No viable compromise in the IGAD-Plus proposed ‘Compromised Peace Agreement’

By Taban Abel Aguek, MP Lakes State Parliament, 28/JUL/2015, SSN;

The efforts for peace in South Sudan and the international community shall always never skip a mention. Even as people criticize IGAD, TROIKA or the negotiating teams, it’s good to appreciate their commitment to bringing peace in South Sudan. That makes stronger our belief in being members of the family of nations of Africa and the world.

But despite the efforts by IGAD and the International Community to bring to an end the war in South Sudan, it is a feeling of large masses that their mediators are not honest in drawing solutions to the conflict.

Each time the warring parties refused to sign an agreement, IGAD has always gone back to the drawing board but only to reappear with no significant improvements on the issues of the agreement that touch on the lives of common citizens.

Secondly, the IGAD mediators seem to care too much about what rebels want than anything else since the negotiations started in January 2014.

It’s why negotiations have stuck at the point of Dr Riek’s demands, referred to as ‘contentious issues,’ and not at the Government side.

These contentious issues are power sharing, system of governance, the issue of two armies, the compensation and reparation of the victims of the conflict.

Out of all these that were presented by the rebels and rejected by the Government through IGAD One, only federalism has been left out by IGAD Plus in their latest peace proposal.

And from here the word ‘compromised’ was forged. But is that enough to be called a compromise?

Instead of telling Dr Riek off, IGAD and the International Community have only had their legs spread all over the warring camps.

They have only been dividing threats and punishment in equal halves. Perhaps, IGAD and partners have not diagnosed what the problem of South Sudan is.

If not, then we are justified to a claim that there are ploys in South Sudan peace talks by major players guiding the talks.

When one looks at the IGAD Plus proposal there can be every reason to be suspicious.

Why does the Compromised Peace Agreement seem to carry some components of the 2005 Comprehensive Peace Agreement (with Arab North)?

What relevance does this conflict have to the two decade long South–North war so as to import almost the same mechanisms of the CPA to solve the current crisis?

This proposal ought to brand Dr. Riek as the owner of Upper Nile and the negotiators seem to give him Upper Nile region in exchange for peace.

Giving 53% share of power to rebels almost look like granting Upper Nile a way to break away.

Yet, Upper Nile is home to many tribes.

The rebellion in South Sudan has been stronger in Upper Nile region not because Dr Riek is popular there but because it lies along the supply route from Khartoum.

South Sudan’s borders with Sudan, Eritrea and Ethiopia are open and porous. It has kept the logistics and supply of the rebels to flow, hence allowing them to achieve some victories in the region.

However, those victories have always short-lived.

Otherwise, there is no need to give a higher percentage to rebels who have not garnered the support of the Nuer tribe wholly, let alone the other tribes.

When Riek gets Upper Nile, what will Kiir give his Nuer supporters and other tribes in the same region?

Doing that presents a recipe for going back to war by those that will be left out in power sharing.

The issue of keeping two armies in the same country has not also been properly addressed in the current peace proposal by IGAD Plus.

Here there are two things involved: the duration of integration of the two armies and who are legible to be integrated into the national army.

The period of 18 months is too long because other hiccups on the way may result into another complete all-out war again before reintegration.

The White Army forms a bulk of the fighters used by Dr Riek Machar. It must be noted that gelwong (pres. Kiir own militia-Ed.), the equivalent of white army, is abundant across the Dinkaland.

To avoid inflating the army, only those that defected from their various divisions should be integrated into the national army but not everyone who carries a gun.

There are defectors that left from police, prisons, wildlife and fire brigade. They should go back unconditionally to their departments.

Too large untrained army drawn from the local youths may present a recipe number two for going back to war in less than 18 months.

Compensation and reparation, if accepted, is not a bad idea but it must go back to the period in 1991 when Riek Machar killed and displaced hundreds of thousands of South Sudanese people in Upper Nile and Bor in particular.

