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S. Sudanese rebels welcome EU measures, call for regional sanctions

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July 10, 2014 (ADDIS ABABA) – South Sudanese rebels of the armed opposition faction of the ruling Sudan People’s Liberation Movement (SPLM/A) have welcomed sanctions imposed on the two warring parties on Thursday by the European Union, urging other regional and international players to impose more “effective” sanctions in order to “swiftly” end the seven-month-old crisis.

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South Sudan’s former vice-president turned rebel leader, Riek Machar, says regional sanctions could effectively end conflict in the country (Photo: Reuters)

The new sanction targeted two individual yet to be named senior military commanders suspected to be the same individuals previously sanctioned by the US government. These were the presidential guards unit commander, Gen Marial Chinuong Yol, on the side of the government and Gen Peter Gatdet Yak on the rebels side.

The sanction also renewed the existing arms embargo imposed on South Sudan by the EU, which however seemed to have no decisive impact on the warring parties as they continued to access arms.

In a press statement seen by Sudan Tribune issued on Thursday and signed by the chairman of the national committee for information and public relations, Mabior Garang de Mabior, the rebel movement however welcomed the decision taken by the EU.

“The SPLM/SPLA [in opposition] would like to inform the people of South Sudan that their movement welcomes this action by the Council of the European Union. The SPLM/SPLA specially welcomes that an existing arms embargo in South Sudan will remain in place,” the statement reads in part, stressing that such sanctions would help bring a swift end to the conflict.

“This will help stop the parties from arming themselves through such deals as the recent NORINCO arms deal with the government of South Sudan, financed by TRAFIGURA PTE LTD, amongst others,” it added.

The armed opposition group called on the international community to “impose more targeted sanctions that have greater effect in compelling the parties and decision makers to negotiate in good faith.”

The statement argued that sanctions imposed so far have only targeted individuals that are of little consequence in decision making and financing of the conflict.

MACHAR ENCOURAGES REGIONAL SANCTIONS

The top opposition leader Riek Machar, in a press conference he conducted on Wednesday in the Ethiopian capital, Addis Ababa, said regional sanctions would be more effective option to quell the country’s ongoing conflict.

However, he claimed the government in Juba would have a problem accepting any sanctions if it is to be imposed by regional players.

According to Machar, East African countries have the power to end the ongoing crisis in the young nation, calling on member states of the Intergovernmental Authority on Development (IGAD), which is mediating the peace talks between the rival parties, to show courage and impose sanctions.

“If Khartoum would take the courage and say the oil from South Sudan is not going to flow through its pipelines, this would be very effective indeed,” said Machar at the press conference to mark the third anniversary of South Sudan’s independence from Sudan.

“If Kenya says imports and exports of South Sudan will not pass through Mombasa next week, we will have peace,” he added.

Machar, a former vice-president accused Juba of using oil revenues to pay mercenaries and foreign forces reported to be in direct combat against his forces.

He alleged the government of president Salva Kiir was paying Kampala 3 million US dollars a day to sustain the presence of Ugandan forces in South Sudan.

US SANCTIONS

Machar, however, downplayed sanctions already imposed by the United States against targeted individuals it deemed responsible for committing abuses, including the rebel group’s military commander, Peter Gadet.

In May, the US slapped sanctions on two military leaders from either side of the warring SPLM factions, later warning it was considering imposing more.

In the sanctions, the US imposed financial penalties and travel ban against Peter Gatdet, who was the first army commander to defect to Machar in protest over the massacre in Juba of thousands of Nuer civilians in the aftermath of 15 December violence.

Gatdet and Chinuong, commander of the South Sudan’s presidential guards unit who was allegedly ordered by president Kiir on 15 December to disarm Nuer soldiers among the guards, which triggered the violence have been dealt financial penalties and banned from travelling to the US.

Machar however expressed regret at the decision, while questioning whether the US sanctions would have any deterrent effect.

