Threat of sanctions checks South Sudan leaders

By: FRED OLUOCH, The East African Special Correspondent

Posted Saturday, December 6, 2014. SSN

IN SUMMARY:

**Sanctions could lead to more conflict, and the countries involved have economic and political interests in South Sudan.
**A final decision on the sanctions will be arrived at when the Inter-Governmental Authority on Development meets in Nairobi next week, on the sidelines of the infrastructure summit.
**The threat of sanctions by Igad appears to be having the desired effect on the principals in the conflict, with both leaders making visible efforts to sell a proposed peace plan to their followers.
**Reports say that Igad heads of state and negotiators have been encouraged that President Kiir and Dr Machar have convened separate consultative forums to convince their followers to sign the peace deal;

Presidents Yoweri Museveni of Uganda and Jakaya Kikwete of Tanzania have taken the initiative to save peace talks on South Sudan from collapsing, and the young country degenerating into full-scale civil war.

The presidents hope to convince the warring parties in South Sudan to sign a new deal after the November 28 deadline to accede to a peace agreement passed.

Last week, President Museveni held the first formal face-to-face meeting in Entebbe with an SPLM/A in opposition delegation. It is understood the meeting was a precursor to another with former vice president and leader of the rebel faction Riek Machar, a development mediators from both sides of the conflict say will give the process new impetus.

President Kikwete — who, having convened an SPLM meeting in Arusha in October between South Sudan President Salva Kiir and Dr Machar — dispatched his foreign Affairs minister Bernard Membe to Kenya on Wednesday to meet President Uhuru Kenyatta, and on Thursday to meet President Museveni.

The purpose of these consultations was for the regional leaders to hammer out a deal that could be further discussed during the 8th Northern Corridor Infrastructure Summit to be held in Nairobi on December 11.

Of great concern to President Museveni and President Kikwete is a situation where regional leaders will be forced to impose sanctions on the top leadership of the two factions. Sanctions could lead to more conflict, and the countries involved have economic and political interests in South Sudan.

As a result, plans to implement the proposed sanctions after the warring parties failed to meet the November 28 deadline have been put on hold until December 11.

A final decision on the sanctions will be arrived at when the Inter-Governmental Authority on Development meets in Nairobi next week, on the sidelines of the infrastructure summit.

Kenya’s Cabinet Secretary for Foreign Affairs and International Trade, Amina Mohamed told The East-Afican that both parties are still consulting with their constituencies, but the decision on the bloc’s approach to the conflict will be arrived at when leaders from the region meet next week.

“The good news is that everybody has been in serious discussions and we will soon know from them whether there is movement towards signing of an agreement and what modalities will be adopted,” said Ms Mohamed.

The threat of sanctions by Igad appears to be having the desired effect on the principals in the conflict, with both leaders making visible efforts to sell a proposed peace plan to their followers.

At their last summit, Igad leaders issued the November 28 ultimatum.

READ: South Sudan: Igad threatens sanctions if talks fail; US wants UN trusteeship

The proposed sanctions include asset freezes, travel bans within the region, and stopping supply of arms and ammunition and other materials that could be used in war.

Reports say that Igad heads of state and negotiators have been encouraged that President Kiir and Dr Machar have convened separate consultative forums to convince their followers to sign the peace deal.

The EastAfrican has learnt that signing of the peace deal failed on previous occasions because the two leaders encountered resistance from their generals who are suspicious of a power-sharing arrangement and prefer a decisive military outcome.

Sources say that while the political leaders negotiating the deal have leaned towards the negotiated settlement embodied in the power-sharing deal, they have been wary of upsetting generals who command the troops on the ground.

After holding a conference on November 24, President Kiir met with top officials Sudanese People’s Liberation Movement (SPLM) and key military commanders on December 3 at Bilpham Military Barracks near Juba Airport to get them to signing into the power-sharing agreement.

According to reports, some generals rejected the idea of having two commanders–in-chief — one for government forces and the other for the SPLM/A in Opposition forces — as had been suggested by the Dr Machar group.

On the other side, Dr Machar also convened a two-day conference with his rebel commanders in Pagak County in Jonglei State near the border with Ethiopia, to brief them on the power-sharing proposal by Igad.

The meeting was also supposed to come up with their version of the peace deal, after Juba last week provided their blue print that provided for a non-executive prime minister and an army under one commander-in-chief. Ethiopian forces provided security for the meeting.

Last week, President Museveni cautioned the rebels against making demands for executive powers for the proposed position of the prime minister.