Every victim of this war is a victim of Riek’s quest for power and they should be compensated in his name.

The problem is that there are so many people to be compensated. I lost my close relatives in Bor, Malakal and Bentiu. I buried one of the rape victims myself. She was rescued but she died in my hands in Mapuordit hospital.

If Riek will get us that money to pay all these victims of Nuer, Dinka, shilluk, Uduk, Equatorians etc…, then we have no problem.

Those who will fail to get the compensation might take up arms and fight for their rights. That will be recipe number three for going back to war.

The call for dissolution of the National Assembly is not correct. The National Assembly and Council of States have their membership drawn geographically and proportionally from all South Sudan.

To dissolve and reconstitute another assembly of 400 members is not only unrealistic but it equally begs the same question of where do we get the money to pay them.

Isn’t it laughable to have such a parliament of 400 members against a population below ten million?

What should be ideal is allowing back all MPs that had defected at all levels of parliaments to their positions.

The SPLM is still one since the Arusha Agreement has reinstated Riek Machar back as D/Chairman of the party.

Moreover, the process may affect members who have not rebelled. Should these MPs pay a price for not having rebelled?

There should be nothing like that or else they do the necessary: go back to war, recipe for war number four.

The proposal also seems to test the resolve of South Sudanese people by suggesting the demilitarization of the national capital, Juba.

The dignity of our President and sovereignty of our country are very vital to the very existence of the country.

There is no one that owns our constitution to set a number of guards for our President.

There can be no way UNMISS or AU forces can do what our national constitutional is paid to do. That proposal is insulting and it must be scraped.

IGAD One was wrong in its peace proposals to end the conflict in South Sudan. IGAD two (IGAD Plus) is equally wrong in what they called a compromised peace agreement on south Sudan.

Two wrongs do not make a right!

If the mediators do not adjust the wrongs in this proposal and the parties fail to sign the agreement then there will be no need for IGAD or TROIKA (IGAD Three).

Since the beginning of talks, the Government of South Sudan has compromised a lot of issues. Some vital concessions have been made by government against the will of the people.

The government has implemented the Arusha Agreement in full and has heeded the call to suppress anything that was viewed as a blockage to peace.

It is our strongest feeling that IGAD this time urges the rebels to come to a complete compromise so as to pave way for peace in South Sudan.

It is a known fact that some nations, now coined in South Sudan as godfathers of rebellion, still have their hands in the dimensions of the Addis Ababa talks.

It is high time that these nations and individuals also consider to compromise of their own interests in South Sudan.

South Sudan is awake. It’s not time to seduce our country sign up to another bad war.

There is no thought that shall ever go without being interrogated by South Sudanese how much powerful the proposers of such opinion is.

South Sudanese are disillusioned in the quest for peace, but they cannot be arm-twisted to accept a peace agreement based on compromises that will come to haunt them just in a very near future.

A compromised peace agreement is one that asks Dr Riek Machar to relinquish all the impossible demands. His demands do not only hinder peace process; they may also plant future wars in the country if peace is signed under duress.

Taban Abel Aguek is a member of Lakes State Legislative Assembly. He can be reached at abelaguek79@gmail.com

22 Comments

  1. Dr Andy says:

    Dear Taban
    Your attempt is good. However, it would appear you have not read the National Election Act 2012. Secondly, our people were killed since the Anya nya, spla and now . So why do you limit the killing. The most important is that the senseless war must stop and the current leaders must go after three years. They have failed the test of leadership.

  2. Okuc says:

    Taban,

    If you want peace to prevail in South Sudan you have to acknowledge that both Kirr and Riak Macher have to be excluded from the transitional government.
    The IGAD- PLus proposal to resolve the current conflict is a recipe for an other war which they want to bring to an end. The flaw of the proposal is that South Sudan have been divided into two spheres of influence of two ethnics Dinka and Nuer because these are two largest tribes who matters most in South Sudan and the rest of tribes have no choice once Dinka and Nuer are reconciled.
    This is where the IGAD – Plus failed and not the contentious issues or demand submitted by Riak as you alleged in you article. The genuine peace will prevail in South Sudan only when status quo is dismantled that’s to say, the power base of corrupt and murderous regime you are representing is destroyed and a new fairer government is established in which all people of South Sudan are represented according to propotional representation.

