Home | News    Friday 7 February 2014

Uganda’s role in S. Sudan may derail peace talks: rebels

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By Tesfa-Alem Tekle

February 6, 2014 (ADDIS ABABA) - A member of the SPLM in Opposition - a rebel entity that emerged following a split within South Sudan’s ruling party - on Thursday claimed his team was less optimistic about prospects of success in the next round peace talks with government.

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Troops from the Uganda People’s Defence Force (UPDF) ride through the streets of Jonglei state capital Bor, on January 19, during South Sudan’s internal conflict which erupted in mid-December (AP)

"We believe the forthcoming talks will not bring much progress as long as Ugandan troops continue occupying South Sudan land," said Bor Gatwech, a lawmaker and humanitarian liaison officer for the SPLM/A in Opposition.

The rebel official, speaking to Sudan Tribune from the Ethiopian capital, Addis Ababa, insisted Uganda removes all its troops from South Sudanese territory and take a neutral position over what he described as an "internal" crisis.

Uganda, a member of the Intergovernmental Authority on Development (IGAD), has been facilitating talks between South Sudan’s warring parties since early January.

The presence of the Ugandan People Defense Forces (UPDF) in South Sudan was one of the main sticking points in the first round of peace talks, which culminated in a fragile ceasefire deal signed on 23 January.

Kampala’s role in the conflict, rebel official told Sudan Tribune, could disrupt the IGAD brokered peace talks due to resume on 10 February in Addis Ababa.

Despite the truce agreement, however, government forces and rebels have continued fighting in Jonglei, Unity and Upper Nile states where large parts of the military defected to form the SPLM/A in Opposition, led by ex-vice president Riek Machar.

Speaking to Sudan Tribune, Dr. Solomon Mokonnen, a political analyst blamed Uganda’s continued military presence in the country as well as a delayed deployment of IGAD ceasefire monitoring group as the two major causes that prevented an immediate implementation of the cessation of hostilities agreement signed two weeks ago.

"Ugandan troops must have moved out of South Sudan immediately after ceasefire and it is a shame why IGAD failed to push and make sure [of] their withdrawal" said Mokonnen.

The rebel negotiators accused IGAD of doing nothing in response to Uganda’s continued meddling in South Sudan, despite complaints they filed to the regional bloc over the matter.

"We believe that it will not be possible for IGAD to bring peace through Addis Ababa while fighting war through Kampala," said Gatwech.

Uganda initially said it sent troops to South Sudan to secure a safe evacuation of its citizens stranded at the conflict that erupted in mid-December last year.

Later, however, Kampala admitted its troops were battling forces loyal to Machar alongside South Sudan army (SPLA), a statement, which swiftly complicated the peace process in Addis Ababa.

Uganda’s President Yoweri Museveni is a close ally to South Sudan’s President Salva Kiir and deployed the UPDF to Juba just days after the conflict broke out. Museveni had earlier also threatened the rebels with defeat.

Kiir’s government has maintained that Ugandan forces will not leave South Sudan until peace and stability is restored in the two-and-half-year-old East African nation.

"IGAD must choose one thing so it doesn’t loose credibility and we want it to choose peace," added the rebel negotiator.

As well as South Sudan, Uganda has deployed troops in Somalia, Democratic Republic Congo and the Central African Republic. Many East African political analysts have described Museveni as a ’regional war monger’.

The agenda of the next round of talks will focus on identifying the root causes of the conflict, as well as political and national reconciliation, according to IGAD.

Seven senior members of the ruling party, who were accused of being involved in the violence on December 15 - which Kiir’s government says was an attempted coup - were recently freed to Kenya after being held for over a month. They are all expected to attend the talks.

The remaining four senior political figures being held in Juba, who are accused of treason alongside Machar remain in prison regardless of immense pressure from the international community on President Kiir.