“I was surprised that the sanctions were targeting individuals. Peter Gatdet was pushed to resist and he may not be the one who started the war and he could be found innocent in court,” Machar said.

“If sanctions are to be imposed; a sanction imposed by the region would be more effective than the Americans,” he added.

In May, US secretary of state John Kerry threatened sanctions and other consequences against Machar should he refuse to commit to peace talks aimed at ending the conflict, which erupted in mid-December last year after a political split in the ruling SPLM turned violent.

The conflict has killed some 10,000 people, according to some estimates, while more than 1.3 million have been displaced.

However, Machar maintained he was not worried about the possibility of having sanctions imposed against him.

“Except for the travel ban, I have no property that could be sanctioned,” he said.

“But why would sanctions be imposed on me; for running away and not allowing myself to be killed? Will that be the reason for me to be sanctioned?” he challenged.

STALLED PEACE TALKS

The rebel leader further underscored the importance for an immediate resumption of stalled peace talks, which were indefinitely adjourned last month amid disagreement over the selection process for other stakeholders wishing to participate in negotiations.

Machar said the rebel group had since raised its concerns over the selection process to IGAD, Ethiopian prime minister, Hailemariam Desalegn and UN secretary-general, Ban Ki Moon.

“If IGAD Is finding difficulties in selecting stakeholders in a transparent manner and in an inclusive way; instead of quarrelling over which stakeholders participate, we can hold direct talks with the government to avoid further delay of [the] peace talks,” he said.

He called on IGAD mediators to review the “flawed” selection process for stakeholders, stressing that their participation in the peace process offers the best chance for the transformation and restructuring of South Sudan as a federal state.

“In the light of this demand, we call upon the IGAD mediation to resume the peace talks,” he added.

AU INQUIRY

Machar, meanwhile, has welcomed an interim report by the African Union Commission of Inquiry, a team tasked with investigating human rights violations and other abuses committed in South Sudan by the two rival factions during the latest conflict.

He urged the commission to complete its task before the completion of the peace talks, describing it as a vital component to a final peace settlement.

He affirmed his group would cooperate with the AU team of investigators and pledged to provide them any information his group obtains.

CALLS FOR STRUGGLE

The rebel leader accused Kiir of dividing the nation and using his state power and resources to sustain his grip on the top leadership.

He called on all South Sudanese to join the struggle for “the transformation and establishment of a democratic federal state”.

“We regret that we are celebrating the third anniversary under the tyranny of Salva Kiir,” he said.

“However, it is our desire that we will all celebrate the fourth anniversary in a peaceful federal state,” said the opposition leader who described himself as federalist.

South Sudan seceded from the north after a 2005 peace deal ended a 21-year old civil war, paving the way for a referendum on self-determination.

The ongoing peace process mediated by the regional body, IGAD, provides hope to end the war which has already resulted to the demise of tens of thousands of human lives and displaced over 1.3 million others over the past seven months.

(ST)

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Kind regards,

The Sudan Tribune editorial team.
  • 11 July 08:35, by Sir King

    You want peace but Aweil will remain fighting because of Marginalisation. Kiir has totally marginalise the Aweil region with his own thugs.

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    • 11 July 10:47, by Mi diit

      True. If Kenya could cut off South Sudan from its river port and Sudan blocks the oil flow, Kiir and his thugs would be left like hungry hyenas with no where to feed. Uganda would no longer siphon 3 million dollars a day and its relationship with Kiir would cease. UPDF would withdraw with no job. Kiir would resign. Wake up Africa!

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      • 11 July 11:40, by Rommel

        Mi diit:

        Ah, yes, the Sudanese are just going to turn off the taps as it were and greatly damage their already beleaguered economy, because an idiot that they played for years on end is pleading that they do so. LOL! South Sudan [more than ever] needs real leaders. We need the likes of Dr Richard Mulla, Bishop Paride Taban, Peter Sule and perhaps even Dr. Lam Akol Ajawin as President.

