February 11, 2018 (JUBA)- The Ugandan president Yoweri Kaguta Museveni Sunday has assured South Sudan President Salva Kiir never be afraid of United States arms restrictions on his country, pledging his government would facilitate delivery of arms defying the weapons ban and other sanctions.
Last Wednesday, President Kiir received Ugandan First Deputy Prime Minister, Moses Ali who delivered a special message from President Yoweri Museveni. Neither the South Sudanese presidency nor the visiting guest didn’t reveal the content of the letter.
“I want to you tell this, and whether you believe it or not, the government will never fail to acquire weapons by any means. What the foreign countries, including the United States of America, are doing is a pursuit of regime change which nobody will entertain even in America,” said a presidential aide asked what actually was the message Ugandan envoy had delivered.
“Nobody will accept that a democratically elected government be changed through the force or by an imposed agreement,” he further told Sudan Tribune on condition of anonymity.
Following the repeated violations of the cessation of hostilities agreement, State Department on Friday 2 February imposed a U.S. arms embargo on South Sudan and called on the United Nations and other countries to do the same.
In its decision the State Department has restricted all sales of defence equipment and services to all parties to South Sudan’s conflict, stressing it is “appalled” by the continuing violence.
The South Sudanese senior official said President Museveni advised President Kiir and the transitional government of national unity not to panic from Washington unilateral decision to impose an embargo on weapons export to South Sudan.
“President Museveni is indeed a friend of the people of South Sudan. He sent the special message for two purposes. One, he assured his excellency, General Salva Kiir Mayardit of the support of the people and the government of the Republic of Uganda to the people and the Republic of South Sudan. His Excellency President Museveni gave the assurance of highest support in this situation. Two, in case of sanctions, the government of Uganda would do its best to ensure all weapons and associated services destined to South Sudan are facilitated,” he said.
The State Department addressed a special call to South Sudan’s neighbours, to cut off the flow of weapons to the land-locked country and to “halt support to actors who are working to destabilize the country”.
Further, Washington which facilitates the ongoing African Union and IGAD efforts to end the civil war in the country had called on the two regional bodies to consider sanctions measures against those who undermine the peace process”.
Weapons are delivered to South Sudan through Kenya’s port of Mombasa, but also they can be destined to Kampala which will then expedite to Juba.
February 10, 2018, I am writing to let you all know that the SPLA major general William Gueh Duop Changath passed away on Friday, February 2, 2018, in Cairo, Egypt. Gueh was admitted to hospital in Cairo for liver cancer he had been suffered from for several months. The doctors performed surgery to remove part of the liver, but unfortunately, Gueh did not survive the operations. William Gueh was 63 years old. Gueh was born on May 3, 1955, in the remote village known as “Tuur” north of Rubkotna Town and west of Kaljak town in Unity State, South Sudan.
William Gueh was raised by a single mother on the farmland with several cattle, goat, and cheep. His father died when he was so young. Gueh’s mother “Nyadot Chan Yut” had 6 children, 4 boys, and two girls. Gueh was the last born. Gueh was married and had children; his two sons are currently studying in secondary schools in East African countries. Stephen Tor Gueh is studying in the secondary school in Kenya and Yien Gueh Duop is studying in the secondary school in Uganda.
William Gueh military‘s career had begun in 1983 when he joined Sudan People Liberation Army (SPLA) struggle for independence. In April 1983, Gueh left Bentiu for Biel Pam to seek military training. Gueh was trained in Bongo with Jamuth battalions of SPLA division in 1983. After graduating, Gueh and other young men were appointed bodyguards by then the deputy SPLA’s chairman Kerbino Kuanyin Bol. Mr. Gueh had participated in countless battles in the Blue Nile and Kurmuk towns between the SPLA and Sudanese arm forces in 1983 to 1985. Gueh returned to Bentiu where he belongs after his boss Kerbino Kuanyin Bol was arrested and sent to prison in 1985.
In 1985, Gueh was promoted to Second Lieutenant and gradually walked his way up to higher ranks. In 1986, Mr. Gueh was wounded in counterattack battle between the SPLA and Sudan government. In spring of 1986, conveys of Sudanese military have left their defensive position and matched toward Leer town with the intention to retake the town of leer from the SPLA forces. However, the SPLA units adjacent to Bentiu where Gueh assigned planned counterattack on the Arabs convoy and driven them back to their trenches in Bentiu town. Gueh was wounded in the left leg, between ankle and knee in that battle. Luckily, the bullet missed the bone.