    • Taban A Aguek says:

      Quite agree

    • Alier Gai says:

      Dr. Okuc,
      You have been doing nothing to adumberate any plan and when it is time for peace to come, you refuse to sign it for us in your heart. Honestly speaking, if you want yourself be well represented from the grassroot to national standard, choose well versed individuals in politics to juba and from there they will represent all the tribes and not only the few. But what is happening at the momenty is about bringing those intractable people like riek macher back home. And all the citizens from south sudan should and should have to speak boldly and louder to retire those problematic politicians. Lam, riek, kiir and many others have to go home and eat their last time meals with their families on earth. Otherwise, doing a shadow walk like you have been will never yield to anything. Representing tribes accordingly is for Lam akol, and not for you.

  3. Eastern says:

    Dear Taban,

    You have chosen to ignore the fact that your term in office is expired! Kiir’s tenure at J1 has expired as well. That said, in the face of the current situation, Kiir should have been asked to vacate his office for a transitional arrangement without him. Kiir squandered his chance of standing for an elective office by brushing aside the requisite processes that precede presidential flag bearer in his party, the SPLM.

    Given this situation, peace needs to be ushered in the country by any means. If Kiir and cohorts will stand in the way of peace, they will be sweped into the dustbin of history where he will meet Gadafi et al.

    You are so incensed with the 53% power granted to SPLA-Riek in the Greater Upper Nile as though the 53% given to SPLA-Kiir in the seven states make Kiir popular in those areas. You are denial of the situation in your state, Lakes for that matter. Western Bahr el Ghazal, Western Equatoria, Northern BAhr el Ghazal and even Central EQuatoria are not rose beds for Kiir. People may just absorb the shocks of the compromise peace as its name suggests.

    If your fear is that Nuer may opt to break away from the larger South Sudan and later mistreat the minority tribes (including your dinka of Upper Nile) in their new formed country, SPLA-Riek can better answer you on that matter.

    The compromise peace proposal offers Kiir the last best chance of remaining at the helm of leadership of South Sudan. If Kiir lets this chance slip by, the country may be plunged into war which will lead to the figures in Upper Nile and Equatorias changing from the percent 53% and 33% respectively to 100%!!!!! Every region in South Sudan has the right to put down the yoke of dinka domination so as to be free!!

  4. Jake says:

    This is utter rubbish, bias opinion by a tribalist MP, with the analytical ability of an infant. Such nonsense is the reason why our nation is in chaos.

    I pray God stop sending your kind to this world. Hypocrites and idiots are overrunning this nation.

  5. Robert says:

    I agree with you that Upper Nile has many tribes, but is it now that you have come to know that? And only now that you realized Upper Nile could separate!

    If Uganda soldiers are still paid from Upper Nile resources in order to keep Kiir in power, be sure this country will disintegrate. Also if Upper Nile minority group like the Dinka is being favored by you to grab other people’s land, then
    why shouldn’t we in Upper Nile go for separation.

    This government is now preventing NGOs from sending food and medical supplies to non-Dinka civilians in greater Upper Nile region, have you said a single word against this decision. As Dinka MP, I’m sure this would please you.

  6. Peter Akok says:

    Thank you very much Benydit Taban Abel for your post,it was a well thought post and i agree with you and appreciate your post,the things you have pointed out if put in place will result to a lasting peace which all of us will enjoy but if the proposal of IGAD is sigmed as peace agreement then we have to prepare for Riek’s third war which he might succeed this time,for my opinion benydit,peace will come when power sharing in greater upper Nile will be the same as the one in central govenrment i,e 33% for rebel and this is to avoid the revenge they(rebel) are planning to take against Nuer who have been supporting the government during the war,6 months integration of army defectors,re-instating the MPS who rebelled ,no compensations of victims who were fighting to install Riek as the president of SS.

