Eritrea’s silence on the Ethiopian peace offer

martinplaut

By Makeda Saba

As far as I can tell so far no official reply. I think that their ploy will be not to reply at all.
Let everybody  buzz around the issue and possibly allow some to expose themselves.
They may then request that the Ethiopian Parliament confirm the Ethiopian pull out from Bademe. This would be, in my view, be mischief.
However, the PFDJ may choose to mix things up by pointing out that it was the Ethiopian Parliament that declared war on Eritrea and it is the Ethiopian Parliament that must end it.
This conveniently overlooks the fact that it was the then Ethiopian Prime Minister Melles Zenawi that signed the Algiers Agreement.
There are  several points to this:
🐒delay telling Eritrean how much land we have lost
🐒 delay discussing the compensation issue – even if in the end not much will be paid
🐒 delays the release of political…

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The Eritrea-Sudan border standoff: did Isaias whisper treason?

martinplaut

In January this year Sudanese troops were sent to man the country’s border with Eritrea.

The border was sealed: trade between the neighbouring states ceased.

This has caused real hardship for many on both sides of the border – but particularly in Eritrea, which relies on imports from Sudan.

So what is behind these dramatic events?

Sudan Vice PresThe origins of the dispute can be traced back to a visit to Eritrea by the Sudanese First Vice – President and National Prime Minister, Lt. Gen. Bakri Hassan Salih in December last year.

The official Sudanese statement said the two sides had “discussed progress of the bilateral relations between two countries and issues of mutual concern.”

But Sudanese sources suggest the discussions were far more dramatic. Sudan has been drifting away from its traditional alliance with Egypt, and closer to Ethiopia.

Khartoum has sided with Addis Ababa rather than Cairo over Ethiopia’s Grand…

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Eritrea protest update: defiance and calls for unity

martinplaut

I have received this from a contact working through the ‘Freedom Friday’ network.

Martin


Activists from yesterday’s protest are sending a call for national unity against PFDJ actions against religious schools.

In an impassioned appeal for unity across all faiths the activists stated:

“Unsurprisingly the regime is attempting to taint this as a religious move aimed at asserting Moslem dominance in the country.

However neither the actions of the government in closing religious schools not the actions yesterday were about one religious group.

There were Christians protestors on the streets yesterday and some are actually in prison alongside their Moslem brothers.

Yesterday at the mosque we made it clear that our issues are issues of freedom and liberty and not confined to religion or one religious group.

In fact what must be clear is that the schools shut include the Catholic school in at the Cathedral as well as the…

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A seismic break in German political consensus – why one should not underestimate the rise of a right-wing party

The trend is extremely concerning

aspiration&revolution

Maybe one day our grandchildren will ask us: what did you do when a Nazi party returned to the German parliament? A modified question of this version was asked by my generation to their grandparents and parents: what did you do when ‘Auschwitz’ happened, ‘Auschwitz’ having become the metaphor for the barbarity of the ‘Third Reich’, including not only the extermination of the Jewish and other populations but also the extermination war in the East and much else.

AfD election poster: ‘Stop islamisation – vote AfD’ Photo: Stefan Boness, http://www.iponphoto.com

Hopefully it will not get that far, and the ‘Nazi-party’ will disappear again before future grandchildren are born, but the result of the recent German general election, where it came third in the overall popular vote, even if not unexpected, still came as a seismic shock to many. Those who ever went to an rally by the Alternative für Deutschland

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The International Criminal Court or the African Union: Who can Ensure Justice for African Victims?

Fully support

assodesire

La version en Français ici

I spent several years of my professional career working on human rights and justice first as the Founder and Chairperson of Juris-Club, then as Commissioner at the National Commission of Human Rights following my election by the Parliament of Togo, then as Outreach Liaison for Africa at the Global Coalition for the International Criminal Court in New York among others … The conflict between the African Union and the ICC therefore interests me in several respects but especially as African and a human rights lawyer; therefore I would like to share here some personal reflections on the different episodes of the serial “ICC versus the African Union”.

The International Criminal Court: The Basics

The creation of the International Criminal Court is an important step in mankind’s efforts to make our world more just. The court was established by an international law treaty “The Rome…

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Salva Kiir and Riek Machar must go if they Care the Future of South Sudan, says SSFDP

The  eruption  of  fighting  on 7th July 2016 between the Sudanese  People’s Liberation Army(SPLA) and the SPLA in Opposition ( SPLA – IO) in  Juba and the huge  loss  of life and casualties as well  as the destruction of properties that  it  has  caused are  clearly an indication of  flaws of the Compromised Peace Agreement.[1]

Clearly  the Compromised Peace  Agreement is in  tatters  and  there is  an urgent  need to  address the key shortcoming of the  agreement and in  particular  for  IGAD mediators to  consider the meaningful  inclusion  of  diverse voices from South Sudan  both  political as  well  as  from Civil Society .

