JUBA South Sudan (Xinhua) --
South Sudan’s main rebel group, the Sudan
People’s Liberation Movement in Opposition ( SPLM-IO), said its
leader Riek Machar will not return to South Sudan without any
tangible peace deal with the government of President Salva Kiir.
Lam Paul Gabriel,
SPLM-IO Deputy Military Spokesman, said the former first deputy
president who is currently exiled in South Africa will not come
to South Sudan because of safety concerns.
“What will bring
Riek Machar back to Juba is the peace agreement if it is signed
in Addis Ababa because this fighting is beyond Machar and Kiir,”
Machar fled South
Sudan into neighboring Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) in
July 2016 following renewed fighting between his forces and
those loyal to the government in the capital, Juba.
President Kiir last
week asked the rebel leader to return to South Sudan, pledging
to give Machar state protection.
“Riek Machar should
come back to Juba not as a political leader, but as a changed
man who has renounced violence, and he will be accorded
protection by the government of South Sudan,” Kiir’s spokesman
Ateny Wek Ateny told Xinhua by phone.
“He would be able to
run for any position in the future if there are elections in the
country,” Ateny added.
dismissed the president’s pledge, saying they don’t trust the
intentions of Kiir and the SPLM-IO would only return to Juba if
there is peace in the East African nation.
“We are fighting for
the people who are suffering in the refugee camps. We need to
sign peace first and come to Juba when there is peace for the
people of South Sudan,” Gabriel said.
descended into civil war in late 20013, and the conflict has
created one of the fastest growing refugee crises in the world.
The UN estimates that about 4 million South Sudanese have been
displaced internally and externally.
A peace deal signed
in August 2015 between the rival leaders under United Nations
pressure led to the establishment of a transitional unity
government, but was shattered by renewed fighting in July 2016.
The next round of
peace talks spearheaded by the East African bloc,
Intergovernmental Authority on Development (IGAD) are scheduled
to reconvene in Ethiopia on May 17.
FAO seeks to avert conflicts
over natural resource in South Sudan
JUBA South Sudan (Xinhua) --
The Food and Agriculture Organization of the
United Nations (FAO) on Thursday launched guidelines aimed at
mitigating conflicts related to rivalry over natural resources
in South Sudan.
FAO said in a
statement that the five-step strategy seeks to increase
effectiveness of natural resource management mechanisms and
improve livelihoods by addressing root causes of conflict among
South Sudanese communities.
The agency said
natural resources such as agricultural land, water, pasture and
forests are key resources for South Sudan and their effective
management would help in the economic and social recovery of
populations affected by conflict.
involves mapping of land coverage using geospatial technologies,
identification of strategic livelihood services and causes of
The guidelines also
calls for establishment of territorial agreements or committees
to monitor land governance, natural resources and identify
boundaries to mitigate natural resource-based conflict.
guidelines updated to the current context, stakeholders can work
more effectively to address conflict-drivers to create
sustainable natural resource management practices in the field,”
said Serge Tissot, FAO Representative in South Sudan.
South Sudan is prone
to violent communal conflicts over natural resources such
livestock pasture and water points. For generations, cattle
rustling and violent clashes between crop farmers and
pastoralists have killed unknown number of people.
In a bid to expedite
implementation of the framework, FAO said it will this week
bring together 30 natural resource management experts from
across the country to discuss the document.
Marco de Gaetano,
FAO Natural Resource Management Specialist, said the initiative
would create a platform for community dialogue and engagement
that would reduce conflict.