  7. Defender says:

    Abel,

    It is surprising or rather not, to see you continuing to prop ideas that are immeasurably weak. Looking at the Compromise proposal, one sees that that, at least, an imperfect attempt at peace making is in the process. In this process, there is a give and take that has been employed here. Like the CPA, there is nothing that was compelling for South Sudanese to obtain, with the exception of the Referendum. That was the prize we hoped for and it was attained. This reality seems to escape you. With the current proposal, the King’s wing must be clipped in order to make needed reform in the system that has been infested with kleptocracy and tribal hegemony. Power Sharing percentages proposed came as a result of the unimaginative response of the government that the rebellion is a regional issue. As such, the mediators are addressing regional issue within South Sudan, as was advocated for by the government.

    Thus, the government cannot claim that the issue is a regional issue and then negate its claim when the mediators addressed it in the proposal. When the current Civil War started, it was considered as a tribal movement by the government and continued to push this narrative all along in trying to confine the issues of reform, limiting their ability to think beyond the issues of self of interest. So, the failure of the regime in Juba to see that the current civil war is seeking to address fundamental issues of state, governance, access to services, justice, control, etc, of the system by a group of small minded people who are only thinking of the peace process in terms of their positions, nothing more.

    The proposed agreement is and will bring some sense of balance to the equation if the government recognize the issues being addressed as a national issue that affects every part of the country, not only Greater Upper Nile alone. As such, the government must accept the powers sharing at all levels, including all the states of South Sudan. Because, if the current modality is employed, it will continue to push the other parts of the country to seek its right by force, a tool that the government understands perfectly well, to achieve the type of balance and regional representation in the system that seeks the interests of all and not those at the top of the pecking order.

    Talking about the interest of South Sudan: that has been sold to lowest bidder just because someone wants to stay in power at all cost, denying the citizens the reforms needed to establish a state the respects and represents all South Sudanese. Our sovereign right as the people of South Sudan has bee squandered by the sole purpose of letting other decide for us. As you have seen, the reason for the war that has consumed many of our people was instigated under false pretense, but the consequence has cost us, not just in lives, but dignity. Our people are dying in the streets, just because one person decided that when challenged in a fair and square fashion, descends the whole country into chaos through a cooked up coup the failed all kinds of test, even the suspected legal system of the country.

    This is the kind of reality that we are dealing with. If this is the case, then there is no need to claim sovereign rights, when it has been sold to Uganda. Thus, the Kiir government has put itself in corner and there is no way it can get out without accepting this deal. If there was any sense of legitimacy left, Obama would have had a sense of courage to meet with Kiir and ask him to bring peace. But because he squandered the legitimacy and the goodwill the international community showered us with, he was left out. This is a clear indictment of the regime in Juba! What remains for Kiir is to accept this agreement as is; accept to allow the reforms that has been identified to be put forth, so that our people find a peace that does not rest on the pride of a leader who failed his people in every sense of imagination.

    Just to reflect on the souls of the dying, i refer you to a four minutes documentary that was released by Nicholas Kristof about the famine situation in South Sudan. See for yourself, listen to the Denka Lady who is dying of hunger in Northern Bahr El Ghazal at this link:https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2W3r_Y9JiGk, and then reflect on it.

    Peace!

  8. Jake says:

    Robert. You just summed it all up. They crying now when They were smiling, when there hired mercenaries were killing countrymen. It’s clear these people are not our brothers. Dinka leaders will definitely cause Uppernile to separate. How can fools like Malong represent national interest? It’s clear Malong is a tribal warlord. In his red army address he threatened the international community and promised to rebel if peace is signed. This little midget with small man syndrome, thinks his people are warriors when it was foreign mercenaries backing their coward Militias. It’s Uppernile that allows themselves to be victims. How can our so called elected officials not stand up for their suffering constituents?

