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National reconciliation

Date Snippet Page
2014/06/15 A US report is released which finds that GRSS has ‘not demonstrated any will or capacity’ to investigate atrocities or hold perpetrators accountable. It recommends (among other things) a new internationally-driven investigation mechanism. See Biblio item on ‘Assessment of Justice, Accountability and Reconciliation Measures in South Sudan'. The report's conclusions are broadly endorsed by a US State Department official. Snippet: A US report is released which finds that GRSS has ‘not demonstrated ....
2014/07/09 President Kiir warns that federalism would lead to expulsion of certain ethnic groups from certain states, such as Dinka from Equatoria. Referring to such a process in the early 1980s he calls this 'korkora'. Snippet: President Kiir warns that federalism would lead to expulsion of certai....
2014/06/26 An interim report is submitted by the AU Commission of Inquiry on South Sudan. It was originally due to have made a final report by now, but it requests an extension due to various practical problems and delays, and the perceived need for inclusive consultations. Meanwhile it reserves any conclusive and definitive pronouncement on the question of criminal accountability. Snippet: An interim report is submitted by the AU Commission of Inquiry on Sout....
2014/06/16 GRSS and SPLM-IO both boycott a scheduled session of peace talks: SPLM-IO because it was unhappy about the IGAD mediators' method of selecting non-combatant participants; GRSS because the IGAD Executive Secretary called both sides 'stupid' for believing a military solution was possible. Snippet: GRSS and SPLM-IO both boycott a scheduled session of peace talks: SPLM....
2014/06/06 to 2014/06/07 IGAD organizes a ‘multi-stakeholder symposium’ in Addis Ababa ‘to initiate an inclusive phase of the peace process in South Sudan’. The event includes opposition, political parties, faith-based groups and civil society organizations. Snippet: IGAD organizes a ‘multi-stakeholder symposium’ in Addis Ababa ‘t....
2014/06/10 An extraordinary summit of IGAD heads of state and government deplores continued flagrant breaches of the South Sudan cessation of hostilities agreements (26 Jan, 6 May, 9 May), and reaffirms the principle of inclusivity in peace talks (involvement of dissident SPLM leaders, other parties, civil society and faith groups). It threatens pressure and punishments against GRSS and SPLM-IO if they continue to violate agreements, hinder humanitarian aid, or obstruct the principle of inclusivity. Snippet: An extraordinary summit of IGAD heads of state and government deplores....
2014/05/29 to 2-14/05/31 Controversy erupts over the selection of civil society groups to take part in peace talks under IGAD. IGAD mediator Lazaro Sumbeiywo visits Juba and is accused by the South Sudan Civil Society Alliance of rejecting them in favour of Citizens for Peace and Justice (which is not registered with the government). Snippet: Controversy erupts over the selection of civil society groups to take ....
2014/05/20 David Yau Yau, leader of the former SSDM/A Cobra faction rebels, returns to Juba saying that this marks the end of his faction's conflict with the government and that Greater Pibor Administrative Area is already in effect. Snippet: David Yau Yau, leader of the former SSDM/A Cobra faction rebels, retur....
2014/05/15 The GRSS Information Minister claims that the US is waging a proxy war against the government in order to gain control of South Sudan's oil, according to a report in The Standard (Nairobi). He says that Riek Machar and his group have promised when in power to help the Americans gain oil concessions, and suggests that US pressure made IGAD mediators propose the interim government plan which President Kiir signed. Snippet: The GRSS Information Minister claims that the US is waging a proxy war....
2014/05/13 The general election due in 2015 will be postponed until 2017, announces President Kiir. This, he says, is to allow time for national reconciliation and the creation of a permanent constitution under a transitional government, following preliminary agreements to end the current rebellion/civil war. Snippet: The general election due in 2015 will be postponed until 2017, announc....
2014/05/09 Salva Kiir and Riek Machar sign a peace agreement in Addis Ababa. The agreement (proposed in outline by mediators from the Government of Ethiopia on behalf of IGAD and negotiated in detail by shuttling between the two leaders) involves a truce to take place within 24 hours, and the formation of a 'government of national unity'. It also pledges respect for humanitarian corridors and the UN. The Prime Minister of Ethiopia and the US State Secretary both call it a 'breakthrough' in the peace process. Snippet: Salva Kiir and Riek Machar sign a peace agreement in Addis Ababa. The ....
