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Sudan repels Ethiopian attack on border area

Sudan Tribune - Sun, 26/09/2021 - 13:32
A Sudanese army officer with some of his troops deployed on the eastern Sudan border on 21 Dec 2020 (ST photo)

September 26, 2021 (KHARTOUM) - The Sudanese army repelled an attack by the Ethiopian army in the border area of Al-Fashaqa said a military statement on Sunday.

Al-Tahir Abu Haja, Sudanese army spokesman stated that the attack took place in Um Brakhit sector of the disputed area.

"The Sudanese Armed Forces had repelled the incursion attempt and forced the Ethiopian forces to withdraw," said Abu Haja in a short statement.

Relations between the two countries have been strained since November 2020 when the Sudanese army redeployed its troops in Al-Fashaqa recovering about 2 million acres of fertile land inside the Sudanese border cultivated with the support of armed militiamen.

Three months ago closed the road linking the two countries after an attack on the Sudanese army by Ethiopian militiamen.

On 22 September, local officials from the two sides met the Ethiopian border town of Metama to discuss the reopening of the crossing point.

The Ethiopian side requested to open the crossing point and called for joint cooperation to settle the issue of detainees from both sides.

A source close to the meeting said the Ethiopian officials spoke again about the presence of Tigryian fighters in the refugee camps a matter that the Sudanese side strongly rejected.

(ST)

Categories: Africa

Uganda asks South Sudan to waive visa fees

Sudan Tribune - Sun, 26/09/2021 - 11:04

September 25, 2021 (KAMPALA) - The government has given South Sudan a one-month ultimatum to waive visa fees for Ugandan nationals seeking to enter the country. This follows Uganda's decision to waive visa fees for South Sudanese entering Uganda which will take effect on October 1.

Speaking to the media, the First Deputy Prime Minister and Minister for East African Community Affairs Rebecca Kadaga said that South Sudan is expected to reciprocate this by October 31.

She says if South Sudan doesn't reciprocate the waiver, Uganda will reinstate the fees for South Sudanese as well.

According to Kadaga, the decision follows the summit of the East African Community Heads of State in Nairobi in February 2021, when President Salva Kiir appealed to the neighbouring countries for a visa waiver, particularly between South Sudan, Kenya, and Uganda.

According to Kadaga, the move is expected to facilitate trade and investment in the region.

Concerning the security of truckers along the Juba-Nimule route, the minister said that the different illegal roadblocks on the highways have been removed, while the Government of South Sudan has deployed in hotspots and security has been provided for Ugandans entering South Sudan.

(ST)

Categories: Africa

FFC say military seek to spread chaos in Sudan

Sudan Tribune - Sun, 26/09/2021 - 11:01

September 25, 2021 (KHARTOUM) - The Forces for Freedom and Change (FFC) Saturday accused the military component of exploiting the political crises to spread chaos in the country and undermine the transition to civilian-led democratic rule.

The followers of Mohamed Turk, a tribal leader of the Hadandawa tribe who rejects the peace agreement for eastern Sudan, are blocking the roads and shut down the pipeline preventing the exportation of the Sudanese and South Sudanese oil.

However, the military component refuses to intervene to stop the security threat and protect the vital economic facilities.

Lt-Gen Abdel Fattah al-Burhan stated on Thursday that the eastern Sudan crisis should be resolved by Prime Minister Hamdok.

Speaking in a talk show on Sudan TVon Saturday, FFC leading members said that the military component is preparing to remove the civilian government through the insecurity in eastern Sudan and Kordofan.

"It is not necessary to topple the civilian government through weapons. This can be done by exploiting political issues in some regions to create chaos and insecurity. This is part of a strategy aiming to overthrow the civilian government," said Taha Osman, a member of the Empowerment Removal Committee.

Alwathiq al-Brair, Secretary of the National Umma Party, said sarcastically that they learnt for the first time from al-Burhan on Thursday that protecting the vital economic facilities is the responsibility of Prime Minister Hamdok.