    • Ww says:

      Mr. Jake,

      You are a sore loser. calling people names will not help you warlord Militia. Don’t forget you nuer are always running to the number one enemy of South Sudan, the Arabs to give you weapons to destroy your own house. You and your mother Riek should be hanged for destroying our beloved country. About the UPDF, STOP crying like a baby, You and your Mother Riek “stabbed the movement on the back” in 1991 after almost capturing Juba, you were defeated. No Ugandans were there by then and your dumb asses were chase away like wild dogs. Think about it, you had the full support of Khartoum with its mighty army, you still loss. you only have to look back at history of your stupid Phd holder to determine that both of you have brains of an insects.

      • Joana Adams says:

        Ww,
        Nonsense the Arabs left South Sudan 10 years ago. If they were our enemies then, they are not now. Our new colonisers the Dinka Haram are now the arch enemy of South Sudanese. Malong has said it all, do we need to repeat it now.
        The illegitimate terror organisation in Jubà posing as a government has declared to follow the footsteps of Al Qaida and ISIL et al, I predicted this 3 months ago when the Dinka Council of Evil made their infamous declaration. True to their words, the Council has now evolved into a true terro organisation. I had warned hen that the International Community should take note then, I repeat it agin now. Most importantly, our Southern and Eastern brothers should take note. If they keep on supporting Kiir Mayardit and cohorts, they will soon realise that they are supporting the real enemy in the region. If they can shamelessly claim ownership of Equatoia- the land of Equatorian people, using the number game, what will stop them from claiming Uganda or indeed Kenya. After all they are already saying that these East African countries are their second home. The great people of Equatoria are the buffer zone to the Great Lakes region, they need your support now.
        If you allow them to overrun us, you should start packing. Let us join hands to contain them when there is still a chance to do so. We can work out how this can be achieved to ensure participants are all winners. Doing nothing and believing in false riches though stolen national resources is not an option for Uganda and Kenya. Do not say you were not warned. Ethiopia should take care of Upper Nile, let them go to join their kith and kins in the Sudan colony of Abyei. That is what cousins do isnt it. So stop calling zkhartoum your enemy, you never know when you will go back crawling to them. That is if you can dislodge the Nuers from there.
        Let the real battle for the soul of this doomed country begin!

        Joana

  9. Francis Mangok Angeir says:

    Dear Taban Abel,

    Thank you for your article, I truly appreciated your ideas, but I disagree with you for blaming IGAD, AU and TORIKA while your people of Lake State have been killing themselves. Are you also blaming IGAD, AU and TORIKA for failing to bring peace to Lake State? As South Sudanese citizen and particular in Lake State I blame South Sudanese leaders for misleading the country. People are dying everywhere in the country, but the government is doing nothing blaming the IGAD while people are suffering under their leadership. Lake State is a biggest example for your government failure. These people have been no right to kill themselves while the government is sleeping in Juba with Lake State politicians. Who are we expecting to bring the peace to Lake State? South Sudanese leaders are confused and they are consequently victims for their weaken leadership.

    IGAD, AU or what is so call TROIKA are not going to bring the peace to people of South Sudan. South Sudanese themselves will make the peace after they satisfied killing themselves otherwise these weaken African leaders will never bring any stability to people of South Sudan. Kenya President is a friend to Dr. Riek, Uganda President is a friend to Kiir, Ethiopia is a home land for Nuer people and Sudan President is a friend to Dr. Reik I do not see these weaken Eastern African leaders will bring the end to this conflict. Troika leaders are enemies of Salva Kiir who do you think will bring the peace here? South Sudanese people have to stop killing one another and work together to bring the peace to their country and that is the alternative way to end this conflict a part from IGAD and so on.

