African Overview: Rebels Agree to Participate in the National Dialogue in South Sudan

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Source: Notas.org / The Dawn News / December 19, 2016

Rebels Agree to Participate in the National Dialogue in South Sudan

South Sudan
South Sudan

After the President of South Sudan, Salva Kiir, issued a calling to hold dialogues to put an end to civil war, the Sudan People’s Liberation Movement-in Opposition (SPLM-IO) showed willingness to participate.

The SPLM ‘receives Kii’s call to dialogue as a way to establish a genuine state in this country with satisfaction’, assured spokesman Manawa Peter Gatkuoth. ‘It’s the first time the President speaks of pardon and pacific coexistence, and we commend his discourse and his calls to forgive so that the people can begin a new chapter’, Gatkuoth added, speaking in the name of the leader of the opposition: Vice President Riek Machar.

This call to peace was issued in a context of increasing warnings by the UN and other organisms of a potential genocide in the country.

To the government, this is just an excuse that the UN uses to maintain their military mission in the country. In fact, last December 15, the Security Council unanimously approved to extend the UN Mission in South Sudan (UNMISS) for another year.

‘Skirmishes  between tribes of South Sudan are like those in other parts of Africa, but they haven’t reached the level of a genocide’, declared Ateny Wek Ateny, the Presidential Spokesman.

The internal conflict in South Sudan began in December 2013, when the current President, Salva Kiir, denounced a coup attempt by his Vice President, Riek Machar

20131230202128332734_20Riek Machar. Photo credit: Al Jazeera

salvakiir240713Salva Kiir. Photo credit: Standard Media

Under the sponsorship of the UN and the African Union, both parties in conflict signed a peace agreement in 2015, and last April they formed a joint government of national unity. However, on July 8 this year, new episodes of violence occurred between factions of the army that are loyal to Kiir and those loyal to Machar. Combats that day left 300 dead and caused 36 thousand people to be internally displaced.

During the skirmishes, both factions also stole food supplies valued in approximately 30 million dollars from two warehouses of the UN—a practice that ha become common in the last few years. The country also suffers a serious hyperinflation. According to the World Food Program, the price of food has escalated by 778% since 2013.

This has left 5 million of South Sudan’s 11 million people undernourished, which could lead to an unprecedented famine, according to the UN.

 

Attack in Burkina Faso Leaves 12 Soldiers Dead

Source: africanews.com / December 16, 2016

Photo credit: Africa News
Photo credit: Africa News

Suspected Islamic extremists attacked an army barracks Friday in Burkina Faso, killing at least 12 soldiers, officials said.

The officials said about 40 unidentified gunmen stormed the army post in Nassoumbou, a town near the border with Mali. The assailants also set fire to military vehicles and tents, they said.

There was no immediate claim of responsibility for the attack.

President Roch Marc Christian Kaboré “strongly condemned”the attack. He was to travel to Nigeria for a meeting on the crisis in Gambia but canceled his trip. “This attack demonstrates that the fight against terrorism will be without respite and also underscores the necessary decisions that must be taken to give confidence and vitality to our army,” Kabore said.

Attacks in Burkina Faso were relatively rare until this year, when al-Qaida-linked fighters attacked a hotel in the capital, Ouagadougou, in January, killing at least 29 people.

Burkina Faso
Burkina Faso

 

UN Security Council Demands Gambia President Transfers Power Without Delay

Source: The Infra News / Jollof News

The UN Security Council on Saturday demanded that Gambia’s leader Yahya Jammeh hand over power to the president-elect after he rejected the election results in a dramatic political U-turn.

In a unanimous statement, the 15 council members called on Jammeh to “respect the choice of the sovereign people of The Gambia, as he did on December 2 2016, and to transfer, without condition and undue delay, power to the President-elect, Mr Adama Barrow.”

In power for the past 22 years in the West African country, Jammeh surprised his critics when he accepted defeat a day after the December 1 vote. But he reversed course on Friday, announcing he no longer accepted the results.

Council members “strongly condemned” Jammeh’s decision to reject the results and call for a new election.

Gambia
Gambia

They urged him to “carry out a peaceful and orderly transition process and they requested that the security of the president-elect Adama Barrow, and that of all Gambian citizen be fully ensured.”

The President-elect, Adama Barrow, accused Jammeh of damaging democracy while Senegal has called for an emergency meeting of the United Nation’s security council to deliberate on the matter.

Barrow’s spokesman said the Army Chief, Gen Usman Badjie, supported the president-elect after the initial result was declared, a BBC report said.

Last May 29 President Yahya Jammeh slammed UN chief Ban Ki-moon and Amnesty International for demanding an investigation into the death in custody of an opposition activist, the Jeune Afrique weekly reported Sunday.

“Ban Ki-moon and Amnesty International can go to hell! Who are they to demand that?” said Jammen.

Solo Sandeng, a senior figure in Gambia’s main opposition United Democratic Party (UDP), died in custody in April after being arrested for participating in a rare demonstration calling for Jammeh’s removal, according to his party and Amnesty International.

At the time, a government minister said he was unaware of his death.

But Jammeh struck a defiant note. “I don’t see the point. People die in custody or during interrogations, it’s really common. This time, there is only one dead and they want investigations? I will not,” said the outspoken leader.

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