Monthly Archives: December 2011
December 31, 2011 (JUBA) – South Sudan’s Vice President, Riek Machar, has called on Lou-Nuer youth to implement the verbal agreement he reached with them on Wednesday 28 December and withdraw back to the Nuer territory. Machar warned them not to advance towards headquarters of the Murle community.
Vice President, Riek Machar, tells Lou-Nuer youth to withdraw from Linkwangale, Dec. 28, 2011 (ST)
Earlier this week, several thousand armed Lou-Nuer youth marched onto Murle land and captured a strategic payam [district] called Likwangole, which is about 25 kilometers from the county headquarters. The youth announced that they would continue to capture Pibor town and other payams and villages until the Murle community was completely “liberated and disarmed”.
The group claimed that they were carrying out a revenge attack for the killing of more than 700 of their members, mostly women and children, by armed youth from the Murle community in a village called Pieri in August.
According to the Vice President’s Press Secretary, James Gatdet Dak, who accompanied the Vice President to Pibor county, Machar flew to the isolated payam of Likwangole on Wednesday to try to convince the Lou-Nuer youth to withdraw and move back to their territory.
The youth, who at first refused to meet with Machar, finally agreed to withdraw on the condition that their wounded were evacuated first, before they withdrew to Lou-Nuer areas of Jonglei state.
The wounded were evacuated on Thursday and on Friday the Lou-Nuer youth informed the Vice President, who was spending the night with them. However instead of withdrawing as they had agreed the Luo Nuer youth diverted their route and headed towards the Pibor county headquarters.
Jonglei state, South Sudan. (Wiki Commons)
The Governor of Jonglei State, told the BBC on Friday that the youth were now demanding that the Lou-Nuer women and children who had been abducted must be handed over by the Murle community before they stop their attacks.
Juuk said that because the Lou Nuer were moving in the bush it be impossible for the UN to contain the violence. Most of South Sudan’s army is deployed on the border with north Sudan due unrest there in recent months, he said.
“We can’t work miracles,” he told the BBC.
The United Nations Mission in South Sudan (UNMISS) said that they had intercepted about six thousand armed Lou-Nuer youth moving toward Pibor county headquarters on Friday burning villages and taking cattle on the way.
According to the UN report, tens of thousands of civilians had already fled from Pibor town on Friday, into the bush in fear of imminent attack. UNMISS has already deployed a battalion of its troops in Pibor town to protect the civilians, in addition to the SPLA forces on the ground.
Lise Grande, the UN humanitarian coordinator for South Sudan, told the BBC that the UN was “very concerned by the scale this”, adding that UNMISS was reinforcing its troops in the area to help the SPLA defend civilians.
“The UN is facing enormous logistical challenges – we still have no military aircraft, only civilian helicopters,” the BBC quoted her as saying.
On Friday, the Vice President, Machar, who is still in the affected Murle area of Likwangole, continued to try to stop the youth from moving further into Murle land.
On Friday he spoke on the phone with the leader of the Lou-Nuer youth, Bor Doang, who assured the Vice President that he would order his group to stop advancing toward Pibor town and return back to Lou-Nuer.
However it is not yet clear whether or not the youth leader will keep his word, although the expected attack on Pibor town did not occur as feared on Friday.
December 30, 2011 (JUBA) – A new rebel group by the name of South Sudan People Liberation Movement and South Sudan People Liberation Army (SSPLM/SSPLA) announced its formation this week to fight what they describe as “marginalization”.
FILE – Sudan People’s Liberation Army (SPLA) soldiers march during the Independence Day ceremony in Juba July 9, 2011 (Reuters)
According to the manifesto emailed to Sudan Tribune, the new movement says it emerged as a result of “marginalization of all the South Sudan political parties and civil society, failure to adopt a viable political road map which can galvanize and reward the Southern people for their victorious achievement of a just peace, the rampant corruption perpetrated by the SPLM-led government in Juba, neglect of the families of the martyrs in the war of liberation and the rigging of the people’s vote by the SPLM/A in the last elections and the SPLM/SPLA failures to delivered basic services to the citizens of the South”.
A unique part of SSPLM/SSPLA ideology is calling for a confederation between South Sudan and its northern neighbour.
