Home | News    Saturday 16 May 2015

IGAD accuses S. Sudan gov’t of launching full scale war against rebels

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May 15, 2015 (ADDIS ABABA/JUBA) – The East African regional bloc, the Intergovernmental Authority on Development (IGAD), which mediates the peace process in South Sudan, has accused president Salva Kiir’s government of launching a “full scale” war against the Sudan Peoples’ Liberation Movement in Opposition (SPLM-IO), led by former vice-president, Riek Machar.

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Thousands of people wait for food aid in the hot sun near the air drop zone in Leer, South Sudan, in July 2014 (Photo AFP/Nichole Sobecki)

A press statement released by the IGAD chief mediator, Seyoum Mesfin, on Friday, blamed government forces for coordinated attacks against rebel positions " in Rubkona, Mayom, Guit, Koch and Mayendit counties in Unity State since 27 April 2015."

"It is also increasingly clear that the offensive is being expanded into Jonglei and Upper Nile States," further said the statement pointing that these attacks represent a serious violation of the cessation of hostilities agreements (CoHA) signed on 23rd January 2014 and November 2014.

The chief mediator further said alarmed by "credible reports" of violence against civilians " grave human rights abuses and destruction of villages". He added the attacks displaced over 100,000 people in the fighting areas, while aid groups and UN agencies were forced to evacuate their staff due to insecurity, depriving populations in desperate need of emergency food assistance.

The mediation further accused the government of blocking IGAD monitors from accessing areas of conflict, saying they were allowed to move beyond three kilometres from the state capital, Bentiu.

“The Mediators are also deeply disturbed by the denial of freedom of movement by government forces to the IGAD-MVT based in Bentiu following the start of the military offensive in Unity State. Since that date, any MVT movement beyond the Rubkona airfield (2.7 Km from the UNMISS camp) had been blocked,” it said.

The statement said verbal and written requests made in Juba through IGAD monitoring mechanisms to the director of operations of SPLA in Juba, and by the MVT in Bentiu to the commander of SPLA 4th army division and the deputy governor of Unity State to lift the restrictions remained unanswered.

It reminded the warring parties of their obligation to honour the COHA and Implementation Matrix that they signed on 23 January 2014 and November 2014, respectively.
The IGAD-Mediators, it said, “are disappointed” that such violations by government were happening in South Sudan at the time when leaders of the region were working together with partners and friends of South Sudan and the international community at large to close the existing gaps between the negotiating parties and to find lasting and sustainable solution to the crisis in the country.

The mediators strongly appealed to the IGAD heads of state and government, the United Nations (UN), the African Union (AU), partners and friends of South Sudan and to the broader international community to prevail on the warring parties to immediately cease hostilities, abandon the war option and commit to a “genuine” peace process.

The IGAD accusation of violations by the government is the latest in a series of blames directed to Juba by countries and international bodies including the United States, United Kingdom, African Union and the United Nations which in the last few days condemned the full scale offensive.

JUBA DENIES OFFENSIVE

However, South Sudanese government on Friday denied its forces were responsible for military offensive into opposition-held areas in violation of the cessation of hostilities agreement.

“The rebels continue to violate the cessation of hostilities agreement by launching attacks on government positions in unity state, destroying national infrastructures, including facilities, burning down villages, killing and abducting innocent civilians, and forcing displacement of many civilians in unity state and across the greater Upper Nile region,” partly reads a statement released by the government on Friday.

“In view of these callous acts by the rebels, the government of the republic of South Sudan, wishes to remind it was duly elected by the people of South Sudan to protect and safeguard their interests, and it has the constitutional mandate to preserve the sovereignty and territorial integrity of South Sudan, including a right to self-defense in the face of continued rebel’s provocation and aggression,” it said.

But the office of the chairman of the rebel SPLM faction held the government responsible for the renewed full scale fighting.

“It is president Salva Kiir’s government which has launched these coordinated attacks across states of Upper Nile region. Their aim is to try to recapture territories under our control before the rainy season, pending resumption of the peace talks in Addis Ababa,” said James Gatdet Dak, spokesperson for the rebel leader.

He said the violations were very clear as evidenced by many actors and said the opposition group had the right to self-defence. He added that government’s full scale offensive had however failed to achieve their goal as they were being repulsed in many frontlines.

Observers say Juba is at ease as it has successfully confined the war to greater Upper Nile region, the constituency of rebel leader Machar, in a country breathing in tribally polluted political environment, where others see the destruction as deservedly harming the Nuer ethnic group that constitutes the majority in the war-affected region.

IGAD has been developing a mechanism which would expand mediation beyond the continent in order to bring to an end the war through a negotiated settlement.

