Wednesday, July 12, 2017

South Sudan - Finger-pointing and confusion in Juba

(Africa Intelligence) - South Sudan's fall into the abyss seems to be accelerating by the day .
Two of the government's leading ministers, Martin Elias Lomoro (cabinet affairs) and Michael Makuei Lueth (information) have published fiercely critical words about their own cabinet. At the same time, however, the armed forces are no longer fighting the rebellion but its own Mathiang Anyoor militia. Since the militia's leader, former SPLA chiefs of staff general Paul Malong Awan, was ousted, his followers have been laying down their arms and returning to their home regions in Bahr el Ghazal. SPLM-IO rebels are only too glad to let them pass. South Sudan's ambassadors in seven countries have been recalled home, but given 60 days to return to Juba. Having not been paid for eight months, many lack the money to repatriate their families . Foreign minister Deng Alor Kuol explained that all that was altogether normal.
 Vice president James Wani Igga organized a big meeting to celebrate winning his PhD at Bulacan State University in the Philippines, where he never set foot. His thesis concerned taxing investment and he voiced the hope it would be "useful in developing the country."

  Officials are resigning and not only from government but also from an artificial "rebellion" led by another vice president, Taban Deng Gai. It was meant to become a "partner" in national dialogue but lacks any authentic rebels in its ranks.

Riek Machar, the former head of SPLM-IO and the country's vice president, is being held under house arrest in Johannesburg. He was banned from attending peace talks in Kampala on May 26  but has now being begged to take part in further talks. In current circumstances he has declined to take part, even if it means remaining under arrest.