EDITORIAL ANALYSIS, AUG/26/2015, SSN;
For sure, watching president Kiir profusely sweating under serious stress and great reluctance before agreeing to initial the IGAD-Plus negotiated peace deal, South Sudanese should be extremely aware that peace is not anywhere nearer.
In no uncertain terms and words, while addressing Museveni of Uganda, Kenyatta of Kenya, Desalyan of Ethiopia and the Sudanese Vice president, a most unhappy and definitely belligerent Kiir declared that he had several reservations about the agreement and even intimated openly that there will be ‘no lasting peace’ in the country.
According to Kiir, there are only two options presented to him before signing the peace deal and these were either an imposed peace or continued war.
He further added that any problems that might arise will directly lead to failure of the peace process.
“Bentiu, the capital of Unity State has been attacked by Riek Machar and fighting is continuing as we sit here,” a visibly agitated Kiir announced.
An angry Kiir further told the IGAD-Plus leaders that leaders of his ruling SPLM are deeply concerned about some issues if peace is carelessly handled and managed as is seen today by the IGAD leaders and this will affect the whole region.
“We have deep and serious reservations on the peace process and the talks.”
According to Kiir, “from the intimidating messages we received, this peace agreement is meant for regime change,” intimating that the peace process is directly to change his government.
Kiir bluntly, while still profusely sweating and nervously removing and putting on his glasses, Kiir called for revision of some detrimental provisions designed and loaded in this agreement against the voices of the people, the political leadership and his so-called elected government.
Finally, Kiir uneasily declared, “with serious reservations, I will sign the document.”
However, Kiir repeated that they see many things we have to reject and the document
Interestingly, in a repetition of a quotation from former Sudanese president Numeri who when he was nullifying the Addis Ababa Agreement in 1983, a visibly angry Kiir quipped why the peace deal can’t be renegotiated.
“This peace deal is not the Bible or the Koran.” Kiir further added that even the Bible, there is always a new version coming up all the time.
Something wrong must be within this agreement document, Kiir declared, but they don’t want to be known.
It’s time to correct these things, he said.
As an example, Kiir accused the iGAD-Plus leaders for allowing Pagan Amum to change the Agreement by the altering of the ‘Former Detainees’ FD, which was changed into ‘SPLM leaders.’
Further, Kiir accused the IGAD-PLus that while he was never called in the agreement as commander-in-chief of the National Army, Machar was instead referred to as leader of SPLM Armed Opposition.
In conclusion, the angry president Kiir bluntly stated that while he’s not allowed to read the reservations of his government on the peace deal, however, he will give each one of the negotiators a copy to read.
“I call upon you regional leaders to stand with us during the implementation of this peace deal otherwise we will fail,” he ended his talk.
Will this peace last, what do you think?
SUMMARY- Key points of peace deal:
**Fighting to stop immediately. Soldiers to be confined to barracks in 30 days, foreign forces to leave within 45 days, and child soldiers and prisoners of war freed.
**All military forces to leave the capital, Juba, to be replaced by unspecified “guard forces” and Joint Integrated Police.
**Rebels get post of “first vice-president.”
**Transitional government of national unity to take office in 90 days and govern for 30 months.
**Elections to be held 60 days before end of transitional government’s mandate
Commission for Truth, Reconciliation and Healing to investigate human rights violations.
From the BBC: AUG/26/2015, SSN.
As time passed and the temperature rose in the big, celebratory tent, the buzz of optimism started to wane.
Last-minute talks had been going on for hours – surely President Salva Kiir wouldn’t leave regional heads of state at the altar for the second time in 10 days?
The talking had been tough – the language of the leaders was strong.
When Kenya’s President Kenyatta said there was “no such thing as a perfect agreement”, it was clear it had been a tough day around a table.
People shouldn’t see “obstacles, but opportunity and hope,” he added.
Uganda’s Yoweri Museveni called South Sudan’s struggle for independence lea just war, but that this was “the wrong war in the wrong place at the wrong time”.
And then in a long, slow speech, pausing regularly to remove his glasses and wipe his face, it wasn’t quite clear if President Kiir was going to sign the deal or notis.
In the end he did, but any moment of statesmanship was lost in a piece of theatre.
He finally said he would sign only if the heads of state initialled a long list of reservations – which he then proceeded to do while photocopies of the list were handed out to the audience.