Members of Machar’s negotiating team in Addis Ababa told Sudan Tribune that rejecting to release the remaining four leaders was an indication that President Kiir is not interested in the forthcoming talks in Addis Ababa.

With regard to the four political prisoners rebel leader, Riek Machar, recently told Reuters that it "will not be an inclusive peace process if they’re not there [at the talks]. A non-inclusive process would hurt the people of South Sudan."

South Sudan’s religious, civil society and women’s groups have also said that they should have a larger role in the talks.

The conflict has claimed the lives of 10,000 people according to some estimations and over 800,000 people have been forced to flee their homes.

Over 100,000 civilians have also fled to neighbouring countries to escape the violence with in many cases has taken on an ethnic dimension.

(ST)

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Kind regards,

The Sudan Tribune editorial team.
  • 7 February 08:16, by Wicdail

    Removeing UPDF from SS will be like removing Kirr’s hat from his head in public.

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    • 7 February 08:23, by LL Reuben

      Rebels:
      Take the deal along with a gamble on your futures and come back home quickly. This rebellion insanity for "democracy" is an old movie that everyone knows it end.

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      • 7 February 08:41, by Joseph Canada

        Uganda become our New Colonial brought by the Dinka regime just the way Abel Alier sold it to Arabs in 70s. I don’t understand why the Kokora is not put back to where it was? that way the upper Nile state can fight and kill themselves there.

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        • 7 February 21:11, by jubaone

          Joseph Canada,
          The recent mobilization in Greater Equatoria is the first step towards Kokora. It is the start of the Equatoria Defence League (EDL). Equatoria has put its demands to Kiir that will be supported with force. If he does not like them, then the jenges will have to be flashed out of Equatoria. That is simple. Just cut all supply routes to jengeland, offer no IDP hideouts in Equatoria.

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      • 7 February 08:43, by Mi diit

        Traitors like Salva Kiir and his thugs believe so much in their god-father Yoweri Museveni and his soldiers who will soon be annihilated. They are like women believing in their husbands. Shame on these coward traitors who have sold South Sudan to Uganda just to save their corrupt and visionless leadership.

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        • 8 February 11:05, by Adodi Jotuwa

          Tesfa-Alem Tekle.
          Please, take your biased piece of journalistic scrap to Dr. Fool Riek Macahr’s supporters who are excited to read it. How much do you know about Dr. Fool Riek Machar’s political profile or his contribution to this free nation of South Sudan? How do Dr. Fool Riek Machar and his tribal defectors know more about the word “democracy” than the other South Sudanese 63 tribes…

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          • 8 February 11:05, by Adodi Jotuwa

            …who know transfer of power always comes through democratic elections but not through the use of power based on tribal sentiments? IGAD, AU, and international community failed to blame the rebellion or to understand who is Dr. Fool Riek Machar because they have no idea that another Riek Machar might have appeared in the past or will soon emerge in their own country trying to…

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            • 8 February 11:07, by Adodi Jotuwa

              …take power by force by mobilizing his tribe which is well noted in African context. IGAD, AU and international community fell short of branding Dr. Fool Riek Machar the leader of terrorist organization formed in South Sudan because of the massive loss of lives in Juba, Bor, Akobo, Malakal and Bentiu, and including infrastructural destruction and massive displacement…

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              • 8 February 11:08, by Adodi Jotuwa

                …within a short period of time. How do all these regional, continental and international bodies condone these acts by keeping silence and failing to pressure Dr. Fool Riek Machar to negotiate peace in good faith without preconditions? To make it worst, how and why did you pick up the so-called political analyst Dr. Solomon Mokonnen to publicize his…

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                • 8 February 11:08, by Adodi Jotuwa

                  … biased negative analysis? Dr. Fool Solomon and Dr. Fool Riek might have gone to the same school of thought - how to use violence to transfer power from elected government to a violent rebel leader since 1991 instead of waiting for democratic elections. The presence of UPDF in South Sudan has not closed the mouths of Dr. Fool Riek negotiation team members to discuss and agree…

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                  • 8 February 11:09, by Adodi Jotuwa

                    …on peace deal without preconditions. Although every human being has his own negative, Ugandan President M7 has done the right thing to stop more bloodshed since South Sudan has just come out from decades of war. President M7 deserves a lot of credits not only for making Uganda remained politically stable for nearly 28 years compared to his predecessors.

