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The East African : Jan 19th 2015
The EastAfrican NEWS JANUARY 17-23,2015 yonga told MPs in June 2014 that the army had allocated $9.6 million for the deployment, and had not expected the war to last beyond four months. With a supplementary request of $65 million in June, Uganda’s defence budget now stands at $318 million. Kenya, the report notes, will mostly likely spend $200million on security in South Sudan. “Kenya is also likely to have con- cerns about the prospects of South Sudan becoming a failed state, especially in the light of the impact on the country of state failure in Somalia. A second failed state in the region is likely to increase the difficulty and costs Kenya faces in controlling insurgent activity,” it said. Kenya has one of the highest levels of military expenditures in sub-Saharan Africa. Data provided by the Stockholm International Peace Research Institute suggests that since late 2011, when Kenya heightened its presence in Somalia, military expenditure rose by $200 million. Greatest direct cost While Uganda and Kenya may COST OF WAR The human and economic costs of the war, which has already killed more than 10,000 people since December 2013, highlights the need for a quick resolution to a conflict that is threatening to turn the world’s youngest nation into a broken state, the Frontier Economics said. “There are severe economic costs that haven’t previously been known that must now be acknowledged,” said Luka Biong Deng, a researcher with the South Sudanbased Centre for Peace and Development Studies. wsj.com The report notes that defence expenditure incurred by Uganda as a result of the conflict is almost double the development budget for health for the current financial year, and close to that for education. Uganda deployed its troops to South Sudan a year ago. Defence Minister Crispus Ki- suffer economic losses, Sudan, according to the report, will face the greatest direct financial costs of the conflict. Under an agreement concluded between the governments of Sudan and South Sudan in September 2012, and valid until March 2016, South Sudan is required to make payments to Sudan for oil transported through the country. However, the value of this payment is at risk because of the drop in oil production. The two countries had also agreed on a finite payment of $3.028 billion. With a drop of 60,000 barrels per day, the financial loss to Sudan over the remaining term of the agreement, that is until March 2016, is estimated at around $300 million. The report calls for increased pressure on the warring parties to end the fighting, by implementing targeted sanctions on individuals and an arms embargo on South Sudan. The Igad-led peace talks in Addis Ababa have yielded little success, and both parties have violated the Cessation of Hostilities Agreement signed last year. See related story on page 15 As Kii≥’s gove≥nment p≥epa≥es fo≥ election, ≥ivals call fo≥ delay By FRED OLUOCH Special Correspondent THE SOUTH Sudan government is already preparing for the general election to be held on June 30, in order to claim legitimacy in case the peace negotiations in Addis Ababa fail. The preparations are contrary to President Salva Kiir’s announcement in May last year that the general election would be postponed indefinitely to give the warring factions time to reconcile. President Kiir’s term ends on July 9. “We can continue negotiat- ing while preparing for elections. The only difference is that we will maintain our positions and only defend ourselves when attacked,” said James Morgan, the South Sudan charge d’affaires in Nairobi. “The Constitution states that elections must be held in June, and there is no stopping it unless an agreement to postpone them is made at the Addis talks,” he added. James Gatdet Dak, spokesman for former vice-president Riek Machar, said the priority for all parties should be to stop the war. Otherwise, he said, millions of citizens will be unable to participate, robbing the elections of legitimacy. “If their concern is to forge le- gitimacy, they will not get it in that type of election because only half of the voters may participate,” said Dr Dak. Despite fears that elections would increase tensions and divide the country further, Mr Morgan said the government will not allow a power vacuum should the Addis negotiations not be productive by July 9. Mr Morgan said the people of South Sudan will be given a chance to decide who among President Kiir and Dr Machar is more popular, and that if Dr Machar wins, it will give him the opportunity to implement the reforms he has been talking about. However, Mr Dak said there would be no elections without a peace agreement and a transitional government of national unity. “There are many constitutional p≥og≥ess ‘a success’ the Somali people are prepared to have a working government, but Al Shabaab are still present in some parts of the liberated areas. The Council appealed to Amisom and the Somalia Security Forces to expand their operations and recover the remaining areas controlled by Al Shabaab. Other challenges include lack of resources — where the government works with an insufficient budget — lack of functioning institutions, and mistrust among warring communities. Ethiopian Foreign Minister Tedros Adhanom at the ministers meeting in Mogadishu, on January 10. Pic: AFP requirements that need to be tackled, including a population census. Juba should focus on a peaceful end to the war by June, and conduct the census during a transitional period instead of running after impossible legitimacy,” said Mr Dak. The government argues that internal conflicts cannot stop elections because other countries in Africa such as Sudan, DRC and Egypt have held elections during civil strife. Nigeria will also be holding elections next month, despite threats from the Boko Haram Islamists. While the Constitution provides that President Kiir’s four-year term expires on July 9, and that the presidency will be considered vacant, there is a fallback position that gives temporary power to the sitting vice-president till the seat is 9 Displaced South Sudanese women, who are potential voters, walk towards a refugee camp. Picture: File It is better to wait until the peace process is concluded.” South Sudan political analyst Jervasio Okot constitutionally filled. Jervasio Okot, a South Sudan political analyst, said the argument that other African countries have held elections despite internal conflict cannot apply because those countries did not initiate any structured dialogue with rebels, but South Sudan has. “It is good to hold elections in or- der to be seen as democratic by the rest of the world, but South Sudan is currently polarised, three states are seriously affected and people are suffering. It is better to wait until the peace process is concluded,” said Mr Okot. So far, the government has set aside $517 million for presidential, state governorship, and national assembly elections. The National Elections Commission was constituted in August 2012, but it is yet to start voter registration and carry out civic education. Mr Morgan said voter registration is likely to start in mid-February and go on until April. The war has displaced 2.3 mil- lion people — 1.8 million are internally displaced and 500,000 are in neighbouring countries — among them potential voters, especially in the affected three of Jonglei, Unity and Upper Nile. According to the 2011 transition- al constitution, the elections could only be held after determining the number of electoral constituencies and after a comprehensive review of the constitution because the current Constitution was more of copy from Khartoum. Some civil society organisations — including the South Sudan Network for Democracy and Elections — have called for amendments to the Constitution to extend the term of the current government until peace is achieved. Mr Morgan maintains that the government has reached its bare minimum concessions by agreeing to the creation of a non-executive prime minister to the SPLM in Opposition and two deputies to go to the former detainees and other political parties. The government also claims that it has offered amnesty to those who defected to the rebels from the army, police, wildlife services and the prison services, to return to their units and resume their ranks. But this concession remains contentious because the rebels are demanding the integration of all their fighters — including the “White Army”— into various security agencies. However, the government insists that the “White Army” comprises herdsmen who were mobilised by the rebels to fight and cannot be absorbed. Juba is also amenable to the creation of 27 ministries in the transition government, as well as agreeing, in principle, to transform the country into a federal system. But the rebels propose to increase the number of states to 21, from the current 10, and that the government concedethat federalism is a constitutional issue that can only be decided by parliament or a referendum.
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Jan 26th 2015