South Sudan Must Address Issues of Ethnicity To End Crisis

A former Nigerian Ambassador to Liberia, Adeboyega Ariyo, has said that his predictions about South Sudan at the point of secession are coming to pass, a situation he expresses sadness about.

Speaking to Channels Television, Ambassador Ariyo pointed out that the crisis was likely to continue, as more ethnic groups were likely to arise and claim their rights.

“The cause of the crisis is ethnicity and it must be addressed. Every man wants to be at the top.

“I predicted that if the South Sudan breaks away from Sudan, they will have ethnic challenges and it will lead to more countries coming out from Sudan,”

“I am not happy that what I suggested will happen is now happening just within two years I predicted it will happen. We should be coming together and not splitting into pieces. The smaller we are individually, the less important we are in the scheme of things,” he stated.

The ambassador pointed out that the persons that called for the secession took a lot of things for granted.

“They did not consider the right of any group to develop to higher level of state of things and their economic right.

“It would have been better if southern Sudan was not created. They should have found an accommodation to solve the problem of Sudan,” he stressed.

He listed the problems of Arabism and territorial democracy as the major issues Sudan had, saying that Sudan should have tackled the problems instead of the secession.

He called on the negotiators to address the issues of ethnicity, before other ethnic groups come up to claim their rights.

“Most of the referendum that ought to have been done is left undone,” he pointed out.

Ambassador Ariyo called on the international community come to the realisation that breaking African countries would create more problems for the continent.

Fighting Erupts In South Sudan Flashpoint Town, Sanctions Loom

South Sudanese forces fought rebels on the outskirts of the flashpoint town of Bor on Tuesday, its mayor said, as a deadline imposed by East African nations for an end to hostilities neared.

Two weeks of fighting have killed more than a thousand people in the world’s youngest country, raising the specter of civil war and unnerving oil markets.

The African Union threatened targeted sanctions late on Monday against those inciting the violence and hampering international efforts to negotiate an end to the fighting that risks drawing in the wider region.

“We are fighting the rebels now,” Mayor Nhial Majak Nhial told Reuters by phone from the edge of Bor, which lies 190 km (120 miles) to the north of the capital, Juba, by road.

Nhial said he was positioned on the frontline. As he spoke he barked orders to the government soldiers around him.

“Go, go. Do it,” he shouted, with sustained volleys of gunfire audible in the background.

The clashes erupted on December 15 with fighting among a group of soldiers in the capital, Juba. The violence quickly spread to half of the country’s ten states, cleaving the nation along the ethnic faultline of rebel leader Riek Machar’s Nuer group and President Salva Kiir’s Dinka.

The scene of a massacre of Dinka in 1991 by Nuer fighters loyal to Machar, Bor is inaccessible to journalists. It was briefly seized by the rebels early in the conflict before being retaken by government troops after several days of heavy fighting.

South Sudan’s neighbors have given the warring factions until the end of Tuesday to lay down their arms and begin negotiations – but there has been no sign of the hostilities ending.

Ugandan President Yoweri Museveni said on Monday east African nations had agreed to move in and defeat former Vice President Machar if he rejected a government ceasefire offer. There was no immediate confirmation of the pact from other nations.

But Museveni’s words demonstrated the scale of regional worry over the fighting, that has reached some of South Sudan’s oil fields, forcing a cut in output.

At a meeting in Gambia in West Africa, the AU said it was dismayed and disappointed by the bloodletting that comes two years after South Sudan won independence from its northern neighbor, Sudan.

“(Council) expresses its intention to take appropriate measures, including targeted sanctions, against all those who incite violence, including along ethnic lines, continue hostilities (and) undermine the envisaged inclusive dialogue,” the AU’s Peace and Security Council said.

South Sudan Agrees Truce After Meeting In Nairobi

East African leaders who are meeting in Nairobi have said that the government of South Sudan has agreed to an immediate end to fighting with rebels.

Welcoming the commitment from President Salva ‘s government, they urged rebel leader Riek Machar to do likewise, as fighting continued.

Mr Machar however told BBC News that conditions for a truce were not yet in place.  Although, he confirmed that two of his allies had been freed from custody, he called for the other nine to be released too.

The release of the 11 politicians, accused of plotting a coup, has been a key rebel condition for any negotiations.

Recent fighting left at least 1,000 people dead, with fierce new battles reported in the town of Malakal, in oil-rich Upper Nile State.

