Home | News    Thursday 25 March 2010

UN says violence has increased in South Sudan as April elections near

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March 25, 2010 (JUBA) – A top official of the United Nations office based in the semi-autonomous region’s capital, Juba, said internal conflicts in Southern Sudan have risen from last year’s levels.

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Lise Grande speaking to reporters in Juba last year (ST)

The U.N. Deputy Resident and Humanitarian Coordinator for Southern Sudan, Lise Grande, told the Voice of America that the number of incidents of inter-tribal conflicts in the region have already reached 70 separate incidents in the first two months of this year alone compared to 102 incidents during the whole of last year [2009].

"This year alone, since the first of January, we have had more than 70 incidents, just in the first two-and-a-half months of this year," she said. 450 have already been killed and nearly 60,000 displaced by the clashes, she added.

Last year [2009] also saw a very sharp rise in such conflicts compared to the year 2008.

"What we saw last year was a very sharp rise in inter-tribal violence. There were about 100, 102 separate tribal conflicts last year, and as a result of that, there were almost 400,000 people who were newly displaced," said Grande.

The United Nations has warned in the past that violence in the South, if not curbed, could complicate Sudan’s upcoming polls.

Grande said recent clashes have mostly been related to conflict over access to water, especially sensitive to many Sudanese because of traditional livelihoods revolving around cattle.

"A lot of [the conflict] is in the area of Unity State, Lake State, and Warrap State," Grande added. "There has been a real concentration in those three states of intertribal trouble. Now, a great deal of that is related to the competition over scarce resources, particularly water. The cattle are very thirsty at this point, the rains have not come yet, they need to get to the water points, and water points are dried up all along those regular migration routes, and that has been one of the causes of the friction," she explained.

Last year, Jonglei state ranked first among the most affected states by such tribal conflicts which causes ranged from cattle rustling, child abduction and competition over scarce resources. The death toll in the troubled state had reached over 1,500 people in the conflicts that involved Nuer, Dinka and Murle communities.

Officials working on election issues in the South also say violence is just one of the factors that could complicate next month’s scheduled vote.

The Carter Center released a statement late last week that cautioned that the elections might have to be slightly postponed due to logistical delays in Sudan’s preparation for the vote.

Northern opposition parties have also called for the elections to be delayed until November. Sudanese officials have rejected calls to push back the polls, from April 11.

Ballots have to be brought to most of the polling stations across the South. Many southerners live in remote areas difficult to access by road, and many roads become impassable during rainy season.

In a rally organized for his presidential election campaign in Yei town, the incumbent Southern Sudan President, Salva Kiir Mayardit said April 11 election would have to be conducted in the South even if the North postponed it.

Kiir also warned against those instigating violence and seeking to take the country back to war, warning of the consequences and restrictions of movement across to the neighboring countries.

"There are those who would want to cause trouble only to run to the neighboring countries leaving the rest to face the situation. I would not allow any body to run away. I would order for the closure of all routes leading to the neighboring countries, and I would shut down the airports so that no body leaves," he said.

The Southern Sudan president who represents the region at the three-man Presidency in Khartoum is also expected to participate in a meeting scheduled for Thursday to discuss whether or not to postpone the elections.

Kiir had earlier told the IGAD summit in Nairobi, Kenya, that the people of Southern Sudan gave importance to the referendum scheduled for January 2011 than the forthcoming April elections.

Sudan’s elections were agreed to as part of a 2005 peace deal ending a two-decade-long civil war, during which an estimated two million people died. Also stipulated in the pact is a January 2011 referendum on Southern Sudan independence.

(ST)

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  • 25 March 2010 04:42, by Gatwech

    Wow!

    That is very serious! And this is why I have been recommending the postponement of this fake pre-rigged good-for-nothing elections because its fever will definitely invite more violence in the South.

    Do the referendum first and see after when the elections can be conducted. Hello, Salvatore Kiir, can you discuss this seriously with President Bashir. This will avoid violence in the South that can result to delay of referendum. We better do referendum first while still in unity. Elections will cause further divisions as people like George Athor are threatening not to see Kuol Manyang again imposed on Jonglei through rigging of elections.