2014/05/07 Kenya President Kenyatta receives the four politicians who were inconclusively tried for coup plotting: Pagan Amum, Ezekiel Lol Gatkuoth, Majak D'Agoot and Oyay Deng. The four are expected to participate in the peace talks in Ethiopia. Snippet: Kenya President Kenyatta receives the four politic....
2014/05/06 UN Secretary General Ban Ki Moon meets President Kiir in Juba. A GRSS press release states that Kiir commended the role played by Hilde Johnson as head of UNMISS and that GRSS is committed to the Cessation of Hostilities Agreement and the humanitarian Month of Tranquility in May. A 'top aide' of Kiir also says that Kiir agreed to the idea of forming an interim administration with Riek Machar and others, according to Sudan Tribune. Snippet: UN Secretary General Ban Ki Moon meets President K....
2014/05/02 US State Secretary Kerry meets President Kiir and reports that Kiir has committed to take 'forceful' steps to implement the Cessation of Hostilities Agreement and to engage in discussions on a transitional government. Kiir is also ready to meet Riek Machar in Addis Ababa next week. Kerry also emphasized the importance of stopping verbal attacks on humanitarian workers. He reveals the extent of his personal communications with Kiir since 15 December and says the US does not 'put any kind of equivalency' between the elected government and rebels who sought power by force. Snippet: US State Secretary Kerry meets President Kiir and ....
2014/04/29 The UN High Commissioner for Human Rights and the Special Envoy for the Prevention of Genocide meet rebel leader Riek Machar and receive assurances that he is investigating human rights violations among his forces, and is concerned about protection of civilians. But they seem to hint that the pressure of accountability for human rights violations will be reduced if peace is achieved. Snippet
2014/04/26 The CPJ (Citizens for Peace and Justice) calls on both GRSS and rebels to publicly denounce the crimes committed by their own forces, and hold the perpetrators accountable. It also calls for adherence to January's Cessation of Hostilities agreement, admission of civil society representatives to the IGAD-facilitated negotiations, and free secure access for the AU Commission of Inquiry. Snippet
2014/04/25 The special court trying four alleged coup-plotters agrees to stay the case on the request of the Justice Ministry 'in order to promote peace and reconciliation among our people'. Pagan Amum says the four will now work on making national peace. Presidential spokesman says the rebels can no longer demand realease of the four as a precondition of talks. President Kiir says the four are now 'free like any citizen in South Sudan'. But he also orders that they should not leave the country, saying that they are needed for reconciliation, and that the case against them is stayed but not cancelled. Snippet 1865
2014/04/23 to 2014/04/26 A meeting is held between members of the SPLM Political Bureau, including four loyalists of Salva Kiir and four from the 'SPLM 7' former detainees. They are faciliated by the Ethiopian People’s Revolutionary Democratic Front (EPRDF) and African National Congress (ANC) of South Africa. Riek Machar and members of his negotiating team are invited to participate but decline saying that the problems 'have become a national issue'. Nevertheless the participants claim success in setting objectives, agenda and rules of engagement for a formal meeting of the Political Bureau. Snippet 1855
2014/04/15 Sudan criticizes IGAD mediators approach to the talks between South Sudan and rebels. It suggests they are following the agenda of Western countries in trying to impose an interim government. It says the talks should involve other parties and civil society, and that Sudan would be well placed to make the proposals. Snippet
2014/04 The new NPPR (National Platform for Peace and Reconciliation) initiative intends to establish a 'body of truth' by engaging many different parts of society, hearing individual and community grievances going back many years, documenting them systematically, aiming to develop a 'new culture of honesty, openness and truth', which can then support other processes of engagement with powerful actors. Snippet
2014/04/10 Presidency minister Awan Riak meets US Secretary of State John Kerry in Washington. A USG press release describes the discussion as 'frank'. Kerry is brash, saying the US 'will not stand by while the hopes of a nation are held hostage to short-sighted and destructive actors'. Snippet
2014/04/07 IGAD mediators drop their demand that the 'SPLM 7' group be included in the main peace talks with GRSS and Riek Machar's rebels. Their inclusion had been a stumbling-block for GRSS participation. IGAD and the Government of Ethiopia sidestepped the problem by creating a separate process for extra internal dialogue in the SPLM. Snippet
