By: Justin Ambago Ramba, UK, JUL/22/2016, SSN;
The IGAD Foreign Ministers’ Meeting in the Kenyan capital of Nairobi overwhelmingly concluded that in the face of the influence possessed by the anti-peace elements in South Sudan, the only way to rescue the August 2015 Peace Agreement and guarantee that it works for the good of the country, its people and the region, is in fact to impose it!
Following the sacking of Dr Cirino Hieteng the country’s deputy Minister of Foreign Relations for representing the South Sudan’s Transitional Government of National Unity (TGoNU) at the IGAD Foreign Ministers’ Meeting which came as a huge surprise to many, only went to convince the few “Thomases” in East Africa and the rest of the continent that Juba is indeed under the control of thugs masquerading as statesmen.
In spite of the participation by the two representatives Nhial Deng Nhial and Deng Alor Kuol, both ethnic Dinka and approved by the JCE, the IGAD heads of states found no difficulty in seeing the situation in South Sudan for what it really is when they endorsed the deployment of the 14,000 strong East African Peace Enforcement troops to South Sudan.
We now know that the “One Tribe” government went on and mobilised its tribesmen to carry out those state sponsored demonstrations all across the JCE territorial strong holds.
The other proposal by the “One Tribe Dominated J1 Presidential Palace” suggesting a 20 UNIMISS body guards for the first Vice President Riek Machar only goes to demonstrate how shallow an understanding these people have of the world around them.
Everywhere in Equatoria including Juba city, the whole of Western Bahr El Ghazal and Upper Nile regions, the civilian populations have suffered targeted killings and untold scales of abuses in the hands of President Salva Kiir’s tribal militiamen masquerading as state army.
It is for the protection of these vulnerable population of women, minors and the elderly civilians that the ‘To be deployed’ Peace Enforcement forces will make the difference. They shall provide them with the much needed security.
Because in the so-called sovereign state of South Sudan a single tribe has taken upon itself the lunacy to disguise under the state established criminal syndicate infamously referred to as the “Unknown Gunmen” and hunt down other citizens in their homes, robbing them of their hard earned properties and in many cases killing them in cold blood.
When you hear of arguments of sovereignty being loudly shouted in those “One Tribe” state sponsored demonstrations in Juba, Rumbek, Bor …..etc, you know that it is not representative of the whole South Sudan.
In short, those demonstrating against the deployment of an East African Peace Force in South Sudan are the same people who at night operate under the banner of the state sponsored “Unknown Gunmen.”
The deployment of a regional security force in major towns like Juba will without doubt disenfranchise and disempower those behind the long standing insecurity in the city.
It is also true that until the “Unknown Gunmen” threatening the unarmed civilians and denying them the right to freedom of speech and expression, there is no way that the August 2015 Peace Agreement can be implemented to the letter and spirit.
A sovereignty to deny other fellow citizens their basic rights of engaging in discussions about the future of their country is a sovereignty overridden with crimes against humanity and human rights abuses thus rendering it worthless to say the least.
It is every peace lover’s relief that the African Union has finally decided to do the right thing for the downtrodden masses of South Sudan.
Their unanimously reached and adopted conclusion that, “left alone South Sudanese are never going to implement the peace agreement so far brokered by the IGAD-Plus”. This is the heart of the naked truth itself.
South Sudan’s neighbours are already overwhelmed with the huge numbers of refugees they are forced to accept every time South Sudan – “their small brother” slides back to an all-out civil war, in the words of the Kenyan head of state President Uhuru Kenyatta.
The decision to save the August 2015 Peace Agreement indeed came as the most sensible choice if South Sudan is to be prevented from sliding back to what it does best – killing and raping its own unarmed civilians.
It is absolutely the right thing to do given the region’s in-depth knowledge of the tribal nature of South Sudan’s conflict, that it came up with this benevolent decision to deploy 14.000 of its sons and daughters as part of the UN Mission in order to save what is left of what was once a promising part of the African continent.
Salva Kiir & his JCE advisors will of course be deeply angered and disappointed on hearing the news coming from Nairobi and Kigali.
Their knee jerk reaction to immediately issue a presidential decree over the state own TV sacking Dr Cirino Hieteng, the deputy Minister for Foreign Relations for having attended the IGAD meeting on South Sudan held in Nairobi and signing the communique have by all measures gone only to show to the entire world how this ‘in-word looking’ “One Tribe Supremacists” are oblivious of the world around them.
The more the “One Tribe” regime engages in those ‘hallow and shallow’ media campaigns against the idea of having a regional force in South Sudan the more they will lose the support of the neighbouring countries.
The more they continue to pay those millions of US dollars to their USA and UK based lobbyists while they continue to use confrontational attitudes in rejecting the UN Secretary General, Ban Ki Moon’s proposal of increasing the UNIMISS troops’ military capabilities, the more the world will come to know them for what they really are.
Furthermore any attempt by Kiirites to continue portraying Dr Cirino Heiteng as an individual who didn’t really represent the Jieng Council of Elders (JCE) interests, will find themselves face to face with the realities of the new position taken by East Africa towards the war in South Sudan.
Maybe the fact that the two gentlemen, Nhial Deng Nhial, the Presidential Advisor who also doubles as the Special Envoy of the President and of course Deng Alor Kuol, the Minister of Foreign Relations in the country’s TGoNU came back from Kigali completely beaten, will open the JCE’s eyes to the new realities in the region.
After all that have happened in Juba
Let us face it! For since the formation of the TGoNU there has been well documented sequences of foot dragging and empty lip services given to the implementation of the August 2015 Peace Agreement for the Resolution of the Conflicts in South Sudan by President Kiir and his allies.
No wonder that all these have culminated into the four days shoot-out between the two forces.
Then now just tell me who out there, still in their rightful minds do not understand that the only way for implementing this embattled ARCSS will obviously have to involve a kind of enforcement from the region.
As things stand now the return of Dr Riek Machar to Juba can only happen once the responsibility of providing security in the country’s capital city including the Juba International Airport is handed-over to be manned by a third force.
This will essentially mean that the two belligerent forces relocate outside of the city and are adequately kept separated until such a time that it is deemed safe to integrate them a single South Sudan National Defence Force (SSNDF).
Also this third force is badly needed now than any other time before to provide protection to the civilian population, NGOs, their staff and facilities.
After all these third force will be contributed by the neighbouring countries of Ethiopia, Sudan, Kenya, Uganda and Rwanda, giving it the advantage of the saying “Love your neighbour as you love yourself.”
Author: Dr Justin Ambago Ramba. Reachable at: firstname.lastname@example.org