More than 121,600 people have fled their homes in the world’s newest state, with about 63,000 seeking refuge at UN compounds across the country, according to a statement by the United Nations.

There has been no confirmation from President Kiir’s office that he has agreed to end the hostilities in his power struggle with Mr Machar, his former vice-president, where members of Mr Kiir’s Dinka ethnic group and Mr Machar’s Nuer community have both been targeted in the violence.

East African regional leaders, who make up an eight-member bloc known as IGAD, held talks in the Kenyan capital Nairobi a day after the leaders of Kenya and Ethiopia met Mr Kiir in South Sudan’s capital, Juba.

They said they would not accept a violent overthrow of the government in South Sudan and called on the government and rebels to meet for talks within four days.

President Kiir did not attend the talks in Nairobi nor did any representative of Mr Machar.

After meeting Mr Kiir on Friday morning, US envoy Donald Booth said: “He confirmed he is moving forward to arrange a cessation of hostilities throughout the country.”

The US diplomat was also quoted by Reuters News Agency as saying Mr Kiir had agreed to release eight out of 11 politicians detained over the alleged coup plot.

“We were very encouraged to hear the president reiterate that with the exception of three… officials who have been detained… the others will be released very shortly,” Mr Booth said, according to Reuters.

Speaking to BBC World Service by satellite phone “from the bush”, Mr Machar said he was ready for talks but any ceasefire had to be negotiated by delegations from the two sides, with a mechanism agreed to monitor it.

Saying that he had the allegiance of all rebel forces in South Sudan, he called for the release of all 11 detainees.

Violence has continued through the week with conflicting reports on Friday about the situation in Malakal, capital of Upper Nile State, where some 12,000 people have been sheltering at a UN base.

South Sudan President Suspends Two Ministers In Fraud Inquiry

South Sudanese President Salva Kiir has suspended two key ministers in a fraud investigation, the government said on Wednesday.

Western donors have warned South Sudan’s government that aid payments are at risk unless it tackles the corruption undermining development in a country devastated from decades of civil war with Sudan, from which it seceded in 2011.

Last year, Kiir wrote to 75 current and former officials to ask them to return $4 billion in “stolen” public money, but no senior figure had been publicly put under investigation until now.

Kiir has now lifted the immunity of Cabinet Affairs Minister Deng Alor Kuol and Finance Minister Kosti Manibe Ngai and suspended them pending an investigation into the procurement of fireproof safes for Alor’s ministry for $8 million, according to a government decree released on Wednesday.

It said the payment had been approved by the Finance Ministry, and that a high-level committee would determine whether there was “an element of fraud and forgery exercised in this process of transfer and payments”.

South Sudan has been struggling to set up functioning state institutions since gaining independence from Khartoum in 2011 under a peace deal that ended the civil war.

The government is largely made up of former rebel commanders who dislike scrutiny and have little experience of economic management. Financial oversight is weak.

Samuel Dhong, secretary-general of the South Sudan Law Society, which promotes the rule of law, welcomed the suspensions but said it remained to be seen whether the men would be charged.

“We have experienced this kind of action, but the problem is that they don’t reach a logical conclusion at the end of the day,” he said.

He pointed to an investigation led by the same committee chairman into the theft of 176,000 South Sudanese pounds (around $45,000) from Kiir’s office in March. It concluded that office staff assisted in the theft but did not name anyone.

Decades of conflict and economic neglect have left South Sudan with some of the worst health and education statistics on the planet. Few paved roads exist outside the capital Juba.

South Sudan Attack Leaves Over 100 Dead

More than 100 people have been killed in South Sudan in an attack by rebels and ethnic allies on a convoy of families from a rival tribe and their cattle, an official said on Sunday.

Since breaking from Sudan in 2011, oil-producing South Sudan has struggled to assert control over remote territories awash with weapons after a 1983-2005 war with the north and torn by ethnic rivalries.

The attack on Friday was the worst violence in Jonglei State since 900 people were killed there in tribal attacks linked to cattle rustling in 2011, the United Nations said.

Rebels loyal to former theology student David Yau Yau and members of the Murle community had killed 103 people, most of them women and children, in the ambush on ethnic Lou Nuer families, state governor Kuol Manyang said.

“They came under attack from people in a huge force,” he told Reuters. “There are many children and women missing. Their fate is not yet known.”

Fourteen soldiers escorting the convoy were also killed, he said.

The International Committee of the Red Cross said it had sent a medical team to treat the wounded.

