Archive for: August 2015

Beyond Deadlock: Recommendations for Obama’s Plan B on South Sudan

BY Enough Team, AUGUST/2015, SSN;

South Sudan’s warring factions have one last chance to end their country’s 20-month civil war and sign a compromise agreement proposed by the Intergovernmental Authority on Development (IGAD) mediators, who are leading negotiations.

The U.S. government has promised serious consequences if the parties fail to meet the August 17 deadline set by the international community.

During his recent visit to East Africa, President Obama convened a roundtable on South Sudan with the presidents of Kenya and Uganda, Ethiopia’s prime minister, Sudan’s foreign minister, and the African Union Commission’s chairperson to build consensus on the need to collectively pressure South Sudan’s warring parties toward peace.

In no uncertain terms, President Obama warned that the United States is prepared to move forward with additional available tools to apply greater pressure on the parties. When speaking to the African Union, he said that if the two sides miss the deadline, “the international community must raise the costs of intransigence.”

At a press conference in the region with Ethiopian Prime Minister Hailemariam Desalegn, President Obama explained, “we also think that [the United States] can be a mechanism for additional leverage on the parties, who, up until this point, have proven very stubborn and have not yet risen to the point where they are looking out for the interests of their nation as opposed to their particular self-interests. And that transition has to take place, and it has to take place now.”

Back in Washington, on August 4, President Obama warned, “If they miss [the August 17 deadline] then I think it’s our view that it’s going to be necessary for us to move forward with a different plan and recognize that those leaders are incapable of creating the peace that is required.”

In order to maximize the impact of an alternate plan (being called “Plan B” by many), the U.S. should urgently cultivate the strongest possible support for such a proposal.

Such a Plan B should include high-level asset freezes and travel bans, a global arms embargo, and the prosecution of grand corruption and atrocity crimes, including natural resource pillage as a war crime.

Pressure from President Obama and other world leaders at such a pivotal moment in negotiations has already set in motion the most serious peace deliberations to date.

The United States must be prepared to take swift action on the promised Plan B should the parties once again fail to agree to and implement peace.

The United States must follow through on the president’s strong words with equally strong action, both unilaterally and at the U.N. Security Council, where so far only six ground commanders—who hold little in the way of personal wealth or assets outside of South Sudan—have been designated for sanctions.

The most critical elements of an effective Plan B for South Sudan should include:

1. Implementation of high-level asset freezes, travel bans, and an arms embargo.
President Obama should request that the U.S. Department of the Treasury prepare dossiers to present to the U.N. Security Council on high-level targets and their financial backers and enablers.

If the two parties fail to sign the proposed compromise agreement by the August 17 deadline, the Security Council should be prepared to impose additional designations immediately.

Because many of the targets’ assets are in the region, the United States should urge Kenya and Ethiopia to ensure U.N. sanctions designations are enforced.

The United States should also support a global arms embargo on South Sudan.

Should these measures fail to gain the support of the Security Council, the United States should be prepared to build a coalition of countries that are willing to ratchet up the pressure on high-level officials from both sides, who undermine peace and are responsible for ongoing atrocities.

2. Measures to end impunity for economic and atrocity crimes.
The United States should fully support IGAD’s proposed Hybrid Court for South Sudan (HCSS), including its mandate to investigate and prosecute pillage as a war crime and other serious crimes, including grand corruption.

The United States should offer technical and legal assistance to the court and South Sudan’s existing Anti-Corruption Commission, including specific expertise on asset tracing and financial crimes investigations.

The United States, United Kingdom, Australia, Canada, and others should also take steps to prosecute pillage cases involving South Sudan within their own legal jurisdictions to ensure that corporations do not benefit from the pillage of South Sudan’s natural resource wealth.

3. Strengthened regional capacity to enforce U.N. sanctions.
Building on efforts to tackle corruption and money laundering in the region, the United States should offer additional legal and technical support to improve regional sanctions enforcement.

The U.S. should prioritize programs that enhance the operational capacity of regional financial intelligence units to identify and freeze the assets of designated individuals.

The United States should also urge Kenya, Ethiopia, and Uganda to submit reports on their efforts to enforce U.N. sanctions as required by U.N. Security Council Resolution 2206.

4. A connection of regional infrastructure projects to peace.
The U.S. and Chinese governments should jointly review bilateral and multilateral funds earmarked for regional infrastructure projects in East Africa to assess the feasibility of additional investments given the risks presented by ongoing conflict in South Sudan.

This review should make clear that active regional sanctions enforcement will be considered a key risk mitigation factor.

5. Measures to return the proceeds of corruption back to South Sudan.
President Obama should direct the U.S. Department of State, the U.S. Department of Homeland Security, and the FBI to provide inter-agency support to the U.S. Department of Justice’s Kleptocracy Asset Recovery Initiative and focus on investigating instances of grand corruption in South Sudan.

The U.S. should also encourage Kenya, Ethiopia, and Uganda to actively contribute to global efforts to trace, seize, freeze, and return the proceeds of corruption to the people of South Sudan by sharing intelligence through the Asset Recovery Inter-Agency Network for Eastern Africa.

6. Amplification of civil society advocacy to increase beneficial ownership transparency. Donors should support efforts by South Sudanese civil society groups to advocate for the full implementation of existing beneficial ownership transparency rules and other public disclosure provisions laid out in the 2012 Petroleum Act and the Transitional Constitution of 2011.

Donors should also support civil society efforts in Kenya, Ethiopia, and Uganda to demand increased transparency about the real owners of corporate assets and trusts, as well as information about payments made to governments for mining and oil concessions.

At the same time, the U.S. Treasury should revise its own proposed rule on beneficial ownership to include a look-back provision before the final rule’s publication later in August 2015.

7. Greater resources for civil society groups to fight corruption.
Donors should use South Sudan’s ratification of the U.N. Convention Against Corruption (UNCAC) as an entry point for supporting efforts by grassroots organizations to hold their own leaders to account for the misuse and misappropriation of government funds.

Ensuring the provision of space for civil society participation during the transition, including protections for local journalists and news outlets, should be made a precondition for the resumption of donor assistance to the government of South Sudan. END

FOR THE FULL REPORT, CLICK ON THE LINK BELOW:

http://www.enoughproject.org/files/Beyond_Deadlock_081215.pdf

South Sudan’s Corrupt politicians are Vultures rejoicing over corpses!

“You know, there is nothing worse than the poverty of the mind… the person is never satisfied at all. The more you get this , the more you feel like to get that – and the other one too, then more and more until you unknowingly swallow yourself in an attempt to leaving nothing un swallowed”……

By KON Joseph LEEK, South Sudan, AUG/12/2015, SSN;

I am not against corruption but I am only against its abuse, for corruption in any nation can’t be removed but can only be reduced by its “control mechanisms”.

You know that a little stealing here and there is not bad at all; it is only bad when it calls attention to others.

Anyhow, thievery and robbery are proves of a country’s advancement because for a country to flourish it must have something to be stolen, and for this, we have to be proud that we are also flourishing because we are having things that we steal.

Besides, our traditional corruption will continue for sometime because everyone is a victim; the corruption’s suspect, the appointer of the one to control it [corruption] and the appointed himself [the one to control corruption].