"This is part of the core duties of the military component," he stressed.

The Sudanese Ministry of Oil on Saturday announced that the closure of oil terminals at Port Sudan affected the oil pumping from the production areas. The ministry added that the country has a stock for 10 days only.

The tribal leader now demands the cancellation of the eastern Sudan peace agreement and the establishment of a military government to replace the civilian-led government.

Gaafar Hassan a leading member of the FFC and the Unionist Alliance said they were surprised by al-Burhan.

Instead of condemning the putschists, he sought to justify the failed coup claiming that the government failed to settle the economic crisis, Hassan said.

"Al-Burhan's statements raised questions about their purpose," he added.

Hemetti attacks

Mohamed Hamdan Daglo "Hemetti" deputy head of the Sovereign Council and General Commander of the Rapid Support Forces (RSF) Mohamed al-Faki the spokesman of the collegial presidency who voiced his rejection of the military's guardianship of the democratic transition.

Hemetti asserted that would not sit with Al-Faki at the same table unless a political agreement was reached to allow the participation of new political forces in the government.

The military leader said that the criticism directed at the military was due to the military's call for a national accord involving more political forces in the transitional government.

Taha rejected calls for a "National Accord", saying it aims to weaken the civilian component.

"Accord with whom? All the revolution's forces have been united on September 8, except for two parties. Talking about other forces is part of the coup attempt because it aims to bring force similar to the previous regime," he said.

FFC leaders say this call for national accord coincides with the end of the term of al-Burhan at the chairmanship of the Sovereign Council as it should be chaired by a civilian next November.

(ST)

Categories: Africa

South Sudan's crude held due to protests in eastern Sudan: minister

Sudan Tribune - Sun, 26/09/2021 - 10:55

September 25, 2021 (JUBA) - Protests in eastern Sudan have affected the flow of oil to Port Sudan disrupting production in its northern oil fields, a South Sudanese minister told reporters Friday.

A pipeline that transports crude oil from the south to Port Sudan (Reuters)

Information minister, Michael Makuei Lueth said the protests, which broke out on September 17, led to the closure of oil terminals at Port Sudan, thus disrupting transportation of crude.

On Friday, a tribal group rejecting the Juba Peace Agreement in eastern Sudan closed the roads leading to the maritime ports on the Red Sea. On Sunday the Hadandaw group closed the Bashayer crude oil export terminal, located 25 km south of Port Sudan.

"With the closure of Port Sudan, we are not in a position to export our (crude) oil because if we don't export oil then we will be in crisis," he told reporters in the capital, Juba.

Land-locked South Sudan relies on Sudan to export its crude in a pipeline via Khartoum to the Red Sea. Around 30,000 b/d of South Sudanese crude goes to its northern neighbour for its direct use, according to S&P Global Platts estimates.

Makuei, however, said President Salva Kiir is in contact with authorities in Khartoum to help resolve the impasse to allow the smooth flow of crude to the key port.

South Sudan depends 98% on oil revenues to finance fiscal expenditure but mismanagement of oil revenues, conflict and the coronavirus affected production in northern oil fields with production falling below 300,000 barrels per day (bpd).

(ST)

Categories: Africa

Kiir cancels $650 million sovereign guarantee loan

Sudan Tribune - Sat, 25/09/2021 - 14:03

September 24, 2021 (JUBA) - South Sudan President Salva Kiir has directed the cancellation of a $650 million sovereign guarantee loan, paving way for the country to engage international financial institutions.

In a letter dated September 24, 2021, the Executive Director of the Presidential Office informed Finance Minister Athian Dingg Athian that Kiir authorized the cancellation of the loan following mounting pressure on his administration to live up to the norms and practices of public financial performance.