2014/04/05 A National Platform for Peace and Reconciliation (NPPR) is launched, said to be independent of government, but joining the work of three bodies with government mandates: the the Peace and Reconciliation Commission, the Specialised Committee on Peace and Reconciliation in the National Legislative Assembly, and the Committee for National Healing, Peace and Reconciliation. NPPR is fronted by Archbishop Daniel Deng and has major support from churches. President Kiir welcomes the initiative, but VP Wani Igga suggests it has no role until GRSS has reached a high-level agreement with the rebels. Snippet 1753
2014/04/05 IGAD mediators set up an SPLM Intra-Party Dialogue Forum to run in addition to the main peace negotiations between GRSS and rebels. The Forum is facilitated with the help of the ruling parties of Ethiopia and South Africa. The AU welcomes it. Snippet
2014/04/03 US President Obama signs an order opening the way for freezing the US assets of South Sudanese individuals deemed responsible for human rights abuses, attacks on UN peacekeepers or obstructing the peace process. Snippet 1739
2014/04/01 Peace talks between GRSS and rebels have reportedly stalled, due to GRSS refusal to meet the demand of IGAD mediators to include the group of seven dissident SPLM leaders in the talks. The IGAD mediators are reportedly adjourning the talks until 30 April in order to consult with IGAD heads of state. Snippet
2014/03/28 A peace agreement is initialled by negotiators of GRSS and SSDM-Cobra (David Yauyau militia). The agreement is to create a Greater Pibor Administrative Area, similar to a new state. It also involves a special development fund, increased representation of Murle people in the National Legislative Assembly, and positions for Murle in the national government. The agreement was facilitated by a South Sudanese Church Leaders Mediation Initiative (CLMI). Snippet 1715
2014/03/25 IGAD-brokered peace process between GRSS and rebels resumes in Addis Ababa. IGAD press release deplores 'flagrant breach of the Cessation of Hostilities Agreement by the Parties' and urges the International Community to put pressure on them to stop the war. Also calls for humanitarian access. Snippet
2014/03 Four exiled opposition parties agree to form a combined bloc for taking part in national peace negotiations, under the leadership of Biel Torkech Rambang. Snippet
2014/03/10 Eritrea warns against peace facilitation for South Sudan by regional and other international powers, suspecting that it may be designed to perpetuate turmoil from which they can profit. It urges that South Sudan be left to work out its problems internally. It strongly denies assisting Riek Machar or other opponents of GRSS. Snippet
2014/03/06 South Africa's special envoy to South Sudan, Cyril Ramaphosa, a senior figure, is taking part in mediation efforts for South Sudan. Snippet
2014/03/05 Leading SPLM figure Luka Biong Deng calls for President Kiir to release the remaining four detained alleged coup plotters: Pagan Amum, Oyay Deng, Majak Agoot and Ezekiel Lul. Their trial in Juba is due to start soon, and Luka fears they do not have resources for adequate legal representation. He is encouraged by Kiir's naming of Riek ally Taban Deng in a preparatory committee for SPLM internal reconciliation talks. Snippet 1536
2014/03/04 GRSS blames IGAD mediators for lack of progress in Addis talks with rebels, because they imposed their own agenda and they insisted on the participation of the seven dissident SPLM leaders who had initially been arrested on suspicion of involvement in a coup but were later released. Snippet
2014/03/03 The Council of Ministers approves mandate for a second round of talks between GRSS and the rebel faction of David Yau Yau. Snippet
2014/02 GRSS and rebels both agree to discuss forming an interim government: a proposal tabled by IGAD mediators at talks in Addis Ababa. Snippet
2014/02 GRSS's Crisis Management Committee, together with the SPLM Youth League, begin a national campaign preaching peace and reconciliation with a rally in Torit. Snippet
2014/01 Various Ugandan, other African and international commentators argue that the intervention of Ugandan troops on the side of GRSS against rebels will undermine Uganda's role as a peace-broker in IGAD. Snippet
2014/02/18 Citizens for Peace and Justice (CJP - a coalition of CSOs from inside South Sudan and from the diaspora) at a meeting in Nairobi agrees recommendations on the peace talks, including the participation of civil society. Snippet
2014/02/14 President Kiir calls for peace, reconciliation and forgiveness in a rally in Freedom Hall, Juba, but calls Riek Machar an 'enemy for peace and progress of South Sudan'. He also calls for Nuer people sheltering in UNMISS bases in non-Nuer areas to leave them and be hosted peacefully in the communities. Snippet 1376
Reference Mini-review
Jérôme Tubiana, 2014/07/14. Bibliography item: Jérôme Tubiana (2014/07/14) "Civil Society and the South Sudan Crisis". (Article). International Crisis Group. [Article] International Crisis Group. Accessed online.

