Tag Archives: peace

African Union Welcomes Conclusion of Phase Two of South Sudan Peace Process

By Joe Odaby
South Sudan News

ADDIS ABABA — March 5, 2014 … The Chairperson of the Commission of the African Union (AU), Dr. Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma, welcomed the conclusion of Phase II of the South Sudan Peace Process, after two weeks of substantive consultations on a Declaration of Principle and a Framework for Political Dialogue towards National Reconciliation and Healing.

She commended the IGAD Special Envoys, including its Chair, Ambassador Seyoum Mesfin, for their relentless efforts towards the resumption of the political negotiations and the progress they have achieved thus far.

The Chairperson of the Commission welcomed, in particular, the progress made in finalizing the Agreement on the Declaration of Principles. She expressed the hope that the parties would be able to sign this document at the resumption of the next phase of the talks, on 20 March 2014. The Chairperson reiterated AU’s full support to the envisaged deployment of an African stabilization force led by IGAD, as proposed by the Mediation.

The Chairperson of the Commission also welcomed the signing, on 3 March 2014, by the SPLM/A (in Opposition), of the Implementation Modalities in support of the Agreement on Cessation of Hostilities (CoH), which was signed by the Government of South Sudan on 24 February 2014.

As part of the implementation and consolidation of the CoH, the Chairperson of the Commission expresses AU’s support to the IGAD efforts. She looks forward to the early deployment of the Monitoring and Verification Teams (MVTs), as well as to the finalization of the work being done towards the deployment of the envisaged African force to protect the MVTs and contribute to the stabilization of the situation.

The Chairperson of the Commission reaffirmed the AU’s commitment to continue to work closely with IGAD and its Special Envoys to assist the South Sudanese parties in finding a consensual and comprehensive solution to the conflict in their country. In this regard, she wishes to remind the South Sudanese parties of the commitment they made to an all-inclusive dialogue and reconciliation process, with the aim of resolving the issues related to the current crisis and laying the foundation for lasting peace, security and stability in their country.

In this connection, the Chairperson of the Commission recalls earlier AU pronouncements, emphasizing the imperative of inclusivity with the participation of all stakeholders, both armed belligerents and those who did not take up arms, including other political actors, civil society, traditional and religious leaders, as well as the youth and women.

South Sudan President Kiir’s Christmas Message – End Tribal Violence

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South Sudan President Kiir’s Christmas Message – End Tribal Violence

By Christine Walters
South Sudan News

Juba, South Sudan — December 26 … South Sudanese President Salva Kiir Mayardit issued a Christmas call for the immediate restoration of peace on an official Twitter social media account of South Sudan’s government: “Innocent people have been wantonly killed. People are targeting others because of their tribal affiliation. This is unacceptable,” announced the President. “These atrocities recurring have to cease immediately.”

VIDEO: Christmas And New Year Message From South Sudan President Kiir

President Kiir, a devout Catholic, has attended the Christmas mass in Juba, the capital of  war-torn South Sudan staying at the service shoulder to shoulder with hundreds of refugees seeking protection in the church.

The compound of the Catholic cathedral of Juba has been transformed into a refugee camp in the past week. Close to 7,000 people have found shelter there from tribal violence, which began with an attempted coup by Riek Machar, former Vice President, on 15 December and has since spread to half of South Sudan forcing up to 80,000 civilians to flee their homes.

“The current crisis in South Sudan cannot be comprehended in isolation from the country’s tormented past and challenging current posture. South Sudan has been trying hard to build a nation and a state after the debilitating war of independence, autonomy period, and the post-independence austerity period (caused by Sudan’s blocking of oil exports until very recently). It is a mighty challenge given the diversity of the population and the gravity of the situation”, wrote in its analytical report an influential African think-tank The Fashoda Institute.

“President Kiir was doing as great a job as can be expected under such horrific conditions. For several months now, Machar has tried to further the self-interests of his Nuer tribe by undermining the nation-building effort of the Kiir administration, and by reawakening the sectarian-tribal tensions”, opined the analysis.

“When Machar was rejected by the South Sudan government and Party establishments – he launched the revolt that is now tearing the nation apart along tribal-national lines. Reik Machar must not be rewarded for awakening and capitalizing on sectarian-tribal hostilities and enmities (as he did in the 1990s and caused several Nuer massacres of Dinka). The South Sudan government should be helped to restore stability and unity in the country, and then should be helped to improve both good governance and the economy”, concludes The Fashoda Institute.

South Sudan Plans Major Diplomatic Reforms Planned by FM Benjamin

By Joe Odaby

Juba, South Sudan — October 14, 2013 (SSN) … South Sudan’s Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation Minister Dr. Barnaba Marial Benjamin has announced that a major diplomatic reform is underway in the South Sudan Foreign Ministry.

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South Sudan Foreign Affairs Minister Dr. Barnaba Marial Benjamin, (Getty)


The move comes after national legislative assembly lawmakers from the south-governing Sudan People’s Liberation Movement (SPLM) expressed concerns over the manner in which its embassies handle the country’s foreign affairs matters.

“There remains a lot of work to be done and it is imperative that the ministry devise policies reflective of the law and priorities of the government”, said Assembly Speaker Magok Rundial.

The South Sudan Foreign Affairs ministry, he said, should embark on sustained efforts aimed at creating awareness globally on the country’s independence status.

“There are countries which still do not know that South Sudan is an independent state. Such a challenge requires skilled and effective diplomats,” stressed Rundial.

The young nation, in 2011, enacted the Diplomatic and Consular Service Act; a law intended to simplify decision making processes and give it more access to international affairs.

The law, which became operational in January last year, allows the country to establish embassies in key countries and permanent missions at the regional and international organisations, including having temporary consular missions.

