By Julius Gale JUBA South Sudan
(Xinhua) -- The International
Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) on Thursday expressed
concern about the fate of people wounded in the fighting
around Waat, in South Sudan’s Bieh state, and requested
all sides to allow the wounded access to health care.
The ICRC in
a statement issued in Juba reminded all sides involved
in the hostilities to respect and protect those not
taking part in the fighting, including wounded
has been able to evacuate several wounded combatants so
far and we stand ready to do it again. We are discussing
with all sides to the conflict to ensure that the
wounded have access to the medical assistance they are
entitled to,” ICRC’s head of delegation in South Sudan,
Francois Stamm said.
clashes erupted early this week between government
forces and rebels loyal to the country’s former deputy
president Riek Machar known as SPLA-IO, which left over
90 killed and dozens injured, according to the South
Sudan army (SPLA).
spokesman Lul Ruai Koang blamed opposition fighters for
obstructing evacuation efforts by the ICRC on Wednesday,
alleging that rebel fighters fired shells at the
airstrip as the ICRC team tried to evacuate their
Gabriel, Deputy Spokesman of the rebels denied all the
accusations, saying that the government is trying to
restrict the ICRC to only rescue wounded government
soldiers and leave out the rebels.
still ongoing and we are in full control of the
airstrip. But the government is putting the ICRC under
huge pressure not to assist our fighters, which is not
acceptable,” Gabriel told Xinhua by phone.
Cross said since the beginning of 2017, they have
evacuated more than 590 people wounded in fighting and
other situations of violence across South Sudan, and it
has treated a total of 1,046 people affected by the
all parties involved in the fighting about their
obligation to allow the war wounded prompt access to
medical assistance,” Stamm said.
rules in war and it is crucial that international
humanitarian law (IHL) be respected and that those
affected by the fighting are protected,” he added.
has been embroiled in more than three years of conflict
that has have taken a devastating toll on the people of
A peace pact
signed in Addis Ababa in 2015 under intense
international pressure was shattered again following
renewed violence between rival government and opposition
troops in the capital Juba in July 2016.
has since spread to other regions which enjoyed relative
peace, causing mass displacement of least 4 million
people from their homes, ethnic polarization and tribal
violence that has killed tens of thousands of people.
concern for Juba residents: South Sudanese survey
By Julius Gale JUBA South Sudan
(Xinhua) -- South Sudanese are
concerned about heavy deployment of the army in the
capital Juba, a survey conducted by a lobby group South
Sudanese Network for Democracy and Elections (SSuNDE)
the security survey, conducted in March covered over
1,500 residents of Juba, found that the force deployed
in the city signifies war-related danger to the
militarization of the city led to increased armed
robbery, rape and reported cases of murders through gun
also said security reforms initiated late last year by
the government to improve safety and security of
civilians in Juba was largely effective and appreciated
by the public.
called for an expanded and sustained security sector
reforms, collection of illegal arms from civilians and
deployment of soldiers outside urban centers.
(civilians) recommended that the people who interact
with them, especially providing security in town should
be the police and the military should get involved in
defence and other assignments outside the city,” said
Rajab Mohandis, SSuNDE Executive Director.
heavily militarized with soldiers seen in the several
military patrols and security checkpoints across the
city despite repeated calls by the UN and regional blocs
for demilitarization of the city.
2015 peace agreement also provided for redeployment of
the military 25 km outside the city, but little has been
achieved as the pact was shattered by fresh clash
between rival forces in July 2016.
to the findings, South Sudan’s Interior Minister Michael
Chiangjiek said the report would help the government
improve on its shortfalls and strengthen its capacity to
protect civilians and their property.
the assessment, I call it very positive because it gives
us the feedback on what we can do as a government and
also as security organs because they have found that
there are areas that we have done very well and there
are areas that need improvement,” Chiangjiek told
reporters on Thursday.
South Sudan rebels
defect to government
By Denis Elamu JUBA South Sudan
(Xinhua) -- Eleven South
Sudanese rebels on Thursday defected to the government
in order to participate in the ongoing national dialogue
process launched last year by President Salva Kiir.
Gabriel Gatwech Puoch from the SPLA-In opposition (SPLA-IO)
faction under First Vice President Taban Deng Gai said
the 11 returnee rebels, including two Brigadiers,
arrived in Juba from the Ugandan capital, Kampala.
“I have been
sent to Kampala by Taban Deng to meet those who have
called for peace and some of them have come with me. We
are delighted that people are now ready to talk and air
out differences through the national dialogue,” Gatwech
said in Juba.
that some of the returnees had fled to the Democratic
Republic of the Congo (DRC) in the wake of the renewed
July violence last year that pushed Machar out of the
Jeremiah Sero, who is among the returnee rebels, said
they came to be part of the national dialogue process
and that peace will only come from local solution.
heard this call to join the national dialogue, because
it’s South Sudanese who will bring peace to our country.
I call on our comrades still in the bush to join this
process,” said Sero who was among rebels that fled with
Machar to DRC during violence last year.
Brigadier Okello Odongo who was with the rebels in Magwi
County, Imatong state said more rebel fighters are ready
to renounce rebellion for the national dialogue.
high time that we welcome everybody who has left this
country because of grievances to return and help build
the country. There are number of soldiers that are ready
to come but delayed due to facilitation,” he disclosed.
as we talk already there are forces gathering, building
up in cantonment sites. And with my coming I believe
that even the (rebel) remnants still in the bush will
join us,” he added.
descended into violence in December 2013 after political
dispute between President Salva Kiir and his former
deputy Riek Machar led to fighting that pitted mostly
Dinka ethnic soldiers loyal to Kiir against Machar’s
Nuer ethnic group.
peace agreement to end the violence was again violated
in July 2016 when the rival factions resumed fighting in
the capital forcing the rebel leader Machar to flee into
has killed tens of thousands and displaced millions that
have sought refuge in neighboring countries.
South Sudan plans for
electricity import from Uganda
By Denis Elamu JUBA South Sudan
(Xinhua) -- South Sudan said
Thursday electricity supply from Uganda will create
necessary socio-economic development along its border
of Electricity and Dams Dhieu Mathok said the two
neighboring countries reached an agreement in Kampala
that will see import of at least 15 KV of electricity to
three border towns of war-torn South Sudan
Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) is aiming at
electrification of the border towns of Kaya, Nimule and
KajoKeji. We are going to form committee on both sides
to draft the agreement to implement the project,” he
said in Juba.
under the regional body the East African Community (EAC)
pool for electricity connectivity will see both
countries mobilize funds for implementation.
project is very important and is going to create
necessary social-economic development for our people and
also stop rural-urban migration,” Mathok said.
said the electricity supply from Uganda will help fill
the void caused by delays in implementation of the
country’s eight hydro power projects.
immediately going to form a committee and this will
embark immediately on drafting the agreement on terms of
management, finance,” he added.