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U.N says Muammar Gaddafi son’s trial was unfair, should be done at ICC


he trial of former Libyan leader Muammar Gaddafi did not meet international standards, the United Nations said on Tuesday.

The U.N. said Saif al-Islam Gaddafi, who was sentenced to death in absentia, should instead have his trial conducted at the International Criminal Court (ICC).

Since his father’s toppling in 2011, Saif has been held in Zintan, a mountainous western region, by one of the factions that began contending for power after Gaddafi was killed.

The 44-year-old was sentenced to death in 2015 by a Tripoli court for war crimes, including killing protesters during the revolution.

Zintani forces however refused to hand him over, saying they did not trust Tripoli to guarantee he does not escape.

The proceedings “fell short of international norms and standards for fair trial and also breached Libyan law in some respects”, a U.N. report said.

“No prosecution witnesses were called to testify in court, undermining the defendants’ ability to challenge evidence.” it added.

Saif, former intelligence chief Abdullah al-Senussi and former Prime Minister Al-Baghdadi a-Mahmoudi were among nine defendants sentenced to death by firing squad.

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U.S’s Oil Company Exxon Mobil signed a deal with South Sudan to reopen Oil in Bentiu that was closed due to fighting there


The official, who demanded his identity be submerged because of the sensitivity of the talks, said the government is pleased about the fact that Western oil companies are returning to South Sudan.

“The government is working days and nights to make sure these corporations are awarded stakes in our oil deposits,” the source said, adding “we are happy about the fact that French, UK, and US oil companies are coming back to do business with us.”

The source revealed that France-based oil and gas company Total SA and London-based Tullow Oil Plc have also shown interest in buying stakes of the untapped reserves.

Exxon Mobil, once led by Rex William. Tillerson, the current United States’ Secretary of State, ended oil exploration in 2014 after the civil war broke out.

The source further disclosed to the South Sudan News Agency that “around the clock negotiations” between South Sudanese Petroleum Minister Ezekiel Lol Gatkuoth and oil and gas companies are ongoing and that Juba expects “positive outcomes” from the talks.

Breaking News: Lt. Ladu Gore? All Equatorians Ministers and Military officers are leaving the Dinka government Lt. Ladu Gore went missing in Juba


16864317_1834722026800666_4888142360627937188_nFebruary 21, 2017, SPLM-Crown Hotel led by Taban Deng Gai is falling apart ource revealled that Lt Ladu Gore has gone missing this afternoon in Juba.

Russia’s U.N. envoy Churkin dies suddenly in New York


Russian Ambassador to the United Nations Vitaly Churkin addresses members of the U.N. Security Council during a meeting about the Ukraine situation, at the U.N. headquarters in New York, March 6, 2015. REUTERS/Eduardo Munoz/File Photo
By Jack Stubbs | MOSCOW

February 20, 2017, Russia’s combative ambassador to the United Nations, Vitaly Churkin, died suddenly in New York on Monday after being taken ill at work, the Russian Foreign Ministry said.

The ministry gave no details on the circumstances of his death but offered condolences to his relatives and said the diplomat had died one day before his 65th birthday.

It declined to comment on reports that Churkin had been taken to a hospital shortly before his death.

A U.S. government official, who was not authorized to speak publicly on the case, said that Churkin had died of an apparent heart attack.

A federal law enforcement official, also speaking on condition of anonymity, said that there appeared to be nothing unusual about the ambassador’s death.

The New York Post quoted unnamed sources as saying Churkin had been rushed to a Manhattan hospital from the Russian embassy after falling ill with a cardiac condition.

President Vladimir Putin was deeply upset by the news and had greatly valued Churkin’s professionalism and diplomatic talent, Russian news agencies quoted the Kremlin as saying.

Tass news agency quoted Churkin’s deputy, Pyotr Ilyichev, as saying: “The loss sustained by Russia is grave and irreplaceable.

