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Former Nigerian leader calls on S. Sudanese rivals to end the bloodshed


July 24, 2014 (JUBA) – Former Nigerian president Olusegun Obasanjo insists South Sudanese leaders have the primary responsibility to end the ongoing conflict for the healing and reconciliation processe to take place in the country.

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South Sudan’s president, Salva Kiir, and rebel leader Riek Machar signed a peace deal in the Ethiopian capital, Addis Ababa, on 9 May 2014 aimed at resolving conflict in the country peacefully (Photo: Reuters)

Obasanjo currently heads African Union Commission of Inquiry on South Sudan, which was established in March by its Peace and Security Council to investigate human rights violations and abuses committed by both sides since the fighting begun.

“If we are talking about healing, bleeding must stop. The bleeding should stop so that the process of healing and reconciliation can take place,” he said.

The team, on their third visit to the country, met government officials, including president Salva Kiir, senior cabinet officials, members of the military, police and intelligence services.

Obasanjo, however, said the AU and the international can only facilitate negotiations in the conflict, which South Sudanese leaders were capable of ending.

“The South Sudanese are the architects of their own fortune or if you like, to the large extent, their won misfortune. Let’s be honest with ourselves,” he said.

Part of the continental body’s responsibility, the ex-Nigerian leader stressed, was the investigation being conducted by its commission of inquiry and the proposed deployment of monitoring and verification military force.

“But really, the countries in Africa must be the one that will take the responsibility for preventing conflict, destruction, violence, in their own country,” he said.

The chair of the probe team, however, said the five-member commission of inquiry would leave no stone unturned in South Sudan, stressing that there must be accountability for all killings since the fighting started.

“We will come up with full report. After Juba massacre, you can also talk of Bor massacre, you can also talk of Bentiu massacre, and you can also talk of Malakal massacre. All these impunities must be stopped,” he said.

Meanwhile, the AU commission, during their first visit to the country, met opposition leader, Riek Machar, the 11 former politicians accused of plotting a coup, internally displaced persons living in United Nations bases in South Sudan’s Jonglei, Unity and Upper Nile states.

“This exercise is intended to offer more in-depth attempt at understanding and establishing the facts as it pertains to the events of December 15 and beyond,” party reads its 24 July statement.

The commission, it further said, met the director-general for national intelligence and security who also gave “useful explanations as to the events that unfolded and are still unfolding in the country”.

Also interviewed were UN officials, civil society members, academic, religious leaders, women groups, private sector and the media, AU commission officials said.

“The Commission of Inquiry on South Sudan further intends to commence its investigative work to enable it ascertain or otherwise the facts already obtained in order to come to relevant conclusions for transmission to the Peace and Security Council,” the statement adds.

Both sides will resume peace talks next week, despite fresh fighting over control of a key Upper Nile state town, the Inter-governmental Authority on Development (IGAD) said Thursday.


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  • 25 July 2014 07:24, by dinkdong

    Boko Haram?

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    • 25 July 2014 07:42, by Mi diit

      World leaders are missing something important. Kiir will never make peace as long as foreign troops continue to fight for him and shield him. Withdraw Ugandan forces, JEM, SPLA-N, etc, and impose sanctions on him and his government, then you will see him crawling like a baby on his knees begging for true peace.

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    • 25 July 2014 09:27, by DENG GAI GATLUAK

      Justice, Peace, Unity, prosperity and stability is all we want in South. Try your level H.E. the former Nigerian President.

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    • 26 July 2014 06:08, by jur_likang_a_ likan’g

      You are worst than BOKO HARAM. You take innocent lives. Look at what you have done to Nuer women, Children and old people. Not even the teachers of BOKO HARAM did to any of our communities.

