Tuesday, February 18, 2014

Fresh fighting breaks out in South Sudan

----- Forwarded Message -----
From: Judy Miriga
To: "progressive-kenyans@googlegroups.com" ; Change Mombasa ; Mabadiliko ; "wanakenya@googlegroups.com"
Sent: Tuesday, February 18, 2014 8:30 AM
Subject: Fw: [wanabidii] South Sudan Rebels Recapture Malakal, Government Troops on the Run

Good People,

Oh!!! Something we loathed and wanted to avoid is now our fears.  The Big Cat "The Lion"
is on the loose and Museveni is now in trouble.  Museveni's troops in South Sudan is on
the run with South Sudanese struggling for Change for better governance are in hot pursuit
and this race might end at the doorsteps of Museveni's home tuff.  Who will help Museveni 
when fire begin to burn Uganda???  Why did Museveni refuse to listen to their IGAD, the
US and the UN ???

This looks like a war that will force Museveni with his troops out of South Sudan, having
refused to listen to the voice of reasons; to choose diplomacy rather than military........and
now his match in the military he will not contain........Will Museveni go back to IGAD???
This is a million dollar question.

Well, if that is the case, then it serves him right......................

Judy Miriga
Diaspora Spokesperson
Executive Director
Confederation Council Foundation for Africa Inc.,

----- Forwarded Message -----
From: Sudan News
To: wanabidii@googlegroups.com
Sent: Tuesday, February 18, 2014 3:31 AM
Subject: [wanabidii] South Sudan Rebels Recapture Malakal, Government Troops on the Run

Rebel forces loyal to the South Sudanese Former Vice President Dr. Riek Machar have recaptured Malakal in the early hours of Tuesday.
The rebels seized the capital of the oil-rich Upper Nile State early Tuesday after days of fierce fighting.
Rebels’ commander who spoke to the South Sudan News Agency on condition of anonymity said their troops have defeated combined forces of Uganda and South Sudan stationed in Malakal.
“They are running toward Paloch and our forces are pursuing them”, the source said.
More details to follow...


Fresh fighting breaks out in South Sudan

Associated Press

February 18th 2014.....................3 hours ago

JUBA, South Sudan (AP) — Fighting resumed in South Sudan after rebel forces attacked the capital of the oil-producing state of Upper Nile, a military official said Tuesday, in what appeared to be the heaviest clashes since both sides signed a ceasefire last month.
Fighting broke out early Tuesday in Malakal, which once was in rebel hands but is now controlled by government troops, said South Sudanese military spokesman Col. Philip Aguer.
"We were expecting it because the rebel commander in the area said he would not respect a ceasefire," he said.
Although the country's warring factions signed a ceasefire on Jan. 23, both sides have repeatedly accused each other of violating that agreement. The international community has repeatedly urged both sides to respect the ceasefire as peace talks continue in neighboring Ethiopia. Those talks have proceeded slowly.
Toby Lanzer, the United Nation's top humanitarian official in South Sudan, said on Twitter Tuesday that all groups "engaged in the violence must uphold people's rights and protect non-combatants." The U.N. says both sides have committed rights violations, and on Monday South Sudan's military announced more than 20 government soldiers had been charged over civilian killings.
Grace Cahill, a spokeswoman for Oxfam in South Sudan, said armed groups had gathered outside the U.N. compound in Malakal, where 27,000 people have been seeking shelter.
"The presence of armed groups outside the compound has made those inside very scared," she said.
Thousands of people have been killed and more than 800,000 displaced by violence since mid-December, when a fight broke out among presidential guards in the capital, Juba, before spreading out across the country. Ugandan forces are fighting alongside the South Sudanese military as it tries to put down a rebellion led by former Vice President Riek Machar, an influential politician whose dismissal last year sparked ethnic tension in a country with a history of divided military loyalties.
Machar is Nuer, the ethnic group of most of the soldiers who defected and joined his rebellion late last year. Most of the loyalist forces are from the Dinka ethnic group of President Salva Kiir, whose government insists that unrest in the country was sparked by a failed military coup mounted by soldiers loyal to Machar.
Machar denies the coup allegation but says his goal is to have Kiir removed from power.


