August 19, 2019 (JUBA) - Violence against aid workers in South Sudan has significantly declined, a top United Nations official said Monday.
- Emergency humanitarian workers attend to children in Pibor, Jonglei, South Sudan, 2 February 2012 (ST)
“We are grateful that since the start of year 2019, we have not experienced any loss of life in the humanitarian community," said Alain Noudehou, the UN humanitarian coordinator in South Sudan.
The official, while speaking during the World Humanitarian Day, said security for aid workers has greatly improved in the past one year.
He called for increased efforts to address risks faced by female aid workers who often face risks of sexual violence and discrimination.
"Our hope is that the security situation will continue to improve to allow people to start to rebuild their lives," Noudehou stressed.
Meanwhile the senior UN official urged parties to the peace accord to implement the accord and ensure stability returns to the country.
At least 112 humanitarian workers have been killed since South Sudan descended into civil war in late 2013, officials disclosed.
South Sudan descended into civil war in late 2013 and the conflict has created one of the fastest growing refugee crises in the world.
August 19, 2019(JUBA) - Members of the United Nations Commission on Human Rights in South Sudan on Monday started their seventh field mission to South Sudan, Uganda, Kenya and Ethiopia.
- A general view of participants during the 29th Regular Session of the Human Rights Council in Geneva on 3 July 2015 - (UN Photo)
The mission, the UN said, will take place from 19 to 29 August 2019.
The experts, led by Yasmin Sooka, will be in South Sudan from August 19-24. The other members are Andrew Clapham and Barney Afako.
The commissioners are expected to meet government officials, including key ministers, members of civil society, religious leaders, diplomats and UN agencies and staff of the UN Mission in South Sudan (UNMISS), including the Special Representative of the Secretary-General and Head of UN mission in South Sudan, David Shearer, to discuss the current human rights situation in the country.
“The commissioners also intend to visit camps and settlements for internally displaced persons across the country, including UNMISS Protection of Civilian (PoC) sites, to meet the people living there, community leaders and civil society organizations, including women organizations,” partly reads a UN statement issued Monday.
The UN Commission on Human Rights in South Sudan is an independent body mandated by the UN Human Rights Council to determine and report the facts and circumstances of, collect and preserve evidence of, and clarify responsibility for alleged gross violations and abuses of human rights and related crimes, including sexual and gender-based violence and ethnic violence, with a view to ending impunity and providing accountability, among others.
Meanwhile, the Commission is expected to present an oral update on the human rights situation in South Sudan to the Human Rights Council on 16 September 2019 and a comprehensive written report in March 2020.
August 19, 2019 (KHARTOUM) - Several leaders of Sudan's armed groups arrived in Juba to discuss with President Salva Kiir issues of democratic transition and peace.
The spokesperson of the Sudanese Revolutionary Front (SRF) Mohamed Zakaria said that the leaders of the two SPLM-N factions Malik Agar, and Abdel Aziz al-Hilu, Minni Minnawi Sudan Liberation Movement (SLM) arrived in Juba upon the invitation of President Kiir.
Also, the South Sudanese leader, according to Zakaria, extended an invitation to Abdel Wahid al-Nur leader of SLM/AW and Tahir Hajer, the head of the Sudan Liberation Forces Alliance (SLFA).
The meeting comes within the efforts of the South Sudanese President to broker a peace agreement between Khartoum and the armed groups, as he said in his remarks at the signing ceremony of the agreement on Sudan's transitional authority on 17 Agust.
However, a spokesman for the SLFA, Nur al-Din Shammu, denied that Hajer had been invited by the South Sudanese government.
"The SLFA has announced its position earlier that they are not part of any agreement that does not address the root causes of crisis even if this leads to the resumption of war again."
Justice and Equality Movement (JEM) leader Gibril Ibrahim has just ended a visit to Juba where he met with President Kiir to discuss ways to achieve peace in Sudan.
But Ibrahim did not issue a statement about the outcome of the meeting neither the South Sudanese presidency.
Egypt recently informed Sudan armed groups about its plan to host a peace process between them and the transitional government.
President Kiir says peace in Sudan is necessary for the good relations between the two country and crucial for political stability in his country.
Cairo says they want to repair the neglected relations with Sudan and reestablish the close relationship between the two countries as it was before the al-Bashir's regime.
August 19, 2019 (JUBA) – South Sudan's President Salva Kiir has in a mini cabinet reshuffle appointed Awut Deng Achuil as the country's new Foreign Affairs minister, replacing Nhial Deng Nhial.
- President Kiir waves hand to greet the Sudanese during the signing ceremony of Sudan democratic transition deal on 17 August 2019 (Reuters Photo)
Achuil was the Gender, Child and Social Welfare minister.
