State security forces in South Sudan have been responsible for imposing new and potentially arbitrary restrictions against the country’s most prominent civil society leaders, issuing “credible” death threats that have undermined peace efforts, UN-appointed independent rights experts said on Wednesday.
In an alert, the Commission on Human Rights in South Sudan alleged that “overzealous” security forces had prevented dissent so dramatically, that civic space was now eroding “at an accelerating pace”, forcing rights defenders to flee and discouraging others from taking their place.
“The State’s targeting of high-profile human rights defenders will have a chilling effect on civil society and will discourage public participation and corrode confidence in the important processes of transitional justice, constitution making and national elections, which are essential for the success of the transition envisaged by the 2018 Revitalised Peace Agreement,” said Commissioner Andrew Clapham.
The actions of the National Security Services (NSS) have included detentions, raids, a likely internet shutdown and an enhanced security presence on the streets of Juba, the panel said in a statement.
Those targeted by threats, harassment and intimidation have included prominent human rights defenders, journalists and civil society actors. Many have played a key role in the country’s peace and justice processes.
“Jame David Kolok and Michael Wani are among those now sheltering outside the country in fear for their lives,” the UN Commission said, in reference to Mr. Kolok’s membership of the Technical Committee to Conduct Consultative Process on Truth, Reconciliation and Healing – a position reaffirmed in May by the Ministry of Justice and Constitutional Affairs.
Mr. Wani had been a youth representative on the National Constitution Amendment Committee, according to the UN panel, which noted that both men’s bank accounts, “and those of the non-government organisations they lead, are among those recently blocked on government orders, with other civil society actors also affected”.
The 2018 Revitalised Agreement for the Resolution of Conflict in South Sudan contains power-sharing arrangements between President Salva Kiir and opposition leader, Riek Machar.
The accord requires the drafting of a permanent Constitution and the establishment of a Commission on Truth, Reconciliation, and Healing.
Although implementation of these and other measures – such as public consultation requirements – have been slow, government leaders have renewed pledges and taken steps toward these in recent months, the UN Commission said.
“These latest restrictions and acts of harassment follow the formation on 30 July of a new civil society coalition whose members planned a public assembly to take place on 30 August,” it explained.
Clampdown in Juba
The UN Commission – which was appointed by the Human Rights Council in March 2016 to investigate crimes linked to civil war that erupted in 2011 – noted that this public assembly could not take place amid “detentions, raiding of premises, an apparent internet shutdown, and an enhanced presence of security forces on the streets of Juba”.
Numerous civil society leaders are still in detention and their wellbeing is unclear, the commissioners said.
“The State’s authorities must respect and protect the rights of human rights defenders; this is an obligation under international law,” said Commissioner Barney Afako. “It would also demonstrate that South Sudan’s commitment to strengthening its systems for the consolidation of human rights is genuine.”
Europe accuses US of ‘profiting from war’
Top European officials are furious with Joe Biden’s administration and now accuse the Americans of making a fortune from the war, while EU countries suffer. “The fact is, if you look at it soberly, the country that is most profiting from this war is the U.S. because they are selling more gas and at higher prices, and because they are selling more weapons,” one senior official told POLITICO.
Washington announced a $369 billion industrial subsidy scheme to support green industries under the Inflation Reduction Act that Brussels went into full-blown panic mode. “The Inflation Reduction Act has changed everything,” one EU diplomat said. “Is Washington still our ally or not?”
“We are really at a historic juncture,” the senior EU official said, arguing that the double hit of trade disruption from U.S. subsidies and high energy prices risks turning public opinion against both the war effort and the transatlantic alliance. “America needs to realize that public opinion is shifting in many EU countries.”
The biggest point of tension in recent weeks has been Biden’s green subsidies and taxes that Brussels says unfairly tilt trade away from the EU and threaten to destroy European industries. Despite formal objections from Europe, Washington has so far shown no sign of backing down.
As they attempt to reduce their reliance on Russian energy, EU countries are turning to gas from the U.S. instead — but the price Europeans pay is almost four times as high as the same fuel costs in America. Then there’s the likely surge in orders for American-made military kit as European armies run short after sending weapons to Ukraine.
Officials on both sides of the Atlantic recognize the risks that the increasingly toxic atmosphere will have for the Western alliance.
“The U.S. is following a domestic agenda, which is regrettably protectionist and discriminates against U.S. allies,” said Tonino Picula, the European Parliament’s lead person on the transatlantic relationship.
Cheaper energy has quickly become a huge competitive advantage for American companies, too. Businesses are planning new investments in the U.S. or even relocating their existing businesses away from Europe to American factories. Just this week, chemical multinational Solvay announced t is choosing the U.S. over Europe for new investments, in the latest of a series of similar announcements from key EU industrial giants.
American view: ‘Putting an end to Volodymyr Zelensky’s follies!’
