Tuesday, January 24, 2017

South Sudan Official Ups Rhetoric, Says Not Afraid of Ethiopia

 South Sudanese officials have stepped up rhetoric against Ethiopia in what analyst see as a moment that is developing in the relations between the two countries with a government official at the ministry of information in Juba telling a reporter that his government was not afraid of Ethiopia, according to Nyamile.com report.
Ethiopia has been looking at Kiir’s government in Juba with a second thought lately over South Sudan’s embracement of Egyptian government policy towards the Ethiopian Dam and the Nile water agreement.
An official who is a close aide to the information minister Michael Makuei has said the government of South Sudan was not afraid of Ethiopia and that the country had nothing to explain, adding that the country would press on with its strategic relations with Egypt.
“it’s a normal practise to look out for your own interests, all countries do that. We are ‘not afraid’ of any country, be it within the region (Ethiopia) or beyond, i think our ambassador in Addis Ababa made it clear to them on Ethiopian Broadcasting Television that we do not have to explain anything on our diplomatic relations with other countries” said Atem Deng Makuac an official at the ministry of information in Juba
This Comes just a day after the South Sudanese ambassador to Ethiopia was summoned on the national television the Ethiopian Broadcasting Cooperation (EBC) to explain president Kiir’s recent visit to Egypt and to dispel recent rumours that South Sudan and Egypt agreed on a “dirty deal” over Ethiopia’s building of a mega Dam on the river Nile.
The official said the government in Juba would not back down from any deal with the Egyptian government due to their long standing relations.
“Other countries cannot force us to rethink our relations with Egypt, Egypt has supported South Sudan in many occasion, you know it, about their support for our irrigation system, no country in the region has done that, ok? Said Atem Deng Makuac a close aide to the information minister
Atem said Egypt has offered opportunities to South Sudanese, he warned that Ethiopia cannot force or threaten South Sudan because the national interest of the country comes first above anything else.
“They have given scholarships, they are offering other security support now. We cannot be asked to stop cooperating with Egypt be it on the Nile water issues or whatever. Those who are not happy have to rethink” Atem Deng added.
President Salva Kiir visited Egyptian capital last week in a surprise invitationn by his Egyptian counterpart Al Fatah Al-Sisi were they discussed bilateral relations and agreed to work together to support Egypt in it’s campaign on building dams on the Nile river. According to Middle-east news sources the two president’s of Egypt and South Sudan agreed on a “dirty deal” to block or sabotage Ethiopian plans to build a dam on the Nile river. (Nyamilepedia)

Diplomatic row breaks out between South Sudan and Ethiopia | Radio Tamazuj

 A diplomatic row has broken out between South Sudan and neighbouring Ethiopia following rumours on social media that President Salva Kiir accepted to allow Ethiopian rebels to open their office in the capital Juba.
“Rumours have been circulating on social media that when President Kiir visited Egypt, he discussed important issues with the Egyptian officials so that Ethiopian rebels can open an office in Juba, “a senior government official who preferred anonymity told Radio Tamazuj today.
“The rumours circulated that the President has accepted to allow the Ethiopian rebels to open their office in Juba and Egypt will support the Ethiopian rebels with guns, because Egypt is having differences with Ethiopia over the issue of Renaissance Dam, so this is what happened on social media,” he added.
The official accused the SPLM-IO faction allied to former First Vice President Riek Machar of circulating the rumour in neighbouring Ethiopia.”The rebels now took advantage of that, and this information has already reached the government of Ethiopia,” he said.
He pointed out that the government of Ethiopia has decided to cut diplomatic ties with the government of South Sudan and expel South Sudan’s Ambassador to Addis Ababa.
“Even if there are differences between us, Ethiopia cannot expel our ambassador, because the ambassador is the ambassador of South Sudan to Ethiopia and at the same time he is representing us in the African Union. So, Ethiopia cannot expel our ambassador,” he said.
According to the official, South Sudan government will issue a statement to deny the rumour.
File photo: Ethiopian Prime Minister during his visit to the capital Juba in October, 2016 (Radio Tamazuj)

Wednesday, January 18, 2017

Easing Sanctions on Sudan Erodes U.S. Leverage | Foundation for Defense of Democracies

