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Old 12-15-2015   #201
mayank
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Default South Sudan Sitrep 1-11 December 2015

For more, check out https://medium.com/@bubna

Security:
Several hundred SPLA soldiers are reportedly being detained and tortured in South Sudanese prisons Ė many for more than two years without arrest warrants or court appearances. According to one report, an estimated 75 officers and 200 foot soldiers are currently being held in Giyada Prison in Juba alone.

A dean at Juba University was picked up and detained by national security officials on his way home on 7 December. This is the second such incident in recent weeks. Earlier, Professor Luka Biong was forced to leave the country after threats to his life. The reason for the deanís arrest remains unknown.

On 1 December, The Nation Mirror newspaper reported heavy gunfire near the main police station in Maridi County in Western Equatoria State. One officer from South Sudanís Wildlife Services was reportedly killed, and another wounded. The gunmen remain at large. In a separate incident, WES Governor, Rizik Zackaria Hassan, accused opposition forces for attacking SPLA positions in the Tirka area on the Yambio-Wau road, south of the capital, Wau. A spokesperson for the SPLA-iO denied the accusation, and said that government forces have been deploying dangerously close to iO-designated cantonment areas thus creating tension. According to the Mirror, the WES government also dismissed claims that the SPLA-iO had complete control over four payams in the state.

19 people were reportedly killed and another 22 wounded in communal violence between the Aliap and Gony clans in Rumbek East in Lakes State. Fighting stopped when security forces intervened.
Around the same time, violence erupted between different sectors of the Dinka community in Cueibet County in Lakes State, reportedly in revenge for the murder of a school teacher. At least 14 people were confirmed dead, and more than 35 reported wounded Ė some in critical condition. A local government official warned of an impending attack on the local hospital by youth groups. Many in Lakes State blame caretaker governor, Major General Matur Chut Dhuol, for the upsurge in violence in the state over the last two years.

Armed pastoralist youth groups from Rup, Kuei and Pakam communities in Lakes State met to reconcile past differences and stop hostilities. Movement on the road between Rumbek North and Rumbek Central Counties had stopped due to highway ambushes and revenge killings. Additionally, incidents of rape are allegedly on the rise in Rumbek town.

According to UNHCR, recent fighting between the SPLA and the Arrow Boys in Western Equatoria State has displaced more than 4,000 civilians Ė most of whom have relocated to neighboring DRC. Clashes between the armed youth group and security forces led to several casualties. UNMISS police personnel are reportedly protecting about 200 civilians as heavy gunfire erupted in and around Yambio. The Yambio area is home to multiple armed groups, including the SPLA, the rebel-aligned South Sudan People's Patriotic Front under command of Alfred Futiyo, Arrow Boys community defense groups, and the South Sudan National Liberation Movement under command of Victor Wanga. In early December, President Kiir reportedly endorsed a peace deal with the Arrow Boys, although details of the actual agreement are yet to emerge. Yambio, according to local government officials, has been almost entirely emptied.

In early December, a new armed group opposing the Kiir-led government emerged in Eastern Equatoria State. The self-identified group leader and former SPLA commander, Major General Anthony Ongwaja, stated that the groupís primary objective was to restore a federal form of government. The group draws support from the Latuka tribe and calls itself the Otuho and also the South Sudan Armed Forces. The group had seized control of a police post outside Torit town, and threatened to overrun the state capital. Later in the month, it was able to capture an SPLA military base and seize military weapons along the Torit-Kapoeta highway in EES near the Kenyan/Ugandan border. Ongwaja reportedly defected from the SPLA with about 50 soldiers.
The SPLA-iO has accused the SPLA of wanton violence in Magwi County in EES. 14 youth from the county were allegedly tortured and taken away by soldiers. The SPLA-iO has forces in Magwi County in designated cantonments as part of a security arrangement agreement.

Fighting around designated cantonment areas continues in various locations in South Sudan. In northern Upper Nile, the SPLA-iO accused the government of launching aerial attacks on a rebel cantonment in the Kaka area, and crossing a buffer zone to attack rebel positions in Owech. Earlier in the month, government forces reportedly used helicopter gunships to attack a rebel assembly area in Mundri County in WES, killing two senior commanders and several rebels. In Unity State, at least 15,000 people reportedly arrived in Panyinjar County in recent weeks as violence intensified in Leer, Koch and Mayiandit Counties. According to an SPLA spokesperson, pro-government forces have been prepositioned on the Juba-Nimule, Nimule-Torit, Juba-Bor, Juba-Yei and Juba-Kajo Keji roads.

Thousands of people were displaced from Wau, the capital of Western Bahr el Ghazal State, after clashes began between government and SPLA-iO forces. Heavy shelling reportedly continued for two days, and several homes were burned by both warring groups. Over 2000 people have reportedly taken temporary shelter in schools in Wau town. Fighting also occurred in and around Bazia town and on the Wau-Tambura Road. SPLA forces have reportedly been deployed to stabilize the area.

Police officers threatened to imprison the editor-in-chief of Beitna, a Juba-based newspaper that covers crime and social issues, after the editor reportedly refused to retract an article about police units storming a police station to forcefully release an imprisoned colleague.

Political:
US senators lambasted South Sudanese diplomats at a hearing in Washington DC on 10 December, and stated that the current status quo would not be tolerated. They suggested that South Sudanís political leaders be tried by a judicial authority. Former presidential envoy, Princeton Lyman, recommended a trade ban on South Sudanese exports, although recognized its impracticality because of Chinese and Sudanese involvement in the region.

