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XINHUA NEWS SERVICE REPORTS FROM THE AFRICAN CONTINENT

 

South Sudan say slain U.S journalist was fighting alongside rebels

JUBA South Sudan (Xinhua) -- South Sudan said Sunday the slain U.S. journalist was fighting alongside rebels (SPLA-IO) allied to former First Vice President Riek Machar.

South Sudan army (SPLA) deputy spokesman Col. Santo Domic Chol said Christopher Allen was among the 16 rebel fighters killed during the fighting on Saturday afternoon, between government troops and rebels in the border town of Kaya located South East of the capital near the Ugandan border.

The man (Allen) was killed in the frontline together with the (SPLA-IO) rebels. The battle went on for one hour and during the mop up the body of the white man was found, Domic revealed in Juba.

"He is a white rebel because he was killed alongside rebels while he was holding a gun," he added.

Domic disclosed that they had identified the slain American journalist after cross examining his corpse and details in Juba.

He added that Allen’s death vindicates and reinforces earlier suspicions by the South Sudanese authorities about some western powers backing rebels in the more than three years of violence that has killed tens of thousands and pushed millions as refugees in neighbouring countries.

Domic added further that this sensitive matter remains the work of the political class in Juba to deal with in collaboration with international diplomats.

South Sudan descended into violence in December 2013 after political dispute between President Kiir and his former deputy Machar led to fighting that pitted mostly Dinka ethnic soldiers loyal to Kiir against Machar’s Nuer ethnic group.

The 2015 peace agreement to end the violence was again violated in July 2016 when the rival factions resumed fighting in the capital forcing Machar to flee into exile.
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UPDATE:

Uganda beefs up security at border with South Sudan after clashes

KAMPALA Uganda (Xinhua) -- The Ugandan military on Tuesday said it had beefed up security on the border with South Sudan after weekend clashes left over 19 people dead.

Brig. Richard Karemire, the Ugandan military spokesperson told Xinhua in an interview that security has been enhanced at Kaya border to ensure the South Sudan warring parties do not cross into Uganda without being detected.

"We have intensified our security and intelligence at the border with South Sudan as we continue to follow and monitor the latest clashes in the country," said Karemire.

"We shall continue to screen all the people fleeing from South Sudan into Uganda. We are interested in knowing the government and oppositions fighters who might want to cross," he added.

According to the South Sudan government, the clashes on Saturday between government troops and the rebels left 19 people dead, including an American journalist.

Thousands of South Sudan refugees continue to cross into Uganda after fighting erupted in December 2013.

Karemire said the military will continue to allow in refugees.

Over 1 million South Sudan refugees have crossed into Uganda, according to new figures by the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees.
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EARLIER REPORT:

Sudan and South Sudan discuss how to re-operate halted oil fields

KHARTOUM Sudan (Xinhua) -- Sudan and South Sudan on Thursday discussed means of re-operating South Sudanese oil fields that were halted due to the civil war which erupted in 2013.

Sudanese capital Khartoum on Thursday hosted technical talks, chaired by under-secretaries at oil ministries in the two countries.

"These talks tend to follow up the technical aspects agreed upon and provide the technical support for re-operating the oil fields in Unity State of South Sudan together with the oil exported through the Sudanese ports," Bakheet Ahmed Abdalla, Undersecretary of Sudan’s Ministry of Oil and Gas, told reporters.

"We have discussed the issue of training human cadres in South Sudan at Khartoum Oil Training Center," he noted.

Mohamed Lino, Undersecretary of South Sudan’s Ministry of Petroleum, for his part, said that "the technical cooperation with Sudan is very beneficial, and through the continued consultations between us, we can implement the agreements signed by the two countries."

Before its separation with Sudan in 2011, South Sudan’s oil production reached 245,000 barrels a day, but by late 2014 it dropped to about 160,000 barrels a day due to the ongoing civil war which broke out in the new-born state.

South Sudan has been witnessing violent armed clashes between the government army and defectors loyal to former vice-president Riek Machar since December 2013.
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Ethiopia pledges continued support to South Sudan’s stability

ADDIS ABABA Ethiopia (Xinhua) -- Ethiopian Prime Minister Hailemariam Desalegn said Monday his country would give continued support for South Sudan’s peace and stability.

Desalegn made the remarks while holding talks with South Sudan’s Petroleum Minister Ezekiel Lol Gatkuoth on ways of ensuring peace and security in South Sudan in Ethiopia’s capital Addis Ababa.

He also urged the South Sudanese government to work towards a full restoration of peace and stability in the country and solve the nation’s problems in a more inclusive manner, Ethiopia’s state news agency reported.

Desalegn also stressed the need to install comprehensive public participation as a crucial impetus to build political solution to the ongoing crisis in the world’s youngest nation.

Ethiopia and South Sudan have earlier this year signed eight agreements aimed at further strengthening ties of the two neighboring countries.