The regional leaders declined, but the signing went ahead. With renegade generals not signing up to the deal and much picking still to be done over the detail, there’s little here that would make the 1.6 million displaced people in South Sudan rush home.
Will South Sudan peace deal be worth the wait?
Before signing the deal, President Kiir spent hours in a closed-door meeting with the regional leaders.
Afterwards, he addressed the delegates, speaking at length of his unease about the deal and saying he wanted these reservations to be on record.
During his speech, South Sudan’s president mentioned areas such as the ambiguous structure and command of the South Sudan forces once the transitional government takes office in 90 days.
He also had issues about the power-sharing arrangements.
Fresh fighting that has erupted in the oil-rich town of Bentiu was a clear indication that rebels did not respect the deal they had so recently signed, he added.
From DailyNation of Nairobi, JUBA, WEDNESDAY/25/2015, SSN
South Sudan’s President Salva Kiir has finally agreed to sign a peace deal and power-sharing accord to end a 20-month civil war, his spokesman said Tuesday.
Presidential spokesman Ateny Wek Ateny told AFP that the presidents of Kenya, Uganda and Sudan plus Ethiopia’s prime minister “will converge on Juba tomorrow morning for a one-day summit, and the President of the Republic of South Sudan will sign the peace agreement.”
The spokesman said, however, that the government was still unhappy with the accord, drawn up by the regional bloc IGAD.
“The government has some reservations… even if the President will sign,” Mr Ateny said.
South Sudan’s rebel leader Riek Machar, a former vice president, signed the deal last Monday, in line with a deadline to do so.
Both sides in the conflict have been facing the threat on international sanctions if they refuse to sign.
But Kiir only initialled part of the text, and his government slammed the accord as a “sellout” — saying it needed more time for consultations.
Key issues of disagreement include details of a power-sharing proposal between the government and rebels, which could see Machar return as vice-president.
Ateny also said the government was unhappy over calls to demilitarise the capital Juba, hand over greater powers to the rebels in the oil-rich Upper Nile region, and see foreigners in charge of a Monitoring and Evaluation Commission — the body that will police the implementation of the peace deal.
Sources in IGAD also confirmed plans for the deal to be signed in Juba on Wednesday, with Kenyan President Uhuru Kenyatta, Ugandan President Yoweri Museveni, Sudanese President Omar al-Bashir, Ethiopian
MACHAR TO MISS
Prime Minister Hailemariam Desalegn and chief mediator Seyoum Mesfin due to attend.
An IGAD official said rebel leader Machar would not be there because security provisions were not yet in place.
South Sudan’s civil war erupted in December 2013 when Kiir accused Dr Machar of planning a coup, setting off a cycle of retaliatory killings that has split the poverty-stricken, landlocked country along ethnic lines.
Marked by widespread atrocities on both sides, the war has been characterised by ethnic massacres and rape.
At least seven ceasefires have already been agreed and then shattered within days — if not hours — in the world’s newest country, which broke away from Sudan in 2011.
The peace proposal has been put forward by the regional eight-nation bloc IGAD, the Intergovernmental Authority on Development, as well as the United Nations, African Union, China and the “troika” of Britain, Norway and the US.
The 72-page accord commits both sides to implementing a “permanent ceasefire” within 72 hours after signing.
Military forces also have 30 days to gather for “separation, assembly and cantonment” — or confinement to barracks, with their weapons secured in storage — with a security review ahead of an eventual reunification of forces.
All foreign forces in the war, including Ugandan troops backing Kiir, must leave within 45 days, while foreign militia forces, including rebels from neighbouring Sudan’s Darfur and Nuba mountain regions, must also be disarmed and sent home.
No troops are allowed closer than 25 kilometres (15 miles) to the capital Juba, with only presidential guards, police and guard forces protecting infrastructure can remain in the city.
MACHAR FOR VP
The deal gives rebels the post of “First Vice President”, alongside the current vice-president.
That means Machar would likely return to the post he was sacked from in July 2013, six months before the war began.
Signatories also take responsibility for the war, “apologising unconditionally” for the tens of thousands killed.
A Commission for Truth, Reconciliation and Healing will be set up to investigate “all aspects of human rights violations”, with a “Hybrid Court” — set up in collaboration with the African Union — to try crimes including possible genocide and crimes against humanity.