05 February 2019 Military News
- US Senate Criticizes Trump's Plan to Withdraw Troops from Syria, Afghanistan VOA 05 Feb 2019 -- The U.S. Senate voted overwhelmingly Tuesday to caution President Donald Trump against swift U.S. troop withdrawals from Syria and Afghanistan.
- Republican-led Senate breaks with Trump over Syria, Afghanistan withdrawal plans Press TV 05 Feb 2019 -- The Republican-led US Senate has backed an amendment opposing President Donald Trump's plans for a quick withdrawal of American troops from Syria and Afghanistan, citing concerns that such moves will benefit Russia and Iran.
- Centcom Commander Briefs Senators on Regional Challenges DoD News 05 Feb 2019 -- No other region in the world is as dynamic, hopeful, challenging and dangerous as the U.S. Central Command area of responsibility, the Centcom commander told the Senate Armed Forces Committee today.
- Top US General 'Not Consulted' About Syria Troop Withdrawal VOA 05 Feb 2019 -- The commanding general of U.S. forces in the Middle East was not told before President Donald Trump initially declared victory over the Islamic State terror group and announced his decision to withdraw troops from Syria.
- US Increasing Military Presence in Syria Despite Withdrawal Plans - Reports Sputnik 05 Feb 2019 -- Washington announced plans to withdraw from the war-torn country in late December, after President Trump declared victory against Daesh (ISIS) and recalled a campaign promise not to get the US stuck in wars in the Middle East.
- US-Led Coalition Denies Confrontation With Iran-Backed Militia in Iraq VOA 05 Feb 2019 -- The U.S.-led coalition fighting against the Islamic State (IS) in Syria and Iraq Monday denied it faced a head-to-head encounter with the Iran-backed militia known as the Popular Mobilization Forces (PMF) in the Nineveh province of Iraq.
- Taliban Kill Dozens of Afghan Forces as Disputed Peace Talks Open VOA 05 Feb 2019 -- The Taliban is reported to have killed up to 40 government troops in separate attacks in northern Afghanistan as a controversial "intra-Afghan dialogue" began Tuesday in Moscow to debate a political resolution to the war.
- Ghani: Pompeo Said 'No Ambiguity' About U.S. Commitment To Afghanistan RFE/RL 05 Feb 2019 -- Secretary of State Mike Pompeo has reiterated the U.S. commitment to Afghanistan in a telephone call with President Ashraf Ghani, the Afghan leader says.
- 'Intra-Afghan' Talks Under Way In Moscow Amid Continuing Violence RFE/RL 05 Feb 2019 -- Taliban representatives and an Afghan delegation led by former President Hamid Karzai have begun two days of talks in Moscow billed as part of an "intra-Afghan" peace process -- despite the absence of Kabul government representatives and continued militant attacks back in Afghanistan.
- Major General Safavi announces: Iran obtains accurate information on transferring Daesh militants to Afghanistan by US ISNA 05 Feb 2019 -- Iran has obtained accurate information showing that US transfers ISIS terrorists to Afghanistan, Major General Yahya Safavi, a top military adviser to Leader of the Islamic Revolution Ayatollah Seyyed Ali Khamenei said.
Defense Policy / Programs
- President Donald J. Trump's State of the Union Address The White House 05 Feb 2019
- President Donald J. Trump's America First Vision for Keeping Our Nation Safe The White House 05 Feb 2019
- Trump Makes Last Appeal for Wall Funding in State of Union Address VOA 05 Feb 2019 -- President Donald Trump used the State of the Union address Tuesday night to make a final push for a wall along the southern U.S. border, just days ahead of what he has warned could be another government shutdown.
- New shelter to protect Soldiers from extreme cold, boost survivability Army News 05 Feb 2019 -- For Soldiers, maintaining communications in tactical command posts without being detected is essential. However, maintaining a low electronic signature is difficult because of the equipment -- computers, radios and other devices -- that are necessary to maintain communications.
- Army aviation regiments test their mettle at Fort Bliss Army News 05 Feb 2019 -- Huddled inside a tightly compacted room of a flight hangar, a group of National Guard Soldiers shuffled playing cards as they exchanged jokes with one another. Suddenly, the jovial ambiance was interrupted by an urgent radio call for a medical evacuation. Without hesitation, the Soldiers sprang into action as they ran toward their UH-60 A/L Black Hawk helicopters, gathered all of their equipment and then ascended onto the skies … all in a matter of about 15 minutes.
