IGAD turns away Dr. Riek Machar over states stalemate – insider

Photo: The IGAD has told Dr. Riek Machar to dialogue with president Kiir to resolve the states dispute

Photo: The IGAD has told Dr. Riek Machar to dialogue with president Kiir to resolve the states dispute

JUBA – Dr. Riek Machar, South Sudan’s First Vice President and SPLM-IO leader, is said to have been told by the Intergovernmental Authority on Development (IGAD) to seek solution for the states stalemate within the collegial presidency.

President Salva Kiir’s office over the weekend issued a statement saying the parties to the revitalized peace agreement, including Dr. Riek Machar, had agreed to the distribution of state governors.

In the statement, Kiir said he and Dr. Riek Machar had agreed to allocate six states of Unity, Central Equatoria, Eastern Equatoria, Warrap, Lakes and Northern Bahr el-Ghazal.

He said Dr. Riek Machar had accepted to take three states of Western Equatoria, Western  Bahr el-Ghazal and Jonglei state. South Sudan Opposition Alliance would take Upper Nile state.

The relocation of Upper Nile state, one of the main strongholds for Machar, to South Sudan Opposition Alliance angered the SPLM-IO leader writing  to ask IGAD to step in to help resolve the matter.

According to a senior opposition official who spoke to Sudans Post from Juba, the IGAD response was to turn away Machar pointing him to the State House (J1)where president Slava Kiir is based.

He said the IGAD has responded by telling Machar to go and dialogue with Kiir as the “distribution of states is a matter that should be settled within the collegial South Sudan presidency and does not need any external mediator.”

SSPDF General allied to Puljang defects with 1000 men to fight for Malong

Photo: A brigage who defected with SSPDF General on Monday to General Paul Malong Awan

Photo: A brigage who defected with SSPDF General on Monday to General Paul Malong Awan

BENTIU – A senior SSPDF general who was allied to General Mathew Puljang has abandoned the government of president Salva Kiir saying it was taking them down by recalling General Puljang.

General Monytur defected to the holdout opposition group, South Sudan United Front (SSUF) led by former army chief of staff General Paul Malong Awan after moving out of a government base in nothern parts of Unity state.

The former SSPDF general claimed that he defected along a thousand members of the South Sudan army.

In a statement on Monday, General Paul Malong Awan welcomed him praising him for abandoning a regime that has and continued to kill its own citizens.

South Sudan president Salva Kiir on Monday appointed General Johnson Juma Okot as the new South Sudan army chief replacing General Gabriel Jok Riak who was relieved from the position.

Army chief replaced

The defection of the SSPDF general comes after president Salva Kiir who is also the commander in chief of the army sacked army chief Gen. Gabriel Jok Riak.

A presidential decree announced on national television said Chief of Defense Forces General Gabriel Jok Riak had been removed with immediate effect. It did not specify any particular reason for the dismissal.

Jok, from Jonglei State in the Upper Nile region, was appointed as head of the army in May 2018, following the death of General James Ajongo after a short illness.

In another decree, Kiir appointed General Johnson Juma Okot as the new army chief.

Okot, from Eastern Equatoria State, was the assistant chief of defense forces for administration and finance.

South Sudan government warns of “full-blown” COVID-19 outbreak as cases surge at an alarming rate

Photo: South Sudan government undersecretary in the ministry of health Dr. Makur Koriom

Photo: South Sudan government undersecretary in the ministry of health Dr. Makur Koriom

JUBA – South Sudan government authorities on Monday warned of a full-blown outbreak of coronavirus just a few days after President Salva Kiir eased lockdown measures raising fears of further escalation of the pandemic.

As some COVID-19 patients are refusing to cooperate with health workers, the country’s ministry of health on Monday reported that 18 more people have tested positive for the deadly virus bringing the overall coronavirus toll to 174.

COVID-19 is the illness triggered by the coronavirus. The virus has spread from the capital, Juba, to the cities of Yei and Bentiu and the disputed Abyei region along the Sudan/South Sudan border.

Dr. Mathew Tut, the South Sudan government deputy incident manager for COVID-19 task force said laboratory technicians are able to test only 500 samples per week, which he said hampers efforts to prevent the spread of the virus.

