Ceasefire & Transitional Security Arrangements Monitoring Mechanism (CTSAMM)
PRESS RELEASE: CTSAMM Reports on Violations
The mandate of Ceasefire & Transitional Security Arrangement Monitoring Mechanism (CTSAMM) based on Chapter II of the Agreement on the Resolution of the Conflict in South Sudan (ARCSS) is to monitor and verify the implementation of the implementation Permanent Ceasefire and Transitional Security Arrangements (PCTSA). Through the extensive investigative work done by the Monitoring and Verification Teams (MVTs) under CTSAMM, incidents of conflict, allegations of violations and breach of the PCTSA by the two parties; SPLA and SPLM/A have been investigated and reports combined.
There are eight (8) investigative documents of which seven (7) areviolations of the PCTSA. The reports are as follows:
- CTSAMM Report 70 – Violations in Juba
- CTSAMM Report 71 – Violation in Leer Area, Upper Nile
- CTSAMM Report 72 – Violations in Unity State
- CTSAMM report 73 – Alleged violations in DigalaBoma, Central Equatoria
- CTSAMM Report 74 – Violations in the Malakal Area
- CTSAMM Report 75 – Alleged violations in Juba
- CTSAMM report 76 – Fighting in Nassir, Upper Nile State
- CTSAMM REPORT 77 – Monitoring Report January 2017
The documents attached to the press release offer incident summary, assessments and recommendations to the warring by CTSAMM. The information has been condensed, however to obtain a comprehensive report of the publications, please visit the CTSAMM website at: ctsammsouthsudan.org.
Communications Office, February 10, 2017
SUMMARY OF VIOLATION REPORTS
CTSAMM Report 70 – Violations in Juba
- Incident Summary: On the evening of 15 June 2016, in two separate but related incidents, Government National Security Service (NSS) personnel attacked personnel of the Office of the (then) First Vice President (FVP). These incidents were initially reported to this forum at a CTSAMM meeting in June 2016 when an interim report was presented. In the first incident, armed NSS personnel halted a motor vehicle and apprehended its sole occupant, a Protocol Driver for the FVP. After confiscating his pistol, ammunition, and cellular phones, NSS officials tied, blindfolded, and beat him. They then took him to an unknown location where they continued beating him and threatened to kill him. The second incident involved another FVP Protocol motor vehicle, in this instance carrying two occupants. NSS soldiers fired approximately six rounds of automatic weapons fire at this second vehicle after its driver failed to comply with their orders to pull over as it was driving past the first vehicle that had already been halted by NSS.
- CTSAMM Assessment: The results of investigations indicate that Government Forces NSS soldiers inflicted unprovoked and gratuitous violence upon personnel operating and occupying Protocol vehicles assigned to the Office of the SPLM/A-IO FVP. These acts of violence against officials of the FVP were wholly unjustified under any reasonable interpretation of the circumstances. It is the opinion of the CTSAMM that the NSS officers involved in these incidents acted in violation of the PCTSA.
- CTSAMM Recommendation: Members of the security forces who act improperly should be held to account. CTSAMM would like to express concern that members of NSS appear to be able to act with impunity. This is not the case – they are subject to both national and international law in the same way as other security services.
CTSAMM Report 71 – Violation in Leer Area, Upper Nile
- Incident Summary: It was alleged by the Government that on 19 June 2016, a Government Forces patrol at the Leer airstrip were attacked by SPLM/A-IO soldiers stationed nearby and chased up to the INGOs Compound by the airstrip, creating a lot of fear and insecurity. Three SPLA and two IO soldiers were wounded.
- CTSAMM Assessment: It is the opinion of CTSAMM that the Government Forces patrol were in violation of the PCTSA. Although there is no evidence to suggest this incident was officially ordered or organised, it was the Government Forces patrol which took provocative actions which led to the subsequent clash.
- CTSAMM Recommendation: This incident happened a long time ago. However, there are lessons to be learned, specifically that Government Forces must impose discipline on their troops in order to prevent this sort of incident. It was not a major incident, but it could have escalated into something far more serious.
CTSAMM Report 72 – Violations in Unity State
- Incident Summary: It was alleged by the Government that IO forces attacked Rubkwai Barracks and headquarters of the County Commissioner in Mayendit County, Unity State on 26 June 2016, resulting in three Government Forces soldiers killed and two others wounded. However, the SPLM/A-IO alleged that some Government Forces soldiers defected and were followed and it was this that led to the clash which resulted one SPLM/A-IO soldier killed and nine seriously wounded.
- CTSAMM Assessment: Following a thorough investigation it is the opinion of CTSAMM that in this instance it was the SPLA-IO who violated the PCTSA by attacking the Government Forces position.
- CTSAMM Recommendation: CTSAMM recommends that when the situation allows troops from all Parties are kept apart. If the cantonment plan is eventually implemented this should have the desired effect, but in the short term CTSAMM, JMCC and other agencies should try to facilitate local arrangements in order to stop these incidents from happening.
CTSAMM report 73 – Alleged violations in Digala Boma, Central Equatoria
- Incident Summary: In line with the Peace Agreement that some SPLA in Juba be redeployed 25 km away from the city, 700 soldiers of the 3rd Division were redeployed to DigalaBoma, Rajaf County in Central Equatoria without informing and consulting the community elders and chiefs in advance. This took place in March 2016. The local people accused the SPLA soldiers of taking their land, looting crops and materials, harassment and displacement of local villagers. In particular, there were credible reports of the attempted rape of two women.
- CTSAMM Assessment: There is no doubt that the lives of civilians living in Digala were significantly affected by the presence of the SPLA soldiers. There is also no doubt that the discipline of these soldiers was bad. They were also not well administered, which led to them stealing food from the local people and harassing women. The MVT concluded that the alleged attempted rape did take place, but that it was not possible to identify the perpetrators.
