Friday, January 26, 2018

South Sudan Says U.S Official’s Remarks Ploy to Regime Change
US Ambassador to the United Nations Nikki Haley (L) looks on as she meets President of South Sudan, Salva Kiir at The President Office in Juba on October 25, 2017 (AFP)

January 25, 2018 (JUBA) – A South Sudanese official has criticized a senior United States diplomat over remarks in which President Salva Kiir was described an “unfit” partner in the ongoing peace process.

Nikki Haley, the US ambassador to the United Nations reportedly made the remarks while addressing the Security Council Wednesday.

“These are such unfortunate remarks but as the government, we will ask for clarification on how the ambassador came to make conclusion that the government is unfit partner for peace”, Tut Kew Gatluak, the presidential advisor on security affairs told Sudan Tribune, without saying how such a clarification would be sought.

Such statements, he said, are motivated by a regime change ploy.

“The message of the government is to help us work together to end this situation. The government is doing the best to improve the situation and move away from regime change, which is what the anti-peace elements are pursuing. This is not what people want”, he added.

Haley said Washington is “disappointed” by the performances and actions of South Sudan government under President Kiir after supporting the independence in 2011 and investing over $11 billion.

Ambassador Haley said the Juba government, despite the efforts by the international community to end the war and restore stability and peace, remains “an unfit partner” for peace process in the country.

“The government of South Sudan is increasingly proving itself to be an unfit partner for this Council and any country seeking peace and security for the people of South Sudan,” she told the Security Council, citing reports of the ceasefire monitors holding government forces responsible for violations, despite a cessation of hostilities deal.

“Not surprisingly, more fighting followed. Opposition forces are also responsible for the fighting. Forces under Riek Machar’s command spearheaded an attack in which at least 15 civilians were killed. And on January 4, forces loyal to a former South Sudan army chief orchestrated an attack on a government checkpoint,” said the US diplomat.

The top US diplomat also expressed disappointment with the promotion of three South Sudanese army generals sanctioned by the United Nations in 2015, describing the move “a slap in the face” of the Security Council, and the nations that supported Kiir’s regime, and “of basic decency.”

“These are men who led the slaughter of innocent South Sudanese children, women, and old men. Hundreds of victims reportedly were buried in mass graves. And the Government of South Sudan decided to promote their killers,” said Haley.

According to Haley, attempts to ease the suffering of the people of South Sudan are currently not working and the international community was failing to address the situation by failing to come together and make a unified decision and course of action to end the conflict in the country with urgency.

"And what’s worse, we’re failing, not despite the leadership of South Sudan, but because of it.” The time has come to acknowledge the hard reality that the leaders of South Sudan are not just failing their people, they are betraying them,” said Haley.

The US official pushed for an arm embargo to be imposed on South Sudan.
“We must change course. It’s long past time that the Security Council establishes an arms embargo on South Sudan. Rather than continue to hold endless meetings on a crisis that only becomes worse each month, I urge my fellow Council members to support an arms embargo,” she said.

She pointed out that an arms embargo would help the people of South Sudan to slow the violence, slow the flow of arms and ammunition, and protect innocent lives.

The US ambassador considers the revitalization process of the 2015 peace agreement as an opportunity to find the political will to compromise on longer-term security and governance arrangements that meet the needs of South Sudan’s people.

Haley is one of the first high-ranking officials in the Donald Trump administration who visited war-torn South Sudan in October last year.


Advocacy group wants chiefs of S. Sudan rival forces sanctioned

January 25, 2018 (JUBA)- A US-based advocacy has proposed that sanctions be imposed on chiefs of staff from the rival forces involved in South Sudan’s conflict, citing violation of the ceasefire deal signed in December last year.

Enough Project, in a policy brief issued Thursday, said the African Union’s reluctance to follow through on threats to hold spoilers accountable is contributing to fueling the civil war in South Sudan.

The brief says the Ceasefire and Transitional Security Arrangements Monitoring Mechanism (CTTSAMM), a body authorized to monitor compliance with the Cessation of Hostilities (CoH) agreement, has recorded ceasefire violations by troops from the coalition government led by President Salva Kiir and the armed opposition under allied to Riek Machar on multiple locations across the country.

In these violations, according to the policy brief, women, children, and the elderly have been killed, but stressed that both the government and the armed opposition forces deny their role in these violations and have accused each other of violating the CoH.

“To end this charade, the African Union should levy sanctions against leaders with command and control responsibilities on both sides. In this regard, the chief of defense staff for the South Sudan army, Lt. Gen. James Ajongo, should be held responsible for the actions of his troops. Similarly, the SPLM-IO’s chief of defense staff, Lt. Gen. Simon Gatwech Dual, should face further sanctions, in addition to sanctions imposed on him by the U.N. Security Council in 2015,” it stated.

It adds, “Beyond these two figures, other military and political officials who share decision-making responsibilities with Ajongo and Gatwech should also be subject to targeted sanctions, visa bans, and investigations into money laundering through regional banking institutions”.

The policy brief, released ahead the resumption of the revitalization forum initiated by the regional bloc (IGAD), calls for expanding sanctions to cover the entire network of people and officials around the principals who failed to implement the deal, despite assurances of commitment from their leaders when peace deals are signed.

“And to be clear, sanctioning one or two people every six months will have no impact on the warring parties’ calculations. For leverage to be built and pressure to be meaningful, entire networks around these key officials need to be sanctioned, and a number of them at once to demonstrate seriousness of purpose,” it noted.

The AU, the US-based advocacy group further recommended, should make a bold statement in support of peace should it impose network sanctions on key leaders and their commercial facilitators inside and outside South Sudan, as these leaders who are destroying the country through war are the same leaders who are bankrupting it through their looting of state assets and natural resources.

“In support, IGAD should continue to encourage the African Union’s Peace and Security Council to levy sanctions”, it further observed.

The continental body, according to Enough Project, should impose specific consequences on “spoilers” of South Sudan’s peace process, in form of asset freezes, travel bans, anti-money laundering investigations, an arms embargo, and other measures that demonstrate Africa’s seriousness about peace in the young nation.

A top US diplomat on Wednesday called for an arms embargo on South Sudan after its warring parties failed to honour a ceasefire agreement signed late last year.

Addressing the United Nations Security Council, the US ambassador Nikki Haley to the UN criticized the President Salva Kiir-led coalition government of failing to lead efforts to end the civil war.

“The time has come to acknowledge the hard reality – that the leaders of South Sudan are not just failing their people, they are betraying them,” she told a council meeting on South Sudan.

The 15-member Security Council considers the revitalization of the peace process initiated by IGAD as an opportunity to end the conflict that has killed tens of thousands of people.

In March last year, a UN panel of experts, in a report, called for an arms embargo on South Sudan after it emerged that its government was spending oil revenue on weapons as its citizens faced starvation. The call was, however, opposed by China and Russia, insisting regional nations must play a key role in resolving the problem.


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