Troika calls for credible & fair post-transitional elections in South Sudan

President Salva Kiir Mayardit and Vice-President Dr. Riek Machar | Photo: File

The Troika countries, namely the United States, the United Kingdom and Norway issued a press release on Monday during the commemoration of the First Anniversary of the Revitalized Transitional Government of National Unity.

“Today (February 22), marks the one-year anniversary of the formation of the Revitalized Transitional Government of National Unity (RTGoNU). This was a major step toward restoring peace in South Sudan. The Troika welcomes all efforts by the RTGoNU in implementing the Revitalized Agreement on the Resolution of Conflict in South Sudan (R-ARCSS), most notably the appointment of a unified Cabinet, Governors, and Deputy Governors in all states.”

The members of the Troika welcomed the recent resolution of the Council of Ministers that endorsed the formation of the African Union Hybrid Court for South Sudan.

“The Troika further welcomes the endorsement by the Council of Ministers on January 28 of a roadmap for implementing Chapter 5, including the establishment of the Hybrid Court for South Sudan; the Commission for Truth, Reconciliation and Healing; and the Compensation and Reparations Authority.”

“Much work remains and there is an urgent need to implement R-ARCSS in full. Progress made over the past year has been too slow and too limited. Critically important is the immediate formation of State Governments and the re-constitution of the Transitional National Legislative Assembly and Council of States. Implementation of Transitional Security Arrangements and true security sector reform should commence immediately.”

“The Troika endorses and reiterates the call made by African Union and Intergovernmental Authority on Development (IGAD) Ambassadors to improve conditions in training centers and accelerate the graduation and deployment of the Necessary Unified Forces. We will continue to work closely with IGAD and the regional guarantors to reach common objectives on the peace process and an agreed roadmap for implementation.”

“The Troika calls for the commencement of the permanent constitution-making process and the start of preparations for peaceful, credible, and inclusive post-transitional elections. There is an urgent need to continue implementation of reforms envisaged in Chapter 4 regarding transparency and accountability, including through the Public Financial Management Oversight Committee.”

The Troika voiced its concern over the ongoing intercommunal violence in different parts of the country.

“We welcome the appointment of three women as Deputy Governors but note with disappointment the failure to ensure 35 percent female representation as stipulated in R-ARCSS. While the national ceasefire has generally held, the level of violence across the country, including conflict caused by defections, is unacceptable.”

“We urge all parties to the Rome process to ensure adherence to the Cessation of Hostilities and pursue political dialogue. We are deeply concerned that violence is exacerbating an already dire humanitarian situation, where 7.2 million people are facing severe levels of food insecurity and more people are in need of assistance than in any year since South Sudan’s independence. We call upon the Government to ensure immediate de-escalation of sub-national conflict and unhindered humanitarian access.”

“We acknowledge the challenges posed by COVID-19 for the implementation of the R-ARCSS and more generally. We welcome efforts by the Government to respond to a new wave of cases. The Troika will continue to work in partnership to respond to this crisis. We look forward to continuing working in close partnership with the RTGoNU to support the full implementation of the R-ARCSS.”

UN expert calls on FBI to investigate the death of US journalist Christopher Allen

FBI SWAT members captured while on duty | Photo: FBI

A UN human rights expert has called on the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) to probe into the killing of American journalist Christopher Allen and hold the perpetrators responsible.

Christopher, a young American freelance journalist, was brutally murdered in late August 2017 in the line of duty, but the government has since denied any responsibility.

“The fact that for three whole years there has been no independent investigation into Mr. Allen’s killing sends a very dangerous signal that journalists and media workers can be targeted with impunity,” said Agnes Callamard, UN special rapporteur on extrajudicial, summary or arbitrary executions.

The UN expert urged the South Sudanese government and the United Nations to work together and identify the culprits responsible for his killing.

“The governments of South Sudan and the United States can and must take steps to ensure that the circumstances of Mr. Allen’s murder are fully, independently and fearlessly investigated,” she said in a statement.

She appealed to the US security service, the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) to discharge its mandate and obligations by investigating possible war crimes believed to have been committed against Allen.

“The FBI has a duty, both legal and moral, to investigate Mr. Allen’s killing because of well-founded suspicions that war crimes may have been committed by members of South Sudanese forces,” she said.