A 2,000-word article, which examines the problem of including civil society in current peace talks between GRSS and rebels in Addis Ababa. It sees such involvement as essential; civil society voice should not be left to a later dialogue/reconciliation process. But it argues that 'civil society' should mean more than organizations which are often influenced by donor funders and by ethnic politics. There should be: more emphasis on community and religious leaders; many representatives, to reduce risks of imbalance; and sensitivity to security risks arising for civil society representatives.

Juma Mabor Marial, 2014/07/08. Bibliography item: Juma Mabor Marial (2014/07/08) "IGAD and International Community (TRIOKA) are not doing enough to end Conflict in South Sudan". (Article). South Sudan News Agency. [Article] South Sudan News Agency. Accessed online.

The title of this 2,400-word article is a little misleading. The author rather argues that the Troika countries (USA, UK and Norway) through the IGAD mediators are intruding too much in the Addis Ababa peace talks. It articulates the view that they are trying to impose a substantive outcome through their insistence on the involvement of third-party stakeholders such as dissident politicians and civil society groups. But too many civil society representatives turn out to be self-interested and covertly aligned. They should instead be involved in a post-agreement National Dialogue Conference.

Beny Gideon Mabor, 2014/07/04. Bibliography item: Beny Gideon Mabor (2014/07/04) "The dilemma of IGAD-led peace process for South Sudan". (Article). Sudan Tribune. [Article] Sudan Tribune. Accessed online.

In this short article, one of the representatives of civil society at the South Sudan peace process in Addis Ababa reflects on the slow progress and current suspension of the talks. He argues that some of the blame rests with IGAD's mediation, which 'wasted a lot of time in procedural aspects than on substantive issues'. He would like to see a new mediation strategy 'including mandating the IGAD Special Envoys with powers to decide on certain substantive matters'.

ABA Rule of Law Initiative, 2014/06. Bibliography item: ABA Rule of Law Initiative (2014/06) "Assessment of Justice, Accountability and Reconciliation Measures in South Sudan". (Report). American Bar Association Rule of Law Initiative. [Report] American Bar Association Rule of Law Initiative. Accessed online.

