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South Sudan Watch Update 64

Fighting resumes after ceasefire agreement

Only hours after the signing of a new ceasefire agreement between President Salva Kiir and Dr. Riek Machar in Entebbe, fighting resumed in South Sudan. Rebels allied to Dr Machar reported being under attack in Wau County. Deputy spokesperson of the rebel Sudan Peoples’ Liberation Army in Opposition (SPLA-IO), Lam Gabriel, said that they were attacked armored personnel carriers and trucks at 7 am.[1] The fighting did not stop in Wau as rebels also attacked government positions in both Northern and Southern Liech states on Saturday morning. Another attack as reported again in Upper Nile State where 15 civilians were killed and 22 others were injured.[2]

Parliament to extend president’s term, USA warns

The parliament in South Sudan is set to discuss a proposal that would extend presidential and parliamentary terms by three years to 2021. The proposal, tabled by Justice Minister Paulino Wanawilla, seeks to give the current government another three years in power despite the warnings from the international community.

Peace talks were meant to forge a way forward for the country to create a new government have been in the offing. However, parliament said that it would extend the mandate of Salva Kiir should the peace talks fail.  Should they go ahead with the extension, it would not be the first time. For example in 2015, the parliament of South Sudan amended the constitution to extend the term of Salva Kiir by three years.

Meanwhile the United States government warned they, together with their allies and the world, will not recognize it as legitimate the president’s mandate be extended by three years. The remarks were made by the United States Ambassador to Juba, Thomas Hushek, on 4 July as the United States celebrated 242 years of independence. He added that the efforts to extend the government’s mandate through legislative, military means or premature elections won’t lead to peace.[3]

UNICEF worker killed

An attack on a convoy belonging to a UNICEF contractor on Wednesday 4 July 2018 led to the death of one humanitarian worker. The convoy was traveling in the north of Juba when it was attacked by unknown gunmen who shot at the cars and killed an assistant driver. UNICEF confirmed the attack and said that they were working to identify the deceased person. Over one hundred humanitarian workers have been killed in South Sudan since the civil war started in 2013.[4]

Museveni, Bashir pressure power sharing

Following a ten-hour long meeting in Entebbe, Uganda on Saturday, the warring leaders of South Sudan Dr. Riek Machar and Salva Kiir agreed to share power with the Dr Machar was reinstated to his previous position of 1st Vice president.

Before the war broke out in 2013, Dr. Machar was the Vice president of South Sudan and his sacking was among the reasons civil war broke out. The Entebbe meeting that was chaired by Uganda’s president Yoweri Museveni and also attended by President Omar Al Bashir of The Sudan concluded that there would be four Vice Presidents in South Sudan, with Dr. Machar being the first but insisted that one of the four positions should be given to a woman.[5]

Members of the South Sudan Opposition Alliance however were not pleased with the arrangement achieved in Entebbe and they released a statement where they rejected the proposal to have four vice presidents.[6]

[1] “South Sudan’s latest cease-fire is violated within hours,” Business Insider UK, 30 June 2018, available at http://uk.businessinsider.com/ap-south-sudans-latest-cease-fire-is-violated-within-hours-2018-6?IR=T

[2]“South Sudan Fighting After Cease-Fire Leaves at Least 15 Dead,” Bloomberg, 30 June 2018, available at https://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2018-06-30/south-sudan-fighting-after-ceasefire-leaves-at-least-15-dead

[3]“US says it will not recognize South Sudan Gov’t if it extended its term,” Nyamilepedia, 4 July 2018, available at http://nyamile.com/2018/07/04/breaking-us-says-will-not-recognize-south-sudan-govt-if-it-extended-its-term/

[4] “Gunmen attack South Sudan humanitarian convoy, driver killed: UNICEF,” Reuters, 4 July 2018, available at https://af.reuters.com/article/topNews/idAFKBN1JU1WE-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

[5] “Machar to be re-instated as South Sudan vice president,” The Observer, 9 July 2018, available at https://www.observer.ug/news/headlines/58119-machar-to-be-re-instated-as-south-sudan-vice-president.html

[6] “OPPOSITION ALLIANCE, FORMER DETAINEES REJECT UGANDAN PEACE PROPOSAL,”  Nyamilepedia, 8 July 2018, available at http://nyamile.com/2018/07/08/opposition-alliance-former-detainees-reject-ugandan-peace-proposal/

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