South Sudan clashes

Discussion in 'World Affairs' started by brahmos_ii, Dec 18, 2013.

  1. brahmos_ii
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    brahmos_ii SENIOR MEMBER

    South Sudan government ready for ceasefire - regional leaders

    South Sudan's government is ready for a ceasefire with rebels, regional leaders said Friday, urging the rebels to make a similar commitment. A meeting of regional leaders "welcomed the commitment by the Government of the Republic of South Sudan to an immediate cessation of hostilities and called upon Dr. Riek Machar and other parties to make similar commitments," Ethiopian Foreign Minister Tedros Adhanom said.

    Following a summit in the Kenyan capital Nairobi, the Intergovernmental Authority on Development (IGAD) also called on South Sudan's President Salva Kiir and his rival, former vice president Riek Machar, four days to hold face-to-face talks.

    It promised further action if the deadine passed without a meeting, without specifying what action could be taken.

    However the grouping appeared to take the side of President Kiir, by "condemning Machar's attempt to secure power through a coup as opposed to a democratic process."

    The fighting in South Sudan started on December 15 after Kiir accused Machar, whom he sacked in July, of attempting a coup. Machar fiercely denied this, and said the president was exploiting a clash between members of the army as a pretext to carry out a purge.

    Fighting has since spread across the oil-rich but impoverished nation, which only won independence from Sudan in 2011.

    The IGAD grouping includes Kenya, Sudan, Ethiopia, Djibouti, Somalia, Uganda and South Sudan -- although South Sudan's president was absent from the talks.
    Read more: South Sudan government ready for ceasefire - regional leaders
  2. Marqueur
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    Marqueur Peaceful Silence Staff Member

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    should have rooted them out ... take help from foreign countries ... with a ceasefire you are give them to re-arm n re-group ...
  3. brahmos_ii
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    brahmos_ii SENIOR MEMBER

    South Sudan will release most of a group of politicians accused by the government of links to a foiled coup plot against President Salva Kiir, the United States envoy to South Sudan and a senior government official said on Friday.

    "We were very encouraged to hear the president reiterate that with the exception of three of the senior Sudan People's Liberation Movement (party) officials who have been detained...the others will be released very shortly," US Envoy Donald Booth told South Sudan state television.

    The release of the 11 prominent politicians arrested by the government after violence erupted on Dec. 15 is a key rebel condition for peace talks.

    Read more: South Sudan to free most politicians detained over alleged coup
  4. layman
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    layman SENIOR MODERATOR Staff Member

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    First UN reinforcements arrive in South Sudan

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    United Nations: The first peacekeeping reinforcements have arrived in South Sudan as the United Nations warned that tensions remain dangerously high despite efforts to organise a ceasefire between government and rebel forces.

    The 72 member police contingent yesterday, moved from Democratic Republic of Congo, were the first of up to 6,000 troops authorised by the UN Security Council to bolster the hard pressed UN mission.

    The UN said dangers remain so acute that large numbers of bodies had been seen outside at least one UN base, but could not be collected.

    UN peacekeeping spokesman Kieran Dwyer said the Bangladeshi police "will play a key role maintaining order and security" in UN bases where 63,000 people have sought refuge since fighting erupted on December 15.

    More troops and equipment were expected to arrive on today.

    More than 1,000 people have been killed since army forces loyal to President Salva Kiir and former vice president Riek Machar started fighting each other. The 15-nation Security Council voted on Tuesday to allow the reinforcements.

    East African leaders said earlier that Kiir had agreed to a ceasefire. But Machar would not immediately commit to halting hostilities and the UN warned that both sides remain on a conflict footing.

    The UN Mission in South Sudan (UNMISS) "says that the security situation in Upper Nile and Unity states is tense, with reports of the presence of anti-government and government forces," said a UN statement.

    Diplomats said the rival sides were massing their forces around Malakal and Bentiu, the main cities in the two key oil producing states.

    UNMISS says that at least 63,000 civilians are now sheltering in UN bases around the country, including 25,000 in two Juba compounds; 15,000 in Bor, 12,000 in Bentiu and 8,000 in Malakal.

    Bentiu is "tense" and "there are reports that fighting may resume in the coming days," said the UN's Office for the Coordination for Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) in a daily briefing report.