“The SSPLA/SSPLM is fighting to establish United Sudan base on confederal system whereby the central government is based in Khartoum and represented by all two Sudan states”.
“South Sudanese are fed up with the corrupt government of Salva Kiir Mayardit and therefore, all citizens of south Sudan are eager to see the Juba government been topple as soon as possible” said the manifesto signed by SSPLM/SSPLA chairman Tong Lual Ayat.
South Sudan became an independent state last July after its citizens voted almost unanimously in January to secede from the Arab-Muslim dominated north.
The newborn state has been grappling with tribal conflicts and insurgencies in different parts of the country.
This month, South Sudan army killed a key rebel leader, George Athor, who defected from the Sudan People Liberation Army (SPLA) following his loss in Jonglei state gubernatorial elections in 2010.
The SSPLM said it will carry out guerrilla style attacks against the SPLA ad establish an “effective propaganda machinery”.
“In order to be able to regroup and politicize the forces effectively, the SSPLA shall need to establish its own camps, in the following areas. 1: Meram. 2: Renk. 3: Maban” the manifesto said.
But Major General Bapiny Monytuil from the South Sudan Liberation Army (SSLA) Military High Command said in an emailed response to Sudan Tribune that they oppose the confederation objective.
“The people of South Sudan voted overwhelmingly for separation and nobody can reverse that. The democratic choice of the people of South Sudan has to be respected” Monytuil said.
“We have given Maj. Gen. Tong Lual Ayat one week to change his Manifesto if he wants to work with other South Sudan rebels. If he doesn’t change his stance, then, we will not work with him” he warned.
Juba and Khartoum have routinely accused each other of backing the rebel groups in each others territory.
Article source: http://www.sudantribune.com/New-rebel-group-established-in,41141
December 30, 2011 (KHARTOUM) — The African Union and United Nations peacekeeping mission in Darfur (UNAMID) said Sudanese government restricted the movement of its patrols due the recent surge of clashes in the region.
The hybrid mission highlighted recently the decrease of fighting between the Sudan Armed Forces (SAF) and rebel groups opposed to the Doha Document for Peace in Darfur (DDPD) signed last July with the Liberation and Justice Movement (LJM).
However, the Justice and Equality Movement (JEM) carried out a series of attacks in North Kordofan saying they are advancing to Khartoum. But, the army announced the death of JEM leader while he was heading to the South Sudan, on December 24.
In his new year’s message Ibrahim Gambari, UNAMID chief, explained on Friday that the security situation was improved in Darfur thanks to the efforts deployed by the UNAMID and the Sudanese Chadian reconciliation. The mission has lost seven peacekeepers in different attacks against its patrols.
“Our ability to monitor and respond has also been restricted in the past few days due to the heightened insecurity in parts of North and South Darfur,” said Gambari to underline the quick deterioration in the region.
Nonetheless Gambari expressed his deep regrets for “the violence and the lives lost”. He further called on the Sudanese parties to “honour their stated commitments” and resume talks for a negotiated solution.
“They owe the people of Darfur a better future,” he emphasised .
Sudanese government and JEM rebels have already signed a good will and framework for bilateral talks to end a conflict that caused the death of over 300,000 civilians in Darfur since 2003.
However, the two parties failed to sign a framework document for peace in Darfur prepared by the mediation and endorsed by Darfur stakeholders last May. JEM said the text is a good ground for peace and asked to open it for talks.
But Khartoum rejected the demand saying talks can only take place for the political participation of the rebel group in the national and regional institution to ensure the DDPD implementation. Also the government offered to negotiate the disarmament and integration of the rebel combatants.
The African Union and United Nations are preparing a road map to support the DDPD implementation and to bring the two parties to the negotiating table.
Last November Darfur rebel groups including JEM and the Sudan People’s Liberation Movement-North (SPLM-N) concluded an alliance aiming to topple the Sudanese regime.
The new conflict in the Blue Nile and South Kordofan between the government and SPLM-N is seen as compromising factor for a peaceful end to Darfur conflict.
The rebel groups however intend to move the battle from Darfur and to extend it into other regions as they seek to impose a national character to the political crisis in the country.
Meanwhile in Khartoum Sudanese officials say such a move proves that rebels are not serious about peace and threaten Sudan’s stability and cohesion.