This Week in South Sudan – Week 28

Tuesday 12 July

  • The humanitarian situation in Juba is dire and continues to deteriorate. Hospitals have been shelled and food supplies are low. Tens of thousands of people have taken refuge in churches, and many more have been displaced.
  • Russia said it is willing to consider imposing an arms embargo on South Sudan and that sending more troops could help stabilise the country.
  • Uganda will only send troops to South Sudan if requested by mediators since previous deployment in the country was severely criticised.
  • Fresh fighting erupted Tuesday morning south of Wau town between SPLA (IO) forces and government soldiers.
  • SPLM (IO) spokesperson claims that Riek Machar’s residence was bombed and destroyed during the Juba clashes.
  • International Crisis Group: “De-escalating South Sudan’s New Flare-up”
  • The Guardian: “South Sudan: is the renewed violence the restart of civil war?”
  • Radio Tamazuj In Pictures: “Citizens take shelter at UN House base”

Wednesday 13 July

  • A tenuous ceasefire appears to be holding in Juba, after five days of heavy fighting. The ceasefire was declared by Vice-president Riek Machar and President Salva Kiir on Monday 11 July.
  • SPLM (IO) spokesperson reports that Vice-president Riek Machar has withdrawn with his troops to outside of Juba, but stressing he is not planning for war.
  • Several countries, including Germany, the UK, Italy, Japan, India, Sudan and Uganda have started evacuating their citizens from South Sudan.
  • The U.S. military has deployed about 40 soldiers to Juba to safeguard the U.S. Embassy and help carry out a State Department order for non-essential personnel to leave the country.
  • The UN is ready to work with IGAD to refine the group’s proposal for an intervention force within the U.N. peacekeeping mission in South Sudan.
  • The SPLA (IO) has demanded that their full complement of troops allowed under the security arrangements deal should be brought to Juba.
  • Clashes between the SPLA and SPLA (IO) broke out in Leer town, Unity state.
  • The New York Times: “What Can the United Nations Do When its Troops Can’t, or Won’t, Protect Civilians?”

Thursday 14 July

Friday 15 July

  • The number of South Sudanese refugees in East Africa could pass one million this year according to the United Nations refugee agency.
  • South Sudanese security forces are reportedly preventing people, particularly men, from leaving the country.
  • SPLA soldiers invaded and looted the World Food Programme’s (WFP) main warehouse in Juba.
  • Chatham House: “South Sudan’s Peace Deal Hangs in the Balance”
  • BBC: “South Sudan conflict explained”

Saturday 16 July

Sunday 17 July

  • The renewed fighting and tension in Juba is set to dominate the African Union summit that starts in the Rwandan capital of Kigali on 17 July.
  • South Sudanese security personnel shut down the operations of the independent newspaper, the Juba Monitor, and arrested Alfred Taban, the editor in chief, after he called on Vice-president Riek Machar and President Salva Kiir to step down.
  • The President of Kenya, Uhuru Kenyatta, says that his country and those in the region have a collective responsibility to restore peace and security in South Sudan.

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