Kiir to meditate Sudan Peace Talks

Kiir to meditate Sudan Peace Talks

The President of the Republic of South Sudan, Salva Kiir Mayardit, is resolved to mediate the political conflict between the Nuba Mountains, South Blue Nile, and Darfur on one hand, and Government of Khartoum, led by President Omer Ahmed Hassan Al Bashir, on the other hand. After the January 2011 referendum of Southern Sudan and eventual declaration of independence on 9 July 2011, the Comprehensive Peace Agreement (CPA) of January 2005, ended. Thus rendering the CPA protocols on the borders of South Sudan and Sudan, Abyei region, the Nuba Mountains, South Blue Nile, in limbo. From there on, the regions of the Nuba Mountains, South Blue Nile, and Darfur formed a unified front and staged a new war against the Sudan Government, from 2010. Sudan accused President Salva Kiir of linking his Sudan People’s Liberation Movement (SPLM) with the remanents of the SPLM-North faction. This new situation, after the division of Sudan and division of the SPLM, triggered a “cold war” and a “war in a proxy,” between South Sudan and Sudan.

Since 2011 South Sudan has been and still is, in cold and proxy wars. Thus the intervention of President Al Bashir, behind the curtains of the Intergovernmental Authority on Development (IGAD), had come at the right time when South Sudanese were extremely tired of war and needed peace. President Al Bashir’s acceptance to mediate peace among South Sudan warring parties (SPLM, SPLM IO, and SSOA), successfully concluded the “Revitalized Agreement on Resolution of Conflict in the Republic of South Sudan (R-ARCSS), which was signed on 12 September 2018, in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia by the parties. This R-ARCSS effectively paved the way for the resumption and return to square one: “The Comprehensive Peace Agreement (CPA)” of 9 January 2005 between the SPLM and the Government of Sudan, Signed by Dr. John Garang de Mabior and President Omer Ahmed Hassan Al Bashir respectively. This peace, by necessity, should prevail equally, in two Sudan.

In these interlinked political conflicts and civil wars, there are chains of roles and obligations that need full involvements of two governments, South Sudan and Sudan. Although the mediation of President Salva Kiir Mayardit could be said to have come late, yet political analysts favor this time since comprehensive peace and security could be achieved in two countries. President Salva Kiir Mayardit is the right person to mediate peace between the group (SPLM-North) and Sudan. This group, by names: Malik Agar. Abdel Aziz Al Hilu, Yasir Arman, and many others worked with President Salva during the Interim Government, under Al Bashir, from 2005 to 2011.

In my opinion, the two Presidents of Sudan, Salva, and Al Bashir should simply restore and reactivate CPA protocols for the Nuba Mountains, South Blue along with Abyei and the borders between the two countries. This scenario shall fully open the spirit of the CPA to end all sorts of political anarchies, violence, and wars in South Sudan and Sudan for the benefit of Sudanese in two countries and one people.

Trumpism comes to Brazil

Trumpism comes to Brazil

Bolsonaro, the new Brazilian President, seems to declare that he is a “Trumpist” in all aspects of ideologies and diplomacy: personality, white racism, politics and racial divide in the United States of America (the USA). Externally, the conduct of diplomatic relations in arms control, peace and security, world trade, climatic change, and humanitarian movement to save heaven, seeking safety and livelihood is frustrating.

The policies of Trumpism, sloganeering “America first” could and will not be compatible with the world order that emerged after the cold war and the collapsed of the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics (USSR) in 1991. The anti-world peace and security being promoted by Trump Republicanism and populism should not be allowed to flow out of the USA. Dangers that could be caused by Trump’s rhetorics could backfire, not only to the USA but could affect the whole world. Already the mini-world war is taking place in the Middle East between Saudi Arabia and Iran, with the USA and Russia backing the two war consortium respectively. Can such a war be allowed without the nuclear arms control?

Bolsonaro is naive by saluting the ghost of the USA flag in an attempt to lure Brazil into politics of the USA growing isolationism.

The Peace Process

The Peace Process

The international advocates, whatever their intentions, friends or enemies, have intervened in the conflict very late. This peace deal has been a hard work of nearly five years, in the midst of serious difficulties. This peace process started in January 2014, that is, people of South Sudan were almost exhausted and at the edge of hopelessness to stop the war.

