Wednesday, 22 April 2015

Malawians calls upon SA to punish the Zulu king

Nhlalo Ndaba, Shaun Smillie and Ulemu Teputepu | 22 April, 2015 00:17

The activists in Lilongwe said that unless action was taken against the two within 48 hours, it would force South African businesses in their country to close down. File photo
Image by: THULI DLAMINI/©Sunday Times

Malawian activists have demanded that action be taken against King Zwelithini and Jacob Zuma's son for making remarks that were viewed as inciting xenophobic violence.

Malawian police have also been out in force on the streets of the capital in case of reprisal attacks against South African businesses.
  • News24 reported that South Africa had closed its embassy in Lagos, Nigeria, after anti-xenophobia protests there.
  • In Botswana, routine patient referrals to South Africa have reportedly been suspended.
  • Zimbabweans travelling by Intercape bus were robbed by four gunmen at the Carousel Tollgate near Hammanskraal. Intercape South Africa, which recently merged with a Zimbabwean bus company on the Zimbabwe route, confirmed the incident. It said the robbery occurred "in the line of sight of the police and toll gate staff".

Tuesday, 21 April 2015

Army deployed to stop Xenophobic attacks

 South Africa  minister of Defence Nosiviwe Mapisa-Nqakula said on Tuesday the  South Africa defence force  will be deployed in Alexandra and parts of KZN to help police curb attacks on foreign nationals.
Speaking at a media briefing, she said the brutal killing of  a Mozambique national Emmanuel Sithole  and attacks of two Zimbabweans was an indication that the state had to step in and claim authority. 
She said the police had requested assistance of the military after a Zimbabwean couple and other foreigners was attacked on Monday night.
“We are not coming to take over the work of the police, but we are going in to support the police," said Mapisa-Nqakula.
Mapisa- Nqakula said she was hurt when she saw the pictures of Sithole in the newspaper, adding that the pictures might have been necessary for the country to see the extent of the ongoing violence that is soiling the country’s image.
“There are criminals who are taking advantage of challenges raised by South Africans.
Mapisa-Nqakula was at pains to say that the decision was not taken lightly - saying the democratic government had decided not to deploy the army at every provocation.
“The army will be deployed because there is a crisis,” she said.

Mapisa-Nqakula was joined by State Security Minister David Mahlobo and Home Affairs Minister Malusi Gigaba.

Monday, 20 April 2015

"Why should we share our land": imbizo attendees sing

Image by: eNCA Live via YouTube

"We are going to Point‚" men from Durban's Dalton hostel sang at Moses Mabhida Stadium where under-fire Zulu King Goodwill was expected to publicly address his controversial comments - that foreigners must leave the country.

Carrying knobkerries‚ shields and other traditional weapons‚ the men made reference to Durban's Point Road where foreigners last week took up arms to defend themselves against threats of xenophobic violence.
Bussed in from different parts of the province‚ the crowd also sang songs questioning why they should share "our land".
"This is our nation‚" they sang.
About 4,000 people had arrived at the stadium to hear Zwelithini speak.
Speaking at a moral regeneration event in Pongola about a month ago‚ Zwelithini said that foreigners should pack their bags and leave.
The comments are being probed by the Human Rights Commission‚ which is investigating whether or not they constitute hate speech.
Since his comments‚ xenophobic attacks in and around Durban have claimed six lives and displaced thousands of foreigners.
Zwelithini was not likely to apologise for the comments‚ but was is expected to condemn the attacks and call for calm.

Protest as Malawian man appears on murder charge

A group of 400 residents picketed outside the Cala magistrate's court morning where Rendy Ussen of Malawi stands accused of killing his girlfriend.

The deceased has been identified as 23-year-old Zandile Dudumashe.
The discovery of her body last week sparked violence in Cala‚ resulting in four foreign-owned shops being vandalised.
Police intervened to restore peace to the community.
Provincial police spokesman Brigadier Marinda Mills last week said foreign nationals were taken to the police station and other locations to ensure their safety‚ while police and community leaders addressed and requested the public not to take the law into their own hands.
Outside court on Monday morning‚ residents stood with placards calling for bail to be denied.
The case was postponed to April 28 for an interpreter

Three men to appear in court over Sithole’s murder

Mozambique national Emmanuel Sithole is attacked by men in Alexandra township in Johannesburg. He later died from his wounds.
Image by: JAMES OATWAY/Sunday Times.

