Southern Sudan security update

Over the next week of voting and beyond, NSV will bring you regular updates on the situation in Sudan as the vote on southern Sudan independence progresses.  Here is the latest report from the Ministry of Internal Affairs:

Ceasefire Agreement signed between SPLA and Gen. Athor in Juba on 5 January: On 5 January in Juba, a Ceasefire Framework Agreement between the SPLA and Lt Gen George Athor Deng Forces was signed in a ceremony chaired by Vice-President Riak Machar Teny.  UNMIS observed the ceremony.  Speeches were delivered by the Episcopal Archbishop and Chair of the High Level Presidential Committee for Peace Mediation, the Presidential Advisor on Religious Affairs, SPLA and Athor representatives from the negotiating teams, and the UNMIS Regional Coordinator.  Lt Gen Dr Majak Agot read the text of the Ceasefire Agreement. In his introduction to the Ceasefire Agreement Dr Majak noted that this agreement would bring an end to infighting within the SPLM in Jonglei, Unity and Upper Nile States, taking effect from the date of signature (5 January 2010).  

  • Unity Governor Taban Deng Gai requests UNMIS assistance to organize a joint Lakes/Warrap/Unity Governors mission to cattle raiding hotspots so as to ensure Referendum security: On 5 January UNMIS met with Governor Taban who requested UNMIS’ support to address cattle rustling along the Warrap/Lakes/Unity borders which is creating incessant fear and insecurity in the affected populations that may negatively impact on the Referendum process. To that end the three respective Governors want UNMIS to conduct air reconnaissance and patrols along the borders of these states and requested a SFR for the purpose of a joint meeting in Maper/Lakes on 8 January. The meeting is intended to discuss and agree on a proposal to identify a common cattle camp, where both Nuer and Dinka cattle herders and their cattle would converge this season. A plan has been worked out for the Governor’s meeting on 8 January, while the wider mission to the affected areas in all three states will commence on 10 January and requires additional planning.


  • Rumors of LRA operating in Acasia (20-30km) outside of Yambio on road to Maridi -: INTERSOS informed UNMIS on 5 January that on their way back from Makpandu to Yambio their national staff crossed a large number of people leaving the area of Kasia (15 km. away from Makpandu) with their belongings, as they were told that the LRA was spotted 5 km. away from Kasia. UNMIS liaised with UPDF who informed that they moved their forces from Nabyapai to South East of Yambio, between Yambio and Ibba. In addition, they will send this morning more forces from Nzara to the same locations. From their side, they still do not confirm any LRA attack. However, their forces have been moved last night to the suspected areas for precautionary reasons.

  • SC and HRO meet with the President of the Inter Church Committee to discuss the Witnesses of Jehovah matter: On 5 January the President of the Inter Church Committee informed UNMIS that his Committee is exploring avenues to facilitate any possible dialogue between the State authorities and the Witnesses of Jehovah in WES.


  • UNMIS meet Lake State Governor over the issue of cattle theft in Maper. On 5 January UNMIS met with the Governor to discuss what he described as a “humanitarian crisis” concerning the people displaced in the recent cattle raids in the cattle camps in the Maper area. The Governor informed UNMIS that IDPs are facing food and medicine shortage and requested the UN’s assistance to address the issue. UNMIS SC, RCSO, WFP, UNHCR and the NGO focal point for Lakes State participated in the meeting and decided that a “humanitarian mission” consisting of the above mentioned UN Agencies together with INGOs will travel to Maper on 6 January to assess the situation and provide emergency humanitarian assistance, including food and medical assistance, to the identified IDPs.


  • General Situation in Jonglei. On 6 January an UNMIS team undertook a mission to Yuai/Uror County and Akobo/Akobo County to assess the political/security/humanitarian situation in light of the approaching Referendum.  UNMIS Met the County Commissioner, Peter Duor at the Uror County HQ as well as the Payam Administrator, a member of the Legislative Counsel and the SSRRC County Commission Coordinator. Duor said that many young men had been training on the polling process and they had gone to the payams on foot to train the communities. While he stated that there was no instability at the present time he did cite two areas of concern: the Murle to the South and with whom they have had problems as recently as October/November; and Athor’s militia to the north of County where Athor elements have directed their recruitment activities.  In terms of referendum security provision, the County is waiting for an SSPS deployment specifically for the Referendum. In fact the County will have to wait until SSPS officers have voted themselves and only then will they be deployed to various counties and payams.



  • UNMIS Human Rights visits Prison officials: UNMIS HRU visited the Bentiu Prison authorities on 5 January to ensure that detainees will be able to vote during the referendum and to avoid the problems prisoners faced during the elections.