- No Injuries as Two U.S. Navy Vessels Involved in Minor Mishap Off East Coast NNS 05 Feb 2019 -- No personnel were injured when a U.S. Navy guided-missile cruiser and dry cargo ship made contact during an underway replenishment off the southeastern coast of the United States, Feb. 5.
- U.S. Navy Successfully Conducts AN/SPY-6(V) Air and Missile Defense Radar Ballistic Missile Test NNS 05 Feb 2019 -- The U.S. Navy's AN/SPY-6(V)1 Air and Missile Defense Radar (AMDR) successfully tracked a ballistic missile target, Jan. 31.
- Army National Guard aviation test their mettle at Fort Bliss Army News 05 Feb 2019 -- Huddled inside a tightly compacted room of a flight hangar, a group of National Guard Soldiers shuffled playing cards as they exchanged jokes with one another. Suddenly, the jovial ambiance was interrupted by an urgent radio call for a medical evacuation. Without hesitation, the Soldiers sprang into action as they ran toward their UH-60 A/L Black Hawk helicopters, gathered all of their equipment and then ascended onto the skies…all in a matter of about 15 minutes.
- Helicopters return to Chièvres Air Base in preparation for Atlantic Resolve Army News 05 Feb 2019 -- Amid the snow and iced conditions, Chièvres Air Base, Belgium, became the intermediate staging area for 1st Combat Aviation Brigade as helicopters landed on SHAPE Air Field in late January and early February. The 1st Infantry Division brigade, based out of Fort Riley, Kansas, are in the fourth iteration of a combat aviation brigade rotation in support of Atlantic Resolve, U.S. Army Europe and U.S. European Command.
- Secretary of the Navy Names Independence-Variant Littoral Combat Ship After South Dakota's Capital NNS 05 Feb 2019 -- Secretary of the Navy Richard V. Spencer announced that the next Independence-variant Littoral Combat Ship will be named USS Pierre (LCS 38). The future USS Pierre (LCS 38) is named in honor of the capital city of South Dakota and is the second ship to bear the name.
- Navy Accepts Delivery of Future USS Billings (LCS 15) NNS 05 Feb 2019 -- The Navy accepted delivery of the future USS Billings (LCS 15) during a ceremony at the Fincantieri Marinette Marine (FMM), shipyard, Marinette, Wisconsin, Feb. 1.
- Mount Olympus Drills 'Latest Sign' of US Military Expansion in Greece – Report Sputnik 05 Feb 2019 -- Last year, Washington and Athens agreed to deploy US drones to the Larissa Air Force base in Greece. The allies are currently considering deploying US F-35 fighter jets to a base in the Greek city of Volos.
- One weekend, three countries, helps nearly 130,000 people US Air Force 05 Feb 2019 -- Over a weekend-long combined humanitarian and training mission, three C-17 Globemaster III aircraft and their Reserve Citizen Airmen crews from the 315th Airlift Wing at Joint Base Charlston, S.C. delivered humanitarian aid to Guatemala, Haiti and Honduras, Feb. 3-4.
- Red Flag adjusts for today's challenges US Air Force 05 Feb 2019 -- The 414th Combat Training Squadron, which oversees Red Flag, is making changes to the exercise for improved efficiency at Nellis Air Force Base.
- Official: US Trying to 'Off-Ramp' Central Asia From Russian Military Procurement Sputnik 05 Feb 2019 -- The United States is trying to enable countries in Central Asia to have options in obtaining US military equipment rather than relying on military procurement from Russia, but the cost of US weapons will continue to be an issue, Central Command (CENTCOM) chief Gen. Joseh Votel said in a congressional testimony on Tuesday.
- Lithuanian State Security Dep't Lists Russia Among Key Threats to Country Sputnik 05 Feb 2019 -- Russia has been listed as one of the key threats to Lithuania's security in the country's National Threat Assessment report, prepared by the State Security Department and the Second Investigation Department under the Ministry of National Defence, that was released on Tuesday.
- Minister: Russia to develop new cruise, hypersonic missiles to face US Press TV 05 Feb 2019 -- Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu says Russia must develop new missiles in the next two years in response to the US withdrawal from a Cold War-era agreement.
