Originally published by African Arguments on March 15, 2014.
In Yambio, Western Equatoria, South Sudan, life continues, almost as before. The market here does not bustle – ambles would be a more accurate descriptor of pace. The banks function, construction continues, the schools are open. People go to work. The post office still sells stamps from Khartoum, denominated in Sudanese pounds, as well as those issued more recently by the postal authorities in Juba. I buy a few. There haven’t been any mail deliveries in 2014, though, so mail workers find other ways of occupying their time while waiting for that rare creature: a customer.
Salva Kiir’s recent verbal attack on the United Nations was not merely anger at the incident at the gates of the UNMISS camp in Bor. While strains in relations with the UN have been building over the course of the crisis, the fury of information minister Michael Makuei, the official denied access in Bor (VOA; Radio Bakhita; Sudan Tribune) helped bring relations to breaking point. Makuei’s influence has risen during the crisis. He has been louder, more aggressive and more uncompromising compared to his predecessor, current minister of foreign affairs Barnaba Marial Benjamin.
But the government of South Sudan has been unhappy with UNMISS for some time. Continue reading
1. On the march on Bor
I’ve lost count of the number of references to the ‘White Army’ in the media reports of recent days. The militia’s name appears to be innocuous:
Last week, Human Rights Watch reported on abuses by the SPLA in Jonglei’s Pibor county. The report offers important testimony of specific incidents, providing the detail of individual tragedy all too often overlooked in the ongoing conflict in Jonglei:
SPLA soldiers approached a group of civilian men playing a traditional board game and demanded that the men hand over their guns. The men gave the SPLA two rifles. The SPLA then tied up the men into two groups of seven. The soldiers executed the men in one group at the site and took the men in the other group some distance away and shot them. One man, shot in the shoulder and left for dead, survived the shooting and was later found by other community members. Continue reading
Originally published by the Security Sector Reform Resource Centre on February 1, 2011:
January in Sudan was dominated by anticipation for and the conduct of Southern Sudan’s self-determination referendum, with approximately 4 million voters going to the polls to choose whether to split Africa’s largest country. Provisional results show an overwhelming vote for an independent Southern Sudan, which will likely become Africa’s 55th sovereign state on July 9, 2011, the concluding date of Sudan’s 2005 Comprehensive Peace Agreement (CPA).
Another important development with as much symbolism for Southern Sudan’s future relations with northern Sudan received far less coverage: the birth of Southern Sudan’s air force.