In 1987, Gueh was promoted to the first lieutenant. In 1988, Gueh went to Pinyido refugee camp in Ethiopia for kidney infection medical treatment. In 1989, Gueh left Pinyido for Gambella, Ethiopia to seek additional medical attention. After completing his medical treatment, Gueh had reported himself to Biel Pam military barrack. He was promoted to the rank of captain in 1990. As a young captain, Gueh was assigned to lead SPLA battalions to Nuba maintains.
In 1991, SPLA Split. Gueh was among several military officers who had accepted to fight for self-determination. Mr. Gueh supported the SPLA Nasir faction under the leadership of Dr. Riek Machar, which fought for self-determination from 1991 to 2001. Mr. Gueh Supported the SPLA Nasir faction because he believed that self-determination would be the only way to end Sudan’s civil war. In 1994, Gueh led untold battles against those who opposed self-determination. William Gueh battalions defeated the enemy in Marial Bay and Mayen Abun in Bar El Gazal regions.
Following Comprehensive Peace Agreement (CPA) in 2005 that led to South Sudan independent, William Gueh became Brigadier general. He was appointed as head of the SPLA Division 5, in charge of Western Bar El Gazal state. General William Gueh was the commander of SPLA division 5, who was in charge Western Bar El Gazal state from 2005 to 2014. Brigadier General William Gueh did not respond to Nuer Massacre in Juba but was watching the development of peace deal closely that was initiated in January 2014 between Dr. Machar and Salva Kiir’s groups.
However, General Gueh was deeply disappointed by the deliberate killing of Nuer officers and trainees at Mapel Military training Centre in Western Bar El Ghazal state. On April 26, 2014, the government soldiers have carried out attack on over 5000 Nuer who were in the training camp at Mapel training center. According to Fox News and other news media, 220 bodies were collected on the scene and buried. Survivors of this fatal attack scattered all over the bushes and forests of Western Bar El Gazal state.
The frustrated general, William Gueh, dispatched hundreds of soldiers as search rescue teams to search for the survivors in the bushes, forests and swampy spheres around Mapel and the surrounding areas. The soldiers were able to find hundreds of thousands of survivors in the forests and swampy areas and brought them to where General Gueh was living. After his search rescue teams have returned to Wau town where he was dwelling, Brigadier General William Gueh decided not to serve the tribal government that purposely orchestrated ethnic Nuer cleansing in the national capital and elsewhere in the country. In May 2014, General Gueh quit his assignment in Western Bar El Ghazal, abandoned the area with 4000 plus soldiers, and went to Unity Stated to join the SPLA IO.
In 2016, Gueh was promoted to Major General in the SPLA IO. When Taban Deng Gai was sworn in as First President, following the renewed fighting that has broken out in South Sudan, the national capital, Juba in July 2016 that pushed out by then Frist Vice President Dr. Machar, Major General Gueh Duop decided to support Taban Deng Gai. General Gueh was assigned as head of the SPLA Division 4, in charge of twin towns Bentiu and Rubkona, Unity State. When Gueh took his job, he stopped random killing and looting of civilians’ property by the government in the area.
The contribution of Major General Gueh Duop Changath in the SPLA from the beginning of SPLA to the independence of South Sudan was exceptional, extraordinary, and admirable. However, his sudden death is heartbreaking, sorrowful and regrettable. The Leeh community, Nuer and South Sudanese, in general, have lost the man of wisdom, the national hero, and the top icon in South Sudan struggle for independence. The body of Gueh will be transferred from Cairo to Juba on 9 February 2018 will be buried in Bentiu’s Cemetery on 10 February 2018. William Gueh, you will not be seen again but your role, hard work, and achievements will stay alive forever as long as South Sudan still exist.
Lastly, I am deeply pained and words are of no help in expressing the sorrow I feel at this moment. I would like to pass my sincere condolences to Gueh’s wives, children, relatives, and friends. May almighty father forgive and accept his soul into the Garden of Eden, near the throne of whom he seeks and loved. May God put him in a special place from where he will be watching us, the people who loved and cherished him, and look upon down to see the development of the country he struggles for its independence. Rest in peace, my beloved uncle. May God receive your soul in eternal life; forgive you as you have been forgiving many people who have often wrong you during your lifetime.