In 2015, during the negotiation of the Compromised Peace Agreement in Ethiopia ,  Senior Generals and Politicians from the SPLM-IO  were  already  dissenting and defecting  from SPLM-IO and   accusing  rebel   leader  Dr Riek  Machar of  poor  leadership because of  provision of the Compromised  Peace Agreement

At  the time,  General  Peter Gadet , a hardliner famous  for the capture of Bor in the aftermath of  December  2013, was one of the early  defectors who  rejected the  proposal  for the formation of  Transitional Government  that included  both President  Salva Kiir and  Dr Riek  Machar and  consequently  vowed to fight  both  sides. At the time the significance of Gadget’s defection was downplaid by SPLM-IO.

In  August  2015 ,  prior  to the  singing of the Compromised Peace Agreement, the South Sudan  Federal  Democratic Party ( SSFDP)  broke  away from the Riek  Machar  led  Sudan People  Liberation Movement – In Oppositions  ( SPLM – IO ) . The chairman of the SSFDP is H.E. Gabriel Changson Chan, is the former Minister of Youth, Culture and Sports

The SSFDP has an armed wing called South Sudan Armed Forces (SSFA) initially lead by General Peter Gadet. However by April  2016  there was  a formal separation between  SSFDP and  General  Peter Gadet  as  the latter had  formed  the National  Defence  Alliance ( NDA). During the same period, reflecting the fluidity and complexity of South Sudan politics, the SSFDP suffered the defection to the Government of Gen. Gathoth Gatkuoth, Gen. James Malith Gatluak and Brig. Gabriel Gatwech Puoch

During the negotiation of the Compromised Peace Agreement and in particular in August 2015, matters were not much better on the Government side.  Because of these  tensions and  dissentions, President Salva Kiir    signed  the Peace  Agreement, with  reservations on  26  August  2015, almost  2  weeks  after  the  document had been  signed by  Dr Riek Machar  ( SPLM-IO  ) and  Mr  Pagan Amun –  the  reinstated  Secretary General of  the SPLM South Sudan  who  signed on behalf of the  former  detainees –  a  group  of  high  ranking politicians  briefly  jailed  in the  aftermath of  the events of  December  2013.

During an interview   given to the Sudan Tribune on 11 February 2016, HE Gabriel Changson Chan stated:

 “……. Depending  on the peace  agreement as the basis  of the Transitional Government of National Unity ( TGoNU) without  constitution  will lead to  failure in  the implementation  of the peace  agreement. “

“The agreement will be dead as soon as the First Vice President [2]takes oath of office as the First Vice President”  

“The President [3] will then govern the country with un –amended constitution and shall have the liberty to appoint and dismiss the First Vice President and the cabinet minister because there  will be no constitutional  protection for them”

In April 2016, Dr Riek Machar finally arrived in Juba and the Transitional Government of National Unity (TGoNU) was formed.  Though  people wanted to hope for the best, the   general  feeling in Juba  was  that the formation of the TGoNU  had simply reset the country in the same position as  it was in 2013  with the same  players  and  tensions  in place.

Earlier this month ,  fighting  reminiscent  of December  2013 erupted in Juba ,causing  more than  300  deaths, and the displacement of  over 30,000  people in Juba .In Addition  the fighting  was not restricted to Juba as almost simultaneously armed clashes were reported in Wau, Torit, Bentiu, Lainya, Yei , Kajo Keji. Though it is not   possible to say that there was a deliberated coordination it is clear that there was a widening of the conflict throughout South Sudan.

Thought the ceasefire in Juba is most welcome, it is disturbing that:

  • Dr Cirino Hiteng g Deputy  Foreign Minister  – was unilaterally removed  from his  post by  President  Salva Kiir  following the IGAD press  release of  12 July 2016  condemning  the  eruption  of  fighting  on 7th July 2016 between the Sudanese  People’s Liberation Army(SPLA) and the SPLA in Opposition ( SPLA – IO) in  Juba and the huge  loss  of life and casualties as well  as the destruction of properties that  it  has  caused . The  dismissal has been strongly condemned by the SPLM Former Detainees and in  particular   Dr Cirino Hiteng himself , who during an interview with Radio  Tamazuj ( 14 July 2016  radiotamazui/en/article/cirino-hiteng-says-his-removal-violates-peace-deal ) stated that :

“..He[4] has basically violated the Peace Agreement[5]

“He[6] has no right to do that because this is the coalition government and I have my group. We should discuss the issue, and if the Former Detainees are convinced, than it is up to us to look for a replacement.”