“Ambassador Churkin remained at his work post until the last minute. He devoted his whole life to defending the interests of Russia and was to be found on the very front lines and in the most stressful posts.”

Foreign ministry spokeswoman Maria Zakharova said on Facebook: “Great diplomat. Extraordinary personality. Colorful man.”

Churkin was a pugnacious defender of Russian policy, notably its intensive bombing of the Syrian city of Aleppo last year to crush rebels opposed to President Bashar al-Assad.

MOTHER THERESA

When then-U.S. envoy to the United Nations, Samantha Power, accused Syria, Russia and Iran last year of bearing responsibility for atrocities there, Churkin said she was forgetting the United States’ own track record in the Middle East.

“The weirdest speech to me was the one by the U.S. representative who built her statement as if she is Mother Teresa herself. Please, remember which country you represent. Please, remember the track record of your country,” he said.

Farhan Haq, deputy spokesman for the U.N. secretary-general’s office, on Monday said: “He has been such a regular presence here that I am actually quite stunned. Our thoughts go to his family, to his friends and to his government.”

A moment of silence was held at an informal session of the U.N. General Assembly.

His diplomatic counterparts weighed in with tributes.

“In my short time at the United Nations, Ambassador Vitaly Churkin showed himself to be a gracious colleague,” the U.S. ambassador to the world body, Nikki Haley, said in a statement.

“We did not always see things the same way, but he unquestionably advocated his country’s positions with great skill. We send our prayers and heartfelt condolences to lift up his family and to the Russian people,” she said.

France’s ambassador to the United Nations, Francois Delattre called Churkin “one of the most talented diplomats I have ever met.”

British Ambassador Matthew Rycroft wrote on Twitter: “Absolutely devastated to hear that my friend and colleague Vitaly Churkin has died. A diplomatic giant & wonderful character.”

Tributes poured in from his U.S. counterparts in the Obama administration. Haley’s predecessor, Powers, described Churkin on Twitter as a “diplomatic maestro and deeply caring man who did all he could to bridge US-RUS differences.”

Churkin first came to prominence as foreign ministry spokesman for the Soviet Union from 1990 until the collapse of the superpower the following year. Despite the pressure of events, he appeared to revel in the attention of the Western correspondents who mobbed him at briefings, and was happy to respond to them at length in fluent English.

He went on to serve as deputy Russian foreign minister and ambassador to Belgium and then to Canada, eventually moving to the United Nations in 2006.

(Reporting by Jack Stubbs and Ned Parker, Mark Hosenball; writing by Mark Trevelyan; editing by Gareth Jones)

Russia’s U.N. envoy Churkin dies suddenly in New York


Russian Ambassador to the United Nations Vitaly Churkin addresses members of the U.N. Security Council during a meeting about the Ukraine situation, at the U.N. headquarters in New York, March 6, 2015. REUTERS/Eduardo Munoz/File Photo
By Jack Stubbs | MOSCOW

February 20, 2017, Russia’s combative ambassador to the United Nations, Vitaly Churkin, died suddenly in New York on Monday after being taken ill at work, the Russian Foreign Ministry said.

The ministry gave no details on the circumstances of his death but offered condolences to his relatives and said the diplomat had died one day before his 65th birthday.

It declined to comment on reports that Churkin had been taken to a hospital shortly before his death.

A U.S. government official, who was not authorized to speak publicly on the case, said that Churkin had died of an apparent heart attack.

A federal law enforcement official, also speaking on condition of anonymity, said that there appeared to be nothing unusual about the ambassador’s death.

The New York Post quoted unnamed sources as saying Churkin had been rushed to a Manhattan hospital from the Russian embassy after falling ill with a cardiac condition.

President Vladimir Putin was deeply upset by the news and had greatly valued Churkin’s professionalism and diplomatic talent, Russian news agencies quoted the Kremlin as saying.

Tass news agency quoted Churkin’s deputy, Pyotr Ilyichev, as saying: “The loss sustained by Russia is grave and irreplaceable.

