Home | News    Saturday 1 February 2014

IGAD deploys team of ceasefire monitors in South Sudan


By Tesfa-Alem Tekle

January 31, 2014 (ADDIS ABABA) - The East African bloc, Inter Governmental Authority on Development (IGAD), who negotiated a ceasefire deal between the warring parties in South Sudan said on Friday that they will be dispatching their first team of observers to the conflict-affected member state over the weekend.

The decision to deploy monitors within the next 48 hours was made after leaders of IGAD member states held a meeting behind closed doors on Friday on the sidelines of the African Union summit in Ethiopia.

Regional mediators late on Friday confirmed to Sudan Tribune that a "joint technical committee" of 11 observers will head to Juba on Saturday.

The joint technical committee comprises members representing the South Sudanese government and the rebels, who refer to themselves as the SPLM/A in Opposition. The committee also comprises of representatives from Ethiopia, Kenya, Sudan, the African Union (AU) and the international community.

The monitoring team led by Ethiopia will assess the situation in the main flashpoint towns of Juba, Bor, Malakal and Bentiu and will return to Addis Ababa with a report in five days, before the second round of peace talks between the government and rebels resumes in the Ethiopian capital on February 7.

After the first team submits its report to IGAD and regional mediators, the main monitoring and verification team will head to South Sudan within a week.

Ambassador Seyoum Mesfin, IGAD’s chief mediator for the six-week-old South Sudan conflict urged the two warring parties to "respect and expeditiously" implement the cessation of hostilities agreement signed in Addis Ababa on 23 January.

The former Ethiopian foreign minister further called on the two sides to fully cooperate with the ceasefire monitoring team.

Citing reports of ceasefire violations by both sides Mesfin said there had largely been "much restraint and encouragement."

Kenyan president Uhuru Kenyatta called on South Sudan’s leaders to put the interests of the hundreds of thousands of people suffering by the violence above all other considerations.

Although the two warring factions signed a cease fire agreement a week ago the fighting has not stopped to allow humanitarian access and for some of the over half a million displaced people to return home. The International Crisis Group estimates that 10,000 people have died in the conflict, which began as a political power struggle between President Salva Kiir and the deputy he sacked last year, Riek Machar.

After fighting broke out on December 15 in Juba the conflict quickly spread to Jonglei, Unity and Upper Nile states. Machar and his associates deny the government’s accusations that they were planning a coup against President Kiir.

After extensive international pressure the South Sudanese government has released seven of the 11 detainees it had held for over a month without charge in connection to the alleged coup. There have been further calls, including from Ethiopia, for the remaining four detainees to also be freed.

Responding to reports that he will be charged with treason for leading the rebellion, Machar has warned that such statements could damage future peace talks.

At the AU summit, Sudanese president Omar al-Bashir today said unless the crisis in South Sudan is resolved quickly, Africa might witness another conflict like the decades of civil war in the Democratic Republic of Congo.

South Sudan seceded from Sudan in 2011 after a 2005 peace deal ended over two decades of civil war. But since then the former the rebels have struggled to evolve into a national army and its political wing into a democratic ruling party.

Both sides in the conflict are accused of committing serious human rights violations.

The UN Mission in South Sudan in a statement on Thursday said it is investigating the crimes committed by both sides since fighting broke out in mid-December.

According to the statement, UN peacekeepers in South Sudan have conducted more than 300 patrols in the capital Juba and Jonglei state to collect evidence and document abuses.


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  • 1 February 2014 05:03, by Mi diit

    This IGAD monitors should ensure that these foreign Ugandan troops are withdrawn immediately in accordance with the ceasefire agreement. This inferior president Salva Kiir will not talk real peace unless his god-father protectors (UPDF) leave him vulnerable in order to think well. The coward Kiir believes too much in Museveni’s forces.

    repondre message

    • 1 February 2014 05:24, by michael coma

      UPDF is not withrawing whether you have joined hands together with Eritrea.We knew that you Nuers have sold our nation just because of your leadership greediness.America is playing gambling card on both side just to get oil and loot it.Obama administration is against African’s interest.Many economist mafias from US have comes to South Sudan to study their benefits and cause war among South Sudanes

      repondre message

    • 1 February 2014 06:07, by Tutbol

      Mi diit,
      Read here there the humiliations you people brought to S Sudanese from your our evil white people http://www.newsnow.co.uk/A/693519352?-21266:20622
      You people have brought our peoples the greatest indignity ever....

      repondre message

      • 1 February 2014 06:16, by Tutbol

        You Nuers claimed to be fighting for democracy, and to remove Kiir from power instead, you people went on to loot the UN foods in Malakal, UNity, Bor and killed civilians in those cities that have nothing to do with Kiir & still your Riek Machar & the bunch of Nuer fools continue to show little qualm for the pains & the humiliations they have caused S Sudanese.

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        • 1 February 2014 06:22, by Tutbol

          The good news is, our people will not let criminals in the US or Europe that you have secretly made a deal with with our resources get anything from our country.
          The US with its corporate media propaganda have been trying in the past weeks to give your senseless armed rebellion a leg, but S Sudanese will not buy their bullshits....

          repondre message

          • 1 February 2014 06:29, by Tutbol

            The US & some criminals in Europe want to get of Chinese so that the US will replace China in S Sudan oil sector, that is not going to happen. Setting up our peoples against each others, then blame our peoples for the misery that was caused by the US greed? The US has shown S Sudanese its evil side & S Sudanese will not forget this.

            repondre message

  • 1 February 2014 05:24, by Gogrialboys

    Now folks, I’m totally confused of which cease fire are we talking about here? I hear Nuer calling their separate nation instead of State, Murlei calling to have their own and those of Dinka BOr calling to have their own state. What is really going on in this region call Greater upper Nile? This region has never let South-Sudanese enjoy their hard won freedom since CPA.

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    • 1 February 2014 05:30, by michael coma

      Stop cattle mind here.No day that Bor can call for state alone and Nuer to call for cuntry within South Sudan.Better talk of Murle who have not gone to school to know the number of people that own state.Don’t bring kitchen news here,bro.

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      • 1 February 2014 05:48, by Gogrialboys

        Michael, did you get the article of Mr. Maker Lual in which he emotionally, enumerated the devastation of Bor town? I don’t want to respond the way you did, but would like to say that people of Bor are always the victim of Nuer and Murlei in their rebellions. Maker Lual said in his article that it is the time for Jonglei to be separated or move the capital of Jonglei some where far from Bor.

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      • 1 February 2014 05:55, by Gogrialboys

        What I did say was about the whole Greater upper Nile rebellion. I don’t know whether anyone of you in this forum can deny that it is the upper Nile region that is disturbing peace in South-Sudan since the beginning of the movement. I know truth hurt sometimes, but Riak will not run this country and that is the problem his people the Nuer don’t see. No Dinka hate Nuer, only Riak and you will see.

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        • 1 February 2014 06:35, by michael coma

          Maker Lual didn’t said that Bor need its own state but to relocate state capital to Nuer’s area so that Nuers can stop misbehaving.Yes,i agreed with you about Greator Uppernile region problematic issues.And who brought this mess apart from Nuers and shulluks?I am standing as man of greator Dinka rather than greator Uppernile

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