The advocates, so-called, have come late. The countries they have mentioned in their letter, are the very members of the Regional Bloc: The Intergovernmental Authority on Development (IGAD) who had been shuttling among the South Sudanese warring parties, the African Union (AU) and the United Nations Security Council (UNSC), represented by the UNMISS on the ground in South Sudan. Thus Uganda, Sudan, and Ethiopia are part and parcel of the Revitalized Agreement on Resolution of Conflict in the Republic of South Sudan (R-ARCSS) because they have signed the R-ARCSS as guarantors, so their responsibility is determined by the R-ARCSS and supported by all the parties in the R-ARCSS.

In my legal opinion, Uganda, Sudan, and Ethiopia are not in anyway, violating the sovereignty of the Republic of South Sudan. The Agreement is signed. There is no article of the R-ARCSS that authorizes renegotiation in retrospect. We invite all peace-loving people of the world to support the R-ARCSS for humanitarian reasons, if not political. The letter should be ignored


-By Aldo Ajou Deng

Riek Machar in Juba, a sign of peace?

Riek Machar in Juba, a sign of peace?

Quite clear! A true statement by “the EastAfrican” newspaper, a sincere friend of South Sudan for all times of war and peace. Many people, out there do not know President Salva or Dr. Riek. They were born in peace, went to Sudan schools, learned English and Arabic and grew up into wars of liberation in the 1960s. It is from this point forward that Salva and Riek learned violence and war of self-defense.

The real one-stop violence, among South Sudanese elites, occurred for the first time in August 1983, when Anya Nya two broke up over self-determination for Southern Sudan and unified Sudan. The breakup of Anya Nya two gave birth to a very violent child: The Sudan People’s Liberation Movement (SPLM). The SPLA, military wing of the SPLM defeated the Anya Nya two. Some South Sudanese, many veteran politicians, lost their lives. From there on, the SPLM leadership continued in violence and political anarchy, a culture deeply rooted in communist orientations throughout the cool war, 1945 to 1991.

But, Salva and Riek were never and are not communists, if any, they were/are freedom fighters. They both fought for the right of self-determination and independence of South Sudan from Sudan. In this war, 2013-2018, Salva and Riek did not invite any foreign country or an international organization like the United Nations (UN) to take over South Sudan and govern it for ten years, though many leading politicians in the SPLM did betrayed the country.

This political behavior of “love, protect and fight for your country,” is installed in Salva’s and Riek’s nationalistic orientation. This installation of nationalism in them is inclusive of the use of violence in liberation and in self-defense. This is the violence syndrome orientation they have used to usher political power in the clear absence of democracy, an exercise common in countries where dictatorship is the bases of governance. This Revitalized Agreement on Resolution of Conflict in the Republic of South Sudan (R-ARCSS), if implemented “letter and spirit” as they have promised, then the violence and war syndrome could be counseled and reverted from the bullet to ballet.

As implemented, the R-ARCSS shall change the system of governance and government from dictatorship to democracy, where a government is changed by “the people for the people”. I am sure Salva and Riek will abide by freedom and rule of law.

It is in my opinion that, the R-ARCSS shall hold and peace and security will prevail beyond the next elections in 2021.

I’m Glad South Sudan`s Peace Celebrations  focused on apologies to the victims of protracted Civil War and the promise to implement the Khartoum Peace Accord.

I’m Glad South Sudan`s Peace Celebrations focused on apologies to the victims of protracted Civil War and the promise to implement the Khartoum Peace Accord.

By Kocrup Makuach

The People of South Sudan have a lot of expectations in the recently inaugurated Khartoum peace pact. They hope the peace accord will be honored and implemented to the letter by the warring parties.

In my opinion, time has come to find an amicable solution to the intractable conflict bedeviling the Republic of South Sudan. Since 2013`s outbreak of war to date, the people of South Sudan have suffered a lot. South Sudanese have witnessed tens of thousands killed, destruction of properties, rape of innocent women and millions of South Sudanese displaced internally and to our neighboring countries.

South Sudan’s predicament has been described by many international entities as possibly the worst humanitarian catastrophe in the history of world!

I find it disheartening that South Sudan`s leaders remain blind to the suffering of its masses. The country`s economy is in ruins with the budget registering deficit. Hyperinflation has reached alarming proportions, war is raging all over the country and UNMISS foreign troops are actively involved in looting of the natural resources and abusing the rights of civilian population. The war has drained our human and material resources.