“Ambassador Churkin remained at his work post until the last minute. He devoted his whole life to defending the interests of Russia and was to be found on the very front lines and in the most stressful posts.”

Foreign ministry spokeswoman Maria Zakharova said on Facebook: “Great diplomat. Extraordinary personality. Colorful man.”

Churkin was a pugnacious defender of Russian policy, notably its intensive bombing of the Syrian city of Aleppo last year to crush rebels opposed to President Bashar al-Assad.

MOTHER THERESA

When then-U.S. envoy to the United Nations, Samantha Power, accused Syria, Russia and Iran last year of bearing responsibility for atrocities there, Churkin said she was forgetting the United States’ own track record in the Middle East.

“The weirdest speech to me was the one by the U.S. representative who built her statement as if she is Mother Teresa herself. Please, remember which country you represent. Please, remember the track record of your country,” he said.

Farhan Haq, deputy spokesman for the U.N. secretary-general’s office, on Monday said: “He has been such a regular presence here that I am actually quite stunned. Our thoughts go to his family, to his friends and to his government.”

A moment of silence was held at an informal session of the U.N. General Assembly.

His diplomatic counterparts weighed in with tributes.

“In my short time at the United Nations, Ambassador Vitaly Churkin showed himself to be a gracious colleague,” the U.S. ambassador to the world body, Nikki Haley, said in a statement.

“We did not always see things the same way, but he unquestionably advocated his country’s positions with great skill. We send our prayers and heartfelt condolences to lift up his family and to the Russian people,” she said.

France’s ambassador to the United Nations, Francois Delattre called Churkin “one of the most talented diplomats I have ever met.”

British Ambassador Matthew Rycroft wrote on Twitter: “Absolutely devastated to hear that my friend and colleague Vitaly Churkin has died. A diplomatic giant & wonderful character.”

Tributes poured in from his U.S. counterparts in the Obama administration. Haley’s predecessor, Powers, described Churkin on Twitter as a “diplomatic maestro and deeply caring man who did all he could to bridge US-RUS differences.”

Churkin first came to prominence as foreign ministry spokesman for the Soviet Union from 1990 until the collapse of the superpower the following year. Despite the pressure of events, he appeared to revel in the attention of the Western correspondents who mobbed him at briefings, and was happy to respond to them at length in fluent English.

He went on to serve as deputy Russian foreign minister and ambassador to Belgium and then to Canada, eventually moving to the United Nations in 2006.

(Reporting by Jack Stubbs and Ned Parker, Mark Hosenball; writing by Mark Trevelyan; editing by Gareth Jones)

Breaking News: Another Brig. General Kamila Otwari from Equatoria has resigned, James Wani Igga is urging all Equatorians generals to leave


james-waniFebruary 20, 2016, Brig. Gen. Kamila Otwari Aleardo Paul, the Cammander who is responsible for logistics support brigade has resigned. Juba regime is losing ground in Equatorians, all generals from Equatorians are leaving, some of them are start being round up.

So far, 4 high ranking profiles members of Equatorians generals including Dep. Chief of Gen. Staff for Logistics have resigned.

Famine declared in parts of South Sudan


February 20, 2017 (JUBA) – War and a collapsing economy have left some 100,000 people starving in parts of South Sudan, government and three United Nations agencies said Monday.
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IDPs wait to receive food rations and other items from the WFP at a distribution point in Pibor town, Jonglei 21 March 2009 – (photo UN)

An additional one million people in the war-torn nation, the United Nations agencies projected, could be on the brink of famine.

The United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO), the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) and the World Food Programme (WFP) warned that urgent action is needed to prevent more people from dying of hunger.

“If sustained and adequate assistance is delivered urgently, the hunger situation can be improved in the coming months and further suffering mitigated,” partly reads a joint statement the agencies issued on Monday.