The opposition had proposed the removal of the post of the vice-president, so that the president and prime minister could share power. END

8 Comments

  1. Onikwi says:

    There is one thing these commanders have to understand nderestimating the strengh of enemy is just like day dreaming. Paul Malong, Salva Mathok and the rest should check the story of David and Goliath in the bibble

  2. Elele says:

    This is just a joke. You cannot have a president whose army is fighting on the ground and at the same time mediating. That never happen. IGAD has no record of successfully mediating. At least not in the recent history. The 2005 peace CPA was American pressure not IGAD. Actually I it was like the situation now. Ethiopia, Uganda, and Eritrea were fighting with SPLA. Sudan was on the other side. I was in the field and know exactly what happened. Ethiopian and Eritrean troops left when they started their war. That was why Sudan preferred the Libyan/Egyptian imitative.

    Now there is a situation with Uganda fighting on one side and Sudan on the other. The same weapons and more less the same interest. And they are in IGAD mediating. It is a joke! Even African Union knows that this process is not going any where. The UN knows it too. Now the conflict has escalated. In the beginning it was Grater Upper Nile. Now the three states of Equatoia are involved and Western Bahar Ghazal. That means only two or three states remained with the government.

    so the die is cast. People should accept the truth.

  3. Alier-kon says:

    Dear, Elele.

    who are those fighting in 3 Equatoria and western Bhar el ghazal?
    according to your statement, if south Sudan need war why are we calling for peace talk to begin and yet we are not satisfy.
    let killed our selves and land will remained empty thanks.

  4. Simon Dahel says:

    African countries are joking with SPLM in opposition, President Musaveni conspiracy with Kiir against Dr. Riek Machar should stop. Lives of innocence Nuer population who were brutally murdered by Dinka under kiir direct order and Musavenie should not be simple ignore because of Uganda interest. this war will complicate and affect many of African countries if those traders leaders are not very careful.
    we do know for sure that many countries are participating military on the support of Kiir, but we will not give up the fight for justice on the intimidation of the so call of African who are directly supporting the genocide against the venerable innocence people of Nuer. anybody who want to join the killing they are welcome and we are not shock of the participation of those countries who are threatening us.

  5. Nuer-Another Israel in East Africa says:

    Dear Alier-Kon,

    It is already on. Thousands death toll the media has been proclaiming is just an estimation. The real number is way beyond thousands and that is only in Nuer side. If the rest of the tribes plus their supporters are factored in, it will surpassed thousands, a million wouldn’t be an exaggeration. This is not like the others killing, this killing is unique. We even went to bring in another countries to help cleanse our own. Undenibaly, Upper Nile region has been affected because it is the home of the targeted tribe, the Nuer. So, it is unclear what killing that hasn’t started you are talking.

  6. Stinger Mesile says:

    You have hopeless concept’s and believe ; you are the ruler or born to rule, there’s nothing like that in the world.
    e.g or refer:
    Hitler thought it can work; but didn’t.
    Mobutu of Congo
    Gadaffi of Libya
    Idi Amin
    Mangisto
    etc

  7. Kizito Panther says:

    An Insect can even kill an elephant. Why South Sudan president makes several enemies for himself, by signing into law the unjust securitybill that victimizes everyone in South Sudan? Why not at least some few friends, apart from your relatives, in-laws and nephews and children in order to survive, Nyankiir?
    Kizito

  8. Hope Sodogo says:

    The SPLA/M ruling party has failed the people of S.Sudan. From Liberation Movement to Oppression Movement!! The Officials in power only think of lining there pockets with stolen public funds. Up-to-date, Billions have been stolen, corruption is in the increase, external government debt is growing…criminals go free even murderers; development in S.Sudan is going backwards; economy is falling apart because it is in illiterate S.Sudanese and foreigners who transfer every penny to their Countries of origin; Community Based Organizations in S.Sudan are mostly run by East Africans who loot donations meant for rebuilding S.Sudan to enrich themselves; the government is led by illiterate or semi illiterate people…thus a peace deal with same, same people in power just means another chance for them to grab more public money to spend outside the country when their families are hidden, while the grass roots die from famine and lack of health services.Non of these people you call “Leaders” really care about S.Sudan…money meant for development of Schools is used to enrich Ugandan schools because they prefer sending their children abroad. Millions spent in Ugandan schools could be enough to upgrade our school to international standard so who really benefits from these stolen money. Once again foreigners!!! Foreign prostitutes, foreign schools, foreign real estate, foreign, foreign, foreign!!
    Except for Nimule paved road, only less than 10 Miles of roads are paved in the entire nation!! Where is the Oil
    money; where is transparency???

    We need a David to defeat S.Sudan Goliath. Let good Dinkas and good Nuer’s Unite with citizens across the nation to reclaim S.Sudan; Majority of Kiir’s Dinka do not eat from him; Majority of Nuer do not eat from Machar, yet on both sides, the children killed in this conflict do not belong to Kiir or Marcher. Instead, those who have never tested any of the stolen money are the ones dying in the front line on both sides, while Kiir’s children and Marchar’s children are enjoying in Nairobi, USA, Australia. Enough is enough!

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