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The East African : Mar 30th 2015
8 RESUMPTION OF SOUTH SUDAN PEACE TALKS AT STAKE If Machar’s forces attack, I will fight back in self-defence, says Kiir Rebel leade≥ has accused Juba of launching an o≠ensive By FRED OLUOCH Special Correspondent S outh Sudan is facing the prospect of an all-out war, with President Salva Kiir saying he will not let the peace talks tie his hands, as Dr Riek Machar declared the recent extension of the government’s term by three years unconstitutional. President Kiir declared in Juba on Tuesday that if his troops are attacked, he will pursue the rebels. But Dr Machar on Friday alleged that the government had launched an offensive and was not interested in the peace process. “It appears that the gov- ernment wants to settle this issue militarily. However, we will still pursue peace but at the same time be ready to defend ourselves,” Dr Machar said on the telephone. South Sudan ambassa- dor to Kenya Mariano Deng maintained that the government is not keen on war and has extended the life of Kiir’s administration in order to give peace a chance. But he said the government will not just stand by while it is being attacked. “What can the government do when the rebels continue to attack oil installations and destroy private property? The government has the responsibility of protecting the lives and property of its citizens,” said Mr Deng. South Sudan’s parliament on Tuesday extended its life and that of the government for three years until July 2018. The opposition argues that this means they don’t expect to sign a peace agreement. Earlier in the week while addressing a national youth convention in Juba, President Kiir said that he has been restraining himself from retaliation because of the peace process in Addis Ababa but this time round, should Machar’s forces attack, he will pursue them into their areas and will not stop even if sanctions are imposed because he is fighting in self-defence. The two sides have been engaging each other in fresh fighting in selected areas in Upper Nile and Unity in violation of the January 2014 President Salva Kiir exchanges signed documents of a peace deal with rebel leader Riek Machar in Arusha on January 21, as Tanzania’s President Jakaya Kikwete looks on. Picture: AFP ceasefire agreement with the objective of taking advantage of the dry season to gain more territory for better bargaining before the peace talks resume. Government forces early in the week recaptured rebel-controlled Manyo County in Upper Nile. The latest developments put into doubt the resumption of the Inter-Governmental Authority on Development (Igad)led peace talks that were set for early April. Igad mediators — who are What can the government do when the rebels continue to attack oil installations and destroy private property?” President Salva Kiir planning to restructure the talks to include all five regions of the continent plus the UN, China and the Troika — will convene a pre-dialogue meeting in Addis Ababa under the auspices of the African Union High-Level Implementation Panel set for March 29-30 March. The pre-dialogue is meant to offer a forum for all stakeholders including political parties, opposition groups and civil society to determine the structure, objectivesdDialogue that will follow the establishment of the Transitional Government of National Unity. But the resumption of the talks could be delayed as Dr Machar maintained that the extension of the life of the government and parliament on March 24 has brought a new dimension to the talks, arguing that it has prejudiced the peace process because a government that has extended its own life cannot be deemed to be legitimate. The EastAfrican NEWS MARCH 28 - APRIL 3, 2015 Law fi≥m accused of misleading UK cou≥t By A SPECIAL CORRESPONDENT The EastAfrican A LAW FIRM that advised the Kenyan government on corruption has been accused of “deliberately misleading” the London High Court in a case in which the Djibouti government has accused one of its citizens living in exile of planning terrorist activities in the country. The British arm of US law firm Gibson Dunn & Crutcher had represented the government of Djibouti when it applied in September 2013 for a freeze order on the assets of opposition leader Abdourahman Boreh. But on March 23, Judge Julian Flaux found the firm and its barrister Peter Gray had fallen, “a long way short of the standard of professional integrity.” The case involved a series of FRESH FIGHTING The two warring sides in South Sudan have been engaging each other in fresh fighting in selected areas in Upper Nile and Unity in violation of the January 2014 ceasefire agreement, with the objective of taking advantage of the dry season to gain more territories for better bargaining before the peace talks resume. This has put in doubt the resumption of the InterGovernmental Authority on Development (Igad)-led peace Dr Machar argued that the transitional constitution has no provision for extending the lifespan of the president and parliament which can only be done through elections. He maintained that it was better to sign a peace agreement that would extend the life of the government for an agreed period to give it legitimacy. “We have been looking around for an example and the latest that comes out is that of Indonesia. However, the Indonesians did not confirm the same parliament but reconstituted it with fresh people. Furthermore, an extension cannot be more than half of the elective period,” said Dr Machar. But Mr Deng argued that President Kiir was just implementing the advice that was given to him on May 2014 by Igad mediators, the Troika (US, UK and Norway) that elections should suspended to give the talks that were set for early April. The resumption of the talks could be delayed as Dr Riek Machar maintained that the extension of the life of the government and parliament on March 24, has brought a new dimension to the talks, arguing that it has prejudiced the peace process because the government that has extended its own life cannot be deemed to be legitimate. peace process a chance. “President Kiir had wanted the elections held as scheduled on June 30, but heeded the advice that elections cannot be held while the peace process is going on and while three out of 10 states are in turmoil,” said Mr Deng, who added that the extension will now give time for issues that are being discussed such as federalism and more states to be included in the larger constitutional reform process. However, both Dr Machar and Mr Deng maintained that they will continue with the peace talks, with Dr Machar saying: “Even though we object to the extension, we saw it coming and we will continue negotiating with them because they are the ones in Juba. We believe that the issues we have been discussing are very comprehensive that they cannot just be abandoned.” phone calls made by Mr Boreh and intercepted by the secret police in Djibouti. Mr Gray presented these to the court to show that the day after a grenade attack in the Djibouti capital, Mr Boreh had asked a contact about an event “last night,” and the delivery of “scrap metal,” a reference it was claimed to the hand grenades. But Mr Boreh said he was in- nocent, and that scrap metal was a covert term for political posters and flyers, and that he had made the phone call before the bombing. He also showed how the date on the transcripts had been altered to the day after the explosion. Judge Flaux accepted that “last $100m Amount held by Djibouti tycoon that British arm of US law firm Gibson Dunn & Crutcher had asked the court to freeze night” could not refer to an attack that had yet to take place. Lord Charles Falconer — one- time Lord Chancellor in the Blair government and now with the London branch of Gibson Dunn — apologised for the actions of Mr Gray, admitting that the “court was misled” by his firm’s efforts to freeze more than $100 million held by Mr Boreh who has already been tried in absentia in Djibouti. But in Monday’s hearing, Judge Flaux lifted the freezing order, and went on to condemn Mr Gray’s conduct as “evasive and misleading and deliberately so.” Mr Gray, he said, had listened to days of argument, knowing that the transcripts were wrong. English courts are empowered to freeze the assets of a person who has committed acts of terror anywhere in the world.
Mar 23rd 2015
Apr 6th 2015