  • Nomads from Southern Kordofan State starts moving to UNS: Nomads from SKS started crossing the border of Fashoda, Panyinag and Manyo counties of UNS on January 5 for grazing. No incidents have been reported in relation to these migratory movements.

  • Inauguration of RSB in Ar Renk. On 5 January the RSB in Ar Renk was inaugurated.


  • Preliminary update on returnee numbers by OCHA: On 5 January, OCHA informed that preliminary estimations indicate that 143.000 Southerners have returned from the North since October, with especially large groups of returnees arriving in NBeG during the last two weeks – estimated 35.000 returnees. The main problems returnees face are the slow land allocation procedures, health services and lack of shelter material.


    CAD Civil Affairs Division

    CC County Commissioner

    CES Central Equatoria State

    Cmdr. Commander

    DAP Dynamic Air Patrol

    DDR Disarmament, Demobilization and Reintegration

    Dep. Deputy

    DMS Division for Mission Support

    DPC Deputy Police Commissioner

    DSRSG/H Deputy Special Representative of the Secretary General/Humanitarian

    DSRSG/P Deputy Special Representative of the Secretary General/Political

    EES Eastern Equatoria State

    FC Force Commander

    FSCO Field Security Coordination Officer

    GIS Geographic Information Services

    GoSS Government of Southern Sudan

    HRO Human Rights Officer

    HRU Human Rights Unit

    IDP Internally Displaced Person (People)

    J2 Refers to UNMIS Military Intelligence Responsibility

    JIU Joint Integrated Unit

    JLOC Joint Logistics Operations Centre

    JMAC Joint Mission Analysis Centre

    JMCO Joint Monitoring and Coordination Office

    JMT Joint Monitoring Team

    JOC Joint Operations Centre

    JSSACC Justice and Security Sectors Advisory Coordination Cell

    LDP Long Duration Patrol

    LRA Lord's Resistance Army

    MDP Medium Duration Patrol

    MONUSCO United Nations Organization Stabilization Mission in the Democratic Republic of Congo

    MP Member of Parliament

    NBeG Northern Bahr el Ghazal

    OCHA Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs

    OCPG Operations Coordination and Planning Group

    PAD Political Affairs Division

    PIO Public Information Office

    PoC Protection of Civilians

    RC Regional Coordinator

    RC Registration Centre

    ROC ERT Regional Operations Centre Emergency Response Team

    ROC Regional Operations Centre (Southern Sudan)

    RSB Referendum Support Base

    RSCO Resident Coordinator's Support Office

    SAF Sudan Armed Forces

    SC State Coordinator

    SDP Short Duration Patrol

    Sect.Coord. Sector Coordinator

    SITREP Situation Report

    SPLA Sudan People's Liberation Army

    SPLM-DC Sudan People's Liberation Movement-Democratic Change

    SRHC State Referendum High Committee

    SRSG Special Representative of the Secretary General

    SSLA Southern Sudan Legislative Assembly

    SSPS Southern Sudan Police Service

    SSRB Southern Sudan Referendum Bureau

    SSRRC South Sudan Relief and Rehabilitation Commission

    State JOC State Joint Operations Centre

    TCC Troop Contributing Country

    TOB Temporary Operating Base

    TS Team Site

    UNAMID African Union/United Nations Hybrid operation in Darfur

    UNDP United Nations Development Programme

    UNDPKO United Nations Department of Peacekeeping Operations

    UNDSS United Nations Department of Safety and Security

    UNHCR United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees

    UNIRED United Nations Integrated Referendum and Electoral Division

    UNMAO United Nations Mine Action Office

    UNMIS United Nations Mission in Sudan

    UNMO United Nations Military Observer

    UNPOL United Nations Police

    UNS Upper Nile State

    UNSC United Nations Security Council

    UPDF Uganda People's Defence Force

    VP Vice President

    WBeG Western Bahr el Ghazal

    WES Western Equatoria State

Southern Sudanese brush aside plan for 'animal shaped cities'


(The Net NSV) - Wouldn't it be great if southern Sudan becomes the only place on earth where its cities are designed like its animals and fruits?

Wouldn't Juba be the most visited city on earth if it looks like a buffalo from sky? And wouldn't Wau be very popular with tourists if it resembles a giraffe? And Yambio a pineapple?

That vision is precisely what the southern Sudan ministry of housing and physical planning is trying to realize.

However, Southerners are not buying into the government's seemingly elitist view of development.

