The Rendon Group Snapshot Report – 25 April 2016

by TRG Alerts Admin on May 2, 2016

The Rendon Group

(25APR16)

Each week The Rendon Group’s media analysts will focus on a different continent and a different issue affecting that continent. As always, we remain available to answer any questions you may have and to provide additional information upon request. For more information regarding The Rendon Group’s products and services, please contact us at Alert@Rendon.com or +1-202-745-4900.

South Sudan: Fragile Peace Deal Approaches Inflection Point Amid Ongoing Issue of Instability and Porous Borders

 

southsudanpic

A billboard featuring South Sudan’s President Salva Kiir (L) and opposition leader Riek Machar (R) is seen in Juba, South Sudan, 14APR. Albert Gonzalez Farran/AFP/Getty Images

 

This week’s snapshot focuses on the new developments in the ongoing political crisis in South Sudan. In DEC13, the post-independence government splintered amid coup accusations, with civil war breaking out between President Salva Kiir and his former deputy Riek Machar. A FEB16 agreement was projected to bring an end to the fighting, with President Kiir agreeing to appoint current SPLM-IO leader Machar as Vice President. For the past week, South Sudan has waited for the formation of a transitional government, with Machar due to return to Juba on 18APR to take up the VP position. However, the government announced that the Machar would miss the deadline for his return. The US, Britain, and Norway — key international backers of peace efforts — demanded he return by 23APR. However, Machar announced that he is unable to return until the week of 24APR.

 

News summary of events during the week of 18APR16 – 25APR16

  • 18APR: Rebel leader Riek Machar’s long-awaited return to the capital Juba was delayed, with his spokesman citing “logistical reasons.” (AFP)
  • 18APR: Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma, Chairperson of the African Union (AU) Commission, strongly condemned an attack carried out by a South Sudanese armed group in the Gambella regional state of Ethiopia. (Xinhua)
  • 19APR: For the second day in a row, South Sudan’s rebels failed to organize their leader’s much-anticipated return to the capital, Juba, after more than two years of war. (AFP)
  • 20APR: A humanitarian organization announced that over 11,120 South Sudanese refugees arrived in Dungu-Doruma locality in northeast DR Congo since the start of APR16. (Xinhua)
  • 20APR: Bashir Gbandi, acting Foreign Affairs Minister of South Sudan, said that, “[South Sudan has] accepted as a government that Machar should come with the 195 forces accompanying him and his chief of staff.” (Xinhua)
  • 21APR: Ethiopian troops were operating in South Sudan after crossing the border to rescue some 125 Ethiopian children who were kidnapped during a cattle raid. (AP)
  • 22APR: South Sudan President Salva Kiir announced that he would not attend a regional summit scheduled for the following day in Uganda due to the domestic situation. (Xinhua)
  • 24APR: The United States blamed South Sudan’s government for the latest hold-up in efforts to end its civil war, including the refusal to let rebel leader Riek Machar return, but warned both sides the world will not tolerate backsliding. (AFP)
  • 25APR: Machar’s chief of staff, General Simon Gatwech Dual, arrived in Juba accompanied by 195 soldiers. (Reuters)

Sample of Twitter handles tweeting about developments in South Sudan

  • @MarkC_Anderson – Mark Anderson, Business Editor of The Africa Report magazine
  • @RJConsults – Rachel Jones, International Media Consultant and Editor
  • @neerpiyu – Naresh Desai, General Manager of Neerpiyu Exports, a Sudan based exporting firm for Sudanese Agro Commodities
  • @m_mumo – Michael Mumo, Editorial Director, Capital FM Kenya
  • @stefwolff – Stefan Wolff, Professor of International Security, University of Birmingham; Consultant on international crisis management, conflict settlement, and post-conflict state-building

Sample of Third Party Validators regarding the developments in South Sudan

Casie Copeland, Senior analyst, International Crisis Group

“It will allow the formation of the transitional government, the most significant step in the implementation of the peace agreement.”

  • “South Sudan rebel chief’s return delayed,” AFP, 18APR16

 

Alfred Taban, Editor, Juba Monitor newspaper

“Both sides are very deeply suspicious…But people are just sick of war. People are looking for some sanity.”

  • “South Sudan’s peace deal hangs by a thread,” AFP, 22APR16

 

Peter Pham, Director, Africa Center at the Atlantic Council

“[The deal is a] forced marriage that the international community is dragging both men kicking and screaming towards [amid fear of possible sanctions].”