The three men arrested in connection with the killing of Mozambican Emmanuel Sithole are expected to appear in court on Tuesday‚ as the hunt for the fourth suspect continues.

The arrests overnight were‚ reportedly‚ made with the help of the community.
Yet‚ following the attack‚ Oatway received grudging support when he attempted to remove Sithole from the scene and get him to medical help.
"Help me get him into the car. Help me‚ please‚" said photographer James Oatway‚ looking around at men gathered around him. One stepped forward‚ reluctantly.
Sithole was taken to the nearby Alexandra Day Clinic‚ where nurses did what they could‚ but as there was no doctor – he was apparently absent from the facility as he feared being attacked - he was eventually taken to the Edenvale Hospital.
Shortly after 9am‚ Sithole was pronounced dead.

South Africa's Zulu king condemns "vile" anti-immigrant attacks

DURBAN, South Africa, April 20 (Reuters) - South Africa's influential Zulu king Goodwill Zwelithini on Monday described anti-immigrant attacks that have killed at least seven people this month as "vile" and "wrong".
Zwelithini has been accused of fuelling anti-immigrant unrest after local media quoted him saying foreigners should leave South Africa. He said his comments were taken out of context and condemned violence against immigrants. (Reporting by Peroshni Govender; Writing by Joe Brock; Editing by James Macharia

Saturday, 11 April 2015

South Sudanese abroad petition UN chief over conflict

 More than 200 South Sudanese in different parts of the United States have petitioned the United Nations secretary general, Ban Ki-moon, urging the world body to find a comprehensive and sustainable solution to the country’s conflict.

JPEG - 20.4 kb
People gather at a makeshift camp for displaced people at a UN compound in South Sudan’s capital, Juba, on 22 December 2013 amid fears for further violence (Photo: AFP/Tony Karumba)
The group, in a petition extended toSudan Tribune, backed calls for imposition of targeted sanctions and an arms embargo on any party found to be obstructing or and frustrating the young nation’s peace process, in accordance with Security Council Resolution 2206 (2015).

“We express deep concern about the speech President Kiir delivered at a public rally in Juba on March 18, 2015 in which the President seemed to renege on most of the issues both sides had agreed upon in the recent inconclusive peace talks in Addis Ababa”, partly reads the 26 March request.

The petitioners, in their appeal, also called for immediate release of the findings of the African Union Commission of Inquiry on South Sudanese crisis, arguing that the continued withholding of the report encourages impunity, emboldens the perpetrators of the heinous crimes committed in the capital, Juba and other parts of the country.

This, they argued, does not serve the cause of justice for the victims of these crimes.
The group of activists also called for immediate withdrawal of the Uganda People Defense Forces (UPDF) from South Sudan’s territory.

“Uganda’s involvement in the war in support of the government of South Sudan undermines its role in mediating peace between the parties to the conflict, complicates the peace process, and may be contributing to the failure to achieve peace in South Sudan”, adds the petition.

The group further advocated for the active involvement of the Troika countries and other international stakeholders in the peace process alongside the Inter-governmental Authority on Development (IGAD) member countries, insisting that the active participation of the Troika will give the process the impetus needed to end the conflict.

They also called for comprehensive and sustainable peace that tackles fundamental issues of governance and all conditions that contributed to emergence of the conflict.

“We specifically call for the adoption of a democratic federal system of government as one of the solutions to the ending the war in South Sudan”, further stressed the petition.

Tens of thousands of people have been killed and millions displaced since conflict broke out in the young nation in December 2013. Aid agencies estimate that over three million of the population in the world’s youngest nation could face severe starvation.

