Archive for January 10, 2014


THE WHITE HOUSE
Office of the Press Secretary
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
January 9, 2014
Statement by National Security Advisor Susan E. Rice on South Sudan
The United States strongly supports the efforts of the Intergovernmental Authority on Development (IGAD) mediators, Ambassador Seyoum Mesfin and General Lazaro Sumbeiywo, to secure a cessation of hostilities and to resolve the conflict in South Sudan peacefully through talks being held in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia.  This crisis must be ended swiftly through a negotiated settlement in order to prevent the escalation of a dangerous conflict that neither the people of South Sudan, the region or the international community can afford.
The United States calls upon rebel-leader Riek Machar and President Salva Kiir to sign immediately the cessation of hostilities agreement tabled by IGAD.  Mr. Machar, in particular, must commit to a cessation of hostilities without precondition.  His continued insistence on the release of detainees as a pre-condition for a cessation of hostilities is unacceptable and runs counter to the express will of the detainees who informed the IGAD mediators yesterday that they support talks on an unconditional cessation of hostilities and stated clearly that their status as detainees should not be an impediment to reaching an agreement on a cessation of hostilities.
At the same time, the United States is disappointed that the detainees being held by the Government of South Sudan have not yet been released.  The United States reiterates its call upon President Salva Kiir to release the detainees immediately to the custody of IGAD so that they can participate in the political negotiations.
It is the obligation of both President Kiir and Mr. Machar to ensure that the lives of their people and future of their young country are not further marred by continued violence and atrocities.
US Dismissed Coup Atempt Claim In South Sudan

  A political rift within South Sudan’s governing Sudan Peoples Liberation Movement (SPLM) and not a failed coup attempt as government claims caused the widespread violence that hit the country in mid-December, a United States official said on Thursday

“Basing on reports from sources or the public, a fight at the SPLM convention on December 15 caused the violence. We have not seen any evidence that there was a coup attempt,” Linda Thomas-Greenfield, the assistant secretary of state for African affairs told the Senate Foreign Relations Committee hearing on the crisis in South Sudan.

We think that they should resolve this through political talks and negotiations, not war, she added.

The US official’s remarks could overshadow South Sudan leader Salva Kiir’s earlier claims implicating his former deputy Riek Machar in alleged coup attempt. Machar denied the accusation, saying it was the regime’s tactic to suppress party opposition.

The violence, which started in the capital, Juba later spread to the key town of the country, with the United Nation estimating more than 1,000 people killed and nearly 200,000 displaced.

Since then, however, the US and other international community have sought diplomatic efforts seeking an end to what has now been described as the worst-ever conflict in South Sudan’s post-secession era.

“We have galvanized support to end hostilities and open a broader dialogue between the two sides; called for accountability for atrocities; sought to secure the release of political detainees now being held in Juba”, Greenfield said.

The official, in her statement, also called on the warring parties in the conflict to cease all forms of hostilities, stressing that “this crisis will not be solved on the battlefield”.

She further expressed concerns the continued detention of political prisoners arrested in connection with the violence in Juba, saying they “must” be released to enhance the ongoing negotiations in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia.

Direct talks between South Sudan’s warring parties are currently underway in Addis Ababa under the mediation of regional leaders from the Intergovernmental Authority on Development (IGAD).

“These negotiations offer the best hope for South Sudan and the region. An agreement to end hostilities will provide much needed time and space for dialogue to begin on the core political and governance issues that are at the root of this crisis”, stressed the US assistant secretary for state for African affairs.

INSTITUTIONAL WEAKNESSES

Princeton Lyman, the ex-US envoy to the two Sudan’s largely attributed the current crisis in new nation to the weaknesses within South Sudan’s political institutions.

He described the SPLM, which he likened to South Africa’s ruling African National Congress (ANC), as a liberation army with no political structures.