  • Cabinet Minister of the SPLM – IO Minister of Energy Dr Dhieu Mathok Ding Wol was arrested. It appears that the Minister has been seriously beaten.  Dr Dhieu is the Secretary General of the SPLM-IO and hails from Bahr El Gazal region, homeland of President Salva Kiir and his SPLA Chief of Staff Paul Malong.  This event lends  credence to  recent  reports that  certain Dinka  member of the SPLM –IO  are under  pressure to  defect
  • The apparent  targeting and killing, because of his Nuer  ethnicity, of  John  Gatluak Manguer  Nhial a journalist and  radio  manager
  • The killing of the SPLA body guards to  Brig General Lul Ruai, the spokesman  for  the SPLA
  • The Government is preventing  South Sudanese  from  crossing into   Uganda , or from leaving from Juba Airport,

On  14  July  2016 ,I interviewed   HE Gabriel Changson Chan, former  Minister of Youth ,  Culture  and  Sports and  present   chairman of the Political  Committee  of the South Sudan  Federal Democratic Party   ( SSFDP). He  explained  that  recent  events  in South Sudan  clearly  demonstrate that the Compromised  Peace Agreement  is  very  weak  and that  that  there are no safeguards  to  ensure  its viability and implementation.  The mistrust and  antagonism  between  President Salva Kiir and Dr Riek Machar is  such  that it is not possible for the  two  personalities to  work  together  in particular in light of the fact that both expect to contest the 2018  elections.  Changson  claims  that during the  negotiation  phase of the  Compromised  Peace  Agreement  IGAD  was informed of the concerns  about the ability of President Kiir and  Dr Riek Machar to overcome  their  mutual antagonism, however such concerns were ignored .

According to the SSFDP Chairman the way forward is as follows[7]s:

  1. Immediate military and political  intervention  by  IGAD  and partners  to :
    1. Stop  the fighting , maintain  law  and order  and  prevent South Sudan  from  descending into  total chaos
    2. Oversee the restructuring of the security sector institutions to reflect the diversity of South Sudan. In this  regard  HE Gabriel Changson Chan stressed the importance of the complete  demilitarisation of  Juba and  all other  major  towns  in South Sudan and  that South Sudanese forces must be  assembled in specific cantonment sites with clear buffer zones between them .IGAD/UNMISS to take up the responsibility of security in the country.
    3. Support the setting up of truly inclusive Transitional Government of National Unity (TGoNU) without President Kiir and First Vice President Riek Machar. The SSFDP  Chairman  explained that the  in the event that the two  leaders are to continue to participate in the TGoNU,   then it should be clear that  they   are doing so  only in  a caretaker  capacity and are not  to contest any  future  
    4. Support the voluntary resettlement of  IDP’s and Refugees to  location of their  choice in South Sudan 

Such stabilisation action   would then support: The process of reconciliation in the country and in particular the:

  1. The Democratisation of the country including a well-studied and participatory process to decide on the type of Federation as well as the number States that will comprise such Federation.
  2. The establishment of Transitional Justice and  Accountability  for  war  crimes and crimes against  humanity
  3. The development of a comprehensive economic recovery programme  for the country

H.E  Gabriel  Changson Chan is of the view  that in  the  event that  IGAD  and partners  fail  to  take immediate action  to  stop  the fighting, maintain  law and order and  support the  setting up  of  a  truly inclusive  Transitional Government of National Unity ( TGoNU), the current  conflict  will  expand as the South Sudanese People will  look  to  take such  action as they deem  necessary to protect their rights

Makeda  Saba                                      makedasaba@ymail.com

Salva Kiir and Riek Machar must go if they care the future of South Sudan,says SSFDP

[1] IGAD Plus  Agreement on the  Resolution  of the  Conflict in the Republic of South Sudan ( ARCSS) 

[2] Dr Riek Machar

[3] President Salva Kiir Mayardit

[4] President Salva Kiir Mayardit

[5] Compromised Peace Agreement

[6] President Salva Kiir Mayardit

[7] 2016.07.14 South Sudan Federal Democratic Party ( SSFDP) /South Sudan Armed Forces (SSAF)  –  Urgent  Press Release – The Juba Two  Massacres  2016

 

The International Community is Searching for the Solution to Stop the War in South Sudan

On  Monday 11  July 2016, in view of the deteriorating situation in South Sudan  and  in particular  in Juba  there were emergency meeting of  both  the UN  in New York  as  well as  of IGAD Council in  Nairobi.    