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  • 25 July 2014 07:29, by Madina Tonj

    I think the Africa AU maybe need to be serious on the Riek Machar’s violation of peace agreement. Riek is not actual interesting in letting his own people living peaceful with the rest of Southerners Sudanese people but he always creating rebellion and this is another way of betraying your people indirect way but the primitive cows keeper wouldn’t understand. I think peace is the only solution

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    • 25 July 2014 07:42, by Joseph Canada


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      • 25 July 2014 17:49, by Rommel

        Joseph Canada:

        All sides have violated the clearly non-existent ’ceasefire’. Don’t be such a partisan idiot. Your faux analysis of the war in the Nuba mountains and elsewhere is ignorant, befuddled, naive and childish. Arab tribes continue to encroach upon the lands of the Nuba. The Dar El Naila Arab tribes have attacked the Ghulfan Nuba in Dilling and Habila...

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        • 25 July 2014 17:55, by Rommel

          ..The Baggara Arabs in Darfur continue to occupy Jebel Marra massif. Bashir recently said this: "We are an Arab, Muslim nation. Anyone who doesn’t like it can go." With tensions, tribal clashes, land theft, displacements and incendiary statements from genocidal ’national leaders... it’s clear that war in the Nuba mountains was inevitable — with or without Salva Kiir...

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          • 25 July 2014 18:00, by Rommel

            .. And how do you suppose that we could have achieved ’peace’ with Khartoum when they continue to occupy areas like the Kafia Kingi enclave? The Kafia Kingi enclave is slightly larger than Lebanon, and by the terms of the CPA, it should have been returned to South Sudan in 2011 but Khartoum is being predictably recalcitrant.

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            • 25 July 2014 18:04, by Rommel

              .. So how on earth can you possibly achieve peace with a regime that doesn’t recognize the terms of a peace agreement that it signed in full view of ’the international community’!? No ’leader’ in South Sudan [unless they concede everything to Khartoum] can achieve a just peace with the Ignaz Nazis. It’s impossible. Stop daydreaming.

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    • 25 July 2014 08:01, by Mi diit

      Madina Tonj, are you serious? Read the story from the lips of your army chief paul malong awan admitting that salva kiir’s government has been the one violating the ceasefire agreement with the rebels.

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      • 25 July 2014 17:25, by Rommel

        Mi diit:

        The ’ceasefire’ is a myth. It’s never really existed and neither side has ever adhered to it. The original ’ceasefire’ was signed in January, but the rebels attacked government positions in Malakal in February. Need I remind you that Gathoth Gatkouth has never recognized the existence of a ’ceasefire’? Source: http://sudantribune.com/spip.php?article49851

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        • 25 July 2014 17:30, by Rommel

          Even after Riek signed the ’ceasefire’, he didn’t order his forces to stand down and respect the ’ceasefire’. He made threats to attack government positions despite the fact that the ’ceasefire’ was ostensibly in place. When will you understand that ’truth is the first casualty of war’? Source: https://radiotamazuj.org/en/article/report-machar-never-ordered-commanders-stand-down-after-ceasefire

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          • 25 July 2014 17:37, by Rommel

            Gen. Paul Malong Awan Anei did not admit that the government broke the non-existent ’ceasefire’. That’s not what he said. He explained that prior to the May 9 accord [the second ’ceasefire’], the army launched attacks on rebel positions so as to gain as much territory as possible, before the ceasefire could come into effect. There was no ’ceasefire’ prior to those operations.

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            • 25 July 2014 17:43, by Rommel

              ..The rebels did not acknowledge the existence of a ’ceasefire’ and they certainly didn’t give stand down directives to their forces... so what are you complaining about? The ’ceasefire’ is a cruel hoax.

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  • 25 July 2014 09:57, by Mr Point

    Kiir invented the fake coup so that he could avoid facing elections.
    He destroyed the democratic institutions in the party and the country.
    Kiir set off the massacre of the Nuer in Juba. That started the war.

    South Sudan deserves a better President.

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    • 25 July 2014 11:14, by Malakal county Simon

      Both African Union and International community’s need to know that as long as this illegal president still in power by force, there will be no peace in South Sudan, because Kiir is the problem!!!!!!

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