- Moscow Says New Missile Systems Planned To Counter U.S. By 2021 RFE/RL 05 Feb 2019 -- Russian Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu says Moscow will push to develop two new land-based missile systems before 2021 in response to Washington's planned exit from a landmark nuclear arms control agreement.
- Russia Developing More Missile Systems 'Not Helpful' For INF Treaty - Pentagon Sputnik 05 Feb 2019 -- Russia developing additional missile systems is not helpful if Moscow wants to save the Intermediate-range Nuclear Forces (INF) Treaty, US Department of Defence spokesperson Johnny Michael told Sputnik on Tuesday.
- Russia to Develop Ground-Based Kalibr Missiles Amid INF Treaty Row - Minister Sputnik 05 Feb 2019 -- A ground-based version of Kalibr sea-based complexes with a long-range cruise missile should be developed in 2019-2020 in response to the US decision to suspend its obligations under the Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces (INF) Treaty, Russian Defence Minister Sergei Shoigu said on Tuesday.
- Russia Developing New Advanced Gun System for Armata-Based Tanks – MoD Sputnik 05 Feb 2019 -- Russia is developing a new advanced gun system for tanks based on the Armata heavy military tracked vehicle platform, the Defence Ministry's thematic bulletin said on Tuesday.
- Lavrov Calls Russian Military Base In Tajikistan 'Important Security Factor' RFE/RL 05 Feb 2019 -- Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov has called a Russian military base in Tajikistan "an important factor for Tajikistan's security."
- South Korea submits to US demand to share troop cost Press TV 05 Feb 2019 -- The United States and South Korea have agreed "in principle" to share the cost of stationing US military personnel in the Asian country after months of wrangling over who should foot the bill.
- 'In Principle' Deal Reached on Cost-Sharing for US Forces Korea Sputnik 06 Feb 2019 -- After months of debate, a contract has been agreed to between the US and South Korea for the latter to increase its share of financial support for the 28,500 US forces stationed in the country.
- The end of an era: RAF Tornado returns from operations for the last time UK MOD 05 Feb 2019 -- After almost 40 years serving the UK on military operations across the world, iconic RAF Tornado jets have returned home for the last time.
- North Korea insulating nukes, missiles against strikes: UN Press TV 05 Feb 2019 -- A confidential report to the UN Security Council says North Korea is working to ensure that its nuclear and missile capabilities would not be destroyed by any military strikes.
- France Simulates Nuclear Strike Amid Russian-US INF Tensions - Report Sputnik 05 Feb 2019 -- Russian Defence Minister Sergei Shoigu said Tuesday that Russia would create a ground-based version of its nuclear-capable Kalibr missile in response to the US withdrawal from the Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces Treaty. Ex-French Foreign Minister Hubert Vedrine has urged Moscow and Washington to come up with a new treaty to replace the INF.
- Iran Spends $7-8 Bln on Defence Against Enemies Spending $100 Bln - Commander Sputnik 05 Feb 2019 -- Over the weekend, Iran unveiled a new medium-range cruise missile which Israeli military intelligence analysts fear is capable of defeating any existing Israeli or US missile defence systems.
- Iraq will not be used against other countries, prime minister says Press TV 05 Feb 2019 -- Iraqi Prime Minister Adil Abdul-Mahdi has strongly condemned latest remarks by US President Donald Trump that American forces must remain in Iraq so Washington can keep a close eye on neighboring Iran, stressing that his country will not accept being used for any acts of aggression against other states.
- 5 February 2019 - Daily Press Briefing by the Office of the Spokesperson for the Secretary-General United Nations 05 Feb 2019
- UNSC calls on Yemen's rival forces to leave Hudaydah Press TV 05 Feb 2019 -- The United Nations Security Council has called on Yemen's warring parties to pull their forces out of the Red Sea port city of Hudaydah and two other ports "without further delays" under a recent UN-brokered ceasefire deal.
- Saudis transferring US weapons to Qaeda in Yemen, report reveals Press TV 05 Feb 2019 -- Saudi Arabia is "transferring" American weapons to al-Qaeda terrorists and Salafi militias in Yemen, a report reveals.
