South Sudan Digest – August 2011 Edition

September 22nd, 2011

The August Digest can be downloaded as a PDF here: August Digest

South Sudan Civil Society –Monthly Digest

Vol. 1, No. 5

August 2011-Release


Justice Africa Literature Review





Abstract: This digest provides the latest updates on key developments in The Republic of Southern Sudan. It combines reports from think tanks, NGOs, electronic media and experts both from abroad and on the ground to highlight the greatest assets and impediments to regional security, governance, human rights and Civil Society during this critical period of transition.


Table of Content

1. Peace and Security
1.1 Abyei Province
1.2 Eastern Equatoria
1.3 Jonglei
1.4 South Kordofan
1.5 Unity State
1.6 Analysis by Researchers on Sudan’s Peace and Security Issues
1.7 Armed Militias
.8 Disarmament, Demobilization and Reintegration
1.9 Internally Displaced People

2. United Nations

3. African Union

4. Economy
4.1 Development
4.2 Education
4.3 Oil Revenues and Export

5. Governance and Civil Society
5.1 Citizenship
5.2 Currency
5.3 Governance
5.4 Media

6. Human Rights
6.1 South Kordofan
6.2 South Sudan Human Rights Society for Advocacy Press Release

7. Related Issues
7.1 Darfur
7.2 South Sudan – Ugandan Relations

8. Analysis/ Official Report/Press Release



Voices from South Sudan


9. Civil Society Activities
9.1 Appeal to Parliament in respect to the Transitional Constitution
9.2 Natural Resources Workshop at the Zara Hotel
9.3 Independence Statement
9.4 First South Sudan Civil Society Convention
9.5 Opening of the Juba Civic Engagement Centre

10. Civil Society Analysis

11. National Analysis
11.1 Natural Resources
11.2 Peace
11.3 Citizenship

1. Peace and Security

1.1 Abyei Province

11th July – Sudanese President Omar al-Bashir (OB) has told the BBC that his country could take up arms against the newly independent Republic of South Sudan over the disputed region of Abyei. Speaking to Zeinab Badawi (ZB) on BBC Hardtalk programme, he insisted that Abyei was part of the north and that any attempt to undermine the terms of the protocol signed between the two could lead to renewed conflict.

ZB: Is it possible at any stage that north Sudan could return to conflict with South Sudan over Abyei or is it no way going to be the cause of a war?

OB: “When we achieved peace it was based on a conviction, and the last battle between us and the Sudan People’s Liberation Army was in Torit, in which we decimated southern SPLA troops. We were fighting for peace and we divided Sudan for peace and we are keen on preserving peace. We should never fight unless we are compelled to do so.”

But when asked if war could erupt if Abyei was to be included with the South, the president replied:

OB: “There’s a protocol on Abyei, a protocol that governs Abyei if there’s a peaceful solution. But in the past, we were forced to fight when they [South Sudan] tried to impose a new reality.”

During the interview, al-Bashir confirmed that Sudan will not renew their contract with UNMIS to extend the mission’s mandate but welcomed the Ethiopian peacekeeping troops. He also confirmed that once the Ethiopian troops enter Abyei, Sudan will start the demobilization of its armed forces in the area.[1]

19th July – A thousand Ethiopian peacekeepers have arrived in Abyei following the agreement that was made between Khartoum and SPLM concerning the security arrangements of the contested area. Once all of the 4,200 Ethiopian peacekeepers have been deployed to Abyei, as decided by the UN Security Council, the Sudanese troops will withdraw their forces from the contested area.[2]

23rd July – South Sudan’s president, Salva Kiir Mayardit, has emphasized that the disputed Abyei region is part of the nine Dinka Ngok chief-tons, as stated in the Comprehensive Peace Agreement (CPA). In a meeting with community leaders from the state he asserted that: “The people of South Sudan will not leave you alone. Abyei belongs to you. This is what the CPA says. It is your historical and ancestral homeland.

In a separate interview, Juac Agok, the Deputy Chairperson of the SPLM for Abyei, supported President Kiirs statement by insisting that none other than the nine Dinka Ngok chief-tons can claim to the area.

“The CPA is very clear document. It defines Abyei as land which belongs to the nine Dinka Ngok chiefdom transferred to Kordofan region in 1905. It does not say that Abyei was a shared area transferred to Kordofan [in North Sudan]. It talks only about Dinka Ngok chiefdom. This is not what we say. It is what the agreement which we signed with the National Congress Party says, so why are the people refusing to implement.”[3]

3rd Aug – Four UN peacekeepers were killed by landmines and seven more have been injured during a security patrol in Abyei. The UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon expressed his condolences and concern for the injured Ethiopian peacekeepers.[4]

6th Aug – Three of the four UN peacekeepers that were killed from the landmine explosion died from their injuries while waiting clearance to be grated from Khartoum to the medical evacuation helicopter that was to transport the wounded to a hospital.  The delay has fuelled international anger and Hillary Clinton issued a strong statement, criticizing the Sudanese government for their actions.

“We are alarmed by reports that the Government of Sudan delayed granting the necessary flight clearances to allow the expeditious medical evacuation of the injured peacekeepers and threatened to shoot down any UN helicopter that attempted to access the area without approval. Three wounded soldiers died during this unnecessary delay” […] “The United States is committed to ensuring that the United Nations Interim Security Force for Abyei (UNISFA) has the political support to carry out its important and difficult mandate under challenging circumstances and strongly condemns the Government of Sudan’s non-compliance with its obligation and its obstruction of the work of the United Nations”.

Khartoum responded by criticizing Clinton’s statement for being “…false and misleading” and U.S for attempting to damage Sudan’s image.[5]

1.2 Eastern Equatoria State

A conference organized by the Madi community in Nimule Payam in Eastern Equatoria state has been abandoned. The conference had been organized by Madi leaders to explain to the internally displaced Dinka community that now the country was independent they should return to their homeland. However, lack of attendance from the Dinka community meant that the conference could not take place.[6]

1.3 Jonglei

29th July – Jonglei State held a consultative meeting in the state’s capital Bor for the local MP’s and their counterpart from Juba in order to identify and address Jonglei’s peace and security challenges. South Sudan’s largest state has suffered from years of unrest between tribes Dinka, Nuer and Murle as a result of cattle rustling and child kidnapping.

