters were deployed to bomb rebel soldiers out of regional towns. Ugandan troops only pulled out late last year.

Although military officials insist Thursday's incursion is a straightforward evacuation mission, an intelligence officer, speaking on condition of anonymity, said that some Ugandan troops may remain in Juba.
"Why not? We have the capacity to support the government of South Sudan and we were there before," the  plain-clothed officer accompanying the convoy told AFP.

Evacuations from South Sudan

The White House also said on Wednesday that it had deployed 47 troops to South Sudan to protect US citizens and the US embassy after an outbreak of deadly violence in the country.
The combat-ready troops arrived in South Sudan on Tuesday.
An additional 130 military personnel currently in Djibouti are also prepared to provide support as necessary, the White House said
India's External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj announced on Thursday that two aircraft had landed in Juba for evacuations, a day after Germany said it was also getting its nationals out of South Sudan.
The recent violence in the capital echoed the fighting that triggered the civil war and marks a fresh blow to last year's deal to end the bitter conflict that began when President Kiir accused Machar of plotting a coup
On Wednesday, Machar urged the UN to establish a "buffer zone" between his forces and government troops who are loyal to Kiir.
But President Kiir said on Thursday he is not accepting more international peacekeeping troops into the country.  
"There are over 12,000 foreign troops here in South Sudan. What do you need more forces? What will they come and do? So we are not accepting even a single soldier."  
At least 42,000 people have fled their homes in the latest flare-up, with 7,000 taking shelter in UN peacekeeping bases. Aid groups and churches in the city have taken in 35,000 people.
Source: Al Jazeera