Sudan: The Ceasefire Explodes

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March 2, 2014: War crimes investigators went searching for evidence in South Sudan’s Upper Nile and Unity states and found that both the government (pro-Salva Kiir) and rebels (pro-Riek Machar faction) committed numerous atrocities. The pro-Kiir forces are predominantly Dinka tribesmen. Machar’s forces are primarily Nuer, though some Dinka support Machar.

February 28, 2014: The Sudan Peoples Liberation Movement-North (SPLM-N) accused the Sudan government (Khartoum) of failing to negotiate in good faith. African Union (AU) mediators have been trying to get Sudan and the SPLM-N to resume negotiations to end the fighting in Sudan’s South Kordofan state.

South Sudan’s government said that it has arrested around 100 soldiers and accused them of being involved in a December 15, 2013 mass murder spree in the national capital, Juba.

February 27, 2014: Ethiopia and Sudan have agreed to deploy a joint border monitoring force between the two Sudans.

The South Sudan United Democratic Alliances (SSUDA) has asked AU diplomats that it be included in new peace talks in South Sudan. The SSUDA claims it represents the interests of groups within South Sudan who are not aligned with president Salva Kiir or rebel leader Riek Machar.

It appears that up to 10,000 people were killed in fighting in South Sudan since mid-December 2013. In addition about one million people in South Sudan were displaced and became internal refugees.

February 26, 2014: More fighting occurred in South Sudan’s Upper Nile state near the town of Malakal. Meanwhile, the UN is investigating charges that rebel fighters murdered patients who in a hospital in Malakal when they attacked the city on February 14.

February 24, 2014: South Sudanese rebels now control the area outside the town of Malakal (capital of Upper Nile state, South Sudan) and that a small contingent of rebels occupies a position within the now largely destroyed town. UN peacekeepers discovered over a hundred decomposing bodies along a highway outside of Malakal. The dead were probably killed in a battle that occurred in the area in mid-February. A medical aid group reported that the town itself has suffered immense damage and is largely deserted. Satellite photos taken on February 20 and February 23 showed that approximately half of the town was destroyed in the mid-February combat.

 February 23, 2014: The South Sudan government claimed that its forces had defeated three rebel assaults on the town of Gadlang, which is near Bor (capital of Jonglei state). Meanwhile, the South Sudan rebels insisted that they be referred to as the Sudan Peoples Liberation Movement in Opposition.

February 21, 2014: The South Sudan government acknowledged that rebel forces had defeated government forces in a battle near the town of Malakal (Upper Nile state). A rebel force now controls the center of the town. Government forces remain near the town.

February 17, 2014: Rebel and South Sudan government forces are fighting in an oil producing area near Malakal.

February 16, 2014: People in South Kordofan state (Sudan) claimed that Sudanese Air Force aircraft dropped 13 parachute bombs on the villages of Dar and Tamadirgo. There is much evidence that the Sudan has dropped around 1,400 bombs in the Nuba Mountains since April 2012.

February 15, 2014: South Sudan believes that Sudan is providing support for South Sudanese rebel forces loyal to former vice-president Riek Machar. Uganda and Ethiopia believe that Sudan is collaborating with Eritrea to supply the pro-Machar rebels.

February 14, 2014:  Despite the January 23 ceasefire agreement, rebel fighters in South Sudan launched another attack near the town of Malakal (capital of Upper Nile state).  The rebel force damaged an oil production facility in an oil field near Malakal.  Both the government and rebels exchanged accusations that the other side broke the ceasefire. The government claimed that the rebels began selectively attacking oil facilities on February 12.  South Sudan continues to produces around 200,000 barrels of oil per day. In early December 2013 South Sudan was producing approximately 250,000 barrels a day.

February 13, 2014: Investigators have substantiated claims by Nuer tribes that when the South Sudan civil war began on December 15, 2013, Dinka soldiers did go on a murder spree in the capital, Juba. The Dinkas targeted Nuer civilians.

February 12, 2014:  Uganda is withdrawing combat forces from South Sudan. The withdrawal will occur in phases in order to insure stability in South Sudan. Uganda expects the AU to provide replacements for the withdrawing Ugandan forces. In December 2013 Uganda deployed at least 4,000 soldiers inside South Sudan. The AU intends to send around 5,500 peacekeepers to South Sudan.

Regional mediators indicated that Great Britain, the U.S. and Norway may form another “diplomatic troika” to forward a political settlement in South Sudan. The three countries which conduct the negotiations which led to the 2005 Comprehensive Peace Agreement (CPA) which ended the Sudan civil war.  The three countries may form a quartet by adding China as a fourth member. Meanwhile, observers reported numerous ceasefire violations by both the government and rebel forces throughout South Sudan.

South Sudan forces captured a rebel supply dump in Jonglei state.

February 10, 2014: Rebels in South Sudan acknowledged that the government does control Jonglei state’s major cities but has no control over rural areas.

February 9, 2014: Ceasefire violations occurred in South Sudan’s Jonglei state and in Upper Nile state. Both government rebel forces have violated the ceasefire agreement.

February 8, 2014: the South Sudan said it is implementing the peace agreement signed in late January with the Jonglei state rebel group, the South Sudan Democratic Movement (SSDM, the political wing of David Yau Yau’s Cobra Faction militia.)

 

 

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