- CTSAMM Recommendation: Planned redeployment sites remain an option for the future implementation of the PCTSA. When such sites are established, it is important that they are kept away from civilian settlements, and that every effort is made to ensure the troops remain disciplined and good relations are maintained with local communities.
CTSAMM Report 74 – Violations in the Malakal Area
- Incident Summary: The security situation in the Malakal area was tense throughout the 2016. There were multiple reports of fighting and a series of violations by both parties. On 14 October there were clashes between SPLM/A-IO forces and Government Forces at Warjowk and Lelo. The allegations were made by JMCC, stating that the SPLM/A-IO had attacked government held positions by a bombardment and ground attack and in so doing had breached the PCTSA. MVT Malakal conducted an investigation into the incidents from 28 October until 13 November 2016. The facts of the ground attack were confirmed but the bombardment could not be verified. There were counter claims made by SPLM/A-IO that the attack (which they admitted committing) had been in response to a Government Forces attack on 13 October 2016. There were also claims that Government Forces caused civilians casualties in Wau-Shilluk as part of a response to the ground attack. Neither of these counter claims could be verified.
- CTSAMM Assessment: CTSAMM concluded that the SPLM/A-IO did indeed attack government positions in Lelo and Warjowk on 14 Oct 2016 in violation of Article 1.7 of the PCTSA.
- CTSAMM Recommendation: Given the frequency with which violent clashes occur in the area, CTSAMM recommends that JMEC and JMCC work at the political level to find a solution that will help to reduce the risks of future conflict.
CTSAMM Report 75 – Alleged violations in Juba
- Incident Summary: On 3 September 2016 an SSNPS officer was killed near to the UN Protection of Civilians (POC) site in Juba. On 9 September there was an armed attack against an SSNPS checkpoint again near to POC 3 which resulted in the wounding of an SSNPS officer. The Government alleged that both these incidents were perpetrated by SPLM/A-IO personnel operating from within POC 3.
- CTSAMM Assessment: After an extensive investigation the JTC concluded that the incidents did take place as described, but there was no evidence that identified the attackers. It was therefore not possible to conclude whether or not the incidents constituted violations of the PCTSA.
- CTSAMM Recommendation: There are sporadic outbreaks of violence in or near the POC sites in Juba. CTSAMM recommends that all stakeholders examine ways of reducing tensions in and around these POC sites.
CTSAMM report 76 – Fighting in Nassir, Upper Nile State
- Incident Summary: From late November to late December 2016 a series of clashes took place between the SPLA and SPLM/A-IO. Then from 26 December to 5 January Government Forces undertook a series of offensive operations directed at SPLM/A-IO positions surrounding Nassir, including those south of the Sobat River. Helicopter gunships and an aircraft dropping bombs were deployed by the Government during operations south of the Sobat River. The Government Forces commander in Nassir stated clearly that his troops had attacked and taken SPLM/A-IO positions.
- CTSAMM Assessment: It is the opinion of the CTSAMM that by initiating offensive operations against SPLM/A-IO forces in the Nassir area, Government Forces have been in clear violation of the PCTSA.
- CTSAMM Recommendation: CTSAMM recommends that a strong message be sent to the Parties that offensive operations of this nature must stop if the peace process is to proceed. The blatant use of helicopter gunships and air-dropped bombs provides highly-visible evidence that in the Nassir area at least the Government is ignoring the provisions of the PCTSA.
CTSAMM REPORT 77 – Monitoring Report January 2017
- Summary: Patrolling is a key way in which CTSAMM MVT’s monitor compliance with the PCTSA, maintain contact with stakeholders and develop their understanding of the situation on the ground. CTSAMM is increasing the number of long-range patrols to areas where there are no MVT’s. Recent patrols visited the areas of Yei, Mundri, Maridi, Raja and Pariang, and found that in general both Government and opposition forces are not compliant with the provisions of the PCTSA: conflict continues and the civilian population is subject to looting, rape, freedom of movement restrictions and killing. Awareness of both the ARCSS and PCTSA is limited.
- CTSAMM Assessment: CTSAMM will continue to extend its long-range patrolling programme, with an emphasis on monitoring compliance with the PCTSA, disseminating information about the PCTSA and making and maintaining contact with all stakeholders.
- CTSAMM Recommendation: CTSAMM recommends that JMEC and all stakeholders do all in their power to not only disseminate the key provisions of the PCTSA, but also ensure compliance by both civil and military authorities. Ethnic tensions need to be addressed, and there must be inclusive political dialogue to stop continued conflict.
CTSAMM – Ceasefire and Transitional Security Arrangements Monitoring Mechanism
FVP – First Vice President
INGO – International Non-Governmental Organization
JMEC – Joint Monitoring and Evaluation Commission
JMCC – Joint Military Ceasefire Commission
MVTs – Monitoring and Verification Teams
NSS – National Security Service
PCTSA – Permanent Ceasefire and Transitional Security Arrangements
SPLA – Sudan People’s Liberation Army
SPLM/A-IO – Sudan People’s Liberation Movement/Army in Opposition
About CTSAMM: The Ceasefire & Transitional Security Arrangement Monitoring Mechanism (CTSAMM) is headed by Gen. Molla Hailemariam. The CTSAMM was established following the signing of the Agreement on the Resolution of the Conflict in South Sudan (ARCSS) in August 2015. The peace agreement stipulates that the CTSAMM shall be responsible for monitoring and verifying the implementation Permanent Ceasefire and Transitional Security Arrangements (PCTSA) as laid out in Chapter II of the ARCSS and the subsequent PCTSA workshops that took place thereafter. (www.ctsammsouthsudan.org)
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