  • “South Sudan’s peace deal hangs by a thread,” AFP, 22APR16

 

Jok Madut Jok, former top government official, cofounder of the Sudd Institute

“It’s only hypocritical to think that his return and creation of a government he is part of will be the panacea for the country’s current troubles.”

  • “South Sudan’s peace deal hangs by a thread,” AFP, 22APR16

 

Emma Gordon, Senior East Africa analyst, Verisk Maplecroft

[The ongoing rangle] “also highlights the huge levels of mistrust between Machar and Kiir and it shows that the peace deal we have now isn’t necessarily comprehensive enough. [While] it’s a step in the right direction, the deal doesn’t actually resolve all of the tensions that sparked the violence in the first place.”

  • “South Sudan: Riek Machar’s Late Arrival Could Spell Trouble for Peace Agreement,” Newsweek, 25APR16

 

Sample of open source research conducted by TRG analysts related to the developments in South Sudan

 

  1. AU condemns attack by South Sudanese gunmen in Ethiopia’s Gambela region

 

Media: Xinhua (China)

Byline: N/A

Date: 18 April 2016

 

ADDIS ABABA, April 18 (Xinhua) — Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma, Chairperson of the African Union (AU) Commission, has strongly condemned the attack carried out by South Sudanese armed group in the Gambella regional state of Ethiopia, on the border with South Sudan.

 

The chairperson “condemns in the strongest terms the criminal attack carried out by South Sudanese armed elements in the Jakawa area of the Gambella region of Ethiopia, on 15 April 2016, killing 208 people and abducting 102 women and children,” said an AU statement on Monday.

 

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  1. Over 11,000 South Sudan refugees have entered DR Congo in April: NGO

 

Media: Xinhua (China)

Byline: N/A

Date: 20 April 2016

 

KINSHASA, April 20 (Xinhua) — Over 11,120 South Sudanese refugees have arrived in Dungu-Doruma locality in northeast Democratic Republic of Congo (DR Congo) since the start of April, a humanitarian organization said Tuesday.

 

Communications officer for Caritas Catholic organization in DR Congo, Guy-Marin Kamandji, said a report from its offices in northeast DR Congo had revealed increased arrival of refugees from South Sudan.

 

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  1. Ethiopian troops penetrate South Sudan to rescue 125 kids

 

Media: Associated Press

Byline: Jason Patinkin and Elias Meseret

Date: 21 April 2016

 

JUBA, South Sudan (AP) — Ethiopian troops were operating in South Sudan on Thursday after crossing the border to rescue some 125 Ethiopian children who were kidnapped during a bloody cattle raid, and top officials from both countries sought to coordinate their efforts.

 

Peter Bashir Gbandi, acting South Sudanese foreign affairs minister, said South Sudan Chief of Staff Paul Malong would go to Ethiopia’s capital, Addis Ababa, as soon as Friday to coordinate.

 

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  1. South Sudan’s peace deal hangs by a thread

 

Media: Agence France-Presse (AFP)

Byline: N/A

Date: 23 April 2016

 

Juba, April 23, 2016 (AFP) – In a country awash with guns, a faltering peace deal aimed at ending over two years of intense civil war in South Sudan came down to a dispute over just two dozen weapons.

 

The issue, while apparently minor, reflects the huge mistrust between the rival leaders, and is a sign of the massive challenges faced when — or if — rebel chief Riek Machar finally returns to the city and forges a unity government.

 

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  1.  South Sudan agrees to Machar’s return with 195 troops

 

Media: Xinhua (China)

Byline: N/A

Date: 20 April 2016

 

JUBA, April 20 (Xinhua) — The South Sudan government on Wednesday cleared three flights of rebel leader Riek Machar, who is returning to Juba to join a transitional unity government.

 

“We have accepted as a government that Machar should come with the 195 forces accompanying him and his chief of staff,” Acting Foreign Affairs Minister Bashir Gbandi told journalists in Juba.

 

Machar’s return to Juba to form the transitional unity government with President Salva Kiir was called off twice this week due to his new demands of extra heavy weaponry and forces.

 

Machar who was due to be sworn-in immediately after his arrival also demanded his Sudan People’s Liberation Army in Opposition (SPLA-IO) Chief of General Staff Simon Gatwech Dual who is indicted by the U.S. and UN arrives ahead of him in Juba to take up command of his already arrived 1,370 soldiers and police protection troops in Juba.

 

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