    "Government forces are believed to have consolidated their positions in and around Bor," added the UN statement. "Anti-government forces remain in the vicinity and the situation remains tense."

    Bor is the capital of Jonglei state, a longstanding focus of the ethnic divisions highlighted by the new conflict.

    Machar is an ethnic Nuer, while South Sudan's president is from the rival Dinka tribe.

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  5. layman
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    layman SENIOR MODERATOR Staff Member

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    Battles rage in South Sudan as ceasefire hopes fade

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    Juba: South Sudanese rebels allied to ex-vice President Riek Machar sought to retake control of a key town on Monday, the army said, as hopes faded that an upcoming ceasefire deadline will be obeyed in the violence-wracked nation.

    United Nations peacekeepers said they were concerned over claims thousands of armed youths from Machar's Nuer tribe were readying to attack Bor, the capital of Jonglei state, amid international efforts to stop two weeks of violence spiraling into all-out civil war.

    "The forces of Riek Machar are now advancing on Bor, but we are confident we will hold them off and protect the town," army spokesman Philip Aguer told AFP.

    "Yesterday there were heavy clashes at Gadiang north of Bor... the people in Bor fear an attack at any time."

    Rebels were currently reported around 50 kilometres (30 miles) northeast of Bor.

    It was not clear how many of the gunmen remained in the thick bush around Bor, but the army statement appeared to contradict claims by government spokesman Michael Makuei late on Sunday that "most of them have returned home".

    Reconnaissance flights by the UN Mission in South Sudan (UNMISS) on Sunday identified armed groups but could not confirm the force's size.

    The gunmen, a loose ethnic militia force loyal to Machar and dubbed the "White Army", are heavily armed - some carrying automatic rifles or spears, others armed with rocket propelled grenades. They are known for smearing white ash onto their bodies as war-paint and to ward off insects.

    The world's youngest nation plunged into chaos on December 15 when President Salva Kiir accused his former deputy of mounting a coup, sparking deadly violence believed to have left thousands dead.

    Ceasefire deadline on Tuesday

    Regional leaders at the Inter-Governmental Authority on Development (IGAD) have set on Tuesday as a deadline for face-to-face talks between Kiir and Machar.

    While the government has said it was willing to observe a ceasefire, Machar - who was sacked as vice-president in July - has made demands including the release of his arrested political allies before committing to a truce.

    South Sudanese government spokesman Makuei told AFP on Sunday: "I really doubt if we, the South Sudanese government, will be in a position to sit with Riek Machar... He has not even respected the call by IGAD and the African Union to agree to the cessation of hostilities."

    Fuelled by ethnic rivalries between Kiir's Dinka group and Machar's Nuer, bloodshed has swept across the nation, with fierce battles reported in strategic oil-producing areas.

    Grim reports of massacres, rapes and killings nationwide have emerged on both sides of the conflict.

    Rebels swiftly took over several key regional cities including Bentiu, in the northern oil-producing state of Unity, and Bor, which was later recaptured by the army.

    There was also heavy fighting in the town of Malakal, state capital of oil-producing Upper Nile, but the army said they were back in full control.

    A video posted by UN humanitarian chief in South Sudan Toby Lanzer in Malakal showed burnt and looted stores and buildings in the centre of town.

    "The situation in Malakal is stable, we are in control," Aguer added.

    Oil production, which accounts for more than 95 per cent of South Sudan's fledgling economy, has also been hit with oil companies evacuating employees.

    The UN says some 75,000 have sought refuge in badly overstretched peacekeeper bases across the country, and over 180,000 are displaced across the country.

    Tens of thousands of Sudanese refugees are also reported to have been affected.

    UN peacekeeping reinforcements began arriving in the country last week, the spearhead force of some 6,000 extra troops voted for by the UN Security Council, that will nearly double the size of the mission in the country.

    UNMISS chief Hilde Johnson is to brief the UN Security Council later on Monday on the crisis.

    South Sudan became independent in 2011 after a civil war that killed more than two million people between 1983 and 2005.