Home | News     Tuesday 18 February 2014

S. Sudan rebels claim to have taken partial control of Malakal

February 18, 2014 (JUBA) – Sources from the South Sudanese rebels claimed to have recaptured much of the strategic oil-rich town of Malakal on Tuesday morning, adding that the whole state capital will be under their full control in a matter of hours.
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SPLA forces in the flashpoint town of Malakal in Upper Nile state (Reuters)
The sources further claimed Ugandan warplanes from Juba, the South Sudanese capital launched air attacks against the rebels around the Upper Nile state capital.
A Sudan Tribune reporter in the South Sudan capital said he saw military jet fighters on Tuesday taking off from Juba Airport and headed towards Malakal, a strategic town located 497km north-east of Juba.
“Our positions came under attacks by the government forces outside Malakal this morning and we had to strike back and pushed them back into Malakal. We have now recaptured about 70% of Malakal city and moving on,” said a military commander around Malakal who preferred anonymity because he was unauthorised to speak on behalf of the rebels.
Philip Aguer, the South Sudanese army (SPLA) spokesperson told Sudan Tribune that Malakal has, since Tuesday morning, been a scene of intense ongoing clashes.
"We do not have full information at the moment, but we shall know the clear information in the next three hours", Aguer said by phone and blamed the attack on forces loyal to South Sudan’s former vice-president, Riek Machar.
Toby Lanzer, the United Nations humanitarian coordinator in South Sudan confirmed the outbreak of hostilities in Malakal between rebels and government troops.
"All parties engaged in the violence must uphold people’s rights and protect non-combatants," he tweeted Tuesday.


Home | News     Tuesday 18 February 2014

South Sudan president admits forming private army

February 17, 2014 (JUBA) - South Sudan’s president, Salva Kiir, has admitted forming a private army widely believed to have played a key role in ethnic killings after clashes broke out between rival factions within the presidential guard on 15 December.
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South Sudan’s president, Salva Kiir, who rarely appears in military fatigues, addresses the nation in December 16, 2013 (Reuters)
Kiir made the surprise admission at a political function organised by the youth wing of the governing Sudan People’s Liberation Movement (SPLM) in the capital, Juba, on Saturday.
The president attempted to justify the formation of the unauthorised army, saying the intention was to have “a reserve force” to help the nation in the event military action was needed.
“It was on this basis that somebody mobilised and recruited some youth to the national service. Those who thought of mobilisation of the youth to be trained did not have bad intention. It was not a bad idea. Any country which does not have [a] reserve [force] always gets into difficulties”, Kiir told the audience at the meeting.
He accused some officials of having denied the new recruits their salaries and weapons while undergoing training as they were opposed to the idea.
“When these people were in the training, they were denied everything. They were denied salaries, weapons and all the things they were supposed to get because some people did not like the idea, but when this thing (the outbreak of violence) happened, they did not think about all that happened to them. Who are now fighting in Unity, in Malakal and Jonglei states?” Kiir said.
The gathering was attended by high-ranking government officials and members of the SPLM’s leadership council.
Vice-president James Wani Igga also addressed the gathering, which was attended by the speaker of the national parliament, Magok Rundial, as well as senior military officers and members from other political parties in the country.
Close to half a million people have been displaced since the conflict broke out in Juba, quickly spreading to other parts of the country as government troops loyal to Kiir and rebels aligned with former vice-president Riek Machar battled for control of strategic areas.
The conflict divided along ethnic lines, pitting members of Kiir’s Dinka tribe against supporters of Machar, who hails from the Nuer tribe.
Human Rights Watch (HRW) said a research team had documented widespread killings of Nuer men by members of the South Sudan army (SPLA) in Juba, particularly during the period between 15 to 19 December, including a massacre of between 200 and 300 men in the Gudele neighbourhood, after they were reportedly rounded up and forced into an overcrowded room in a government building before being shot.
Eyewitnesses and victims gave accounts of soldiers and policemen conducting house-to-house searches in the capital for Nuer men.
HRW also documented the targeting and killing of civilians of Dinka ethnicity by opposition forces in other parts of the country during the conflict.