Now, it throws us into dilemmas of who is who here. Who is not corrupt to investigate the other? Chinese says that, “laws are useless when men are pure and unenforceable when men are corrupt”, that is Junub El’Sudan in Chinese proverb!

We saw corruption’s control in 2011 and 2013 when AKUIEN and Pagan Amum, then Deng Aloor Kuol and KOSTI MANIBE NGAI were implicated. Though the ends were a little pleasing because steps that abruptly ended were taken, it was still comical.

Lack of self integrity and moral authority are some of the things we lack in our hearts, thus it is a nightmare to exhale something like “we want a corruption-free country, now!”

My campaign is one-sided; let’s adopt the East Africa’s corruption system where a public figure steals and set up companies to employ others. There, you will eat your stolen stuffs peacefully without any interference from whosoever because the number you’ll have employed would be there to secure their positions by guiding you anyway.

But where you consistently rob without fear and shyness – with a gun in your left hand and loot with your right hand then you hasten to bank them under your bed without plans will only develop bitterness and hatred that will incite unemployed youth to rise up against you with machetes, sticks, pangas and axes to split open your nicely fed bellies.

This motive of robbing and marrying more wives or running to Uganda or wherever to buy a house and hide your families there, then you return and begin to move around mischievously and misbehaving and cause havoc will make you a loose politician whose purpose of politicking is selfish with the agenda of “blood sucking and robbing” but not to save the New Nation’s destitute populace.

One lion may be fitter than the other lions but that does not explain how he got to be a lion and all his offspring will still be lions not something else.

You, as leaders, are not something far much unreachable beyond any other human being. You were mandated by the people to lead them and they can, as it is their right, decree you out if you don’t meet their needs however much you decorate yourselves with military titles, tanks and bombs.

Aren’t you yet alert that elections would come back shortly sometimes in the future or do you think that you are still our role models?

Why should some people want to destroy the country they suffered much to liberate? Can’t something truly be done without any negative hidden agenda behind it?

Shall we always view political aspirations and positions as tools of looting and thieving? …. And you always tell us to follow your footsteps!

This is one of the reasons that brought about the on-going man-made calamity; fighting in front of the saucepan between “it’s my chance” and “it’s not yet your chance” factions.

Is the slogan “we liberated you [this young Nation]” a free ticket to munch it your own style?

Was “eating” a guarantee to liberate this Nation? Why should you malnourish your very own country you much struggled to liberate?

When we say “corruption”, it is it, not something new, it didn’t recently root. The present has been there right from the start. Only that we have been too blind to see or too busy to notice.

They mercilessly, unabatedly and convolutedly corrupt without nervousness and still walk around telling us that, “corruption is dreadful” and again go for it!

They are really the living embodiment of what they preach!

Gier Chuang, when he was still the minister of roads and bridges once vehemently told us in Uganda in the presence of Hon. Bashir Gbandi [deputy minister of foreign affairs] and Hon. Prof. Mijok Mijak Bilkuei [deputy minister of roads and bridges] that, ‘do not inherit our tribalism, nepotism and corruption’, it was really a good fatherly advice to his children but again, how can a child divert from his father’s foot step?

Uncle Gier’s advice was as good as impossible anyway.

What we know of our fathers is corruption, tribalism, nepotism, rebellion, media suppression, arrogance and many more; until you change your way of life, we will always be like you – like father like son, remember!

It is not about me or him or her. It is about the basic needs of the people you conned to bring you to power, it is about roads, electricity, water, schools, and hospitals…. mention them.

We know that your children do not study here and they are not treated here either. We are treated here, die and buried here but you guys, like your children are treated abroad and maybe die from there – and later buried here, and this is why you are only mindful of your “positions” but not “what to do” in your positions.

Our weaknesses and backwardness are generally attributed to the inability of our leaders to rise to their responsibilities and not that, “our country is a child” or young nation as always famed by some government officials – unless a child is malnourished or orphaned is a good reason it can still scrawl up to this time now.

JUNUB is what it is today because its leaders are not what they are supposed to be.

We want our ministers/leaders to be individuals or technocrats with moral authority, those ones that value their training [ethics] and dignity more than bending to eating public foods he/she was made to keep, distribute and maintain and not just those who claim to be rewarded for they have liberated us [the Nation].

QUOTE: ‘The more they try to be good boys to the president by betraying the community, the more they only tarnish the reputation and the standing of the president to the community’ Late Isaiah Abraham.

The writer is a commentator on contemporary South Sudan; He can be reached on j.konleek@gmail.com & 0927777006

Peter Gadet and Gang “denounce and disown” Machar as SPLM/A-IO leader: LATEST DEVELOPMENTS

PRESS RELEASE Dated: 10/August/2015, Khartoum, Sudan

It’s now two years since the conflict in South Sudan erupted in Juba on 15 of December 2013.While IGAD and IGAD-PLUS continue to exert tireless and tremendous efforts to mediate peace talks between the warring parties, fighting is spreading and innocent lives continue to be lost.

Humanitarian work is being hampered by both parties to the conflict. Despite signing of Cessation of Hostilities (COH) by both parties, the COH continues to be violated with untold devastation of lives and property.

Since the eruption of hostilities in 2013 several rounds of IGAD Mediated Peace Talks were conducted but no significant progress towards peace made.

We refer to the Proposed Compromise Agreeement on the Resolution of the Conflict in the Republic of South Sudan and our letter to the Chairman of IGAD PLUS Peace Talks dated 7th July 2015, in which we the generals that are in the battledfield stated that:

We reject any peace agreeemeent that includes President Kiir and Dr. Riek Machar in the leadership of the Transitional Government of National Unity (TGONU). The two leaders have become symbols of hate and conflict and are obstacles to peace as both leaders wrangle over who should lead.

Similarly, the two communities of Nuer and Dinka have become so polarized and divided to the extent that one community will reject the leadership of bthe other.

Other sons and daughters of South Sudan should be allowed to lead during the transitional period and both president Kiir and Dr. Riek should wait for the next coming elections and contest for the presidency if they so desire.

if this should not be the case then we suggest that a military led Transitional government comprising officers from both parties be formed until next elections are conducted.

We strongly oppose and reject the SPLM reunification signed by president Kiir and Riek Machar in Arusha, Tanzania on 21th January 2015.

This re-unification has a number of shortcomings that could not make the country to prosper:

1- It confirms a return to status quo that plunged the country to the current civil war triggered off by Juba December 2013 massacres.
2- It takes the Country back to the dictatorial rule of SPLM as witnessed from 2005 up to date. This means that there will be no political space for other political actors in South Sudan.
3- The SPLM/SPLA-IO is a multi-party resistance movement comprising of political and military forces that are opposed to Juba regime which has turned its guns against innocent citizens.
4- The reunification of the SPLM/A may compromised democratic transformation, reforms and federal system and will encourage one party dictatorship.

SPLM/A-IO Leadership Crisis:

The SPLM/A-IO has a leadership crisis over the management of the movement. Dr. Riek has mismanaged and failed to unite the movement. He has turned the movement into a family enterprise that resulted to unilateral decision making and which led to the summary dismissal of General Peter Gadet and General Gathouth Gatkuoth. It is to be recalled that the two generals played a crucial role in rescuing the life of Dr. Riek. Dr. Riek and his son-in-law Taban Deng Gai have engaged in trade and forgotten the main purpose for which we took up arms.