“The weakness of political institutions, the overlap of party and government, and party and army, all contributed to the inability of the SPLM as a party to resolve these growing developments”, said Lyman, now a senior advisor to the US Institute of Peace President.

South Sudan troops ‘recapture key oil city of Bentiu’

Posted: January 10, 2014 by PaanLuel Wël Media Ltd. in History

South Sudan troops ‘recapture key oil city of Bentiu’ BBC News

South Sudanese government forces have recaptured the oil hub of Bentiu from The fighting has seen South Sudan’s oil output fall by about 20%. Col Aguer told Reuters news agency: “When you control Bentiu you control all the oil 
Brent Crude Skids on Reported South Sudan Recapture of Oil City NASDAQ

Brent crude futures slid Friday on news that the South Sudanese government has recaptured a key oil city from rebel forces. Brent crude on ICE 
Fighting In South Sudan Forces Residents To Seek Safety OPB News

Some 10,000 people have died in South Sudan since the fighting began there last month. David Greene talks to Elke Leidel, the South Sudan country 
 
US asks South Sudan leaders to sign ceasefire deal Free Press Journal

Washington: The United States has asked South Sudan President Salva Kiir and rebel-leader Riek Machar to sign a ceasefire deal and immediately 
 
S Sudan troops ‘retake key oil town’ Upstream Online

By Eoin O’Cinneide & news reports. 10 January 2014 13:13 GMT. South Sudanese troops have recaptured a key town in one of the country’s oil-rich 

Equatorians Should Join Forces with Dr. Riek Machar

Posted: January 10, 2014 by PaanLuel Wël Media Ltd. in Commentary, Featured Articles, History

Equatoria should be Game-Changer in Current South Sudan Impasse

By mach-kuol

The Big Bang of South Sudan is on since Sunday, 15th December 2013. It started as an internal political conflict on power monopoly within the SPLM party. It developed into military violence involvement from the Presidential Guards and the rest of sectors of SPLA within the context of Dinka-Nuer tribal mistrust. Call it coup d’état, mutiny or shoot-out but the fact is that lives and livelihoods have been lost senselessly.

The use of violence spread to civilians lynching of Nuer tribe within Juba and Dinka lynching in Jonglei, Upper Nile and Unity States. Prominent SPLM party leaders who opposed Salva Kiir got arrested on coup charges. No one got killed.

The situation forced the Nuer tribe in Juba and Dinka tribe in Bentieu and other troubled parts of South Sudan to run for their dear lives and seek refuge in the premises of UNMISS.  It led to reactionary more rebellion of some armed groups within the SPLA against the government of South Sudan.

This has become more complicated with possible development of more unforeseen complications. That is, a possible shift from South Sudanese Dinka-Nuer tribalism to South Sudan Equatoria regionalism – neo-kokora-ism.

Equatorians have been silent but it could be sensed this would get broken soon, especially when the Mundari, Toposa and other violence-loving Equatorians have been called in to get heavy arms. Do you think the Equatorians will use these arms to defend Dinka Government of Salva Kiir by fighting the Nuer rebels of Dr. Riek Machar?

Since civilized politics is no longer working in South Sudan now, the Equatoria mounting militarism is going to be an inevitable game-changer. Once they have armed themselves to teeth for harm, the Equatorians as a strong bloc would have gained the necessary power to give Mr. Salva Kiir two tough choices:

1) To resign and hand power to a neutral Equatorian (but not Mr. Wani Igga) so that the Dinka-Nuer mess could be cleared and stability restored in the country.

2) If he refuses to resign willingly, Mr. Salva Kiir should leave Juba and go and rule his government in Greater Bahr el Ghazal in the same way Dr. Riek left to rule his rebel forces in Greater Upper Nile. Regionalism is back, tribalism is neutralized!

However, it is not known whether this impasse is going to end in determinism or it will continue to be a chaotic chance whose fate becomes more worrying as each day passes.

