BY: Owiri Angelo De Orubo, Hawassa, ETHIOPIA, JAN/07/2014, SSN;
As many of the people of the Republic of South Sudan have been on alert of what specifically the current talks taking place in Addis Ababa would produce, the negotiators of the talks from both sides are already holding what should sound as ‘war cessation’ to the current dilemma in the world’s youngest nation.
The major issues or agendas to be discussed have already been approved but what could it be? Ceasing war against civilians of course, but the question remains in the minds of the intellectuals over what would come after the ceasefire, will they surely come back to their normal lives?
Of-course, all the people of South Sudan know that the war that started earlier December last year is rewriting what had happened in the past, 1991, between the late Dr. John Garang De Mabior and Riek Machar Teny, which is thought to be repeating itself with Salva Kiir Mayardit.
On Sunday, Ethiopian government spokesman Getachew Reda said IGAD, the East African regional bloc brokering the talks, was trying to convince South Sudan’s government to release 11 detainees, many of them former senior government officials.
Reda said it was important “for the government of South Sudan to go the extra mile as a goodwill gesture.”
“The prisoners can have their day in court, but IGAD could expedite the process — one suggestion is bailing out and transferring the detainees to IGAD’s custody,” he said.
But the spokesman for South Sudan’s government delegation, Information Minister Michael Makuei, rejected the proposal, instead blaming former Vice President Machar of starting the fighting with an attempted coup.
“His attempt to overthrow a democratically elected government is an established fact,” Makuei said.
“We are being told to negotiate with the rebels. But any rebels who have fallen in our hands will have to answer why he or she decided to take up arms against a democratically elected government,” he added.
Meanwhile, fighting continued in the oil-producing Unity and Upper Nile states in the north on Sunday.
Army spokesman Philip Aguer said that government forces were advancing on the two state capitals of Bentiu and Malakal, currently in rebel hands, and that troops were preparing to retake Bor, capital of Jonglei.
Fighting also broke out in the South Sudanese capital Juba late on Saturday, with exchanges of gunfire heard coming from a district in the south of the city. Calm returned in the early hours of the morning.
The fighting caused more Juba residents to try to move south to Uganda, adding to the nearly 200,000 people who have already been displaced by three weeks of conflict.
UN peacekeeping bases have also been overwhelmed with civilians seeking shelter, many of them fleeing ethnic violence pitting Kiir’s Dinka community against Machar’s Nuer tribe.
Now that the president of the Republic of South Sudan does not want to release the detained prisoners and that the war can not stop according to the rebel leader, Dr. Riek Machar Teny, what would be of significance in this talks?
It sounds like there’s no one among them who wishes the matter to be settled because one might think that he’s defeated for him to give up the fight, which is not absolutely the case but both of them should know that there’s ”NO PEACE WITHOUT COMPROMISE” and that as they continue fighting or advancing to the towns which are filled with people, then they can easily destroy the population they wish to lead and have been fighting for their freedom as claimed by the rebels.
I would therefore say that, both Riek Machar and Salva Kiir Mayadit should come down and understand themselves, understand the vision, policies for leading the youngest nation into developing ideas and provide equal services to the population rather than fighting the chair that’s egoistically filled with interests, so that this country could have an understanding people in the generations to come.