South Sudan

Pressure Mounts On Kiir, Machar to End War

Dozens of mourners have Monday thronged Rubaga Cathedral in Kampala to pay their last respects of the departed Total CEO Christophe de Margerie who died in a plane crash in Russia last week.

The church service attracted a number of French diplomats and investors from Uganda’s Oil and Gas sector.

The government of Uganda was represented by officials from the Ministry of Energy and Mineral Development who praised the deceased for working towards the development of the oil and gas sector in the country.

State Minister Peter Lokeris told the mourners he worked for several years with Christophe whom he found committed to seeing growth in the budding oil sector.

Some of the mourners who attended the memorial service on Monday
Some of the mourners who attended the memorial service on Monday

“We as the ministry, search the oil and gas sector and Uganda as a whole, sildenafil have lost a very intelligent and hardworking man – one of those who have worked tirelessly towards developing the oil and gas sector of Uganda, ed ” said Lokeris.

Total E and P General Manager Francois Rafin described the late as a social and down to earth person who was accommodating to everyone regardless of status.

UWA Executive Executive Director Andrew Seguya lighting up the comemoration candles
UWA Executive Executive Director Andrew Seguya lighting up the commemoration candles

“I worked with the late in a number of countries like Russia, Nigeria and Yemen before he came to Uganda but he had belief in Africa’s future and we are going to continue with this journey,” said Rafin.

Mrs Kellen Kayonga, a board member of the Uganda mines and Petroleum industry Uganda praised the late as an unassuming man who was eager to listen and share knowledge with everybody regardless of race and status.

Total E and P General Manager Francois Rafin paying tribute to the deceased
A French diplomat paying tribute to the deceased
Total E and P Gen Manager, Rafin, with his wife during the mass
Total E and P Gen Manager, Rafin, with his wife during the mass
South Sudan must silence the guns, more about immediately agree to a peace deal and return to the path of peace and stability, order the UN envoy to the country said in New York.

Briefing the Security Council recently, UNMISS head Ellen Margrethe Loej urged the UN body and regional leaders to help bring warring parties to the negotiating table.

This was the message she had consistently conveyed to all her interlocutors, including President Salva Kiir and opposition leader Riek Machar, Ms. Loej said.

“Peace cannot be delayed even for one more day,” she said.

“The untold suffering of the people of South Sudan must stop.” Every day without a political agreement contributed to a further deterioration of the situation on the ground.

Forces loyal to political rivals Salva Kiir and his former Vice-President Riek Machar have been battling for the past 10 months, turning what began as a political spat into all-out conflict that has sent more than 100,000 civilians fleeing to UNMISS bases around the country.

The crisis has uprooted some 1.8 million people and placed more than seven million at risk of hunger and disease.

Ms. Loej called on the Council, regional leaders and friends of the young nation to remain fully engaged with warring parties so they made the necessary compromise to translate their public statements of commitment to peace into actions. “The people of South Sudan deserve no less.”

She noted that small-scale skirmishes had continued between the two parties to the conflict. Two weeks ago opposition forces mobilized from the Canal area of Northern Jonglei State and attacked and captured Dolleib Hill to the south of Malakal, Upper Nile State.

In Unity state, “tensions remain high”, said Ms. Loej, particularly around the UNMISS protection site in Bentiu, with the Sudan People´s Liberation Army (SPLA), continuing to allege that the UNMISS protection site is an opposition stronghold.

UNMISS was also keeping a close eye on Lakes State, where inter-communal violence continued which most recently left 30 dead in Rumbek in early October, she said. “The Government is deploying additional security forces to Rumbek in an attempt to bring the security situation under control.”

She also observed that the humanitarian situation remained “dire” across the country, with around four million people, close to a third of the population, facing serious food insecurity. Aid agencies were working hard to support those in need, with over 3.2 million people having been reached with some form of humanitarian assistance over the course of the year.

“UNMISS will continue to support the humanitarian community to ensure the key needs of the people of South Sudan are met,” she said.

During the dry season, requests were likely to increase for the mission to provide force protection to relief convoys and sites where relief is prepositioned and stored. The arrival of the remainder of the authorized surge troops, including the proposed riverine capacity, would be key in responding to these needs.

“However, no amount of aid can solve the crisis or convince people to return home,” Ms. Loej noted. “Only peace and reconciliation can and, sadly, in the absence of both, the aid operation will have to be sustained if we are to continue to prevent the humanitarian situation from further deteriorating.”

The SRSG expressed shock at the complete disregard for human life she had noticed since she had been on the ground. “Those responsible for committing atrocities and human rights violations must be held to account and face justice.”

She also noted that violations of the Status of Forces agreement had decreased over the past couple of months, but had continued.

“I am seriously concerned by the recent spate of unlawful arrests and detentions, and abductions targeting UN and humanitarian personnel,” Ms. Loej said. “Two of our national staff have remained in detention since August.”

She added that three UNMISS Individual Contractors had been abducted on 10 October at Malakal Airport, two of whom had since been released but the third person was yet to be found.

Further, on 16 October a UN agency national staff member was abducted at Malakal Airport by unknown persons. “I urge government authorities to do everything within their power to see that the captured UNMISS individual contractor and the UN agency staff member are freed quickly and unharmed,” she said.

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