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US, UN warn of intensified violence in South Sudan

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November 30, 2016 (JUBA) – Representatives of the United States and United Nations warned on Wednesday of possibilities of tension escalating in war-torn South Sudan as well as potentials of violence.

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Arms and light weapons have been used by both warring parties in South Sudan to commit abuses (Photo courtesy of SSANSA)

“We have credible information that the South Sudanese government is currently targeting civilians in Central Equatoria and preparing for large-scale attacks in the coming days or weeks,” Keith Harper, the U.S representative at the UN Human Rights Council, said.

A similar warning, Voice of America (VOA) reported, was also made by the U.S ambassador to the world body, Samantha Power.

“We are raising the alarm. We are calling on the government of South Sudan not to move forward with the offensive they have planned,” Power told VOA.

But, in a separate interview with the Associated Press, South Sudan’s envoy to the UN, Kuol Alor Kuol Arop denied there was a build-up of forces or plans for offensives.

South Sudan is on the brink of catastrophe, a three-member UN Commission on Human Rights warned at the end of a ten-day visit.

“The stage is being set for a repeat of what happened in Rwanda and the international community is under an obligation to prevent it,” the chairperson of the Commission, Yasmin Sooka announced.

The official, in a statement, cited disturbing indicators such as an increase in hate speech, a crackdown on the media and civil society, deepening divisions between the country’s 64 tribes, renewed recruitment in a country already awash with guns and the proliferation of armed groups aligned to both sides in armed conflict.

“There is already a steady process of ethnic cleansing underway in several areas of South Sudan using starvation, gang rape and the burning of villages; everywhere we went across this country we heard villagers saying they are ready to shed blood to get their land back,” said Sooka.

“Many told us it’s already reached a point of no return”, she stressed.

The UN team of experts, also outlined a number of steps that the international community should take immediately to avert mass bloodshed, including the expedition of the immediate arrival of the 4,000 strong Regional Protection Force in South Sudan, ensure that the force is not restricted only to the capital, freeze assets, enact targeted sanctions and implement arms embargo on South Sudan.

“It is also urgent to set up the hybrid court promised for South Sudan,” said Ken Scott, a member of the UN Commission.

“Large parts of the country literally have no functioning courts and even the traditional reconciliation methods are now breaking down with the result that it’s a free for all”, he added.

The Commission, which is due to report to the Human Rights Council in March, visited Bentiu in oil-rich Unity State where more than a hundred thousand people are sheltering in a UN protected camp.

(ST)

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  • 1 December 06:57, by Akuma

    Who told you there is a build -up offensive going on in South Sudan. US and UN are making projects to destabilize South Sudan. What those fake world organ especially UN need to know that South Sudan is not one of their directorates in their organizations. South Sudan is sovereign and independence nation and it can decide to cut relationship with the two organizations anytime.

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    • 2 December 04:37, by Dinka-Defender-General

      I agree with you Akuma, where is the buildup? Where do the UN Gets the information about intensified violence in South Sudan? Remember, UN representatives are bunch of liars or self-serving individuals so we don’t have to pay attend to their warnings. Also, SPLA soldiers have a duty to protect citizens or prepare for an expected bandits or Machar’s militias attacks. Repositioning soldiers operatio

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      • 2 December 04:44, by Dinka-Defender-General

        continue. Repositioning the soldiers doesn’t mean "intensified violence." It is a normal soldiers route and UN needs to stay away from South Sudan internal affairs. The SPLA soldiers protected the citizens since 1983 to 2005 and they will continue to carry out that duty and drive out bandits or criminals like Machar out the country. Therefore, discard UN warning.

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  • 1 December 07:06, by Naath

    Akuma,

    Your greedy tribal gang leader Kiir is building up militia aiming on massacring Equatorian civilians as Dinka leaders did to Nuer in 2013. Kiir has reduced himself from being president of South Sudan to Dinka’s chief. There is no need to honour him with the title president anymore.

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    • 1 December 07:45, by Paul Ongee

      I think the Representatives of US & UN are talking about the IO forces trained in Sudan preparing to launch attacks on government forces along the border. They apologized for the interception of weapons in Rumbek last time when UN convoy was heavily loaded with weapons. They are supposed to support African leaders to solve their own problem such that there is no war as seen in developed countries.

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      • 1 December 07:53, by Paul Ongee

        The problem with the West/developed countries is that they manufacture weapons for testing them in underdeveloped or developing countries/third world as they call it. That’s why there are wars going on in the Middle East and African countries. Third world is considered the best market place for newly made weapons.