“I write to you on the directive of his Excellency the President, Salva Kiir Mayardit, authorizing you to cancel with immediate effect the sovereign guarantee of 650 million dollars which has recently threatened to roll back gains we have made with our population and development partners”, wrote Jems Deng Wal Achien in a letter seen by the Sudan Tribune on Friday evening.

The letter cited the work of the public financial performance management oversight committee which draw membership from a host of the international financial institutions and key representatives of the key international donors.

It pointed to trust and policy credibility the government has reportedly built in the last years, resulting in the strengthening of the local currency over dollars.

The letter said that the involvement of the internationally supported oversight committee had resulted in the building of relations with key partners, including the International Monetary Fund (IMF).

“With this issue resolved and behind us, you should be on your way to completing the Staff Monitored Program (SMP) review and moving to the next level of engagement with International Monetary Funds, World Bank, and African Development Bank,” reads the letter.

The SMP is an informal agreement between national authorities and IMF staff to monitor the country's economic reforms to redress its economy. Also, the IMF can work with the national authorities to build a track record of reform implementation under this agreement.

When the IMF monitored reforms are successfully achieved South Sudan can benefit from development programs funded by the World Bank agencies including the African Development Bank.

International financial institutions threatened to withhold loans if the government continues to borrow without disclosing the terms of the agreement to the public.

The SMP also includes reforms aiming to prevent money laundering and transparency in the management of the oil revenue which is the only source of income for the landlocked country.

(ST)

Categories: Africa

W.House voices strong U.S. support for civilian-led transition in Sudan

Sudan Tribune - Sat, 25/09/2021 - 12:16

September 24, 2021 (WASHINGTON) - The White House voiced strong support on Friday for the "civilian-led" transition in Sudan and announced that President Biden plans to invite Prime Minister Hamdok to visit Washington.

The failed coup by Islamist officers in the army and the challenges posed military to the civilian efforts to carry out reforms have forced the Biden administration to loudly express its support to the civilian forces in Sudan.

In a statement on Friday, the White House said that National Security Advisor Jake Sullivan spoke by phone on September 24 with Sudanese Prime Minister Abdallah Hamdok.

The White House reiterated its support to the civilian-led transition to democracy in Sudan adding they oppose any attempts to derail or disrupt the will of the Sudanese people.

"Sullivan underscored that any attempt by military actors to undermine the spirit and agreed benchmarks of Sudan's constitutional declaration would have significant consequences for the U.S.-Sudan bilateral relationship and planned assistance," warned the statement.

The White House added that U.S. Special Envoy for the Horn of Africa Jeffrey Feltman will travel to Sudan next week to reaffirm U.S. support for the civilian-led transition and discuss regional security challenges alluding to the border dispute with Ethiopia.

The statement that Sullivan informed Hamdok that President Biden looks forward to "meeting with Prime Minister Hamdok in the near future".

The Sudanese military component had succeeded to forge good relations with the Trump administration. However, the Biden administration did not show enthusiasm for such kind of relationship.

U.S. Senate Foreign Relations Committee Ranking Member, Senator Jim Risch warned against attempts by elements of the Sudanese military or former Bashir regime to remove the civilian-led transitional government by force or undermine civilian leadership.

Such efforts "will jeopardize the U.S. bilateral relationship, debt relief, over $1B in pledged US assistance & international goodwill toward Sudan's future," he stressed.

After the ouster of the al-Bashir regime, the United States removed Sudan from its list of state sponsors of terrorism and supported the transition and mobilized the international community to back the Hamdok government.

In March 2020, US Congress passed a bill requiring the Department of State to submit a strategy outlining U.S. support for a transition to the civilian-led government in Sudan. Also, the act authorises some measures to assist the transition and reform its security sector.

(ST)

Categories: Africa

Military component has no guardianship over transition in Sudan: civilian forces

Sudan Tribune - Sat, 25/09/2021 - 10:08

September 24, 2021 (KHARTOUM) - The civilian component of the Sovereign Council on Friday rejected al-Burhan's statements about the guardianship of the military over the democratic transition.