Here are a few samples from those who responded to this debate on Facebook:

“Why do I get the feeling that this "cities shaped like animals" is some joke or an attempt at satire? Something is off” - Parek Maduot

“[It's] the best news if only we gurantee the politcal will and courage to see it through. Otherwise it will place us atop the globe as the most humorous region ever known!” - Joseph Deng Garang

“The use of animals and such imagery just baffles. It is as if someone woke up and thought, "Wow, would it not be great if we had cities shaped like animals and fruits?" Livable cities have certain attributes, like roads and sanitation and clean water systems..etc...Why not focus on those instead of this comedy.” - Parek Maduot

“Optimism is the best we got right now of anything. But overboard of promising could be a disaster. Because the fact remains how much can the Goss do? I like government, but it's not up to the gov't to build the cities. It's upto us citizens to build those cities.” - Malith Ayiu

“It's a cracking up plan ever! "the sewage treatment plant is appropriately placed under the giraffe's tail" hahaaha South Sudan will be a weirdest place on the Planet earth! There is nothing wrong with their plan though, it's just funny. I think we are going back to Idles and animals worshiping!” - Daidit Maa

“Holy Cow! This is a weird cities' ever plan. That's why they don't get investers. It was good to names SPLA battalions with those animals but it couldn't be a good idea to design cities in these animals' shape. What a waste of resources Ghost/GOSS.” - Garang Chol Aguer


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SPLM-DC defection alert: Charles Kisanga


SPLM DC chairman Lam Akol (left) and Charles Kisanga (right) during recent SPLM DC's National Executive Committee meeting on July, 2010 (SPLM DC photo)

(The Net NSV) - Charles Kisanga, the SPLM DC’s longtime secretary general has defected to the SPLM after falling out with his party over “suspicious moves”, a press release from SPLM DC has said.

Mr. Kisanga was unanimously ousted by his party’s highest governing committee on Friday for not effectively carrying out his duties as secretary general, a member of the SPLM DC National Executive Committee told NSV.

Kisanga was replaced with Sandra Bona Malwal, whom the party elected to the position by acclamation.

Kisanga is the latest high profile SPLM DC to defect to the SPLM, following the two recent defections of the party’s representatives to Canada in March and to US in February.

Sudan Tribune’s Riek Machar bias?


James Gatdet Dak (left) & his boss, Vice President Riek Machar (right).

(The Net NSV) - My mental light bulbs went up today as I was reading a letter written by, in this case, deputy chairman of the SPLM, Mr. Riek Machar, presumably for Sudan Tribune audience. I say this because it’s not even on the official SPLM website.

Readers of this blog would recall I posted an article a while back complaining about how ST slices and dices southern Sudan with its permission and by extension, condoning of hateful messages on its website.  

This time we are onto a different issue: bias. Riek Machar ought to be the most covered politician on ST—and rightly so because he is Vice President of Southern Sudan, but with one exception.

If you survey most of the stories written by ST about Riek Machar, you might notice that almost all of them are written by a one James Gatdet Dak. Without a doubt, the guy produces solid reports. The problem, however, is that he works for the Vice President.  

This I have known for a long time.  I remember reading a story, I think by Reuters, in which Gatdet was quoted and introduced as Riek Machar’s press secretary. I don’t know if this is still the case, although I do know he’s still employed with the government of southern Sudan.

You don’t have to take my word for it, though. You only have to check Gatdet’s Facebook profile to confirm this fact.  He says he’s employed by GoSS as senior reporter/journalist, “covering government events, Council of Ministers meetings, diplomats, etc.”  

All you have to know is where his reports appear: ST. Whether he’s paid by the government to report for ST is a mystery to me.

In short, I think ST has a Riek Machar bias, especially when they let his own employee cover him (read like PR to me).

To know this so-called journalist is into Riek Machar, you only have to check his Facebook. Who are his favourite politicians in southern Sudan?

Ready? Riek Machar and his wife, Angelina Jany Teny.

What about President Salva Kiir, who is also on Facebook? No chance.

I thought ST would learn when one of its “reporters”, who also worked for the government, was sacked at a radio post in Rumbek for reporting private government information to ST--not to mention its many quasi-journalists who are really government partisans.

So much for media independence!

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Sudan parties' digest: complete break or partial separation?

separation(The Net NSV) - The post-referendum talks have formally started today.  I'm not going to bore you with all the details, but the SPLM and the NCP, the two partners to the CPA have been asked by former South African president and chairman of the African Union panel, to pick from the following options:

1. Creation of two countries which would negotiate a framework of co-operation in a confederal arrangement.

2. Two separate countries with soft borders that permit freedom of movement for both people and goods.

3. Total separation with citizens needing visas to cross the border.

4. Continued north-south unity if southerners choose that option.

Do you think southern Sudan should severe ties with the north, and pick option (3) or relax the border policy and pick option (2)?