The state governor, Kuol Manyang started the meeting by outlining Jonglei’s progress following the CPA which includes the construction of new roads within the capital and a public power station; the installment of clean urban water supply; renovation of state civil hospital and training for the state police.

He continued to discuss the security issues that the state is currently facing blaming the issues on rebel groups, cattle rustlers, poor road network and underdevelopment.

Gier Chuang Aluang, the Interior Minister of South Sudan, further accused politicians for causing further trouble at grass root level in Jongei by quarreling and disagreeing.

“We need to be united. Don’t just say unity, unity and as soon we disperse we say different issues, it doesn’t work. […] What I have seen, our people at the grass root are very good and very clean, but it us who are not clean. It will be good if I can ask our reverends and all the religious leaders in the state to pray and neutralise those with evil thinking so that we move ahead,” said Gier.

The meeting concluded as the attendees “pledged to do the utmost to promote the ultimate interest of the people of South Sudan and the people of Jonglei in particular”.

In addition, it was agreed to hold an urgent inter-communal peace and reconciliation conference.[7]

19th Aug – Hundreds of people have been killed and many more wounded in clashes between Murle and Lou Nuer in Jonglei State. The state government has reported that this current wave of violence was initiated by the Murle as revenge for a Lou Nuer cattle raid in June.[8]

1.4 South Kordofan State

8th July – President Omar al-Bashir has rejected the framework agreement that was recently signed between the NCP and SPLM-N on South Kordofan and Blue Nile areas on the 28th June in Addis Ababa under the supervision of African Union High-Level Implementation Panel on Sudan (AUHIP). By signing the framework the two parties agreed to cease hostilities and armed confrontation in South Kordofan. However, three days after the meeting al-Bashir rejected the agreement and blamed his assistant Nafi Ali Nafi for overriding his authority in signing the framework. The reason behind his rejection was explained as:

“After the SPLM launched a treacherous operation in South Kordofan, now they want an agreement on political partnership. There will not be any political partnership before the security arrangements.” […]“They (SPLM-northern sector) are to implement the Comprehensive Peace Agreement (CPA) and abide by the security arrangements, and then we will sit down with them for dialogue in Khartoum and not in Addis Ababa or anywhere else outside Sudan,” said al-Bashir to a gathering in Al- Duwaim town in White Nile State, which also aired live by official Sudan TV. [9]

13th July – The Satellite Sentinel Project (SSP) has released images of mass graves in South Kordofan, providing evidence substantiating the war crimes allegations against the Sudan Armed Forces (SAF). An analysis of ‘Digital Globe’ satellite imagery revealed three mass graves in Kadugli. The discovery is consistent with four separate eye witness accounts that report of systematic killing of civilians by the SAF within the area.

In response to these finds, the co-founder of the SSP, John Prendergast, stressed: “This evidence demonstrates the urgent need for a full-scale international investigation into the violence in South Kordofan, and underlines the imperative to protect civilian populations from their own government in Khartoum. […] Diplomacy as usual backed by no tangible international pressures is a recipe for ongoing death and destruction. The time has arrived for the international community to create a heavy cost for the kinds of crimes depicted in this report, and root that cost within the framework of the international responsibility to protect doctrine.” [10]

16th July – While hundreds of men are reported to be training in a secret camp in the Nuba Mountains to join SPLA forces, the North vows to crush any acts of rebellion within its borders. AFP report that despite six weeks of relentless RAF bombings, SPLA claim to maintain control over the region as new recruits continue to join their armed forces. The governor of the Blue Nile, Malik Agar, expressed concern for the possibility of war spilling over into his state, as the Blue Nile state accommodates a large number of SPLA supports.[11]

18th July – The U.S. Assistant Secretary of State for African affairs, John Carson, urged the Khartoum government to stop all military attacks in regions bordering the newly independent state of the Republic of South Sudan and to honour the 2005 Comprehensive Peace Agreement (CPA). Referring to a series of attacks in the contested Abyei area, Carson called for an international effort to end the atrocities and violent disputes.[12]

19th July – The Darfur rebel group Justice and Equality Movement (JEM) claim to have committed joint attack with the SPLA-N against the SAF camps in Pisea, south of Kadugli. According to Al-Tahir al Fatih, one of JEM leaders, the armed groups took control of the camps, causing the SAF to withdraw their troops.

The alleged joint attack came just two weeks after the leader of SPLA-N, Malik Agar, issued a warning to Khartoum of a combined Darfur-Blue Nile State insurgency attack unless the Sudanese government agreed to a ceasefire in South Kordofan.[13]

19th July – The government of Sudan has expressed a willingness to engage in talks and negotiations to deploy international peacekeepers to South Kordofan. Sudan’s Foreign Minister, Ali Karti, announced in a conference in Vienna: “If there’s an agreement with local leaders specifying the sending of foreign troops, it will be welcome.” However, the Foreign Minister acknowledged that no such call or agreement has yet been made.[14]

23rd July – The SPLA-N in South Kordofan have rejected calls to disarm, insisting that they will only negotiate ceasefire via an external third party negotiation. This approach has so far been rejected by the NCP, who have been unwilling to commit to agreements concerning South Kordofan security by rejecting the Addis Ababa framework agreement.[15]

Aug 2011 – Aly Verjee, a senior researcher at the Rift Valley Institute, questions the reports by domestic and international electoral observers that deemed the South Kordofan governor election in May 2011 as successful in his research paper ’Disputed Votes, Deficient Observation’.  After undertaking a comprehensive analysis of the reports, Verjee argues that significant misinterpretations were made by the domestic and international observers and in order to resolve the current security crisis in South Kordofan, these shortcomings and the electoral dispute must be addressed.[16]

9th Aug – A UN Security Council members held a meeting to discuss the situation in South Kordofan with the intention of finding a binding ceasefire resolution. Valerie Amos, UN’s Under-Secretary-General for Humanitarian Affairs briefed the Council on the situation in south Kordofan and spoke about delivering humanitarian assistance to the victims of the conflict and stressed the importance of declaring an end to the conflict. Sudan Tribune report that during the meeting ‘…the U.S and France had demanded that the UNSC issues a statement obliging the Sudanese government to ceasefire but the demand received objection from the representatives of China, Russia, India and Lebanon which argued that the information on atrocities committed in the region were sourced from non-governmental organization and thus unverifiable.’

