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South Sudan Negotiation and Mediation

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Submitted By Branco27
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From 2005-14, South Sudan was effectively a one-party state. Disagreements and compromises within the ruling elite had to be worked out under the umbrella of the Sudan People’s Liberation Movement (SPLM), which from 2005 onwards, began making an uncertain transition from a guerrilla movement to a political party with state power
15 November, 2013—While officially opening the new offices of the SPLM Secretariat in Juba, Kiir announces that he is dissolving all political structures of the SPLM, which include the highest executive organ, the Political Bureau and the National Liberation Council (NLC). He explains that the structures have lapsed because the National Convention has not met to elect new membership within their five-year lifespan. He says that only the office of the Chairman and the Secretariat will continue to function.
6 December—A group of senior SPLM politicians sacked by Kiir holds a press conference at the new premises of the SPLM Secretariat while Kiir is on an official visit to Paris. Machar leads the group, which includes Rebecca Nyandeng (wife of the late John Garang), Pagan Amum Okiech, Deng Alor Kuol, Alfred Ladu Gore, Oyay Deng Ajak, Majak D’Agoot Atem, Madut Biar Yel, Gier Chuang Aluong, Peter Adwok Nyaba, Chol Tong Mayay, Taban Deng Gai, Ezekiel Gatkouth Lul, John Luk Jok, Kosti Manibe Ngai, and Cirino Hiteng Ofuho. They call on Kiir to hold a meeting of the SPLM Political Bureau—which he has reportedly declined to do since the March meeting—to discuss differences over the management of the party. They also announce a public rally to be held on 14 December in Juba, at the site of John Garang’s memorial. The SPLM Secretariat subsequently announced that the SPLM’s long-awaited NLC meeting would go ahead on the same day.
13 December—Machar issues a statement declaring that the planned rally will be postponed until 20 December, to allow more time for dialogue. The decision is in response to calls by elders and religious figures for the press conference and the NLC to be delayed while dialogue is pursued.
14 December—The NLC proceeds despite the calls for delays. Kiir gives a combative opening address, referencing the 1991 split in the SPLM, which had been led by Machar. Rather than discussing internal tensions, the council proceeds with deliberations on approving the SPLM’s revised basic documents, one of the principal sources of disagreement in the party.
15 December—The NLC reconvenes. In protest at the proceedings, Machar and others politicians who were present at the 6 December press conference do not attend. The party’s basic documents are passed without substantive debate and the NLC concludes its work a day early. Shots are heard in the vicinity of the Nyakuron Cultural Centre, the meeting venue, amid high tension. Kiir reportedly instructs Major-General Marial Chanuong, Commander of the Presidential Guards, to disarm the Guards—who are a combination of the personal forces of Kiir, Machar, and the late Paulino Mateip—in their barracks at Giyada, over suspicions that a Machar-led and SPLA-supported coup was imminent. During the disarmament that evening, fighting breaks out in Giyada between Dinka and Nuer elements within the Presidential Guards, reportedly as a result of selective disarmament. Fighting quickly spreads to the SPLA Headquarters at Bilpam, which is briefly overrun by Nuer soldiers before being recaptured by the SPLA’s 2nd Division the following morning.
16 December—Security forces begin to arrest a series of ranking SPLM members in Juba, initially Majak d’Agoot Atem, Oyay Deng Ajak, Gier Chuang Aluong and Cirino Hiteng Ofuho. In a televised statement and dressed in military uniform, Kiir accuses Machar of staging a coup against the government. Machar, Taban, and Alfred Ladu Gore evade capture. Machar flees northwards after clashes in which a number of his bodyguards are killed or captured. Heavy fighting along ethnic lines spreads to residential areas around Bilpam such as New Site, which are largely occupied by soldiers.
16 December—Dinka security sector personnel, including the Presidential Guard, begin to arrest, abuse, and kill Nuer soldiers, politicians, and civilians in Juba, in what Human Rights Watch and UN reporting suggests was at least a partially organized operation during the week that follows the outbreak of fighting. In one documented case, 200–300 Nuer civilians are rounded up and imprisoned in Gudele police station on the night of 15 December before being executed the following evening.