Divergences surfaced between the civilian and military parties to the transitional process in Sudan following the recent coup attempt.

The civilian government urged the military component to expedite the security reforms and to sack the Islamist elements from the army. While the Head of the Sovereign Council pointed to the divisions between the forces of the ruling coalition.

In an interview with Sudan TV on Friday evening, Mohamed al-Faki, Spokesman of the Sovereign Council said that al-Burhan statements' about the divisions in the Forces for Freedom and Change (FFC) aim to give the military the control of the transition in Sudan.

He added that they strongly reject what al-Burhan said about their guardianship of the transitional process.

"No, you are not a guardian. The guardian is the people. You are a partner with a proportion known to everyone and specified in the Constitutional Document. There is no guardianship over the people (...). We are equal partners in this Document," he tressed.

During the first year of the transition and until recently the political cohabitation with the military component remained the slogan of the civilian-led cabinet of Abdallah Hamdok.

However, al-Burhan's resistance to reform of the security sector posed a big challenge to the continuation of this one teamwork spirit.

In response to calls by the head of the Sovereign Council to include more forces in the FFC, al-Faki said that al-Burhan seeks, in fact, to bring specific people to the ruling coalition.

This "is unacceptable and we will never allow it," he stressed.

Some FFC leaders speak about attempts by the military to divide the FFC groups and to bring friendly new actors to the coalition from different forces including a splinter faction led by Minni Minnawi.

After the failed coup, Minnawi slammed the FFC saying they do not represent the whole forces of the historical coalition.

He further pointed to the "Overture towards the components of the alliance to fortify the transitional period is the treatment" for the current crisis.

The Governor of the Darfur region had split from the Sudanese Revolutionary Front and refused calls to reunite the FFC while the other groups signatory of the Juba Peace Agreement rejoined the ruling coalition following an initiative by the prime minister.

Al-Faki disclosed that there is a complete stalemate in the reforms due to the deteriorated relations between the military and civilians components.

He said the military component obstructs the appointment of the new chief justice and other major reforms.

Also, he hinted at the existence of divergence about the date of the rotation of the Sovereign Council's presidency from the military component to the civilians.

"One of the Council members requested a legal opinion (fatwa) from the Ministry of Justice to determine the date of the rotation to the civilian component," he said.

"But for us, it should take place next November," he asserted.

(ST)

Categories: Africa

Kiir recalls former governor to military, promoted

Sudan Tribune - Fri, 24/09/2021 - 11:16

September 22, 2021 (JUBA) - South Sudan President Salva Kiir has returned former Warrap state governor, Bona Panek Biar to the military and promoted him to Lieutenant General.

South Sudanese president Salva Kiir (AFP)

Biar served in several capacities in the government under president Kiir. He first served as an officer with the special branch of the national security service from where he rose to the rank of Brigadier General before moving to the army and became a Major General.

He served in the army until 2015 when Kiir split the country into smaller administrative units, allowing him to appoint Biar as the first governor of Twic State.

The ex-governor was removed and returned to the army and became deputy director in the directorate of military intelligence. In 2020, he was again appointed the first governor of Warrap after Kiir recanted his presidential order and returned the country to 10 states, and created three administrative areas.

He was abruptly relieved from his duties in Warrap before forming a cabinet and replaced with a military governor, Aleu Ayieny Aleu. Biar returned to Juba and was returned to active military service and became a director of pension at the general headquarters.

Critics, however, say the way Kiir makes decision suggests his lack of interest to transform the military into a professional and conventional army in which crossing to political life takes place once.

“We do not understand anymore how the president is running the military these days. Every day something happens. This month it was his office manager whom he promoted from nowhere to the rank of a general in the army and now he has promoted Bona Panek into the rank of lieutenant general. This is a person without a proper military background. No training, no experience, nothing”, said an analyst.

