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South Sudan: Government Lacks Will to Work for Peace – Opposition

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The Intergovernmental Authority on Development (IGAD) on Friday adjourned the South Sudan peace talks for three weeks. An IGAD envoy did not say why, but opposition parties questioned the government delegation’s commitment to finding solutions.

Opposition parties, civil society activists and faith-based groups have been attending the regional bloc’s meeting in the Ethiopian capital, Addis Ababa, for two weeks to discuss the road to peace in South Sudan.

Ismail Wais, IGAD’s special envoy for South Sudan, told delegates from the various South Sudanese stakeholders that his office would communicate a date for the resumption of the peace talks, dubbed High Level Revitalization Forum (HLRF).

“Today we shall postpone phase two of the forum,” he said. “But before we do so, I would like to take this opportunity to sincerely congratulate all of you for your patience and dedication to the revitalization process.”

Wais did not specify reasons for suspending the peace talks. However, nine opposition parties represented at the talks issued a statement accusing the South Sudan government delegation of lacking the “political will” to address core issues blocking the road to peace in South Sudan.

“We came to participate in the HLRF with an open mind and negotiate in good faith to usher peace to our people,” the statement said. “Unfortunately, our brothers and sisters in the government came to Addis Ababa to maintain the status quo and to accommodate the opposition group into bloated government.”

Speaking to VOA’s South Sudan in Focus from Addis Ababa, Kwaje Lasu, secretary-general of the South Sudan National Movement for Change, said the government delegation was not willing to end the violence in South Sudan.

Lasu also noted that when the so-called declaration of principles — the road map for the peace negotiations — were negotiated, “the government of South Sudan refused to sign” it.

South Sudan In Focus requested an interview with Michael Makuei, South Sudan’s minister of information and the government’s spokesman, but has not spoken to him yet.
Troika statement

The troika countries of Norway, the United States and Britain — the countries that funded and facilitated the 2015 South Sudan peace deal — issued a statement Friday throwing their weight behind the efforts of IGAD to end violence in South Sudan.

‘While useful dialogue has taken place over the past two weeks, there is much more for the parties to do if the HLRF is to make meaningful and sustainable progress towards peace,” the statement said.

The troika called on South Sudan’s various parties to reconvene as soon as possible, without preconditions, to address the security and governance arrangements essential for peace.

“We urge all parties to take steps to maintain the momentum of the process and refrain from comments or actions that could make returning to dialogue more difficult,” the statement said. “We urge the parties to agree that a negotiated arrangement for an inclusive transitional government that reflects South Sudan’s diversity is needed.”

The troika’s statement renewed its firm view that elections in South Sudan could not be viable in 2018, given the continuing conflict, lack of security, displacement of one-third of the population and severe food insecurity affecting half the population.

The opposition groups refused to discuss IGAD’s proposed power sharing arrangement, which would give 51 percent control President Salva Kiir’s party and 49 percent to the various opposition groups.

Lasu said the opposition parties were advocating for a lean and effective transitional government in South Sudan.

 

Source: VOA

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AFRICA FOCUS

Uhuru Kenyatta Orders Top Officials To Take Lie-detector Tests In Corruption Crackdown

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Kenyan President Uhuru Kenyatta is ordering procurement officials in government offices to undergo lie-detector tests as part of a corruption crackdown following a series of scandals.

Kenyatta’s announcement Friday comes after nearly 9 billion Kenya shillings ( $90 million) vanished from the National Youth Service, a government agency that provides training opportunities for young people.

It later emerged that the funds were allegedly stolen through fake invoices for services that were never rendered. Dozens of people have been arrested and are facing charges over the alleged theft.

Kenyatta said people running government institutions will undergo the new tests to safeguard against “selfishness and greed.”

“All heads of procurement and accounts in government ministries, departments, agencies and parastatals will undergo fresh vetting including polygraph testing, to determine their integrity and suitability,” he said.

The tests will be concluded before the start of the next financial year, and those who fail will be suspended, he said. The government’s financial year starts in July.

“You will hear of other tougher actions in the days to come,” Kenyatta said.