We the generals in the SPLM/A-IO have lost confidence in the leadership of Dr. Machar and today he ceases to be the Chairman and Commander in Chief of the SPLM/O-IO. Therefore any peace that he signs with the Government of South Sudan will not be legitimate and will not respected by SPLM/O led by generals.

Our objective is to bring about a regime change through elections in South Sudan in order to bring a sustainable peace and development to our people. We therefore to all the people of South Sudan, all political parties, regional leaders and international community to support us in this political move.

We call upon our gallant forces in SPLM/A and White Army to remain united wherever the are in our areas of control and repulse any aggressors.

We are also fully committed to addressing the concerns and grievances of our fighting forces. We assure you that no agreement will be signed without your genuine representatives.

To all political forces in SPLM/A and beyond, we call upon you to join us as people who have the country and its people at heart. Together we can bring back our nation from the brink of collapse.

Dr. Riek Machar has already accepted to work with Salva Kiir as Vice president in the Transitional Government of National unity. These leasers have become symbols of hate, division and failed leadership.

Both leaders were responsible for igniting the current crisis.

We strongly reject IGAD proposal that gives leadership of the transitional Government of National Unity (TGNU) to both Kiir and Machar.

The Transitional Government of National Unity (TGNU) should be led by South Sudanese who have the country and its people at heart.

We will soon give the way forward on this matter!

God bless South Sudan.

Thank you,
General Peter Gadet Yaka,
Deputy Chief of General Staff for Operations
SPLA in Opposition

Cc: IGAD Mediators
African Union
International Community
Trioka Countries
USA President Obama

Tougher Mediators are Good Mediators, IGAD Mediators Rock It!

BY: John Adoor Deng, Australia, AUG/10/2015, SSN;

The cry of all innocent South Sudanese who are subjected to unbearable consequences of this war, is that it must stop immediately. It is a baseless war as echoed by President Kiir Mayardit in his speech during the reception of Former Detainees in Juba.

Ironically, it could be said that President Kiir has all the tools to stop this war that he correctly referred to as a baseless war but instead chose to spectate it like a guest watching fighting rams.

However, it is a common understanding that spectators rarely solve conflicts but fuel it as they hit the bumps of the fighting rams.

As an executive head of State, recognized in the negotiation, President Kiir like a real father would have swallowed his pride over minute differences and given peace a chance in the country.

This brings me to the main focus of this article. In the first place, I must confess that the current mediators, mediating negotiations between SPLM-IG and SPLM-IO in Addis Ababa are men of integrity, brought up in, I suppose harmonious societies, where rules of law speak louder.

In my view, the mediators are doing an excellent job in trying to mediate excessive power driven groups and entities fighting for personal gains and interests.

Unlike these protagonists, the mediators think much about the fate of innocent children, old men and women sleeping under trees, persecuted by merciless mosquitoes at night in their hiding swampy areas, fearing to be killed by their South Sudanese sons!

The mediators think more about the resources from the international community being wasted to feed hungry, scattered and hard-to-access civilians. These resources would have been used to build roads (like Nimule-Juba road); hospitals, schools and meet other human needs as defined in the Maslow Hierarchy.

I was amazed this week, seeing demonstrations replete with young people, women, and members of civil society plus politicians calling down IGAD just for providing a working paper on peace negotiation.

I read the recent published Proposed Compromise Peace Agreement, in my view; it was fairly drafted and of course subject to negotiation by the two warring parties.

Why should people demonstrate against a working initiative that aims to bring peace to the country?

Did these people (demonstrators) read the document before going to rallies? Were they incited by politicians? Do people of South Sudanese especially these demonstrators want peace? Or they want so and so of their own in positions?

I am perplexed by these levels of comprehension and remained confused on why we people of South Sudan daily portray a negative image of our country to the international community.

If 53% is taken by SPLM-IO in terms of appointing public servants in Upper Nile for three years only, would that be a big problem compared with the ongoing devastating war?

Where will SPLM IO find people to lead great Upper Nile? Will they not come from within Upper Nile people?

On the issue of demilitarization of capital cities. I thought that people would march to the streets, celebrating the demilitarization of major cities.

Oppositely, I was amazed to see people calling for the army to remain in the cities. Are you people not sick of guns shooting randomly each day? Are you not sick from every day abuses on the streets?

In an ideal world, the armed forces are barracked far away from the vicinity of the public. The primary aim of the army is to protect the nation from external threats and not to mingle in suburbs areas with guns undisciplined.

The IGAD countries have no interest apart from facilitating peace to South Sudan. After all, interests are matters of bilateral relations between countries. However, countries always attach interests with stable countries.

If South Sudan remains in war, it is a fact that nobody will have any relationship with South Sudan let alone interest in South Sudan. Just as there is nobody having interest in Somalia except the fighting Al-Shabab, so will South Sudan be if it fails to restore her lost glory.

One is amazed to see how some politicians act in relations to the process of bringing peace to South Sudan. The recent scenario of Dr. Elia Lumoro’s delegation of political parties to Addis Ababa remain a laughing stoke!

The political parties allied to the SPLM in Juba were allowed to head to Addis Ababa whereas the rest of other political parties seen to express neutral positions were not allowed, these parties include SPLM-DC led by Dr. Lam Akol.

Upon their arrival at the mediators’ venue, Dr. Elia delegates were told to return to Juba immediately or face the full force of the law in Addis Ababa.

The mediators insisted that the invited political parties must all attend in totality, and that they must not accept a sorted list of political parties by one partner in the negotiation.

Seriously embarrassed, Dr. Elia‘s delegation returned to Juba and called for removal of mediators from the peace talks and suggested that the negotiation moves to Tanzania.

There is much to learns from the deportation of Dr. Elia‘s delegations. Firstly, it is clear as of now that IGAD Plus is a force to wrestle with, they are no longer a soft entity to allow mediocrity and manipulations to have a weight at the expense of the lives of innocent masses.

Secondly, South Sudanese like things to be done in a hard way, so IGAD has learned to do things hard ways for South Sudanese so as to come to terms with realities.

Thirdly, the IGAD Plus countries have run out of patience, for example, many signed cease-fires have been dishonored.

Fourthly, IGAD members have lost trust on South Sudanese leaders who rarely stand on principles of good governance. It has to be noted that the world has rallied to rescue the innocent masses.

I, therefore, believe that tougher mediators are good mediators, and the current IGAD mediators are rocking it right.

The Author is John Adoor Deng, a member of civil society in Australia. He can reach by email: dengjohn780@gmail.com

Without a soft landing for Kiir, the IGAD-Plus peace proposal is doomed

BY: JOHN GACHIE, The East African, Nairobi, AUG/8/2015, SSN;

In the past 20 months, South Sudan has swung between hope and horror.

The government of South Sudan, under President Salva Kiir Mayardit, blames fighting on an unbridled power-grab through a failed coup attempt by his erstwhile deputy turned foe, Dr Riek Machar. For the opposition under Dr Machar, the conflict is due to failure of leadership by President Kiir.

These opposing narratives cloud the search for a durable negotiated settlement. Any peace proposal must address these primary non-negotiable imperatives or risk failure.