He added, "Bona Panek was with SRRA (Sudan Relief and Rehabilitation Association, a relief wing of the rebel movement during the war of liberation) when I was already a captain. I am now a colonel, and this person has been all over as the politician, as security, then again in the army, then to politics, and now again in the army and he has been promoted to the rank of lieutenant general. You cannot believe it".

A military officer at the general headquaters wondered why promotions are done through the media.

"As an institution, we don't get things through our channels”, the officer told Sudan Tribune on Wednesday

(ST)

Categories: Africa

Dinka elders back calls for Kiir, Machar to step down

Sudan Tribune - Fri, 24/09/2021 - 10:24

September 23, 2021 (JUBA) - The Jieng (Dinka) Council of elders, a group alliedn to President Salva Kiir, has backed calls for the South Sudanese leader and First Vice President Riek Machar to relinquish power.

President Kiir shakes hands with his FVP Macahr in a recent meeting at the presidency (SSPPU photo)

The group, in a statement extended to Sudan Tribune on Thursday, said they are in comformity with recommendations of the national dialogue which called on Kiir and Machar to step aside from the country's political affairs.

“We applaud the national dialogue for pointing out the truth and for sharply dissecting and pointing out state and leadership failure as the root causes of the current crises in South Sudan. We are in agreement entirely with their assessment and call upon president Salva Kiir and the 1st vice president Dr. Riek Machar to listen to the voices of the people”, partly reads the statement.

It remains unclear what prompted the group to join a popular desire and calls for the president and his main political rival to step aside from managing affairs of the country

Observers are keen to attribute the cause to declining influence in the decision-making process after the signing of the 2018 revitalized peace agreement.

The group used to hold regular meetings with the president, members of his cabinet and security personal before, during and after the eruption of conflict in 2013 and 2016.

The group was founded in 2014 with Justice Ambrose Riiny Thiik as the founding leader with Joshua Dau Diu as the founding co-chair of the group. Every section of the Jieng (Dinka) was either represented by an elder political figure or a traditional leader closely associated with the Internal Bureau of the National Security Services or people with close relations to Kiir.

Unconfirmed reports say the group could have split along regional and sectional lines.

The notably members who signed the statement include, Aldo Ajou Deng, former Jonglei governor Maker Thiong Maal, Charles Majak Dau and Daniel Dhieu Matuet.

(ST)

Categories: Africa

Burhan comes close to admitting Islamists' involvement in failed coup

Sudan Tribune - Fri, 24/09/2021 - 09:34

September 23, 2021 (KHARTOUM) - Abdel Fattah al-Burhan Head of the Transitional Sovereign Council on Thursday pointed to the involvement of civilians in the failed coup attempt but stopped short of admitting they were Islamists.

Earlier this week, Sudanese Prime Minister Abdallah Hamdok said the coup was orchestrated by the former regime pointing to the participation of civilians affiliated with the dissolved National Congress Party in the attempt.

However, al-Burhan, the army spokesperson and other senior military officials dismissed the involvement of the Islamists in the attempt.

"The preparations for the coup involved some army officers and civilians that we will disclose their political affiliation at the end of the investigation," al-Burhan said in an interview with AlHadath TV Thursday.

He added that there were "political fingers" behind all the military coups that occurred in Sudan.

The Commander in Chief of the Sudanese army said these civilians will be referred to justice once the investigation concluded while the military will face military courts.

He disclosed they had intelligence about the coup but they did not detain them before because they wanted to arrest the putschists in flagrante delicto to facilitate the role of military justice.

"We wanted to arrest them in the act so that the coup attempt will be easy to prove," he stressed.

Hamdok and the leaders of the Forces for Freedom and Changes (FFC) pointed an accusing finger at al-Burhan saying he delays the reforms of the security sector and refuses to sack the Islamist militaries from the army.