The last round of direct talks between president Kiir and opposition leader Machar collapsed on 6 March when they could not agree on almost every contentious issue.

(ST)

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  • 15 May 2015 22:51, by Kim Deng

    Neither condemnation nor blaming will change the course the rising-empire took. Therefore, the rising-Kingdom must not be deterred by words; rather, it must be engaged with strategies follow by actions.

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    • 16 May 2015 02:41, by Force 1

      Kim,
      why do you keep reporting the government offensive against rebels to the international communities? if you’re brave enough you must keep quite! Why are you crying to the international communities for help? You can’t handle the heat? Then give up.

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      • 16 May 2015 02:58, by lino

        Ya Force1, it looks you are still in Middle Ages; how told you these International Community needs to be reported boy.
        They got fresh news and report every day through WWW!!!
        If you are eating now Egyptian Beans, they know right away if there is cheese on it or no.
        Stop asking a stupid questions please!!!

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  • 15 May 2015 22:54, by Kim Deng

    In other words, it’s the responsibility of those nations who ordered Ugandan army to involve into "Dinka-Nuer" war in the first place to change the gear. They must order them (Uganda army) to leave this Jungle (Dinka Kingdom) so that Dinka & Nuer can deal with their own problems.

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  • 15 May 2015 23:08, by Kim Deng

    Unlike Murle and Anyuak, the Shilluk as a community has chosen to side with Dinka Kingdom for the last 15 months, but it seems their alliance is not working well. The remaining question is, can Shilluk Kingdom hold its grounds without Mighty Nuer Warriors (MNW) back up?

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    • 15 May 2015 23:40, by Lotodo Awino Odug

      Who does know that the rebels were stationed from four different assault positions of which they want to take Bentiu from the Government,whom they accused of using the city as a launch pad? one of their reporters was quoted as saying,we shall smoke them out soon .unfortunately they were defeated and followed to Nhialdiu and Guit were they ran away and later joined their fellows north of Renk.

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    • 16 May 2015 02:58, by Ayuen deng

      King Deng .

      Lets find any other means to engage our people in what peace importance is not to joint any side of war as a community of Dinka,Nuer,Shiluk,Murle,Anyuak,Bari and all other tribes of South Sudan. This war will not benefit any tribe later when its end as a matter of facts.

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    • 16 May 2015 06:39, by Rommel

      Kim Deng:

      I so very much want the Ugandans to withdraw... but did any of you Nuer object to one tribe [Dinka] being targeted by an incredibly large and diverse alliance during the 90s? Did any Nuer point out that it was unfair for the Dinka to lose over a million of its members when they had to fight the SAF, PDF, Murahaleen, LRA, Equatorial Defence force, Popular Resistance Movement/Army...

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      • 16 May 2015 06:41, by Rommel

        Do you know how many men were members of the PDF? The PDP had around 70, 000 men, and you’re complaining about only three [3] to four [4] thousand Ugandan soldiers? Ha, ha, ha. In addition to that, the SAF had around 100, 000 soldiers, backed up by 50, 000 militiamen from Paulino Matip. I won’t even mention the forces of Gadet, Koang, Tanginya and many more of your traitorous sons.

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        • 16 May 2015 06:49, by Rommel

          We didn’t have the Ugandans when we destroyed you in the 90s. You were in alliance with the vast majority of the tribes in the South. You were assisted by Equatorian militias — the Equatorial Defence Force and the Popular Resistance Movement/Army. You had the vast majority of the Shilluk on your side. The Didinga, Toposa and Lotuka were also ranged against the Dinka.

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          • 16 May 2015 06:55, by Rommel

            The Dinka also had to contend with the Mundari militia and the so called ’Fertit’ - a name applied to more than a dozen different tribes in Western Bahr el Ghazal’s Raga county. These tribes include the Kresh, Yulu, Shat, Balanda, Feroghe, Buja, Kara and Banda. When we lost over a million, why didn’t the Nuer say: ’Well, this is terribly unfair...

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            • 16 May 2015 07:01, by Rommel

              ..we shouldn’t use other tribes [from the North & South] and the Sudanese military and its assorted militia network [of more than a quarter of a million fighters] to target one tribe’!? Why didn’t any of you ask that question? Don’t pretend that you are warriors and that the withdrawal of the Ugandans would help you. We humbled you before... without the Ugandans! If Salva leaves, you will lose.

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              • 16 May 2015 07:04, by Rommel

                The allies of the Dinka [the Nuba and the people of Blue Nile] had far less troops to offer, little to no heavy weaponry, no steady stream of supplies, no resources and no military industrial base. Your alliance produced a numerically superior force and was furnished with a palette of destructive weaponry. You had a far stronger ally. You should have won... Comfortably, completely!