18 December—Machar arrives in Bor by boat. SPLA 8th Division Commander Peter Gadet Yak, a former senior SSDF commander, seizes the key military sites of Panpandiar and Malual Chaat, in Bor, Jonglei state, securing significant military hardware and declaring that he has rebelled against the government. The division is heavily Nuer; many soldiers defect with Gadet. They seize control of Bor town, overcoming some resistance from security forces still loyal to the government. During the following days, there are reports of indiscriminate revenge killings by Nuer soldiers in Bor, a Dinka town, in retaliation for events in Juba. Ethnic fighting breaks out between staff at a base camp of the Greater Pioneer Operating Company in Unity oil field late in the evening, with five reported fatalities. 11 more are reported killed as fighting spreads between workers at the Thar Jiath oil field, while fighting also breaks out within the 4th Division Oil Brigade. 4th Division Commander Major General James Koang Chol has reportedly instructed his forces not to get involved in the fighting. Pagan Amum is arrested in his home in Juba, where he has reportedly been under house arrest since his suspension in July.
19 December—Machar calls on the SPLM and SPLA to topple Kiir, confirming that he is now in open rebellion against the government, while denying that he had plotted a coup. Unidentified Nuer gunmen attack a UN compound in Akobo, targeting Dinka. They kill two Indian UN peacekeepers and more than 30 civilians. Heavy ethnic fighting occurs within the SPLA 4th Division headquarters in Rubkona involving the Tank Unit, before spreading to surrounding civilian areas.
20 December— Republic Decree 103/2013 reinstates five SPLA officers previously placed on the reserve list to active service. They are Major Generals Garang Mabil Deng, Peter Bol Koang, Bol Akot Bol, Simon Gatwich Dual, and Thiep Gatluak. Garang Mabil and Bol Akot are close allies of the President from Bahr el Ghazal while Bol Koang, Gatwic Dual, and Thiep Gatluak are Nuer officers who Kiir may be trying to discourage from rebellion. Bol Koang and Gatwic Dual were accused in 2013 of plotting a coup against the President. Call for ceasefire
5 January 2014—Juba comes under significant threat from advancing forces of Peter Gadet, with reports that he has reached Gemeiza in Central Equatoria. Ugandan President Museveni sends significant reinforcements to South Sudan. Some of these troops are involved in another attempt at counter-attacking towards Bor, with a series of clashes continuing over several days. Direct ceasefire talks begin in Addis Ababa but quickly hit difficulty when Machar demands the immediate release of the detained former members of government.
10 January—Defence ministers of South Sudan and Uganda sign a status of forces agreement in Juba to formalize the presence of UPDF in South Sudan.
11 January—International envoys (IGAD, the European Union, and the United States) go to South Sudan to meet Machar, asking him to sign a cessation of hostilities declaration. He refuses as long as the 11 senior SPLM detainees are not freed. Nuer elements of SPLA 7th Division based at Doleib garrison in Upper Nile defect, prompting fighting in the area
16 January—Uganda publicly admits its role in fighting alongside the SPLA to recapture Bor. On the same day, its Parliament passes a motion declaring post-facto support to the deployment of the UPDF to South Sudan. UPDF reinforcements, supported by strong air cover, start to move northwards to Bor again.
16 January—The SPLA recaptures Bor, with the UPDF playing a key role. Rebel forces withdraw in an orderly manner, avoiding a set-piece engagement with the Ugandans.
22 January—Rebel forces that had defected from various Equatorian SPLA units, led by Commanders Alfred Ladu Gore, Gabriel Tanginye, Thomas Mabor Dhol, and Simon Gatwic Dual, clash with government forces in Awerial county of Lakes state. Once it became clear that Gadet’s forces would not capture Juba, these defectors who had been encircling Juba fled to opposition areas in Panyijar in Unity state, taking them through government-held areas in Lakes state. They clash with government forces a number of times in eastern Lakes, before reaching Panyijar in early February.
23 January—The government and opposition sign a Cessation of Hostilities (CoH) Agreement in Addis Ababa, to come into effect in 24 hours. It calls for both parties to 'redeploy and/or progressively withdraw forces, armed groups and allied forces invited by either side from the theatre of operations.' This is interpreted by the opposition to imply a commitment by the government to instruct the Ugandan forces to withdraw from South Sudan.
