By Joe Odaby
South Sudan News
Juba — February 6, 2014 … In its latest analytical report from the respected African think-tank The Fashoda Institute, it is pointed out that “in South Sudan the ceasefire is becoming a political nightmare. Localized fighting continues because coup leader and former Vice-President Riek Machar has no control over the rebel forces, while the administration of President Salva Kiir in Juba is under international pressure to make more and more concessions to rebels”.
The Fashoda Institute points that “liberal West’s traditional approach — that the “rebels” represent the real interests of the people while the government pursues interests of the establishment — is maintained irrespective of emerging evidence to the contrary.
This approach is being applied to Machar, the ostensibly romantic rebel, while in reality Juba has to cope with the destruction and looting of the stockpiles of the United Nations World Food Program (WFP) in Malakal (the capital of the Upper Nile State) when it was under rebel control”.
According to UN officials, thousands of people — mainly rebel soldiers and ordinary civilians — loaded the supplies into donkey carts and trucks and took off for the bush where Machar’s forces were trying to reorganize under SPLA pressure.
The WFP estimates that 1,700 tonnes of food were stolen: long-term supplies for about 100,000 of the poorest people in South Sudan.
Concurrently, rebel forces assaulted and looted the MédecinsSans Frontièreshospital in Leer, Machar’s hometown in the southern parts of Unity State. This hospital treats both the local population and refugees from across the Sudanese border. Consequently, most of the staff and ambulatory patients fled the hospital. Only about 30 staff members remained, trying to care for severely ill patients in the nearby bush. Until the rebel attack, the Leer hospital was the only functioning hospital in Unity State.
On February 2, 2014, SPLA forces returned to Leer and restored order.
Throughout South Sudan food shortages are growing because rebel ambushes and raids make food distribution by international aid organizations impossible.