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  6. brahmos_ii
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    brahmos_ii SENIOR MEMBER

    Uganda warns S Sudan rebel chief to comply with ceasefire

    Ugandan President Yoweri Museveni warned South Sudan's rebel chief Monday to comply with a ceasefire deal ending Tuesday or face action by regional nations.

    The world's youngest nation plunged into chaos on December 15 when President Salva Kiir accused his former deputy of mounting a coup, sparking deadly violence believed to have left thousands dead.

    Regional leaders at the Inter-Governmental Authority on Development (IGAD) have set December 31 as a deadline for face-to-face talks between Kiir and Machar.

    "We gave Riek Machar some four days to respond, and if he doesn't we shall have to go for him, all of us (IGAD), that is what we agreed in Nairobi," Museveni told reporters after meeting Kiir in Juba.

    Museveni did not clarify if his threat involved military action by regional nations in support of the government, but Ugandan troops deployed in South Sudan days after the fighting began, both to support Kiir and to help evacuate its citizens.

    "The AU (African Union) bans all coups so when we had some problems here... we sent some forces here under Salva Kiir to see how we can help to restore order, it's solidarity," Museveni added.

    "People here have suffered. Don't you see the suffering here? I want to congratulate General Salva for defeating these fellows in the town here."

    While the government has said it was willing to observe a ceasefire, Machar - who was sacked as vice-president in July - has made demands including the release of his arrested political allies before committing to a truce.

    The IGAD deal agreed in Nairobi on Friday said only that leaders would "consider taking further measures" if hostilities did not cease within the timeframe.

    Ethiopian Foreign Minister Tedros Adhanom both flew into Juba Monday for fresh talks with Kiir for a "follow-up on the decisions of the IGAD summit", he said in a statement.

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  7. layman
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    layman SENIOR MODERATOR Staff Member

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    South Sudan forces battle ‘White Army’ militia

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    JUBA, South Sudan — South Sudan’s army clashed Sunday with ethnic Nuer fighters, and government officials accused rebels of mobilizing the force despite the government’s offer of a truce to end the conflict.

    Information Minister Michael Makuei said the Nuer militia had dwindled in numbers — from an estimated 25,000 — after Nuer politicians and tribal elders persuaded it to abandon its march on Bor, the provincial capital of Jonglei state.

    “About 5,000 refused to abandon the march, and they have proceeded with their advance on Bor. They then dislodged [government troops] from Mathiang, about 18 miles from Bor,” Makuei said by phone from South Sudan’s capital, Juba, 120 miles south of Bor.

    Government troops retook Bor from rebel forces Tuesday after several days of heavy fighting. Witnesses spoke of panicked civilians fleeing the city to escape another round of bloodletting.

    Nuer fighters — called the “White Army” because they dust their bodies with ash to ward off insect bites — have threatened the central government in the recent past.

    Former vice president Riek Machar, whom President Salva Kiir has accused of a coup attempt, is an ethnic Nuer.

    Bor was the scene of a massacre of ethnic Dinka in 1991 by Nuer fighters loyal to Machar.

    The United Nations said the involvement of the Nuer fighters brings another volatile ingredient to the situation.

    “South Sudan does not need another escalation of the crisis involving armed youth, pitching communities against communities. This can end in a vicious cycle of violence,” Hilde Johnson, special representative of the U.N. secretary general, said in a statement.

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  8. brahmos_ii
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    brahmos_ii SENIOR MEMBER

    The African Union has said it will impose "targeted sanctions" over violence in war-torn South Sudan, where two weeks of fighting is feared to have left thousands dead.

    The pan-Africa bloc's Peace and Security Council said in a statement it would "take appropriate measures, including targeted sanctions, against all those who incite people to violence, including along ethnic lines".


    S Sudan army under attack by rebels in town of Bor


    South Sudan rebels battled government troops Tuesday for control of the flashpoint town of Bor, the army said, dashing hopes a looming ceasefire deadline in the war-torn nation would be heeded.

    "There is fighting this morning in Bor town... we are awaiting more details," army spokesman Philip Aguer told AFP. The army celebrated last week the recapture of Bor from the rebel forces, who have been fighting government troops for over two weeks.d.

    "We are fighting the rebels now," Mayor Nhial Majak Nhial told Reuters by phone from the outskirts of Bor, which lies 190 km (120 miles) to the north of the capital, Juba, by road.