Yau Yau rebelled in July last year. He recruited armed youths antagonized by a government campaign to end tribal violence in Jonglei, which human rights groups say was marked by abuses by soldiers.

More than 1,500 people have been killed in Jonglei since independence, according to the United Nations.

South Sudan accuses Sudan of dropping weapons and ammunition to Yau Yau’s rebels, an allegation denied by Khartoum.

The violence in Jonglei is hindering government plans to explore a major oil concession with the help of France’s Total.

 

 

South Sudan Attack Leaves More Than 100 Dead

Sudan/South Sudan Faceoff: Jonathan backs peaceful resolution

President Goodluck Jonathan pledged Tuesday in the FCT; Abuja that Nigeria will continue to work with other African Nations to ensure a peaceful resolution of all outstanding disputes between Sudan and South Sudan.

Speaking at an audience with the Vice President of Sudan, Dr. Adam Yousuf, President Jonathan said that Nigeria will work through the African Union’s Peace and Security Council and the African Union’s Authority of Heads of State and Government to achieve a resolution of the disagreement between Sudan and South Sudan over Abyei District that will be acceptable to both countries.

The President assured Dr. Yousuf who delivered a special message from President Omar El-Bashir to him, that he will confer with other African leaders ahead of the next meeting of the AU Peace and Security Council on the Abyei dispute.

Welcoming the briefing given to him by Dr. Yousuf on Sudan’s current position on efforts to resolve the dispute, President Jonathan said that Nigeria was committed to ensuring that all possible options for a peaceful and enduring resolution of the dispute are fully explored.

Dr. Yousuf assured President Jonathan of Sudan’s readiness for continued dialogue towards the peaceful resolution of the dispute over Abyei.

He told the President that Sudan was already doing its best to implement the nine agreements signed with South Sudan in Addis Ababa last month on other issues arising from the separation of both countries.

South Sudanese runner to race under Olympic flag

A marathon runner born in what is now South Sudan will be allowed to run under the Olympic flag in London, the International Olympic Committee said on Saturday.

Guor Marial will run with the Olympic flag because South Sudan is yet to become a member of IOC

 

As a 16-year-old Guor Marial moved to the United States, where he has permanent resident status.

Given South Sudan, the world’s newest country recognised only last year, has not yet established a national Olympic Committee – and so cannot send a team to the Games starting next week – Marial was unable to represent that country.

As he is not a U.S. citizen, he was also ineligible to take part for the Americans.

The IOC had initially suggested Marial run for Sudan, which has invited him to join their team, the runner told AlertNet, a humanitarian news service run by Thomson Reuters Foundation.

Marial, who lost 28 members of his family in the civil war, refused.

Sudan and South Sudan came close to all-out war in April following border clashes, the worst violence since South Sudan seceded and declared its independence from Khartoum a year ago under a 2005 peace agreement that ended decades of civil war.

The 28-year-old reached the Olympic qualification time in October last year and improved his personal best in San Diego, California, last month, finishing in two hours 12 minutes 55 seconds.

Three athletes from the former Netherland Antilles will also compete under the Olympic flag.

Sudan bombs S.Sudan border area, kills 3

Sudanese warplanes carried out air strikes on South Sudan on Monday, killing three people near a southern oil town, residents and military officials said, three days after South Sudan pulled out of a disputed oil field.

Soldiers of South Sudan's SPLA army shout at a military base in Bentiu

A Reuters reporter at the scene, outside the oil town of Bentiu, said he saw a fighter aircraft drop two bombs near a river bridge between Bentiu and the neighbouring town of Rubkona.

“I can see market stalls burning in Rubkona in the background and the body of a small child burning,” he said.

Mac Paul, deputy head of South Sudan’s military intelligence, said two Sudanese MiG-29s had dropped four bombs in the area. “This is a serious escalation and violation of the territory of South Sudan. It’s a clear provocation,” Paul said.

Sudan’s armed forces spokesman was not immediately available to comment.

Weeks of border fighting between the two neighbours have brought the former civil war foes closer to a full-blown war than at any time since the South seceded in July.

Immediate tensions eased after the South said on Friday it would withdraw from Heglig, a disputed oil region which is central to Sudan’s economy, but the South has accused Khartoum of bombing its territory since then.

On Sunday Sudan denied the charges and said instead it had repulsed a “major” attack on a strategic border state town by rebels it says are backed by South Sudan.

The countries are still at loggerheads over the demarcation of their shared border and other disputes have halted nearly all the oil production that underpins both economies.

