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