This has been the persistent, fatal flaw of the numerous peace proposals by the Intergovernmental Authority on Development (Igad) under the auspices of the African Union since early 2014, and the current peace proposal by Igad-Plus Five, which the two camps are expected to sign before August 17.

Is the Igad-Plus Five Peace Agreement really workable, enforceable and viable if not enduring and comprehensive?

No, it isn’t, for it does not provide sufficient soft-landing and face-saving formulas and, most important, a way out for the principals and their powerful supporters, allies and vested interests.

IN SUMMARY: That the Igad-Plus Five enjoys the support of both the African Union and the United Nations Security Council, giving their new peace proposal near universal endorsement is not in doubt; rather, the new peace proposal suffers from the same fatal flaw – lack of local context, traction and legitimacy; hence, will almost certainly suffer the same fate as others before it

The Igad-Plus Five key member countries are Uganda, Kenya, Ethiopia and Sudan, all with conflicting bilateral interests in South Sudan — ranging from trade and commerce, security and military interests, cross-border and trans-national ethnic kinship, and over-lapping cultural-cum-linguistic-religious affinities.

For the key Igad members, specifically Ethiopia, Sudan and Uganda and to a lesser extent Kenya, their neutrality and even engagement is suspect.

The international players are the so-called Troika countries of the United States, Britain and Norway, the original key countries in the lead-up to the Comprehensive Peace agreement of January 9, 2005, and newly inducted major investor in South Sudan’s oil sector, China, and Russia, a potential key player in a future peaceful and stable South Sudan.

For the Troika of United States, Norway and Britain, the Juba regime is not entirely convinced that they are not pursuing a regime change in Juba, despite their public declarations to the contrary.

For China, the key and overriding interest is to safeguard and protect their oil exploration and transport investments and are not loath to strike a deal with whichever party is in power or can guarantee their investments as they readily did at the height of the liberation war prior to the 2005 peace accord between Khartoum and South Sudanese liberation movement, the SPLM/A.

That the Igad-Plus Five enjoys the support of both the African Union and the United Nations Security Council, giving their new peace proposal near universal endorsement is not in doubt; rather, the new peace proposal suffers from the same fatal flaw – lack of local context, traction and legitimacy; hence, will almost certainly suffer the same fate as others before it.

Specifically, the Igad-Plus Five Peace Agreement isolates the power structure of President Kiir, and inadvertently creates a power vacuum in his regime, ostensibly in a bid to be fair to Riek Machar’s opposition coalition of desperate groups.

In its attempt to be neutral, the Igad-Plus Five proposal, commits the cardinal error of engaging in double-speak, by invoking the doctrine of moral equivalence. And by default, appears to reject and possibly denounce, President Kiir’s narrative of what actually triggered the December 2013 violence while validating Riek Machar’s.

It is this lack of convergence as to what really ignited the spark on those fateful days of December 2013 that serves as the original sin of all subsequent peace proposals including the new Igad-Plus peace proposal.

Anti Igad demonstrations

The current public demonstrations denouncing the new proposal in many towns in President Kiir’s bedrock support regions and in Juba, are a clear harbinger of the real feelings within the president’s core-support networks; and not least, the top leadership of the Sudan Peoples’ Liberation Army/Sudan Peoples’ Liberation Movement (SPLA/M).

For political observers and analysts of South Sudan, the buy-in and or co-option of the core SPLA/M cadres in President Kiir’s corner is critical towards achieving peace and stability in South Sudan. As it is, the Igad-Plus proposal pays a rather less than serious attention to this aspect.

That the fighting has acquired near total ethnic dimensions, should be enough for any serious negotiator(s) to ring alarm bells.

Unfortunately, for the Igad-Plus Five proposal, this has been given short-thrift under the guise of comprehensive security sector reforms, which is not really feasible in the current militarisation of the South Sudanese body-politic.

To many security and military analysts, both President Kiir and Dr Machar are almost held captive by their respective military-cum-security ideologues not averse to settling long-held and decades old grievances that were papered over in the CPA and post–CPA period.

The outbreak of open political competition and jostling for power by Riek Machar, including pre-planning, parallel power centres, support networks and an invisible military contingency support core force, was ever evident during the entire period between 2005 and 2013.

Tenacious fighter

Any peace proposal must take into account a less acknowledged factor, namely that President Kiir, notwithstanding his faults, is an accomplished survivor, obstinate and equally driven; a tenacious fighter, and not one to shy away from a bitter brawling fight.

In this regard, the new Igad-Plus Five proposal inadvertently commits the original sin — of stripping President Kiir of all trappings of power in a game of moral equivalence, and in the process, suffers from the fatal flaw of underestimating the mercurial nature of the president’s core support network and the man’s own sense of dignity and pride.

As one senior official in Juba put it: “… Even a good doctor asks his patient(s) if they suffer from an allergy, before prescribing a dose of pencillin,… the Igad-Plus Five proposal does not ask whether we suffer from an allergy… what kind of a doctor is that?”

The message? That the Igad-Plus Five deal was doomed to fail for failing to offer the two main protagonists, and specifically, President Kiir, a soft landing option that they could sell to core supporters.

To countenance and envisage a scenario where President Kiir is a president in name devoid of any semblance of power, authority and gravitas and to reduce him to a nominal co-president, and regardless of the extent of the downward spiral in the country, is a recipe for disaster.

To even subject him to such an exercise is akin to exposing him to a fatal dose of political and military allergy that will surely kill the patient! They will not stand for it and as he defiantly concluded, a bad peace deal is worse than war — for it only prolongs the inevitable.

For Igad-Plus Five negotiators, including the larger international community, the search must be expanded and intensified for a Solomon like end-game, otherwise, the people of South Sudan, the region and the international community must brace for even more difficult times ahead; notwithstanding the immense political, economic and military-cum-diplomatic pressure including targeted personal sanctions hanging over the principal players in the South Sudan tragedy. END

Do the lives of the South Sudanese really matter to Kiir and Machar, or anyone else?

By Adama Dieng, THE EAST AFRICAN, AUG/8/2015, SSN;

Leaders who turn against their own and inflict on them the kind of suffering we have witnessed in South Sudan lack the moral integrity that is a requisite for leadership.

Personality conflicts, proxy wars to blame for South Sudan’s slide toward genocide
The forces allied to the two main parties to the conflict in South Sudan, President Salva Kiir and former vice president Riek Machar, continue to inflict pain, suffering and despair on the South Sudanese people as a result of their unwillingness to take the necessary steps to end the civil war.

Since fighting started in December 2013, both government and rebel forces have reportedly committed serious violations of human rights and international humanitarian law, including extrajudicial killings, mass rape, torture, arbitrary detention, pillaging, forced displacement and have reportedly attacked protected personnel and sites, including United Nations personnel and property.

In June this year, the United Nations reported vicious attacks against civilians in Unity State by government forces, including the mass rape of women and girls, some of whom were reportedly burnt alive.

The brutality and cruelty of these attacks defies imagination. Thousands of civilians have been killed to date, more than one and a half million people have been displaced and some 700,000 have sought refuge in neighbouring countries.

Given the widespread and systematic nature of attacks against civilians, some may constitute war crimes and crimes against humanity and those responsible must be held accountable.