They added that this situation paved the way in the past and continues to enable the Islamists to carry out attempts to seize power.

In return, al-Burhan says if the political forces settle their difference and stopped their quarrels, the Islamists would not have an opportunity to try to take power.

The head of the Sovereign Council reassured that the army supports the democratic transition and holding general elections at the end of the 4-year period.

He also affirmed his support for the initiative of Prime Minister Abdallah Hamdok (The Way Forward) to reunite the FFC forces and achieve the goals of the transitional period.

In a related development, police forces dispersed a demonstration supporting Prime Minister Hamdok and the transitional government near the presidential palace.

Eyewitnesses told Sudan Tribune that military vehicles crowded with soldiers continued to roam the streets near the Republican Palace, dispersing hundreds of demonstrators who kept chanting slogans calling for total control of power by the civilians.

(ST)

Categories: Africa

S. Sudan condemns Sudan's failed coup attempt, pledges support

Sudan Tribune - Fri, 24/09/2021 - 09:24

September 22, 2021 (JUBA) - South Sudan on Wednesday condemned a military attempt to take over power from Sudan's transitional government, urging the latter to hold responsible those involved in the failed coup.

Al-Burhan speaks to the media flanked by Hamdok after the end of the mutiny of GIS forces (ST photo)

President Salva Kiir, in a statement issued on Wednesday, said he had spoken on Tuesday and Wednesday to two both the Chairman of the Sudan Transitional Sovereign Council, General Abdel Fattah Al-Burhan and Prime Minister Abdalla Hamdok.

The two leaders, he stated, assured him that the situation would normalise.

"His Excellency the President of the Republic of South Sudan, Salva Kiir Mayardit, had telephone conversations with the Chairman of the Sudan Transitional Sovereign Council, General Abdel Fattah Al-Burhan, and Prime Minister Dr. Abdalla Hamdok, yesterday after the Sudanese Army successfully thwarted the coup attempt. This morning, His Excellency the President, held another phone conversation with Prime Minister Hamdok. On behalf of the Republic of South Sudan, President Kiir communicated his condemnation of the coup attempt. He also pledged full support and solidarity with the Transitional Government and the People of Sudan in their efforts to achieve the legitimate aspirations and hopes of the December Revolution. His Excellency, President Salva Kiir, also urges the IGAD leaders to condemn this attack on the democratic transition in Sudan”, partly reads the statement extended to Sudan Tribune.

Kiir expressed disapproval of the military take of the transitional government, saying it would dent efforts of the transitional government to implement the peace agreement.

"The government of the Republic of South Sudan strongly condemn this failed coup attempt and urge the Sudanese government to hold accountable all those involved”, continued the statementsl.

It added, “The Government of South Sudan also condemns any external interference intended to derail the peaceful transition that is currently underway in Sudan. We emphasize our firm position in rejecting the use of military means to undermine the power of the people and the leadership of the Transitional Government. Such unconstitutional shortcuts aimed at blocking the democratic political transition in Sudan should not be allowed to derail the efforts of the Sudanese people”.

The South Sudanese leader, however, called the parties involved and other stakeholders in Sudan to embrace peaceful dialogue and protect the Transitional Government so that they do not reverse the democratic gains made during this transitional period.

Separately, South Sudan's Foreign Affairs ministry urged all the parties to the Transitional Government in Sudan to cooperate to achieve the dreams of the people.

"We once again reaffirm our support to full implementation of the Peace Agreement in Sudan and urge the parties to recommit to it as the best path forward to achieve the legitimate goals of the Sudanese Revolution”, a statement issued read in part.

(ST)

Categories: Africa

South Sudan elites diverted $73m from public coffers: report

Sudan Tribune - Fri, 24/09/2021 - 07:05
UN Commission on Human Rights in Sudan (from left) Yasmin Sooka, Chair, Andrew Clapham and Barney Afako (2018), by UN Commission on Human Rights in South Sudan (Twitter Photo)

September 23, 2021 (Geneva)- South Sudanese elites diverted staggering amounts of money and other wealth from public coffers and resources, undermining human rights and endangering security, the Commission on Human Rights said in a report.

