Home | News    Thursday 23 January 2014

S. Sudan government dragging feet on ceasefire agreement, say rebels

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January 23, 2014 (ADDIS ABABA/JUBA) – Hopes to sign a cessation of hostilities agreement between the South Sudanese government and the rebels, who are referred to as the Sudan People’s Liberation Movement (SPLM) in Opposition, have slipped away with the rebels blaming the government for the “intransigence.”

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A Sudan People’s Liberation Army (SPLA) soldier rests on the back of a truck in Malakal on 21 January 2014 (Photo: Reuters/Andreea Campeanu)

The two factions representing the government of Salva Kiir Mayardit and the rebels led by former vice-president Riek Machar Teny have been negotiating in the Ethiopian capital, Addis Ababa, for the last three weeks under the mediation of the Intergovernmental Authority on Development (IGAD), but with no progress.

The expected agreement on the cessation of hostilities has been delayed because the two parties could not yet agree on attaching the release of the political detainees as part of the immediate implementation of the ceasefire and the withdrawal of the Ugandan UPDF forces, said James Gatdet Dak, the spokesperson for Machar.

"A final draft on the cessation of hostilities has been worked out by the two parties in Addis Ababa. The draft calls for the withdrawal of the foreign troops of the neighbouring Uganda who were illegally invited to participate militarily in the internal affairs of South Sudan by non-other than the president Salva Kiir," Dak said.

He however decried the intransigent position of the president who appeared to maintain his refusal to neither withdraw the Ugandan forces nor release the political detainees.

"However, the clear messages we receive from the side of the government indicate that Kiir is not willing to agree on the withdrawal of the UPDF troops. He also doesn’t want to release the SPLM leaders whom he wrongfully detained in the capital," he further charged.

The spokesperson of the former vice-president added that both the withdrawal of the UPDF forces and the release of the detainees were genuine demands that should be effected simultaneously with the coming into effect of the cessation of hostilities agreement.

In Addis Ababa where the mediation struggle to finalise the cessation of hostilities deal, the government negotiating team did not come to the venue of talks Wednesday morning.

Sudan Tribune sought to get some explanation from the mediation but they refused to comment.

However, diplomatic sources in Addis said the parties were expected to sign the cessation of hostilities deal on Thursday afternoon.

Observers say the recent military advances by the South Sudanese army in Bor and Malakal give the government delegation greater leverage at the negotiating table.

South Sudanese officials say that government forces are now control all of the major towns previously under the rebels control and that the latter have lost the war.

REBELS REFUTE CLAIMS OF WEAKNESS

Dak refuted allegations that the rebels have been weakened and may not fight back against the government.

He further said the rebels have been reorganising their ranks and preparing for a big thrust against the government’s strategic positions, including the capital, if Juba continue to reject a ceasefire based on its clear, simple demands and terms.

"It would be a wrong assumption and regrettable mistake on the side of the government to reject the demands of the pro-democracy SPLM/A forces, putting it on the false hope and excitement that the democratic forces had lost the war," he said.

He claimed that the rebels tactically withdrew without a fight from the towns they previously captured, saying this was in order to reorganise for the next move if the cessation of hostilities agreement was not insight.

The rebel official went to accuse the government forces of killing civilians and destroying public and private properties.

"The pro-Kiir forces and their Ugandan mercenaries did not fight any body in those towns of Bentiu, Bor and Malakal. They just came in and went on rampage killing civilians, destroying the houses, burning them down, including dismantling the phone network system in the case of Malakal. That was the fight they did on the properties," he said.

South Sudanese president spokesperson, Ateny Wek Ateny, told a news conference in Juba on Wednesday that the rebels killed 127 patients in Bor hospital and destroyed houses and shops.

In an interview with the Wall Street Journal last week, South Sudanese president Salva Kiir refused to issue a presidential pardon to release the 11 political detainees indicating that he prefers they face justice.

"You cannot arrest somebody, release him without showing him or showing the world the mistake he committed, which led to the arrest," he said.

(ST)

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  • 23 January 06:54, by Mi diit

    Good, let incompetent Kiir refuse ceasefire so that we catch him soon. He will dearly pay for this war he started.

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    • 23 January 06:59, by omoni jr.

      salva kiir will be remembered as.
      1-first and second lady for M7.
      2-Great liar, "a coup attempt.
      3-tribalist leader
      4-divisive leader, Nuer Vs Dinka.
      5-hungery power,
      6-poor leader with poor performances
      7-selfish chief,

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      • 23 January 07:15, by Mi diit

        Unreasonable Kiir, what "mistake" did the leaders do which made you to arrest them and to show to the world? Challenging you democratically in the SPLM party, maybe? The world knows that there was no coup. It was you lying to the world and they now disrespect you for the lie!

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      • 23 January 11:04, by Son of Ngundeng

        Amoni, you are right brother, for what happen to our country we believed that all what you wrote its true, Kiir he is not a president he just a sultan of Warrap state, Kiir will die soon the freedom fighters are moving toward capital Juba right there.

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      • 23 January 12:54, by BBCs

        First of all,Riek Is done and Gadet is Death and James Koang is next. Is that what mr Riek want. Now no peace because rebels are weak and there will be no offer for Nuers in Government position who rebel against the government. All Nuers will be under Dinka Ruler .Fuck u Biches

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        • 23 January 14:44, by jacob mayen ajuoi

          U are right my dear! since they creation earth never a happen one day Dinka man to be Ruler By Nuer.if the do a mistake to refuse to signs they document then these the end of their revolution we r going to killed them one by one.