While the South Sudanese people continue to bear the brunt of the conflict, their leaders have been engaged in endless rounds of talks, travelling back and forth between South Sudan, Addis Ababa and Dar es Salaam.

These talks have so far failed to produce meaningful results or alleviate in any way the suffering of the South Sudanese. Fighting continues unabated, as do violations and abuses by both sides.

This, despite the best efforts of the Inter-Governmental Authority on Development, Tanzania’s ruling Chama cha Mapinduzi party and South Africa’s ruling African National Congress. We have to ask ourselves whether the lives of the South Sudanese really matter to Kiir and Machar, or to their neighbours, the regional leadership or the rest of the world.

I was among those whose hopes were raised by the establishment on March 7, 2014 of an African Union commission of inquiry on South Sudan, the first such commission to be established since the African Union was founded.

The commission was mandated to investigate allegations of human-rights violations and abuses committed during the conflict, assess the underlying causes and, importantly, to make recommendations on accountability, reconciliation and ways to deter and prevent recurrence of violations in the future.

Olusegun Obasanjo, an eminent statesman and former president of Nigeria, was appointed to lead the commission.

Reaction to the establishment of the commission was mixed. Some saw it as a way to pre-empt the establishment of a United Nations investigation that might recommend prosecution of those leaders responsible for crimes committed in South Sudan.

Personally, I was delighted that for once the African Union had demonstrated willingness to deal with the impunity that has too often accompanied violence on the continent.

I believed that a successful investigation could send a strong message that the regional body would not shield from justice political leaders responsible for crimes committed against their people.

In an op-ed article I wrote on April 9, 2014 that hailed the African Union’s initiative, I also cautioned that the world would be watching to see if the African Union would deliver on its promise.

Almost a year after it completed its work, and six months after the commission of inquiry submitted its report to the African Union Peace and Security Council (PSC), there is a deafening silence. The PSC has so far avoided discussing the commission’s findings, which have not been made public. No action has been taken to implement its recommendations.

When I met President Kiir and Riek Machar in South Sudan in April 2014, both stated their commitment to accountability, promising that those responsible for atrocities would face justice. They both said that they would support the inclusion of accountability measures in a comprehensive peace agreement.

READ: UN vows to prevent ‘another Rwanda’ in South Sudan

Indeed, in the initial agreement signed in January 2015, they committed themselves to establishing a judicial mechanism to prosecute those who had committed atrocities.

What rationale could there be, then, for holding the commission’s report hostage? It would be a mistake to think that sustainable peace, reconciliation and national healing can be achieved in South Sudan without any kind of accountability for the crimes committed.

Amnesty is not an option. In addition, those who oppose accountability could be seen to be indirectly abetting the atrocities in South Sudan by protecting the perpetrators.

The mantra of “African solutions for African problems” sounds hollow when it is not backed up by action. Africa must stand up for its people.

Leaders who turn against their own and inflict on them the kind of suffering we have witnessed in South Sudan lack the moral integrity that is a requisite for leadership.

I urge the AU Summit, which is due to take place in early August 2015, to do the right thing — make the report of the Obasanjo Commission of Inquiry report public and implement its recommendations. Ignoring the need for justice will not solve the conflict in South Sudan.

We need to end the cycle of impunity that is fueling the conflict. If not, we shall be failing the South Sudanese people, and failing once again in our responsibility to protect our populations from genocide, war crimes, ethnic cleansing and crimes against humanity. END

Adama Dieng is Under Secretary-General/United Nations Special Adviser on the Prevention of Genocide

The Era of Heroic Errors in South Sudan

By Deng Mangok Ayuel, AWEIL, Northern Bahr el Ghazel State, AUG/07/2015, SSN;

In South Sudan, a writer or columnist faces two choices: turn away from reality to avoid intimidation and insecurity or conquer the reality and face its complexity at his/her own risk. However, a writer is supposed to take side with the powerless. And it’s rational to balance an opinion piece or story because there is no moral obligation to take side with oppressor or suppressor in a situation where things are not going well in our country.

Before I’m accused of being a Dinka, I urge my readers to face the reality as they go through this piece. This is a time to go against all political odds, time to call a spade a spade.

If we could judge the current war in South Sudan by the standards of political enmity within the SPLM, one would say individuals in the ruling party against their own party principles waged the war.

The rumor of ethnical rivalries and power struggles between Dinka and Nuer as ‘believed’ by the westerners is merely an imposture. There is no Dinka against Nuer as there is no Nuer against Dinka on ethnic lines.

We must set apart national issues or politics from ethnic dimensions. It’s also a big zero to believe that the current war in the country has a just tone. A rebellion led by looters is like a morning dew.

Is Dr Machar a right man to lead the rebellion if people are tired of President Kiir and the SPLM? Dr Machar was part of corrupt government in Juba when he was Vice President. He was in the list of alleged corrupt leaders in South Sudan. So he shouldn’t deceive grown up men and women with lifeless propaganda that he is an alternative for presidency.

We made our country a bastion of plights. Everything is fading into mist in our country. Legacy is almost erased by power hungry leaders who mutinied against legitimate government, corruption has rooted itself in our public institutions and constructed lies become truth on social media for individuals who don’t want to believe in the history of rebellion with Dr Riek but interested to get a new story of the same coin in the new nation.

Poverty has already reduced many of us to potential beggars. Many people fled the country. Masses were forced to live in the UMMISS camps. Others kept starving in their own huts in the villages due to lack of food. Call it Riekiiracy’s political era of errors. Are we on the axe of evil?

Besides, Lakes State is another unique place with its component of insecurity. I call it a ‘component of insecurity’ because there is no smoke without fire. Something must be wrong somewhere or there is a troubler somewhere.

On the other hand, coopted loyalists, MPs and toothed-public servants are the internal political enigma to our people. These people built political hives on social media and began waxing the public with unhealthy political rumors in order to instigate chaos for political gains.

People are complicated. There is no devil than a man. The real devil isn’t far from an educated person. Politicians are also different people – they devised ideas to become law they don’t follow and pleasingly enshrined their doings for the sake of society. Some of the law enforcing agencies are trouble igniters. So where is the real devil?

In a football game, a team is expected to defeat the rivals. Those who kept killing their own people are the losers. The societal complexities and the nature of killing in Lakes state are frustrating. Oh no, Rumbek is not the only place where there is insecurity.

Go to Yambio and the villagers in Nzara will tell you their own stories of insecurity. Or go to Warrap state and the Aguok or Apuk section of Dinka becomes the warriors of their own styles. Are we the mixtures of wrong generation at the right time in the new nation?

Do you know the kind of South Sudan we are creating through mutiny? Our political branded brains are allergic to democracy – that is why there is rebellion.

Some of our politicians who aspired to fulfill their political interests and dreams through power struggle, war and corruption have made democracy to be the wickedly weakest system of government for South Sudanese ever tried.

Democracy becomes a system of government where some of our people wake up in the morning and decide to loot public resources without accountability. It’s the government where people form consortiums within the ruling party for trouble-makings.

It’s the government where its security agencies unlawfully humiliate and arrest activists and journalists to please their bosses.

Now that people are afraid when they aren’t supposed to be afraid of their government, however, things may remain unchanged for a long time. It’s a democratic government that should be afraid of its people because democracy is the government of the people, by the people and for the people.

