New wave of violence in the east
Thousands of people are fleeing a new wave of violence between rival groups
of merle and lou nuer in the Pibor region of the state of Jonglei in eastern
South Sudan, the relief organization Doctors Without Borders announces that it
has been forced to suspend its operations in the region since staff moved into
the forest. Last May, violence between Merle and Lou Nuer led to more than 200
deaths in Pibor. Eyewitnesses describe how the warriors sit on cattle and loot
and destroy property. Some describe how a third people, Dinka lives, fight on
lou nuers side.
Latest population statistics of South Sudan, including religious profiles and major languages spoken as well as population growth rates in next three decades.
Agreement on the states
17th of June
President Kiir and Vice President Machar (former rebel leader) sign an
agreement on how to govern the country's ten states. The SPLM, led by Kiir, is
given control of six states, including the oil-rich Unity State and Central
Eguatoria, which includes the capital Juba. Vice President Machar's party SPLM-O
is allowed to rule in three states, including the oil-producing Upper Nile. A
third party, the South Sudan Opposition Alliance (SSOA), is in control of the
state of Jonglei. Disagreement over control of the states, especially the
oil-rich parts of South Sudan, has been a major obstacle on the road to peace.
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UN sanctions are being extended
The UN Security Council extends arms embargo on South Sudan and sanctions
against individual South Sudanese until May 2021. The resolution is proposed by
the United States. Twelve countries vote in favor, while Russia, China and South
Africa abstain from voting.
Machar ill in covid-19
First Vice President Riek Machar has been tested positive for covid-19, the
disease caused by the new coronavirus. Machar's wife, Defense Minister Angelina
Teny, has also been tested positive, as have a number of people at Machar's
office and in his bodyguard. Machar is quarantined in his home for 14 days. At
the time, South Sudan has 339 confirmed cases of covid-19 and six deaths from
the disease. The dark figure is believed to be high as only 3,908 samples were
taken in the country.
The first death in covid-19
South Sudan records its first death in covid-19 at the same time as aid
organizations warn of an ongoing rapid spread of the corona virus in the
country, especially in camps for internal refugees. South Sudan has 231
confirmed cases of coronavirus infected people.
Relieves the restrictions
The government relieves "within 72 hours" of restrictions imposed to curb the
spread of the corona virus. Bars, shops, markets and restaurants may be kept
open, and curfew shortened. Domestic flights and road and river transport are
allowed again. Schools, mosques, churches and nightclubs continue to be closed,
sporting events and other large crowds continue to be banned.
Coronapandemin reaches South Sudan
As one of the last countries in the world, South Sudan reports its first
confirmed case of the covid-19 disease, caused by the new corona virus. The
infected is a 29-year-old South Sudanese woman who returned home from Ethiopia
on February 28.
Severe pandemic measures
South Sudan faces a state of emergency and nightly curfew in an attempt to
curb the spread of the new coronavirus sars-cov-2, which caused a pandemic.
Drop off from SPLM-IO
24th of March
Four high-ranking commanders within SPLM-IO leave and switch to SPLM. The
sacking takes place in protest against Machar's wife, Angelina Teny, being given
the post of Minister of Defense in the new assembly government. SPLM-IO appears
to be weakened by internal fragmentation.
The ministerial posts are distributed
the 12th of March
After nearly three weeks of negotiations, President Kiir can present 34
ministers and 10 deputy ministers who will form the unifying government. Twenty
of the ministerial posts go to the SPLM, while the SPLM-IO receives nine,
including the important posts as oil minister and deputy minister of defense.
Vice President Machar's wife Angelina Teny becomes South Sudan's first female
defense minister. Remaining ministerial posts go to representatives of small
parties. This is the third time since the South Sudan split in 2011 that the
country is ruled by Kiir as president and Machar as vice president.
Unity government is formed
A few days before the government deadline expires, President Kiir and
opposition leader Machar agree to co-govern. In order to reach the agreement,
Kiir has been forced to tear down its new state reform and return from 32 states
to the ten original ones. He dismisses 32 governors in connection with this.
Machar's remission is to return to Juba without his private security force. When
the agreement is signed, President Kiir dissolves his government, dismisses one
of the four vice presidents, Taban Deng Gai, and replaces him with Riek Machar.
UN: civilians are deliberately subjected to starvation
The government forces, militia and rebel groups have deliberately exposed
civilians to starvation by preventing them from accessing emergency relief and
by forcing entire communities to flee, according to a new UN inquiry examining
the human rights situation in the country from September 2018, when a new peace
treaty was concluded, until December 2019. According to the investigators,
civilian South Sudanese are also subject to, for example, systematic
persecution, arbitrary arrests and defective trials. The investigators accuse
the political elite of being unaware of the enormous suffering that millions of
civilians are forced to endure and for which they say they are fighting. Both
the government army and the rebels are accused of recruiting child soldiers,
looting the treasury and perpetrating sexual violence.
Machar rejects compromise
After pressure from the outside world, President Kiir finally agrees to
abolish the country's new administrative division with 32 states. The country
should return to having the original ten states. This has long been a demand
from the opposition and an important reason for the contradictions that hinder
real peace. However, Machar and his supporters reject the proposal the following
day when it emerges that Pibor, Ruweng and Abyei will form three newly formed
"administrative areas". Both Ruweng and Abyei are oil rich areas. The
administrative division is important as it forms the basis for the future
division of power between the two parties. The deadline for the formation of a
unifying government expires on February 22. The two leaders have already missed
SPLM-IO releases 128 women and children
The opposition group SPLM-IO's armed faction releases 78 women and 50
children kidnapped by the rebels in 2018, the UN announces.