South Sudan won its independence in a referendum that was promised in a 2005 peace accord that ended decades of civil war between Khartoum and the south. Religion, ethnicity and oil fuelled that conflict, which killed about 2 million people.

Recent tensions between Sudan and South Sudan have been fuelled by a dispute over how much the landlocked South should pay to export oil via Sudan.

South Sudan attack: 5 die, several injured

Five people lost their lives while several others were wounded after an airplane dropped bombs in Rubkona, South Sudan on Saturday.

According to a military spokesman Col. Philip Aguer, the bombs hit a market area in the town at one pm, while another town  in the state, Abiemnom County, as well as two other counties, were also attacked.

But Al-Sawarmi Khalid, a spokesman for the Sudanese Armed Forces, says, “We have not carried out attacks into South Sudan.”

South Sudan gained independence from the north in July, the result of a referendum overwhelmingly approved by voters last year.

The referendum was part of a 2005 peace deal that ended decades of civil war between the two sides that killed about 2 million people.

When they separated, South Sudan acquired three-quarters of Sudan’s oil reserves. The two countries have been locked in negotiations over how much the landlocked South Sudan should pay to use a pipeline and processing facilities in the north.

In late July, South Sudan halted oil production after accusing Sudan of “stealing” $815 million worth of its crude. Sudan said it confiscated the oil to make up for unpaid fees.

Tribal clash in Libya kills 20, injures 40


Atleast 40 were wounded while 20 people were killed on Monday in the city of Sabha in southern Libya when clashes erupted between two rival militias.

Local council member Ahmed Abdelkadir said clashes first broke out on Sunday between former rebel fighters from Sabha and gunmen from the Tibu tribe after a Sabha man was killed in a dispute over a car. He said the militias opened fire at each other on the outskirts of Sabha.

A local doctor, Ibrahim Misbah, said 20 fighters died of gunshot wounds and more than 40 people were wounded.

“The numbers are from the Sabha side only. The Tibu wounded are being taken to a different hospital,” he said by phone.

Sabha fighter Oweidat al-Hifnawi said the fighting centered around the airport road and that at one point Tibu fighters controlled the entrance of the airport.

“The airport is now under our control but it is not functioning at the moment,” Hifnawi said.

The clashes come as the ruling National Transitional Council (NTC) struggles to assert its authority across Libya, where rival militias and tribal groups are jostling for power and resources following the fall of Gaddafi.

“The situation is very dangerous and sensitive. We are following the situation and the army chief is working on sending a defence team to Sabha,” deputy interior minister Omar al-Khadrawi said.

The NTC is hampered by the lack of a coherent national army and has struggled to persuade the myriad militias who fought Gaddafi to put down their guns and join the armed forces and police.

Last month dozens of people were killed in days of clashes between tribes in the far southeastern province of Al Kufra. Armed forces eventually intervened to stop the fighting in a rare example of the Tripoli government imposing its authority.

Members of the Tibu ethnic group, who were also involved in fighting Kufra, are mainly found in Chad but also inhabit parts of southern Libya.

South Sudan to need Food Aid come 2012:U.N.

Poor harvests in the Southern region of Sudan has brought on the conclusion of the United Nations’ report that millions of people in the area will be needing food aid in 2012.

South Sudan

The region won its independence in July and since then the government of the south sudan had been struggling in the building of basic amenities in the country,end fracas,violence and above all overcome economic crisis.

The UN has also started moving aid from Nairobi with 12 metric tons of supplies recently dispatched to Maban, in South Sudan’s Upper Nile state. Supplies included plastic sheets, sleeping mats, blankets and mosquito nets, among other items.

The supplies worth 2.5 million dollars were later moved to Maban County in Upper Nile state where they were distributed to people displaced by fighting in the Blue Nile and Southern Kordofan states.

More than 80,000 people have fled to South Sudan from northern border states, where Khartoum’s army has been fighting insurgents for months.

WFP and the U.N. Food and Agriculture Organisation estimates that the young nation will have a shortfall of 400,000 metric tons of food in 2012.

Inflation climbed to 78.8 percent in November in the country of 8.3 million people.

Relations between Juba and Khartoum have soured in recent weeks as talks over post-independence issues such as oil, debt arrears, disputed areas and transitional financial assistance have broken down.

Sudan and South Sudan regularly trade accusations and denials of supporting insurgencies in each other’s country, although direct combat between the two armies broke out in a border area claimed by both sides.