The report was presented to the Human Rights Council in Geneva on Thursday.

According to investigations carried out by the Commission over the past two years, more than $73 million USD was diverted since 2018, including transactions worth almost $39 million USD in a period of less than two months.

The Commission noted that this figure is only a fraction of the overall amount looted; as President Salva Kiir himself admitted as far back as 2012, South Sudan's ruling elites had diverted more than $4 billion USD.

The Commission is mandated to monitor and report on the human rights situation in South Sudan, and to clarify responsibility for alleged violations and related crimes, as well as to make recommendations to improve the situation.

In its Conference Room Paper, the Commission has highlighted how the systematic, illicit diversion of State resources has severely undermined the economic, social, and cultural rights of citizens.

This plundering also continues to fuel political competition amongst elites, and is a key driver of the on-going conflict, violations, and serious crimes, jeopardizing the prospects for sustainable peace.

The Commission's recommendations aimed at the Government of South Sudan seek to ensure that the State can protect and fulfil the rights of its citizens.

The Commission's Conference Room Paper also highlights that South Sudan's elites have deliberately adopted a highly informal system of oil revenue collection, in which the absence of independent oversight and transparency facilitates and enables the misappropriation of public funds. Similarly flawed, non-transparent processes for contract payments, procurements, and revenue are operated illicitly to divert non-oil revenues.

In just one emblematic case, the Commission revealed how a single payment made unlawfully in May 2018 by the Ministry of Finance to Sudanese businessman Ashraf Seed Ahmed Al-Cardinal, also known as “Al Cardinal”, represented a staggering 21.6 per cent of South Sudan's total budget for the “Use of Goods and Services” and “Capital Expenditure” for the entire 2018/2019 fiscal year.

“The Commission's documentation of the corruption, embezzlement, bribery, and misappropriation of State funds by political elites is merely the tip of the iceberg”, stated Commission Chair Yasmin Sooka.

“Our investigations traced exactly how this money is being diverted, and our findings revealing the patterns and trends of the embezzlement include the involvement of politicians, Government officials, international corporations, military personnel, and multinational banks in these crimes. The Ministry of Finance and Economic Planning, the National Revenue Authority, and a number of foreign corporations have all been complicit in this”, she added.

The Commission's Conference Room Paper also emphasizes and draws a link between the illicit diversion of funds and the inadequacy of resources available to public authorities to fulfil their legal obligations to provide for the enjoyment of economic, social, and cultural rights of citizens.

“The violations of human rights and related crimes we have been investigating refer to a broad category of activities involving money, finances, or assets, the purpose of which is to unlawfully obtain a profit or advantage for the perpetrators”, explained Commissioner Andrew Clapham.

“These activities are proscribed by both national legislation and international law, including the Transitional Constitution of South Sudan, the Anti-Corruption Commission Act, and the Investigation Committees Act. As a State party, South Sudan is further bound by the UN Convention against Corruption. Accordingly, other States party to that Convention may be obligated to repatriate funds that originated in South Sudan and were illicitly used to purchase real estate abroad, as we have documented in considerable detail”, he added.

The Commission's report also highlights that South Sudan's oil industry is dominated by unaccountable oil consortia, the actions of which have wrought considerable devastation, including environmental degradation and damage impacting on the health of citizens. Oil spills in the Pariang and Rubkona counties of Unity State, for example, have led to pre-term births, stillbirths, congenital anomalies or deaths in new-born, blindness, male sexual dysfunction, and low fertility.

“We have analyzed a series of preventable health incidents induced by disease and devastating birth defects, including many that can be directly attributed to the presence of crude oil contamination in water, contributing to environmental degradation”, stated the Commission chair Yasmin Sooka.