In heaven, all the interesting people are missing. Greatest poet, Aristotle didn’t find them there. And in South Sudan, Aristotle found everything – corruption, tribalism, nepotism and rebellion, all in one mind.

As the saying goes, “the greatest patriotism is to tell a truth when your country is behaving dishonorably, foolishly, viciously.”

Alas, we are mouth-folded. You can’t tell some people that their algebra or political arithmetic is wrong or say that all SPLM factions shall one day unite and the losers will be the innocent people.

We are in the era of Achebe’s Nigeria, ‘this house has fallen. Maybe, but some people are living fabulously wealthy lives amid the ruin. And others survive and get by. How? It’s a mystery. The secret lies in the layers of millions up millions of networks, personal ties, family links and ethnic loyalties’. Or call me a liar.

Deng Mangok Ayuel is a South Sudanese blogger and columnist. He lives in Aweil and can be reached via mangokson@gmail.com

Uganda Army invades Eastern Equatoria

BY ANDREW OLWENY, MAGWI COUNTY EES, RoSS. 5/AUGUST/2015.

The Ugandan Peoples Defense Forces invaded the territorial integrity of South Sudan August 4th 2015. South Sudan liberty News has received credible information that the UPDF entered deep 4 to 5 miles into the sovereign soil of South Sudanese at the town of Pajok, Eastern Equatoria State.

It is reported that UPDF entered with speed faced little resistance and unexpectedly, shooting randomly at Civilians afterwards laying siege of the lands and claiming ownership of the border area. Hundreds of Civilians mainly ethnic Acholis are displaced, setting most women and children on the run.

The Youth in the area swore to defend their land from foreign aggression and holding their grounds while waiting for orders from their elders in order to respond in a kind.

South Sudan Liberty news made attempts to reach Torit or Juba for comments but without success.

It is important to know, Museveni had hinted in the past, Juba is not capable of protecting its territorial integrity, and he is not lying given Juba is surviving because of UPDF.

What is not surprising is the opportunistic Museveni calculations, what better time to take South Sudan’s territory than now when he, Museveni runs the security show in South Sudan.

Another source revealed to South Sudan liberty news that UPDF incursion into South Sudanese territory at Pajok is with the blessings of Juba, the sole purposes is to cause displacements of the natives from the area.

This would the Jieng cows have more territories to move to not just the Ma’di corridor which never welcome these cows and their owners inspite of Juba’s heavy handedness with the natives in preference of the Cattle and their keepers.

Please stay tune as we collaborate more details from Pajok.
ANDREW OLWENY
SSLN

Army Chief Paul Malong: The ‘General’ from Hell!

BY: Dr. Lako Jada Kwajok, AUG/05/2015, SSN;

Quote: “This so-called IGAD peace proposal is useless, we can’t accept it even if US forces us to do so.”
“I better be a rebel …you should know that those who are in Al-Qaida, Taliban, ISIL, Boko Haram, Al Shabab…they are human beings like us, therefore we should follow their footsteps than signing that fake peace.”unquote

These were the words of our army Chief of Staff “General” Paul Malong while addressing government supporters and loyalists on the occasion of Martyrs Day in Juba. Initially, I did not believe that those words were actually said by the army chief and it took me some time to ascertain whether his words were misconstrued or taken out of context.

But to my disappointment it turned out that those words were the offsprings of his mind. In such a situation, you would expect the minister of Foreign Affairs or the spokesperson either for the president or for the ministry of Foreign Affairs to come out and do some explaining.

Basically it will be a damage control exercise mostly saying what was published in the media was not true and does not reflect government policy. None of these happened which makes me believe it wasn’t a gaffe or a rhetoric to boost moral from the army chief, he actually meant what he said and his colleagues share that view.

With the new world order where the world is unipolar rather than bipolar as it used to be in the past and the global war against terrorism, every country especially those in the Third world, is wary not to be seen as complacent in regard to fighting terrorism.

Many will go to extreme lengths to distance themselves from any activities deemed to be terrorist acts or any links to terrorist organisations.

This is done in order to avoid the wrath of the super powers and the international community as a whole. Even countries like Iran which is the number one sponsor of global terrorism, persistently denies any links to El-Qaeda but justifies its support for Hezbollah of Lebanon as support for people fighting against Israeli occupation.

Given the above account, it’s quite shocking and incomprehensible for the army chief of staff to voluntarily declare that they would follow the footsteps of the likes of Al-Qaeda, ISIL, Al-Shabab and Boko Haram.

The implications of what the so-called general said are quite staggering.

Regionally and to the southeast of the country is Kenya, a country that has a long history with terrorist attacks and still reeling from them. It started with the US Embassy bombings in Nairobi in 1998 then bombings in Mombasa 2002, Westgate shopping mall 2013, Nairobi bus bombings 2014, Gikomba 2014, Lamu attack 2014 and finally the Garrisa university college attack on 02/04/2015.

Uganda had its share of being the target for terrorist attacks. Many of us still remember the simultaneous bombings in Kabalagala neighbourhood and at the Kyadondo rugby club while the victims were watching the 2010 FIFA world cup final.

These two countries are our close allies on the African continent and have given us significant support during the liberation war. Even in this ongoing conflict, Salva Kiir had to run to president Museveni of Uganda for help to save his neck.

So What will be the position of these two countries should our government implement what Malong has said ? Do you think they would sit idle while these terrorists and their allies are roaming about in South Sudan ?!

I wonder whether the army chief knows or understands that there is a concerted and well-coordinated effort to fight and defeat the perpetrators of terrorism. The coalition in this effort includes super powers, regional powers and the rest of the peace loving countries.

A variety of resources are there for use comprising of clandestine military operations, military drone attacks and using cruise missiles.

The Al shifa factory cruise missile attack in Khartoum Bahri on 20/08/1998 is a reminder of what could be in store for Malong and his fake generals.

In addition to that an economic war is being waged on those countries and organisations that participate in or sponsor terrorist activities. This comes in different forms ranging from freezing assets, travel ban, loan and money transfer prohibition to actual economic embargo.

You can see how a regional power like Iran faced economic collapse under the weight of sanctions and oil embargo.

In a landlocked country like South Sudan where cooperation with the regional and international community remains essential and much desired, what could possibly be the endgame if such an irresponsible policy is pursued by the regime in Juba?!

South Sudan will quickly be placed on the list of states that sponsor terrorism. Militarily, the super powers do not need to do much as there is absolutely no match between the super powers and the SPLA and Malong’s words are actually empty threats.

They can simply pressurise Museveni to pull the plug off and the regime rapidly collapses.

The other alternatives are: using the US special forces in the region to collect the top leaders or take them out, or to supply arms to the opposition to finish the job.

My main concern is that a lot of suffering will befall our citizens because being on that terror list brings about unwelcome consequences for the lay person. I will explain here one aspect of the consequences that will affect the lives of the normal citizens of the republic of South Sudan.

My personal experience is the example I am referring to. I have had problems late in the 90’s when I travelled to Nairobi via Addis Ababa. I was treated differently than any passenger on the plane at both airports. I was kept waiting for hours and the reason given to me was that they needed more time to do security checks on my profile.

In the case of Switzerland, I was refused the entry visa on the basis that they will not be able to complete all the security checks prior to my journey.