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                • 16 May 2015 10:22, by marie

                  Rommel, coning a new history in South Sudan won’t happen in our watch. If Equatorians were against Dinka during the movement, there would be nothing call Dinka in South Sudan. Where was the SPLA Headquarters? Is it not Equatoria. The rest of your areas were inhabited by Arabs, and those of George Kongor sleeping with Bashir. It was only Rumbek of all your areas under SPLA. Yes, there were splits.

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                  • 16 May 2015 10:29, by marie

                    Thon Arok Thon, Garbino and many others are familiar names that split from the movement and they are Dinka, but you try to shovel them under the carpet and play the victim game. Mundari resisted the movement because of horrendous atrocities committed in Terekeka in the 1985 and 1986 when by SPLA. Girls as young as 9 yrs were raped, mothers etc. That was an indication of targeted and calculated mov

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                    • 16 May 2015 10:34, by marie

                      People did not realize the hidden agenda of Dinka till now when it is manifested openly, otherwise, SPLA should have been dismantled long time ago. The mistreatment in the South Sudan under Dinka has no comparison to the Arabs. Millions of Dinka were in the North during the war but were welcomed to live peacefully unlike the way Dinka mistreat the rest of the people in South Sudan.

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                      • 16 May 2015 10:37, by marie

                        People want to forget the past and embark on developing that country, but you Dinka are scratching the old wounds. On this planet, there is no way you would take somebody’s right away no matter what. British Empire, Roman Empire etc were all dismantled by a few entities. Be careful of what you do unto others, because it would come to roost under you doorsteps.

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                        • 16 May 2015 11:05, by Rommel

                          marie:

                          You are overstating your capabilities when you so laughably claim that the Dinka wouldn’t exist if the Equatorians engaged them in war. The Dinka have survived stronger, smarter and more numerous enemies. You might have some success against Dinka civilians in your region, but the consequences of such an action would result in you having to swallow a very bitter pill...

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                          • 16 May 2015 11:17, by Rommel

                            Why do you people think that you can get away with lies? Our sons in Mour-Mour division were in control of Gogrial, Rumbek, Tonj, Aweil, Yirol and many other Dinka areas when the CPA was signed. Khartoum had to airlift supplies into Juba because we controlled all the roads. We were in control of some of the towns and the vast majority of countryside.

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                            • 16 May 2015 11:21, by Rommel

                              The fact that the traitors that you mentioned were Dinka has absolutely no bearing on the Dinka community, as they were not provided with material or personnel from the Dinka tribe. Unlike certain tribes, traitors from our tribe are reviled, rejected and resisted. Kerubino couldn’t even succeed in getting support from his own clan. This was true of George Kongor, Moses Machar and Arok Thon Arok.

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                              • 16 May 2015 11:28, by Rommel

                                I don’t want to mistreat anyone. In fact I think that the Dinka should leave Equatoria. I want the Dinka that have forcefully acquired and illegally occupy lands in Equatoria to be charged, jailed and forced to pay compensation to the rightful owners. I want the Dinka to be forced out of the Shilluk lands to which they have laid claim.

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                                • 16 May 2015 11:41, by Rommel

                                  I want the Dinka to stop destroying the crops of productive agricultural communities with their marauding cattle. The Dinka need to have a long, hard look at themselves and reform their collective identity. I am a Dinka myself but I would like to destroy virtually every feature of Dinka culture...

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                                  • 16 May 2015 11:46, by Rommel

                                    ..The Dinka,however, will not be moralized to by the Nuer. A tribe that collaborated with Khartoum in their wars against the Dinka for decades. We will take criticisms from any tribe in South Sudan other than the Nuer. The Nuer will posture and grandstand and claim to be in solidarity with the Equatorians that have had pots of their lands occupied by Dinka Generals and politicians...

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                                    • 16 May 2015 11:54, by Rommel

                                      .. But they won’t tell you that they occupy lands belonging to to the Anyuak,Burun and Maban while they pretend to condemn land theft committed by the Dinka. They have stolen entire counties from the Anyuak, Maban and Burun since the 80s and refuse to return those lands. Down there in Equatoria, you are ignorant of these dynamics.

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                                      • 16 May 2015 12:04, by Rommel

                                        I don’t hate the Nuer, but I will tell them some very hard truths, because they are family — family complicit in the deaths of over a million Dinka when they worked with Khartoum the way they did. Not many know that the Nuer were originally part of the Dinka tribe, but they formed their own tribe just before the Dinka migrated out of North Sudan.

