Under the agreement, signed in the Ethiopian capital, Addis Ababa, both sides in the conflict promise to lay down their arms. But they have also said that a cessation of hostilities would be a temporary measure, short of a formal peace agreement, and that negotiations would have to continue. Read more here.
The UN's Special Representatiave to South Sudan, Hilde F. Johnson, recently reported on the state of progress for the world's newest nation. She told the Security Council that South Sudan is “travelling a bumpy road” despite some positive signs.
“South Sudan is at a crossroads,” Johnson told the Security Council in an open briefing. “As an international community, we cannot afford to see the newest country in the world fail. “UNMISS (the UN Mission in South Sudan) – and all of us – only have one option, and that is to try to help South Sudan take the right course, consolidating peace and building the foundation of democracy and respect for fundamental human rights.”
Development in South Sudan is more crucial than ever if the new nation is to succeed.
Johnson noted that progress has been made in some key areas, opening up new opportunities to strengthen state-building and accountability. “While significant challenges continue to confront the world's newest country and impede progress in several fronts,” she said, “recent developments do give reason for cautious optimism.” Read more here.
Water for South Sudan seeks two South Sudanese interns to assist with field operations for the upcoming drilling season, December, 2013 through May, 2014.
Interns need to have a valid passport, be in good health, fluent in English and local languages and have a desire to work in the extreme conditions of South Sudan.
For more information, and to apply, please read here.
Water for South Sudan, established in 2003, has been drilling water wells in South Sudan since 2005. As of May, 2013, WFSS has now drilled 177 wells in remote villages of South Sudan, bringing clean water to over 400,000 people.
While South Sudan celebrated its second anniversary of independence on July 11, 2013 growing pains still afflict the world’s newest nation.
On July 23, President Salva Kiir dismissed the vice president, Riek Machar, and his entire cabinet. Kiir appointed a new, smaller cabinet on July 31, but did not fill the position of vice president. Several appointees were named to other posts, and some ministries were combined. Some see the recent reorganization as a sign of upcoming power struggles within the ruling SPLM party leading up to the 2015 presidential election.
In oil news, South Sudan and Sudan have yet to fully implement an oil implementation deal signed in March. The accord broke down with Sudan accusing South Sudan of supporting anti-Sudanese government insurgents. Juba has repeatedly denied the accusations and also accuses Khartoum of backing rebels in Jonglei State.
Sudan President Bashir vowed to close the oil pathways but after an appeal by the African Union and China the deadline has been extended several times, with a new deadline of September 6, to allow the AU to mediate on the dispute between the former civil war foes.
The South’s oil export revenues, and the fees it must pay Khartoum for use of the oil infrastructure, are potentially worth billions of dollars to both impoverished nations.
Other pending issues between the two neighboring countries include border demarcation, the status of South Sudanese in Sudan and the resolution of the oil-rich Abyei border region.
Read more here.
A United Nations envoy reports that Sudan and South Sudan have begun withdrawing their troops from a safe demilitarized border zone. UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon has been briefed on the latest agreements between the two countries.
Haile Menkerios, the Secretary-General’s Special Envoy for Sudan and South Sudan, told Mr. Ban that both Governments had instructed oil companies to begin producing, transporting and exporting oil from South Sudan through Sudan.
The Secretary-General commended both Governments for their determination to implement their agreements and reaffirmed the UN’s readiness to assist the parties in this endeavour.
Read more here.