Medical staffs worried

South Sudan government is only managing 18 of the 174 cases at an isolation centre it set up and this is worrying medical staff, according to Tut.

Some patients have refused to cooperate with health officials, making contact tracing very difficult, according to Dr Joseph Wamala, the WHO’s emergency response officer in South Sudan.

He said their reluctance to help with contact tracing means the virus can spread uninterruptedly and will jeopardize efforts by the South Sudan government to fight the disease.

“The big threat they pose is to their immediate family members … to their immediate family, friends but also to the community,” he said.

He added people need to take the pandemic seriously, “because COVID-19 is non-forgiving. When it strikes, it strikes hard.”

As the number of COVID-19 cases rises in South Sudan, the South Sudan government official said the task force will work with outside agencies to fight the spread of the disease.

“We will definitely need other actors to come on board in terms of taking care of other elements that are outside the scope of the Ministry of Health or the health sector; feeding and taking care of those patients for example, whether they are in quarantine and whether they are asked to be in isolation in their homes,” he said.

A total of 40 deaths and 2,330 new cases were registered on Monday in Africa.

Coronavirus cases in South Sudan alarming, instantly near 200

Photo: Coronavirus patients being hospitalized in the Sudanese capital Khartoum as coronavirus cases in South Sudan surge [Ccredit: Middle East Eye]

Photo: Coronavirus patients being hospitalized in the Sudanese capital Khartoum [Ccredit: Middle East Eye]

JUBA – Coronavirus cases in South Sudan has neared 200 after the high-level taskforce said on Monday that 18 people tested positive.

A total of 175 test results were released on Monday according to Dr. Makur Koriom, who is the Undersecretary at the Ministry of Health and 18 returned positive bringing the total confirmed cases to 174.

Makur said 16 of the latest confirmed South Sudan coronavirus cases are citizens while two are truck drivers intercepted at Nimule border.

Out of the 16 South Sudanese, two are from the internally displaced persons’ camps commonly known as PoCs in Juba, one random sample from Al-Sabah Children’s Hospital, one from a zone in Juba, 10 were alert cases and others are contacts of the previous cases.

“This is a new development, a new dimension in the spread of the disease in the country,” Dr. Makur said of the cases at PoC3.

“A couple of days ago we reported one case among the PoC dwellers but that was in Bentiu. Now we have seen two cases in Juba.”

South Sudan still has two recoveries and no deaths from the coronavirus disease.

Interest in Malagasy perceived cure as coronavirus cases in South Sudan soar

Coronavirus cases in South Sudan soars, the government is set to import a herbal tonic from Madagascar dubbed as the world’s first Covid-19 ‘cure’.

Scientists have blessed the use of the cure in some parts of the continent.

The High-Level taskforce on coronavirus last week recommended the herbal tonic and urged President Salva Kiir to communicate to his Madagascan counterpart President Andry Rajoelina to avail the herbal tonic to South Sudan.

This comes as coronavirus cases in South Sudan soar at an alarming rate.

African countries like Tanzania, Congo-Brazzaville, and Guinea-Bissau have started importing the herbal tonic from Madagascar.

The tonic is made from the Artemisia plant – the source of an ingredient that is used in the treatment of malaria.

President Rajoelina has been promoting the herbal tonic, saying it will “change the course of history”.

According to media reports, the Covid-organics will be distributed free of charge to African countries and it will be sold at very low prices to others.

The tonic was developed by a private research institute that has been investing in researching the uses of Madagascar’s traditional medicines.

“The Taskforce commended and appreciated the support offered by the government of Madagascar and they recommended to the President to communicate to his counterpart in Madagascar so that they can avail the same support to South Sudan,”  said Dr. Richard Lako the Director-General at the Ministry of Health.

However, the World Health Organization has repeatedly cautioned against self-medication and said in a statement that it did not recommend any scientifically unproved medicines for treating COVID-19.

It said Africans deserve access to medicines that have gone through proper trials even if they are derived from traditional treatments.

The UN health agency says it has already launched a “solidarity” international clinical trial to help find an effective treatment for COVID-19.

South Sudan so far recorded 58 cases, two recoveries, and no deaths.

