BY: DR. Lako Jada Kwajok, AUG/21/2015, SSN;
The world is gradually getting used to the unthinkable taking place in the Republic of South Sudan. It’s apparent that some people there have special talents for the bad reasons. It seems more likely that South Sudan would be an endless source of dismay and ridicule as long as this regime remains in power.
It ranges from embarrassing its friends by lack of achievements whatsoever and rampant corruption, through committing atrocities against its own citizens and finally causing the unprecedented diplomatic scandal by Kiir refusal to sign the compromise peace agreement.
Who in his right mind would refuse to sign a peace agreement that stops the killing of his people on both sides of the warring camps ?! It is no wonder that South Sudan is becoming a laughing stock in the international arena.
The events of last week left even the layperson with the impression that South Sudan is being led by incompetent and self-serving people. It was obvious that the welfare of their citizens was the last thing in their minds if at all.
First there was confusion about the continuation of the peace talks. The Cabinet Affairs minister, Dr Martin Elia Lomuro stated over SSTV that the government delegation was being pulled out of the peace talks. He was actually deported by the Ethiopian authorities after entering the peace negotiation venue uninvited.
The ridiculous circus went on with the spokesperson for the the government delegation, Information minister Michael Makuei contradicting the Cabinet Affairs minister that the government delegation has not been withdrawn and was continuing to negotiate with the rebels.
He went on to accuse what he called as ” scrupulous media ” of spreading rumours. We know that a piece of information could be manipulated or changed while moving from one end to the other and this could turn into a rumour.
But Martin Elia was watched delivering the statement over the SSTV so it can not be a rumour and there is no such thing as ” visible rumour “. Salva Kiir was told by his inner circle to delegate V.P Wani Igga to sign the peace agreement document on his behalf. Only to change his mind within few hours to travel to Addis Ababa apparently following a call from president Museveni.
All these simply demonstrate how the so-called president has become a sort of a clown. However the final act that left the mouths gaping was Kiir refusal to sign the peace agreement document. The reason given was that he needs a couple of weeks to consult with his colleagues in the government before putting his signature on the document.
This is quite unusual and probably unheard of in the history of diplomatic agreements and treaties. The usual procedure is for the head of the delegation to go back for consultation prior to the principal coming down for signing.
But in this case the unbelievable happened as Kiir travelled back to Juba to seek approval from his colleagues. But now we know from Pagan Amum who signed the document on behalf of the G 10 that there was no excuse for Kiir not to sign as all consultations were done before coming to Addis Ababa.
It appears Kiir is not the final authority in South Sudan. Could it be that Kiir was seeking the approval of the JCE rather than his cabinet members ?!
But how is this going to play out in future should the government of national unity is finally formed. Would there be any world leader who would give any value to talks or agreements with Kiir knowing that he will still seek approval from the JCE?!
Coming to the main subject of this article, one day before travelling to Addis Ababa, Salva Kiir sacked 5 state governors from their positions including Governor Bakasoro. They were lured to what was said a ” National Soliderity Conference ” in order to release a statement condemning the IGAD-PLUS peace talks.
The governors were also asked to be critical of the western powers trying to impose ( white man peace agreement ). It is interesting that the ” white man peace ” phrase was coined by president Museveni in the Entebbe meeting of the so-called front line states on the 10/08/2015. So does it mean that the Ugandan president is now a co-ruler of South Sudan?
Leaving this aside and going back to the Comprehensive Peace Agreement ( CPA ) which ended up with the independence of South Sudan, Is there any reasonable person who would dispute the role of the white man in bringing that agreement into fruition?!
And by the way the white man engagement in the CPA was quite intense and sustained as compared to IGAD-PLUS peace process. Did any one including president Museveni, called the CPA a white man peace imposed on the South Sudanese people?!
Is it not abundantly clear that Kiir and his cohorts are just after satisfying their ego’s and personal interests ?!
Dismissing the governors is not the issue here. It is the singling out of governor Bakasoro and his detention. It is also the way this was carried out, as his wife stated that security forces stormed his house and looted money and property. Looting, brutality and property destruction have become the trademark of the security forces in South Sudan even when conducting a high profile arrest.
It is quite outrageous that Kiir’s illegitimate regime opted for this dangerous path. Bakasoro is a popular governor and has a wide following in Equatoria in general and in western Equatoria in particular.
So at the time when people are about to open a new page of peace and stability in the country, Kiir sticks a knife into the body of national unity by such unlawful act. So far no charges have been brought against him and yet he remains under arrest against the law of the land.
The 24 hours window of detaining a citizen without charges has already closed.
The news that the Equatoria caucus in the government demanded immediate release of governor Bakasoro without any conditions is very encouraging to the Equatorian masses and to the rest of the peace loving South Sudanese.
However we expect further actions to be taken within the next hours not days to keep the pressure on. It is now time for the Equatorians in the government to side with their people and face tyranny. There is a wealth of evidence that the regime does not enjoy any popularity whatsoever in Equatoria.
If they really care about their constituency and want to earn their respect then they should resign their posts if the regime refuses to release the governor. By doing so they will rehabilitate themselves and people would accept them with a big hug into the community, after all they are our lost lambs.
In fact this would be their best strategy for political survival and a chance presented to them on a golden plate. There is no meaning for life without dignity and being at odds with your community.
The last resort would be widespread civil disobedience all over Equatoria. Let Kiir and his JCE be left to soil themselves in the mud.
Dr Lako Jada Kwajok