All those difficulties were due to the fact that Sudan was and still is on the list of the states that sponsor terrorism and I did carry a Sudanese passport then.

The consequences could even be far worse by limiting the chances for students to go abroad for higher studies, affecting access to specialised health care for those who can afford and preventing entrepreneurs from expanding their business.

Should there be a terrorist attack and the culprits were at large and you happened to be in that vicinity for whatever reason, you will be apprehended and perhaps much worse for suspicion of being involved because of your nationality.

Did the army chief think about the repercussions of what he said on his country and his fellow citizens?! Does he really care?! Most importantly, does he know the Islamists declared position towards us and their overall global agenda?!

It’s not secret that these people do not like us. They have likened our independence to loss of Islamic rule in Andalucia. The blind sheikh Omar Abdel Rahman, the leader of Al-Gamma’a Al-Islamiyya in Egypt, was in Khartoum for a while but ended up serving life imprisonment in the US following his implication in the first world trade centre (WTC) bombing in New York in 1993.

He and his followers like sheikh Yousif Al Garadawi called us infidels and our land in their view is an Islamic land. Osama Bin Laden was also in Khartoum and made contributions in terms of finance and logistics to the war waged on us by the Khartoum regime. Khaled Meshaal, the HAMAS leader, rubbished the declaration of Independence of the Republic of South Sudan.

And finally Iran which has been an ally to Bashir’s regime since it took power in 1989. I believe Iran has contributed to the killing of thousands of South Sudanese by supplying arms to the Islamist regime in Khartoum.

So does our army chief of staff really know anything about these Islamist groups?! It looks like he is about to shoot himself in the foot! There is absolutely no acceptable reason for those utterances that could be detrimental to our country future.

The so-called General, Malaak Ayuen, who was the army broadcaster and commentator on SSTV, was sacked by Kiir with direct influence from Malong. The reason was that he treaded into politics, a thing not included in his job description. I am not by any means defending Malaak Ayuen.

He has been a total disgrace by trying to create historical facts which were untrue using lies and falsehood. It’s though good riddance as he was one of the reasons that many South Sudanese stopped watching SSTV.

Malong has clearly overstepped his authority as an army chief of staff as his job is a military job and not a political one. His predecessor, General James Hoth Mai, was very careful and avoided giving any political statements and used to insist that army people should leave politics to the politicians.

What caused Malaak Ayuen removal was trivial as compared to Malong’s speech. The question is, would Salva Kiir dare removing Malong from office?! So far there is no indication that this will happen in the foreseeable future.

We may not be fair in putting all the blame on Malong simply because he can only do what he is capable of doing. What is happening is what you would expect from someone carrying a C.V similar to what Malong has.

So much of the blame goes to whoever put him in that position. The irony is that the person who gave Malong that position is also unfit to hold his own position.

As you can see I have used the title General between brackets all through for a reason. A significant number of the SPLA generals have never been in a classroom all their lives let alone attending military academies or colleges. They underwent an extraordinary transformation in their lives.

Just consider the scenario of a person who has been throwing spears, carrying a heavy stick, barely dressed or not at all and participating in cattle rustling. Then a massive change happened and he became a general with bright ornaments on his coat, millions of US dollars of embezzled money in his bank accounts and many wives…. perhaps concubines is the right word.

It is too easy for such a person to fall prey to grandiose delusions and a false sense of invincibility. The way Paul Malong conducts himself makes that kind of situation very likely.

Though he is physically in Juba at his post, he continues to bully his home state officials and the state M.Ps’.

South Sudan will be better-served if Paul Malong is sent back to attend to his 50 plus wives and his army of kids.

Dr Lako Jada Kwajok

IGAD-Plus Compromise Agreement is a Failure

BY: Malith Kur, London, Ontario, Canada, AUG/05/2015, SSN;

When IGAD got involved in a search for peace in South Sudan after the events of December 2013, South Sudanese were hoping that the East African community had a united front against violence in South Sudan. Nonetheless, the way in which the peace process is progressing under the leadership of IGAD has proved otherwise, and South Sudan is not going to see peace any time soon.

But at this point, two things need to happen if peace is to be realized in South Sudan. First, there is a need to show that IGAD is no longer a neutral and credible body to promote peace in South Sudan.

Second the government of South Sudan must not delegate its responsibilities of searching for peace in the country to others. It needs to take full responsible and device a way forward to end the rebellion in the country.

Failure of IGAD Peace Process:
The IGAD-led peace process in South Sudan has worsened the political implications of the South Sudanese conflict. It has created significant gaps in the dialogue between the Government of the Republic of South Sudan and the rebels led by Riek Machar.

These gaps have emerged because the IGAD-led peace process has not considered the ordinary South Sudanese as an integral part of reaching a lasting peace in the country.

But these gaps might be bridged if the majority of South Sudanese were not absent from this dialogue. After all, South Sudanese who want peace form an important constituent in the country. If their voices are ignored, the peace process is a total failure.

The document that IGAD mediators released on July 24, 2015, known as The Compromise Peace Agreement, has deepened the gaps in peace building in South Sudan, because it concentrates the decision-making process in the hands of the political elites.

However, for peace and dialogue to make headways in South Sudan, conversation concerning peace must involve the masses at the grassroots level, particularly the traditional leaders.

The presence of traditional leaders or their representatives in the debate about peace in the country could be important because they will bring the concerns of the ordinary South Sudanese on to the negotiating table.

The current mode of dialogue between the politicians, whose concerns are political powers, has already reached a stalemate. An injection of new ideas from the masses into this process, however, at this point in the history of conflict in South Sudan, would bridge the gaps and cement the relationship between different communities in the country.

But IGAD has no intention of doing this.

The South Sudanese traditional leaders have the potential to revive awareness of the importance of social interconnectedness of the South Sudanese communities the tribal politics has destroyed in the country.

The underlying claim here is that the traditional leaders would allow the communities to begin to re-emphasize their shared heritage, which has been damaged by negative politics of division and enmity.

Therefore, South Sudanese people and their government should design the peace process instead of IGAD.

The current running conflict in South Sudan since December 2013 has created difficult political atmosphere. It has re-opened the previous wounds that were beginning to heal. The reasons the previous wounds are opening up is the way in which IGAD is handling the peace process.

First of all, some IGAD member states treat the rebel movement with a courtesy that gives them a reason to justify the lawlessness they have created in the country. The rebels have been granted spaces in the East African region to function against the government of South Sudan.

The countries such as Ethiopia and Kenya are indirectly aiding and abetting the perpetuation of conflict in South Sudan by allowing the rebels to propagate violent propaganda through the media. The rebels’ commanders are running the war in Addis Ababa and Nairobi.

Furthermore, the IGAD treats rebels on an equal basis with the government of South Sudan. It refers to both the government and the rebels as the warring parties. No one refers, for instance, to the Ethiopian government and the rebels in Ethiopia as warring parties.

These attitudes leave some people wondering about what is so special about the rebellion in South Sudan. Those rebels need to be treated as a group of people who have violated the rule of law in South Sudan.

They should not have been accommodated in Ethiopia and Kenya in the first place. Had they not been accommodated in those countries, they would have seen a peaceful solution to the conflict as a viable way to achieve their aims.

