Home | News    Thursday 20 February 2014

S. Sudan, Uganda accused of bringing “bad blood” to peace talks

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By Tesfa-Alem Tekle

February 19, 2014 (DEBRZEIT, ETHIOPIA) - Officials from the rebel SPLM/A-in-Opposition accused the leaders of South Sudan and Uganda on Wednesday of obstruction during the second round of peace talks in Ethiopia, aimed at securing a durable political settlement in the strife-torn nation.

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Peace talks aimed at resolving the crisis in South Sudan remain on shaky ground as rebels maintained their calls for the immediate withdrawal of Ugandan forces in the country, which are providing military support to government troops (Photo: Samir Bol/SFP/Getty Images)

Negotiations were initially scheduled to resume last week, but were subsequently delayed after rebels maintained their calls for the release of the four remaining political prisoners and the withdrawal of Ugandan forces currently supporting government troops.

A rebel official in Debrezeit town, the new venue for the talks, told Sudan Tribune that South Sudan president Salva Kiir, and his Ugandan counterpart, Yoweri Museveni, were responsible for delays during the second round talks.

CEASEFIRE BREACHED

Bor Gatwech, a lawmaker and humanitarian liaison officer for the SPLM/A-In-Opposition, alleged the two leaders are hindering the second phase of peace talks from moving forward by continuing to violate the terms of a previously reached peace pact, signed in the Ethiopian capital, Addis Ababa, on 23 January.

Ongoing fighting between the two rivals, as well as the tit-for-tat allegations of violations, is threatening to derail the tenuous ceasefire agreement altogether.

Forces loyal to former vice-president turned rebel leader Rick Machar, claimed on Tuesday to have taken full control of Malakal, the oil-rich capital of Upper Nile state, and are now advancing towards Warrap state.

Both sides are trading accusations over who is responsible for triggering the latest breach of the truce agreement.

Rebels maintain that the South Sudan army (SPLA) and its military ally Uganda violated the truce shortly after it was signed, claiming they carried out bombardments and burnt down villages in Unity and Jonglei states.

The rebels allege that Kampala has continued to deploy thousands of its troops in South Sudan, in what Gatwech described as a clear violation of the peace pact.

“This violation also brings bad blood into the current second round of talks,” he added.

YOUTH RALLY CRITICISED

Meanwhile, rebel forces have also condemned a public rally organised in Juba last week by the youth wing of the ruling Sudan People’s Liberation Movement (SPLM).

In a statement extended to Sudan Tribune on Wednesday, rebel officials said the rally, held under the theme ‘One People, One Nation’, is a shame and “great insult” to the people of South Sudan.

“This is a mere propaganda by the killers and criminals who continue to murder our innocent civilian in Juba,” the statement said.

It is alleged that seven civilians from Unity state were massacred in their homes in Juba by militia forces loyal to Kiir prior the rally simply because they were ethnic Nuers.

Violence erupted in Sudan on 15 December following clashes between rival factions of the presidential guards.

The conflict has increasingly split along ethnic lines, with forces loyal to Kiir, a Dinka, and rebel fighters aligned with Machar, who hails from the Nuer tribe, battling for control of strategic areas.

Rebel forces have accused the SPLA of carrying out “barbaric and inhuman” atrocities in Unity State, Upper Nile State and Jonglei states.

“They have destroyed [the] governor residence in Malakal and destroyed ministry buildings. They have killed innocent civilians in Malakal and continue to do so in government-controlled areas,” the rebels said in the statement.

However, government representatives spoken to by Sudan Tribune have dismissed the allegations as “unfounded”.

One government representative said the claims as a complete fabrication and, describing the allegations as “simple propaganda”, aimed at attracting regional and
international attention.

He further accused rebels of being the first party to violate the truce agreement.

The official warned the government would launch a major offensive should the rebels continue to engage in military confrontation rather than political dialogue.

FOREIGN INTERFERENCE

The rebel humanitarian wing has accused an alleged mercenary from the Ugandan army (UPDF), as well as forces from SPLM-N and JEM, rebel groups active in Sudan, of carrying out ethnically motivated massacres in South Sudan.

“This is violation of the sovereignty of South Sudan and violation of international [law] and [the] UN charter, which does not allow interference by member states in other state affairs. The UN and the international community must condemn this interference in South Sudan Affairs,” the rebel group said.

Rebel forces maintain that there can be no lasting peace deal until Ugandan troops withdraw from the country.

Analysts have pointed out that despite immense political pressure on the two warring factions to reach a peaceful political settlement, both sides currently seem to favour military confrontation as a tactic aimed at securing the upper hand in ongoing negotiations.

