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South Sudan Watch Update 57

Government violates ceasefire again

The opposition group the South Sudan United Movement (SSUM) led by Gen. Peter Gatdet Yaka accused government troops of violating the ceasefire agreement once more.

The spokesperson of the SSUM, Col. Gatkuoth Mut Turoah, said through a status update on his Facebook page that troops attacked the SSUM base in Panyilaang last Friday afternoon killing the three civilians, including an eight year child. When they failed to overrun the base, Col. Gatkuoth said that the government troops returned on Saturday morning at about 2 am but the rebels were able to repulse them.

The SSUM is a faction that broke away from the SPLA-IO to protest to the SPLA-IO’s involvement in the initial peace agreement in Addis Ababa under the leadership of Gen. Peter Gatdet Yaka. The SSUM did, however, sign the cessation of hostilities agreement in December 2017.[1]

Nepal peacekeepers in sexual crimes

Sexual violence is rife in South Sudan. UN peacekeepers from Nepal have been accused of sexual crimes against civilians in South Sudan. The peacekeepers, who are mandated to offer protection to civilians, are accused of raping two teenage girls. It is still unclear how many of the soldiers are implicated but UN spokesperson Stephane Dujarric called this a heinous act and asked for investigations into the matter. The government of Nepal has asked to send a team to help with the investigations and the UN has accepted. These allegations have come months after peacekeepers from Ghana were recalled over cases of sexually exploiting women.[2]

Kiir will not resign

The president of South Sudan Salva Kiir said he will not resign despite the calls by the opposition. During IGAD led peace negotiations, eight out of nine political parties called for Kiir’s resignation as a way to bring peace to the young nation. Salva Kiir said that he will not resign because there is no incentive for him to broker peace and then have to resign immediately once the peace is attained. He called this condition unreasonable.[3]

South Sudanese presidential adviser on decentralization and intergovernmental linkage, Tor Deng Mawien, in a separate statement expressed his optimism about next round of the negotiations. He believes that a peace deal will be achieved if the opposition parties do not insist on having Kiir resign.[4]

Increased attacks on health workers

A report by the Watchlist on Children and Armed Conflict titled “Everyone and everything is a target” has reported that there has been an increase in attacks on health centers and health personnel by armed forces. The report says that as of December 2017, about 50% of South Sudan’s 1,900 health centers were operating at limited capacity due to the conflict. While many of the health centers were affected by the conflict in general, some armed forces are attacking health centers and health workers as a war strategy. Many hospitals have been looted, burnt down, and the medical personnel killed or abducted.[5]

Watchlist is a global network that strives to end violations against children in armed conflicts and guarantee their rights.

IGAD led negotiations resume on May 17

The third round of the Intergovernmental Authority on Development (IGAD) led South Sudan negotiations are set to resume on May 17 in Addis Ababa. IGAD announced the date on Wednesday 25 April. It had originally been set for May 3rd but had been postponed.[6]

South Sudan wants rebel expelled

In a meeting in Kampala with IGAD officials and member states, officials from South Sudan said they want IGAD to bar South Sudanese rebels looking for asylum in other countries in the region. The foreign affairs minister of South Sudan, Dr. Martin Elia Lomuro, warned during the meeting that these rebels have ill-gotten property and investments and can use these resources to wage war on the South Sudan government. Dr. Lomuro said that the rebels should not be treated as ordinary asylum seekers because the IGAD instrument of establishment doesn’t allow member states to harbor rebels. He called for the expulsion of such asylum seekers from the region.[7]

10 aid workers missing

The UN Humanitarian Coordinator for South Sudan reported on Thursday 25 April that ten aid workers went missing in Yei town in South Sudan. Alain Noudehou, the UN official, said that the ten were heading to Tore, which is a town in Yei, but their convoy did not arrive. Their whereabouts and welfare are currently unknown.[8]

[1] “Gatdet’s ssum accuse government of ceasefire violation,” Nyamilepedia, 22 April 2018, http://nyamile.com/2018/04/22/gatdets-ssum-accuse-government-of-ceasefire-violation/

[2] “Nepalese peacekeepers accused of child rape in South Sudan,” Mail Online, 23 April 2018, http://www.dailymail.co.uk/wires/afp/article-5648641/Nepalese-peacekeepers-accused-child-rape-South-Sudan.html

[3] “South Sudan Leader Rejects Calls to Resign as Part of Peace Deal,” Okech Francis, Bloomberg, 24 April 2018, https://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2018-04-24/south-sudan-leader-rejects-calls-to-resign-as-part-of-peace-deal

[4] “South Sudan rival parties draw redline ahead of peace talks,” Sudan Tribune, 26 April 2018, http://www.sudantribune.com/spip.php?article65271

[5]“Everyone and everything is a target” Watchlist on children and armed conflict, 23 April 2018, https://watchlist.org/wp-content/uploads/watchlist-field_report-southsudan-web.pdf

[6] “Next Peace Round in South Sudan to Be Celebrated on May 3,” Prensa Latina, 26 April 2018, http://www.plenglish.com/index.php?o=rn&id=27571&SEO=next-peace-round-in-south-sudan-to-be-celebrated-on-may-3

[7] Moses Mugalu, “South Sudan wants IGAD to expel rebel asylum seekers,”, The Observer, 26 April 2018, http://www.observer.ug/news/headlines/57556-south-sudan-wants-igad-to-expel-rebel-asylum-seekers.html

[8] Denis Dumo, “Ten aid workers missing in South Sudan: U.N. official,” Reuters, 26 April 2018, https://af.reuters.com/article/topNews/idAFKBN1HX1QZ-OZATP?feedType=RSS&feedName=topNews&utm_source=feedburner&utm_medium=feed&utm_campaign=Feed%3A+reuters%2FAFRICATopNews+%28News+%2F+AFRICA+%2F+Top+News%29&&rpc=401

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