By Julius Gale JUBA South Sudan (Xinhua)
-- A two-day conference for
legislators from regional bloc IGAD kicked off in South Sudan on
Wednesday seeking to enhance regional peace, environmental
protection and curb illegal migration in the East African
Delegates from the
eight countries that make up the Inter-Parliamentary Union (IPU)
of the Inter-Governmental Authority on Development (IGAD) will
also use the event to drum up humanitarian assistance for
famine-hit South Sudan and other Eastern African nations
affected by drought.
Mohamed Adam Mohamed
Ismail, Secretary General of IPU-IGAD, said the main target of
the meeting is to search for lasting solutions to address
climate change, migration of people into Europe and peace in the
Horn of Africa.
“The main agenda is
to come up with solutions to the problems that we have. For
example, in South Sudan and Ethiopia there is too much
deforestation. Our people are dying in the Mediterranean (Sea)
trying to cross to Europe,” Ismail said.
Anthony Lino Makana,
Speaker of South Sudan’s Transitional Assembly and chair of the
conference, called on the IGAD member states to extend
humanitarian assistance to people affected by the conflict in
government is doing its best to ameliorate the situation, I
would nevertheless wish to take this opportunity to appeal to
the international community to step up their already substantial
support so as to adequately meet the dire needs of our people
both at home and abroad,” Makana said.
South Sudan rebels allied to
Machar wary of defections to rival group
JUBA South Sudan (Xinhua) --
Sudan People’s Liberation Army-in opposition (SPLA-IO)
led by former first vice president Riek Machar on Wednesday
expressed fear of losing some of it’s top officers to the
recently formed National Salvation Front (NSF) led by a renegade
Former South Sudan
army (SPLA) deputy chief of logistics Lt. General Thomas Cirillo
Swaka who heads NSF is behind defections of several high-ranking
have stirred up unease in the SPLA-IO camp for fear of being
usurped as the most vibrant group fighting to topple President
Salva Kiir’s regime, since fighting broke out in December 2013.
“Some generals from
SPLA-IO declared their allegiance to the (NSF) new movement. But
we thought General Thomas Cirillo could have first consulted our
leadership because we share the objective, but now they seem to
form their movement against us,” Colonel William Gatjiath the
SPLA-IO spokesman told Xinhua in an interview.
“But the only lion
in the bush of South Sudan is SPLA-IO because we deployed our
sectors and divisions all over the south Sudan. Nobody could
form different entity without cooperating with the SPLA-IO,” he
In his March 11
resignation letter to Machar, Colonel Nyarji Roman, former
deputy spokesman in the office of the latter, castigated the
SPLA-IO top leadership’s conduct leading to death of rebel
“We were not taken
seriously when some of us tried to warn you of possible attack
by the government on July 4. You (Machar) ignored the warning
and as a result, many of our soldiers ended up losing their
lives,” the letter said.
disclosed that for over three years, Machar failed to supply
SPLA-IO forces in Equatoria region with arms and logistical
support that caused the death of two prominent generals Martin
Kenyi and Elias Lino Jada.
Meanwhile, the South
Sudanese Minister of Information Michael Makuei, said the rebels
are in disarray after being overpowered and that they were in
control of large swathes of the country.
“There is a
misconception that government of South Sudan is nothing than an
island in Juba. This is not true but hearsay,” he said.
He also dismissed
the new NSF rebellion led by General Cirilo as inconsequential.
“Cirillo with his
(NSF) declaration is brief case movement, there is no way if you
are a real leader you call for people to join (rebellion) from
the refugees camps,” Makuei said.
The rebel factions
could lead to factional fighting like the January fighting
between SPLA-IO and former agriculture minister Lam Akol’s led
group that led to death of two generals.
happened to Dr. Lam Akol who formed his movement and we (SPLA-IO)
dismantled his movement and killed the two top generals. This
may twist itself to Thomas Cirilo, all those generals claiming
to join him have no forces, but left the movement in search of
money,” Gatjiath revealed.
descended into violence in December 2013, following political
dispute between president Salva Kiir and former vice president
Riek Machar resulting in killing of tens of thousands and
displacement of more than two million.
July fighting in 2016 threatened to tear apart the fragile 2015
peace agreement to end the conflict.
UN mission urges end to
hostilities in Sudan’s Darfur
KHARTOUM, (Xinhua) --
The United Nations African Union Mission in
Darfur (UNAMID) on Wednesday urged the conflicting parties in
Darfur to end hostilities and reach a lasting peace in the
In a statement,
UNAMID welcomed the issuance on March 8 of a Presidential decree
lifting death sentences from 66 members of Darfuri armed
movements and pardoning 193 others.
“The Mission is
heartened by this significant step forward which, it is hoped,
will additionally reinforce the momentum of the ongoing peace
process and national reconciliation,” said UNAMID’s Acting Joint
Special Representative, Jeremiah N. Mamabolo, in the statement.
“All parties to the
conflict should capitalize on this gesture with a view to end
hostilities and bring about a permanent and lasting peace for
the people of Darfur. UNAMID reiterates its commitment to do
everything within its capacity to achieve this end,” he noted.
Last Thursday, the
Sudanese authorities released 259 convicts of rebel groups, some
of whom were sentenced to death, just one day after a
President Omar al-Bashir issued pardons for 259 members of rebel
movements “with the aim to enhance the spirit of national accord
and prepare the climate for achieving sustainable peace in the