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Former US special envoy calls for more engagement with S. Sudan

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January 8, 2014 (KHARTOUM) – The United States former special envoy to Sudans, Princeton Lyman, has stressed that the international community must act more robustly to assist South Sudan in becoming a viable state.

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FILE - U.S. President Barack Obama meets with Sudan Special Envoy Ambassador Princeton Lyman in the Oval Office, April 1, 2011. (Office White House Photo by Pete Souza)

Since last month, clashes erupted in South Sudan amid fighting among a group of soldiers in the capital, Juba. The violence quickly spread to other states, leaving over 1,000 dead and nearly 200,000 homeless.

President Kiir has accused Machar of attempting to stage a coup against him but this has been denied by all those involved, including the eleven senior members of the ruling SPLM who were detained soon after the fighting within the army began on the evening of 15 December.

Lyman acknowledged, in an article in the New York Times (NYT) on Tuesday, weakness and inability of the political institutions in the newborn state, wondering about the responsibility of the U.S and other foreign entities towards South Sudan which stands on the verge of another civil war.

Lyman, who served as U.S special envoy to Sudan and South Sudan between March 2011 and March 2013, pointed that the U.S under both President George W. Bush and President Obama, has invested heavily in the birth of South Sudan, saying that Washington is the largest donor to South Sudan since it gained independence in 2011.

He said that neither the U.S. nor the international community can ignore the threat this current conflict in South Sudan represents, emphasizing that the crisis brings home the fact that the country’s political institutions were much too weak and unable to manage the competing ambitions and other demands of a new state.

The former envoy added that the international community must participate directly in helping South Sudan develop the institutions of governance, democracy and human rights protection that are lacking today.

He pointed that the current crisis fragmented South Sudan’s army which he described as “more a coalition of competing militias than a unified military”, calling upon the international community, African countries and institutions, United Nations, and European countries to become more deeply engaged.

Lyman proposed a more robust role for the UN Mission in South Sudan (UNMISS), saying that UNMISS backed by the U.N. Security Council (UNSC), must no longer accept restrictions by the South Sudan government on its movements, investigations and role as protector.

He said that once a cessation of hostilities is agreed upon, the peacekeepers should be charged with monitoring the cease-fire, keeping the conflicting forces apart and reporting any violations of the agreement to the UNSC, pointing that the U.N. and donors should assist in creating a more unified and professional military for the country.

The former envoy pointed to the importance of drafting a permanent constitution under the supervision of an independent South Sudanese jurist with broad civic and political participation, asserting the need to assign international advisors to assist in the process.

He said that 2015 general elections should be timed to the completion of the new constitution; advising South Sudan’s government to focus on the restoration of peace and the fostering of reconciliation and investments in education, health and infrastructure which are badly needed.

Washington began withdrawing its non-essential staff in Juba in mid-December and said on Friday that it would evacuate more staff, urging all US nationals to leave South Sudan.

The US embassy said that as of January 4th it would no longer be able to provide any consular services to its citizens in the country.

The evacuation order comes as ceasefire talks got underway in Ethiopian capital Addis Ababa between the South Sudanese government delegation and rebels loyal to former vice-president Riek Machar.

(ST)

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  • 9 January 07:04, by Knight In Shining Armor

    I said this before, acting aggressively against the rebels is not on favor of Kiir. He should better release those detainees and pursue peace even if, it requires him to step down. By stepping down, Kiir may get back the respect of the people that he cares for the the better future of the country he fought for and have no ambition to cling on power.

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  • 9 January 07:12, by Knight In Shining Armor

    Cont. Now, if you read the article very careful, the international community has already deemed his administration as weak and not viable. Soon, the same international community will declare that he Kiir has lost legitimacy and should step down if he continues with the spirit of violence. Give it up Mr. president, and you will be rewarded for the good things you did in the past.

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  • 9 January 07:22, by Knight In Shining Armor

    Cont. M7 is a wicked man Mr. Kiir, he is a killer but I guess is going to bury you alive. Open your eyes, the path you have chosen is the wrong path and is going to led you to wrong side of history. You have achieved lot, why do you want kill you comrades? Give them chance to relay the touch to the next generation, and continue to give the good advice. Has anybody brought this to your attention?