The IGAD Council  meeting held in Nairobi  was also  attended by the Troika  representatives of USA ( Ambassador HE  Nic  Hailey), UK ( High Commissioner HE Robert Godec), Norway (Royal  Norwegian Charge D’Affairs HE  Vebojen Heines ); the Head of the EU Delegation to Kenya ( HE Stefano Dejak); Deputy  Head of Mission  Embassy of Italy to Kenya  and  Representative of the IGAD Partner  forum  ( Ms Angela Loi).

Following the meeting the IGAD Council issued the following statement:

  1. Condemns in the  strongest  terms  the  eruption  of  fighting  on 7th July 2016 between the Sudanese  People’s Liberation Army(SPLA) and the SPLA in Opposition (SPLA – IO) in  Juba and the huge  loss  of life and casualties as well  as the destruction of properties that  still continues unabated
  2. Further condemns the  targeting of the UN compound and attempts to prevent  civilian population from  getting protection
  3. Urges President Salva Kiir Mayardit and First Vice President Dr Reik Machar to assume responsibility and  take immediate   measures to  prevail  upon  the respective  military leaders and  stop the fighting that continues  unabated in  Juba  and  may  soon  escalate to other  areas of South Sudan
  4. Underlines the importance of the leaders  assertion of the command and control of their respective  armed forces and  passing of continuous  messages  to the  general population for calm  and reconciliation

 And demands

  1. An immediate cease  fire
  2. Re-opening of the Juba International Airport  to be protected by UNMISS
  3. Immediate return of  all  armed  forces  and  weapons to their  barracks
  4. Opening of humanitarian corridors
  5. Urgent revision of the UNMISS mandate to  establish an intervention  brigade and increase number of  troops from the region to inter alia  secure  Juba
  6. Accountability of those responsible for the breakdown of law and order;  and
  7. Immediate implementation of the  security  arrangements  as  enshrined by the  ARCSS  ( IGAD Plus  Agreement on the  Resolution  of the  Conflict in the Republic of South Sudan)

Late on Monday 11 July 2016, friends and colleagues in Juba started to report that they could hear announcements on the streets of Juba of cease-fire  this  was  later officially confirmed by Brigadier General  Lul Ruai, the spokesperson for  the SPLA  who  read  the  Republican Order No 17/2016 signed  by President  Salva Kiir Mayardit on SSBC .

Today  ( 12 July  2016 )   the  UN Security  Council  plans   to meet  and discuss  recent events in South Sudan . It   is of  particular  relevance that in  preparation  for the  UN Security  Council  meeting the Secretary General Banki Moon is lobbying for the imposition of an immediate  arms  embargo,  additional  targeted sanctions on leaders and commanders  blocking the implementation of the Peace Agreement  , and the fortification of the UN mission  in the South Sudan   which  has in  fact been  the  target of  attacks  during  recent events.

Thought the ceasefire in  Juba  is most  welcome  the reality is that the IGAD Plus  Agreement on the  Resolution  of the  Conflict in the Republic of South Sudan ( ARCSS)   (also  known  as the Compromised Peace Agreement )  is in  tatters . This time the armed conflict was not limited to Juba, almost simultaneously armed clashes were reported in Wau, Torit, Bentiu, Lainya, Yei , Kajo Keji. Though it is not   possible to say  that there was a deliberated coordination it is clear that there is widening of the conflict throughout South Sudan. To address the situation that is now developing in South Sudan, there will be a need to seriously consider the meaningful inclusion and participation of Civil Society in the peace process. The  previous  attempt  of  involving  Civil Society  in discussion  held in  Ethiopia  was  very poor  and farcical

Juba  a  city barely  recovering from the horrific  events of  December 2013 is once  again   left  wounded, in mourning   and  fearful that the  perpetrators of the  recent violence will use the  lull  to  re-arm and regroup .   Today the  people   of South Sudan  are left with  many  unanswered  questions   that  can be  summed up  with the one  universal  question  – WHY ?

Civil Society Organisation  are once  again left to pick up the pieces,  Community Empowerment for Progress Organisation ( CEPO) , South Sudan   Peace and Reconciliation Commission  and others  are  calling for   national  mourning  as a means  not only to mourn  the dead but also  to regroup to fight for the only fight  worth  fighting  Peace For  South Sudan . Peace for the Children of South Sudan

Makeda Saba

makedasaba@ymail.com

The International Community is Searching the Solution to stop war in South Sudan