    Bor is inaccessible to journalists. Sustained bursts of gunfire could be heard in the background.

    Read more: African Union threatens sanctions over South Sudan violence - News - World - The Voice of Russia: News, Breaking news, Politics, Economics, Business, Russia, International current events, Expert opinion, podcasts, Video
  9. brahmos_ii
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    brahmos_ii SENIOR MEMBER

    President Salva Kiir told James Copnall a peaceful solution was still possible

    South Sudan rebel leader Riek Machar has told the BBC he will enter peace talks, claiming his forces have captured the key town of Bor.

    He had previously demanded 11 detainees accused of being co-conspirators in the coup plan be freed before negotiations.

    He denies there was a plot - alleged by his rival President Salva Kiir.

    Uganda's president has threatened the rebels with military action if they fail to agree to a ceasefire by the end of Tuesday, and begin talks.

    In a BBC interview on Monday, President Kiir ruled out any power sharing with Mr Machar to halt violence that has killed at least 1,000 people in the last two weeks.

    "These men have rebelled. If you want power, you don't rebel so that you are rewarded with the power. You go through the process," he said.

    Mr Kiir has consistently refused to release Mr Machar's political allies, arrested when he made the coup plot allegations.
    'Big fight'

    It has not been confirmed whether Bor has fallen to Mr Machar's forces - a mix of mutinous soldiers loyal to him and an ethnic militia called the "white army", known for putting white ash onto their bodies as a kind of war-paint.

    A UN spokesman said the town of Bor had come under attack at day break, not far from the town's UN compound.

    A South Sudanese army spokesman confirmed a "big fight" had happened.

    Later, Mr Machar told the BBC he was sending a delegation to Addis Ababa for peace talks.

    The BBC's James Copnall in the capital, Juba, says talks in South Sudan's troubled history have often been preceded by renewed fighting, to allow the belligerents to go to the negotiating table in a position of strength.

    In recent days, thousands of people have fled from Bor, the capital of Jonglei state.

    The fighting initially broke out more than two weeks ago in Juba, and has now spread to many parts of the country.

    At least 1,000 people have died and more than 121,600 are believed to have fled their homes.

    Mr Machar was President Kiir's deputy until he was sacked in July.

    What began as a power struggle between the two men has taken on overtones of an ethnic conflict. The Dinka, to which Mr Kiir belongs, are pitted against the Nuer, from which Mr Machar hails.

    BBC News - South Sudan rebel 'agrees to talks after taking Bor'
  10. layman
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    layman SENIOR MODERATOR Staff Member

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    South Sudan's army admits losing strategic Bor

    KHARTOUM, Jan. 1 (Xinhua) -- South Sudan's army admitted Wednesday that the rebels had seized the strategic town of Bor, the capital of Jonglei state, but stressed "the fighting is still going on."

    Philip Aguer, the spokesman of the Sudan People's Liberation Army (SPLA), said on phone from the South Sudanese capital of Juba: "Yes, we have already withdrawn from the city of Bor."

    He added the forces loyal to former Vice President Riek Machar have taken control of the city after the SPLA troops withdrew, " but the fighting is still going on."

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  11. brahmos_ii
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    brahmos_ii SENIOR MEMBER

    South Sudan has requested talks with Sudan on deploying a joint force to secure oil fields in the south, Sudan's Foreign Minister Ali Karti told reporters on Monday.

    Karti spoke at the airport in Khartoum after visiting Juba where Sudanese President Omar al-Bashir met Salva Kiir, president of South Sudan, in a diplomatic effort to halt fighting in South Sudan.

    Sudan fears the three-week-old conflict in its southern neighbour could disrupt oil flows and damage its own struggling economy.
    Read more: S Sudan requests talks with Sudan on joint force to protect oil fields
  12. Himanshu Pandey
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    Himanshu Pandey Don't get mad, get even. Staff Member

    these type of issues may be solved only if whole africa is divided again on the basis of tribes as they felt more strongly for their tribe then their nation.
  13. brahmos_ii
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    brahmos_ii SENIOR MEMBER

    Opposition has demanded their release while President Salva Kiir has rejected their calls

    The fate of 11 political detainees in South Sudan has acquired central importance in peace talks to defuse the violence that has splintered the South Sudanese army and led to the death of thousands and the displacement of at least 200,000 civilians.

