South Sudan

‘Calmness in Juba Deceptively Dangerous’

Permanent peace remains a far cry for South Sudan capital, price Juba, visit this a senior official said Wednesday.

“There is no doubt that Juba is relatively calm at present but this calmness can be deceptive and the situation volatile, buy as we saw last week following the irresponsible rumours concerning the President’s health,” revealed Festus Mogae, Chairperson, Joint Monitoring and Evaluation Commission.

Reports of the president’s alleged failing health triggered uncertainty and tension in Juba last week, compelling Kiir to drive around the capital to dispel the rumours.

Mogae said the Regional Protection Force therefore remains a pre-requisite for a “secure, peaceful and stable environment within which political inclusion can be pursued.”

President Salva Kiir and the military’s top brass have previously expressed their skepticism over plans to deploy a force in South Sudan, wondering what job it would play in the country.

But Mogae, who today spoke at the opening plenary meeting of the Joint Monitoring and Evaluation Commission in Juba, said an inclusive political process can only be sustained within a secure environment.

“In this regard JMEC welcomes UN Security Council Resolution 2304, which provides for, among other things, the deployment of a Regional Protection Force to secure Juba as a neutral environment,” said Mogae.

Juba has in the past witnessed heavy fighting between forces loyal to President Kiir and Dr Riek Machar, threatening the entire stability of the country.


The fighting has not only displaced over one million people but left a trail of bloodshed and destruction.

While Kiir maintains that the SPLA are able to defend their country, Mogae observed that the deployment of the Regional Protection Force is now of “paramount importance in order to build trust and confidence and establish the necessary security arrangements that will facilitate the resumption of inclusive implementation of the Agreement.”

He further noted that from the beginning of July, observers have witnessed “escalating hostility that has led to near daily violations of the ceasefire and a developing conflict between SPLA-IG and SPLA-IO and which has slowly drawn in other armed groups.”


He further cited an increase in offensive operations by both Government Forces and Opposition Forces, specifically in and around Yei, Leer, Jezeera and Nassir.

“The situation in Equatoria states is of particular concern, where we are deeply concerned about the unacceptable targeting of civilians,” he added.

There also is an increasing number of civilians fleeing their villages due to the growing insecurity and over one million South Sudanese are now living as refugees in neighbouring countries, majority of whom are women and children.

The outbreak of violence has compounded economic instability and the challenges facing economic policy.

Agricultural production has been affected by the abandonment of rural areas, and violence is disrupting transportation of goods to market, all of which increases food insecurity and creates inflationary pressures.

Officials said international aid is increasingly diverted from development projects to humanitarian relief, further weakening prospects for growth.

“The impacts are reflected in the economic data,” said Mogae.

“There was a slide in the international valuation of the South Sudanese Pound from May to August at an average of 20 percent per month and monthly inflation averaged 40 percent over the same period. The good news is that the exchange rate strengthened after the middle of the September and inflation is now falling, creating a somewhat more favourable economic policy environment.”

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