The Foreign Ministers and Heads of State of IGAD member countries got in to find an exit but to no avail up to now. Though some of them offered military assistance to Government of Salva Kiir, the bad news seems unending.

The US, UN, UK, EU, China and others have released statements for calm and restoration of peace but nothing got through.

The IGAD mediators invited the warring parties to Addis Ababa for peace talks but more days are passing with no better good news coming out any sooner. The loosed Pandora Box couldn’t get locked. More complications are getting in day by day.

Cessation of hostilities and ceasefire is not coming through despite the 72 hours ultimatum from China. The Government of Salva Kiir is refusing to release the political detainees unconditionally. The rebels of Dr. Riek Machar are rejecting ceasefire without release of the political detainees who they call as their allies.

But even if cessation of hostilities and ceasefire has to be signed and declared, still the question of who is going to control the oil money would remain toughest to answer. Dr. Riek has already proposed that the money be deposited in an account of an international neutral body. Mr. Salva Kiir has rejected the proposal and is insisting that the oil money should continue to be under control of his government.

If both of them fail to agree on whose account the oil money is going to be deposited, the oil production is going to stop. Even if Uganda Museveni and Sudan al-Bashir send troops (both on land and in air) to bail out the government of Salva Kiir, oil production is not going to continue in peace and without killings around the facilities. Technocrats and engineers hate to die by bullets. Hence, they shall not risk working in oil fields.

Security by arms and armaments rather than by the indigenous people will not help in creating peace around the oil fields. With arms in oil fields the government of South Sudan is going to get more troubles.

What is the solution then?

The exit from the current South Sudan impasse is going to come from an internal non-tribalized force backed-up by external pressure. This force is going to be found no-where else but in Greater Equatoria. It has to come in form of regionalism, which is a step forward in the right direction of federal system of government based on the three historic provinces of South Sudan rather than the ten states left behind by the NCP Islamic Sudan.

Retrospectively and introspectively, Greater Upper Nile has never been a cohesive bloc because it usually falls back to tribal traps in time of conflicts or power dividends. Also Greater Bahr el Ghazal has never thought of itself as encompassing Non-Dinka or Non-Dinkanized elements. The Dinka is not one ethnic group though they pretend to be so.

It is only in Greater Equatoria that the different tribes have been holding together as one cohesive bloc, though sometimes without an outstanding courageous charismatic leader.

The Equatorians need to come out from the historical weaknesses they have been having. They should stop of thinking to run to East Africa every time South Sudan is faced with acute internal problems and conflicts. They need to learn that South Sudan is their place and they should always sacrifice inside it to lead a solution.

The Equatorians should also avoid overreacting in response to problems created by the two major troublesome tribes of Greater Bahr el Ghazal and Greater Upper Nile, the Dinka and Nuer. They should start to know it with confidence that as a cohesive bloc, the people of Greater Equatoria are the top majority in South Sudan in terms of numbers. The hegemonic Dinka and Nuer should not scare them. After all, the bravest and fiercest warriors of South Sudan are found in Equatoria region.

Therefore, it is high time for Equatorians to demand from Mr. Salva Kiir to give in and hand over Presidential power to a neutral Equatorian known for characteristics of a statesman’s caliber. If this demand is resisted, then the Equatorians should not hesitate to expel by force Mr. Salva Kiir from the land of Equatoria. The Nuer and those who want Salva Kiir to go home or to the grave will agree with these Equatorians’ conditions.

Let every region go back to its base so that a genuine federal unification of South Sudan nation could be discussed later after the so-called biggest tribes of South Sudan from Bahr el Ghazal and Upper Nile comes to their senses of respecting Equatorians.

The problem came from the attempts by Mr. Salva Kiir and his SPLM to create a country of tribes. The solution will come from the intervention by Equatorians to enforce a state of federative regions of South Sudan. Thus, the Equatorians governors and other leaders should not continue to be dull or coward and acting as lesser-class citizens.

