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The Rendon Group Snapshot Report
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.
The tumultuous peace process in South Sudan
Children from the Cobra Faction militia wait to be demobilized in Pibor, South Sudan on February 10, 2015 Source: CSM
This week’s snapshot focuses on the tumultuous peace process in South Sudan between the government and rebel factions.
News Summary of events during the week of 16FEB-22FEB
Sample of Twitter handles regarding South Sudan
Sample of Third Party Validators regarding South Sudan
Daniel Bekele, Africa director at Human Rights Watch
“Despite renewed promises by both government and opposition forces that they will stop using child soldiers, both sides continue to recruit and use children in combat. In Malakal, government forces are even taking children from right outside the United Nations compound.”
– Group: South Sudan Military Still Recruiting Children, AP, 16FEB
Aimee Ansari, South Sudan Country Director, CARE, US-based aid agency
““We’re cautiously optimistic. This isn’t the first cease-fire signed by the conflicting parties but we’re hoping it’s the last.”
– South Sudan’s Warring Factions Sign New Cease-Fire Deal, WSJ, 02FEB
Augustino Ting Mayai, South Sudan analyst at The SUDD Institute
“Restoring peace in South Sudan remains tenuous, as the rival groups, the rebels and government, are increasingly becoming less committed to a peaceful resolution of the violence. Attempts by regional and international bodies to stamp out South Sudan’s raging violence during the last year have proved futile. Given a platform to table their grievances, negotiate, and resolve the crisis, the warring parties ubiquitously offer a theoretical catechism of peace but actively resort to undertakings that demonstrate a pursuit of military victory. A strategic remedial response to the conflict that has been identified thus far is the institution of a comprehensive transitional government, estimated to last 3 years.”
– Embattled for Legitimacy, GoSS and the 2015 Elections, The SUDD Institute, 06JAN
Harry Verhoeven, Professor at Georgetown University
“Most of their adult life, they have not been in government, they have been in the bush. Violence … is the default. There is just no trust. These people have very long resented each other.”
– Without Pressure, business as usual for South Sudan’s ‘bush’ leaders, Reuters, 11FEB
Dr. Mohamed Hassan Saeed, Sudanese political analyst
“It was easier to resolve the (border) issue before the separation (of South Sudan) as it is not logical to recognize establishment of a country before determining its borders. Failure to agree on determined borders harms the interests of both countries, prevents the communication between the two peoples and hampers the trade movement along the borderline.”
– Sudan, South Sudan end talks without tangible progress, Xinhua, 10FEB
Sample of open source research conducted by TRG analysts related to South Sudan
1. South Sudan’s Military Still Recruits Children: HRW
Media: Associated Press
Byline: RODNEY MUHUMUZA and CHARLTON DOKI
Date: 16 February 2015
KAMPALA, Uganda (AP) — South Sudan’s military and rebel forces are recruiting children despite assurances to the contrary, Human Rights Watch said Monday, citing children and parents interviewed last month.
The country’s military has enlisted boys as young as 13, often by force, in Upper Nile state, the rights watchdog said.
The allegations were strongly denied by two senior South Sudanese officials who said standing orders forbid the army from recruiting children.
2. South Sudan calls off elections, seeks to extend presidential term
Date: 16 February 2015
South Sudan has called off elections due to be held in June and its cabinet plans to ask parliament to extend President Salva Kiir’s term, a government spokesman said.
Government spokesman Michael Makuei said the proposal to extend Kiir and parliament’s terms in office will be presented to lawmakers on Tuesday and he was confident it will be approved.
3. South Sudan Warns Media Not to Publish Rebel Interviews
Media: Voice of America (US)
Date: 16 February 2015
JUBA — South Sudan Information Minister Michael Makuei on Monday warned media groups and journalists that they will face harsh punishment if they publish or broadcast interviews with rebels inside South Sudan.
Makuei issued the warning after United Nations-run Miraya FM aired a pre-recorded interview with an official who defected from President Salva Kiir’s administration when South Sudan plunged into crisis in December 2013. He has made similar warnings at least twice in the past, and said the government will punish anyone who ignores the repeated cautions.
4. British aid worker killed in South Sudan
Media: The Guardian (UK)
Byline: Sam Jones
Date: 18 February 2015
A British aid worker was killed on Tuesday night in Juba, the capital of conflict-riven South Sudan, the Foreign Office has confirmed. The victim, who has not been named, is understood to have worked for the Carter Center, the NGO set up by the former US president Jimmy Carter.
A spokesman for the South Sudanese government said the man appeared to have been deliberately targeted as he returned to his compound in Juba.
“It has been confirmed that a British staff member in the Carter Center was killed, a crime we condemn in the strongest terms possible,” Ateny Wek Ateny told the AFP news agency.
5. Dozens of boys said to be abducted from South Sudan displacement camp
South Sudan child soldiers
Media: Los Angeles Times
Byline: Robyn Dixon
Date: 21 February 2015
Dozens of South Sudanese boys, some as young as 13, were recently kidnapped by an armed group in South Sudan as they prepared for school exams, UNICEF reported Saturday.
UNICEF did not say what group had abducted the boys from a displacement camp, but the kidnappings reportedly took place in an area controlled by government forces and allied militias. Several days ago, the rights group Human Rights Watch accused government forces of recruiting child soldiers in the same area.
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