South Sudan

South Sudan Army Dismisses HRW Report on Abuses

SPLA forces on the battle field (Photo: Gale Julius Dada/ChimpReports)

Former Prime Minister Amama Mbabazi has made an amendment in the petition he filed challenging the announcement of Yoweri Museveni as the president in the recently concluded elections.

Mbabazi who was third behind Museveni and FDC’s Kizza Besigye went to the Supreme Court challenging the results citing irregularities including ballot stuffing and voter buying among others.

Meanwhile on Monday morning as the panel of judges led by the Chief Justice Bart Katureebe prepared to hear the case, story they were notified by the Deputy Attorney General Mwesigwa Rukutana that he had been served with a late amended petition by the Mbabazi team.

“A few minutes ago were served with an amended petition which alters the whole petition before you. We have not yet had time to peruse through it, ” Rukutana told court.

President Museveni’s lawyers including Kiwanuka Kiryowa and their counterparts from the Electoral Commision also denied having knowledge of the new amended petition.

The Chief Justice Bart Katureebe also wondered how the new petition had come about and insisted it could not be allowed as the mandatory time for filing had elapsed on Sunday.

“Court is required to start hearing the petition 5 days from yesterday but if you bring in a new petition, what do you expect us to do?”Katureebe wondered.

He noted that despite having freedom to be heard, Mbabazi’s lawyers ought to exercise this right in accordance with the provisions of the law.

In response, Mbabazi’s team led by Muhammed Mbabazi told court that the new petition could be heard adding they could file affidavits as evidence.

However the panel of judges has adjourned the case for 30 minutes to be able to peruse through the amended petition and decide on the way forward.
MTN Uganda has registered a growth in its revenue despite a challenging operating environment driven by the depreciation of the Uganda Shilling, page subscriber disconnection as well as the effect of the One Network Area.

The telecom service provider’s performance report for the year that ended in 2015 indicates that the ongoing investment in network and system infrastructure has positioned MTN Uganda as the leading network operator.

This has enabled the company to report good growth in key strategic areas. MTN’s consolidated revenue grew by 4.9 percent Year on Year with Telco revenue growing by 2.8 percent year-on-year.

The CEO, website like this Mr Brian Gouldie while releasing the report on Friday said MTN Uganda’s subscriber base decreased by a net 1.47 million year-on-year (YOY) subscribers notwithstanding the disconnection of 3.7 million subscribers in the last quarter to meet the compliance requirements of the Regulation of Interception Communications Act (RICA).
This resulted in a decrease in the subscriber base by 14.1% to 8.9 million at year end.

“Despite the challenging operating environment last year, cialis 40mg our leadership position and revenue growth was secured by our continued investment in network and infrastructure, our wider product range on Mobile Money and increased Data penetration propelled by a push for 3G devices on the network,”  Gouldie said.

“In other successes, the MTN Group has reported a 17.4 percent increase in total data revenue, which contributed 28.3 percent to telco revenue.”

Mobile Data subscriber penetration reached an average of 40% of the total MTN Subscriber Base; which represents a base of 3.3 million subscribers, and a growth of 26% in 3G subscribers year-on-year. This significant growth in data usage that is attributed to the rollout of MTN’s 4G LTE network.

In the financial services aspect, MTN Mobile Money recorded a 6.7 percent YOY increase in active subscribers to 3.45 million and a 23% increase in revenue.

The active Mobile Financial Services subscribers constitute 52.4 percent of MTN’s registered MFS base.
Mobile Money contributed 17.2 percent of all 2015 revenues, representing an increase of 14.3 percent from 2014.

This continued contribution reflects the strength of the financial services offering that has been provided

The total registered mobile money based was 6.5million at year end.

Commenting on the strides made in network coverage, Gouldie said; “Our network rollout and investment plan during 2015 led to a steady growth in network sites, to a cumulative total of 1,567 sites on the network. This was attributed to 163 (2G)), 100 (3G) and 80 (4G LTE) sites.”

While MTN’s 2G network covers 89 percent of Uganda total area geographically, 3G coverage is reported at 57 percent penetration of Uganda’s total addressable population.
South Sudanese government forces and opposition armed groups have committed grave human rights abuses in Western Equatoria State, this web says Human Rights Watch.

The rights body say it documented numerous cases of killings, enforced disappearances, rapes and other grave abuses in the Western Equatoria region allegedly committed by both government and opposition armed groups.

Human Rights Watch says 11 cases of enforced disappearances and extrajudicial executions by government forces between November 2015 and February 2016 in and around Yambio.

The Rights Watch adds that the UN Security Council should impose a comprehensive arms embargo on all forces in South Sudan to curtail abuses against civilians.

The group’s Africa Director, Daniel Bekele, says an arms embargo and effective war crimes court are crucial to stamp out abuses and send a message that crimes are punishable.

When contacted for comment about the allegations, Acting SPLA Spokesperson Colonel Marko Mayol dismissed the report, describing it as ‘propaganda’ to derail peace efforts in the country.

Col Mayol said the SPLA will work with local authorities to investigate the allegations.

“Now it is time for peace, if there is any rights violations or crimes in the area, such cases should be tackled together, but you can’t just accuse all the SPLA forces in such reports,’’ he observed.

“Our army are the children of South Sudan, they are not from outside. So they can’t misbehave to the community. Our mandate as the SPLA is to protect our citizens and their property,” the Colonel emphasised.

“How can we start abusing the rights of our community when they are our own mothers, sisters and brothers? For us if somebody makes a crime in the area we can’t compromise on indiscipline.”


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