Sudan’s relation with UNSC has been tense the past week following the Councils decision to extend UN-AU Joint Peacekeeping Mission in Darfur’s (UNAMID) mandate for a year.  The resolution emphasized protecting civilians and delivering humanitarian aid but the Sudanese government criticized it as sending the wrong signals and providing false information.

The Security Council concluded the meeting without reaching a final agreement.[17]

1.5 Unity State

23rd July – Colonel Gatluak Gai, a South Sudanese rebel leader who this week signed a peace deal with the government, has been killed. Gai was shot near the Pakur district in Unity State and the circumstances surrounding his death are still under discussion. A fellow rebel accused the army for staging his murder; however the SPLA spokesperson has denied the alleion.

Internal divisions and conflicts have riddled the new nation and pose ongoing threats to its stability. In an effort to decrease the internal security threat the South Sudanese government has offered amnesty to all rebel movements. However, BBC news journalist James Copnall points out that this incident is likely to discourage others to engage in a peace process with the government.[18]

1.6 Analysis by Researchers on Sudan’s Peace and Security Issues

June/July – Against the backdrop of South Sudan’s recent independence, journalist Nyambura Wambugu analyses the changing nature of security and argues for the necessity of the new state to adapt accordingly. For the past two decades, South Sudan has solely defined its security in relation to the North and although the possibility of armed conflict remains a continued threat, it is argued that South Sudan desperately needs to expand its security spectrum. Wambugu particularly points towards environmental degradation as a key threat to South Sudan.

The article further addresses regional security aspects, reviewing the impact of South Sudan’s addition into the area. Whilst Wambugu suggests that immediate changes are unlikely, given the continued dependence of South Sudan on its neighbours, the country’s increasing possession of oil wealth will inevitably affect the regions security dynamics.

The author also contemplates the effect that a membership with the East African Community (EAC) may come to have on regional relations. Wambugu suggests that in joining the EAC Southern Sudan may come to increase trade and co-operation with member countries and neighbours Kenya and Uganda and could as a result potentially cause an isolation of the distant EAC member Tanzania, as focus is shifted to the north.[19]

8th July – Analysts at Amnesty International argue that several UN member states, including USA, China and Russia, have provided arms and military training to the SAF and the SPLA and consequently contributed to the ongoing conflicts in Sudan. Erwin Van Der Borght, Director of the Africa Programme at Amnesty International said:

“Civilians are being killed and injured in Southern Kordofan with weapons manufactured by governments overseas who fail to rigorously assess the potential humanitarian and human rights risks before doing business with armed forces,”

Jane, Satellite Sentinel Project & Edwin Van Der Burght 2011, conducted a survey on how arms supplied to volatile regions in Sudan fuels the ongoing conflict especially in the war-torn region of South Kordofan. Reports connected Russian-made aircraft-Sukhoi SU-25 fighter jets to random aerial bombardments of the previous month which resulted in the deaths and injuries of many civilians in the capital of Kadugli in the area of South Kordofan (Satellite Sentinel project, 2011). According to a UN data, Sukhoi SU-25 fighter jets along with Russian manufactured Antonov aircraft were reportedly exported from Belarus in 2008 and 2009 to the SAF in Sudan. The UN report confirms the Satellite Sentinel findings.

The Sudanese forces are believed to have received much of its arms from China. According to statistics, in 2008 and 2009 alone China supplied more than US$ 23 million worth of artillery; US$11 million worth of tanks and armoured fighting vehicles; and military firearms valued at an estimate of US$1.8 million (UN 2009).

Ken Metlhysen, Sergio Finardi, Brian Johnson-Thomas and Peter Danssaert, 2010, conducted a study to examine SPLA’s role in the conflict and reported that the armed forces are believed to have benefited from arms supplies sent from Ukraine via Kenya and the Ugandan border in 2007 and 2008. The weapons included tanks, anti-aircraft guns, multiple rocket launchers and automatic rifles. They also received US$100,000 million worth of military assistance from the USA. Although there is no exact explanation on the type of assistance the US provided, in 2009 diplomatic wikileaks mentioned training programs such as combat arms soldier training (Ken et al, 2011).

Amnesty International experts argue that arms supplies and military training by the great powers plays a bigger role in fuelling the conflict in Sudan and calls for an immediate arms treaty that is functional. The human rights organisation urges the UNSC permanent members to take responsibility to put the treaty in effect.[20]

1.7 Armed Militias

4th Aug – Peter Gadet and his armed group South Sudan Liberation Movement/ Army (SSLM/A) have accepted President Salva Kiir’s offer of amnesty. Spokesperson for SPLA Colonel Phillip Aguer Panyang welcomed the ceasefire but admitted not knowing the details around the agreement as the negotiation took place behind closed doors in Nairobi. Spokesperson of the rebel group, Bol Gatkouth Kol, confirmed that the government and SSLM/A have reached an agreement. He also said that SSLM/A wanted to assure other rebel groups that the government is genuinely interested in peace talks amid rumors surrounding the mysterious killing of Gatluak Gai.[21]

4th Aug – The same day Bol Gatkouth Kol announced that SSLM/A have accepted amnesty that was offered by South Sudan’s president Salva Kiir to all armed militias, the SSLM/A issued a press release rejecting the disbandment of the rebel group and accusing Peter Gadet for not signing a peace agreement but a contract to neutralize the group in exchange for three million dollars and a villa in the Kenyan suburbs. The group also announced that the new leader of SSLM/A Military High Command is now Maj. Gen. James Gai Yoach.[22]

1.8 Disarmament, Demobilization and Reintegration

8th July – In an analysis of the DDR programme in Southern Sudan, IRIN News identified several shortcomings with the programme, suggesting that South Sudan DDR Commission (SSDDRC) and the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) need to reconsider their DDR approach in post-independence South Sudan.