    Violence erupted three weeks ago after a protracted power struggle between South Sudan President Salva Kiir and his former deputy Riek Machar. Mr. Machar has fled Juba and mobilised sections of the army against Mr. Kir’s government.

    Peace talks between the two sides appeared imperilled as mediators from the Intergovernmental Authority on Development (IGAD) shuttled between the South Sudanese capital at Juba and Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, the venue for the talks.

    “These people have to be released from jail,” said Mabior Garang, spokesperson for the opposition delegation said in Addis Ababa, “They have been in jail for a long time without charge in violation of their civil rights and liberties.”

    ‘Shift venue’

    In Juba, President Salva Kiir rejected calls to release the prisoners and asked that talks be shifted to the South Sudanese capital, according to Bloomberg news.

    Opposition spokesperson Mr. Garang refused to comment on whether his team would step away from the talks if the detainees were not released.

    “I cannot comment as President Kiir’s position has not been communicated to our delegation,” he said.

    A spokesperson for the opposition forces said rebel forces had successfully repelled government attempts to recapture the strategic town of Bor and killed over 200 government soldiers including senior officers.

    “Bor is still in our hands,” said Brigadier General Lul Ruai Koang, “We are on defensive positions, the government is on an offensive position.” Gen. Koang said between four and five thousand soldiers had defected from the army and joined the rebels.

    ‘India for mediation’

    “The Indian government is supporting the IGAD led mediation between the two parties,” said Sandeep Kumar, Joint Secretary for West Asia and North Africa at the Ministry of External Affairs, in an interview in Addis Ababa,

    “We are hopeful that an agreement can be reached and implement on the ground.”

    Speaking upon his return from a three day visit to Juba, Mr. Kumar said the Indian consulate in Juba would continue to function and provide support to the approximately 1000 Indian citizens in South Sudan.

    Indian state-owned ONGC-Videsh had temporarily ceased production at its oil well in South Sudan but would soon resume, Mr. Kumar said.

    Last year, India’s Special Envoy to Sudan and South Sudan, Mr. P.S. Raghavan visited Juba to discuss India’s development projects aimed at developing infrastructure in health, electrification, solar energy and solar management.

    President Salva Kiir was expected to visit India in August last year, but cancelled his trip due to the brewing political unrest that has culminated in the current crisis.

    Talks in S. Sudan falter over detainees - The Hindu
  14. brahmos_ii
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    brahmos_ii SENIOR MEMBER

    Child soldiers are fighting in the more than month-long conflict, with mass killings reported to have taken place, according to the UN's Assistant Secretary-General for Human Rights Ivan Simonovic.

    "The reports that we have come across involve mass killings, extrajudicial killings, widespread destruction and looting, and child soldier recruitment," Ivan Simonovic told reporters.

    The UN children's agency Unicef added they too had "credible reports that children are participating in the conflict", but gave no details on possible numbers.

    The UN has accused forces of President Salva Kiir and former vice president Riek Machar of carrying out atrocities in the conflict that started on December 15.

    "We have heard that quite a number of child soldiers are being recruited in the so-called White Army," Simonovic added, referring to an ethnic Nuer militia force that has rampaged across the eastern state of Jonglei, fighting alongside mutinous soldiers loyal to Machar in the rebel-held town of Bor.

    Aid groups say up to 10,000 people have been killed in the battles and UN leader Ban Ki-moon has warned that both sides will be held "accountable".

    Simonovic said it was crucial there is accountability for any human rights abuses committed.

    "We shall in the coming weeks be revealing reports on preliminary findings," he added.

    Meanwhile the number of South Sudanese fleeing their violence-wracked nation for severely overcrowded refugee camps in neighbouring countries could exceed 100,000 by the end of the month, the UN said Friday.

    More than 86,000 South Sudanese have already flooded across the country's borders since the brutal conflict erupted.
    In addition to the tens of thousands fleeing across borders, some 468,000 South Sudanese have been displaced inside the world's newest country, according to the UN's humanitarian agency.

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