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        • 1 December 08:12, by Paul Ongee

          If there is no war at all, they create one or two in different developing countries only in the name of democracy, human rights, you name it. I don’t know why there are few millionaires, only 1% of the world/West population is fine-tuning the behavior of 99% while they behave the way they want. Religious bigotry, conflict of interest and control of resources are the order of the day.

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          • 1 December 08:24, by Paul Ongee

            Had the very West been conversant enough with the political history of South Sudan and political record of whoever likes making coup d’etat in developing countries like Riek Machar since 1991, there would have never been another bloodshed in the youngest country of the world. The implementation of CPA-2005 during the interim period (2005-2011) did not resolved all issues besides leadership style

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            • 1 December 08:35, by Paul Ongee

              The West stood firmly with the marginalized people of Sudan during the struggle until 2005, 2011 and up to now but something fishy started going on before the outstanding issues of CPA are finally resolved such that we come to the issue of rating leadership style in South Sudan. In the West, opinion poll or vote of confidence is always de case to gauge de performance of a leader, not coup plotter.

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              • 1 December 08:48, by Paul Ongee

                However the case may be, the issue of Khartoum-backed militia groups started right after the formation of the popular movement (SPLM/A) led by Dr. John Garang de Mabior in 1983. The issue of Darfur (2003-present) and SPLM-N has been the basis of argument to Omer Al-Bashir whose leadership performance has never been questioned or rated but Salva Kiir struggled to keep Junubin united as....

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                • 1 December 09:01, by Paul Ongee

                  ...as Dr. John Garang did in the bush. The West should have continued supporting the leadership of President Salva Kiir until 2015 because general election was scheduled to take place. And then voters would first consider rating the performance of leadership style of President SKM before casting their ballots. The Presidential candidates would be running their campaigns on different platforms..

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                  • 1 December 09:09, by Paul Ongee

                    The remaining questions were "Would the presidential candidates come from the same party (SPLM) or different parties?" In South Sudan where the country has just emerged from war, "Should one campaign for the Chairmanship of the party (SPLM) first as Riek Machar did before revealing his intention to run for president of the country or NLC to elect?" If NLC failed to meet, should one make a coup?

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                    • 1 December 09:21, by Paul Ongee

                      Why some members of the NLC were not patient enough to consider where the country (South Sudan) has come from first, united nationalistically and patriotically or not? If yes or no, election season was already approaching where Junubin will make a choice - to elect a new leader who will first keep Junubin united in spirit and move the country forward for the next generation.

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                      • 1 December 09:30, by Paul Ongee

                        Making a coup d’etat or staging a rebellion will only fuel disunity and create more tribalism --- the African disease that needs to be healed.The Bible has mentioned the 12 tribes of Israel but now they call themselves Israelis, not tribes again. In South Sudan such tribal mentality will disappear only when we become nationalistic and patriotic enough to reject tribalism and disunity.

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                        • 1 December 09:41, by Paul Ongee

                          The claim by some IO leaders/supporters following Riek Machar’s political ideology that the August peace agreement of 2015 has failed is totally wrong. They claim so because they see Riek Machar as the only South Sudanese son who holds a PhD compared to President Salva Kiir’s education. They look at but don’t see the political record of Riek Machar.

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                          • 1 December 09:50, by Paul Ongee

                            Now the Government has identified cantonment sites for the IO sympathizers and supporters in Equatoria region where the senseless war of Riek Machar never took place when Bor, Bentiu and Malakal have been changing hand before the gallant SPLA forces finally recaptured them from the rebels. They’re supporters because they never participated in the fight in the (3) towns.

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                            • 1 December 09:57, by Paul Ongee

                              The real OI forces who fought in the (3) towns know themselves because most them were SPLA soldiers and the militia who were integrated into the SPLA and stationed in the respective towns. Equatoria and Bahr El-Ghazal regione were peaceful. So how can US or UN claim that there were IO forces in the two regions? The "white army" of Lou-Nuer who were used by Riek Machar since 1991 refused to come.

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                              • 1 December 10:05, by Paul Ongee

                                The claim of intensification of violence in Equatoria region is false unless those IO sympathizers and supporters continue to destabilize the region as witnessed on Juba-Nimule Highway, Juba-Yei, Juba-Torit and Juba-Magwi-Pajok roads robbery, using especially hit-and-run strategy to rob, loot, kill and rape. I believe most of them will report to the assembly sites.