- CNN Claims Saudis Transferred US-Made Arms to al-Qaeda-Linked Fighters in Yemen Sputnik 05 Feb 2019 -- According to CNN's exclusive report, Saudi Arabia and its coalition partners allegedly gave militants linked to al-Qaeda* terrorist group, Salafi militias and other factions in Yemen weapons that were manufactured by the United States, in breach of its arms agreements with Washington.
- Larijani calls for expansion of Tehran, Damascus ties IRNA 05 Feb 2019 -- Majlis Speaker Ali Larijani on Tuesday called for expansion of economic cooperation between Iran and Syria.
- Iran, Syria will boost terror combat until its eradication: Shamkhani Press TV 05 Feb 2019 -- A senior Iranian security official says the joint fight with Syria against terrorism has contributed to regional and international security, emphasizing that the two nations will continue their cooperation until the eradication of the scourge in the Arab country.
- Netanyahu, Putin To Meet To Discuss Iran's Presence In Syria RFE/RL 05 Feb 2019 -- Israel's Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu will meet Russian President Vladimir Putin in Moscow later this month for talks on Iran's presence in Syria, the Israeli leader has said.
- If Israel Continues Attacks in Syria, Iran Will Respond - Security Council Head Sputnik 05 Feb 2019 -- Secretary of the Iranian Supreme National Security Council Ali Shamkhani said on Tuesday at a meeting with Syrian Foreign Minister Walid Muallem that Israel will receive a decisive response if it continues attacks in Syria.
- Turkey's Erdogan Steps Up Pressure on US as Key Syria Talks Begin VOA 05 Feb 2019 -- Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan says he has not yet seen an acceptable plan for the creation in Syria of a safe zone aimed at protecting Turkey's border from attack.
- Syria accuses US, allied militants of blocking humanitarian aid in Dayr al-Zawr Press TV 05 Feb 2019 -- The Syrian government has accused US military forces and their allied Kurdish militants from the so-called Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) of blocking deliveries of critical humanitarian supplies to internally displaced people in the country's embattled eastern province of Dayr al-Zawr.
- US Urges Allies to Take Back Daesh Terrorists Captured by Kurds in Syria Sputnik 05 Feb 2019 -- Earlier in February, the Kurdish-led Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) announced that they had captured three more alleged Daesh* militants from Germany, Saudi Arabia and Egypt.
- North-east Nigeria displacement crisis continues amid 'increased sophistication' of attackers, warns UN UN News 05 Feb 2019 -- An upsurge in violent attacks in crisis-riven north-east Nigeria has displaced nearly 60,000 people in the last three months, the UN migration agency, IOM, said on Tuesday.
- Displacement Escalates in Northeast Nigeria as Violence Intensifies VOA 05 Feb 2019 -- The International Organization for Migration is appealing for $66 million to respond to an escalating displacement crisis, in northeastern Nigeria, which has left tens of thousands of people bereft of shelter and other basic life-saving needs.
- Libya: $202 million needed to bring life-saving aid to half a million people hit by humanitarian crisis UN News 05 Feb 2019 -- The United Nations and its aid partners, together with the interim Government of Libya, launched on Tuesday a humanitarian response plan (HRP), appealing for $202 million to bring urgent life-saving assistance to some 550,000 women, children and men affected by the ongoing humanitarian crisis.
- UN Appeals for $200M to Assist 550,000 Vulnerable People in Libya VOA 05 Feb 2019 -- The United Nations, together with the internationally recognized Government of National Accord in Libya, are appealing for more than $200 million to provide lifesaving assistance to 550,000 vulnerable people, nearly half of them children.
- China firmly opposes mercenary activities in Africa, says Chinese envoy People's Daily 05 Feb 2019 -- China firmly opposes mercenary activities in Africa, and will always support African nations' pursuit of peace and prosperity, said Chinese Permanent Representative to the United Nations Ma Zhaoxu here on Monday.
- Hamas, Islamic Jihad call for formation of Palestinian national unity government Press TV 05 Feb 2019 -- Palestinian resistance movements Hamas and Islamic Jihad have demanded the quick formation of a new national unity government, stressing the need for further cooperation between the two groups in the face of challenges facing the Palestinian nation.
- UN Chief: Days of Foreign Military Intervention in Latin America Over VOA 05 Feb 2019 -- U.N. Secretary-General Antonio Guterres says he hopes no foreign forces will enter Venezuela, saying the days of foreign intervention in Latin America are "long ago gone."