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    • 25 March 2010 05:08, by jack chuol

      Liar Gathecw. How useles you are bro?
      Who tolk you Athor has threaten Kuol? that is another way of complicating things if you don’t know pool man.
      I knew you very well,any report concerning death or insecurity in Southern Sudan you felt very happy.I don’t understand what is wrong with you real.

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      • 25 March 2010 05:40, by Gatwech

        I do communicate to many people in Bor my friend, including my Dinka friends. George Athor doesn’t want Kuol Manyang and Gier Chaung. This is a shared observation by many people I talked to from Bor town itself. Don’t try to painfully deny it.

        And I am told that George Athor enjoys overwhelming support in the state while Kuol Manyang depends on Bor-Dinka alone. So George Athor knows that Kuol would never win the elections unless it is rigged in his favor, which he can also resist.

        Please don’t think that being in USA one cannot get reliable information on the ground there even in your mother’s tukul, I can still get the information of what your family is doing. Are you scared!

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        • 25 March 2010 06:35, by jack chuol

          Scare of what, do you know where am I from? I don’t care whether the next governor will be Ngundeng or Wurnyang I don’t care Gatwech.
          My concerns is the way you address things touching issuse from here and there checking every corner. You might be Ngundeng who is confusing people up to now. Do you?

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        • 25 March 2010 08:04, by Dinka Boy

          Dear Wurnyang/Ngungdeng guys,

          Violence increase in South because Arab gave food lovers weapons in the North, but let wait 2011 because that time will bw the elimination method against food lovers/Nuer. see the violence increase but the death number is usually high from those food lovers. let go will anything food lovers want and everything will be fine.

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    • 25 March 2010 05:09, by Malakal

      Gat-Witch,

      This election is good to be held because it will prepared the South for the crucial and the much anticepated upcoming referendum in 2011. It is a good draft for the GoSS to get a glime of what to expect in the referendum. Loosing this election is not much of a big deal, but loosing the upcoming referendum by rigging, through stooges malitias, who I believe to be presence within the GoSS, would truely be a disastrous shame to the Southerners. It time to see who is pro-Arab and who is a real Southerner.

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      • 25 March 2010 05:36, by Gatwech

        Malakal,

        Some people do not predict unfavorable situations and you are one of them. What if the elections outcome lead to wide-spread violence in South Sudan, do you think you can have a conducive environment for the conduct of the referendum? NO! my friend.

        If it can be discussed and constitution amended, it would be safer for the South to conduct the referendum first while we are still a united people. I am worry that the outcome of the elections will result to violence as hundreds of contestants will NEVER accept defeat or congratulate the winners in the American style of democracy here.

        You are talking of militias? Good! If working with Khartoum or signing agreement with Khartoum amounts to militant, then every body including late John Garang and Salva Kiir had/have been militias also.

        Remeber that Salvatore Kiir was working for Khartoum as intelligent spy in the military before joining SPLM/A in 1983. Also John Garang was SAF officer living in Khartoum and working for Nimeiri regime that violated the Addis Ababa agreement. And also don’t forget that signing the CPA with Khartoum amounts to surrender and a mindset of militants.

        Do you now get the point right?

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        • 25 March 2010 06:03, by BUSTA 2

          Mostly Dinkas!!!

          When we are talking about violence, we should know who are causing that violence without mention them, there will be no solution to the problem. I witness fight which erupt because of roundabout water which was drinking by one dinka and when he was asking not take that water for drinking he repled by saying who fought this war??

          I am calling upon my brohter dinkas please consider the advice given to you by your brother the Great Equatorians so that we can make better sudan where human being can live.

          Brother in Christ,

          Busta 2

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        • 25 March 2010 06:44, by Aduol Liet

          SPLM/SPLA Carefulness is needed now and take your uniforms back.