Yesterday, a 41-year-old man who recently tested positive for coronavirus has threatened to leave the government’s isolation center due to lack of some necessities.

Bona Bak was placed under quarantine last week while attempting to travel to Abyei which has been banned as coronavirus cases in South Sudan soar. He said he has been at the isolation center in Juba for over 4 days.

Currently, there are only three rooms, each with eight beds at Dr. John Garang Infectious disease center.

“I’ve children I am taking care of; I also have children outside under my responsibility. I want to go home, I need help,” Bak sad.

Fears of severe outbreak as refugees from DRC cross to South Sudan

Fears that coronavirus cases in South Sudan will severe have become reality as refugees from the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) have crossed into Yambio County of South Sudan’s Western Equatoria State, a local official disclosed.

Paulino Zizi, the Commissioner for Refugee Affairs in the state said during interview with Radio Tamazuj on Friday that the Congolese refugees started to cross into the county on May 4.

The official further pointed out that some of the new arrivals received food and non-food items distributed by humanitarian organizations.

He did not ruled out whether the coming of refugees will increase the coronavirus cases in South Sudan

He said the refugees are currently put in quarantine for 14 days in Birisi area before they are transferred to a refugee center in Makpandu.

Zizi urged humanitarian organizations to provide all services needed by the refugees while staying under quarantine.

South Sudan has so far recorded 156 cases of the novel coronavirus.

Separately, the UN Refugee Agency in South Sudan commended the unity government for continuing to welcome people seeking refuge from the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC).

In a statement on Friday, UNHCR commended the unity government for its continued generosity to allow people fleeing recent violence in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) to seek refuge in South Sudan, despite the current movement restrictions to combat the COVID-19 pandemic.

According to UNHCR, nearly 250 people from DRC have crossed into rural areas of the Western Equatoria State over the last week – many among them are vulnerable women and children.

“UNHCR and its partners, along with the Ministry of Health, the World Health Organization, and the CRA are on the ground to support the new arrivals with life-saving assistance; food, water, sanitation and healthcare services are provided and COVID19 preventive measures are implemented,” the statement reads in part.

It added that the new arrivals have been sensitized on the new coronavirus disease and the measures in place to tackle it, in compliance with South Sudan’s COVID-19 preparedness and pesponse Plan.

The UN agency pointed out that the new arrivals have agreed to undergo the 14-day mandatory quarantine in a safe location identified by the authorities, with the support of UNHCR and its partners.

Scientists bless inspiring Madagascar COVID-19 cure

Photo: Madagascar president seen taking does of Madagascar COVID-19 cure (Credit: Malagasy media)

Photo: Madagascare president seen taking does of the COVI-19 “cure) (Credit: Malagasy media)

DAKAR, SENEGAL — A Senegalese scientific committee has confirmed the effectiveness of a Madagascar COVID-19 cure introduced last month and gives the green light as to its use in Senegal.

After receiving a sample of the COVID- 19 organics, a Malagasy remedy for the coronavirus, Senegalese scientists said that clinical trials have approved the effectiveness of the remedy.

It was during an interview granted to Professor Daouda Ndiaye by Radio Futurs Medias (RFM) that the Professor Epidemiologist and Head of the Parasitology-Mycology Service of the University Cheikh Anta Diop of Dakar confirmed the effectiveness of the Malagasy remedy.

“We are moving towards the use of artemisia (Covid-19 Organics). On our side on the scientific level, our light is green […].,” he said.

“We are going to organize ourselves to see how we can reproduce the same formula or order the remedy to give it to the Senegalese, ”added Daouda Ndiaye.

South Sudan to import the Madagascar COVID-19 cure

South Sudan said last week that it was planning to import the Madagascar COVID-19 cure.

The country’s  taskforce said it recommended to President Salva Kiir to communicate to his Madagascan counterpart President Andry Rajoelina to avail the herbal tonic to South Sudan.

African countries like Tanzania, Congo-Brazzaville, and Guinea-Bissau have started importing the herbal tonic from Madagascar.

The tonic is made from the Artemisia plant – the source of an ingredient that is used in the treatment of malaria.

President Rajoelina has been promoting the herbal tonic, saying it will “change the course of history”.

According to media reports, the Covid-organics will be distributed free of charge to African countries and it will be sold at very low prices to others.