Easing Sanctions on Sudan Erodes U.S. Leverage
Jonathan Schanzer

16th January 2017 - FDD Policy Brief
The U.S. Department of the Treasury on Friday eased sanctions against Sudan based on improved behavior, and with the expectation that Sudan “sustains [the] positive actions it has taken over the last 6 months.” The move, which comes after months of rumors that Sudan would be removed entirely from the U.S. terrorism sponsors list, punts the six-month review to the Donald Trump administration.
Treasury was quick to note that the move “will not impact Sudanese individuals or entities blocked pursuant to [executive order] 13400,” which imposes sanctions on persons in connection with the conflict in Sudan’s Darfur region. And the action did not address the role that Sudan’s president, Omar al-Bashir, has reportedly played in fomenting the civil war in South Sudan, with both countries accusing the other of supporting the other’s rebels.
Al-Bashir, it is also worth noting, still has a warrant out for his arrest at the International Criminal Court for five counts of crimes against humanity, two counts of war crimes, and three counts of genocide.
Sudan also remains listed by the State Department as a designated State Sponsor of Terrorism, and reports suggest that sanctions evasion, corruption, resource trafficking, and other illicit financial activity are rife in the country.
The “positive actions” cited by Treasury reportedly include Khartoum’s cutting ties with al-Qaeda, Iran, and Palestinian terrorist groups, and contributing to Saudi-led efforts against Iran-backed extremists in the region. Indeed, Saudi Arabia reportedly played a significant role in convincing the Obama administration to ease sanctions against Sudan.
However, unwinding U.S. sanctions for these positive steps without addressing the full range of Sudan’s illicit activities will pose challenges for the next administration. Specifically, it will erode U.S. leverage and make it more difficult for Washington to pressure Sudan for many of its continued destabilizing activities.
Indeed, Washington is likely to run into the same complications it is currently experiencing with Iran. The Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action of July 2015 relaxed sanctions on Iran in exchange for certain Iranian nuclear concessions. But Tehran’s support for terrorist groups, its backing of rogue states, and its human rights violations at home continue apace.
To help maintain leverage, the Obama administration should have provided a limited general license to reward Khartoum for its cooperation in some areas, while keeping overall U.S. economic pressure intact.
It is now upon the incoming Trump administration to assess Sudan’s malign activities before July 12, 2017 to determine whether Khartoum has earned the full easing of sanctions proscribed. But even more important will be its policy of whether “strategic unwinding” of sanctions is advisable with any actor, particularly when problematic behaviors still persist.
Jonathan Schanzer, a former terrorism finance analyst at the U.S. Department of the Treasury, is vice president for research at Foundation for Defense of Democracies. Follow him on Twitter @JSchanzer.

Wednesday, January 11, 2017

South Sudanese President in Egypt for bilateral talks - Sudan Tribune: Plural news and views on Sudan

South Sudanese President in Egypt for bilateral talks


January 9, 2017 (JUBA) - South Sudan’s President Salva Kiir left for the Egyptian capital, Cairo for bilateral talks with his Egyptian counterpart, Abdel Fatah El- Sisi.

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South Sudan’s president Salva Kiir, seen in Addis Ababa on January 29, 2015 (Photo AFP Zacharias Abubeker)
The visit comes barely a month after the Egyptian president visited Uganda, resulting into the unannounced visit to South Sudan by Ugandan leader, Yoweri Museveni.

South Sudan’s Presidential spokesman Ateny Wek Ateny told reporters that Kiir’s visit would take two days during which the two leaders and their cabinet ministers would hold discussions in relation to bilateral ties between the two countries.

“The President of the Republic Salva Kiir Mayardit and the accompanying delegation left Juba for Cario, Arab Republic of Egypt this morning in response to the invitation extended to him by his Egyptian counterpart Abdel Fatah El- Sisi," said Ateny.

He added, "President Salva Kiir will also be extending his country appreciation of the role played by Egypt in supporting South Sudan in the UNSC, and the role of Egypt in offering education to many South Sudanese’ generations since when it was part of the Sudan.

President Kiir is also expected to extend a similar invitation to his Egyptian counterpart.

Critics claim the three leaders agreed to open training camps for Sudanese armed opposition at Uganda-South Sudan border with the view to topple Sudanese government for supporting construction of a dam by Ethiopian government on River Nile.

This deal, according to security sources, resulted in dispatching more than big trucks full of Ugandan troops heading to South Sudan. 20 trucks, unconfirmed reports say, claimed entered Nimule through Elgu, and eighteen trucks via Ajdumani to Kajokeji.

The stated mission is to pursue the armed opposition figures and to clear out rebellion around South Sudan border with Uganda and Democratic Republic of Congo, though the Uganda government blackmail the people in the region that they are pursuing Uganda Armed oppositions in Northern Uganda , Eastern Uganda and West Nile as a mere political propaganda, a source told Sudan Tribune on Monday.

The visit of President Abdullah Fatah Sisi of Egypt to Uganda last month follow by unofficial visit of president Museveni to Juba three days after Egypt President visited to Uganda, in which President Museveni during a closed door meeting with President Salva Kiir, conveyed the message that he and Egyptian leader to open up a training camp at border with his country.

The Kampala and Juba meetings resolved to provide a support to Sudanese and Ethiopian Armed oppositions. This will involve training and providing weapons to SPLM-North, Darfur Rebels both with Military Equipment and full logistics including Finance. Egypt will supply Uganda then South Sudan will be the corridors to supply the equipment to the SPLM-North, Darfur Rebels and Ethiopian Armed opposition.

These military Training camps have will be opened along South Sudan border with Uganda and Congo border. The reason behind is that they want to use Congo Central Africa corridors to launch attack on Sudanese government than using South Sudan Border. The training Camps will be around Mofok and around Lasu.

This will be making it o easier for transportation of the Equipment by land because by air it will be difficult because South Sudan air-space is under the control of Sudan, a security source who did not want to be identified told Sudan Tribune on Monday.

The source further alleged that the Egyptian government had sent 58 senior military commanders to South Sudan through Uganda to access the ground for training for SPLA, Sudanese and Ethiopian rebels. The commanders, he added, are from different military units, armor, artillery, air-defense and central military intelligence.

“Government of Egypt has a plan to topple both the government of Sudan and Ethiopia because the of Dam that Egyptians have contested before and rejected it not to be built, but Sudan and Ethiopia decided to go ahead and they have built the Dam which affect Egypt. The second issue is the contested Area in the eastern part of Sudan bordering Egypt (Halayib). Egypt is claiming that the area and Sudan continues to claim the area also. This is what is happening in the region”, explained the source.