          I think every body in the SPLA/SPLM need to take uniform back as they were in two decades. If candidates agree that, they want to push Sudan general election to November this year then, it will help so that those candidates who are unprepared for now will be ready to try once more. This National Congress Party and his indictment killer Omar al Bashir knows exactly that most majority of Sudanese people will not vote for them and this is why they made restriction so that, there will be no free, fair and balance in the general election. SPLM in GOSS must be very careful on how to deal with this dictatorship redundancy tactices in all these five years. It is very close for Southern Sudanese people to decide if they will favor indpendence in this proximity or united one Sudanese nation as usually but we do not want again to allow the Addis Ababa peace agreement tactices to happen in the time where we have left only 7 Months to decide.

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          • 25 March 2010 07:52, by mohammed ali

            We are almost done! 2 weeks election, 6 months referundum, and that is it, you have your own state and Salva Kiir can be a first class president and a first class citizent.Khals ..finished!

            Not a single soldier from SAF will cross the border to the New Sudan.No war.

            Why are you bothered with fair or unfair elections!This is going to be strictly Jalabba business, let us go to hell and it will still be our business!

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        • 25 March 2010 06:56, by Ajawuk Juma

          Dear Southerners,

          I see alot frustrations in some of brother’s comments on this webstite. I don’t think any one will get more benefits from the violence we are instigating apart from running to the neighboring countries as Mr pesident stated it exactly.

          my advises to those who always claimed to Ugandans and Ethiopians when thing get tough, you must respects the choose of
          Southerners first than your little benefits.

          We have most of the resources in the South!!!! that is why our brothers from the North don’t want us to get aways with it however, If we think that our life is useless then why can’t we investes for the life of our generations to come.

          I am so concern about the referendums which is at the corner. Peaple always regrets when the lost some important but they don’t see this when they have it.

          Referendum is the only option for Southerners. The NCP/NIF will never ever change any thing!!

          Thanks you all

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          • 25 March 2010 08:13, by Dinka Boy

            Yes, there are those who always run to Khartoum and fought their brothers and others who run to uganda as acholi, great that this time the gate will be lock and the under mountains will be serach as well to get those coward who run away when war came. Those Nyagatins will be chase tho any place they want this time because we not joking guys. to Ngundeeg worshipers, Just you will praise traitor Riek in his grave but not right now. If you think traitor is better than our hero then go with it other we will see how he will be the president in South Sudan by all means. Good luck praising dead dog.

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            • 25 March 2010 08:30, by mohammed ali

              Dinka boy,

              Stop this tribal hallucintions and be a man not just a small boy.You are fueling these tribal wars and hatred.People are dying. This not a joke!

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            • 25 March 2010 09:58, by maumau

              Dinka Boy

              You always post comments as if you are crazy, whats up man. Calm down and take a deep breath before you comment. You are in a developed world, Australia, i do not know why you have refused to change. Most Dinka who are in developed world have changed and are enjoying, try to consult them to help advise you on how or esle, you will hang your self for no reason . Enjoy life there and eat Kangaroo and barbecue bro. I like you coz you are for SPLM but behave yourself as a party member who is out side the country. MAUMAU.

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    • 25 March 2010 06:15, by mohammed ali

      Gatwech,

      So this why you call it pre-rigged elctions.You have your army , if you are capable to run your separate state, you better do it now, 8 months will not change anything.

      Transfering problems to the north will not help you.If you haven’t learn to solve your own problems in 5 years , I am not sure that you can do that in 6 months time.

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      • 25 March 2010 13:32, by James

        Lise Grande,your report smacks of facts.There was a problem in Jonglei,Warap & Unity State.Those three States have never been peacefull since creation.During the war,99% of Khartoum militias were from those areas,now all those militias have become SPLA,leaving all their former weapons to their kins men.They are indeed a problem to the South. 100% of illiterate officers are from those states.The South will never be peacefull untill the SPLA is purged of those illiterate militia officers,who are currently commandly the forces.

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  • 25 March 2010 13:30, by Hassan

    The roots of the conflict should be propery investigated,not to be attributed to scape goats like say northners,People should ponder over the triggers of such conflicts. I think the triggers of these conflicts is the fragile fabric of south Sudan ,where neptoism,and tribal affliation bear the brunt.It the task of Kirr to investigate the real causes of such problems,and also it is the responsibility of you esteemed paper to tackle this ,and not to wail like a woman undergoing difficult labor.
    hassan Kassala

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