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                                • 1 December 10:14, by S. Sudan Nationalist

                                  Guys let us not escalate the situation but let us consider why the UN and US are giving out this warning. There are indicators pointing to that. When the use of hate language is now commonly being used as we are witnessing in this forum, then this shows that all is not well. In fact rather doing constructive criticism, we are being destructive. Carry out constructive debates, please.

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                                • 1 December 10:15, by Paul Ongee

                                  Those who report to the sites will be screened and trained combat skills because some of them want to be in the army. But those who want to remain highway and road robbers will be dealt with. And the good time for dealing with them is this coming dry season which triggered international concern of the word "intensified violence." They can run but cannot hide as before/during rainy season.

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                                  • 1 December 10:26, by Paul Ongee

                                    The international pressure must be applied to Riek Machar who declared war on South Sudan government in Khartoum. His recent secret trip from South Africa to Addis Ababa and Khartoum was "embarrassing and humiliating" because the two cities denied him entry which proved that he’s no longer wanted there to continue with his senseless mobilization for war. His supporters and sympathizers know this.

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                                    • 1 December 10:38, by Paul Ongee

                                      The only difference between the Government and IO-Riek is "peace and war ideology". Riek Machar is for the continuation of war at any cost without concern for the inflicted sufferings on the civil population, IDPs and refugees in the neighboring countries where UN resources are badly overstretched. If Riek Machar denounces violence, there will be no intensified violence or its escalation.

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  • 1 December 07:22, by real Dinka

    Naath!!

    Your tribal and godly leader’s days of destroying our beautiful country has come to an end bro, try another best way of fooling your tribe mates again to fight they mighty warriors of this great nation who safe you people from being slaves to freedom of rebellions.

    Think big before we loss our tempered

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  • 1 December 09:01, by Eastern

    So long as the UN and any other outsiders only stop at warning and talking without taking any action, let South Sudanese be let to take on one another with the most savage taking the day!!!

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  • 1 December 11:09, by jur_likang_a_ likan’g

    South Sudanese need to be armed to defend themselves from the murderous regime of Salva Kiir. They begged weapons for liberation of South Sudan from Jallaba misrule but now they have become worse than Jallaba. They rape, loot property and mass murder citizens for opposing the very evil acts Jallaba used to do.n With nail and tooth they must be confronted.

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    • 1 December 12:15, by Ater

      Jur
      Dinka are very much aware of your ill intention.This country was not liberated just to act the way you want. Bashir has been used as scapegoat by some tribe whose habit is characterized by rebellion.Be told we are independent country and no one shall be tolerated to exercise his freedom in wrong manner.

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    • 1 December 12:30, by Ater

      Even marginalized Dinka will not support your rebellion just because your movement is tribal with main agenda of retaliation on the president.You fight to death my friend,otherwise it is not going to be easy for you.

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      • 1 December 19:55, by jur_likang_a_ likan’g

        Ater,

        Who told you it is going to be easy? Remember a decision taken to defend our divine ancestral land is the last thing a man can take! So it will be fire with fire. So shut up and go to your luak ya cow inta!!

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  • 1 December 14:01, by Ayuiu Makuac Lam

    South sudan, is already like Rawanda since on 2013 to date.
    South sudanese leaders should bec care about their people rather than power.

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  • 1 December 14:25, by TRUE WATCHDOG

    It’s clear that the two bodies are not concerned about the people of South Sudan’s good.Since,the beg projects or design them in the name of South Sudan,it would not let their deal flourish if the give chance to south Sudanese by not provoking the situation.At this junction and as result of their irresponsible demeanour,I suggest polling out from UN is better and repatriation of UN force-

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  • 1 December 14:33, by TRUE WATCHDOG

    and any UN body because the have become bias in reporting false reports.There’re some countries in the world which are not UN members and are not dismantled or deprived of their supremacy and sovereignty.We can’t call ourselves members of UN when our rights or dignity is undermined.If they feel like defecating then south Sudan is not latrine for them.

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  • 1 December 14:45, by TRUE WATCHDOG

    While the civil war between Sudanese across the then whole Sudan was going on,the Khartoum government suffered from any form of reports by UN/UNAMID and other humanitarian Agencies among who MSF was.Sudan tackled this through strengthening IT unit in which informations were passed to security department of Sudan.And consequently some NGOs were expelled out of Sudan when they were-

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  • 1 December 14:53, by TRUE WATCHDOG

    identified as source of those informations.Our government needs to do more on identifying those who leak informations which are not reliable out.There’s no logic of allowing outsiders to the key institutions of the gov’t like military,security,executive and so forth.This has been their chance for spying because they’re not here for any other purpose.They can go to other institutions not those.

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