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S. Sudanese rebels protest inclusion of stronghold in ceasefire monitoring

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February 27, 2014 (JUBA) – South Sudanese rebels on Wednesday said they would not accept the mediators’ decision to include Nasir, one of its strongholds in Upper Nile state, among the ceasefire monitoring and verification mechanism areas.

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Head of the rebel delegation, Taban Deng Gai, attends the opening ceremony of South Sudan’s negotiation in Addis Ababa, January 4, 2014. (Photo Reuters/Tiksa Negeri)

Taban Deng Gai, the head of the rebels’ negotiating team, said envoys from the East African regional bloc (IGAD) should not have included Nasir as one of the areas to be monitored, while excluding other areas held by pro-government forces.

The official, in a release extended to Sudan Tribune, said they were “disappointed” over the unilateral signing of the implementation modalities in support of the Agreement on Cessation of Hostilities (CoH) by Juba and witnessed by IGAD Mediators, without taking into consideration concerns made by opposition forces.

“The initial agreed areas of deployment were Juba, Malakal, Bor, and Bentiu. This is in accordance with the provision of Articles 5.2 and 6b of the Cessation of Hostilities Agreement based on the requirements on the ground. The IGAD special envoys may deploy additional monitors in consultation with the parties. After selecting the four areas noted above, the Joint Technical Committee (JTC) team included Akobo unilaterally after protracted discussion which IGAD consented to it,” the 26 February release partly reads.

“However, after JTC team visited Akobo, they decided to visit Nasir without consulting with the SPLM/A. The JTC team then added Nasir to the list without consultation and consent of the SPLM/A. Hence SPLM/A rejects any attempt to include Nasir as one of locations for the Monitoring and Verification Teams (MVTs) to monitor without taking into consideration issues raised”, the statement reads in part,” added the release, notifying the international community and the people of South Sudan.

There are fears within government that the rebels could use Nasir, a strategic area located at its border with neigbouring Ethiopia, as a base to receive military supports from outside allegedly without the knowledge of the Ethiopian government.

The rebels, it’s lead negotiator said, would only accept IGAD’s decision, if the purpose of deploying the monitoring and verification teams is to monitor movement of troops, deployment or redeployment, supply routes, sources of threat, and humanitarian access, includes area such as Nimule, Kaya, Nadapal, Parieng, Kwajok and Rumbek.

He also expressed concerns that the JTC chairperson never gave opposition forces sufficient time for consultation, adding that this lack of consultation may not provide conducive environment for monitoring and implementation of the ceasefire agreement.

Gai, however, reiterated the full commitment of his group to signing of the Implementation Modalities in Support Of the Agreement on Cessation of Hostilities (CoH), once the issues, concerns and reservations raised are resolved.

DELAYED TACTICS

The rebels earlier accused President Salva Kiir of using “delayed tactics” to undermine the monitoring and verification mechanism of the ceasefire, which formed the basis of the truce signed in Addis Ababa as part of efforts to end the conflict.

Such a move, according to the head of the rebel delegation, enabled the South Sudanese army (SPLA) to “make a mockery” of the ceasefire and thus launch attacks on rebels.

But the spokesperson of the army, in a separate interview with Sudan Tribune, accused the SPLM-In-Opposition forces of violating the agreed ceasefire, citing attacks on Malakal, which the rebels claim to control.

“Our forces have always respected the cessation of hostilities agreement, but this has continuously been violated by the rebel forces of Riek Machar,” said Philip Aguer.

(ST)

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  • 28 February 2014 06:44, by Bolman

    yes at this time I will say Taban oyee points must be stand behind people please defend your wards don’t let it lost

    repondre message

    • 28 February 2014 09:47, by mathem jech amer

      Taban in picture, folding hands as if a believer but a big devil

      repondre message

    • 28 February 2014 09:53, by mathem jech amer

      Taban Deng
      The whole Unity State didn’t want him from the very begining in 2010, Angelina, the wife of devil master rejected the election results and rebelled, forming SSLA.Now he joins his opponent and fight against Kiir who supports him to be governor—Nuers are really crazy

      repondre message

    • 28 February 2014 10:54, by Mayom County Boy

      Hey Madiit don’t call president mrs .please mind your self.president is president!

      repondre message

  • 28 February 2014 08:51, by chuol

    Oh,yeah Taban Deng you have right of confidentially whereas IGAD cannot accessed your stronghold.you’re the men that need to transform the country peaceful sooner as the news from US government romour around the South Sudan to supported a democratic fighting against dictatorship.Let us remove the conception of saying it’s fighting between NuervsDinka, Mentioned communities are still love themselve

    repondre message

  • 28 February 2014 10:21, by Ayuiu Makuac Lam

    Government, should have capture Nasir county before its signed monitoring verification magnism MVM to include Nasir, instead of rebels to say nonsene.

    repondre message

    • 28 February 2014 10:47, by wang

      Ayuiu Makuac Lam
      Just say Ugandan People Defense Forces should have capture Nasir County before its signed monitoring verification magnism, because it is only army were known in South that can face Nuer

      repondre message

      • 28 February 2014 12:01, by Ayuiu Makuac Lam

        Wang
        UPDH and SPLA are dealing with Rebellion in the country not against of any tribe. Your meaning is baseless.

        repondre message

        • 28 February 2014 15:49, by chuol

          Hi guy point of correction -Uganda force is called UPDF NOT! UPDH be sure went you’re written a big military wing.
          Chipreport news outlet- Uganda people defend forces said they are been use by Kiir regime to protect his government’s collapse with less payment while South Sudan soldiers supporting him are left the fighting-!!!!Analysis these statement

          repondre message

  • 28 February 2014 10:38, by wang

    Well-done job Taban, Nasir and Akobo must be excluded from that so call ceasefire monitoring areas.

    repondre message

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