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        • 11 July 11:47, by Rommel

          It’s interesting that Riek now wants regional actors to stop the flow of oil, ostensibly because he wants peace to prevail... but had absolutely no qualms with helping Khartoum gain and secure access to our oil. Riek was instrumental in Khartoum’s ability to purchase sophisticated weaponry during the war...

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          • 11 July 11:55, by Wicdail

            Rommel
            How come you did mention any of your 3rd bloc cowards? LOOl!

            Would Sudan and Kenya could considered this strategy sanction against Kirr’s regime, Kirr and his gangs would be out of South Sudan in a very short notices? Regional and international powers would not worry about the effects of this sanctions on ordinary people. Because, it doesn’t sense at all for world leaders to talk—

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            • 11 July 11:56, by Wicdail

              Coun.
              talk of peace when Kirr and his administration are busy of draining the county’s resources on arms and mercerises, while the civilians are dying of hunger and diseases.

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          • 11 July 11:58, by Rommel

            .. And was therefore complicit in Khartoum’s war crimes. Khartoum wouldn’t have been able to prosecute the war the way they did without the helping hand of Riek and Matip. Khartoum prosecuted a war that was far more destructive and consumed infinitely more lives and yet Riek was their ally. Riek is a hypocrite...

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            • 11 July 12:03, by Rommel

              .. the only reason that he’s railing against the use of oil contingent funds by the ’government’ to purchase weaponry is that his masters and allies aren’t using these funds against his enemies. Where was this concern during the war!? Why didn’t he raise the issue of service delivery when Khartoum was using 80% of the budget to prosecute a terrible war on the South!?

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              • 11 July 12:08, by Rommel

                Why didn’t he condemn Khartoum for funding, training, arming and unleashing Arab militias to devastate populations on the border, when he very well knew that the necessary resources to arm the Murahaleen came almost entirely from our oil!? A 100, 000 people died [in a man-made famine] in 1998 when Riek was still an ally of the Ignaz Nazis.

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                • 11 July 12:18, by Rommel

                  Wicdail:

                  Like Riek, you’re incapable of evaluating a situation and making carefully considered decisions. Why would Khartoum damage its own economy by shutting down the pipelines!? Do you imagine that Khartoum has some residual compassion for you? And if yes, do you imagine that this warmth and tenderness would eclipse its own interests!?

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                  • 11 July 12:24, by Wicdail

                    Rommel
                    You just become a laughing stock as mentioned by the rational commentators somewhere in this forum. Is it these junks and rubbish arguments you always bombards this intellectual forums are what you live with? Oh my God this man is seriously sick. By the way, it’s not the first time for oil to be shut down if that is your argument. Yes Khartuom may value our oil money than our lives.

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                    • 11 July 12:31, by Wicdail

                      But how long are they going to deal with untrustworthy leadership led by (Kirr) who help Khartoum’s enemies and at the same times want to be trusted? Would it be better for Khartoum to don with Kirr’s regime once and for all?

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                      • 11 July 12:39, by Rommel

                        Wicdail:

                        What ’rational’ commentators!? The people that believe in Ngundegn!? The people that said that Salva Kiir would die before independence because Ngundeng told them so? LOL! You’re projecting. In psychological terms, projectionism is when someone projects their own noxious qualities onto someone else, and then censures the recipient for now apparently possessing those noxious qualities.

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                        • 11 July 12:42, by Rommel

                          Your pathetic little analysis would only make sense if Khartoum was itself regarded as trustworthy. Reports from International Crisis Group have comprehensively documented Khartoum’s support for the LRA in their destabilizing activities in South Sudan all the way back in 2006 — years before there was an SPLM-N...

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                          • 11 July 12:47, by Rommel

                            It’s clear that Khartoum has been supporting the rebels since December when the rebels were in control of Gadiang. Both sides have been supporting each others rebels, but economic calculations and marriages of convenience keep them on the same page.