The agreements, signed as part of South Sudanese President Salva Kiir’s official visit to Ethiopia, envisages partnerships in infrastructure, trade, energy and healthcare sectors.
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South Sudan regrets monitor’s negative assessment on peace progress

by Denis Elamu JUBA South Sudan (Xinhua) -- South Sudan said Friday the latest negative assessment on peace deal implementation by the peace monitoring body the Joint Monitoring and Evaluation Commission (JMEC) was misleading international actors.

President Salva Kiir’s spokesperson Ateny Wek Ateny told Xinhua that the Thursday statement by the head of JMEC Festus Mogae, describing shocking deterioration in the political and security situation in the country amid increased hostilities, were misleading in the wake of renewed peace deal revival efforts by the Intergovernmental Authority on Development (IGAD) in June.

"That statement is misleading international actors, considering they are being said by someone who is in Juba. I don’t agree at all with that, we have seen a lot of progress in peace deal implementation," Ateny said.

Mogae had earlier expressed shock by the rampant hostilities across the country amid rapid deterioration of the political, security, humanitarian and economic situation in South Sudan.

"Since July 2016, we, as JMEC, have remained profoundly shocked by the rampant hostilities across the country and the rapid deterioration of the political, security, humanitarian and economic situation in South Sudan.

"As a result, we are now rightly absorbed in a process to restore and revitalize the prominence of the Peace Agreement," Mogae said.

Ateny also disclosed that the overall security situation in the nation had improved better than previous in the wake of renewed July clash in 2016.

"The overall security situation in South Sudan has improved better than other time, and these are some of the things (JMEC) should have seen other than continue to be negative about South Sudan," he said.

Ateny said that some armed opposition members were abandoning rebellion and returning to Juba for reintegration and participation in the ongoing national dialogue launched last year by President Kiir.

"National dialogue is on and a number of (opposition) people are coming back to join national dialogue," Ateny said.

South Sudan descended into violence in December 2013 after political dispute between President Kiir and his former deputy Riek Machar led to fighting that pitied mostly Dinka ethnic soldiers loyal to Kiir against Machar’s Nuer ethnic group.

The 2015 peace agreement to end the violence was again violated in July 2016 when the rival factions resumed fighting in the capital, forcing Machar to flee into exile.

The conflict has killed tens of thousands of people and displaced millions that have sought refuge in neighbouring countries.
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Peace monitors decry lack of progress in South Sudan peace deal

by Julius Gale JUBA South Sudan (Xinhua) -- There is little meaningful progress in implementation of the South Sudan peace deal which was signed by warring factions, peace monitors said on Thursday.

Festus Mogae, Chairman of the Joint Monitoring and Evaluation Commission (JMEC), which is tasked with overseeing the implementation of the August 2015 peace deal said the body is shocked by the rapid deterioration of the political, security, humanitarian and economic situation in the East African nation in the past two years.

Speaking at the opening of a stakeholder meeting in the capital, Juba, Mogae said the parties to the pact have been reluctant to implement the peace agreement, and they have made little progress in ending the civil war and restore peace in the world’s youngest nation.

"Since July 2016, we, as JMEC, have remained profoundly shocked by the rampant hostilities across the country and the rapid deterioration of the political, security, humanitarian and economic situation in South Sudan.

"As a result, we are now rightly absorbed in a process to restore and revitalize the prominence of the Peace Agreement," Mogae said.

"By now the Peace Agreement should have achieved considerable progress towards improved security and governance in this country.

"From day one, however, we have had to persuade the Parties to implement each and every task in accordance with the Peace Agreement," he added.

The JMEC head condemned the ongoing violence and widespread obstruction of humanitarian aid, calling for immediate end to the hostilities.

"This cycle of violence, displacement and deprivation of humanitarian support has been repeated around the country over the past year and has led to untold misery among those who seek only to live peacefully and provide for their families," Mogae said.

South Sudan has been embroiled in more than three years of conflict that has taken a devastating toll on the people of South Sudan.

A peace pact signed in Addis Ababa in 2015 under intense international pressure was shattered again following renewed violence between rival government and opposition troops in the capital Juba in July 2016.

The conflict has since spread to other regions which enjoyed relative peace, causing mass displacement of least 4 million people from their homes, ethnic polarization and tribal violence that has killed tens of thousands of people.

In a bid to revive the stalled peace deal and explore new opportunities for stability in South Sudan, East African leaders under their regional bloc, the Intergovernmental Authority on Development (IGAD) have called for a high level forum scheduled for next month.

Mogae said the success of the revitalization forum entirely depends on the desire of the South Sudanese warring parties and other aggrieved groups to end the conflict.

"It will be for the Parties and estranged groups to determine and commit to the outcomes of this Forum.

"After all, in the end, the responsibility for the implementation of the Peace Agreement lies squarely with these same Parties," Mogae added.

           

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