Thursday, 9 April 2015

Journalists Have Crucial Roles to Play in South Sudan

 Things will be better if both warring parties agree that consciousness of the culture of peace and non-violence is key to the future of this nation, and then the mass media has the potential to play a key role in developing a culture of peace and non-violence.
Unfortunately, the mass media has not been given chance to exercise its potential mandate to the entire population of South Sudan. In other concept it has almost completely been ignored by authorities inside and outside the country due to their daily preaching culture of peace and non-violence to people.
This is the conclusion of many of the organizations who have contributed to the Civil Society during the violence took off  in the nation by then and now report to the United Nations who have listed the security arena “blackout” as one of the chief obstacles to their work.
Not only does the authority ignore the culture of peace, but also they support privilege news of the culture of war and violence in the nation.
For me this comes as no surprise. As a result of my experience trying to analyze daily expression of the people of South Sudan toward their own crisis and their perception at large through commends people always as violence concern. To my understanding, our people suggests that the Violence confronts an active resistance in the mass media and related social institutions more than it confronts an inherent ignorance or ‘psychological inertia’ in ordinary people.
The myth that war is part of human nature does not appear to be so much an inherent component of ‘common sense’ so much as it is the end result of a campaign of psychological propaganda that has been promulgated in the mass media in order to justify political policies of militarism. Several types of evidence support this hypothesis.
First, one can point to increasing publicity in recent war in the mass media for the myth that war and violence are intrinsic to human nature. Another kind of evidence comes from some opinions obligation more likely to believe in the myths of the biological inevitability of violence. There was a great deal of racist propaganda during Sudan conflict with SPLM /A rebel till 2005 when the reach compressive peace agreement that ended 21 years of war in Sudan.
Such racist propaganda may be seen as a last-resort effort by those who had a vested interest in South Sudan resources and colonialism to defend these institutions by appealing to the vulnerable belief systems of individual psychology at a time when they could no longer justify the institutions by economic or political arguments.
Does today’s propaganda about the tribal basis of warfare derive from a similar effort by those with a vested interest in militarism and who can no longer justify it on economic and political grounds? If this thesis is valid, then we should expect more rather than less resistance to publicizing the message of the constitutional statement as we succeed in getting more publicity from peripheral sectors of the mass media and educational systems, and as we continue to approach the more resistant and central sectors that are linked either ideologically or financially to the military-industrial complex.
The country constitution free media houses to alert the general public on information they founded with clear source of origin. We are faced with a more difficult task of engaging in a kind of psychological warfare with certain department of the government and related institutions who are engaged in producing the very ignorance that must be challenged.
If anything, the difficulty we face may become greater as time goes on, for the more the political and economic justifications for war are discredited, the more we may expect these sectors to fall back on the psychological justifications for war.
If this is correct, the struggle for culture of peace in the mass media needs to receive top priority and careful strategy. For example, efforts such media should basically do with information alert to general public in systematic way addressing news to the nation with the spirit of Peace and non-violence to the people of the nation.
A Media houses represent person hears in daily activities of government within and outside the nation to see and inform the people about the things and progress of the government on developmental issues. Therefore, media networks are not threat to the government as people uses to say during their daily expression.
The working of media houses such as Juba Monitor, Juba Telegraph, New Times, Citizen Newspaper and televisions is not against the government or threatening any authority in the nation.
The main work and mandate of media houses is connect-ability of the general public and government authority to one channel of common understanding in the country, government may not work well without people the same to the people. Any information to the public is channel to media for easy circulation of information across the country.
Therefore, the media departments act as morning cock to the nation. They wake-up the nation on critical situations and crucial times of the nation.

IGAD: another deadline for peace in South Sudan

After the disappointing deadline of March 5, the role of IGAD in continuing mediating the South Sudan peace talks came under scrutiny.

 The question is less about what went wrong with the IGAD-led mediation but rather what lessons we can learn to improve the mediation of the next peace talks.

Recently some non-state actors consisting of civil society, media, women, traditional authorities, faith-based institutions and academia held a meeting in Juba to evaluate the IGAD-led peace mediation.

Despite bitter criticism of the poorly managed mediation, the participants recognised that IGAD is the only regional organisation mandated to resolve conflicts in the region.

Given the subsidiarity principle and the geopolitics of the region, IGAD is well situated to continue mediating the peace talks, using a new design of mediation.

The participants also agreed to expand the IGAD mediation to include other countries that can add value and have sufficient economic, political, diplomatic and military weight.

 The meeting also recommended the new mediation to learn from the CPA experience of having one main mediator, accepted by all the parties.

While the participants affirmed the principle of an inclusive process, a multi-process of engaging stakeholders was accepted. This would include direct negotiations between the warring parties, provided that the outcome is brought to the plenary of all stakeholders.

The meeting also stressed the added value of the Arusha Agreement in resolving the outstanding issues in the IGAD-led mediation.

 With the failure of the peace talks in Ethiopia, the warring parties have started pursuing the option of war, as seen recently by increased violations of the cessation of hostilities agreement.

The question is: What can be done to encourage the warring parties to engage in peace talks but in good faith? A recent report, titled ‘South Sudan:

 The Cost of War’, indicates that every minute spent on the war effort will make the task of putting South Sudan on the path of sustainable peace and stability more difficult.

