IGAD’s Neutrality is in Question!

BY: J. Nguen, CANADA, DEC/31/2013, SSN;

On 27th of December 2013, the heads of States from East Africa Community convened a meeting in Nairobi, Kenya to deliberate on South Sudan’s crisis. Six representatives or head presidents attended the summit. The initiative sparked hope among the hard pressed South Sudanese and friends of South Sudan around the globe because it was a logical call of action to address South Sudan crises.

However, the resultant was a major disappointment. It appeared that the regional leaders had nothing to offer but to support President Kiir with his bloody hands.

Unquestionably, the East Africa leaders turned out to be President Kiir’s allies, aimed to crush dissent political voices in South Sudan. This is one critical mistake committed by so-called the IGAD heads states.

The deliberation was ill-considered and indirect voice of the Government of South Sudan on “attempted coup” in form of Uganda and Kenya.

For example, the Summit “condemns all unconstitutional actions to challenge the constitutional order, democracy and the rule of law and in particularly condemns changing the democratic government of the Republic of South Sudan through use of force,” as if the alleged coup attempt was true.

Ugandan president Yoweri Museveni said “we gave Riek Machar four days to respond (to the ceasefire offer) and if he doesn’t {response} we shall have to go for him, all of us. That is what we agreed in Nairobi.”

True mediators don’t give any ultimatum to any side they want to bring to the negotiation table. This is not an impartial position and I‘m therefore afraid that Dr. Riek and his SPLA/M’s supporters would be forced conform to come to the negotiation table using such hostile language.

Kenya President Uhuru Kenyatta has also taken side by stating that “let it be known that we in IGAD will not accept the unconstitutional overthrow of a duly and democratically elected government in South Sudan.”

Mediation is not about intimidation but forming consensus on both sides. Any mediation which started on such a hostile environment like that of IGAD is a failed initiative.

On a personal note, I believe that IGAD initiative started on wrong foot on the following points:

1. The statement is a clear reinstatement of the Government of South Sudan’s (GOSS) position since this crisis started. The statement seems to imply that there was a coup attempt which undermines the credibility and neutrality of IGAD to mediate South Sudan’s warring parties.

2. The statement erroneously justified the position of the government of South Sudan on coup attempt, which objects the unconstitutional challenge of the democratically elected government of South Sudan, which is false. The SPLM leaders opposed to President never challenged Mr. President’s position at the level of the government of South Sudan.
3. IGAD’s support on the Government of South Sudan’s position will grossly skew the discussion and give the government of South an upper hand. Thus, will undermine the position of the SPLM political leaders led by Dr. Riek, the former vice of the Government of South Sudan. Therefore, this is not helpful and will not help negotiation to be fruitful.

4. The resolution of the Summit is in line with the Ugandan and Kenya’s position in the crisis. Hence, Mr. Yoweri Kaguta Museveni, President of Republic of Uganda is already accused to have sent in troops and fighter jets to South Sudan to aid South Sudan Kiir’s failing support in the Army.

5. And while Kenya president was reported to have stated that “let it be known that we in IGAD will not accept the unconstitutional overthrow of a duly and democratically elected government in South Sudan.” This dangerous and a copy-cat of Yoweri Museveni’s position. As such, it’s irrational and unwise to have Uganda and Kenya mediate peace for South Sudan given their positions.

These are hostile tunes and will not bring the warring parties to the negotiation table. The IGAD’s melody is counter-productive and unwelcome development. It kneecapped and compromised their partisan position and its prospect to bring peace to South Sudan.

It is disheartening to report that IGAD didn’t fulfil its expected role as a neutral mediator in this crisis, and I therefore concluded that IGAD lack impartiality and must not be the way to go to achieve amicable peace in South Sudan. Not only that, Uganda’s participation in the dialogue will continue to make matter worse due to its unwelcome militarily interference in the South Sudan’s internal affairs.

At this critical time of need, I therefore call on the African Union, United Nations and the International community (the USA, Canada, Norway, UK, China and Australia) to help mediate South Sudan crisis than IGAD.
It’s important to reinstate that we need peace in South Sudan, but we can’t achieve such amicable peaceful solution through IGAD given their lacks of neutrality and unquestionable alliance with the government of South Sudan.