Home | News     Tuesday 18 February 2014

S. Sudan admits mass defection of its army to Machar’s rebels

February 17, 2014 (JUBA/ADDIS ABABA) – South Sudanese government on Monday revealed officially for the first time a situation of mass defection of its troops to rebels led by the former vice- president, Riek Machar, calling for more involvement of foreign forces to “fill the gap.”
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Soldiers from South Sudan’s army patrol the streets of Malakal in the Upper Nile State of South Sudan on December 31, 2013 (AFP)
In parliamentary session organised to discuss the current violence with the rebels that started in mid-December, senior security leaders and lawmakers made the rare admission, which they claimed had become a threat to the administration unless outside help was sought.
The government’s chief whip, Tulio Odongi, who controls members of the ruling party in the parliament, told the national legislature on Monday that up to 70% of the army was becoming loyal to Riek Machar and defecting to the rebels’ side.
He appealed to the foreign “allied forces” not to withdraw from South Sudan until the current “weakness” was addressed.
Odongi further urged the president to urgently acquire air, land and river defense weapons in order to face the looming threat posed by the rebels.
The minister of interior, Aleu Ayieny, while addressing the parliament, also shared the grave concerns raised by the chief whip.
He said the greater Upper Nile region, which constitutes the largest presence and deployment of South Sudan army, has recently been hard by defections to the rebels.
Aleu further revealed that even the police force was defecting to the rebels, adding that his own ministry was “terribly affected” because many officers had defected to the rebels.
The parliament approved a supplementary budget of 749 million South Sudanese pounds (over $300m) to deal with the security threats.
Minister of defence, Kuol Manyang Juuk, had earlier on revealed that his government was financing the Uganda army in order to join the war against the rebels.
The renewed government’s call for more interventions by foreign forces came days after the United Nations and many other countries including US, Ethiopia, Kenya and Sudan warned of “regionalization of the conflict” and called for the withdrawal of the Ugandan army and other allied foreign forces from the new country.
Meanwhile South Sudanese rebels have confirmed defections from the government’s forces to their side and further warned of more imminent defections in the coming period.
“Majority in the army have now come to realize the root cause of the senseless violence. They have learnt that Salva Kiir instigated the violence,” Machar’s spokesperson James Gatdet Dak, told Sudan Tribune on Monday, warning of more defections from the government in the coming period.
He said the army now sees President Salva Kiir as “a war-mongering commander-in-chief who could do anything to kill his own people indiscriminately, fitting ethnic groups against each other and bringing foreign forces to help him kill more people and destroy properties just in order to remain in power.”
Dak further criticised the revelation that Juba was paying Kampala for the military activities of Ugandan People’s Defense Forces (UPDF) in South Sudan.
“You can now see how his dictatorial administration uses the public money, not to provide the badly needed basic services for the benefit of the suffering people of South Sudan, but to buy Uganda army and other allied militias from Sudan to kill his own people,” he further alleged.
The spokesperson for the South Sudan army, Philip Aguer, on Monday told reporters that the rebels were amassing their troops and closing in to recapture the strategic town of Malakal, which serves as the capital of the oil-rich state of Upper Nile.
“Today, forces of Riek Macahr are in Anagdiar, 15km from Malakal and our forces on the ground are saying the attacks are imminent,” he said, but said government’s troops were ready to repulse the rebels.
He, however, told the civilians to flee from the town if they wished so in order to escape from the imminent violence in the oil-rich city.
South Sudanese minister for petroleum, Stephen Dhieu Dau, also told reporters earlier that the rebels were too threatening to capture the oilfields, hundreds of kilometers east of Malakal.
But Machar spokesperson denied government’s version of the rebels advance, saying troops loyal to president Kiir were the ones attacking rebel positions around Malakal and that anti-government forces were pushing back the army in self-defense.
Dak further claimed that the government’s forces were also attacking their positions in Jonglei and Unity states.
He accused the government of continuous violations of the Cessation of Hostilities agreement signed on 23 January in Addis Ababa and said the rebels will be forced to fight back should the government continue dishonouring the agreements.
The two-month violence started between presidential guards in the new nation’s capital, Juba, and spread to the other three states.
Rebels say president Kiir who hails from the largest tribe, Dinka, instigated the violence when he attempted to disarm soldiers from Machar’s Nuer ethnic group in the presidential guards division in order to silent the opposition within the ruling (SPLM) party.
Kiir however said the violence was an attempted coup by Machar and his group of politicians in the party.
Talks have resume for the second time in the Ethiopian capital, Addis Ababa, to discuss the root causes of the conflict and resolve it.