February 10, 2018 The Former Political Detainees (FDs), who also describe themselves as SPLM leaders, have sought assistance of the Chairman of the IGAD and the Prime Minister of Ethiopia, Hailemariam Desalegn, in the release of South Sudan’s main armed opposition leader, Riek Machar from his forced confinement in South Africa.
The group, in a letter dated 8 February and seen by Radio Tamazuj today, said they believe that rebel leader Riek Machar has a critical role to play in the ongoing peace talks in Addis Ababa.
In the letter bearing the name of the group’s leader Pagan Amum Okiech and addressed to Ethiopia’s Prime Minister Hailemariam Desalegn, the politicians said Machar’s release will give fresh positive impetus to the peace process in South Sudan.
“We, the SPLM Leaders (Former Political Detainees) have the honor to convey to Your Excellency the compliments of our highest consideration and wish to request your assistance in the release of SPLM-IO leader, Dr. Riek Machar Teny from confinement in South Africa,” the letter reads in part.
“By asking for the release of Dr. Riek at this point in time, it is not our intention to imply that the power sharing relation between him and President Kiir pre-July 11, 2016 be restored unless stakeholders come to the conclusion that this is the best course of action,” adds the letter.
The former political detainees said that the circumstances have significantly changed since July 2016 that new intervening circumstances have come in that must be taken into account as the parties figure out how to end the ongoing civil war.
According to the group, Machar’s detention in South Africa has not helped in the search for peace and stability in the world’s youngest nation.
Machar signed a peace accord in 2015 with President Salva Kiir, but the deal fell apart in July 2016, leading to deadly clashes in the capital Juba.
Machar fled to Congo and then went to Sudan for treatment. He then travelled to South Africa where he is being held to prevent him from going back to his country.
The decision was reportedly reached by IGAD countries in order to keep him away in the hope of preventing fighting in the world’s youngest nation.
February 9, 2018 South Sudan’s First Vice President Taban Deng Gai says the country is at peace and various areas witness relative stability, in his address to citizens in Yambio town.
The second top official is in Yambio to witness the release of than 300 child soldiers by armed groups. The move is the second-largest such release since civil war began.
“There is peace in this country, even the process of releasing these children from the army to their families is a sign of peace,” Gai said on Thursday.
“There is peace in the Republic of South Sudan. To those who criticize us, I would agree with you that yes it is not yet 100% peace, but for you to go for 100% peace, you must maintain the little peace you have,” he added.
The first vice president emphasized the importance of national dialogue in South Sudan. “It is the national dialogue that will move this country forward. All the things that we want to discuss about our affairs and our nation, we cannot discuss them in Addis Ababa,” he said.
Gai urged the international community to support South Sudan instead of criticizing the country’s leadership. “Don’t criticize us in Washington, and in New York or Juba. Please support us you and you will see results of peace. Don’t threaten us with sanctions,” he said.
February 9, 2018, The United Kingdom has welcomed the unilateral decision by its counterpart – the United States – to restrict the flow of arms into South Sudan.
Last week, the US department of state implemented an arms embargo in an effort to end the conflict in South Sudan.
It said despite the signing of the Cessation of the Hostilities Agreement, the government and armed opposition have continued the use of military force to seek political advantage.
Speaking to Eye Radio in Addis Ababa on Thursday, the UK ambassador to South Sudan, Christ Trott, said the decision was in line with the country’s position it held at the UN Security Council last year.
“We think there are enough weapons in South Sudan. We welcome what Americans have done because it brings them in line with our position,” he said.
“While respecting the sovereign rights of every government to self-defense, I think this is primarily about heavy weapons and about controlling the flow of those.”
According to Diplomat Trott, South Sudan has more than enough firearms, saying it is disappointing seeing the government overreacting on the issue.
Last year, the UN Security Council failed to impose a total arms embargo on South Sudan after China and Russia voted the move.
POLICE have moved to seize a $1.5 million mansion in Melbourne’s southeast from the family of a former South Sudanese general linked to the nation’s military elite which fleeced millions of dollars from the war-torn country.
The Australian Federal Police took the case against General James Hoth Mai Nguoth, and several members of his family, to the County Court of Victoria on Tuesday as it pushes ahead with a proceeds of crime restraint.