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                    • 8 February 11:09, by Adodi Jotuwa

                      Why do IGAD, AU and international community justify Ugandan military role in Somalia, Rwanda, DRC and CAR and not in South Sudan? How much destruction or how many lives needed to be lost so that they begin blaming Dr. Fool Riek Machar and his associates that it has already reached unimaginable proportion? How do Dr. Fool Solomon and the Dr. Fool Riek’s negotiation team…

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                      • 8 February 11:10, by Adodi Jotuwa

                        … comment on these double standards? Do these bodies need peace only in other countries but not in South Sudan? Or because they think that this kind of rapid loss of lives, massive infrastructural destruction, displacement and humanitarian cost will never happen in their own countries? Few African countries remained politically stable since the final departure…

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                        • 8 February 11:10, by Adodi Jotuwa

                          … of colonialists from the continent in the 60s but the political future of many countries often hang in the balance. Believe me or not. Why should blood be shed for no reasons because of Dr. Fool Riek Machar’s interest? Why don’t we some Africans leaders agree that we’re weak politically, culturally, socially and economically? So long as we keep relying on foreign aids,…

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      • 7 February 08:45, by Joseph Canada

        Uganda become our New Colonial brought by the Dinka regime just the way Abel Alier sold it to Arabs in 70s. I don’t understand why the Kokora is not put back to where it was? that way the upper Nile state can fight and kill themselves there.

        repondre message

        • 8 February 11:11, by Adodi Jotuwa

          … (no matter how it’s channeled) without waking up that there is string attached for potential political mess or stability, it will be hard for us to see clearly the invisible hands. Wake up guys. Dr. Fool Riek Machar cannot make treason twice with impunity, during the war and after independence of South Sudan. No, not acceptable.

          repondre message

      • 7 February 09:04, by Tutbol

        LL Reuben,
        You hit it on the nail. Our Nuer cousins do not know they are being football-played by the *gamblers* in the West (criminals in those govts to be exact), whose their aims is just to control S Sudan through their Riek Machar & our Nuer, *Nyantoc* brothers/sisters think their messiah, Riek Machar, is also everybody else messiah, in the Nilotic plains...

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        • 7 February 09:25, by Tutbol

          Ethiopia now seems to be slyly supporting Riek Machar’s armed rebellion against the S Sudanese govt. Our country has to step back a bit & visioned Ethiopia’s intentions. Ethiopia is as, far as S Sudanese know, doesn’t have to be acting as it is another superior country to S Sudan. We can’t blamed Ethiopia that much though. Our elders are the ones that brought our peoples to this low....

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    • 7 February 08:53, by Wicdail

      Coun. But Kirr can keep his hat on his Ugly head for the rest of his life. Because it’s not that expensive. But for how long is he going to maintain these greedy Creatures (UPDF) and their War monger leader M7?

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    • 7 February 12:23, by Tong dut

      Ugandans are looting south sudan as Kirr wants.It will nice to remove Kiir, or HIV is nice then Kiir rules and Museveni the african great looter.

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    • 7 February 12:27, by Johndumo14

      Most of Dr Riek Machar rebels soldiers are from Nuer tribe,most of the defected government soldiers from Equatoria and malakal,Bentiu,Bor are from Nuer tribe to join Riek Macahr rebels are from Nuer tribe,Only one tribe in south sudan are calling for Salva Kiir to step down!! The other 65 tribes of south sudan said let us wait the elections,
      Who give them power the Nuer,N call Kiir to stepdown?