 The report shows that if the conflict continues for another one to five years, it will cost South Sudan an estimated $28 billion.

 In addition, the region could save up to $53 billion and the international community $30 billion if the war stopped today.

 The report stressed the urgent need for the warring parties, the region and the international community to take action to bring peace to South Sudan.

 A possible action of encouraging the warring parties to conclude peace deal is to enforce targeted UN sanctions on individuals who are obstructing the peace talks.

Although these sanctions may target individuals, there is need for a thorough assessment of their impact on the people of South Sudan, the region and the international community.

 A recent evaluation of the effectiveness of UN targeted sanctions shows that they are effective only in one-third of the time in changing the behaviour of targeted individuals, constraining them from engaging in certain activities or stigmatising them.

 UN targeted sanctions are often evaded through the diversion of assets through a third party, the use of black markets or safe havens, the diversification of funds and investments, and reliance on family members.

 Besides, the report shows that sanctions do have unintended consequences, such as an increase in corruption and criminality, the strengthening of authoritarian rule, a burden on neighbouring states, diversion of resources and a negative humanitarian impact.

Given the complex context of South Sudan, the unintended consequences of UN targeted sanctions will certainly be borne by the people of South Sudan, with far-reaching consequences on their lives and livelihoods. In addition, neighbouring countries such as Sudan, Kenya, Uganda and probably Ethiopia would not be receptive in implementing the sanctions given their economic and security interests in South Sudan and the possible impact of the sanctions on their economies.

Another option for the region is to use the much-awaited report of the AU commission of inquiry to encourage the warring parties to conclude the peace agreement without compromising on issues of justice. Although the content of the report is not known, the leaked report may provide a hint of what is expected from the final report.

 It is most likely that some senior leaders of the warring parties will be the prime suspects of the atrocities committed since the eruption of the conflict in December 2013. It is understandable that the release of the report should be managed in such a way not to obstruct the peace talks.

 Given the fact that the warring parties committed themselves to issue of justice in Arusha Agreement, the African Union in collaboration with IGAD, the Troika, the EU and the UN could use the AU report as a carrot or stick when appropriate in encouraging the warring parties to conclude a peace agreement. Another option is the leaked IGAD action plan for resolving the conflict in South Sudan by April 18.

 Unlike previous deadlines, when the warring parties were given a chance to agree on the contentious issues, the new action plan aims at proposing a final and binding peace agreement to be signed by the parties by April 18.

 If the leaked document reflects the true IGAD action plan, then the challenge is how to inform this process so that it reflects the aspirations of the people of South Sudan and reduces the risk of bringing a ‘bad peace’.

 As a good peace is becoming unattainable due to the intransigent positions of the warring parties, the remaining choice for the people of South Sudan is whether to have a bad or imposed peace, or war.

The remaining outstanding issues are two armies, federalism, power-sharing, the choice between the position of prime minister or an additional vice-president, and succession. With the exception of federalism, all these issues are less of concern to the people of South Sudan.

 The security concerns rightly raised by the SPLM-in-Opposition can be resolved by increasing the pre-interim period, to build trust between the warring parties and establish appropriate security guarantees rather than having two armies. The issue of federalism is less contentious.

It has been agreed in principle as the appropriate system of government for managing diversity in South Sudan. However, its adoption requires a thorough study and engagement of the citizens as part of the constitution-making process.

 The other issues of power-sharing, the position of prime minister or another vicepresident, and succession can either be resolved in the context of the SPLM reunification agreement in Arusha or through logical assessment, as reflected by previous IGAD proposals and its protocol of August 25, 2014.

One would expect the newly expanded IGAD-plus mediation, with South Africa, Rwanda, Chad and Algeria added, to be bold in proposing a draft agreement guided by the overwhelming desire for peace of the people of South Sudan.

If the proposed agreement would subject the remaining issues to the will of the people, then it cannot be termed a bad peace.

 However, it would be appropriate that all the stakeholders, and particularly the warring parties, are given a last chance to discuss the proposed peace agreement before it is signed into a final agreement.

The author is the director of the Centre for Peace and Development Studies at the University of Juba. He is also a global fellow at the Peace Research Institute in Oslo and an associate fellow at the Carr Centre for Human Rights Policy at Harvard Kennedy School. He can be reached on