Lastly, to achieve amicable solution as alluded above between the South Sudan warring parties, I would like to reinstate and strongly recommend that the Africa Union and others neutral bodies must intervene to bring peace to South Sudan than IGAD. The IGAD is obviously not one to bring that peaceful solution.

J. Nguen is a concerned South Sudanese citizen living in Canada. He can be reached at nyolgaar@yahoo.com.


  1. Joana Adams says:

    Yes, Some leaders of the IGAD countries such as the prime minister of Ethiopia and Sudan’s vice President who attended the Nairobi summit, have not been publicly heard to issue inflammatory statements against Riek Machar. Given that Uhuru’s rise to power in Kenya is ethnically coated, he is self conscious that in true democracy and free and fair elections, he wouldn’t have risen to power. Yoweri Museveni is a disgrace to Africa. How can he take pride in demonstrating solidarity with a president who has effectively committed genocide against his own people?
    Has Museveni forgotten that it was not the ballot box but the bullets that shot him into power in Uganda in 1986? How dare he lectures us about democratically elected government? Has there been any free and fair elections in Uganda for over a decade? Somebody one time said Museveni is the peril of Africa. He has murdered and castigated all his political opponents in Uganda. Since 2005 Yoweri Museveni has handsomely cheated our national resources through the mediocracy of Salva Kiir. Uganda’s economy as well as the economy of Kenya are booming because of our petro dollars. Kiir has wrongly mislead them to believe that without him in power in Juba they will loose it all, which is a lie.
    By sending in troops to Juba and Jonglei to protect so called installations and infrastructure, Museveni has sent in mercenaries to fuel the conflict in South Sudan. Museveni messed up in Rwanda and has messed up big time in DRC, now he has moved in to established our young country believing we are all novices like his friend in the black hat. There is no reason for Uhuru Kenyata to toe Museveni’s line. The earlier South Sudanese realize that Museveni is the peril of South Sudan, the better. Museveni, didnt want the rise of Raila Odinga in Kenya because he didn’t want competition with another competent son of Africa. He was implicated in the murder of Garang because he didn’t want the rise of John Garang in to over shadow him in a neighboring country. He feels comfortable and the boss with idiotic Kiir but envies the personality and education of Riek Machar.
    Now that other world leaders have been notified about the partiality of Museveni in particular and the way he treat other IGAD leaders with contempt like children, he must be carefully watched in Addis by the Troika and other friends of South Sudan. Kiir has never won a battle and should therefore desit from war mongering. He was not elected to build an army to wipe out a section of his people, he was elected by all to bring peace and development to our land. He has done neither. He should watch what comes out of his mouth because, each time utters a statement, he is not just embarrassing himself but the entire people and nation of South Sudan.
    African leaders should know that keeping themselves in power through the barrels of the gun or other forms of political scheming and manipulation will always be counter productive. What they need is to try and win the minds and hearts of their people.


  2. J Nguen:

    You said it all! Your broach to your written article,is well clear and well understood! But one thing,I do not agree with you is that you still having much interest on international community USA,Norway,UK,Canada and more unsay! These places,will do nothing! Even African Union,and United Nations,you were talking about,they do not do things base on IMPARTIALITY! They are always side with the regimes acccording to their best interests!

    Remembered that the United States,had said, they would cut economic aid if President Kirr is topple from power! But do not like Riak.They want-him to be taken in ICC.That is all they could do!

    But for Uganda President, Yoweri Museveni,he and Gaddaffi,they are double dealer for the blood of people! He involves everywhere in the countries for their internal affairs

  3. Mohd Adam says:

    A sovereign state deserves the right to get help from whoevers wishes to help. During the civil wars with Khartoum’s successive regimes, we were fighting not only Khartoum, but the Muslim nations and allies. President Reagan, supplied Gaafar Numeri with Tanks and other weapons against the SPLA, as the latter was perceived, a Communist Movement.

    The RSS, can get help anywhere on the surface of the planet earth to flush out a tribal oriented Movement, led by Riek for the best interest of our country.

  4. Amock says:

    Nguen you yourself cited the violence and crying for peace now. You people like to start the war but you do not know its consequences or its end.
    Too held with your concern let’s us do it first so you will not rush to war next time. Come to Juba here and ask for peace

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