“Mr. Allen’s murder is indicative of the wider climate of hostility towards journalists in the country,” she said.
The rapporteur noted she had written to the South Sudanese authorities on January 30 this year asking about an investigation but had received no response.

Former US Ambassador to S. Sudan T. Hushek wins prestigious award

Former U.S. Ambassador to South Sudan Thomas Hushek wins the 2020 Ryan C. Crocker Award for Outstanding Leadership in Expeditionary Diplomacy |Photo US Embassy, Juba

Dec 3, 2020 (Thessherald)–Former U.S. Ambassador to South Sudan Thomas Hushek has won the 2020 Ryan C. Crocker Award for Outstanding Leadership in Expeditionary Diplomacy.

In a brief statement, the United States Embassy in the Republic of South Sudan congratulated Thomas Hushek on his well-deserved recognition.

“Congratulations to Former U.S. Ambassador to South Sudan Thomas Hushek for winning the 2020 Ryan C. Crocker Award for Outstanding Leadership in Expeditionary Diplomacy.”

“This is an extraordinary award from the Department of State to employees who excel in the most challenging leadership positions overseas,” the Embassy says in a statement.

Who’s Thomas Hushek, former U.S. Ambassador to South Sudan?

Mr. Hushek is a career member of the Senior Foreign Service . He has been working for the State Department since 1988. He has served at multiple capacities including being the Deputy Chief of Mission at the U.S. Mission to the International Organizations in Vienna , Principal Deputy Assistant Secretary in the Bureau of Conflict and Stabilization Operations and has worked in U.S. embassies in Micronesia, Russia and Tajikistan.

United States Ambassador to South Sudan

On August 3, 2017, Hushek was nominated as the United States Ambassador to South Sudan. On April 26, 2018, the Senate confirmed his nomination by voice vote.

Breaking: Joe Biden wins US election

President-elect Joe Biden |Photo: File

November 7, 2020 (Thessherald)–Joe Biden secured enough votes in the US electoral college at 11.25am EST on Saturday and will become the next president of the United States.

The Democratic nominee crossed the 270-vote threshold by winning the state of Pennsylvania after a long and drawn-out counting process exacerbated by a large number of mail-in ballots.

It was a dramatic turnaround from early on election night, when Republican incumbent Donald Trump looked likely to sweep the race, taking the swing state of Florida. Mr Trump’s campaign is still set on a series of legal challenges over alleged irregularities in the electoral process in several states.

Mr Biden was also leading Mr Trump in Arizona, Georgia and Nevada, where votes are still being counted, but it was Pennsylvania’s 20 electoral votes that pushed him over the 270-vote threshold in the electoral college to win the presidency.Reacting to his victory, Mr Biden repeated his promise to work for all Americans.

“America, I’m honored that you have chosen me to lead our great country,” the president-elect wrote on Twitter.

“The work ahead of us will be hard, but I promise you this: I will be a President for all Americans — whether you voted for me or not.I will keep the faith that you have placed in me.”

TRUMP: ‘Whoever voted for Biden is no longer human being but a FROG,’

November 5, 2020 (Thessherald)–The US President, Donald J. Trump has lashed out at Joe Biden’s supporters and voters, saying that they are no longer humans but four-legged frogs.

“How dare they count the votes? Stop the counting, counting is for terrorists. We’re going to sue the counters. There are a whole bunch of votes all for the same guy who isn’t me? Coincidence? I don’t think so,” Trump was quoted by The Independent as saying.

Trump claimed that California is part of Brazil and everyone who comes from that city is an alien.

“A lot of these votes are from California, that’s not part of America, it’s in Brazil, their votes don’t count.

“I’ve heard all the people in Wisconsin who voted for Biden, a bad bunch. They weren’t people, they were frogs, they’ve counted the votes of FROGS, this is very bad,” President Trump blasted Biden’s supporters.

He alleged that his votes had been stolen and vanished into thin air.

“My votes have been put on the moon. I know an astronaut, he’s a terrific astronaut, he said he saw them, on the moon, he’s got a telescope, we’re going to investigate. And then I want the World Cup. I won it, the French need to give it back, they kept counting the goals after the game had started, I won it but they stole it, bad French!”