The total number of food insecure people is expected to rise to 5.5 million at the height of the lean season in July if nothing is done to curb the severity and spread of the food crisis.

According to the Integrated Food Security Phase Classification (IPC) update released today by the government, the three agencies and other humanitarian partners, 4.9 million people, over 40% of South Sudan’s population, are in need of urgent food, agriculture and nutrition assistance.

Unimpeded humanitarian access to everyone facing famine, or at risk of famine, is urgently needed to reverse the escalating catastrophe, the UN agencies urged. Further spread of famine can only be prevented if humanitarian assistance is scaled up and reaches the most vulnerable.

Famine, the agencies said, is currently affecting parts of Unity State in the northern-central part of the country. A formal famine declaration means people have already started dying of hunger. The situation is the worst hunger catastrophe since fighting erupted over three years ago.

“Famine has become a tragic reality in parts of South Sudan and our worst fears have been realised. Many families have exhausted every means they have to survive,” said FAO Representative in South Sudan, Serge Tissot.

“The people are predominantly farmers and war has disrupted agriculture. They’ve lost their livestock, even their farming tools. For months there has been a total reliance on whatever plants they can find and fish they can catch,” he added.

Malnutrition is a major public health emergency, exacerbated by the widespread fighting, displacement, poor access to health services and low coverage of sanitation facilities.

The IPC report estimates that 14 of the 23 assessed counties have global acute malnutrition at or above the emergency threshold of 15%, with some areas as high as 42%.

“More than one million children are currently estimated to be acutely malnourished across South Sudan; over a quarter of a million children are already severely malnourished. If we do not reach these children with urgent aid many of them will die,” said Jeremy Hopkins, UNICEF Representative in South Sudan.

“We urge all parties to allow humanitarian organizations unrestricted access to the affected populations, so we can assist the most vulnerable and prevent yet another humanitarian catastrophe,” he added.

U.N agencies and other partners have conducted massive relief operations since the conflict began, and intensified those efforts throughout 2016 to mitigate the worst effects of the humanitarian crisis. In Northern Bahr El Ghazal state, among others, the IPC assessment team found that humanitarian relief had lessened the risk of famine there.

In 2016, WFP said it reached a record 4 million people in war-ravaged South Sudan with food assistance, including cash assistance amounting to US$13.8 million, and more than 265,000 metric tons of food and nutrition supplies. This is reportedly the highest largest number of people assisted by WFP in South Sudan since independence from neighbouring Sudan in July 2011

SPLM-IO warns international oil workers to stay away from oil fields in Bentiu, S. Sudan or risk it all


Riek
February 19, 2017 (PAGAK) – South Sudanese rebels have warned international oil workers from re-opening oil facilities in South Sudan’s oil-producing territories, saying they risk looking their lives.
South Sudan said it deployed more troops in preparation for resumption of oil production in areas where activities stopped due to the December 2013 outbreak of conflict, which badly affected production in its Unity state and parts of the Upper Nile region.

The head of Nilepet, the country’s national oil company, Machar Ader Achiek, disclosed on Thursday last week that government hopes production resumes after preparations are fully completed.

But the armed opposition deputy chief of administration, James Koang Chuol advised oil workers to avoid the oil field areas.

“I would like to warn both national and international oil workers to disown calls by the government to go and work in oil fields. For your own safety, we are calling everyone not step in all areas with oil productions,” Koang said in a statement extended to Sudan Tribune on Sunday.

“Oil workers must face the risk of repercussion, should they ignor our early warning on the resumption of oil production in Unity State and other parts of the country,” he added.

Since its independence, South Sudan has relied on oil for all income—a situation that has significantly compounded ongoing political and economic instability due to fall in crude oil prices.

According to South Sudanese officials, production in the past reached as high as 350,000 bpd but fell after a dispute with Sudan over fees for pumping South Sudan’s crude through Sudan’s export pipeline, which led Juba to halt production in 2012.