By Leo Rom-Yieri
February 13, 2014 (SSNA) -- While the Peace Process hangs in the balance in Addis Aba...


  Friday 14 February 2014

Uganda’s withdrawal from S. Sudan a process, not on order: spokesperson

February 13, 2014 (JUBA) – A spokesperson for the Ugandan army said Friday that any move to withdraw its troops from South Sudan would be a process, not on order from western nations.
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Uganda army spokesperson Lt. Col. Paddy Ankunda (new vision)
Lt. Col. Paddy Ankunda made this remarks in the wake of recent demands from the United States for withdrawal of foreign troops involved in South Sudan’s conflict.
The participation of foreign forces, the US argued, contravenes the cessation of hostilities agreement reached on 23 January between South Sudan’s warring parties.
But Ankunda denied reports that Uganda had violated the ceasefire, only admitting its troops recently helped South Sudan army (SPLA) repel rebel threats in Jonglei state.
“What if violence rolls back into Bor, Juba after UPDF withdraw, will the US be there to help?” he asked.
The Ugandan military spokesperson also accused rebels loyal to South Sudan former vice-president Riek Machar of allegedlly killing 28 civilians at Kolyang East of Bor in Jonglei state.
“[They] also attacked Pariak village looting and pillaging,” he added.
Brig. Gen. Lul Ruai Koang, the military spokesman for SPLM/SPLA In Opposition on Friday claimed Ugandan warplanes spread aeriel bombardments in South Sudan’s Upper Nile State.