The tonic was developed by a private research institute that has been investing in researching the uses of Madagascar’s traditional medicines.

“The Taskforce commended and appreciated the support offered by the government of Madagascar,” said Dr. Richard Lako the Director-General at the Ministry of Health.

“They recommended to the President to communicate to his counterpart in Madagascar so that they can avail the same support to South Sudan,” Dr. Lako added.

However, the World Health Organization has repeatedly cautioned against self-medication and said in a statement that it did not recommend any scientifically unproved medicines for treating COVID-19.

It said Africans deserve access to medicines that have gone through proper trials even if they are derived from traditional treatments.

The UN health agency says it has already launched a “solidarity” international clinical trial to help find an effective treatment for COVID-19.

South Sudan so far recorded 58 cases, two recoveries, and no deaths.

South Sudan government said on Monday that eighteen more people in the country have tested positive for the coronavirus disease raising the total number of infections to 174.

A total of 175 test results were released on Monday according to the Undersecretary at the Ministry of Health.

“This is a new development, a new dimension in the spread of the disease in the country,” Dr. Makur Koriom who is the under secretary in the ministry of health said of the cases at PoC3 in Juba.

“A couple of days ago we reported one case among the PoC dwellers but that was in Bentiu. Now we have seen two cases in Juba.”

South Sudan still has two recoveries and no deaths from the coronavirus disease.

It has is not known how the government will get the Madagascar COVID-19 cure

At least 64 people who traveled from Juba to Yei River County in Central Equatoria State in defiance of the inter-state travel ban have been self-quarantined in their respective homes.

Dr. James Wani, the health ministry’s director general in the defunct Yei River State said last Tuesday that the travelers came from Juba to Yei without undergoing COVID-19 test.

He said the travellers were advised to self-isolate for 14 days.

Kiir issues decree firing South Sudan army chief today

Kiir fires South Sudan army chief

File: South Sudan army chief General Gabriel Jok Riak

JUBA – South Sudan president Salva Kiir has appointed General Johnson Juma Okot as the new South Sudan army chief replacing General Gabriel Jok Riak who was relieved from the position.

Johnson Juma Okot was first promoted from the rank of Lt General to the rank of a General.

The change was announced on state-run SSBC-TV  on Monday evening.

He was the Deputy Chief of Defense Forces.

Top generals replaced along South Sudan army chief

In a separate decree, Kiir promoted Major Gen. Botrous Bol Bol, Major Gen. Marshal Stephen, and Major Gen. Malual Majok to the rank of Lt General.

President Kiir also relieved Lt Gen James Gai Yoac, Lt Gen James Kong Kong, and Lt Gen Wang Chiok Koryom from the SSPDF.

Military offensives in Central Equatoria

The replacement of the top army chief comes as the army is accused of intensifying attacks against hold out opposition groups in the country’s Central Equatoria state.

The chairperson of the National Alliance for Democracy and Freedom Action (NADAFA), a holdout opposition alliance, Dr. Hakim Dario, said in a statement on Sunday that the government action targets innocent civilians and should be condemned by the international community.

“The …… NADAFA unreservedly condemns in no uncertain terms the continuing R-TGONU atrocities against the civilians in Central Equatoria,” the statement signed by Dario partly reads.

Dario said the actions “are committed in flagrant violation of the CoHA of 2017 and of the Rome Declaration with the non-signatory SSOMA parties.”

The opposition leader said the alliance condemns the joint ceasefire violation by the two SPLM factions (SPLM-IG and SPLM-IO) led by President Salva Kiir and his first deputy Riek Machar Teny.

He said the attacks against National Salvation Front (NAS) should be condemned by the UN, EU and the African Union.

“In the wake of continuing non-observance of the UNSEC imposed arms embargo on South Sudan by both Sudan and Uganda, South Sudan NADAFA condemns the combined SSPDF and SPLM-IO forces uncalled for attack,” the statement read.

“The attack on NAS constituted a threat and a rejection to the EU’s Declaration on South Sudan and which undermines the EU’s Council support for the peace process.

“South Sudan NADAFA recognizes the flawed provisions and stipulations of[1]R-ARCSS’s for power sharing between largely two ethnic communities in South Sudan.

