Home | News    Saturday 22 October 2011

South Sudan’s Unity State faces storm of challenges, ICG says

separation
increase
decrease
separation
separation

October 20, 2011 (NAIROBI) – Unity state on South Sudan’s northern frontier faces multiple challenges which threaten its continued destabilisation and exemplify concerns across the newborn country, a new report has warned.

JPEG - 12.9 kb
Unity state governor Taban Deng Gai (AFP)

The International Crisis Group (ICG), a Brussels-based research organisation, this week issued its first report on South Sudan since it gained independence from Sudan in July this year, choosing to focus on oil-rich Unity state.

Unity, whose population is predominantly Nuer, lies on the border with north Sudan and contains the bulk of South Sudan’s known oil reserves, making it the main source of revenue for oil-dependent South Sudan.

According to the ICG’s report, titled “South Sudan: Compounding Instability in Unity State", the strategic state faces “a perfect storm of political, social, economic and security dilemmas,” which demands particular solutions.

The state was steeped in controversy during the April 2010 state elections, in the then united Sudan, when the incumbent governor from the ruling Sudan People’s Liberation Movement (SPLM), Taban Deng, was announced to be the winner over his leading contender Angelina Teny, who left the SPLM to stand as an independent candidate.

Violence ensued following the announcement of the result and Teny, who happens to be the wife of South Sudan’s Vice-President Riek Machar, alleged the vote was rigged.

ICG’s report examines a set of factors fueling instability in Unity state, including the several armed rebellions which emerged in the state since April last year.

Some rebel militias are still active in Unity but the most prominent rebel commander, Peter Gadet, returned to the SPLM/A’s fold in August.

Another key rebel commander, Gatluak Gai, was shot dead on 23 July, a few days after he signed an agreement to integrate his forces into the SPLA.

ICG noted that although some rebel commanders appear to be motivated by “personal or professional gain” and some were encouraged by elements within the north, rebel militia activities highlight “internal fractures and latent grievances.”

As far as ICG’s report is concerned, the factors fueling instability in Unity run deeper than the armed rebellions to include “a governance crisis with national subtext, territorial disputes, cross-border tensions, economic isolation, development deficits and a still tenuous North-South relationship.”

The ICG’s report opines that divisive party politics in Unity state, including the “ongoing competition” between the state’s governor Taban Deng and Riek Machar, are in many ways a “manifestation of a broader national politics.”

The report also talks of widespread local resentment with the “crisis of politics,” in Unity, citing controversy surrounding Governor Taban Deng and the support he enjoys from Juba as well as the perceived misuse of the state’s petroleum revenues and the conspicuous lack of development.

ICG’s report goes on to highlight disputes over management of the oil sector and state boundaries as well as persistence of cross-border tension in view of the interruption in recent years of the migration of the Al-Missiryah tribe.

The report recommended the assumption of "greater oil sector responsibility," saying that rigorous regulations of land-acquisition and government oversight “are necessary to protect the rights and interests of local populations.”

Now that South Sudan’s independence has been achieved, ICG says, focus is shifting to latent political, security, social and economic challenges at home.

"Nowhere are the challenges deferred more evident than in Unity state,” the report said, acknowledging that “untangling Unity’s web of intersecting challenges will prove no easy task."

(ST)

Note from editors: Readers are advised to read the full text of the ICG’s report, attached below, for a detailed account of these issues and others, including oil-related challenges, the Khartoum-imposed blockade of trade routes to the south, the spillover from South Kordofan’s conflict on Unity, cross-border migration etc.

Comments on the Sudan Tribune website must abide by the following rules. Contravention of these rules will lead to the user losing their Sudan Tribune account with immediate effect.

- No inciting violence
- No inappropriate or offensive language
- No racism, tribalism or sectarianism
- No inappropriate or derogatory remarks
- No deviation from the topic of the article
- No advertising, spamming or links
- No incomprehensible comments

Due to the unprecedented amount of racist and offensive language on the site, Sudan Tribune tries to vet all comments on the site.

There is now also a limit of 400 words per comment. If you want to express yourself in more detail than this allows, please e-mail your comment as an article to comment@sudantribune.com

Kind regards,

The Sudan Tribune editorial team.
  • 22 October 2011 18:33, by LT Gen Madut

    I don’t blame Taban but Kiir for his poor leadership...O God save ROSS

    repondre message

    • 24 October 2011 07:01, by dengtaath

      The way I have observed the comments above, is an indication that we have come to learn the problem of our country, the above mentioned states problems specially the Unity state is fueled by central government. Governor Taban has lost his popularity so long ago but the government of Kiir Mayardit insisted him to retain his position,and this has become a clearly problem to the state.

      repondre message

Comment on this article



The following ads are provided by Google. SudanTribune has no authority on it.


s
Sudan Tribune

Promote your Page too

Latest Comments & Analysis


The shifting centres of gravity of JCE regime. 2017-09-25 07:05:03 By Oyet Nathaniel Pierino Did they know that it was going to be protracted and catastrophic? From the war song that was sung in nyakuron Saturday 14th, December 2013 to the attempted disarmament (...)

Open Letter to Ambassador Donald Y. Yamamoto 2017-09-23 07:09:30 To The Principal Deputy Assistant Secretary, Bureau of African Affairs, U.S. Department of State, Washington, D.C. September 21 , 2016 By Stephen Par Kuol Your Excellency Ambassador Yamamoto: (...)

Sudan’s renegade Sheikh 2017-09-12 12:44:55 By Ahmed H Adam Tensions between the Sudanese regime and militia commander Sheikh Musa Hilal has reached a tipping point in recent weeks. On July 20, Sudanese Vice President Hassabo Abdel (...)


MORE






Latest Press Releases


Amnesty calls to release Nubian activists detained over protest for cultural rights 2017-09-12 20:47:54 AMNESTY INTERNATIONAL PRESS RELEASE 12 September 2017 Egypt: Release 24 Nubian activists detained after protest calling for respect of their cultural rights Egyptian authorities should (...)

New group formed to gather Nuer in United States 2017-08-17 14:15:50 DECLARATION FOR THE FORMATION OF NUD TO BRING TOGETHER ALL NUER IN THE U.S.A Press Statement The Nuer Union For Development (NUD) The United State of America The State of Nebraska August 15, (...)

A prominent Sudan Women and Civil rights activist passed away 2017-08-14 21:09:47 The Strategic Initiative for Women in the Horn of Africa (SIHA) Khartoum, Sudan-August 14 2017 In the early hours of Saturday 12th August Fatima Ahmed Ibrahim, a renowned Sudanese leader of the (...)


MORE

Copyright © 2003-2017 SudanTribune - All rights reserved.