  Friday 14 February 2014

Mbeki calls for nonstop talks until peace deal is struck on Two Areas

“On 13-2-2014, government troops and thier allies attacked our forces at Anak-Diar 30km east of Malakal town and received air support during two hours of heavy fighting,” he said.
"Ground attacks and the bombing of our positions by Ugandan continued in Lakes state for the 4th day whereas on 13-2-2014, government forces and their allies attacked our forces at Gadiang some 90km north of Bor town in Jonglei state," he added.
"Both attacking forces were repulsed in Yirol, Anak-Diar and Gadiang".
The rebel spokesperson said Uganda’s involvement in the South Sudanese internal conflict remains the biggest obstacle to achieving peace.
"Museveni’s tireless efforts in undermining and defying regional and international powers calling for immediate withdrawal of his troops is mind boggling", he stressed.
February 13, 2014 (ADDIS ABABA) - Thabo Mbeki, the chair of the African Union High-Level Implementation Panel (AUHIP), called on Sudan’s warring parties to strike a peace deal ending the two-and-half-year conflict in South Kordofan and Blue Nile, as talks got under way on Thursday.
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The head of the Sudanese government negotiating team, Ibrahim Gandour (R), speaks at the opening session of peace talks aimed at ending war in South Kordofan and Blue Nile states, in Addis Ababa on 13 February 2014. The SPLM’s Yasir Arman appears at the extreme left of the table, while the mediators and UN envoy are pictured in the middle (Photo: AUHIP)
Speaking at the opening session in Ethiopian capital Addis Ababa, Mbeki exhorted the two parties to reach a durable peace agreement based on the 28 June 2011 framework agreement, which provides for the establishment of a political partnership between the two sides to settle the conflict in the Two Areas and restore democracy in Sudan.
“We will stay in Addis Ababa until un agreement is reached. I will borrow the keys from the management of this hotel to lock the doors so nobody will leave until an agreement is reached”, the chief mediator said.
Flanked by the UN special envoy for Sudans, Haile Menkerios, the chief mediator underlined that it is in the interests of the Sudanese people, as well as the regional and international community, that “these negotiations produce a kind of results that is expected”.
In their speeches at the opening session, (see the attached documents) the Sudanese government and chief negotiators from the rebel Sudan People’s LIberation Movement-North (SPLM-N), Ibrahim Gandour and Yasir Arman, reiterated their commitment to the peace process, as well as the decisions of the AU Peace and Security Council and UN resolution 2046 (2012) which refers to the 28 June framework agreement.
However, while Gandour insisted on the regional character of the process, pointing out that the purpose of the AUHIP-brokered talks is to settle the conflict in South Korodana and Blue Nile states, Arman strenuously defended their calls for a holistic approach to the peace process, involving all rebel groups and an inclusive constitutional conference.
The head of the government negotiating team referred to the address of Sudanese president Omer Hassan Al-Bashir on 27 January, where the latter called for a national dialogue and reiterated his commitment to end war and achieve peace among other four priorities, including public freedom, the constitution, elections, economy, poverty alleviation and discussions on Sudanese identity.
“We are here today to negotiate on the basis of the three African Union Peace and Security Council’s resolutions in 2012 and 2013 along with the UNSC resolution (2046), re-emphasising that the negotiations will only be confined to the three issues of the two areas, security, political and humanitarian”, Gandour said.
The presidential aid on the other hand reaffirmed Khartoum’s commitment to the tripartite humanitarian agreement signed on the 5 August 2012 to open humanitarian corridors for aid agencies to reach civilians in rebel-controlled areas in South Kordofan and Blue Nile.
However, the two parties failed to implement this agreement after failing to agree on the role of the Sudanese government’s humanitarian body, which demanded to supervise the whole operation.
The SPLM-N says UN peacekeepers in Abyei should transport humanitarian aid to rebel areas due to suspicions that government security agencies are infiltrating the humanitarian commission.
In his statement, Arman called for the implementation of the 28 June agreement “which will lead to a national constitutional process and a transitional government that carries the support of the massive majority of political parties and civil societies in the opposition and in the government”.
The SPLM-N secretary-general supported a comprehensive cessation of hostilities to stop war in the Two Areas and Darfur region.
He has called on the different existing forums for peace in Sudan unite, saying that continued war in the peripheral regions threatens the unity of the country, a reference to the secession of South Sudan.
“We call upon the Sudan government to accept one forum to end the war with the Sudan Revolutionary Front (SRF) and we believe that president Thabo Mbeki, the AUHIP and Mohamed Ibn Chambas, joint AU-UN special representative for Darfur, head of UNAMID and joint chief mediator, can work as one team to facilitate this new forum with the support of the African and international communities”, he said.
According to unconfirmed reports circulating in Addis Ababa, the mediation team has proposed the signing of a cessation of hostilities between the two warring parties.
Meanwhile, the UN resident and humanitarian coordinator in Sudan, Ali Al-Za’tari, on Thursday welcomed the renewed direct talks between the government and the SPLM-N, calling for an immediate cessation of hostilities allowing humanitarian teams to provide much needed support in the Two Areas.
Al-Za’tari has urged both parties to ensure that the welfare of civilians remains an absolute priority during talks, saying they are ready to deliver humanitarian aid once a truce is signed.
“Once agreement for a viable cessation of hostilities has been reached, the United Nations in Sudan stands ready to provide such assistance without delay, and once peace is established full development efforts should be started immediately”, he said.
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SPLM-N statement at the opening of peace talks on 13 February 2014
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Sudanese government statement at the opening session of peace talks in Addis Ababa on 13 February 2014

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