Ethiopia lashes out at Donald Trump’s inflammatory remarks on Nile dam

US President Donald Trump and Ethiopian Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed Ali |Photo: Thessherald

Oct 25, 2020 (Thessherald)–The Ethiopian government has expressed deep concern and blasted US President, Donald J. Trump over his inflammatory comments, suggesting that Egypt could ‘blow up’ the Nile dam if Ethiopia continues to drag its feet on ending GERD dispute.

The Ethiopian Ministry of Foreign Affairs said, in a strongly worded statement, that it was seeking clarification regarding the inflammatory comments made by Trump during his telephone conversation with the Sudanese Prime Minister, Abdalla Hamdok.

“The Minister of Foreign Affairs of the Federal Democratic Republic of Ethiopia summoned today (October 24) the United States Ambassador H.E. Mike Raynor to seek clarifications on the remarks the US President made regarding the Grand Ethiopian Renaissance Dam (GERD) during his telephone conversation with the Prime Ministers of the Republic of the Sudan and the State of Israel,” the Ethiopian Ministry of Foreign Affairs said on Saturday.

The Ethiopian government has accused Washington of inciting and fueling an already-ongoing regional war between Egypt, Ethiopia and Sudan over the Grand Ethiopian Renaissance Dam (GERD).

“The incitement of war between Ethiopia and Egypt from a sitting US president neither reflects the longstanding partnership and strategic alliance between Ethiopia and the United States nor is acceptable in International Law governing interstate relations.”

“The Minister further informed the Ambassador that Ethiopia has never and will not in the future succumb to threats to its sovereignty and will be committed to continue the trilateral negotiations under the framework of the African Union.”

Since 2011, there has been a long-standing dispute between Egypt, Sudan and Ethiopia, revolving around Ethiopia’s unilateral decision to build the Great Ethiopian Renaissance Dam along the Blue Nile – some 20 kilometers upstream from Sudanese territory.

U.S. Embassy Call for Urgent Efforts to Resolve Conflict

Troika countries issue a press release, calling for full implementation of R-ARCSS | Photo: USA Embassy in S. Sudan

Press Statement

August 3, 2020 (Thessherald)–The Embassy of the United States expresses deep concern with continued pockets of conflict around South Sudan and calls for all parties to deescalate tensions. Fighting in different parts of South Sudan in recent weeks has reflected different causes and involved different parties but the impact is all similarly unacceptable; the people of South Sudan, your friends, your neighbors and communities are all suffering abuses against civilian populations. Forced displacement, disruption to livelihoods, diversion and looting of humanitarian aid, and the killing of aid workers are all unacceptable.

It is time for local and regional leaders and the government of South Sudan to put an end to these conflicts and start unifying the country and bringing well-deserved peace to the people of South Sudan.

In Western Bahr el Ghazal, we are concerned by recent clashes between Sudan People’s Liberation Army-In Opposition and South Sudan People’s Defense Forces units, accompanied by the arbitrary detention of civilians and attacks on civilian vehicles. We welcome the establishment of a delegation with leaders from both sides and urge immediate dialogue to reduce tensions, forestall further clashes, and prevent a broader threat to the peace agreement ceasefire.

In Western and Central Equatoria, we note an uptick in clashes between SSPDF and the National Salvation Front in the past week, accompanied by displacement of civilians and civilian abductions.

We urge all parties to immediately adhere to the Agreement on the Cessation of Hostilities, comply with their Rome Resolution obligations, and resume dialogue on a political solution to the conflict.

In Jonglei, we remain deeply concerned by the large-scale mobilization of armed groups and fighting on an ethnic basis. We welcome all efforts to address the base causes of the recent violence in South Sudan but it is going to take more work. It is going to be hard, but now is the time for all the people who took or accepted the responsibility to lead this country, to work towards a nation of unity where everybody has a right to speak in public without fear of repercussion, where every has a right to education, where everybody has a right to live in their home of choice without fear of violence. The leaders of South Sudan cannot sit back and wait for things to happen; they need to make them happen.