DDR was commenced in South Sudan in 2009 as part of the CPA agreement with the intention of demobilising 90,000 soldiers. However, by the end of June 2011, only 12,525 ex-combatants were reported as having completed the programme. In an interview with Lydia Stone, the author of the Small Arms Survey report, Failures and Opportunities: Rethinking DDR in South Sudan, argues that the soldiers lack incentive or stigma to demobilise.

“It is not always the case that ex-combatants want to return to civilian life, or that they feel stigmatized by their role in the conflict; nor is it necessarily the case that DDR automatically brings greater security in a post-conflict setting.

“For example, for the time being… greater security is achieved by keeping the soldiers in the army and paying them a salary than by pushing them out into a civilian life that offers little hope of finding a livelihood.”

A DDR specialist, that requested to remain unidentified, affirms Stone’s statement and argues that one of the most underlying issues with the DDR Programme in South Sudan is that it was initiated too late. Instead of starting within the first six months following the CPA, which the DDR specialist argues would have made the programme more effective, the programme did not commence until several years later. In the meanwhile, soldiers were put under SPLM payroll, with the lowest rank earning $140/month. The military income in comparison to the earning income of the majority of civilians who earn $1/day or less generates a great division in the standard of living.

Stone also identify the lack of stigma as another setback to the DDR efforts. She argues that whereas in a country such as Sierra Leone where the rebel group Revolutionary United Front were condemn for their part in the civil war, the SPLA are considered to be heroes and liberators.

“There is not the same shame attached to having been a soldier during the war, nor the same imperative to leave the soldier’s life. In fact, quite the reverse… So not only do SPLA soldiers have pride, they also have money. Clearly, this is not the target group envisaged in the ‘traditional’ DDR model.”

However, despite the multiple shortcomings of the DDR programme, Stone does praise the programme for being successful in giving particular attention to female combatants and women who are associated with armed forces.[23]

14th July – A graduation ceremony was held for 448 former combatants that have successfully completed undergoing the DDR programme in Eastern Equatorial State. The former combatants received training and education in various skills including carpentry, tailoring, agriculture, small business management and food processing among other subjects. Nartisio Loluke Munir, the Deputy Governor encouraged the graduates to put their newly acquired skills into starting their own businesses and assist the Eastern Equatorial in its development in order to fight against poverty and hunger.[24]

27th July – SSDDRC announced that their new DDR policy is now complete and ready to be submitted to the Council of Ministers for approval. The new policy will authorize ministers to implement the DDR program and thus the government will play a larger role in the DDR process.[25]

8th Aug – During a joint sitting of the two houses of the new National Legislative Assembly and the Council of States, the speaker James Wani Igga called on the government to tackle South Sudan’s security issues. He praised President Salva Kiir for offering amnesty to the rebel groups and thus encouraging the disbandment of the armed militias but argued that further work is necessary in order to promote peace and stability. He urged the disarmament of the civil population and demanded that action be taken over armed groups that harass the civil population in Juba at night. He accused some of the armed perpetrators for being from the police forces and called for the government to apply mechanisms to end the corruption.[26]

1.9 Internally Displaced People

18th July – Numerous South Sudanese who fled to north Sudan during the civil war are returning to Torit, Eastern Equatorial State. Gurtong journalists witnessed the arrival of a nineteenth convoy of returnees from the north, with 256 people from 66 households. Many of the returnees express joy and gratification for being reunited with family and friends.

Several organisations have been involved in helping the safe return of the IDPs. The International Organization for Migration (IOM), under the supervision of the Eastern Equatorial State’s administration, have been facilitating the transportation of returnees from the north to the south while World Food Programme (WFP) have been providing food aid and United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) have supervised the food distribution. In addition, the Norwegian People’s Aid (NCA) supplied non-food items.[27]

2. United Nations

15th July – The United Nations welcomed the Republic of South Sudan as its 193rd member. The newly independent state gained membership with wide approval, with an overwhelming majority voting for South Sudan’s admission.[28]

18th July – The United Nations Security Council (UNSC) expressed deep concern over continuing hostilities in the oil rich border region of South Kordofan. Calling for an immediate end to the violence and aggression, members of the Security Council urged all parties to engage in negotiations and allow unrestricted access of humanitarian aid into the region. The UN has in addition called for an official inquiry into SAF’s conduct in South Kordofan, responding to continued reports on human rights violations and allegations of war crimes. However, restrictions imposed by the Khartoum government, have placed severe limitations on attempts to investigate and verify such reports.[29]

19th July – The NCP has labelled UN concerns over SAF activities in Southern Kordofan as “biased”. Allegations that the SAF have engaged in ethnically targeted attacks and mass killings, were dismissed as unreasonable by the Khartoum government that instead pointed to SPLM violations and rebellions.[30]

3. African Union

28th July – The African Union welcomed the Republic of South Sudan as its 54th member. The AU announced that South Sudan received more than the required majority votes necessary to be admitted and that a flag-raising ceremony is going to be held to mark the membership. The last country to be admitted a membership with the AU was Eritrea following their split from Ethiopia.[31]

4. Economy

4.1 Development

24th July – South Sudanese president Kiir has placed farming and food production at the top of developmental priorities. The president urges people to resume farming on arable land, in hopes of spurring South Sudan’s agricultural business. [32]

25th July – Writing for the Guardian, Madelaine Bunting points towards the upcoming difficulties South Sudan will face at the task of constructing a new state. Emphasizing the absence of any viable infrastructure and educational facilities, Bunting stresses that the country will have to overcome huge developmental challenges over the next few years.[33]

