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United States

Date Snippet Page
2014/05/06 US State Secretary Kerry ‘condemns in the strongest terms' GRSS offensives in Bentiu, Nasir and other places shortly after he had received a personal assurance from President Kiir on implementing the 23 Jan Cessation of Hostilities Agreement. Snippet: US State Secretary Kerry ‘condemns in the strong....
2014/05/06 The US Treasury Department imposes sanctions on generals Marial Chanuong and Peter Gatdet Yak. Marial is the commander of the presidential guards, seen as responsible for ethnic killings of Nuer people in Juba on 15-18th December. Gatdet is the former commander of the SPLA 8th Division, whose mutiny and attack on Bor on 18th December apparently involved ethnic killings of Dinka people, as did the rebel attack on Bentiu in April, which he is thought to have led. The sanctions freeze any US assets of the two generals and stop US companies and citizens doing business with them. Snippet: The US Treasury Department imposes sanctions on ge....
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 ....
2014/05/01 US State Secretary Kerry says he sees risks of both genocide and famine in South Sudan, and was 'frankly disappointed' by the responses of Salva Kiir and Riek Machar when he discussed these matters with them. Snippet: US State Secretary Kerry says he sees risks of bot....
2014/04/30 Ann Itto, acting Secretary-General of the SPLM, apparently takes a position contrary to President Kiir, in welcoming possible US sanctions targeted against individual wrongdoers, and not seeing this as sanctions against South Sudan. Snippet: Ann Itto, acting Secretary-General of the SPLM, ap....
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
2014/04/03 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
2014/03/20 52 member of the US Congress sign a letter to State Secretary John Kerry urging US pressure and assistance in establishing hybrid courts to try perpetrators of gross human rights abuses in South Sudan. They also urge resumption of USAID work, particularly in supporing food security in order to avert famine. Snippet
2014/03/19 Representatives of the Troika group (US, UK and Norway) and EU make clear they will support IGAD mediators in rejecting GRSS demands to exclude from the peace process the seven formerly-detained alleged coup-plotters. To back this up they are prepared to impose measures against individuals in the government or other negotiating parties who are deemed to be undermining the talks. Snippet 1673
2014/02 Donald Booth (US Special Envoy) diagnoses the current turmoil: 'Institutions that were understandably weak at independence were allowed to stagnate, while the political elite vied instead for power in an ever-shrinking political space'. Snippet
2014/02/21 US expresses full support for the work of UNMISS, and calls threats and attacks against UNMISS compounds unacceptable. Snippet
2014/02/19 US State Department condemns abrogation of 23 January truce by both GOSS and rebels. Calls for a stop to fighting, and finalization of monitoring arrangements. Also for withdrawal of Ugandan forces. Ugandan army spokesman rebuffs the latter. Snippet 1431
2013/08/28 Donald Booth is appointed as the next US Special Envoy to Sudan and South Sudan. Snippet
2013/08/08 to 2013/08/15 On 8th August, senior members of the US congressional committee on foreign relations write to President Kiir calling for reassignment of the SPLA commander in Jonglei, and investigations into soldiers suspected of committing human rights violations and ethnically-motivated violence. On 15th August, the new defence minister confirms that an investigation is taking place. Snippet
2011/12 to 2012 US government hosted an investment conference for South Sudan in December 2011. It's enthusiasm for this was spurred partly by 'strong connections between South Sudan and influential U.S. constituencies, including churches, celebrity advocates, and Israel'. But US investors have not been able to find many feasible projects. (Alex de Waal, 2013) Snippet 601
Reference Mini-review
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.

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.)

Harry Verhoeven, 2014/05/30. Bibliography item: Harry Verhoeven (2014/05/30) "South Sudan conflict destabilizes Ethiopia’s regional strategy". (Article). Radio Tamazuj. [Article] Radio Tamazuj. Accessed online.

This 1000-word article points out the special interest of Ethiopia in regional stability - an interest built on the potential for the Grand Ethiopian Renaissance Dam to export power to neighbouring countries - and hence in South Sudan stability. In passing, it states that Uganda President Museveni consulted with the US (in the person of National Security Advisor Susan Rice) before sending its troops to help GRSS fight the rebels in December 2013.

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. 

Daniel van Oudenaren, 2014/03/05. Political dimensions of the South Sudan crisis [Article] Radio Tamazuj. Accessed online.

Argues that the roots of the current crisis lie in the structures and culture of the SPLM, deriving from its tutelage by the Mengistu/Derg regime in Ethiopia before 1991. The constitutional structure of the SPLM echoes that of the ruling party in the Derg (and Soviet Union) regimes. It's practical effect is to create vacuums of authority which the top leader tries to fill. This has specially been the case since the failure to hold a new National Liberation Council meeting before the authority of the previous one expired. The US and other Western powers over-estimated their own influence.

Mahmood Mamdani, 2014/02/15. South Sudan and its unending bloody conflict: No power-sharing without political reform [Article] The East African.

This 5,000-word article is particularly interesting in view of its author's status as a public intellectual and a member of the AU Commission of Enquiry. Mamdani argues that the rebellion crisis has roots in colonial techniques for managing populations as tribes, which still shape politico-social relationships. It blames a failure to build institutional culture in the SPLM/A and a 'shoddy' 2005 peace agreement largely on the influence of the US's War on Terror. It sees a way forward in combining political reforms with power-sharing, rather than punishing the perpetrators of gross violence.

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