24 January—Both sides trade unsubstantiated accusations of ceasefire violations across Greater Upper Nile. They cannot be verified because the Monitoring and Verification Mechanism (MVM) outlined in the CoH Agreement has not yet been deployed.
30 January—The GRSS signs a ceasefire deal with the SSDM/A–Cobra Faction in Addis Ababa, pending full peace talks. The key clause states that ‘the SSDM/A Cobra Faction agree to remain neutral in the ongoing conflict between SPLA and the forces led by Dr. Riek Machar’.
1 February—SPLA attacks Leer town, the home of Machar, recapturing it from rebels. It is the first clear violation of the CoH Agreement. The Satellite Sentinel Project provides evidence of attacks on the town, including extensive destruction of civilian structures. JEM fighters are said to have participated in the capture of Leer on behalf of the government.
5 February—IGAD mediators announce that the recently released seven SPLM former detainees will join in the second round of peace talks in Addis. Rebel commander of Upper Nile Gathoth Gatkouth issues a statement rejecting the 23 January CoH Agreement, reportedly saying ‘we cannot make a deal with someone who has massacred his own citizens’. Rebels claim that hundreds of soldiers have defected to them in Rumbek East while preparing for an attack on rebel positions in Panyijar.
10 February—The SPLM-IO, as the collective military and political opposition is now known, announces that it is boycotting the second round of peace talks over the non-implementation of the CoH Agreement. It cites the continued presence of UPDF in South Sudan and the failure of the government to allow the SPLM current and former detainees to participate in the talks. Kenya had earlier announced that it would prevent the seven former detainees from travelling but it later reverses the decision, to the anger of the Juba government. Ethiopian Prime Minister Hailemariam Desalegn joins calls for the withdrawal of foreign forces from South Sudan, warning against the regionalization of the conflict. Ethiopia has long been uneasy at Uganda’s military presence in South Sudan.
13 February—The seven SPLM former detainees arrive in Addis Ababa and hold a press conference declaring their neutrality from both warring parties in the conflict. SPLM-IO delegates publicly insist that they respect the decision of the seven but it is widely believed to cause resentment among them. The seven former detainees and SPLM-IO continue to call for the release of the remaining four SPLM detainees.
Minister of Defence Kuol Manyang reveals that South Sudan is paying for UPDF operations in South Sudan.
3 March—IGAD mediators announce the adjournment of the second round of peace talks in Addis Ababa, which have made little progress amid disputes between the two delegations on a number of key issues, including the establishment and composition of an interim government.
13 March—At a heads of state summit in Addis Ababa, IGAD resolves to deploy a regional stabilization force to South Sudan, provisionally named the Protection and Deterrent Force (PDF), with a mandate to protect the Monitoring and Verification Mechanism (MVM) field teams. The communiqué commends Uganda’s intervention in South Sudan, but many see the proposed PDF as a means to precipitate the withdrawal of the UPDF.
18 March—Minister of Defence Kuol Manyang visits Khartoum amid rumors that the rapprochement between Khartoum and Juba is breaking down. Khartoum is angered by the alleged involvement of JEM and SPLM-N in South Sudan’s campaign against the rebellion. Both sides recommit to implementing September 2012 cooperation agreements and Sudan reiterates support for the government of South Sudan. The same week, Eritrea rejects accusations that, along with its close ally Sudan, it is supporting the rebels in South Sudan.
19 March—The United States, the United Kingdom, and Norway issue a joint statement threatening sanctions against any actors that undermine the peace process.
20 March—The government delegation to the IGAD peace talks in Addis Ababa delivers a letter to mediators explaining that it will not take part in negotiations that include the seven SPLM former detainees. This stand increasingly sets the government on a collision course with the mediators.
25 April—IGAD and international envoys visit Machar in Nassir, in advance of a new round of talks in Addis. They persuade him to meet face-to-face with Kiir.
30 April—After several delays, peace talks resume in Addis. 2 May—US Secretary of State John Kerry visits Juba in a bid to pressure Kiir and Machar to meet in order to recommit to the CoH Agreement and peace talks.
