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South Sudan Watch Update 48

More prisoners of war released

The armed opposition group allied to Dr. Riek Machar the Sudan Peoples’ Liberation Movement in Opposition (SPLM-IO), said through its deputy spokesperson Lam Paul Gabriel that they had released up to 15 prisoners of war in Phow State. The prisoners were handed over to the International Committee of the Red Cross. However Mr. Lam added that the prisoners refused to go to Juba. He urged the Troika states and Intergovernmental Authority on Development (IGAD) to put pressure on the South Sudan government to respect the ceasefire agreement citing that the rebels act of releasing prisoners was the third time they have complied with the agreement to avoid violence.[1]

AU calls for sanctions

The chairperson of the African Union Commission, Mr Moussa Faki, along with the US Ambassador to the United Nations are calling for sanctions on parties that are violating the ceasefire agreement that was signed last December. He made this remark during the 30th African Union Summit in Ethiopia on Sunday, January 28, 2018.[2]

Dr. Macher tables political reforms

The leader of the armed opposition group SPLA/IO, Dr. Riek Macher, has written what he calls the revitalization of the 2015 peace agreement. In a paper, he called for several reforms, including lifting the state of emergency and annulling the decision creating thirty-two states. He also suggested that the president would be selected from the SPLM party under Salva Kiir, the first vice president would be chosen by the SPLM-IO and the second vice president would be selected from among the other opposition parties. He further suggested a power-sharing ratio of 42%, 42% and 16% for the SPLA, SPLA/IO and other opposition parties respectively.[3]

Weapons seized in Gogrial

Thousands of firearms were collected in the Bahr el Ghazel region of Gogrial State by the security and disarmament committee. Gogrial State is under the state of emergency that was declared by Salva Kiir in 2017 due to great insecurity.[4]

World Food Program workers threatened

Officials in Jonglei State claim to have received a letter containing threats to the World Food Program operations in Bor. This was contained in an anonymous letter that accused WFP aid workers of interfering in the affairs of the communities and abetting corruption. The letter demanded the replacement of all existing staff. State officials later said that they were investigating the matter and would find and arrest the people that wrote the letter.[5]

[1] Denis Dumo, “South Sudan rebel group releases 15 prisoners,” Reuters, 29 January 2018, available at https://www.reuters.com/article/us-southsudan-prisoners/south-sudan-rebel-group-releases-15-prisoners-idUSKBN1FI0RV

[2] “African Union chief calls for sanctions on those ‘blocking peace’ in S. Sudan,” France 24, January 28, 2018, available at http://www.france24.com/en/20180128-african-union-chief-faki-30th-summit-sanctions-peace-south-sudan.

[3] Letter from SPLM-IO expressing its positions on Security and Governance Arrangements, 26 January 2018, available at https://paanluelwel.com/2018/01/30/splm-io-official-position-riek-machar-demands-42-of-the-government-at-hlrf/

[4] Over 1000 arms recovered, 31 January 2018 see more on https://radiotamazuj.org/en/news/article/more-than-1-000-firearms-collected-in-gogrial-state

[5] Jonglei government condemns threats, 1 February 2018 see more at https://radiotamazuj.org/en/news/article/jonglei-government-condemns-threat-against-aid-workers-in-bor-town

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