The struggle for liberation for South Sudan was launched in Equatoria in 1955. I have no doubt that it is in Equatoria that the genuine start for federal nation-building is going to be launched in 2014. The time is now and it is Equatoria turn to save South Sudan!


We Want Peace, Not War in South Sudan
By Daughters of South Sudan in Sisterhood for Peace
January 9, 2014
To: H. E. Salva Kiir Mayardit, President
Republic of South Sudan
To: Hon. Dr. Riek Machar Teny, Deputy Chairperson
Sudan People’s Liberation Movement Party
Dear President Kiir and Dr. Machar,
It is with profound sadness that we learned of the recent hostilities among our people in our young beloved country. We, the daughters of South Sudan in the Sisterhood for Peace Network, are concerned about the violence that has claimed so many innocent lives. We are once again reminded of our painful past history during which our people underwent unfathomable suffering, a reason why we opted for independence. The conflict has also left many people wounded and displaced without basic amenities. We are concerned that many precious lives will be wasted especially those of vulnerable women, children, and elderly and particularly the young people who are already fighting. Lest you forget, we are writing to remind you of that long journey to freedom that paved the path for our independence where many souls paid the ultimate price.  We are here to tell you that PEACE is the precious commodity the people of South Sudan so need now, not tomorrow.
The conflict that broke out on December 15, 2013 is spreading throughout the country and has already affected all South Sudanese regardless of our, tribe, region, religion, or gender. Once again, we are witnessing the same horrors that our country experienced during the previous decades of wars. After less than three years of independence, we feel like we are back to square one in war again.
President Kiir and Dr. Machar, we call upon you as our esteemed leaders to save our country from further senseless violence. Our people have endured enough. Our citizens hope to invest in rebuilding their lives, but many are now dying from bullets of war, and preventable diseases and hunger caused directly by the bullets.  We are equally hurt to see our own brothers pointing lethal weapons against one another, which imposes another dreadful trauma on our mothers and children and all the nation.
We, the women of South Sudan at home and in the Diaspora, will not watch silently as our mothers, fathers, sisters, brothers, sons, and daughters suffer this way. We stand for peace and unity among our people. We demand an end to the violence, especially all acts of violence against civilians. We call for the implementation of reconciliation processes to bring healing to those physically, emotionally and spiritually wounded.
We applaud the efforts underway in Addis Ababa to negotiate a meaningful peace agreement. We ask both sides to make earnest efforts to reach a compromise and bring an end to the suffering of our people. Once again, we are observing the lack of women at the peace talks. Women are always the innocent victims of such conflicts and should therefore be part of the resolution. We urge you to abide by the UN Security Council Resolutions 1325 and 1820 on women, peace and security, affirm our commitment to work for sustainable peace and justice in our country ensure the vital role of women’s voices at the peace table.
We request the following as the negotiations continue in Addis Ababa:
  •  Establish and enforce an immediate ceasefire between opposing forces.
  •  Restore security and guarantee the protection of civilians.
  • Prioritize humanitarian access to displaced persons in the camps with protection for those who work with the displaced communities.
  •  Ensure that women are included at the negotiation table.
  • Ensure the participation of members of civil society at the peace negotiations.

We believe in your ability to stop the killings and restore sustainable peace in the country and hope you will stop the military solution in order to end the hostilities for peace to exist among us. May God bless your efforts to bringing permanent peace to our people and nation.

Sincerely,

Daughters of South Sudan

Sisterhood for Peace network

The Sisterhood for Peace is a network of women that reflects the geographic, religious, racial and ethnic diversity of women from both Republic of South Sudan and Republic of Sudan who are committed to promoting peace, justice, human rights and gender equality throughout all South Sudan and Sudan.
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Sisterhood for Peace is a project of My Sister’s Keeper • 40 Walk Hill St. · Boston, Massachusetts 02130  • Email: sisters@mskeeper.org · www.mskeeper.org