9 May—Kiir and Machar meet in Addis Ababa following concerted pressure to do so from the international community. They sign a one-page agreement, recommitting to the January 2014 Cessation of Hostilities Agreement and pledging to open humanitarian corridors unconditionally. The deal is supposed to initiate ‘30 days of tranquility’ to allow farmers to plant crops and avert famine. Reflecting deep tensions, Machar’s spokesman later denies that Machar and Kiir had held direct talks over the agreement in Addis, but rather were consulted separately by mediators. With Kiir and Machar in Addis, fighting continues in Unity state, where government aligned forces recapture Rubkona and later move on to Bentiu. Both sides accuse the other of breaking the CoH Agreement in Unity and Upper Nile. While in Addis, Kiir and David Yau Yau sign the 29 March draft peace agreement, which requires ratification by the Council of States.
11 May—On his return from Addis Ababa, Kiir announces at Juba airport that the 2015 elections will be delayed by two years to allow for an interim government and a reconciliation process. He has consistently stated that he must lead any interim government. He later blames the US for forcing him to postpone the elections. In the same speech, Kiir says that he was pressured into signing the agreement with Machar in Addis, primarily by Ethiopian Prime Minister Hailemariam Desalegn.
12 May—UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-Moon calls for a special tribunal for South Sudan in the aftermath of the publication of the UN’s final human rights report on the conflict in South Sudan, which documents widespread human rights violations by both warring parties since the conflict broke out in December 2013. Talks take place in Addis Ababa between the SPLM-IO and the SPLM former detainees, who have been joined by Pagan Amum, Majak D’Agot, Oyay Deng and Ezekiel Gatkuoth following their release from custody in South Sudan. As the ranking member of the SPLM Political Bureau in the former detainees group, Pagan assumes leadership. The two sides acknowledge that they differ only over the use of force by SPLM-IO. After long demanding their release, the SPLM-IO representatives feel a sense of betrayal by the former detainees. In a press briefing in Nairobi, GRSS Minister of Information Michael Makuei accuses the West of causing the current conflict in South Sudan by backing the rebels. He claimed that this was motivated by the West’s disappointment at not profiting from the country’s oil wealth under the current government.
18 May—IGAD announces that the ongoing Addis Ababa peace talks will be adjourned until 29 May due to ongoing differences between the parties.
19 May—Amid a growing humanitarian disaster in South Sudan, international donors meet in Oslo, pledging USD 600 million to scale up the humanitarian response. A BBC interview with Kiir is broadcast in which he is highly critical of Machar and questions Machar’s commitment to the CoH Agreement.
22 May—CoH Agreement violations are reported in Nassir and Doleib in Upper Nile state. Both towns remain under government control. 14-16 May—The SPLA accuses the rebels of carrying out multiple attacks on its positions across Greater Upper Nile. Multiple CoH Agreement violations are reported, though none are large scale.

The IGAD should-impose principle agreement and endorse Kiir as the president of the would-be Transitional Government of National Unity (TGNU), saying “this is a non-violating principle”.
The regional leaders previously said they would not seek to remove an elected president.
In addition to the president, this document calls for the leadership structure to be comprised of a first vice-president (from the SPLM-IO) and a vice-president, which IGAD has dictated must come from the Equatoria region and remain the incumbent.
This imposed agreement, however, will fall short of outlining the specific duties of the three principals in the executive leadership, as this would be left to be worked out by the two parties.
IGAD leaders have also stipulated that the president and first vice-president can only be succeeded by someone within their respective parties.
In regards to power-sharing arrangements, the proposed agreement gives 60% to the government and 30% to the rebel faction, while 10% is to be shared among all other South Sudanese political parties and former detainees.
The agreement states that the current 332 members of the national parliament will remain untouched, with an additional 68 members to be appointed by the three principal parties in accordance with the power-sharing ratio of 60%, 30% and 10% respectively.
This measure will increase the total number of parliamentarians to 400.
The IGAD agreement also declares that the speaker of South Sudan’s national parliament must also come from the Greater Equatoria region.

REFERENCES; 1. 2. 3.

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