A number of events in the first three months of this year have created a climate of uncertainty and a feeling of “wait and see” with the ordinary South Sudanese bearing the worst effects of political instability. Here below are the main news from different sources.
PEACE TALKS FAILED ON MARCH 6TH, NEW DEADLINE IN APRIL
The year also opened with expectations that the IGAD talks held on 30 January in Addis Ababa would result in some sort of agreement between warring factions. However, it is now clear from actions of the parties involved that this was little more than another round of talks.
President Kiir and his former deputy in party and government turned rebel leader Machar failed to resolve the contentious issues in the peace process after days in direct negotiations in Addis Ababa.
Apostolic Nuncio to South Sudan and Kenya after warmly greeting the faithful on behalf of Pope Francis at an overcrowded mass at St Joseph’s Cathedral of Malakal Catholic Diocese on Sunday 1 March called on them to work for peace.
It is high (23% in February), especially affecting food prices, and the uncertainty is reflected in the black market exchange rate of the South Sudanese pound against the dollar – almost twice the official rate.
On March 3, the UN Security Council unanimously adopted resolution 2206 to sanction those who hinder peace, security and stability in South Sudan.
CHILD SOLDIERS, RELEASES AND NEW RECRUITING
These past three months have also seen a pledge from a South Sudan militia leader to release child soldiers as part of a UN-organised plan. According to Unicef, around 12,000 children have been forcibly recruited by armed groups in South Sudan over the past year.
Children have been released in some parts of the country, but continue to be recruited by force in others.