The president, in a decree issued on Monday, appointed Jemma Nunu Kumba, the acting secretary general of the ruling party (SPLM) as the country's new minister of Gender, Child and Social Welfare.
The decree was announced on the state-owned television (SSBC).
Kiir also appointed Alfred Akuoch Omoli as the minister of Wildlife while Simon Mijok Mijak was appointed Roads and Bridges minister.
No reasons were given as to why the president made the reshuffle.
In separate decrees, Kiir relieved Atem Madut Yak as Governor of Twic State and appointed Jacob Madhol Lang as his replacement.
The South Sudanese leader also appointed Timothy Taban Juch as the new governor of Akobo State, replaced the late Gen. Gony Biliu.
August 20, 2019 (KHARTOUM) - The Leadership Council of the Forces for Freedom and Change (FFC) and its nomination committee, in a meeting that ended on Tuesday morning, finally agreed on five nominees to represent them at the Sovereign Council.
The meeting which started at 01:00 PM on Monday witnessed a heated debate between the FFC's groups over the nomination of some opposition members in the Sovereign Council.
Mariam al-Mahdi in a short statement extended to Sudan Tribune in the early hours of Tuesday at about 03:00 AM (local time) said the five nominees of the FFC are Aisha Musa, Hassan Sheikh Idriss, Mohamed al-Faki Suleiman, Siddiq Tawer and Mohamed Hassan al-Ta'aishi.
The return of al-Ta'aishi who had been previously rejected by some opposition forces was seen as the only solution to the difference over an independent nominee to represent Darfur region.
The selection of the lawyer Taha Osman who is a member of the Sudanese Communist Party was largely contested by professional groups which called for an independent personality to represent the western Sudan region.
The Sudanese Professional Association (SPA) which had the difficult task to pick a representative of Darfur has indicated they did not take part in Taha's selection after failing to find an independent national figure from the divided region.
Before agreeing on al-Ta'aish, the meeting discussed the nomination of Mohamed Tahir Tarjouk, a former prosecutor, but reservations also emerged against him.
It should be noted that Taha on Sunday declined the nomination after his rejection faced by the professional groups.
Crowds of FFC youths, opposed to the political nominations, rallied outside the premises of the National Umma Party in Omdurman, chanting slogans condemning the selection of Baath Party leading member Siddiq Tawer to represent the Nuba Mountains as one of the FFC nominees for the Sovereign Council.
Sudan Tribune learned that the FFC's leadership meeting too was very tense as divergences emerged over Tawer's nomination. It was supported by the bloc of the National Consensus Forces 'NCF) except the Communist Party, and opposed by the Sudan Call Bloc led by Sadiq al-Mahdi.
The chairman of the Transitional Military Council 'TMC) Abdel Fattah al-Burhan is expected to announce on Tuesday the formation of the Sovereign Council and the appointment of Abdallah Hamdok as prime minister. Also, the military council will be dissolved after the swearing-in ceremony.
On the other hand, Hamdok will begin consultations to form his government based on the nominations made by FFC committees.
Hamdok's mission seemingly would be full of pitfalls after the stormy disputes over the nomination of the FFC candidates for the Sovereign Council, which revealed a divergence in the interpretation of the principle of non-participation of political forces in the executive organs during the transitional period.
During a heated debate between youth and FFC leading members over the non-participation in executive posts, it appeared that there is a big gap in how the opposition leaders perceive the non-political participation in the executive organs.
In her discussion with the youth, the deputy leader of the National Umma Party (NUP) Mariam al-Sadiq al-Mahdi reaffirmed the need to abide by the principle of non-quotas in the selection of members of the collective presidency.
While Mohamed Diaa al-Din, a leading member of the Ba'ath Party and representative of the National Consensus Force (NCF), said that the principle of non-participation is not absolute but relative.
"A politician may be chosen for the Sovereign Council or any executive post when the required qualification conditions are met," he asserted.
Dia went further to accuse both the NUP and the Communist Party of adopting the line of the Sudanese Revolutionary Front against the nomination of Siddiq Tawer. Also, he accused of racist the youth who contested the selection of his comrade Tawer.
The crowd included some youth from the Nuba Mountains who came to express their rejection of Tawer's nomination saying he does not represent their vision for Sudan. Some described them as sympathizers of the SPLM-N.
The TMC spokesperson, Shams al-Din al-Kabbashi, said Monday that the FFC had withdrawn some of its nominees to the Sovereign Council, and requested a 48-hour deadline to complete the list.
On Sunday, the joint meeting between the TMC and the FFC chose Raja Nicola as the 11th member. She was chosen as a representative of the Coptic community and Sudanese Christians in general.
The Sovereignty Council is composed of 11 members, five civilians nominated by the FFC, five militaries nominated by the junta, and another civilian member agreed by both parties.