4.2 Education

27th July – According to Dr. Michael Hussein, the Minister of General Education, the civil war has left three generations of South Sudanese children without basic education. In response the poor and often non existent educational facilities, Dr Hussein has called on the South Sudanese government to commit over 20 percent of the countries annual budget on his ministry.[34]

4.3 Oil Revenues and Export

21st July – South Sudanese oil exportation and a financial agreement with Glencore is reportedly at risk. Confusion regarding the deal itself emerged as leading officials continued to issue conflicting statements. Days after the Republic of South Sudan became an independent state; South Sudan’s state oil firm Nilepet announced having signed a deal with Glencore, commodities trader, to market their crude through the establishment of Petroline International. However, Arkangelo Okwang, South Sudan Director General of Energy, rejected having given Glencore the mandate to market South Sudanese oil. Glencore responded by announcing that a deal had indeed been made with Nilepet and the state, with Okwang as a signatory of the agreement. Lual Deng, the former oil minister for the united Sudan, told Reuters that he believes that confusion had derived from a dispute between the government of South Sudan and Nilepet and that Nilepet may have overstepped its authority in the Glencore deal.[35]

25th July – Officials in Juba have accused the government of Sudan conducting an economic war by setting oil transit at $23 dollars/barrel. This act has been labelled by South Sudanese politicians as “robbery” with normal transit fees ranging from $0.60 to $2 a barrel.[36]

17th Aug – The Government of South Sudan has stated that it should only be obliged to pay $0.41 per barrel of oil in transit fees for the use of the North’s oil pipeline. The government has rejected Sudan’s reported request of $32 per barrel and argued that $0.41 is in line with international norms, citing the case of Chad’s use of Cameroon’s oil pipeline.[37]

5. Governance and Civil Society

5.1 Citizenship

13th July – The Sudanese parliament has given its initial approval to officially cancel the citizenship of South Sudanese residing in the north. Under this ruling, affecting an estimated one million southerners still living in the north, anyone opting for South Sudanese citizenship will automatically lose their Sudanese nationality. The rights of the South Sudanese in the north with regard to work, residency and property ownership remain ambiguous. [38]

5.2 Currency

24th of July – Sudan has officially launched a new currency following South Sudan’s independence and in response to continuing difficulties of inflation and dept. Economic analysts emphasise the necessity to coordinate Sudan and South Sudan’s currencies amidst fears that otherwise both countries could face severe economic difficulties. Sudan denies claims of attempting to destabilise South Sudan’s economy. Deputy Governor Badr al-Din Mahmoud said:

“We will undertake all precautionary measures to protect the Sudanese economy, and I hope that we will reach a satisfactory agreement for both sides regarding the pound circulating in the South.”

The Central Bank aims to replace the old currency within three months.[39]

25th July – South Sudan has accused the Khartoum government of waging a “currency war,” after the North introduced a new currency. Estimates place subsequent monetary losses of the South Sudanese government at $700 million, as any remaining Sudanese currency within the new state becomes effectively worthless. Mr Amum, South Sudan’s minister of peace, declared that “this is a hostile act… contrary to our emerging as two states on good terms.”[40]

5.3 Governance

22nd July – South Sudan’s president Kiir proclaimed that upcoming government positions would be allocated in correspondence to qualifications rather than tribal representation. Whether this is likely to see the over representation of a single tribe remains unclear.[41]

1st Aug – President Salva Kiir Mayardit has issued a presidential decree to transform the sub-national Southern Sudan Legislative Assembly (SSLA) into the National Legislative Assembly (NLA) and to merge the members of the previous parliament in Juba with the South Sudanese members  from the National Assembly in Khartoum that are due to arrive in South Sudan.

The Sudan Tribune report: ‘The Southern Sudan Legislative Assembly had 170 elected members while those who were elected to the Khartoum’s National Assembly were 96 in number. The President has also appointed 66 more members to the National Legislative Assembly, making the total membership 332.

There were 20 South Sudanese members of the Council of States from Khartoum and 30 more appointed members, making the total 50. The two houses have the total membership of 382.’

Although South Sudan has twenty-three political parties only five parties have their members have gained seats in the new national parliament and it is also estimated that only 20 percent of the additional appointees are from other parties.[42]

2nd Aug – Onyoti Adigo Nyikwec, a member of Sudan People’s Liberation Movement for Democratic Change (SPLM-DC), the biggest opposition group of South Sudan’s leading party in the SSLA, criticized President Salva Kiirs appointment of the council of states delegates as being favorable to the presidents own party and thus encouraging a one-perty system. In an interview with Sudan Tribune Nyikwec argued:

“That is their own [SPLM] affair and they can run this new country the way they choose. This government is not willing to work with the opposition. They simply chose to work with members from the five political parties with whom they drafted the transitional constitution.” […] “Where is the democracy when you only involve one party and a few members of those who subscribe to your views? We have started this new nation on a wrong note.”[43]

5.4 Media

31 July – The press freedom in Sudan are facing severe challenges as more newspaper agencies are shut down and journalists are brought to court. Following South Sudan secession, about six newspapers in Sudan have been shut down, including the popular Ajras Al-Hurriya (Bells of Freedom), due to their southerner ownership. The Secretary General of Press Council, Al Obeid Meruh announced that the reason behind the closure is because Sudan’s Press Laws do not permit foreigners to be owners of Sudanese newspapers:

“On July 9, every southern became the citizen of another state . . . If they had transferred ownership to the northern shareholders before July 9, they would not have been suspended.”