    There is no more African leaders, however, the strong African leaders are gone and I always lamented when I heard their speeches. Those who left behind are weaken leaders who fight for interest, but not interest for people. Taban Abel God helps those who help themselves if South Sudanese do not want to help themselves they are ready to perish who care for those who choose to kill themselves. Obama has legalized gays same marry in United State because they want to perish without children. So if South Sudanese want to continue killing and destroy their country let them go to hell why do we cry to IGA. Did IGAD cause the war no, South Sudanese themselves decided to kill themselves and they themselves will decide to make the peace after they completely convince destroying their country. You should not blame IGAD, AU and TORIKA because you gave them your keys for your house. People cannot drive you crazy if you do not give those keys for your house. IGAD, AU and TORIKA did not create this senseless war. God bless the innocents’ children and women in South Sudan.

    • info@southsudannation says:

      Hi, Francis Mangok,
      As you so succinctly put it, both Lakes state politicians and Kiir are ‘sleeping’ peacefully in Juba while ordinary citizens are dying in over there.
      Your assertion above actually fits exactly into the popular demand for comprehensive federalism to be immediately implemented across South Sudan.
      What is the use of calling those of Daniel Awet, Mabor, Nhial Deng etc.. as leaders when they don’t care much about their own relatives dying needlessly in Rumbek and Yirol etc…?
      Responsibility first starts from home before one goes a thousand miles away to a peace-loving Juba Na Bari boasting as a leader?
      With all due respect, why has the writer, Taban and the MPs in Rumbek so miserably failed so far to quell the endless and deadly insecurity in their own backyards? This should concern them more than the IGAD ongoing talks.
      Recently, Kiir and so-called Jieng leaders were in Rumbek for three days of peace and reconciliation. As typical of the failed Kiir presidency, everything he does is a disaster. He must GO AWAY, sooner!
      Editor

  10. Anthony Lupai says:

    Any ordinary south Sudanese does not care who takes what and who gets what. PEACE, FREEDOM and UNITY where no any south Sudanese runs with a gun after his fellow brother, sister, mother or father are all that are needed. Whether Riek takes it all or Kirr shares it equally will have no any change in their day to day life. But a peaceful coexistence will enable everybody to progress and is what is needed now which this proposal and even the previous ones could have delivered. Let the guns go silent now at any cost and after 30 months when all the anger and the polarization have subsided and within a conducive environment, the people will be able to say what they want. I am urging all those people who are now sheltering in Kirrs shadow and do not want the status quo to be changed, just to take up some deep breathe and allow any type of agreement to take place. After all they are all south Sudanese and everything will remain in the south for use by all.

  11. GatCharwearbol says:

    What is classify as possible demands and impossible demands? Give us some definitions Mr. MP.

  12. Hoiloom says:

    Taban,

    As some commentators have suggested, this is Kiir’s last chance in office. If he refuse to sign peace deal by July 17th you will not only loose Greater Uppernile but Greater Equatoria is likely to follow suit. Funny, you can’t bring peace as an MP in Lakes State. How can we expect you to bring peace to the rest of South Sudan? Enyoy your loots as Kiir’s tenure in J1 is coming to a miserable end.

    Hoiloom

  13. Hoiloom says:

    Correction; August 17th

  14. alex says:

    Splm in opposition are heading for split. The group has no vision it is a group of job seekers headed by a greedy tyrant

  15. Alier Gai says:

    What a breaking news.

  16. Okuc says:

    Alier.
    First of all, I am not Dr nor obessessed of being one. Second, don’t pretend to be supporter nor champion of people of South Sudan for fair represntatation in running the affairs of the country which has been abused by your likes.
    From your comment it is crytal clear you are for maintaing status quo and therefore you don’t want and reform which bring to an end the power base on which your ethnic abused the people of South Sudan.
    Third, I will not shy to inform you that Lam has’nt held any position in South Sudan government nor is involved in killing people of South Sudan in Juba, Malakal, Bor and bentiu like your god fathers Kirr or Riak.
    Finally, I don’t need somebody to represent me nor I am writing on behalf of someone but, I am not surprised by your comment in which you mentioned Lam name because of paranoid of him.

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