To make another step towards ending all these intolerable conditions and egregious suffering, we urge both warring parties to apologize to the people of South Sudan in the upcoming Peace Celebrations in Juba over prior unwillingness to embrace peace. Truth is, this may be the last attempt at peace building for our country.

The citizens and all stakeholders in the peace processes are tired and dispirited. This is because prior peace agreements in South Sudan have failed courtesy of blatant unwillingness for implementation from political leaders.

The concerns cited by the opposition chief, Dr. Riek Machar and other rebel leaders ought to be looked at carefully by the government and where possible addressed to seal possible loopholes for future discrepancies. After the formation of abroad base government, I urge President Kiir and his Vice President, Dr. Riek Machar to pay official visit to our 34 states in the country and elucidate to the people how they are going to honour and implement the Khartoum peace agreement.

In the previous triumvirate government of Salva Kiir, Riek Machar and James Wani, the three were supposed to carry out civil education or sensitization to the people regarding the implementation of August 2015’s peace accord signed in Addis- Ababa under the auspices of Inter -governmental Authority on Development (IGAD). As a result of their failures to doing so, the 2016 July outbreak of violence contributed to massive looting, destruction of property, deaths and displacement of civilians across the country.

In the Old Sudan’s Comprehensive Peace Agreement (CPA) which was signed by the two warring parties, SPLM and NCP –Sudan government; there was a dissemination of the CPA to the constituents in grassroots in the South and North Sudan. Dr. John Garang and President Bashir were determined to honor and implement the agreement to the letter and spirit . President Bashir as the topmost leader in the CPA offered leadership on this end. No wonder the pact worked that led to the 9th July Independence of the Republic of South Sudan.

Therefore, the people of South Sudan expect their leaders, President Salva Kiir, Dr. Riek Machar and other political faction groups to follow the footsteps of CPA’s leaders by adhering to the implementation of ongoing the Khartoum’s peace agreements. President Salva Kiir precisely must be at the forefront to ensure that works!

Of all the previous peace agreements signed in South Sudan, the people regarded such as agreements for the Juba’s political elites thus felt alienated from the benefits thereof. I feel that with every peace deals, must come peace dividends that include restoration of peace and stability, services delivery to the citizens, investment in socio- economic development, schools, roads, health, poverty reduction, revival of the economy, reparation of IDPs and refugees, institution reforms, good governance and a free and fair general elections.

I quote our late, hero. Dr. John Garang on peace process.
“It was you the paramount chiefs who ensured that the social fabric of our people was not disturbed by the war. You organized our people to support the liberation struggle, you mobilized and recruited the youth to join the ranks of the liberation struggle, and you organized your people to provide food for army of the liberation struggle. It was your bull, your goat, your chicken, your fish and dura (sorghum) and cassava that fed us, it is you who carried the war materials on your heads and shoulders… During our liberation struggle young proved as essential to our survival as water is essential to the survive of fish.

I know as much as you do, that in spite of your major contributions to the liberation struggle, our relations were not milk and honey. Some of you were manhandled and treated badly by some our soldiers… My dear paramount chiefs and traditional leaders, I apologize to you my on behalf as leader , and on behalf of the SPLA and on behalf of your government for those bad things we did to you as individuals during the course of our liberation struggle and even during peace times. I ask you as victims and as leaders to forgive ourselves” Dr. John Garang de Mabior

After Peace Celebrations, the warring leaders must tour the country together to apologies, preach healing, reconciliation, forgiveness, peace, unity and cement social fabric among 64 tribes and call on all citizens to love each other and coalesce together for the benefit of our beloved nation. This is the only lifeline for our delicate situation in our country. Together we stand, divided we fall!

By Kocrup Makuach

Ethiopia’s first female president can be a force for reform

Ethiopia’s first female president can be a force for reform

by Yohannes Gedamu

President Zewde is in a unique position to help change the lives of Ethiopia’s long suffering women for the better.

On October 25, a special joint session of both houses of the Ethiopian parliament accepted President Mulatu Teshome Wirtu’s letter of resignation. The much-respected president’s resignation was a surprise to many, yet it soon became clear that this was yet another meticulously planned move by Ethiopia’s reformist Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed. The very same morning, seasoned diplomat Sahle-Work Zewde was appointed the country’s fourth president under EPRDF rule, an era which began in 1991. With this appointment, Zewde also became the second woman in the country’s modern history to serve as head of state. Ethiopia’s last female leader before Zewde was Empress Zewditu, who had governed the country between 1916-1930.