South Sudan got the lion’s share of the oil when it split from Sudan in 2011, but it’s only export route is through Sudan, giving Khartoum leverage and leading to the ongoing pricing disputes.

In December 15,16,17,18, 2013 Nuer community sayss 17,613 killed in South Sudan violence by Dinka army led by Salva Kirr


April 6, 2014 Sudan’s Nuer community have claimed that at least 17,613 ethnic Nuers were killed across South Sudan by private guards loyal to president Salva Kiir Mayardit after conflict erupted in December last year.

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Thousands have been killed and more than one million displaced since conflict broke out almost four months ago, in the worst violence to erupt post-secession (AFP)

The allegation was made at a Nuer community meeting, in the Sudanese capital Khartoum, which brought together 4,561 Nuer members.

The meeting, chaired by Professor David De Chan and funded by James Mabor Gatkuoth, a former commissioner of Upper Nile region in 1982 during the Sudan regime, aimed to highlight ethnic targeting during the recent crisis.

The group has accused government troops of continued killings and rape in areas under their control.

“As community, we are saddened by [the] selective killing of our civilian population based on tribe and political beliefs,” the group said in statement extended to Sudan Tribune on Saturday.

The community also called on the international community to step in to help end ongoing bloodshed in Juba, Malakal, Leer, Bentiu, Jonglei and other parts of South Sudan.

De Chan, a prominent Nuer professor, condemned the killing of innocent civilians who posed no threat to national security but were targeted solely based on their ethnicity.

“I was shocked to hear the death of 17,613 civilians and in particular a young man whom I was his teacher in America by then; that young man is Mr Lam Chuol Thichot. He was faced by many obstacles in the liberation time but unfortunately he was simply murdered by Kiir’s militias in cold blood,’’ said De Chan in a phone interview with Sudan Tribune on Saturday.

Professor De Chan says president Kiir must step down in order for a peaceful resolution to the current crisis, saying failure to do so would result in a massive upraising to oust him from power.

He urged the United Nation Mission in South Sudan (UNMISS) to urgently relocate internal displaced people to nearby countries, saying remaining in the capital, Juba, posed a threat to their safety.

He also called on the international community to pressure the Ugandan government to withdraw its troops from South Sudan or impose sanctions on its officials, as the US has threatened to do to South Sudanese officials responsible for rights abuses.

RANDOM KILLINGS

Meanwhile, Gatkuoth, a former Upper Nile region commissioner and current chairman of the National Democracy Forum, says president Kiir has lost his legitimacy after reportedly ordering his private soldiers to carry out targeted ethnic killings following the eruption of violence in Juba on 15 December last year.

The conflict has pitted government forces loyal to the Kiir, who hails from the Dinka tribe, against rebels aligned with former vice-president Riek Machar, a Nuer.

Gatkuoth has accused Kiir’s private guards of randomly shooting those who had sought shelter in UN compounds.

“We could not manage to bury them or take them to [the] cemetery without the help of UNMISS personnel for fear of our lives,” he told Sudan Tribune.

“People are still missing even after the government pronounced the full calm in capital city, while wounded Nuer civilians are followed and killed in the hospital,” he added.

Gatkuoth also condemned the destruction of civilian properties in Unity state’s Leer county, which has been under government control for the past two months.

YOUTHS REACT

Student and youth representatives, meanwhile, have urged the international community to strongly condemn the criminal acts allegedly carried out by the Kiir regime in Juba and across the country, calling on other South Sudanese tribes to stand up for democracy in the country.

Koang Riak Gatpieny, a representative of the Nuer Youth Union, urged Kiir to step down or face defeat from disaffected youths.

Weirial Gatyiel, one of the Juba massacre survivors, compared the alleged deliberate targeting of Nuers to the Rwanda genocide, blaming both Kiir and Ugandan president Yoweri Museveni for the bloodshed. He has called for an international independent court to investigate ethnic killings and hold those found responsible to account.

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