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South Sudan Watch Update 68

Ceasefire broken

The South Sudan army has accused the SPLA-IO of attacking government positions in a breach of the ceasefire that has so far been holding. Spokesman Brigadier General Lul Ruai Koang said the SPLA-IO attacked their positions in the Liech State.  He said that on 21st August the rebels attacked two positions in Northern Liech State killing four SPLA soldiers.  He claimed that during the attack nine rebels were killed and has called for investigation into the breach.

UN Rights group expresses concerns on South Sudan

A delegation of the UN Commission on Human Right visited South Sudan from 20 to 24 August and after their visit concluded that there are increasing attacks on the people and especially aid workers in the Yei state which is as a result of the increase in rebel groups. The delegation said that there is a decrease in security as a result of the various splinter rebel groups in the area. They alluded to the abduction of the aid workers in June by rebels, the killing of a UN peacekeeper in an ambush on a UN convoy among other attacks on humanitarian workers. The delegation would next be visiting the refugee’s camps in Uganda, Kenya and Sudan.[1]

Kiir pressured to release political prisoners

President of South Sudan Salva Kiir is being pressurized by Human rights organizations to release political prisoners as he signs the peace deal with the rebels. When Salva Kiir agreed to negotiate peace with the rebels he also agreed to release political prisoners. Much as he released 21 political prisoners, there are believed to be several others still in detention. Groups such as Human Rights Watch in a status report called for the release of activists Samuel Dong Luak, James Gatdet Dak, Dr. Peter Biar Ajak and Aggrey Idri. Amnesty international said that Dr. Peter Bia was arrested at the Juba airport in July. Its believed that he is being held in solitary confinement.[2]

Another rebel group rejects peace deal

Following the rejection of signing the peace deal by Dr. Riek Machar, another rebel faction has joined in rejecting the peace deal. The South Sudan Opposition Alliance (SSOA) said that their negotiator had agreed to the deal without  having adequate consultations. The SSOA released a statement expressing their disquiet about the signing of the peace deal prematurely by Deng Alor Kuol their negotiator. In the statement they insist that their position stands as it was before the signing and they will not accept the peace deal until there are guarantees that the points of contention which are similar to those of the SPLA-IO will be satisfactorily resolved and reflected the document.[3]

Bashir meets with Machar

The president of Sudan Omar al Bashir met with Riek Machar on Wednesday to encourage him to sign the peace deal. Bashir was meant to meet with both Dr. Machar and Gabriel Changson Chang the leader of the SSOA to discuss a way forward, however Mr. Chang was not available. He therefore met with Dr. Machar and assured him that he would do whatever is necessary to ensure that the agreement is inclusive. He added that as the Guarantor of the Khartoum round of the peace talks he would raise the concerns of the SPLA-IO and SSOA to the leaders of IGAD.[4]

[1] “UN rights commissioners concerned by attacks on S. Sudan aid workers,” 25 August 2018, Sudan Tribune available at http://www.sudantribune.com/spip.php?article66115

[2] “Free S. Sudan political prisoners, rights groups tell Salva Kiir,” 27 August 2018, the Daily Nation available at https://www.nation.co.ke/news/africa/Kiir-under-pressure-free-political-detainees/1066-4731170-pu0ma3/index.html

[3] “Another rebel faction disowns South Sudan peace deal,” 30 August 2018, The Daily Nation Available at https://www.nation.co.ke/news/africa/Rebel-faction-disowns-SSudan-peace-deal/1066-4734864-dxwa9y/index.html

[4] “Sudan’s al-Bashir meets Machar, asks rebels to initial S. Sudan deal,” 30 August 2018, Sudan Tribune available at http://www.sudantribune.com/spip.php?article66146

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