News / Africa

    South Sudan to Stop Paying Hotel Bills for Rebel Advance Team

    FILE - South Sudan rebel leader Riek Machar addresses journalists during a news conference in Nairobi, Kenya, July 8, 2015.
    FILE - South Sudan rebel leader Riek Machar addresses journalists during a news conference in Nairobi, Kenya, July 8, 2015.
    James Butty

    South Sudan’s government said at the end of this week it will stop paying the hotel bills of about 600 rebel advance team members who have been living in Juba since last December to work out the modalities for the implementation of last year’s August peace agreement. The advance team has also been preparing for the coming to Juba of rebel leader Riek Machar. 

    South Sudan Foreign Minister Barnaba Marial Benjamin says the government began paying the bills after the troika (United States, United Kingdom, and Norway) and the Joint Monitoring and Evaluation Commission (JMEC) which had been paying stopped.

    “The people responsible for their accommodation when they were coming in was the troika, and they were paying for them at the hotel. But troika suddenly stopped and said they were no long going to pay for them. So the government volunteered to pay for them for some time. The government has been paying for them for the last two months,” he said.

    Benjamin said the government can no longer afford to pay.

    In addition, he said the Juba government expected rebel leader Machar to be in Juba by now so that both sides could begin the process of forming the national unity government called for under the peace agreement.

    “Up till now we don’t have definite date when Dr. Riek Machar, the designated first vice president to come and be sworn in so that the transitional government of national unity is formed.  We are hearing that he is traveling across Africa instead of coming to Juba so that he’s sworn in and the government is formed,” said Benjamin.

    The development comes as 23 top rebel generals who were expected to arrive in Juba March 21 abruptly canceled their trip.

    Rebel military spokesman Colonel William Gatjiath Deng said “The government put on a serious obstruction on the transportation of the 23 generals. The governor of Eastern Nile State, Chol Thon Balok stated that he will put to jail the 23 generals if they land at Malakal airport because he has never got notification from the central government.”

    Deng said the 23 generals were passing through Malakal instead of strict through Juba in accordance with the United Nations Mission in South Sudan (UNMISS) flights.

    “The UNMISS flight comes from Juba to Malakal with helicopters. From Malakal, they come to Pagat. Then from Pagat back to Malakal for refueling. Then they go back to Juba. So, they don’t move from Juba direct to Pagat,” Deng said.

    He accused the Juba government of obstructing the implementation of the peace agreement.  

    “That’s why I said the government is not ready to implement all aspects of the peace agreement because why should the First Vice President come to Juba if they don’t allow his first team?” Deng said.

    But Foreign Minister Benjamin said the generals canceled their trip because they had problems arranging for their transportation and accommodation.

    “Absolutely it’s not true. They had problem with the promise by JMEC and Troika to arrange for their transportation. Two, the generals said they were not clear who was going to pay for their stay here in Juba. They wanted at least Troika or JMEC to tell them clearly who’s going to pay for their accommodation. Since they did not get that clear, those are some of the reasons why they did not come on Monday. It has nothing to do with the government whatsoever,” Benjamin said.

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    Comment Sorting
    by: wandictor Nga
    March 23, 2016 7:12 AM
    Give that position of vice president to someone else,among rebels there are many people who need that job. Riak can can't drive a vehicle while sitting outside.

    by: Weatherbe from: Juba
    March 23, 2016 5:43 AM
    Look this so call rebels need to be left alone beacuse they have no cause to fight the war than seeking positions, greedy for food, living a luxury life in the hotels to be paid by either USA, UK Norway or Govt of South Sudan they have no reasons atall they were living in South Sudan capital and other part of South Sudan places so please you they western people are encouraging African to kill themselvies in order to get what they are tring to claims now, let they rebels come to juba on their own, accomodate themselves look for their own food even pay their own salaries to their army since the are rebels not Govt.

    by: Albertos from: Denmark
    March 22, 2016 8:34 PM
    We the West must not continue bribing African leaders from slaughtering savagely their own people. The sky has limits, African politicians must understand that aid money from Westerns do not last for ever. You are the only ones who can solve your own problems. You create problems you must own it.

    by: John
    March 22, 2016 5:40 AM
    How astonishing that the US, the UK and Norway should have the good sense to stop wasting money, especially on Africans.
    Needless to say, I believe that, since South Sudan now has the independence it fought for, it's up to them to sort out all their problems, and to pay the bills this involves.
    That's what independence means.
    In Response

    by: Majak
    March 22, 2016 8:01 AM
    independent , means separated from somewhere, and you can controlling yourself.
    In Response

    by: Juba from: Juba
    March 22, 2016 7:58 AM
    US, the UK and Norway is the problem that these African countries are facing.They want South Sudan to be in war so that they can come in and steal their oil.

    by: Galuak chan Biel
    March 22, 2016 5:26 AM
    the worldwide need to be serious on this south Sudan compromise peace Agreement to pressure the Government of south Sudan the one responsible for nation crisis to implements the peace deals in the nation.
    In Response

    by: BIG BRO PETER. B. from: JUBA
    April 14, 2016 2:37 AM
    This is what i always want to say,we are young Nationwide country that would haven't made this happened.The peace deal has to be signed to have peace in our country,we are suffering.
    In Response

    by: John Malueth from: Juba
    March 22, 2016 12:12 PM
    Where will forces of the rebels stay of the government is not accommodating them, that is part of failing of peace implementation agreement corrupted and corrupted government

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