Aldo Ajou Deng Akuey

From 15 December 2013, the unfortunate, senseless violence, anarchical confusion, chaos and war grabbed the young Republic of South Sudan, “just born on 9 July 2011,” after the longest war of liberation from 18 August 1955 to 9 January 2005, in which 2.5 million died in the long battles.

This new war, which seemed to have been masterminded and driven by devils and South Sudan’s enemies, has reportedly ravaged the country and randomly killed additional 400,000, disabled millions, uprooted 4 million and exposed 7 million to deadly hunger and related killer diseases. The African countries, the United States of American (the USA), the United Kingdom (UK), Norway and the world, intervened and mediated peaceful resolution to the conflict. The mediators, led by the Intergovernmental Authority for Development (IGAD), succeeded to induce the belligerence politicians to end war.

On 12 September 2018, the warring parties, the Sudan People’s Liberation Movement (SPLM), Sudan People’s Liberation Movement In Opposition (SPLM IO) and South Sudan Opposition Alliance )SSOA) signed the “final final” Revitalised Agreement on Resolution of Conflict in the Republic of South Sudan (R-ARCSS), in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, represented respectively, by President Salva Kiir Mayardit, Dr. Riek Machar Teny and Gabriel Changson, in an atmosphere of a successful ceasefire and ongoing security arrangements. Bravo for then and now. Let’s call this stage: Phase one.

But a big responsibility hangs over the shoulders of the politicians and the parties designate to implementing the R-ARCSS in “letter and spirit.” The eight months’ Pre-transition period marks the most sensitive and yet fragile stage towards putting strong foundations in building the R-ARCSS into a permanent peace and security for South Sudan and its devastated citizens. What is required for this phase of implementation begins with the ceasefire, security arrangements and merging the South Sudan Defence Forces (SSDF) with rebels armies together in order to form the “National Army-SSDF.”

This is the period in which an inclusive approach to successful peace building should be moved forward and established to avoid another security fiasco, the 8 July 2016 eruption and failure of the first ARCSS. This is the period in which the parties and mediators need to inject and usher dialogue, reconciliation, healing and inclusive repentance, apology and forgiveness among the former political foes. In doing so, the pre-transition could solidify, and therefore, determine the overall success to rebuilding a permanent peaceful country.

The National Dialogue and Reconciliation Committee can now intervene, at this stage of the peace process, to consult with the political parties concerned in order to collectively solidify further understanding, reconciliation and restoration of confidence of necessity among themselves and with the public. This move could easily integrate the R-AECSS into the comprehensive dialogue, reconciliation and unification of the country under “a progressive federal system of governance and government.”

On the other hand, there is a need for religious leaders to intervene too. The South Sudan Council of Churches, can play, yet, a tremendous role in the reconciliation, apologies, confessions of guilt and forgiveness. Such initiatives are not new in Africa. Apologies and forgivenesses after wars, have contributed to the lasting peacemaking in South Africa and defeated the white-racists (apartheid). It succeeded in Zimbabwe in evicting the white-minority regime of Ian Smith. It help smooth disengagement between Sudan and South Sudan; Ethiopia and Eritrea. It is an ultimate precedence and a customary procedure in resolving wars of liberation and administrative conflicts in Africa for centuries. South Sudan can reinstall a permanent peace if it adopts this African-Christian’s philosophical phenomenon.

In my opinion, South Sudan should adopt the peacemaking procedural precedence of South Africa, Zimbabwe, Sudan and Ethiopia among others. Let’s forgive one another, but let’s not forget the ravage, devastation and destruction we have inflicted on our country and its resilience citizens. This scenario is capable to insure the success of R-ARCSS, follows by a highly organised smooth implementation. We want the return of peace for a change from political anarchy to understanding, peace and security, democracy and the Rule of law..

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