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    • 7 February 12:41, by Johndumo14

      Joseph Kony Ugandan rebel leader and Dr Riek Machar are very close friends,Dr Riek Machar gave Joseph Kony $10,000 US dollars as pocket money in 2005.
      Dr Riek Machar promised Joseph Kony that,if he becomes South Sudan president also Joseph Konyi wiil become next Ugandan president,their telephone conversations was recordeed by EU statelite Network ,Monitoring and Mass surveillance for Africa.

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    • 7 February 12:42, by Johndumo14

      Joseph Kony Ugandan rebel leader and Dr Riek Machar are very close friends,Dr Riek Machar gave Joseph Kony $10,000 US dollars as pocket money in 2005.
      Dr Riek Machar promised Joseph Kony that,if he becomes South Sudan president also Joseph Konyi wiil become next Ugandan president,their telephone conversations was recordeed by EU statelite Network ,Monitoring and Mass surveillance for Africa.

      repondre message

    • 7 February 14:49, by Bungachier 50

      Did UPDF prevent you from talking peace? If not, why are you creating lame excuses. If you want war, let us resume it as you have already started it in Jonglei. 75% of Nuers are very foolish like sheep.

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    • 7 February 15:30, by mathem jech amer

      Wicjal
      Fighting in Somalia is internal, so ask Ugandan troops from there first before withdrawing from South Sudan

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      • 7 February 19:05, by Johndumo14

        Dr Riek Machar now is a frustrated rebel leader.
        He want to be a south sudan president by military coup detat,he canot win.
        He want to be south sudan president by military means or rebellion still he canot win. Even if go for elections in 2015 ,he will not win the elections. what he can do now is to surrender to save his nuer tribe ,or they will live in exile for the rest of their lives.

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    • 7 February 19:12, by Johndumo14

      The rebel delegations who are currently in Addia ababa for peace talks will not come back to Juba ,they will stay in kenya or they join Dr riek in the Jungle,some of yje will be killed when they come back to s.sudan.Soon rebels will will fight each other ,just wait and you will hear,breaking news,

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  • 7 February 08:46, by Konkooc

    rebel need to tell thier grievances as to why they killed innocent South Sudan.
    IGAD should leave South Sudan alone if the rebel are still insisting. those four charged with treason will be hanged and no way out.

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  • 7 February 10:41, by Marco Bul

    Nuer are black al shababs.They must be dealt with by regional forces.The sooner the better,before rainfall.

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  • 7 February 21:51, by Waucity

    I think it would be very smart if Southern Sudan can just ignore Ethiopia opinion forever.Have we not been going to Ethiopia for twenty one years to discuss peace between Northern Sudan and Southern Sudan?.This country has nothing to offer us but pure evilness, seriously, if Uganda is helping the government of Southern Sudan stand instead of it being destroy by rebels.Then what is wrong with that?

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  • 7 February 21:51, by Waucity

    I think it would be very smart if Southern Sudan can just ignore Ethiopia opinion forever.Have we not been going to Ethiopia for twenty one years to discuss peace between Northern Sudan and Southern Sudan?.This country has nothing to offer us but pure evilness, seriously, if Uganda is helping the government of Southern Sudan stand instead of it being destroy by rebels.Then what is wrong with that?

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  • 8 February 07:28, by Sudan virus

    Uganda oyeeeeeeeee!

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  • 8 February 08:02, by 4Justice
  • 8 February 08:07, by 4Justice

    The President of the Republic on Thursday protested against International Criminal Court or ICC intervention in the investigation of human rights violations in South Sudan in the aftermath the mid December crisis.
    http://catholicradionetwork.org/?q=node/13271

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  • 8 February 08:15, by Knight In Shining Armor

    What M7 is doing will in the end hurt the poor Ugandan civilian. It is shame for our government to let South Sudanese die to keep Ugandan economy running. Very unfortunately, our people are dieing in the hands of the same people who are flocking streets of our cities in search of green pasture.

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