It also provides for the establishment of missions, to be run by ambassadors, minister plenipotentiaries, counselors and categorised sizable secretaries.

To the credit of the South Sudan’s President, Salva Kiir Mayrdit, and its Foreign Minister, Dr. Barnaba Marial Benjamin, this young democracy currently has 22 embassies in various countries, including efficiently-working embassies in Washington, D.C. and in London.

South Sudan’s Foreign Affairs Minister Dr. Benjamin stresses that in spite of the shortage of trained diplomats, his Ministry is determined to strengthen the international standing of their country.

Last month Dr. Benjamin  formed a technical committee to study how it could improve relations with other countries by deploying competent workforce in line with the policy of lean, but effective cadres.

According to the recent committee’s recommendations, the number of diplomats deployed at the 22 embassies needed to be reduced to reflect the government policy of lean, but effective diplomatic cadres.

The committee, the foreign affairs spokesperson said, is also conducting background checks of individual diplomats, examining specifically their areas of specialty, experiences, capabilities and level of understanding of diplomatic and international affairs,

As in many democracies, including the United States, the ambassadors are often chosen not amongst the carrier diplomats but amongst prominent figures who are rewarded by the ambassadorial post for their service to the country in other, often not related to foreign affairs, fields. South Sudan’s Foreign Ministry also has a number senior diplomats who were appointed not on the basis of their merits, but as a reward for having played active role in the independence war, but had no prior training in diplomacy and foreign relations.

“They certainly did good work by helping bring to the spotlight what our people were undergoing, but not all activists are good diplomats”, the foreign affairs spokesperson said.

Foreign Affairs Minister Dr. Barnaba Marial Benjamin is determined to limit this practice and vigorously professionalize the diplomatic cadres of South Sudan.

South Sudan: Women’s Groups Support New Government

 

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President Kiir and the Toposa women’s group. On his right is
Gen. Mamur while on the left is
Governor Lojore. Photo: Thomas Keneth

By Joe Odaby

Juba — August 19, 2013 (SSN) … South Sudan President Kiir received in his office a delegation of women’s groups from Toposa Community of Kapoeta South, Kapoeta East and Kapoeta North in Eastern Equatoria State.

The groups, which were accompanied by the Easteren Equatoria State Governor Luis Lobong Lojore and the Minister of National Security Gen. Obutu Mamur Mete congratulated H.E Kiir for reshuffling his government according to the “will of South Sudan people”.
In a press statement, the head of the delegation Ms. Hellen Orasio called on the people of South Sudan to be united behind the President, discard tribal difference and work for peace and development.

Last week the newly appointed ministers and their deputies of South Sudan were sworn in before the President of the Republic of South Sudan H.E Gen. Salva Kiir Mayardit and the Chief Justice Chan Reec Madut after the parliament passed their nominations.

The approval of the nominations of Telar Ring Deng as the Minister for Justice and Josephine Napwon Cosmos as the Deputy Minister for Youth, Culture and Sports was however left pending as the concerned parliamentary committee sought more time to clarify some issues about them.

Integrity and the degree of competence were some of the criteria used by the lawmakers to vet the nominated ministers.

“The new cabinet of South Sudan has just taken the oath of office before the President. We have had congratulations from the President who has also directed the South Sudan Minister for Cabinet Affairs to draw up an action plan and get to get the new cabinet to commence work immediately”, said Michael Makuei Lueth, the new minister for Information and Broadcasting.

On July 23, South Sudan President Salva Kiir Mayardit issued a presidential decree removing Vice-President Riek Machar Teny and dissolving the whole government of South Sudan.

Kiir dismissed all 29 ministers and deputy ministers. Kiir did not appoint a new vice-president or national ministers and deputy ministers.

The decree directed the under-secretaries of the various ministries to run South Sudan’s ministries until further notice. The decree also stipulated the new government will have only 18 national ministers and deputy ministers in order to streamline government work. A senior official at the presidency predicted that government ministers will be replaced in a “very short time, as soon as possible.”

Officially, Kiir’s presidential decree does not explain the reason for the major shake-up. Senior government officials, including some fired by the decree, called the undertaking a “reshuffle” that had long been expected given the mounting problems in government work. Nhial Bol, the editor of the independent Citizen TV, concurred. He believes that the president must have acted in order to end government paralysis. “Things have not been moving in the government because of this internal fighting over who is going to control the SPLM,” Nhial Bol said.

Fashoda Institute, the leading, Juba-based think-tank, asserts that “in embarking on the profound reshuffle of government, President Kiir put the national interest ahead of internal politics and the early posturing for the 2015 presidential elections”.

South Sudan President Kiir Assures Parties New Government Will Be Inclusive

By Joe Odaby

Juba — July 28 2013 (SSN) … The President of the Republic of South Sudan Salva Kiir Mayardit held a consultative meeting with the leaders of 17 South Sudanese political parties.

President Kiir briefed the party leaders on the current political situation in South Sudan and notified them that the coming new government will be an inclusive, representative as well as a gender sensitive government.

Leaders of the political parties during the meeting congratulated President Kiir for peacefully managing the political situation in the country and for reducing the South Sudan Cabinet to nineteen ministers. Political party leaders expressed their support for the President and thanked him for consulting them on the formation of the coming new government, which they say illustrates democratic governance.

Shortly after the meeting, the leader of the South Sudan Democratic Forum (SSDF) Dr. Elia Lumoro told the press on behalf of his colleagues that the meeting came out with a decision that “the parties should send in a list of three nominees” and President Kiir is mandated to select from each list a person who in his opinion is the best candidate for a portfolio in the new Government.