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    • 23 January 08:12, by jubaone

      Kirr should immediately come up with charges to prosecute the 11 politicians, if not release them unconditionally. The ICSS 2011 says, anybody arrested for an alleged offence will be tried within 48 hrs otherwise he/she should be set free. Kiir flouts the very laws he signed. Fact, is he cannot charge them. He has not doen that with Dura saga and those who responsibly for Komiru killings in Juba

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  • 23 January 06:55, by omoni jr.

    Salva is so stupid to talk about UN and leave the really terrorists like UGANDAN ARMY who killed Bor civilians and blamed it to machar forces.

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    • 23 January 07:08, by Joseph Canada

      Omoni jr. The monkey is always amonkey no matter what you do to him. He think Ugandan army will protect Dinka for ever. What the Dinka need to do is to move to Uganda.

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      • 23 January 10:40, by wacjak

        Joseph, Dinkas are not whores like you who switched sides when things get tough. You are known for that. There is no where you will find Dinkas on earth apart from South Sudan and so, where will they run to? Dogs like you can continue to dream, but they Dinkas shall be the Israelites among wolves in South Sudan. By the way, know that, not all Dinkas participated in this senseless war.

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        • 23 January 10:45, by wacjak

          Am sorry that, you guys pushed the Nuer to this war thinking that, they would easily eliminate the Dinka n then, you rob the govt. The Nuer shamelessly and without thinking agreed to your cheap politics. Now, thousands among them are dead. Your mouths are now shut knowing, should you talk, you shall be the next target. Dinkas are good but can be worst at times. The best you can do is to talk only.

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      • 23 January 15:56, by zulu

        Amani and joseph,
        you follks have to die hard to gain trust for cease-fire. You want war, bring it on. We will catch you alive this time with Riek as so stupid to think he has the confidence of the SPLM. He tried to destroy the SPLM/A, not again. He should form his party as his military wing is now called White Army of :ou Nuer

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    • 23 January 07:09, by viper

      hahaahaha! is this confused little Jimmy still calling themselves splm in opposition and pro-democracy? instead they should name themselves as forces of destruction because they are just to to burn to ashes and kill the old, the patients. a single tribe cannot and will never bring democracy. all south Sudanese should be the ones to talk of that and not only Nuers who are trying oppositely to cre

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      • 23 January 07:17, by viper

        ......create Ngundeng republic without shame. we have seen you. your aims are now very clear. they are loot, rape even the old, kill the kids, burn. these are the only things that you do best and they qualify you to be called the forces of destruction. death to the traitors. it is up to the gov’t to timely accept cease fire or send you to Ngundeng

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  • 23 January 07:24, by wisemen.

    Dear All Reader,
    - Salva Kiri is showing the world that justice is priority for every body is your big or small
    - LET ME ASK WHO EVER IS READING NEWS PAPER AND LISTING ON ALL THE BROADCASTING NEWS
    whom do you thing Riek Machar is?
    some who kill
    - women
    - children
    - over age people
    - destroying building which were build long time ago
    is he the expected president of south Sudan?

    repondre message

  • 23 January 07:49, by Akoch A. Magardit

    Those talking about protection of Dinka by foreign forces and referring to removal of Kiir from leadership as removal of Dinka Kingdom are simply telling us that Riek wants to wipe out Dinka and install a Nuer government; hence creating a tribal government. Leaving me to wonder what kind of democracy Riek is fighting for? when he’s going to form a Nuer government.

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    • 23 January 08:02, by viper

      Akoch
      not only that, Riek has changed the name of the country from Republic of South Sudan to Ngundeng Republic. Madingbor got the new name of Ngundeng city. Juba was to be named as Ngundeng shrine or Ngundeng mausoleum. all ministers were yo be appointed spiritual magician called Dak Kueth based on his magical powers and based on on the subdivisions of Nuer sections.

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      • 23 January 08:12, by Mi diit

        Your cheap propaganda shows how cheap you are. Who do you think you will fool with your nonsense. Kiir is incompetent, illiterate tribal chief of Dinka. We want to change this mentality by bringing a government for all tribes, not for a tribal group of thugs.

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        • 23 January 08:20, by LL Reuben

          Mi diit,
          Then why is it that only your primitive Nuer teenagers are the only one fighting on your idol Riek’s side. Stop this weak claim that he is fighting for all not for your stupidity called Ngundeng and himself.

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        • 23 January 11:59, by viper

          govts aren’t changed by tribes midiit.. they are changed by revolutionaries from all the corners of the country. can the Nuers make a change? big no. change can only come from all the corners of this country, not from the Nuers only. on the issue of this gov’t being tribal, it is just a big lie.

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          • 23 January 12:09, by viper

            iam sure u will agree with me that the current ministers of foreign affairs, Education, health, and the speaker of the national assembly as well as the chief of army and director of external intelligence comes from Nuer. the three states capitals that u have been burning are being governed by your fellow Nuers. where is tribalism here bro?

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      • 23 January 08:37, by Wicdail

        We are dealing with pigs here, ladies and gentle men. you will never understand the sort of Justice Mr Kirr is talking about. They murder Abraham Issac but never bring his killer to justice? What I know so far is that, Kirr is guilty for releasing those politicians knowing that his survival defend on their being kept in jail.

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  • 23 January 08:58, by DDooggaa

    There are news that some two prisoners are actually not in detention, they are been killed. Kiir is facing it difficult to accept the release, cos its going to known that he killed 2 political detainees. But time will come where every thing will be know all.

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    • 23 January 10:35, by wacjak

      Good mouth to hear that two guys are actually dead. The rest should follow suit. They are bunch of useless politicians. Let Mr. Traitor’s followers in the talk sort out alone. Am happy that the rebels and followers are finding it hard to continue with the war they knew wouldn’t materialize. Why beg for the release and withdrawal of UPDF? Go on Midit and your traitor to liberate the country from Ki

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