To make matters worse, Kenya and Ethiopia treat Riek Machar as if he were the president of South Sudan in exile. This treatment that Riek Machar gets from these countries remains as an incentive for the rebels to pursue war and defy all efforts to end the conflict in South Sudan.

Riek Machar and his commanders make impossible demands because most of them remain in the comfort of Addis Ababa and Nairobi, without consideration for what is happening in the villages of South Sudan.

In this context, Ethiopia and Kenya need to know that instability in South Sudan is influenced by their unreasonable policies toward the rebellion that is causing upheavals in the country.

In addition, the major factor contributing to the intransigence of rebels is the support they receive from the arch enemy of South Sudan—-Sudan. Sudan is playing a double game here. It is using the IGAD as a platform to pursue its policy of keeping South Sudan unstable.

Peaceful South Sudan is not in the interest of Sudan. Unstable South Sudan offers Sudan a hope of achieving unhindered territorial claims on South Sudanese land.

Therefore, Ethiopia and Kenya provide sanctuary to Riek Machar and his commanders while Sudan supplies him with weapons to destabilize South Sudan.

On the other hand, IGAD has ignored the voices of South Sudanese. It has focused its attention on the political elites, who are not interested in the well being of the people but political power.

The focus of the peace process has been on the way to empower the political class to dominate the people of South Sudan even more. In all the peace proposals that IGAD has attempted, there has not been a concrete mention of the public participation in the peace process.

The people of South Sudan will never be consulted should the government and the rebels sign the proposed IGAD peace accord. IGAD has closed the doors of peace instead of opening them to the people. It is a troubling sign because it is against the very idea of peace.

Troublesome elements of IGAD Compromise Agreement
The IGAD proposed peace agreement is a total failure. It has deepened and worsened the already fragile political situation in South Sudan.

It shows that rebellion in the country will always remain as the best option for anyone having political grievances against the government in the country.

If we look at the terms of this proposed agreement, it leaves many questions answered. Why does Riek Machar always replace James Wani Iga? Why he should not become the Vice-President instead of Wani?

Looking at issues related to governance, one can see that the agreement was designed to provoke even more problems.

The proposed system of “collegial decision” making during the transitional period is a recipe for more problems. It places the First Vice President and the President on a collision course. The President of the Republic will have no powers to making decisions without seeking the approval of the First Vice President.

This agreement was designed to fail because it is not possible to govern a nation on a consensus. I have not seen a country in East Africa where a president cannot make the executive decision to run the affairs of a nation.

The other major failure of the compromise agreement is that IGAD expects problems in the running of the country if the agreement is signed as it is.

IGAD suggests, “In the event of a deadlock in the exercise of the Executive powers….the matter shall be decided by the Council of Ministers.” (See article 9.1.3. of the proposed agreement).

This is a recipe for conflict, which indicates that the agreement was built to make South Sudan ungovernable during the interim period, which is a recipe for war to continue.

It is important to note that any peace agreement in South Sudan without the participation of the people is bound to fail. People will not understand it, and they will not be in a position to defend it.

Similarly, the proposed representation of the rebels in the states of Jonglei, Upper Nile, and Unity is very troubling. It is a signal to those who have not chosen the option of the war to feel a sense of betrayal, and this will not reflect the advent of peace in the Upper Nile region.

The handing over of those states to rebels suggests that violence is the only way for people to demand a change they want.

In a nutshell, this proposal is dangerous and lacks any basis to support peace in South Sudan.

The proposed ratios of governance in the states of the Upper Nile region (Article 1.6) and the proposed “demilitarization of Juba” (Chapter II, Article 5.1) represent IGAD’s mockery of South Sudan’s sovereignty.

Moreover, IGAD does not recognize the South Sudanese National Army, the SPLA. It keeps referring to the “unification of two armies”, instead of suggesting the integration of some rebels into the national army.

The possibility of allowing the peace process to fail is the name of the game here.

All of this explains IGAD’s lack of any credibility as a mediator in the current South Sudanese situation. IGAD is planning to rule South Sudan instead of its legitimate of government.

Indirect colonialism is unacceptable.
All of this has strengthened the resolve of those who want power not peace in the country. It has encouraged the emergence of conflict in other parts of the country.

Those who feel that they might gain nothing in the peace process are creating problems, for instance, in Western Equatoria State, rebellion is developing because those who are running the administration there are feeling insecure.

Because of this contradictory peace process, these forms of tribal rebellions are to increase.
They will be seen as a means of gaining attention from the government.

In short, the factors I have mentioned above have played a significant role in the failure of IGAD mediation. They indicate that IGAD is not a neutral mediator, and it has not understood the South Sudanese situation. It should relinquish the mediation role.

A Better Wary Forward
A better way forward to achieve peace in South Sudan is for the government not to rely on the IGAD mediation. The current peace should be the last round under IGAD mediation. If it fails, IGAD should not be allowed to continue the process. A new mediation should be sought.

When Tanzania initiated the reunification of the SPLM, we have seen the results. The so-called former detainees have now rejoined the government and are functioning as part of peace building in the country.

The Tanzanian example is the form of mediation that the conflict in South Sudan needs. Tanzania does not have hidden agenda in South Sudanese politics. It, therefore, took a neutral stand in the interest of South Sudan and its people to live in peace and prosperity.

Consequently, the peace process in South Sudan does not need those who shed the crocodile’s tears but those who shed genuine tears for the suffering people of South Sudan.

In general, South Sudanese expect their government to protect them and ensure that peace prevails in the country. For peace to prevail in the country, South Sudanese, and their government must make the final decision on how peace should be achieved in the country. They should not allow the outsiders to dictate the terms of the peace process.

South Sudanese and their government should own the process. It entails that the government must come up with its own proposal to initiate ways to establish peace in the country.

The government of South Sudan should not be the one to react to proposals made by people who desire nothing but the continuation of war in the country. It has the duty to propose solutions to the conflict because it knows what can work better in the country.

It is quite naïve for the government of South Sudan to expect Ethiopia and Kenya, for example, to place the interest of South Sudan first instead of their own. We all know that Riek Machar’s headquarters is in Addis Ababa. Ethiopia has political interests in doing so. Therefore, Ethiopian-led mediation is lame.

The same is true for Kenya. Riek Machar, shortly before South Sudan’s Independence Day in July this year, declared the government of the Republic of South Sudan illegitimate in Nairobi.

Kenya has a political interest in doing this as well. Machar was allowed to call a press conference in Nairobi to promote his violent political propaganda.

When those countries do not set clear parameters between the rebels and the legitimate authorities of a sovereign state, how will their mediation be different?

These examples should be a wakeup call for the government of South Sudan to take a full control of the peace process and establish new methods of making peace a priority.

The growing protests against the IGAD peace proposal suggest that the people of South Sudan have realized the dangerous path the country is heading to.

Therefore, South Sudan’s government needs to show its people that it is in control of the destiny of the country because the future of the country is not in the hands of the IGAD. The IGAD countries have different agendas and interests in the peace process.

The future of South Sudan should be in the hands of the government and its people.

IGAD’s Compromise Agreement has failed the test, and South Sudanese must decide the way to achieve peace in the country.

Malith Kur, London Canada
Malith_kur@yahoo.ca