It is targeting the luxury Narre Warren home, which has an infinity pool, sauna and five-car garage, as well as an Audi owned by the family.
Gen Hoth Mai’s family bought the sprawling property in 2014 when his wife and children were living in taxpayer-funded housing commission accommodation.
Investigators from the AFP’s Criminal Assets Confiscation Taskforce (CACT) launched a probe into the purchase of the property in September 2016 following allegations that several former and current South Sudanese public officials have bought houses in Australia with the proceeds of corruption.
Gen Hoth Mai was named in a 2016 report compiled by The Sentry, a team of investigators targeting those who profit from genocide in Africa co-founded by actor George Clooney.
Gen Hoth Mai served as the chief of staff in the Sudan People’s Liberation Army from May 2009 to April 2014.
Before that he was the deputy chief of staff for logistics.
Investigators understand his biggest salary was no more than $58,000.
J.R. Bailey, Investigations Director at The Sentry, said the group found information regarding the General’s purchase of the Narre Warren house in 2016.
“Gen Hoth Mai is a well-known military commander in South Sudan,” Mr Bailey said.
“We discovered his purchase of the Melbourne home during a 2016 investigation into the assets accrued by senior South Sudanese military and government officials.
“The Sentry found Hoth Mai’s purchase of the Melbourne home to be noteworthy — and worthy of additional scrutiny — for several reasons.”
The Sentry report accuses senior officials on relatively low salaries in South Sudan of profiteering from the country’s civil war.
“First, the cost of the home far surpassed what one could reasonable afford on the salary of a general of Hoth Mai’s rank,” Mr Bailey said.
“Second, the Hoth Mai family had purchased the home shortly after having resided in subsidised housing, a major sudden change in the family’s lifestyle.
“Finally, the home was purchased in the name of Hoth Mai’s son, who had only recently graduated from college.
“We considered this a possible attempt to obfuscate the General’s connection to the purchase. Taken as a whole, the circumstances of the transaction, we found, merit more scrutiny from relevant law enforcement and regulatory authorities.”
Shortly after The Sentry published its report — War Crimes Shouldn’t Pay: Stopping the looting and destruction in South Sudan — the AFP launched a probe with help from the Australian Criminal Intelligence Commission.
Investigators visited the Narre Warren property in August 2016 and saw a BMW 316i, used by one of Gen Hoth Mai’s daughters, in the driveway.
An AFP spokeswoman said: “The investigation, which included assistance from the ACIC, focused on the acquisition of assets in Australia by the family members of an individual who is believed to have held senior positions including chief of staff in the Sudan People’s Liberation Army between May 2009 and April 2014.”
The General and his family did not appear at the County of Court of Victoria on Tuesday when the AFP’s criminal assets confiscation and proceeds of crime matter was heard. The case, before Judge Susan Cohen, was adjourned for three weeks.
Clooney, writing in The Sentry’s 2016 report, said the organisation’s investigators spent two years “following the money underwriting South Sudan’s war economy”.
“The Sentry’s investigation has generated substantial information indicating that top officials ultimately responsible for mass atrocities in South Sudan have at some time managed to accumulate fortunes, despite modest government salaries,” Clooney said.
The original sale documents for the Narre Warren property lists the general’s wife, Nyawarga Hoth Mai, as the buyer.
The documents were then altered on the day the sale went through in August 2014 and buyer was listed as the general’s son, Nguoth Oth Mai, an Australian citizen.
Barrister Simon McGregor, for the General’s family, declined to comment.
The AFP’s legal proceedings are a civil matter under the Proceeds of Crime Act. The alleged offences are breach of directors’ duties, causing a loss to the Commonwealth and obtaining a gain from the Commonwealth. Criminal charges have not been laid against the General or his family.
February 8, 2018, SPLA-IO forces led by rebel leader Riek Machar have accused government forces of attacking their positions in Luony and Wechjal of Bieh State on Tuesday evening.
Rebel-appointed information minister in Bieh State, John Daniel Bol, told Radio Tamazuj on Wednesday that government forces attacked their forces but they were able to repulse them and maintain their position.
Daniel claimed more than 30 of their soldiers were wounded in the confrontation, and 42 government soldiers surrendered to the opposition.
Attempts to reach the government for comment were fruitless.