“The harm wreaked by these major oil consortia on local communities, and in particular the impact on infants who continue to suffer from severe birth defects, is utterly egregious and devastating for families”, she added.

The Commission also underscored that the illicit gains from economic crimes also serve as a major driver of armed conflict in South Sudan.

“South Sudan's damaging conflicts have been significantly enabled and even motivated by the opportunities to control and divert natural resources as well as oil and non-oil revenues”, said Commissioner Barney Afako.

“Moreover, national authorities and elites have prioritized the financing of military and security apparatuses over investment in public services, infrastructure, and livelihoods. We strongly urge the Government to act swiftly and decisively fully to implement Chapter IV of the Revitalized Peace Agreement, which provides the appropriate basis for ensuring the effective resource, economic, and financial management in South Sudan”, he added.

The Commission has identified several individuals allegedly linked to human rights violations and related economic crimes, and has included them in its confidential list that will be handed to the High Commissioner for Human Rights for the purpose of facilitating transitional justice responses, including investigations and prosecution

(ST)

Categories: Africa

Africa faces 470 million COVID-19 vaccine shortfall this year 

UN News Centre - Africa - Thu, 16/09/2021 - 18:48
Africa needs around 470 million doses to accomplish the global of fully vaccinating 40 per cent of its population by the end of the year, the World Health Organization (WHO) said on Thursday.  
Categories: Africa

Torture, killings, lawlessness, still blight Burundi’s rights record

UN News Centre - Africa - Thu, 16/09/2021 - 17:38
The people of Burundi continue to endure serious human rights violations including possible crimes against humanity, the majority committed by those with links to the ruling party, UN-appointed independent investigators said on Thursday.
Categories: Africa

New South Sudan Parliament can ‘infuse urgency’ into peace process

UN News Centre - Africa - Wed, 15/09/2021 - 20:31
South Sudan has made history with the appointment of two women to senior leadership positions within its Transitional National Legislature, the top United Nations official in the country told the Security Council on Wednesday, as he encouraged parties to build on these gains in efforts to overcome significant political and security headwinds.
Categories: Africa

UN mission responding to evolving needs in Sudan transition process

UN News Centre - Africa - Tue, 14/09/2021 - 19:25
Despite setbacks and challenges, Sudan continues its transition towards democracy, the head of the UN special political mission in the country told the Security Council on Tuesday.
Categories: Africa

Only 2% of Covid-19 vaccines have been administered in Africa 

UN News Centre - Africa - Tue, 14/09/2021 - 18:17
More than 5.7 billion COVID-19 vaccine doses have been administered globally, but only 2% of them in Africa, said World Health Organization (WHO) chief, Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus on Tuesday. 
Categories: Africa

Multiple reports of alleged human rights violations in Tigray 

UN News Centre - Africa - Mon, 13/09/2021 - 23:25
UN human rights chief, Michelle Bachelet on Monday deplored “multiple and severe reports of alleged gross violations of human rights, humanitarian and refugee law” committed by all parties to the conflict in Tigray. 
Categories: Africa

South Sudan: Cash shortage triggers food suspensions for 100,000 displaced

UN News Centre - Africa - Mon, 13/09/2021 - 18:41
The UN World Food Programme (WFP) said on Monday that beginning next month, funding shortages will force it to suspend lifesaving food assistance for more than 100,000 displaced people in parts of South Sudan until the start of 2022.
Categories: Africa

In Somalia, Deputy UN chief encourages progress on women’s political participation, and peaceful elections

UN News Centre - Africa - Sun, 12/09/2021 - 21:34
The United Nations Deputy Secretary-General, Amina J. Mohammed, visited Somalia on Sunday, to express her solidarity with Somali women’s calls for full and equal participation in political life, and the support of the international community for timely, inclusive, peaceful and credible elections.
Categories: Africa

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