BY: J. NGUEN, Canada, MAR/14/2015, SSN;
The value of this honest proposal is humanistic, logical and politically mature. If implemented, will have positive impacts in finding lasting peace in South Sudan and people can once again be at peace. Warmongers will perceive this as a short-sighted because their familiarity with South Sudan and Sudan politics is limited and their scope of understanding is informed by what they gain when this war continued.
Some might disagree with this proposal because they have axes to grind with Sudanese people (north and south) and want no peace to return to South Sudan whatsoever.
Logically, one of the benefits of this proposal is that it will bring normalcy to people’s lives and also prevent imminent collapse of the nation.
President Omar Bashir is a heavyweight political machine as far as South Sudan normalcy is concerned. We can no longer afford ignoring this reality.
To achieve a meaningful in South Sudan, President Bashir of Sudan, the Troika..i.e United Kingdom, Norway and United States must be involved. This is demanded of South Sudanese people since there was no progress in the peace talk and no consequences against those who obstructed peace.
At this point, I am sure most of us are convinced with the narrative that IGAD led peace wouldn’t prevail some days. The idea that IGAD was a formidable political machine capable of bringing lasting peace to South Sudan was a perfect fallacy and unrealistic.
This has been proven before our watchful eyes. Therefore, it’s about time for Sudanese and the world to do the unthinkable. It’s about time to rationalize South Sudan problem and find local solutions with international and region outlook.
Involving president Bashir to take lead in solving South Sudan problem is a positive initiative in the right direction. Involvement of the Troika countries, Norway, United Kingdom and United States in supportive role and in some decision making is also paramount. These countries are friends of South Sudan and will always be there for us when we needed help. Now, our people need their friendly hands.
The IGAD led peace for South Sudan has failed because most of the IGAD’s member states only positioned their representatives in South Sudan’s peace talks only for economic purposes. Call it economic gain if you may.
The IGAD intention was not to bring lasting peace to South Sudan but prolongation of war in order to prolong financial exploitation of South Sudan. This is the dominant motive behind the Uganda president involvement in South Sudan internal affairs.
While Kenya and Ethiopia on the other hand have the same interests using subsidiaries as third parties and back door deals to achieve the same financial ends. If for the same reason that IGAD never enforced any threat.
The problem we have in south Sudan needs sound approach and openness in order to find an amicable solution. This cannot be achieved with current approach because the prorogation is wrong.
Similarly, this sound approach will be counterproductive when only extoling current false political elites in South Sudan. The South Sudanese people are glad that IGAD’s head negotiator has admitted that the past approach aimed to bringing peace to South Sudan is wrong and must be altered.
The current governance in South Sudan is too “deformed to be reformed.” For one, South Sudan as a nation is led by a weak and incompetence president. The South Sudan self-serving political class is splintered on tribal basis.
For instance, the G10 and the SPLM/A led by Dr. Riek are currently caught up in rather premature egocentric politics. Simply because the G10 has an axe to grind with Dr. Riek on personal basis and this led to rather a weak opposition.
President Kiir on the other hand has surrounded himself with ineffective tribal hooligans. This state of affairs opened South Sudan up to wolves and serious exploitation by well-established hyenas looking for profitable financial carcasses. The losers at the end of the day are the common South Sudanese people.
Since December 2013, President Kiir has lost constitutional legitimacy after administering the gruesome massacre of the Nuer nationality in the State capital, Juba. A heinous crime ever committed in the 21th century.
Now, the nation has no national army to keep Kiir and cronies afloat. Kiir opted for Uganda’s UPDF’s desperate offer and aimed only for financial prosperity. This useless deal is now keeping Kiir and disgruntled politicians around him afloat by using South Sudan’s petro-dollars while the country’s national identity goes to waste.
For Kenya and Ethiopia, South Sudan’s financial district around the country is run by the Kenya Commercial Bank (KCB) and this has helped Kenya with immense financial growth in its GDP in the past 5 years. Therefore President Kenyatta is determined to keep this status quo alive whatever it takes without any humanistic remorse to the suffering South Sudanese civilians caught up in the senseless civil war.
Besides, every tea shop and water supply in South Sudan is owned and run by Ethiopian nationals. This gives Ethiopia as a country a financial incentive than ever before while South Sudanese citizens languish in the UN bases internally and in the neighboring countries.
Therefore, the only strategic plan used by Uganda, Kenya and Uganda is keeping our people engaged militarily while they continue exploiting the nation wealth.
Dr. Riek and his group plus the G10 have no financial capacities to strike the balance of the petro-dollars used by President Kiir, but instead, depend on handouts from goodwill friends. Because of this, the G10 and the SPLM/A-IO lack political influences over IGAD’s member States.
In fact, G10 is in the worse position compared to SPLM-IO. The group’s survival depends on President Kenyatta’s handouts and they lack political independence and in the course of this conflict will never flex political muscles.
In the view of Kiir and Dr. Riek’s factions, this group is misguided representing political paupers to say the least. The group has no military base anywhere in South Sudan to resort to should roundtable solution withered away like it has.
In the recent past, G10 has used angel-like politics to win supports from the international community particularly the TROIKA and the US but this has failed even though the group back- stabbed Dr. Riek and his SPLM/A -IO after the movement fought fiercely to secure their release from prison.
It was even alleged that Pagan Amum, the leader of G10 has stated that the killing of the Nuer civilians in their thousands should not take the country to civil war. If this is true, the question one needs to ask is what can take a country to war then if peoples’ lives no longer matters?
The South Sudan peace negotiation led by IGAD has failed and the country is now at a free fall. Precisely, the badly needed peace is no more even with strong support from the Troika countries and the United States.
