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South Sudan Watch Update 73

UN wants 9,000 abductees released

The United Nations has released a report urging the rebel group SPLA-IO to release the people that they abducted during the fighting that started in April 2018.

The report says over 900 people were abducted and another 24,000 forced to flee their homes during fighting in Western Equatoria State.

The UN adds that during April and August 2018 in Western Equatoria, the SPLA-IO headed by Dr. Riek Machar attacked villages in Gbudue and Tambura killing several civilians. Witness accounts from the clashes say that women and children as young as 12 years of age, were abducted by the rebels.

The abducted women were lined up for the commanders to choose wives and those that were not chosen were left to the other soldiers. There were several cases of rape witnessed and many of the boys were taken as porters by the rebels.[1]

 Prisoners freed

Part of the peace deal signed in South Sudan is the release of prisoners of war. During the past week authorities in Wau State released 16 prisoners of war. The prisoners were freed and handed over to the International Committee of the Red Cross. The Head of Sub-Delegation of the ICRC in Wau, Nuor Khadama, confirmed the release and hand over of the prisoners of war.[2] The South Sudanese government in response released a group of 24 detainees and handed them over to the International Committee of Red Cross.

Sudan and UN in a new deal

The United Nations Development Program (UNDP) and Sudan have signed a deal to support host communities of South Sudanese refugees in White Nile State in Sudan. The deal is worth 21 million US dollars and will be implemented in three phases with the first one providing the host communities with machinery and equipment including tractors, agricultural harvesters as well as water pumps. According to the UN, as of September 15 there were over 760,000 refugees in Sudan about 150,000 of them in White Nile State.[3]

IGAD discusses South Sudan security

IGAD’s chiefs of staff met in Khartoum to discuss the security situation in South Sudan and the deployment of forces in the country. After the IGAD summit held on 12 September 2018 decided that Djibouti, Somalia, Sudan and Uganda would deploy some 4,000 troops to support the 13,000 of UNMISS, the recent meeting saw the chiefs agree to assess the needs on the ground before deploying. In the statement released after the meeting, the attendees discussed the expansion of the Regional Protection Force and decided to form a joint working group headed by Sudan.[4]

700 million South Sudan pounds for celebrations

The ministry of finance of South Sudan approved 700 million South Sudanese Pounds for the peace celebrations meant to mark the signing of the peace revitalization treaty. The celebrations were an initiative of Salva Kiir who invited all the parties involved in the signing for the celebrations in Juba slated for 30 October 2018. Among those invited was Dr. Riek Machar who said that he would attend on the condition that Salva Kiir releases the prisoners of war. [5]

 

[1] “South Sudan: UN urges release of abducted civilians,” Scoop, 19 October 2018, available at http://www.scoop.co.nz/stories/WO1810/S00110/south-sudan-un-urges-release-of-abducted-civilians.htm

[2] “Wau authorities release 16 war prisoners,” Radio Tamazuj, 19 October 2018, available at https://radiotamazuj.org/en/news/article/wau-authorities-release-16-war-prisoners

[3] “Sudan, UN sign deal to support S. Sudanese refugees,” China.org.cn, 22 October 2018 available at http://www.china.org.cn/world/2018-10/22/content_67492599.htm.

[4] “IGAD military leaders decide to assess South Sudan’s security situation,” Sudan Tribune 23 October 2018, available at http://www.sudantribune.com/spip.php?article66481.

[5] “Government approves 700 million SSP for peace celebrations,” KMA Updates, 23 October 2018, available at https://kmaupdates.com/juba-government-approves-700-million-ssp-for-peace-celebrations

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