President Zewde has a successful public service career spanning decades. Her first ambassadorial appointment in service of her country was in 1989 to Dakar, Senegal with additional accreditation to Mali, Cape Verde, Guinea-Bissau, Gambia and Guinea.

During that time, Ethiopia’s brutal military-socialist regime was still in power and Ethiopia’s civil war was at its peak. When the military regime was overthrown two years later, most government ministers and high-ranking public servants were either purged or arrested, with most Ethiopian diplomats serving the country abroad requesting political asylum in the countries they had been residing in. However, even during this tumultuous time, Zewde chose not to abandon her post and continued to serve the new regime. She quickly gained the trust of the new leadership with her diplomatic competence and managed to stay in the ranks of the foreign service.

Since then, Zewde served Ethiopia as an ambassador in many countries across Africa and Europe. Eventually, she moved on to serving the international community at large, especially through her work at the United Nations. With her extensive experience working across conflict-prone nations in Africa, Zewde has helped the UN in its peace-building efforts in the Central African Republic.

Zewde’s final role at the UN, however, was arguably the most important. She was the first woman to be appointed by the international body as special representative to the African Union and head of the United Nations Office to the African Union, a role she served at the level of under-secretary-general.

Zewde’s appointment as Ethiopia’s new president came on the back of another surprising, but very welcome development. On October 16, Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed announced that he decided to fill 50 percent of his cabinet with female ministers. Ahmed’s decision to have a gender-balanced cabinet was applauded in Ethiopia and beyond, but it was partially clouded by the fact that cabinet appointments are not always based on merit in Ethiopia. In this country, prime ministers are inescapably hostage to a culture of coalition politics, where party interests triumph over the interests of the people. Thus, despite the symbolic importance of the realisation of a gender-balanced cabinet, for some these appointments were not as important a victory for Ethiopian women, and Ethiopian people in general, as they’ve been trumped up to be.

However, this appointment is unquestionably momentous and groundbreaking. In spite of the fact that, in parliamentary Ethiopia, the office of the presidency is very much ceremonial, most Ethiopians respect and look up to the president. Anyone who serves in that role gets the opportunity to build a personal legacy, and leave their mark in the country’s history. Moreover, the office of the president is a bully pulpit that allows its holder to have direct access to the country’s prime minister and gives them an opportunity to comment and offer advice on political events. The head of state also presides over special parliamentary sessions and delivers speeches on the parliament opening sessions where he or she presents what the priorities of the government should be.

Having a woman take over such a revered office is undoubtedly going to inspire millions of Ethiopian women. However, the ways in which Zewde’s presidency is really going to affect the condition of women in Ethiopia will be determined by the causes she is going to champion and prioritise throughout her tenure.

Ethiopia embarked on a reform process six months ago and the changes its new leadership promised to make to achieve better governance and democratic improvement are slowly materialising. However, the country is still carrying the wounds of a devastating civil war, years of oppression and ongoing ethnic tensions and conflicts. And the burden of all this has been felt the most by Ethiopia’s women who, on top of losing their husbands, sons and brothers in conflicts and being displaced from their homes, also had to navigate their lives in a highly patriarchal society. For example, problems within the country’s education sector such as the meagre level of access to education in rural Ethiopia is still affecting women more than men. Beyond all this, Ethiopia still suffers from one of the highest maternal mortality rates in the world. Although there have been promising improvements, to this day, most Ethiopian women give birth at home.

In light of all this, Ethiopian women desperately need a heroine who can be their voice and allow them to be heard clearly and loudly by the leadership of the country. This heroine can and should be the country’s first female President Zewde. To achieve this, she needs to make the empowerment of women the priority of her presidency.

Zewde has already implied that she is willing and eager to take on this duty during her acceptance speech before the joint session of the parliament. At some point in her speech she even joked: “if you think I am talking a lot more about women, well, I have not even started.”

President Zewde is now in a position to help implement important reforms that would significantly elevate the life quality of the most under-served and most well-deserving segment of the country’s citizenry: women. The fact that the current head of government, Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed, is a feminist reformer will likely help her in this journey.

Ethiopian women are undoubtedly happy to see a woman in one of the highest offices of the land. But beyond providing mere inspiration, what they expect from their new president is to actually change their lives for the better.

Only time will tell whether President Zewde will be able to live up to their expectations.

 Source – Al Jazeera