Troika urges immediate appointment of state governors

Official Emblem of the United States (Photo: US)

June 9, 2020 (Thessherald)–The Troika countries (the United States, the United Kingdom, and Norway) have issued a joint statement, calling on the country’s leaders to expedite the appointment of state governments to curb the ongoing waves of inter-communal violence in the states.

“The formation of the Transitional Government of National Unity in February was a major step forward in South Sudan’s peace process. Since then, a new challenge has emerged, not just for South Sudan, but for all of us. COVID-19 is a truly global challenge that will have far-reaching political and economic impacts. The Troika will continue to support South Sudan in its response,” the group said in a statement.

“We are deeply concerned at the increased levels of violence across South Sudan. This causes immense suffering for the people of South Sudan, puts in jeopardy any gains that have been made, and has implications across the region.”

The Troika noted that the ongoing absence of state governors has caused an unnecessary vacuum, leading to cycles of violence.

“In Jonglei, the vacuum created by the lack of governance has exacerbated cycles of intercommunal violence. In Central Equatoria, the ceasefire signed in January between the government and non-signatory groups has broken down and we have seen heavy fighting between forces in recent weeks, with villages destroyed and their communities displaced.”

“Shocking reports of sexual violence against women and girls continue. We are concerned with the impact of the fighting on humanitarian access.”

The trio urged President Kiir and his deputies to break the deadlock and immediately appoint governors in a timely manner.

“Now is the moment for the President and Vice Presidents, supported by the Intergovernmental Authority on Development and the guarantors of the peace agreement, to agree on the selection of governors and to move forward to govern together for the benefit of the people of South Sudan. Any further delay creates uncertainty that undermines the transition process, slows the fight against COVID-19, and holds back efforts to end the violence that now threatens the hard-won peace.”

Breaking: US extends National Emergency for South Sudan for one year

US President Donald J. Trump /Photo: File

April 1, 2020 (Thessherald)–The White House has issued Text of a Notice on the Continuation of the National Emergency with Respect to South Sudan, according to a statement issued by US President Donald J. Trump today .

“On April 3, 2014, by Executive Order 13664, the President declared a national emergency pursuant to the International Emergency Economic Powers Act (50 U.S.C. 1701-1706) to deal with the unusual and extraordinary threat to the national security and foreign policy of the United States constituted by the situation in and in relation to South Sudan, which has been marked by activities that threaten the peace, security, or stability of South Sudan and the surrounding region, including widespread violence and atrocities, human rights abuses, recruitment and use of child soldiers, attacks on peacekeepers, and obstruction of humanitarian operations,” the statement said.

The White House stated that the ongoing situation in South Sudan remains worrying and poses significant threats to the United States national security.

“The situation in and in relation to South Sudan continues to pose an unusual and extraordinary threat to the national security and foreign policy of the United States. For this reason, the national emergency declared on April 3, 2014, to deal with that threat must continue in effect beyond April 3, 2020.”

President Trump declared that the extension of the National Emergency for South Sudan will continue for one more year, as the situation remains unpredictable.

“Therefore, in accordance with section 202(d) of the National Emergencies Act (50 U.S.C. 1622(d)), I am continuing for 1 year the national emergency declared in Executive Order 13664.”

Breaking: Top US official tests positive for COVID-19

(Thessherald)–The United States Republican Senator Rand Paul of Kentucky has tested positive for COVID-19, his office announced on Twitter on Sunday, adding that he is in quarantine and feels “fine”.

The statement specified that Paul showed no syptoms of falling ill, adding that he was was tested out “of caution due to his extensive travel and events”.

The senator intends to continue his work “for the people of Kentucky at this difficult time” once the quarantine period is over, according to the statement.

The news broke as the US Senate is debating a multi-trillion-dollar aid package to help the US economy amid the COVID-19 pandemic.

Rand Paul has become the first US senator to be infected with the virus. It was earlier reported that two House representatives, Mario Diaz Balart of Florida and Ben McAdams of Utah, have tested positive for the novel coronavirus.
So far, Johns Hopkins University has confirmed 25,490 COVID-19 cases in the US, reporting 300 deaths and 171 recoveries.

Globally, some 318,200 people have been infected with the virus with more than 13,000 dying. Over 94,700 people, mostly from China have recovered.

Originally published by Sputnik News

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