Ajras Al-Hurriya’s managing director Hussein Saad maintained that the shut down is a political act and Al-Hurriya was forced to close due to their association with the SPLM, the ruling party in South Sudan. Media rights watchdog Reporters Without Borders have blamed Sudanese government officials of prosecuting journalists in an effort to suppress exposure of human rights abuses committed by Sudan’s security forces.[44]

6. Human Rights

6.1 South Kordofan

18th July – A report prepared by UNMIS on the human rights situation in South Kordofan states that the atrocities committed in the disputed region may amount to war crimes and crimes against humanity. The reports shows that fighting seems to have been provoked by the SAF in order to forcibly disarm SPLA members, contrary to SAFs claim that the fight broke out when SPLA raided a police post and stole arms. However, the report accused both parties for engaging in acts of violence against civilians, but SAFs was picked out as having atrocious tendencies. The violations include aerial bombardments, forced displacement, abductions, house to house searches, arbitrary arrests and detentions, targeted killings and summary executions, resulting in significant loss of lives. [45]

22nd July – UN Human Rights experts have expressed concerns over the situation in South Kordofan. He remarked that, UN has received alarming reports from South Kordofan about indiscriminate aerial bombing, shelling, abductions, extrajudicial killings and mass graves in as a result of the fighting between the Sudanese forces and members of the SPLA. The United Nations Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights released a report stating that the Nuban and dark skinned people of Southern Kordofan in particular are the victims of the violence.[46]

25th July – International Federation for Human Rights (FIDH), African Centre for Justice and Peace Studies (ACJPS) and Sudan Human Rights Monitor (SUHRM) expressed a deep concern on the abuse of human rights and humanitarian law in South Kordofan. They called upon the international community to take immediate action to ensure that the atrocities in the region are stopped. According to eye witnesses, the Nuba people have been subjected to aerial bombings and ground attacks by the SAF-supported allied forces such as Popular Defence Forces (PDF), the Central Reserve Forces and the National Intelligence and Security Services (NISS). The attacks have included extra judicial killings of presumed SPLM-N supporters. They added that the President Omar al-Bashir and Ahmed Haroun, the newly elected South Kordofan Governor, publicly promoted the SAFs military attacks in South Kordofan.[47]

27th July – Human Rights Watch (HRW) appealed to the United Nations to take immediate actions to ensure international monitoring in South Kordofan where the Sudanese forces have been reported of committing grave human rights violations. Daniel Bekele, Africa director of HRW said that tens of thousands of civilians in South Kordofan are in a great danger and there is a severe lack of direct information from the ground on the situation. Accordingly he called upon the international community to establish a presence in the region. HRW received reports from eyewitnesses of armed militias shooting at civilians while conducting house-to-house raid in Kadugli. The eyewitnesses also report of dozens of dead bodies sprawl on the ground as they fled from the town. Bekele further reported that access to South Kordofan had been denied by Sudan, jeopardizing efforts by humanitarian aid agencies to help those in need.[48]

6.2 South Sudan Human Rights Society for Advocacy Press Release

20th Aug – In light of the current violence in Jonglei state SSHURSA released a statement to the press denouncing the government of South Sudan for its failure to adequately protect its citizens. It called on the government of South Sudan to make the professional training of its security forces a priority and to initiate an immediate disarmament program in the troubled states of Jonglei, Lakes, Eastern Equatoria, and Upper Nile. It called on the leaders of the warring communities to immediately begin peace negotiations and concluded by unequivocally denouncing the violence and appealing to all citizens to begin the process of disarmament.[49]

7. Related Issues

7.1 Darfur

22nd July – Joint special representative of UNAMID, Ibrahim Gambari, called for all conflicting parties in Darfur for immediately ceasefire and to establish comprehensive peace agreement as soon as possible. In order to permanently resolve Darfur’s challenges and issues, Gambari stressed for local involvement in the peace process as well as a transparent political process. The ongoing clashes pose a great humanitarian situation which has resulted in enormous numbers of IDPs. [50]

8th Aug – The UN Security Council have condemned the attacks against five peacekeepers in the village of Duma, northeast Nyala. The UNAMID peacekeepers were ambushed by five unknown armed individuals and one of the peacekeepers were killed. UNAMID is working with the Sudan in an attempt to identify the perpetrators. Since starting their operations in 2008, 30 peacekeepers have been killed out of the 23,000 that are present in the region.[51]

7.2 South Sudan – Ugandan Relations

1st Aug – In an article in the Observer, guest writer Julius Uma explores the financial relation between Uganda and South Sudan since the signing of the CPA in 2005:

‘As the once semi-autonomous South Sudan officially attained independence, becoming Africa’s – and the world’s – newest nation, an interesting debate ensued on whether neighbouring Uganda can economically take advantage of this opportunity.

Discussions mainly focused on how Ugandans allegedly mastered the art of selling ‘nsenene’ (seasonal grasshoppers), while their Kenyan counterparts did more meaningful trade. Well, we shall get to that later.

South Sudan’s independence, made possible after an overwhelming vote for separation in the January self-determination referendum, came as welcome news. The vote was a key part of Sudan’s 2005 Comprehensive Peace Agreement (CPA), the accord that ended over two decades of war between the Christians in the south and the Muslim-dominated north.

In the run-up to this historic July 9th event, analysts were already of the view that as the new nation begins to stand on its own and its infrastructure and population continue to expand, trade within the region was also likely to grow. This bring me back to the ‘nsenene’ versus ‘real business’ issue, which journalists Ibrahim Ssemujju Nganda and Charles Onyango Obbo explored in their respective columns.

It should be noted that from the time the south signed the CPA with the Khartoum regime, trade between the former and neighbouring Uganda has been booming. The trade obstacles aside, many Ugandan traders who flocked to South Sudan in the aftermath of the peace agreement, will tell you how they made ‘a killing.’

In 2008, statistics from Uganda’s Tourism, Trade and Industry ministry indicated that the country’s exports to South Sudan grew by 181% from $91.7 million in 2006 to 257.9 million in 2008. In 2009, for instance, South Sudan was ranked as the number one market destination for Uganda’s exports.

In February 2010, Uganda and South Sudan signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) aimed at improving trade relations between the two neighbouring nations. Up until that point, no formal structures or mechanisms had been in place to address disputes.