- Venezuela Regime Change: Better Late Than Never VOA 05 Feb 2019 -- Washington and European nations are echoing demands of Venezuelan protesters for socialist leader Nicolas Maduro to step down and give way for 35-year-old national assembly head Juan Guaido to act as Venezuela's interim president while new elections are organized.
- Maduro vows not to 'betray' Venezuela by yielding to US desires of regime change in Caracas Press TV 05 Feb 2019 -- Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro vows not to "betray" his own country by giving in to desires of US President Donald Trump's administration for toppling the incumbent government in Caracas, calling on the international community to "stop the madness" of the American leader.
- Lima Group calls for Maduro ouster 'without force' Press TV 05 Feb 2019 -- US allies in the Lima Group of Latin American countries plus Canada have called for a regime change in Venezuela where President Nicolas Maduro is under immense pressure to step down.
- Maduro on Possible Intervention: Venezuela to Make US Suffer Irreparable Losses Sputnik 05 Feb 2019 -- On Sunday, US President Donald Trump stated that the use of the US military in the Venezuelan crisis was among the possible variants.
- Maduro Calls Lima Group's Declaration on Venezuelan Crisis 'Ridiculous' Sputnik 05 Feb 2019 -- Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro on Tuesday brushed off the declaration of the Lima Group on Venezuela as the member states strongly condemned the Venezuelan leadership and supported the country's opposition as the interim government.
- Lima Group Calls on Venezuela Military to Recognize Guaido as Interim President Sputnik 05 Feb 2019 -- The Lima Group is calling on the Venezuelan military to recognize opposition leader Juan Guaido as the country's interim president, Canadian Foreign Minister Chrystia Freeland said during a press conference.
- Tankers Pile Up in Gulf of Mexico Due to US Sanctions on Venezuelan Oil – Report Sputnik 05 Feb 2019 -- Last week, Washington blocked all assets of Venezuela's state-owned PDVSA oil and gas giant in its jurisdiction and banned US firms from doing business with the company. On Friday, the US Treasury Department said it would ease the restrictions if Venezuelan opposition leader Juan Guaido gained control over the company.
- Lima Group Agrees to Ban Venezuelan Officials from Entering Members' Territory Sputnik 05 Feb 2019 -- The Lima Group has agreed to prevent high-level Venezuelan officials from entering territory of group members.
- Acting Attorney General and Secretary of Homeland Security Submit Joint Report on Impact of Foreign Interference on Election and Political/Campaign Infrastructure in 2018 Elections Department of Homeland Security 05 Feb 2019 -- Acting Attorney General Matthew G. Whitaker and Secretary of Homeland Security Kirstjen M. Nielsen submitted a joint report to President Donald J. Trump on February 4, 2019 evaluating the impact of any foreign interference on election infrastructure or the infrastructure of political organizations, including campaigns and candidates in the 2018-midterm elections.
- Acting Attorney General and Secretary of Homeland Security Submit Joint Report on Impact of Foreign Interference on Election and Political/Campaign Infrastructure in 2018 Elections US Dept. of Justice 05 Feb 2019 -- Report Concludes No Material Impact of Foreign Interference on Election or Political/Campaign Infrastructure in 2018 Elections
- Report: Foreign Meddling Had No 'Material Impact' on US Midterm Election VOA 05 Feb 2019 -- A new U.S. assessment of foreign interference in the 2018 congressional elections has concluded that outside meddling had no effect on the integrity and security of the voting systems, but the government didn't say whether foreign actors influenced the outcome of the election.
- US says no evidence foreign states impacted 2018 midterm elections Press TV 05 Feb 2019 -- Senior officials in the US government say that foreign states did not significantly influence the 2018 congressional elections, despite reports of hacking attempts leading up to the midterm elections in November.
- Reports: U.S. Prosecutors Subpoena Records From Trump's Inauguration Committee RFE/RL 05 Feb 2019 -- News reports say that U.S. prosecutors have asked the committee that planned President Donald Trump's inauguration to turn over documents and records related to the 2017 event.
- Freedom House: Global Democracy 'In Retreat' For 13th Year RFE/RL 05 Feb 2019 -- The Washington-based rights group Freedom House has warned that "challenges to democracy" in the United States are "threatening to undermine political rights and civil liberties" around the world.
