South Sudan Industry
In addition to the large oil plants in the states Unity, Upper Nile and Jonglei, South Sudan has hardly any industry at all. The few factories that exist produce food, such as beer, and some consumer goods.
Before the civil war broke out in 2013, some Kenyan and Ugandan merchants were mainly active in the capital, Juba. But the war has been devastating for the small industrial projects that existed. The country’s only beer brewery announced in the summer of 2015 that it would probably have to stop production as fuel and foreign capital could no longer be obtained.
The US sanctions two ministers
The United States is sanctioning two heavy ministers in South Sudan’s government. Washington accuses them both of deliberately hindering the peace process and forming a co-government. The United States accuses one minister of recruiting soldiers as well as organizing local militias that attack opposition forces, and the other minister has refused to withdraw regression forces from conflict zones. The sanctions mean that ministers’ assets in the US are frozen and that they are prohibited from entering the US.
UN soldiers are mobilized
The UN mission in South Sudan (Unmiss) places 75 soldiers in the city of Mapar after a cycle of violence erupted between the gak and manu groups. Around 80 people have been killed in the fighting over cattle theft and other looting. Similar violence is still going on in the country at the same time as the fighting between the government forces and the rebels has decreased significantly since the peace agreement was signed (see September 2018).
The United States is reviewing its support
The United States calls its ambassador to Juba for consultations. US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo writes on Twitter that Washington is reviewing relations with South Sudan. The United States is strongly critical of the fact that the peace process has stalled and that the timing of the formation of a unifying government has been postponed. The United States provides around $ 1 billion annually to South Sudan, mainly in the form of humanitarian aid.
One hundred days postponement
President Kiir and rebel leader Machar are given another hundred days to form a unity government. It is decided at a meeting in Entebbe, Uganda, where the two leaders meet in the presence of regional mediators such as Ugandan President Museveni, the leader of Sudan’s governing council al-Burhan and a special envoy from Kenya. A unifying government is one of the cornerstones of the peace agreement (see September 2018)). A first deadline for the formation of a unifying government expired in May 2019 with no results. The parties were then given half a year. It is now clear that they also miss the second deadline, which expires on November 12. One of the main reasons for the delays is that Machar, who lives in exile in Sudan, does not believe that security in Juba is sufficient for him to dare to return there permanently. The United States expresses strong disappointment over the delay and warns the parties that relations between the US and South Sudan may be “reviewed”. The United States is a major donor to South Sudan.
No unifying government in sight
Both the government side and the rebels note that there is no prerequisite for being able to form a unifying government until November 12, when the deadline expires.
Machar and Kiir meet
The rebel leader Machar visits Juba for the first time in a year and meets President Kiir there. Both promise to meet the deadline of November 12 for the formation of a unifying government in accordance with the 2018 peace agreement.
New battles and alarming famine
Nearly seven million people in South Sudan are threatened by severe famine, according to representatives of the United Nations Food Program (WFP) in Juba. This is despite the fact that the UN states that the level of violence has decreased since the agreement in the fall of 2018. However, the UN reports increasing struggles between various armed groups in Central Equatoria. Hundreds of civilians have been murdered or raped in the region since the fall of 2018, and an estimated 70,000 to 80,000 residents have been forced to flee. The warriors belong to both faithful and Machar faithful groups as well as groups that have not signed the peace agreement. Struggles between government forces and groups that oppose the peace agreement are also being fought just outside Juba.
UN sanctions are being extended
The UN Security Council extends the sanctions and arms embargo on South Sudan for another year to 31 May 2020.
No unity government is formed
The formation of a unifying government is postponed for six months. It is decided at a meeting of Igad between the representative of President Salva Kiir and rebel leader Riek Machar in Addis Ababa in Eiopia. Under the peace agreement of 2018, a unifying government would have been formed by May 12, 2019, but the parties have not been able to agree on the conditions for this. One reason is that Machar believes that the security situation in Juba is so poor that he cannot return from exile. Of 59 items that would have been realized by May 12, including a joint army, only 27 have been completed. There is no common army yet.
The peace process is stalling
Opposition leader Riek Machar is not ready to return to Juba yet, announces his party SPLM-O. Machar believes that his safety cannot be guaranteed there. Machar, who would have arrived in the capital in May, now wants to postpone the formation of a unifying government, which will take place in June, according to the peace agreement. Machar will become vice president of the unifying government under the agreement.
Awesome battles in the southwest
UN Refugee Agency UNHCR announces that thousands of civilians are fleeing the area of Yei in southwestern South Sudan. Many of them cross the border into Congo-Kinshasa. The people are fleeing fierce fighting between government soldiers and resistance groups that have not signed the peace agreement.
Oil production is increasing
South Sudan is repairing a number of oil wells that were badly damaged in the civil war and have now reached 160,000 barrels of oil a day, according to Ezekiel Lul Gatkuoth, Minister of Oil. At the end of the year, the Minister estimates that the extraction has increased to 230,000 barrels of oil per day. The country is being helped by Sudan to rebuild the wrecked oil industry. Sudan charges transit fees for the South Sudanese oil to reach the port city of Port Sudan on the Red Sea.