One of Kenyatta’s campaign promises when he was first elected for his first term in 2013 was to tackle corruption, but government agencies have been embroiled in several graft scandals.

“Many fear the procurement of the lie-detectors would itself be scandalous! Corruption is in the DNA of Kenya,” Mohamed Yarrow tweeted.

Kenyatta acknowledged the rampant corruption, describing it as one of the main challenges facing the nation and urging citizens to join him in the fight.

“While the challenge may look huge because of the way corruption has become entrenched in some of our people today, we have to declare in unison that corruption in all its forms will be diminished from our country,” he said.

One of East Africa’s largest economies has had a series of corruption scandals in recent months.

In March, Kenya’s auditor general said the health ministry is missing 11 billion shillings ($108 million), a major concern for a nation that gets numerous funds from international donors.

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ICC Regrets Uganda’s Failure To Arrest Bashir – ICC Adviser

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The International Criminal Court (ICC) based in Hague (Netherland) has today regretted the failure by Uganda to arrest Sudan President Omar Bashir during his recent visit to the country.

Dahirou Sant-Anna, the international Cooperation Adviser in the office of the prosecutor regretted the lack of cooperation from the government of Uganda for refusing to arrest Omar Bashir, the president of the Republic of Sudan, when he stepped on Ugandan soil. He noted that the government was supposed to arrest Bashir because the court has already issued arrest warrants against him.

It’s against this background that he called upon African countries to corporate with the court because its role is to give justice to victims of war crimes, crimes against humanity and genocide.

Dahirou also revealed that ICC received a complaint concerning the Kasese killings and its under review.

It should be remembered that a group of Uganda members of parliament from Kasese region led by the Leader of Opposition, who doubles as the Kasese women MP Winnie Kiiza petitioned ICC over the 2016 Kasese massacre.

In other developments, Maria Mabinty Kamara, the ICC Outreach Officer refuted claims by some African leaders under the African Union that the court is only targeting them because they are financially poor and are contributing little to its survival. She said that America and European countries are not the biggest contributors.  She said that its Japan who contribute much to ICC because of the per-capital income of their people. Maria said that a country’s contribution to the court depends its people’s per-capital.

Maria also revealed that in July this year, ICC is going to celebrate 20 years under the theme ‘Building a more just world’. She said that a number of activities are going to take place which will include ICC officials having engagements with other stakeholders like members from Civil Society Organisation (CSO), the Uganda Law Society and LRA victims.

The International Criminal Court (ICC) is an intergovernmental organization and international tribunal, established in 1998 in Rome (Italy) that sits in The Hague in the Netherlands. The ICC has the jurisdiction to prosecute individuals for the international crimes of genocide, crimes against humanity, and war crimes.

Thus far, 39 individuals have been indicted in the ICC, including Ugandan rebel leader Joseph Kony, Sudanese president Omar al-Bashir, Kenyan president Uhuru Kenyatta, Libyan leader Muammar Gaddafi, Ivorian president Laurent Gbagbo, and Congolese vice-president Jean-Pierre Bemba.

It currently has 123-member states which are signatory to it.
By Jamil Lutakome

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SHOCKING PHOTO: Of Catholic Congo Priest Infected With Ebola As Bishops Prays For Him Afar

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A Catholic priest contracted the Ebola virus in the Democratic Republic of Congo amid a continuing outbreak that began in the nation earlier this month. The priest, who has been identified as Fr. Lucien Ambunga, – was reportedly infected in the town of Mbandaka.

The clergy was pictured receiving prayers from other the Bishop and priests after being quarantined. Fr. Lucien contracted Ebola while visiting the sick.

Extremely contagious and highly deadly, Ebola gained major international attention during the 2014-2016 epidemic in West Africa that left more than 11,000 people dead.

In the latest outbreak in DRC, the first case of Ebola was reported on May 8 in the rural Equateur province near Bikoro, and later spread to Mbandaka. The World Health Organization has said that the chances of Ebola spreading to other parts of the nation are “very high.”

 

Source: catholicforlife

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