- Trump, North Korea's Kim to Meet in Vietnam Feb. 27-28 VOA 05 Feb 2019 -- U.S. President Donald Trump announced during his State of the Union address Tuesday that he and North Korean leader Kim Jong Un would meet for a second summit at the end of the month.
- Iran, France discuss INSTEX implementation IRNA 05 Feb 2019 -- Iranian and French top officials discussed implementation of Instrument in Support of Trade Exchanges (INSTEX) between Iran and EU.
- EU hails Iran commitment under JCPOA IRNA 05 Feb 2019 -- The European Union in a statement welcomed Iran's compliance with its commitment to nuclear deal also known as the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA).
- Iran urges constructive interaction with Europe IRNA 05 Feb 2019 -- Iranian Foreign Ministry in a statement called the European Union to maintain constructive interaction with Iran based on mutual respect and interests.
- Iran has turned into great power in SW Asia: Top commander Press TV 05 Feb 2019 -- Iran's top military commander says the country has turned into a major power in Southwestern Asia, 40 years into its Islamic Revolution that toppled the US-backed Pahlavi regime.
- Iran Complains Europeans Aren't Buying Oil Despite U.S. Waivers RFE/RL 05 Feb 2019 -- Iran has criticized Greece and Italy for not buying its oil despite U.S. waivers, and said they had not offered Tehran any explanation.
- Greece, Italy Stopped Buying Oil From Iran Despite Sanctions Waivers - Minister Sputnik 05 Feb 2019 -- Greece and Italy have stopped purchasing Iranian oil, even in spite of the fact that they both had received waivers from US sanctions on the sector, Iranian Petroleum Minister Bijan Zangeneh said on Tuesday.
- Iran's Nuclear Chief Says Khandab Research Reactor Produced Radioactive Isotope Sputnik 05 Feb 2019 -- The head of the Atomic Energy Organization of Iran (AEOI), Ali Akbar Salehi, announced that an oxygen-18 isotope was produced with a purity of 97%.
- Sisi pushes amendments to law to stay in power until 2034 Press TV 05 Feb 2019 -- A draft of constitutional amendments proposed by Egyptian lawmakers shows the changes would allow President Abdel Fattah el-Sisi to stay in power for up to 12 years beyond his current term.
- Kazakhstan's President Says No Immediate Plans For Early Presidential Election RFE/RL 05 Feb 2019 -- Kazakh President Nursultan Nazarbaev has said there are no immediate plans to push forward the date of the country's next presidential election, which is scheduled for 2020.
- Saudi Arabia to take $3.46bn from state reserves to finance budget deficit Press TV 05 Feb 2019 -- A high-ranking Saudi economic official says the oil-rich kingdom is going to draw down a total of 13 billion Saudi riyals ($ 3.46 billion) from the general reserves over the current year in a bid to close its budget deficit.
- Piracy and high seas crime growing, becoming more sophisticated, UN Security Council told UN News 05 Feb 2019 -- International maritime crime is becoming "increasingly sophisticated" as criminal groups exploit jurisdiction and enforcement challenges on the high seas and pose "immediate danger to people's lives and safety", the UN anti-drugs and crime chief warned the Security Council on Tuesday.
- Senior EU officials reject any compromise on Brexit deal, thwart May's push for settlement Press TV 05 Feb 2019 -- Senior European Union officials have rejected any possible compromise on the already agreed Brexit Withdrawal Agreement, countering British Prime Minister Theresa May's push for new negotiations.
- Ukraine Opens Treason Probe Against Pro-Russian Politician RFE/RL 05 Feb 2019 -- Authorities in Ukraine say they are investigating allegations that Viktor Medvedchuk, a shadowy Ukrainian political operative with close personal ties to Russian President Vladimir Putin, has committed high treason and sought to undermine the country's territorial integrity.
- Dramatic drop in South Sudan political violence since peace agreement signing UN News 05 Feb 2019 -- Since the signing of a September 2018 deal between the South Sudanese President Salva Kiir and his political rival and former deputy Riek Machar to end conflict in the country, political violence has "dropped dramatically," David Shearer, head of the UN Mission in South Sudan told reporters on Tuesday.
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