South Sudan is broke and diplomatic staff in several foreign embassies have not been paid for at least two months. In 2016 the government cut embassy staffs but that wasn;t enough. The South Sudnaese government is seen as extremely corrupt and the senior officials are reluctant to allow auditing of what happens to foreign aid. For this reason foreign donors are reluctant to provide aid that is likely to be stolen by corrupt officials and never reach the people who need it. Meanwhile the country sinks deeper and deeper into poverty, famine and general chaos.
In early February the UN reported that the number of people fleeing South Sudan fighting had passed the 1.5 million mark. Another 2.1 million people are internally displaced. The UN andother aid groups are getting a more accurate count of the number of refugees and note that most head for Uganda. One reason is that Uganda is a relatively safe place. Uganda now shelters over 670,000 South Sudanese along with 45,000 Burundian refugees. The refugee “counter flow” north to Sudan is also continuing. The government of Sudan’s White Nile State has asked for UN help in supporting the influx of South Sudanese refugees. The refugees are fleeing fighting in South Sudan’s Upper Nile state. Sudan estimates that between 30,000 and 35,000 South Sudanese refugees entered Sudan in January. An estimated 330,000 South Sudanese refugees are already in Sudan.
February 27, 2017: South Sudan SPLM-IO rebels accused government forces of attacking and plundering villages in up north in Beih State (formerly Jonglei state). The SPLM-IO also claimed its forces killed 53 soldiers in a firefight in Yuai town.
February 25, 2017: The South Sudan government denied accusation by Sudan that it has received weapons and ammunition from Egypt.
February 23, 2017: South Sudan and Ethiopia have agreed to build a new highway linking the countries. The highway will be able to handle oil trucks. That means the highway will be an alternative route for shipping South Sudan’s oil to global markets.
The UN has given command of the peacekeeper firce to another Ethiopian general. Major General Tesfay Gidey Hailemichael will succeed Major General Hassen Ebrahim Mussa. The UN peacekeepers in South Sudan area basically an Ethiopian Army brigade of around 4,000 soldiers. The peacekeeper force also has some. The UN has authorized authorized 5,326 troops for the Ethiopian peacekeeping effort.
February 22, 2017: In Sudan (South Kordofan state) the SPLM-N rebels claimed that a series of battls with Sudanese troops had ended when the rebels defeated a government attack west of Kadugli, the capital of South Kordofan.
February 19, 2017: Two senior officers running South Sudan’s top military court have resigned. Both officers said that the government had impeded their efforts to discipline soldiers accused of murder and rape. One of the officers accused the government of committing war crimes and intentionally overlooking war crimes committed by pro-government Dinka soldiers.
February 18, 2017: The Sudan government said that it welcomed the efforts of Britain, Norway and the U.S. (the Troika) to end fighting in Blue Nile and South Kordofan states. The troika countries recently urged the SPLM-N rebels to accept a new government proposal to establish a ceasefire in both states.
February 15, 2017: In South Sudan government and rebel forces fought up north outside Yuai in Beih State and claim to have driven rebels from Yuai.
February 13, 2017: Fighting in South Sudan has intensified with the violence more intense around Wau Shilluk (Upper Nile state) and Kajo Keji county in Central Equatoria state. Over 30,000 people have fled Kajo Keji since late January.
February 8, 217: Several U.S. legislators are insisting that the U.S. maintain stiff sanctions on the government of Sudan. The legislators represent a bi-partisan coalition that believes the behavior of Sudan’s government must be penalized (to include its president, Omar al-Bashir). Two senior legislators accused the Sudan government of conducting indiscriminate aerial bombing campaigns in the Nuba Mountains.
February 6, 2017: South Sudan has once again rejected a UN recommendation that the country to be placed under trusteeship.