The second round of negotiations has yet to get underway, with regional mediators deciding on Wednesday to relocate talks from the resort town of Debrezeit to Addis Ababa, the original venue.

Delegations are expected to arrive in the Ethiopian capital by Thursday, although no timetable has been announced on when talks would resume.

(ST)

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Kind regards,

The Sudan Tribune editorial team.
  • 20 February 07:48, by Mapuor

    No peace talks any more,Nuer militias must be fought for this war is a positive step in nation building.Its like American civil war that gave birth to the current USA.During the American civil war Southern states were defeated and subdued.Riek militias must be defeated,stripped of ranks and only then would modernization of institutions be possible.This war is necessary and justified

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    • 20 February 08:48, by mathem jech amer

      Sudan tribune is really advocating for rebels, now things done by rebels are said to be done by governmnet. Simon Kun is a governor of Upper Nile state, how can he destroys his own office, as I speak rebels are burning and looting remaining building in Malakal, they will die when Dinkas accept war b/n Nuers & Dinkas starting from those Nuers in Wau,Aweil, Kuajok

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    • 20 February 10:04, by Johndumo14

      The life of Dr Riek Machar is in Danger!Some top rebel commanders are planning to kill Dr Riek,so that they can take over leadership of all rebels units in Malakal,Bentiu and Bor.Dr Riek is being accused of not a true leader,he simply joined the rebellion because he was dismissed from the post of Vice president.When a Group of srebels tried to kill him ,that is why he escaped from bentiu to Jongli

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    • 20 February 11:03, by Hardlinner

      This is surely childish talk. These rebels cerntainly have child brain that is why they claimed that government forces have destroyed governor building and other infrastructures. Something whole world knew that they were the one responsibility for destruction, looting, killing of children, old men and women, women and raping them as well. Jungle nuer should look at themselves first.

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    • 21 February 06:11, by Johndumo14

      PRESIDENT M7 DON`T MAKE ANY MISTAKE BY WITDRAWING UGANDA TROOPS.
      Ugandan army MUST NOT WITHDRAW FROM S.SUDAN!!
      If you withdraw from South sudan,the LRA and DR Riek Machar`s rebels will follow you to Kampala!!

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  • 20 February 08:37, by Konkooc

    Dinka Offensive Forces(DOF)will soon clear all hungry looters nuer in their villages one by one. when Mighty Dinka roar the whole nuer area will be a hell to them.

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    • 20 February 08:41, by Konkooc

      why Dinka allow these minor hungry tribe nuer to be stubborn.
      we need to fuck nuer no more peace
      Mighty Dinka need to watch out

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      • 20 February 09:13, by Diversity

        @ Any Kiir Supporter here
        Think of your mother who is dying of unpredicted fear and hunger in refugee camps and IDP camps, Nuer are just enjoying in their ancestors’ land in South Sudan and Ethiopia,moreover they are dominating the western hemisphere countries,check that.

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  • 20 February 08:45, by hamil

    Mapuor,
    You are saying the Nuer should be fought but ask yourself who are fighting the Nuer? The answer is simple Ugandan forces with their air bombardment rescued Salva Kiir’s tiny little ass from being screwed by Riek Machar’s Nuer forces Salva has shown the entire world how weak he is in defending this Nation by himself If he was ready to fight Riek he should have done it by using the SPLM only

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    • 20 February 11:16, by Hardlinner

      Kiir is not weak but made mistake in observing countless militias into spla army. The offset original liberation army by integrating nuer militias led majority of the army becoming nuer. Most of the spla dinka generals became government officials leaving the responsibility of spla in the hand of nuer militia generals. Soon the spla army will return to it former glory where majority were dinkas.

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      • 20 February 14:56, by jijury

        Breaking News: Confirmed report From Malakal’s attacks over 9000 government troops killed by Rebels.Faloch and Maluoth are overran by the rebels. foreign troops killed by the rebels have 600-1000 South Sudanese pounds in their pockets. We are waiting for Kiir to send more troops!!!

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  • 20 February 16:38, by Kim Deng

    Dinka Kingdom days are numbered. Other 60s coward Jurs (Shilluk, Anyuak, Burun, Equatorians... ) have only two choices, either to remain neutral and just watch the dirty war or join coward Jaang/Slaves. Malakal now be comes "Latjor City."

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  • 21 February 05:31, by Positive Thinker

    Mapuor, justifying this senseless war with American Civil war is naive to say the least. American civil war was the not a tribal war for your Information, it was a war of ideology. This war in our country is senseless tribal war; and if you are not seeing we are losing the nation. Come out from your cocoon man. This can only be compare with what happened in Rwanda and should be stopped.

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