Political contestation over a job vacancy for the gubernatorial post in the Greater Pibor Administrative Area (GPAA) may expand beyond incumbent, David Yau Yau. According to government officials in the area, the Murle community remains divided over Yau Yauís re-election, and a consultative meeting among competing politicians is expected to take place in Juba. A representative from the Cobra Faction dismissed claims of political opposition to Yau Yau.

18 opposition political parties collectively called for increased global pressure on the two major warring groups, and urged major institutional reform during the ongoing political transition. Opposition parties collectively hold 7% of any power sharing agreement that results from the peace deal. Meanwhile, travel of an advance team representing the SPLA-iO was postponed yet again as the government demurred on their commitment towards their security. In early December, the SPLA also released 13 POWs as a gesture of their commitment towards the peace deal.

In a statement to the media, the Head of UN Peacekeeping Operations said that an additional 1,100 peacekeepers may be required to monitor the implementation of the recent peace accord signed between the two warring parties.

In a speech made to party officials, President Kiir said that the ruling SPLM party may undergo an inevitable split. According to one report, the internal group opposing the president allegedly comprises of the council of elders, some senior military figures, junior party members, a former foreign affairs minister, the governmentís chief negotiator in the peace talks, and the SPLA chief. Five members of parliament were removed from their positions as heads or deputies of committees, albeit not from parliamentary membership, for opposing a constitutional amendment that would divide South Sudan into 28 states. In another development, Riek Machar appointed his wife, Angelina Teny, as the head of the SPLA-iOís committee for security and defense.

The National Legislative Assembly deliberated on a bill to control ownership of firearms in South Sudan. The Bill authorizes private licensing of small guns including pistols and allow firearmsí businesses to work in-country, and was passed unanimously for a third and final reading before it becomes law. Government estimates suggest that there are over three million weapons in private hands in South Sudan.

PTSD/Trauma:
The South Sudan Law Society published a report on perceptions on truth, justice, reconciliation and healing in the UNMISS Malakal PoC. The survey data, which was collected over four months, demonstrated high prevalence of PTSD and exposure to trauma among POC residents. 77% of the people surveyed reported having a family member killed, 84% had their homes destroyed, 83% reported having radically negatively altered their views towards other ethnic groups. A majority of the respondents favored forgiveness as a reconciliatory mechanism, and imprisonment as a way to address criminal accountability. According to the report, truth-seeking may be challenging in the future given a majority of the respondents wanted to avoid public conversations about the violence that has occurred since Dec 2013. Disagreements existed along ethnic lines over whether victims ought to be compensated, and how land-based conflicts ought to be addressed.
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Old 12-15-2015   #202
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Mayank,

Thanks for the update. South Sudan rarely gets my attention. There is a longstanding thread on South Sudan, last updated in August 2015, although the Chinese role had a mentioiin recently in the peacekeeping thread. See:http://council.smallwarsjournal.com/...t=8460&page=10
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Old 12-15-2015   #203
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Good to know, davidbfpo. I hope I can bring back to life the South Sudan thread You will be seeing weekly posts from me with South Sudan updates. cheers.
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Old 12-24-2015   #204
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Default Doing more in South Sudan

Via WoTR and the author makes her position quite clear:
Quote:
So how can the United States work more effectively with the international community to end the current catastrophe in South Sudan? As a first step, it needs to assess the strengths and weaknesses of the peacekeeping mission as a whole, a subject that is at the heart of a report (linked below) I recently authored for the International Refugee Rights Initiative, which assesses the mission through the eyes of the civilians that it is mandated to protect. The report is based on field research I carried out with two other researchers in October of this year, in which we interviewed civilians as well as government, NGO, and UN officials (including UNMISS). We did this in response to a growing recognition that the need to develop better responses to situations of conflict in which atrocities take place has not been matched by an in-depth understanding of the needs and aspirations of those most affected, nor an adequate understanding of the political, historical and social context in which these atrocities happen.
Link:http://warontherocks.com/2015/12/can...-south-sudan/?

Link to cited report (27 pgs):http://www.refugee-rights.org/Public...eopleFINAL.pdf
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Old 04-18-2016   #205
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Default South Sudanese raid in Gambella, Ethiopia

Temporary separate thread for maximum visibility.

Quote:
(EBC; April 18, 2016) - The African Union Commission has "condemned in the strongest terms the criminal attack carried out by South Sudanese armed elements in the Jakawa area of the Gambella region".

The South Sudanese gunmen group killed 208 people and abducted 102 women and children on 15 April 2016.
http://www.ebc.et/web/ennews/-/au-co...men-in-gambela
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Old 04-19-2016   #206
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Default Cattle and children rustling

A BBC report suggests a motive and context for this incident:
Quote:
Ethiopia's army is trying to rescue 108 women and children abducted in a cross-border raid in the western Gambella region, the government says.
It blamed Friday's raid, in which 208 people died, on the Murle community from neighbouring South Sudan.


The Murle have previously been accused of carrying out cattle raids and stealing children to raise as their own.
Link:http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-africa-36071090
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Old 04-21-2016   #207
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In what appears to be a first-hand report from Gambella, which explains why this attack broke a twenty year absence of such raids. In part it is tribal, in part reflects the instability on both sides of the border:http://www.theguardian.com/global-de...ia-south-sudan
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Old 08-22-2016   #208
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Hat tip to WoTR for David Ucko's article on peacekeeping in South Sudan and its many problems:http://warontherocks.com/2016/08/sou...eeping-policy/

IMHO it is not just the USA that is at fault, many share some responsibility, but above all it is South Sudan's failure - after decades of war to get independence - to want peace enough.

As for the promised and declared 'robust peacekeeping' well the UN's record in Africa is not robust.
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Last edited by davidbfpo; 08-22-2016 at 09:20 PM. Reason: 62,342v
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