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The East African : Jul 12th 2015
6 The EastAfrican NEWS JULY 11-17,2015 Patients die as S. Sudan fighting fo≥ces medics to flee: Red C≥oss A JOINT REPORT The EastAfrican A DOZEN patients have died and others who were wounded are without care in a South Sudanese hospital after fighting forced medics to flee, the International Committee of the Red Cross has said. At least 12 patients died, while at least 40 wounded or sick are in need of help in the hospital at Kodok in the war-torn northern state of Upper Nile. The ICRC team of five medics, who nor- mally provide up to 700 consultations a week, left after the fighting on July 5 and are now in the capital Juba until security improves. “The hospital is virtually empty of any qualified personnel to provide quality care at a time when it is most needed. The situation has gone from bad to worse,” said ICRC aid worker Konrad Bark, who was forced to leave. The hospital was also damaged in the fighting between rebel and government troops. The deaths are the latest in a long list of atrocities that include girls being gang raped by soldiers then burned alive, boys castrated, and the recruitment of armies of child fighters. Hospitals have been deliberately targeted in the war. The world’s newest nation was thrust into turmoil 18 months ago when President Salva Kiir accused former vice president Riek Machar of planning a coup, setting off a cycle of retaliatory killings that has split the country along ethnic lines. On July 9, as the country celebrated its fourth year of Independence from Sudan, the United States said that “Kiir and Riek Machar and their cronies are personally responsible for this new war and self-inflicted disaster.” National Security Advisor Susan Rice warned the US and international community would “punish those determined to drive South Sudan into the abyss.” In November 2014, the International Cri- sis Group think tank estimated that as many as 50,000 had died, but killing has continued unabated in the meantime, while hunger and disease have added even more to the toll. Since the special consultation in Nairobi in late June, the fighting in South Sudan has escalated covering areas that were previously not, affected such as northern Bahr-elGhazal, Warrap, Western and Eastern Equatoria States. A week ago, the rebels attacked Nimule, the border town with Uganda and key transport corridor for goods coming from Kenya and Uganda. Last week, they overran a key adminis- trative headquarters in northern Bahr El Ghazal State before withdrawing. South Sudan chief of general staff Paul Malong has admitted that the security situation in the country is dire. In Upper Nile, the two forces continue to exchange control of the state headquarters, Malakal, with the rebels teaming up with former pro-government militia led by Johnson Olony. Report by AFP and Fred Oluoch SOUTH SUDAN CONFLICT South Sudan’s President Salva Kiir will serve for another three-year term. Picture: File No oath as Kiir begins serving extended term Pa≥liament last week handed the p≥esident a th≥ee-yea≥ te≥m to complete “unfinished tasks” By FRED OLUOCH Special Correspondent S outh Sudan’s President Salva Kiir last week failed to take an oath of office for the extended three-year term after bureaucrats warned that it could result in a constitutional crisis. Despite political pressure for the president to take an oath during the July 9 celebrations of the 4th anniversary of Independence, the legal team maintained that the president had taken an oath on July 9, 2011 and therefore there was no need for such a ceremony. Presidential advisor on legal affairs Lawrence Korbandy told The EastAfrican that there is no constitutional provision to support a “double oath” of office for an extended period in the Transitional Constitution of South Sudan. “It is clear that an extended mandate of office is meant to accomplish unfinished task by a person already in an office whose mandate is about to finish but is statutorily allowed and extended,” he said. “Taking an oath of office is all about a person who is to enter into an office and not about a person who is already in the office like the president of the Republic of South Sudan,” added Mr Korbandy. He said President Kiir has uncompleted tasks as provided in Article 194 (census), 202 (6), (8), (10) & (11) (constitution-making process) and Article 196 (elections) because of conflict, which has made it difficult to complete his tasks within the legally specified period. Parliament, using the doc- trine of necessity, has extended the government’s tenure and the mandate of office of the president. President Kiir on Wednes- day last week began his renewed three-year term of office in the absence of elections due to the ongoing civil war in the country. During his address at the Dr John Garang Mausoleum, President Kiir welcomed the three-year extension, saying it will give him ample time to carry out reforms and promote development in the OPPOSITION country. But the opposition faction of the Sudan Peoples’ Liberation Movement (SPLMIO), led by his former deputy Riek Machar, has maintained that the extension is unconstitutional and will plunge the country into constitutional crisis because the four-year constitutional mandate for both executive and legislature expired on July 8. In an interview with The EastAfrican in Nairobi, Dr Machar argued that there is a wrong perception that President Kiir will automatically lead the proposed Transitional Government of National Unity. “We are not in the oppo- sition to extend the term of President Kiir in power. We are committed to bringing about peace to the country and if we have a choice, we would prefer him not to lead the transitional government,” said Dr Machar. He further revealed that Riek Machar. Picture: File The pending issue on the Arusha Accord, which seek to reconcile the three SPLM factions, is the meeting of the Tripartite Committee which the government feels should be done in Juba and the rebels maintained it can only be done in Arusha before final peace agreement. during the two-day consultations in Nairobi, there were attempts to have him travel to Juba and take the oath of the SPLM deputy chairman because it could accelerate the peace process. He, however, declined because it would be difficult to send a delegation to Juba while the war is still raging. “We told them that the best option is to continue working on the Arusha Accord by particularly translating contents of the agreement into the SPLM constitution and other documents like the code of conduct, internal party regulations and financial management. In the meantime, we are striving to reach agreement in Addis Ababa to resolve the national crisis,” said Dr Machar.
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