South Sudan journalist shot dead: radio station

Gunmen in South Sudan have shot dead a radio journalist in the war-torn eastern state of Jonglei, colleagues said Friday.

Pow James Raeth, a correspondent for the independent Radio Tamazuj, was shot dead along with a friend in the town of Akobo by unknown gunmen as they walked to access Internet from an office, the station said.

The station quoted local government commissioner Tut Chol Rial as saying the killing was “not intentional” but was crossfire between two warring rival groups.

“We condemn the senseless killing of Pow James Raeth, somebody who was working for peace and for educating and informing the public,” Radio Tamazuj said in a statement.

The station called him a “talented and hard-working young man who showed so much promise.”

The US embassy in Juba offered their “sincere condolences to the friends, family and colleagues” of Raeth.

Reporters Without Borders ranks South Sudan as the 125th worst nation out of 180.

Rights groups have repeatedly warned that security forces have cracked down on journalists, suffocating debate on how to end a civil war in which tens of thousands of people have been killed in the past 17 months.

Fighting broke out in December 2013 when President Salva Kiir accused his former deputy Riek Machar of attempting a coup, setting off a cycle of retaliatory killings across the country.

Photo Credits : AFP

S.Sudan fighters carried out a ‘month of rape’: UN

South Sudanese fighters carried out a “month of rape”, a top United Nations rights chief has said, warning that atrocities continue with a seventh ceasefire broken.

“Violations continue to take place,” said UN Secretary-General for Human Rights Ivan Simonovic, after visiting the “destroyed” towns of Bentiu and Malakal.

Simonovic, speaking after visiting areas that have seen some of the worst fighting in the past 13 months of war, said he had received the “simply appalling” report of fighters embarking on a campaign of rape.

“This is absolutely intolerable,” he said, without giving further details as to which of the multiple armed forces was responsible.

“It is essential to push for peace, this situation is not sustainable,” he added, in a statement released Friday.

Fighting erupted in South Sudan, the world’s youngest nation, in December 2013 when President Salva Kiir accused ousted deputy Riek Machar of attempting a coup.

It quickly spread from the capital Juba, triggering a cycle of retaliatory massacres across the country.

UN chief Ban Ki-moon this week accused the leaders of putting their own interests above those of their people, after they agreed another ceasefire on Sunday but failed to reach a power-sharing deal.

Kiir and Machar have been set a March 5 deadline to strike a final full peace agreement, but similar previous deadlines have been repeatedly ignored.

UN aid chief Valerie Amos arrives in South Sudan Friday for a three-day assessment mission.

Half the country’s 12 million people need aid, according to the United Nations, which is also guarding some 100,000 civilians trapped inside UN camps ringed with barbed wire, too terrified to venture out for fear of being killed.

Simonovic also repeated calls for the African Union to release findings of its inquiry into atrocities, amid warnings that ignoring its recommendations would help the guilty to evade justice.

“Peace, if it is to be sustainable, needs to include justice,” Simonivic said.

Photo Credits : AFP

IGAD summit on South Sudan conflict postponed

The 29th Extra-Ordinary Summit of the Intergovernmental Authority on Development (IGAD) that was scheduled to find lasting solutions to the conflict -ravaged South Sudan was Thursday put off to Saturday.

The summit was formally postponed after hours of consultations between the Heads of State and Government from the Igad bloc on the one side and the two sides of the South Sudan Conflict.

President Uhuru Kenyatta, the current rapporteur of Igad, was among the Igad Heads of state and government who had attended the summit to explore ways of finding peace and security to South Sudan.

The other heads of states were Presidents Yoweri Museveni of Uganda, Omar Bashir of Sudan, Paul Kagame of Rwanda and Salva Kiir of South Sudan who is locked in political conflict with his former Vice President Dr. Riek Machar who was present with his team.

The Summit at the Sheraton Hotel, Addis Ababa was also attended by foreign representatives and observers from various institutions including the UN.

Although no details were given over the postponement of the Summit, the unresolved issues on the South Sudan agenda include demands by some of the protagonists for a structured transitional government of national unity with a pre-determined ratio of power sharing.

The other issues causing conflict between the two sides include adequate and mutually agreeable political reforms ahead of the all-inclusive elections scheduled for May this year.

Here are some of the photos of the heads of state in attendance;







South Sudan truce already broken, rebels claim

South Sudan’s rebels on Saturday accused government forces of attacking their positions, just hours after the two sides promised an immediate halt to their nearly 11-month-old civil war.

Chief rebel negotiator Taban Deng said troops loyal to President Salva Kiir launched an assault earlier in the day from their positions around the hotly-contested northern oil hub of Bentiu.

He said the rebels “condemn in the strongest terms possible the continuous aggression and violation” of the ceasefire, and called on regional peace mediators to investigate the incident.

South Sudan’s army spokesman Philip Aguer, however, insisted government troops “have not moved anywhere” and that he was unaware of any fresh outbreaks of fighting.

Earlier Saturday, Kiir and rebel leader Riek Machar ended two days of fresh talks in the Ethiopian capital Addis Ababa, and pledged to an “unconditional, complete and immediate end to all hostilities.”


South Sudan President ‘agrees’ to make Riek Machar Prime Minister

According to a senior source within SPLM-Juba, South Sudan president  Salva Kiir has now agreed to allow his rival Riek Machar to serve as the country’s prime minister provided Machar recognizes that Kiir as president.

Last August SPLM-Juba already agreed to concede the position of prime minister to a nominee of SPLM-IO, in accordance with the Protocol on Principles on Transitional Arrangements, but did not agree specifically that Machar could be the nominee.

The Protocol instead said that the SPLM-IO nominee “shall be acceptable to the President ” – while Kiir suggested that Machar would not be acceptable.

Kiir has since changed his position, according to two sources.

“The ‘breakthrough’ is that Salva agreed Riek could be Prime Minister,” an informed source told Radio Tamazuj.

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Bebe Cool Under Fire For ‘Banning’ South Sudanese From His Concerts

Ugandan artiste Bebe Cool Big Size is under fire after he posted on his official Facebook page that he will ban all South Sudan nationals from his concerts if they dare expel foreign workers from their country.

In his post, Bebe Cool said; “If it is true, let me be the first person to react positively by saying let no South Sudanese ever attend my concerts and I shall do no favor for any South Sudanese effective 15th October”.

Bebe Cool said this after the South Sudan Labor ministry announced that all foreign workers should hand over their positions to local citizens.

Several people have attacked Bebe Cool because of his ‘negative’ attitude towards the matter.

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South Sudan bans all foreign workers, including aid staff

AFP – War-torn South Sudan has banned the employment of all foreign workers, including those with non-governmental organizations, and ordered they be replaced by locals, an official notice said on Tuesday.

“All non-governmental organizations, private companies in general, banks, insurance companies, telecommunication companies, petroleum companies, hotels and lodges working in South Sudan are directed to notify all the aliens working with them in all the positions to cease working as from 15th October,” said a government statement, published in several newspapers.