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      • 11 July 14:01, by Mayom County Boy

        EU become senseless because I does n.t see the really people who committed crisis from this crisis of south sudan . self instead of sanctioning people who doesn.t do any thing , why not Taban Deng Gai $ is arrival Riek Machar plus other top commanders.

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      • 11 July 15:24, by Adodi Jotuwa

        Dr. Fool Riek Machar failed not only in his Khartoum Peace Agreement in 1997-KPA to define what kind of Federalism be adopted in Sudan if Bashir appoints him President of South Sudan. I don’t get it why Dr. Fool Riek Machar believes that it’s easier to flex his 3-minutes muscles against his fellow Junubins and their government in Juba than the NCP Islamic-led Government in Khartoum and SAF.

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        • 11 July 15:25, by Adodi Jotuwa

          Khartoum is now struggling again as usual to train some Nuer to come and fight SPLA/M-led government forces while Dr. Fool Riek Machar is enjoying in his air-conditioned Hotel in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia. It’s good to see that Riek is also struggling to form his government in Hotels in Addis Ababa. He picks up whoever is seen capable of being his true follower regardless of his/her background.

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          • 11 July 15:26, by Adodi Jotuwa

            Dr. Fool Riek Machar was simply forgiven in 2002 in Nairobi, Kenya by Dr. John Garang de Mabior although history did not do so. Similarly, President Salva Kiir is ready to "pardon" him as mentioned in his July 9th, 2014 speech. If Riek fails to observe signed cease fire aimed to end his senseless war, then the war will certainly end him. Read a book titled “The Hound of the Baskervilles” authored

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            • 11 July 15:27, by Adodi Jotuwa

              If Riek fails to observe signed cease fire aimed to end his senseless war, then the war will certainly end him. Read a book titled “The Hound of the Baskervilles” authored by Sir Arthur Conan Doyles

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              • 11 July 15:35, by Adodi Jotuwa

                Read quote “But why would sanctions be imposed on me; for running away and not allowing myself to be killed? Will that be the reason for me to be sanctioned?” he [Riek] challenged [US & EU sanctions]. Unquote. He killed in 1991 and ran away to Khartoum, only to return to be forgiven in 2002 in Nairobi and again he ordered Gadet & Koang to kill more again and flee to Khartoum as usual.

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          • 11 July 22:25, by Ito

            I am a hundred percent convince all those writing against visionary leader Dr. Riek are all from one tribe and go according to tribes and not according to what one can do. It is a pitty. Always talking about the past as a human being is robot. All of us have forgotten the past and wanting to move forward. Since 1983. Can anyone tell me which commander or tribe did not make any mistake? or Perfect?

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            • 11 July 22:29, by Ito

              Some of us donot want to scratch old wounds because they are irrelevant now if south sudan wants to move forward. Even Salva himself rebelled from Garang but Riek talk to him for hours and others join and there was reconciliation. Women, men and children kill, rape innocent by SPLA were all forgotten for the sake of peace. It is war. Tribalism is above south sudan to many people. too bad.

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              • 11 July 22:33, by Ito

                Now many people came to realize that Dr. Riek is right. Everyday people talk of 1991, 1997 and people are asking themselves, is 1991 or 1997 the cause of December conflict or just government are using that to cover up their real intention. If we cannot forgive each other, then let us say we cannot reconcile and let us finish each other. this is ridiculous

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    • 11 July 15:42, by Adodi Jotuwa

      Dr. Fool Riek Machar failed not only in his Khartoum Peace Agreement in 1997-KPA to define what kind of Federalism be adopted in Sudan if Bashir appoints him President of South Sudan. I don’t get it why Dr. Fool Riek Machar believes that it’s easier to flex his 3-minutes muscles against his fellow Junubins and their government in Juba than the NCP Islamic-led Government in Khartoum and SAF

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  • 11 July 08:41, by Ayuiu Makuac Lam

    Looked at him, he is lie of calling sanctions as important!
    Riek, will be sanct, by international body financially and banof moving out.
    But Juba will ban him from live to death.