21-page report. Probably the most authoritative assessment so far that GRSS has failed seriously to investigate the atrocities since December 2013 or move to prosecute perpetrators. Reporting fears that the AU Commission of Inquiry might deflect such investigation and prosecution, the report calls for a new mechanism involving professional investigation teams with a UN Chapter VII mandate. It also calls for international reinforcement of the National Platform for Peace and Reconciliation (NPPR) initiative. (The report was funded but not necessarily endorsed by the US State Department.)

Salva Kiir Mayardit and Riek Machar Teny, 2014/05/09. Bibliography item: Salva Kiir Mayardit (2014/05/09) "Agreement to Resolve the Crisis in South Sudan". (Operating document). IGAD (Inter-Governmental Authority on Development). [Operating document] IGAD (Inter-Governmental Authority on Development). Accessed online.
David K. Deng, 2014/05. Bibliography item: David K. Deng (2014/05) "Special Court for Serious Crimes (SCSC): A Proposal for Justice and Accountability in South Sudan". (Report). South Sudan Law Society. [Report] South Sudan Law Society. Accessed online.

This 12-page working paper is an important step in developing the idea of using a hybrid court to try people responsible for gross atrocities in the recent violent conflict. It considers many practical implications of the idea and creates a solid framework for further discussion and action. Its key recommendations are: (1)  Include language in a peace agreement providing for justice and accountability; (2) Prohibit amnesties for international crimes; (3) Educate people about the court; (4) Assess national capacity to administer a hybrid court; (5) Adopt regional and international treaties.

Jok Madut Jok and others, 2014/04/28. The Release of South Sudan’s Political Detainees and the Prospects for Peace [Report] The Sudd Institute. Accessed online.

In this 7-page weekly review, the Sudd Institute welcomes the government's order to stay the trial of four alleged coup-plotters as a concession in the peace process, although it recognizes the arguments that its curtailment of the case could have been to save its own embarrasment at an acquittal and does not demonstrate full commitment to the rule of law.

Alex de Waal, 2014/04/27. Bibliography item: Alex de Waal (2014/04/27) "Can there be a Democratic Developmental Peace?". (Article). World Peace Foundation, Tufts University. [Article] World Peace Foundation, Tufts University. Accessed online.

Originally an address to African leaders at the Tana High Level Forum, this (sometimes provocative) article emphasizes the way states are financed after peace agreements. A 'rental peace' (based on sharing of state resources among factions and their leaders) is sustainable only while the national budget expands. It can marginally be improved by better ways of managing, regulating and using money. But a 'democratic developmental peace' is more like the one in Burundi, where there were many contending parties and talks became a kind of exercise in national civic education.

Jok Madut Jok, 2014/04/27. The Undeniable Facts About South Sudan’s Conflict [Article] Gurtong. Accessed online.

Jok Madut Jok first analyses the current conflict in terms of members of a corrupt political elite vying for office, and seeking ethnic support, leading to inter-ethnic killing. He partly blames the political apathy of citizens for going along with this rather than targeting the real problems of the state. Jok observes that there can be no clear victor in the war, and that none of the parties can escape responsibility for the suffering caused. He criticizes Western and IGAD states for imposing an approach to negotiations involving the seven former detainees.

Eric Reeves and John Prendergast, 2014/04/19. Preventing Genocide in South Sudan [Article] South Sudan News Agency. Accessed online.

Ahead of the US State Secretary's visit to the peace talks in Addis Ababa, the international community is urged to help avert a greater catastrophe in South Sudan by: (1) increasing international forces in the country; (2) negotiating cross-line routes for humanitarian aid under a respected international figure; (3) ensuring punishment of indivuals who commit war crimes, through targeted sanctions (not only by the US but a coalition of countries), creation of hybrid courts, and referrals to the ICC; and (4) more support to the peace process and participation of opposition and civil society. 

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