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The East African : Jun 21st 2015
12 SEARCH FOR PEACE IN S. SUDAN Ex-detainees out to bring peace in Juba Uhu≥u and Museveni have asked them to do eve≥ything in thei≥ powe≥ to save South Sudan f≥om being decla≥ed a failed state By FRED OLUOCH Special Correspondent cal detainees to convince President Silva Kiir and rebel leader Riek Machar to sign a peace deal to avert growing international pressure to put the country under United Nations trusteeship. Dr Cirino Hiteng, one of the K former detainees, told The EastAfrican that President Uhuru Kenyatta of Kenya and Uganda’s President Yoweri Museveni had asked the detainees to do everything in their power to save South Sudan from being declared a failed state, the first step towards having it governed under the UN Trusteeship provisions. Last Thursday, President Keny- atta warned the warring parties that the international community would force them to dialogue if they do not agree on a deal for peace and stability. “Let us save South Sudan from be- coming a failed state. Let us prevail on President Salva Kiir, his former vice-president Riek Machar and former political detainees to return to the negotiating table,” President Kenyatta said during a meeting with China’s representative on Africa affairs Zhong Jianhua. Civil war in South Sudan was ig- nited by a political struggle between President Kiir and his former deputy in December 2013. Five of the former detainees, who have been living in Kenya for over one year, travelled to Juba early this month for consultations with President Kiir and the Sudanese Peoples’ Liberation Movement (SPLM) leadership. “Our main mission to Juba was to bring to the attention of the president that the country is collapsing economically, and that it is important to sign the peace deal in the next round of talks,” said Dr Hiteng. enya and Uganda have asked 10 former South Sudanese politi- UN TRUSTEESHIP Article 76 of the UN Charter was designed in 1945 to ensure that countries under trust were administered in the best interests of their inhabitants and of international peace and security. The UN option, to be known as the United Nations Assistance Mission for South Sudan, will be a political mission headed by a special representative of the UN Secretary-General. It will have a mandate to advise the government and the people of South Sudan on political dialogue and national reconciliation; strengthen institutions of governance; assist in the electoral process, judicial and legal reforms; and protect civilians and ensure security. Kenyan President Uhuru Kenyatta with former South Sudan detainees at State House, Nairobi. Pic: File The South Sudan pound has de- preciated against the dollar, oil production has plummeted, civil servants and suppliers to government taken long time to be paid, and the country is facing a shortage of forex. Recent reports show that some- times civil servants go for as long as three months without pay, as most of the reduced incomes from oil production go to the military and running the government. In November last year, President Museveni, while meeting the former detainees in the presence of President Kiir, warned the warring factions to either sign a deal soon or risk losing the country to the UN, after some Western countries started considering the option. Article 76 of the UN Charter was designed in 1945 to ensure that countries under trust were administered in the best interests of their inhabitants and of international peace and security. In Africa, the newly independent Democratic Republic of the Congo was put under UN administration for six months after it fell into a state of anarchy shortly after independence in 1960. The former detainees, who are of- ficially in exile and being taken care of by the Kenya government, have “Our main mission to Juba was to bring to the attention of the president that the country is collapsing economically.” been lobbying friends of South Sudan around the world to help end the civil war. They have also been attending the Addis Ababa talks. Some Western countries that have interests in South Sudan and would like to see a quick peaceful resolution have also been making contributions towards the welfare of the former detainees, commonly referred to as G-10. The G-10 are considered neu- tral in the conflict, even though they had been detained for allegedly plotting a coup together with Dr Machar Machar after the war broke out on December 15, 2013. One of them, Ezekiel Lol Gatkuok, however, joined Dr Machar’s side in June last year after the government earlier in April dropped the charges against the four who were charged The EastAfrican NEWS JUNE 20-26,2015 EA ≥efugee numbe≥s to go up - UN By PAUL REDFERN Special Correspondent THREE EAST African countries are now among the top 10 recipients of refugees worldwide, according to a new UN report. United Nations High Com- missioner for Refugees’ Global Trends report released on June 18 says that Uganda, Kenya and Ethiopia in East Africa along with seven other countries, including Turkey, Jordan and Pakistan, host over 57 per cent of the world’s 60 million refugees. Ethiopia alone received around 236,000 new refugees — mostly from South Sudan and Eritrea — in 2014, bringing its total to 660,000, while Kenya received 78,500 bringing its total refugee population to 551,000. Uganda has 385,000 refugees. The number of refugees across East Africa is expected to increase significantly this year, with large numbers fleeing Burundi to neighbouring Tanzania, Rwanda, Uganda and Democratic Republic of Congo. Africa hosts over 4 million ref- ugees, compared with 7.5 million in Asia, 1.5 million in Europe and 416,000 in North America. Globally, one in every 122 hu- mans is now either a refugee, internally displaced or seeking asylum. If this were the population of a country, it would be the world’s 24th biggest. Over half the world’s refugees are children. The report also notes that the wealthy countries are relying overwhelmingly on poorer states to take in those who have been forced out of their homelands. In 2014, 86 per cent of refugees were in regions or countries deemed economically less developed. UN High Commissioner for Refugees António Guterres called on the international community to show resolve, tolerance and a proper financial commitment to helping those most in need. Rwanda milita≥y cou≥t imposes fine on lawye≥s fo≥ contempt as case stalls By EDMUND KAGIRE The EastAfrican THE TRIAL of Brig-Gen (Rtd) Frank Rusagara, Col Tom Byabagamba and Sgt (Rtd) Francois Kabayiza hit a dead end again this week after defence lawyers failed to show up at the Military High Court. The judges were angered by the absence of Rusagara’s lawyer Pierre Celestin Buhura, Valery Gakunzi, for Col Tom Byabagamba, and Milton Nkuba Munyadatwa for Kabayiza, accusing the trio of trying to derail the trial. The judges termed the lawyers’ action as contempt of court. The three lawyers have previous- ly argued with the military judges in a bid to separate the trials of Brig-Gen (Rtd) Frank Rusagara(right), Sgt (Rtd) Francois Kabayiza (centre) and Col Tom Byabagamba (in military uniform) with their lawyers in court on May 20. Picture: Cyril Ndegeya their clients, and even challenged the competence of the court and the bench but, on all occasions, the court has ruled against them. Brig-Gen (Rtd) Rusagara, a former senior government official and military diplomat, and Col Byabagamba, a former head of President Paul Kagame’s elite presidential guard, are accused of incit- ing insurrection among citizens, tarnishing the image of the government and its leaders and illegal possession of firearms. The trial of the three men, who were arrested in August last year, has been marred by delays and other legal impediments, which the judges have blamed on the lawyers. According to Gakunzi and Buhu- ra, on Tuesday, after the hearing, which lasted the whole day, they had informed the court that they had other cases to attend to on Wednesday, but the court rejected their request. But the accused were present in court. Brig-Gen (Rtd) Rusagara and Col Byabagamba told court that they had not been in touch with their lawyers. The military prosecutors argued that the conduct of the defence lawyers was deliberately aimed at delaying the trial and called for sanctions against them. The court imposed a fine of $416. “The three defence lawyers will pay a fine of Rwf300,000 for failing to appear before court on the agreed date of the hearing,” said the court presided over by Maj Bernard Rugamba Hategikimana, after two days of marathon hearings. But Mr Buhura told The EastA- frican that they cannot continue with the trial until the Supreme Court rules on the appeal that they have filed challenging the competence of the military court and the judges.
Jun 14th 2015
Jun 28th 2015