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  • 11 July 08:54, by Ajongtar

    Let the EU give Sunctions to Michael Makuie Luet and Tilar Ring Deng, This are the terable Green snake in a green grass.

    If this two are sunctioned I believe South Sudan may attain peace.

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  • 11 July 09:03, by Madina Tonj

    Look stupid man Riek Machar Teny. If you are supporting the sanction against two major generals from both sides then, the ICC should indicted you first, because you are the one who let that happen in the first place. The South Sudan’s government has acknowledge that, you are relying on Foreign supports but this is absolutely a wrongful Idea simply because you have been rejected by the majorities

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  • 11 July 12:17, by Thondet Manyang

    Is that what rebels want? It is very unfortunate because we thought that they are fighting for the safety of South Sudanese instead of blocking medicines and other basic needs by our vulnerable people.If that is the case, then Riak and his group has no vision at all and no one is joining them again. We need peace forget press conference!

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  • 11 July 13:47, by Martin

    Riek is really a devil. Look at how he appreciated the sanctions. He is doing what a woman who steal and refused on another woman’s baby claiming that it is her baby. The two women were taken to court and the judge ruled out that the child has to be killed to solve this problem (the test the real mother of a child). Thus the real mother said NO and the unreal mother YES, it is must to be killed.

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    • 11 July 14:00, by Martin

      Can Riek be a leader who love his people get killed, received individuals’ sanctions and encourage to sanction his country? Federation can be discussed and adapted by the people of South Sudan because it has been demanded since 1947, but Riek will not lead the federal government.He is just a loser who has no future including his children.

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      • 11 July 15:07, by Frak Cho

        What a pity! for Dr. Riek Machar!!??

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    • 11 July 19:34, by Bentiu Sudan

      Maritn,

      Dr. Machar is an exceptional leader no doubt. His call for South Sudan sanction is good and is the only way out to peace. Salva Kiir is devil, foolish, evil, and visionless double blind animal president. Kiir’s evil government need to be sanctioned because Kiir is using country’s money to buy arms to kill innocent people like he did in Juba in December 20013.

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      • 11 July 19:42, by Bentiu Sudan

        Kiir is using country’s money to buy foreign mercenaries to help him kill his own citizens. If dictatorship is good, then why we found against Sudan government for several years. We could have just stay as one country and have one dictator. Cousins, South Sudan in which Nuer is part of it will never allow dictatorship doctrine be place in it history.

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  • 11 July 17:14, by Bentiu Sudan

    I would be a great idea if Sudan ban South Sudan oil running through it pipeline. Kiir would not be able to buy Ugandan military , Egyptians army, Rwandan army, SPLA-N, and JEM armies. As results these mercenaries would go back to their places and South Sudan would be left alone. Consequently, Kiir would accept peace that would comes with interim government that would result in federalism.

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    • 11 July 17:23, by Bentiu Sudan

      If Kiir continue violating peace agreement while all the mercenaries left South Sudan, then Kiir government would face defeat by the rebels. If Kiir accept peace that is accompanied by formation of interim government, then federalism system of government would be signed into law that would end Kiir’s Devil administration and satanic government. This Devil and Satan president would be sent home.

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  • 11 July 17:50, by Bolong

    Yes Martin, you hit the nail, Riek’s commanders and supporters have to ask themselves what kind of boss is Riek?. He just welcomed sanction because he have been left out. What’s a cheap boss?. Will Mayardit do the same or call for Riek and himself (Myardit) to go to court instead of charged generals?. Hey there Mayardit, your response is needed.

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  • 12 July 12:37, by Machiek

    In actual sense the sanction was wrongly imposed on the innocent commanders on both side.it shd have been imposed on the big bloodsuckers! EU &US shd focus..They shd better mentioned Riek first follow by Garden!

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