Traders had long complained of paying double taxes whenever they attempted to move goods from one South Sudan state to the next and dishonest practices among their South Sudanese business counterparts.

Habib Migadde, Head of Chancery at the Juba-based Uganda Consulate, acknowledges some of these reported cases of harassment, but says Ugandans too have breached business agreements they have signed with their trading partners, leading to tension among these traders. Nevertheless, Migade remains optimistic that the improved trade relations between Uganda and South Sudan, spurred by the signed memorandum of understanding, will create better opportunities in South Sudan’s post-referendum era.

“We expect Uganda’s GDP figures to double or even triple, given the good trading relationship currently existing between its traders and their South Sudan counterparts,” Migadde confidently said.

There are approximately 150,000 traders from Uganda in South Sudan involved in business-related activities across all the 10 states in the newly independent nation. The majority of them deal in general merchandise and the supply of foodstuffs, and 1,500 of them, according to the Ministry of Regional Cooperation, are employed in the construction industry, a field that suffers a shortage of technical expertise and materials in the country.

Meanwhile, plans are already underway to construct a large market for Ugandan traders in South Sudan, courtesy of a joint venture between the Uganda Government and its South Sudan counterparts. The market, estimated to cost Shs 1.7bn, will be constructed at Munuki payam, located about 10km, southwest of Juba.

Construction of the market will be funded by the Ugandan Government on land donated by South Sudan’s Central Equatoria state government. Economically, South Sudan, which still heavily relies on oil revenues, has widely been regarded as a hub for regional trade and business opportunities.

In the past, its attempts to join the East African Community (EAC) were reportedly rejected due to its semi-autonomous status. However, with South Sudan’s potential integration, EAC analyst say, we may be looking at the creation of one of the biggest and potentially wealthier economic blocks on the African continent, going  by the sheer size of the market which is 130 million people strong and boasts of a solid resource base.’[52]

8. Official Reports/ Policy Papers/Press Releases

June – ‘UNMIS Report on the Human Rights Situation during the Violence in Southern Kordofan Sudan’, UNMIS. [53]

June/July – ‘Rethinking the security discourse in South Sudan ’, Horn of Africa Bulletin June/July 2011.[54]

8th July – ‘Analysis: Rethinking DDR in post-independence Sudan’, IRIN News.[55]

14th July – ‘Crime Scene: Evidence of Mass Graves in Kadugli’, Satellite Sentinel Project report no.16. [56]

24th July – ‘Protocol on the Political Participation of the Liberation and Justice Movement and Integration of its Forces’, Sudan Tribune.[57]

Aug 2011 – ‘Disputed Votes, Deficient Observation – The 2011 election in South Kordofan, Sudan’, Rift Valley Institute. [58]

4th Aug – ‘No peace talks are taking place between SSLM/A and the government of the Republic of South Sudan’,  SSLM/A.[59]

21st Aug – ‘SSHURSA Condemns Human Rights Violations in South Sudan and Appeals to Governments for Solutions’, South Sudan Human Rights Society for Advocacy, (Printed by the South Sudan’s News Agency).[60]

Voices from South Sudan

9. Civil Society Activities


9.1 June Appeal to Parliament in respect to the Transitional Constitution

3rd June – The Southern Sudan Civil Society Taskforce sent an appeal to the legislative assembly and members of parliament urging them to include provisions in the transitional constitution that require an inclusive, democratic process of drafting the permanent constitution. The appeal argued that history has demonstrated that an executive led constitution making process tends to concentrate power in the executive, often to the detriment of the nation. Thus, the appeal stated that the process of drafting the constitution must be open to a variety of stakeholders and that upon completion the draft constitution should be ratified through a national referendum. The SSCST noted that the constitution can be a tool for peace and stability in South Sudan and as such the people of South Sudan have a right to be involved in both the drafting process and in ratifying the final version.

9.2 Natural Resources Workshop at the Zara Hotel, Juba

4th July – A one day consultative meeting was held by Justice Africa on the issue of natural resource management. It was attended by civil society activists, researchers, government officials, and members of academia. The workshop was intended to construct a list of priority interventions for civil society and to build consensus concerning how best to ensure that South Sudan does not fall victim to the resource curse.

The workshop resulted in several key recommendations for civil society action. It was agreed that civil society must focus on lobbying for relevant laws and the enforcement of current laws. That civil society must become involved in monitoring government budgets and expenditure. That civil society must carry out research on natural resources issues and finally that civil society must work to build a network of CSOs that work on this issue. Such a network would be set up to improve information sharing and to effectively advocate through a consistent message.

9.3 Independence Statement

9th July – The Southern Sudan Civil Society Taskforce released a statement congratulating President Kiir and the people of South Sudan on their independence. It commended the efforts of all those who had struggled for independence, with particular recognition for those who had lost their lives during the war. Yet the statement also noted that much remained to be done for South Sudan to achieve sustainable peace and development. Thus, in light of the many challenges ahead, the SSCST called for a decentralized, democratic multi-party system to help ensure an inclusive, just society. It also called on the people of South Sudan to reject the practices of violence, tribalism, nepotism, and corruption and for the government to protect the rights of its citizens.  It finished by wishing the people of South Sudan a safe and peaceful independence day.

9.4 First South Sudan Civil Society Convention

26th – 29th July – The first ever South Sudan civil society convention brought together civil society representatives from all the ten states to discuss and define civil society’s role in the new nation. It was also intended to strengthen civil society through improving coordination and cooperation between CSOs. The convention was organized by the South Sudan Civil Society Taskforce in partnership with Justice Africa. After listening to presentations on the relevant issues the delegates divided into eight working groups. The working groups were Political dispensation and Democratization, Governance and the Constitutional Review Process, Reconciliation and Consolidation of Peace, Education for Citizenship, Development, Service Provision and Natural Resource Management, Civil Society Issues, Civil Society Legitimacy and Representation, and Special Actors for Change (Women, Youth and People with Special Needs). Each group constructed a list of recommendations, of which the most critical were included in the communiqué.