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    • 9 January 08:49, by Akook

      Mr Knight.. this exactly what I have been telling my fellow Dinkas. This dude is completed, he fought out his whole life for good cause, liberation which has been achieved! The idea that Kiir will again lead nation building effort is at best misplaced. He has to quit and reserve some dignity if any at all is left

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      • 9 January 08:54, by Akook

        Kiir has failed, no question about that! He is trying to hide behind shameful curtain of tribalism by invoking fighting against and gain sympathy of his fellow Dinka as a victim of traditional enemies(Nuers)! I’m convinced Kiir will go home now if not he insist not being wise, he will end up going to the ICC this time. He is becoming not Salva we know, but a silly old man who is only after deaths

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        • 9 January 09:00, by Akook

          CON.. It’s equally silly of him to think he can risk military as a final solution. If Kiir is to pay blood heavily and capture Bentiu and Bor as he thinks, then how many days do you think your soldiers will be there while you enjoy beer and prostitutes in Juba as usual? Nuer will still regroup and come back, don’t think you will finish while they carry their own guns. You are stupid damn president

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          • 9 January 13:30, by Jewish Ally

            AKOOK
            IF KIIR FAILED WHAT IS THE RIGHTFUL STEP OF OUSTING IS IT THROUGH GUN OR THE BALLOT PAPER AND THAT IS WHERE WE DIFFER.
            AND IF YOU COMPARE SALVA KIIR AND DR RIEK, KIIR IS FAR BETTER THAN HIM. AND FOR THIS REASON MACHAR WILL NEVER RULE THIS COUNTRY. THE NEXT PRESIDENT AFTER KIIR WILL BE: LAM AKOL, RIAK GAI, OR ELIAS LOMORO.
            BUT FOR MACHAR NO WAY

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            • 9 January 19:40, by choldit

              Jewish Alley,
              Do u honestly think the white army are fighting SPLA for Dr. Riek Machar? As for me, sir/madam, the world is missing a point here when pple categorised the war as a political one. The Nuer are not fighting for Riek Machar but for their loved ones that were massacred in Juba by the pple who supposed to protect them, the Kirr republic guards aka Dinka milias..

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          • 9 January 13:36, by Jewish Ally

            AKOOK
            IF KIIR FAILED WHAT IS THE RIGHTFUL STEP OF OUSTING HIM? IS IT THROUGH GUN OR THE BALLOT PAPER AND THAT IS WHERE WE DIFFER.
            AND IF YOU COMPARE SALVA KIIR AND DR RIEK, KIIR IS FAR BETTER THAN HIM. AND FOR THIS REASON MACHAR WILL NEVER RULE THIS COUNTRY. THE NEXT PRESIDENT AFTER KIIR WILL BE: LAM AKOL, RIAK GAI, OR ELIAS LOMORO.
            BUT FOR MACHAR NO WAY

            repondre message

  • 9 January 12:45, by Jubawe

    People if you read the article very careful, envoy mentioned all the weakness of our nation and where Kirr fail. US and International community will soon ask kirr to step down thus what they plan for. S Sudan is a fail state with no question. Government should stop using propaganda then telling the truth and call for help. Give all citizens their right and parliament do their job without them. Pol

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  • 9 January 12:58, by Jubawe

    Reason why our country failed because
    1. Army President
    2. No constitution
    3. Parliament doesn’t have voices
    4. Individual army
    5. Parties doesn’t have right
    6. Politicians doesn’t have voices
    7. No security
    8. No progress of bringing investors
    9. No hospital
    10. No salary
    11. No future plans
    I can’t say weak parties because kirr abuse them

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  • 9 January 13:07, by Jubawe

    Wrong ministers in wrong position, what do you expect them to do for the nation, kirr doesn’t attract foreigners investors to the country. He always confused and abandoned wise people to manage the country and uneducated people to guide him with wrong advice of tribalism as yoi can see the consequences lead out new nation to war against.

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  • 9 January 17:42, by Axios

    Sounds like S.S. will be occupied by more U.N. troops soon. That envoy Layman appears to have led Obama to believe S. Sudanese are unfit to run a stable nation.

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    • 9 January 20:11, by Oppressor

      Exactly this what will happen soon like Zaeer "Kangio" & white looters with Mosveni will kick youi out & loot all your wealth. hhhhhaaa so funny

      repondre message

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