“There are ethnic domination and hegemonic drivers underlying the silent declaration of war on Equatoria by SSPDF and SPLM-IO forces, who are bent on forcing sole political control of the country under the failed SPLM hegemonic and corrupt leadership in the country.

“There is unlikely to be peaceful resolution of the conflict in South Sudan without territorial power sharing between the People’s of greater Upper Nile, Equatoria, and Bahr al Ghazal regions of South Sudan.

“The Alliance, NADAFA calls upon the regional and international community to stand with the people of South Sudan in their quest for a democratic and transparent Constitution-Making process that is people-driven and which puts the people first.

The currently proposed TNLA will comprise SPLM appointees of the parties to the R-ARCSS (SPLM IG 330MPs, and 134 SPLM-IO MPs) who are not elected representatives of the people of South Sudan.

“South Sudan NADAFA reiterates its calls on the EU and its member states to stand with the people of South Sudan and support them facilitate People’s Constitutional Conventions in Upper Nile, Equatoria and Bahr al Ghazal regions.”

Under this system, the people would select their representatives to a Constituent Assembly in a bid to guarantee and ensure that constitution-making is people-driven and not SPLM-driven in South Sudan.”

UNMISS warns aganst delay of states govt formation as as S. Sudan COVID-19 cases surge

Photo: UN Special Representative of the Secretary-General for South Sudan and eHad of United Nations Mission in South Sudan, UNMISS, David Shearer speaking to journalists in Juba (Credit: UNMISS)

Photo: UN Special Representative of the Secretary-General for South Sudan and head of United Nations Mission in South Sudan, UNMISS, David Shearer speaking to journalists in Juba (Credit: UNMISS)

JUBA – The UNMISS or the United Nations Nations Mission in South Sudan, has warned of severe consequences over the delay by South Sudan parties of state governments.

The UN envoy for South Sudan on Thursday called on the country’s leaders to complete the outstanding tasks in the 2018 peace deal in order to bring lasting peace in the east African nation.

David Shearer, head of the UN Mission in South Sudan (UNMISS), said delays in forming state governments have contributed to the breakdown in rule of law, witnessed by recent increase in inter-communal violence in many parts of the country.

“We are concerned that some of this momentum is slowing, in particular, the appointment of state governors across the country,” Shearer told journalists in Juba

He admitted that the Covid-19 pandemic may interfere with the implementation of the agreement, but he called on the parties to the pact to keep the peace momentum and appoint state governors, form a reconstituted parliament and complete the remaining security arrangements in order to move the peace process forward.

“We have seen an increase in inter-communal violence because the governors are not there to stop it,” the UNMISS chief added.

Several parties to the September 2018 peace deal formed a unity government on February 22, but they have so far failed to agree on a formula to establish leadership at the state level.

Shearer said recent defection of key opposition figures from former rebel leader Riek Machar’s group, the Sudan People’s Liberation Army in Opposition (SPLM-IO) to the army led by President Salva Kiir signals problems within the unity government.

The head of UNMISS envoy urged the unity government to embark on trust-building among its members in a bid to forge the spirit of unity and togetherness.

South Sudan coronavirus cases bump to 156

Photo: Coronavirus patients being hospitalized in the Sudanese capital Khartoum [Ccredit: Middle East Eye]

JUBA – South Sudan coronavirus cases have jumped to 156 after the country’s ministry of health said on Sunday that 36 people – mostly South Sudanese – have tested positive for the virus. This follow a decision by President Salva Kiir to ease measures imposed to curb the spread of the deadly virus.

In statements on Sunday, Richard Laku, director of planning and research at the health ministry said the confirmed cases include two Ugandan nationals, a Kenyan and a Congolese national.

Laku further said that confirmed that locally transmitted infections rose in the country without giving the number of patients infected inside the country.

The first cases of COVID-19 involved travellers arriving from abroad.

The ministry of environment will launch a campaign to disinfect markets and public transport as part of the government efforts to prevent the spread of the respiratory disease.

Activists on the social media released a video showing the Michael Makuei information minister urging people to go to work after saying South Sudan is free of coronavirus.

“South Sudan is free of coronavirus so people have to work,” Makuei said on Friday.