On the final day the delegates debated how best to continue the work that had been started at the convention. It was agreed that CSOs need to work together to a greater degree and that if civil society could advocate as a united force then it would wield greater influence not only with the government but with its development partners and international donors. Consequently, it was agreed that the delegates must begin the process of forming a national network of CSOs. Thus, the delegates of each state elected representatives who will vote for a steering committee and secretariat to lead such a network.

The convention concluded with the delegates ratifying the creation of the South Sudan Civil Society Alliance. It was agreed that the elected state representatives would return to Juba in three months, allowing the organizing committee sufficient time to finalize the report of the convention. Upon their return the state representatives will vote for the new steering committee.

Communiqué – http://gurtong.net/ECM/Editorial/tabid/124/ID/5533/Default.aspx

9.5 Opening of the Juba Civic Engagement Centre

17th Aug – The Juba Civic Engagement Centre was constructed by Mercy Corps as part of USAID’s Localizing Institutional Capacity in Sudan (LINCS) program. The Engagement Centre is intended to provide a working space for civil society and to promote civil society networking. It also intends to provide resources and training programs for civil society. The Centre is to be run by a Community Advisory Board and the expectation is that the Centre will move towards self-sufficiency.[61]

10. Civil Society Analysis

Since the signing of the CPA civil society has evolved considerably. As noted by USAID’s report on Civic Participation in Southern Sudan, many prominent members of civil society during the war subsequently joined the government upon the signing of the CPA. Civil society, already an embattled force in a militarised society, was greatly weakened through the loss of these key activists. However, despite this initial setback civil society has grown in South Sudan and many new organizations have been founded. These new organizations tend to be focused on development and humanitarian objectives and are closely linked with the objectives and needs of the international aid system. Consequently, there is only a select group of activists, intellectuals, and journalists who have willing to advocate to and criticize the government. Thus, there is a realization from many in civil society that in the new state civil society must expand its focus from service provision to attempt to influence the political direction of the country. There is a feeling amongst many that the goal of independence, for which many CSOs worked with great success, particularly in respect to the referendum, differs greatly from the goal of nation building and consequently requires different strategies.

This realization is tempered by two factors, an acceptance that political work is far more controversial than service delivery and concerns about capacity. There is an acceptance that many CSOs are overly reliant on a small group of individuals and that most organizations, with the obvious exception of faith based organizations, lack large memberships. Thus, the current strategy within civil society has been to build networks so as to enhance the capacity and legitimacy of civil society advocacy. This has been reflected in the civil society convention, the recommendations of the natural resource workshop, and the networking rationale behind the Juba Civic Engagement Centre. This work will be furthered by a coalition of civil society organizations who intend to build an Upper Nile oil taskforce in the coming weeks. This strategy is expected to contribute to a more cohesive civil society that, as a unified force, will more effectively influence the government.

11. National Analysis

11.1 Natural Resources


It is of integral importance that North and South Sudan come to an agreement over oil transit fees. In his speech at the opening of the Juba Civic Engagement Centre the Minister of Information Marial Benjamin spoke passionately that the North’s demands were exorbitant and that they bordered on economic blackmail. He argued that the case of Chad and Cameroon provides a clear regional norm as to the price South Sudan should pay. However, he failed to note that, as reported in the Sudan Tribune, South Sudan’s oil is of a waxier consistency than Chad’s and consequently is more expensive to refine. Thus, a middle ground of $5 – $10 would be a fairer price.

As Dana Wilkins of the NGO Global Witness argues “a fair and mutually beneficial north-south oil deal could provide a powerful incentive for peace between the two parties.” The current impasse over oil and the South’s threats to build their own pipeline, a process which would saddle the new Republic with enormous debts, is dangerous for both countries.

The relationship between the two nations is understandably rife with mistrust. Yet, if the two countries can agree a transparent revenue sharing deal this can help to protect the fragile peace. With both countries in dire economic circumstances neither can afford to lose the oil revenue. Thus, ensuring the transparency of any potential deal is a potentially vital role for civil society in both countries.

11.2 Peace

The violence that has beset Jonglei state is indicative of a power vacuum in many rural areas in South Sudan. The SPLA, which during the war provided the rule of law in rural areas, has largely withdrawn to urban centres. This, coupled with the widespread proliferation of small arms has led to a dramatic increase of inter-communal violence since the signing of the CPA. Traditional activities such as cattle rustling, which used to have been undertaken with bows and spears are now fought with AK-47s, thus greatly increasing their lethality. This has largely overwhelmed the capacity of traditional reconciliation mechanisms to mediate between warring groups. In many instances when the SPLA has attempted to intervene they have exacerbated the situation with heavy handed tactics and perceived favouritism towards particular groups.

Thus, with insecurity rife in rural areas, the peace and reconciliation working group of the civil society national convention debated how best for civil society to help ensure stability in the nation. There was a general consensus that while civil society can potentially provide short term solutions, such as peace conferences, that in the long term the SPLA and police will have to provide security. Thus, the delegates felt that civil society must advocate that the government and international donors make the professional training of the security forces an integral part of their nation building strategy. In the meantime it was agreed that civil society must become more heavily involved in disarmament programs. It was argued that civil society can play a vital role as a neutral monitor of disarmament processes thus ensuring that communities can disarm safe in the knowledge that rival communities are being disarmed as well.

11.3 Citizenship

The case of the Madi and internally displaced Dinka in Nimule has raised the pertinent issue of national identity in the new state. It is instructive that the Madi leadership argued that the Dinka should return to their homeland rather than remain in Nimule. While a struggle for resources understandably makes the presence of IDPs a serious issue it is unfortunate that tribal affiliations clearly outweigh any sense of national identity. This is an issue that was repeatedly raised in the national civil society convention and many delegates argued that civil society must work to provide platforms for communities to come together. They noted that only through mutual understanding and respect could a sense of national community be constructed to supersede communal identity.



Comments posted on this site are the sole opinions of respondents, and are not reflective of the views of Justice Africa.

Comments are closed.