As a result, empty political bickering from IGAD has taken a centre stage but counterproductive as usual. I should say, IGAD is good for nothing and can never be a vanguard to salvage a meaningful peace for my people.
They are toothless and their interests are solely financially motivated and the organization lacks financial and political leverages to stand it grounds.
For the last 15 months of South Sudan conflict, IGAD has made empty numerous political posturing of severe consequences against Dr. Riek and President Kiir Mayardit should peace fail.
Sadly, the result of such threats is that both parties showed defiance and failed to agree on every talking point. Also both warring parties have continued to dishonour signed cessation of hostilities and no single threat of severe consequences from IGAD has been actualized.
As it appears, IGAD made some of these threats against Kiir and Machar after being instructed to do so by TROIKA countries and United States. To date, IGAD has no tangible Plan B should South Sudan’s peace negotiation fail like it has.
All we heard time and again are endless empty political bickering of wanting to protect South Sudanese civilians caught up in the middle of the war.
On the 6th of March 2015, finally, a nail on the coffin was transfixed on South Sudan peace process. South Sudan’s peace process was indefinitely suspended by IGAD’s mediator citing disagreement over every major issue on the menu.
This is expected and every South Sudanese that I know of knew from the onset that IGAD peace process is doomed and destined to fail. The pronouncement made by IGAD only validates our common man’s knowledge on the matter.
As I write, there is no hope for peace anytime soon in South Sudan. Fighting between the two warring parties has resumed and suffering of civilians continues unabated. Death is relentless and no negotiation is expected in the near future. This is disappointing and must not be allowed to continue.
Therefore, to find the solution, there is only one avenue that has not been tapped, Sudan. Sudan has been ignored due to its president’s bad relations with the West and yet this country stands a good chance of bringing lasting peace to South Sudan if utilized effectively.
Sudan as a country is an IGAD’s member State but her president, Omar Al Bashir has been isolated due to indictment by the International Criminal Court regarding the Darfur issue.
Sadly however, the Darfur rebels and its northern Sudanese allies, the SPLM/A -North rebels have proven to be bad partners and merciless bandits who cannot be trusted. They are involved into South Sudan tribal killings as mercenaries.
As I write, they are fighting alongside a genocidal regime of president Kiir; a government that trained and armed troops to carry out the massacre of defenseless civilians on December 2013.
This showed that the Darfur rebel groups have lost their good political stand at the international stage and deserve no political and moral supports from anyone but instead ought to be condemned in the strongest terms possible for aiding in the death of South Sudan civilians.
As such President Omar Bashir should no longer be held back from playing an instrumental role in South Sudan crisis because of these trivial mercenaries/rebel groups issues.
As far as South Sudan’s crisis is concerned, Sudan’s president holds a very unique and important position. If utilized and given the leading role, he can have a positive and far lethal influence over both Salva Kiir and Dr. Riek Machar financially and politically. This is what is lacking with the Ethiopia’s Prime Minister and Kenya but needed for peace to succeed in South Sudan.
If truth be told, the Republic of Sudan under President Bashir is the financier and life line of President Kiir and by extension the Uganda People Defense Forces (UPDF) and the SPLM/A-North, and in part the SPLM/A –IO led by Dr. Riek, according to Hon. Henry Odwar.
Sudan as a country has both political and financial leverage over these conflicting groups in South Sudan. The Ethiopians, Kenyans and Ugandans have zero leverage to gamble with.
Evidently, the Republic of Sudan allowed President Kiir to collect millions of dollars from oil production which flows through Port Sudan to the international market. Subsequently, President Kiir hired the UPDF and various Sudanese rebel groups to fight for him and against the SPLM/A rebels.
The same Sudanese rebel groups funded by President Kiir are the same group that fight President Bashir in the Nuba Mountains, the Blue Nile and the Darfur respectively. In reality, one needs no political science degree to figure out that President Bashir is directly or indirectly financing those who wanted to oust him by force from office.
President Bashir’s financial assistance to Kiir made president Kiir intransigent and refuses to make concessions in the peace process. If President Bashir takes the leading role in South Sudan peace talks, he can use this advantage to strangulate Kiir in case he decided to drag his feet and refused to compromise.
For SPLM/A-IO, if Hon. Henry Odwar’s utterance on the Canadian public Agency Channel early this month were true, that the SPLM/A-IO is receiving military backing from Sudan to counter Uganda involvement, then, it’s paramount to use president Bashir’s influence to bring both parties together or else.
In comparison, the Ethiopian’s Prime Minister is toothless and lacks political and financial leverages over the warring parties. For example, at any rate, if Kiir and Dr. Riek refused to negotiate peace in good faith, President Bashir can actually stop the flow of oil and support of the SPLM/A-IO if the allegation were true.
These can have positive and paralyzing influence both on the government of South Sudan under Salva and the rebels. As a result, the financial incentive for the UPDF will cease and they will call it quits while the Northern Sudan rebels’ support for Kiir will run short of supply.
On the same token, the SPLM/A-IO under Dr. Riek Machar can suffer the same fate.
This plan would be the quickest, efficient and paralyzing influence the world needs to solve South Sudan crisis. President Bashir is the only hope and paralyzing influence required to curb the rampage and intransigence of the warring parties.
Thus, without President Bashir, the Troika countries, United Kingdom and United States involvement, the pending UN’s sanctions and the Ethiopian’s Prime Minister’s empty threats will not help solve the South Sudan conflict.
Therefore, I call on the International Community and the Africa Union to endorse and support president Bashir to take leading role in efforts to bring lasting peace to South Sudan
J. Nguen is a concerned South Sudanese living in Canada. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org