(Xinhua) -- Ugandan President Yoweri
Museveni has urged leaders in neighboring South Sudan to unite
and work for peace in the country.
In a state house
statement issued here, Museveni said the people of South Sudan
need peace for economic transformation and development.
Museveni on Friday morning met a delegation from South Sudan
led by the new First Vice President Taban Deng Gai, minister of
defence and veteran affairs Kuol Manyang Juuk and South Sudan
Ambassador to the United Nations Akuei Bona Malwal.
The delegation said that relative calm has returned to the
troubled nation and that the parliament has reopened and is
They said their government has embarked on a program to
implement the peace agreement and they are working on building
cohesion in the Presidency and making reforms for the country.
A new round of fighting erupted in the capital Juba on July 8
between forces of President Salva Kiir and those loyal to former
First Vice President Riek Machar, killing hundreds and forcing
thousands to flee to neighboring countries.
South Sudan sentences 77
soldiers on murder, rape and looting charges
JUBA South Sudan (Xinhua) --
South Sudan Army (SPLA) has convicted and sentenced 77 of its
soldiers on charges of murder, rape and looting to imprisonment
and death, its spokesman said.
Spokesman Lul Ruai Koang told journalists in Juba that
majority of the soldiers sentenced committed these crimes during
the eruption of intense fighting on July 8 in the capital
between troops loyal to President Salva Kiir and sacked former
First Vice President Riek Machar.
"A total of 77 SPLA soldiers have been sentenced, some to
death, some to so many years in prison.
"Two have been sentenced to 14 years in prison including a
captain who was accused of rape.
"Another soldier accused of murder has been sentenced to
death by firing squad," Koang explained.
The soldiers were read to their charges ranging from theft,
looting, loitering and embezzlement at a parade amid tight
"This was a culmination of a legal process that took three
"After the July clashes the military leadership formed the
General Court Martial (GCM) to try SPLA soldiers accused of
different crimes," said Koang.
He said the GCM cited the SPLA Act 2009 to punish those who
"We are serious about those who have been tarnishing the name
"The message will be a deterrent to those who are still
serving the SPLA that days of impunity are long gone," Koang
He added that 31 of the sentenced soldiers were dismissed
from the military and will serve their prison sentences in civil
The intense fighting that forced the rebel leader Machar to
flee the capital with his troops left about 300 people killed
and thousands displaced.
"Massive looting of shops, rape, and vandalizing of
properties were also reported.
The renewed clash left the fragile peace agreement signed in
August 2015 in tatters after Machar was replaced with Taban Deng
Gai as First Vice President.
Expert urges South Sudan
to improve economy for peace to prevail
JUBA South Sudan (Xinhua) --
South Sudan cannot proceed ahead with peace and
reconciliation without improved living conditions despite
attempts for creation of the Commission on Truth, Reconciliation
and Healing (CTRH), according to a UN expert.
The Country Director of the UN Development Programme (UNDP)
Jean Luc Stalon said here on Thursday that peace cannot be
achieved without improving human security and living conditions
of the vast majority of the population displaced by the more
than two years conflict in oil-rich youngest nation.
"I want to say that all these issues I have said cannot be
done in isolation.
|When I am saying you address truth, reconciliation and
healing you cannot heal an empty stomach.
"If somebody has no income, job, not in good health and
suffering you cannot talk to him on truth and healing," Stalon
He said security sector reform was needed to enhance human
security in the country.
"We need to take care of security sector reform in a manner
that will enhance human security.
"We need to address the issue of small arms they cannot be
everywhere because they undermine security," he revealed.
Stalon disclosed that they have made progress toward creating
conducive environment for justice and reconciliation in the
country by moving toward establishment of the CTRH.
However, he decried the weakness in the country’s justice
system which he said was failing to clear the backlog of cases
hence delaying justice.
"Access to justice is a big issue, and the number of judges
is very limited compared to the number of the population that
needs to access justice causing case backlog," he noted.
The peace agreement signed in August 2015 calls for formation
of the CTRH to help end the more than two years of conflict.
South Sudan descended into deadly conflict in December 2013
after President Salva Kiir accused his deputy Riek Machar of
plotting a coup, which the latter denied, leading to killing of
tens of thousands and displacing more than 2 million from their
A fragile peace deal signed between the warring parties in
August 2015 brokered by the regional body Inter-Governmental
Authority on Development (IGAD) remains in disarray after Machar
abandoned Juba for his safety.