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                                        • 16 May 2015 12:05, by Rommel

                                          The Nuer originated as an offshoot of the Dinkas and eventually became distinctive enough to be identified as a separate tribe. (Unto Others: The Evolution and Psychology of Unselfish Behavior, Elliott Sober)

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                                          • 16 May 2015 12:06, by Rommel

                                            I’ve often said that the Dinka should acknowledge and embrace others as equals. Our representation in the government is far too high; it should drop from its current 59% to 10-15% at the very most, in order that the constituent sixty-four [64] tribes of South Sudan get proper representation in government.

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  • 16 May 2015 01:28, by lino

    What are you expecting people if voted in a Cowboy with hat on always, heavy drinker, and holding GUN???

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  • 16 May 2015 06:52, by George Bol

    Kim Deng, Gatwech, Wang, and likes,

    I have told you that never ever step on President Kiir mayardit tail, other he will bit you badly. Your assumption of waging war against Jieng has been nothing and will be noting at this point. Didn’t I told you that you will run to Ethiopia and Sudan-didn’t you?

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    • 16 May 2015 17:52, by Lotodo Awino Odug

      Wang got killed long time ago when he tried capture Renk.

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  • 16 May 2015 15:13, by Kim Deng

    What if Shilluk, Anyuak, Murle, Burun, Maban, Komo, and all sell-out Nuer decided to side with Nuer nation? Of course, the Dinka Kingdom should have been a history within 2013.

    https://radiotamazuj.org/en/article/fighting-resumes-malakal-town

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    • 16 May 2015 15:22, by Rommel

      Kim Deng:

      I feel bad saying this, but you Nuer are like mules — stubborn and stupid. I already demonstrated that you had far more allies during the 90s than that small list of tribes that you have provided that could potentially help you. With a leader like Garang and all 15 Dinka sections [instead of barely just 2] we would crush you, again.

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      • 16 May 2015 15:28, by Rommel

        Don’t celebrate just yet... you have not succeeded in taking Malakal, and even if you did, it would be incredibly short lived — a pyrrhic ’victory’. I understand that you belong to the dumbest Nuer section of all — Lou Nuer... and so I think you should concern yourself with your own lands. According to South Sudan Courier, Yuai has just been captured from the rebels.

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  • 16 May 2015 15:33, by Kim Deng

    Mr. Dinka Kingdom’s spokeperson (Lueth/Kach),

    It’s only Shilluk sons who chased your disciples to Concentration camp in Malakal town. The Mighty Nuer Warriors (MNW) did not take part in this battle as you may assume. Unlike other coward Jurs, the MNW usually warn their enemy about their coming.
    http://www.southsudannation.com/breaking-news-machars-splm-io-major-assault-on-malakal-town/

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    • 16 May 2015 16:24, by Lotodo Awino Odug

      SPLa is marching to Akobo after inflicting heavy casualties on the Gaweer and Lou white armies. SPla oyeeeeeeeeeeee!

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  • 16 May 2015 16:25, by Kim Deng

    Jang (Rommel),

    Don’t count on your coward 15 sections of Jaang/Slaves. Don’t you know that one section of MNW would be equal to at least 5 sections of yours? For example, the Lou Nuer, which you shamelessly assume Kim to hails from could over number the entire Dinka sections in Jonglei (Bor, Twi, Nyaraweng, Hol, Chor).

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    • 16 May 2015 16:37, by Lotodo Awino Odug

      Diang Duoth and Olony Militias are on the run after failing to dislodged Spla from Malakal centre. BUay Rolnyang and Brigadier Nhial have arrived with two battlions, They will start the combing operation to cleared the wounded and hiding pocket of militias from the outskirts of the town.

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    • 16 May 2015 23:20, by Rommel

      Kim Deng:

      I don’t know where a slave of Khartoum gets the gall to brand those that fought against Khartoum and lost over a million of their members a ’coward’ and a ’slave’. That’s you. You’re the slave, you’re the coward. Your entire tribe could be crushed by Aweil alone. You are exaggerating your numbers, but it doesn’t matter... you would still lose.

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  • 16 May 2015 16:32, by Kim Deng

    If you can take Padaang (Luach, Ngok-Lual Yak & Ngok Deng Kuol, Duongol, Nyel, Abielang), it’s only E. Jikany Nuer of (Ulang, Nasir, Longechuk, Maiwut, annd Gambella) that cannot only outnumber, but also evict them from their lands.

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    • 16 May 2015 23:24, by Rommel

      Kim Deng:

      You are delusional. Just try it and see what happens. It would be the end of you as a ’people’. You make me laugh, Kim. You are the perfect representation of the stupidity of your tribe. Keep on believing in Ngundeng and your litany of ’prophets’. Did the Nuer that were killed in the 90s by us come back to life as promised by your ’prophets’?

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