“Zelensky comes out of the process smelling really bad as he has worked assiduously at blaming Russia, which clearly is not true,” – writes Philip Giraldi from Ron Paul Institute.
One week ago, he reminds, the Ukrainian government may have deliberately attacked neighbor Poland in an attempt to draw the NATO alliance into its war with Russia. The incident involved a missile that hit a grain processing site inside Poland and killed two farmers.
Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky immediately blamed Russia for the incident even though he surely must have known that the missile had been fired from Ukraine, meaning that he may have been using a so-called “false flag” to create a false narrative of what had occurred.
Given the fact that Zelensky has been saying and doing everything possible to draw the US and NATO into fighting Russia on his behalf, I believe that the missile strike was quite plausibly a deliberate “false flag” attempt to start a much broader war.
That such a war could easily turn nuclear reveals just how reckless Zelensky can be. One NATO country foreign diplomat based in Kiev told “The Financial Times”, that “This is getting ridiculous. The Ukrainians are destroying [our] confidence in them. Nobody is blaming Ukraine and they are openly lying. This is more destructive than the missile.”
There has been considerable speculation that the unregulated and unmonitored flow of billions of dollars of US taxpayer provided money through Ukraine’s notoriously corrupt government provided a perfect mechanism for large scale money laundering.
Even assuming that the Ukrainian missile strike on Poland was due to some malfunction, Zelensky comes out of the process smelling really bad as he has worked assiduously at blaming Russia, which clearly is not true.
He is using his contrived narrative to dramatically expand the war by creating a situation which would bring NATO directly into the conflict and which could easily go nuclear.
Indeed, he is attempting to compel NATO participation.
Beyond that, the US and NATO, burdened with such an “ally,” should take immediate steps to disengage from supporting the fighting and call for a negotiated settlement of the conflict.
To be sure, Zelensky is capable of anything and no lie is too mendacious for the former comedy actor who is now basking in the glow of his celebrity, writes Philip Giraldi.
Iran’s Parliament approves bill on accession to SCO
Iran’s Parliament has approved by a majority vote a bill on the Islamic republic’s accession to the Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO), according TASS information.
205 parliamentarians voted for the bill, 3 voted against and 4 abstained.
On September 30, Iranian President Ebrahim Raisi signed a bill on the country’s accession to the Shanghai Cooperation Organization. According to the Young Journalists Club news agency, Raisi sent the bill to the country’s parliament for consideration.
Iran signed a memorandum on liabilities for joining the Organization.
The Organization’s summit in Uzbekistan on September 15-16 launched the procedure of admitting Belarus as a full-fledged member.
Egypt and Qatar were granted a dialogue partner status, while Bahrain, Kuwait, the Maldives, Myanmar, and Saudi Arabia began the procedure for obtaining this status.
The challenges lie ahead Ankara’s decision to normalize relations with Cairo and Damascus
Although Egypt and Syria are at the bottom of the list of states with which Turkey intends to reconcile, the...
Terrorist Upsurge in Taliban’s Afghanistan: Regimes, Attacks and the Concerns of Neighbors
The U.S. undersecretary of defence for policy, Dr. Colin Kahl had wisely predicted in October 2021, that a possible resurgence...
The Dragon’s Perception Creation and Passivity: A Never-ending Bottleneck
Vijay Gokhale, The Long Game: How The Chinese Negotiate With India ( Penguin Vintage , 2021) Multiple divergences have shaped...
Explainer: African Leaders Should Accelerate Industrialization Without Short-Haircut Processes
At the end of their four-day deliberations, African leaders and participants have issued a joint statement relating to the future...
A review of popular unrest in China in light of the ongoing anti-lockdown protests
Late 1970s saw the Chinese people standing up to exercise their right to dissent for the first time since the...
Internet of Military Things (IoMT) and the Future of Warfare
The Internet of Military Things (IoMT) is a class of heterogeneously connected devices employed for future warfare. It has wide...
The Silicon Valley’s ‘Code Peasants’ and ‘Code Overlords’
The most numerous tech workers in Silicon Valley would be programmers. Their stereotypical image was keeping their heads down, busy...
Defense4 days ago
America Produces Biological Weapons; Does Russia? Does China?
South Asia4 days ago
The Taliban Finally Granted Permission to the Former President Karzai to leave Afghanistan
Energy3 days ago
USA-KSA Energy War and Global Energy Crisis
Europe3 days ago
More Europeans will perish from energy crisis than Ukraine war death toll
Energy3 days ago
Analyzing China Solar Energy for Poverty Alleviation (SEPAP) Program
Economy3 days ago
Why the burden on business women to ‘do it all’ must stop
International Law4 days ago
Why International Institutions Survive: An Afterword to the G20 Summit
Defense3 days ago
Rostec State Corporation Promoting Development, Manufacturing and Exporting Military High-Tech Products