South Sudan confirmed its first coronavirus case on 5 April.

South Sudan president threatens to appoint state governors without Machar’s consent

Salva Kiir, president of South Sudan, speaks during the 66th annual United Nations General Assembly at the UN in New York, U.S., on Friday, Sept. 23, 2011. Kiir said that his nation, the world’s newest, will use its oil reserves to create an “agro-industrial powerhouse” in Africa. Photographer: Scott Eells/Bloomberg via Getty Images

JUBA – South Sudan president Salva Kiir Mayardit has threatened to appoint state governors without the consent of his main rival and peace partner, first vice president Dr. Riek Machar Teny.

Information minister Michael Makuei Lueth told Sudans Post in an exclusive interview that the president did not have to wait for a green light from the main armed opposition leader saying Kiir is obliged by the peace agreement to do so.

“You have heard the agreement by the parties. Riek Machar was in the meeting and he had agreed. So, the president is going to appoint the governors soon so that people are served. The president will not wait for consent of anyone including Riek Machar,” Makuei said.

South Sudan’s fragile government and the peace agreement that formed it are in jeopardy after the country’s president and vice president disagreed on how to share-out regional states between them, according to a report by Reuters.

The two disagree over who will run South Sudan’s states and how to integrate different fighting forces. On Thursday, Kiir’s office announced that leadership of six of the 10 states would go to Kiir’s side, three would go to Machar’s side and one would go to an alliance aligned with neither Kiir nor Machar.

“The allocation of the states … is that of the president and not a decision taken by consensus,” Machar said in a statement on Friday. “It does not take into consideration the relative prominence each party has in each of the respective states or counties.”

Calls to Kiir’s spokesman, Ateny Wek Ateny, for comment went unanswered.

Alan Boswell, a senior analyst with Brussels-based think tank International Crisis Group, said the disagreement between Kiir and Machar endangered the gains made so far toward a lasting peace.

“South Sudan’s new unity government is facing its biggest crisis yet, as negotiations broke down on how to share power in state and local governments across the country,” he said in a statement.

“Despite the attention of South Sudan’s international partners on the COVID-19 pandemic, quick action from regional leaders will be key so that this latest power squabbling doesn’t escalate.”

South Sudan’s civil war, often fought along ethnic lines, claimed an estimated 400,000 lives, triggered a famine and created Africa’s biggest refugee crisis since the 1994 genocide in Rwanda.

Previous South Sudan peace deals have held for only a matter of months before fighting resumed.

Kiir, Machar agree on states, partially lift COVID-19 lockdown

South Sudan opposition leader Riek Machar (L) speaks to reporters in Juba on Tuesday, Dec. 17, 2019 (PPU)

JUBA– South Sudan President Salva Kiir Mayardit and First Vice-President Dr. Riek Machar have today agreed on the allocation of states which has been a sticky issue since the formation of the revitalized unity government, the presidency said in a statement.

The two men during a meeting which was also attended by the rest of the vice presidents also resolved to easy the coronavirus lockdown extending the curfew time to almost midnight.

Based on the agreement seen by Sudans Post, Kiir’s side will take six states which includes Unity, Central Equatoria, Northern Bahr el-Ghazal, Eastern Equatoria and Warrap and Lakes.

Machar’s SPLM-IO will get states of Jonglei, Western Bahr el-Ghazal and Western Equatoria.

SSOA will take the remaining state which is Upper Nile.

On the reduction of the coronavirus lockdown, the presidency said curfew will now start “at 10:00 p.m. to 6:00 a.m. effective Friday, 8th May 2020.

“Restaurants and Bars will re-open during the non-curfew hours, but should strictly observe social distancing.

“Shops and Stores will re-open, but the sellers and buyers should observe social distancing and allow a maximum of at least five persons in a shop or store at a time.

“Boda Boda and Rickshaws transport will resume with only one passenger on a boda boda and two passengers for Rickshaws. However, both rider and passengers must wear masks.

“Internal travels by means of land, water and air shall resume soon. The High Level Taskforce on COVID-19 shall communicate details thereof.

“Regional flights and Road Transport shall resume, but details shall be communicated by the High Level Taskforce on COVID-19.”

1 11 12 13 14 15 16