By Aldo Ajou Deng Akuey
The Intergovernmental Authority and Development (IGAD), called off the meetings of the High-Level Revitalisation Forum, on the 17 August 2015’s Agreement on Resolution of Conflict in the Republic of South Sudan (ARCSS), as from 16 February 2018; with a verdict to reconvene on 6 March 2018. It is to be called that the South Sudanese, Government and rebels delegations, were brought together on 5 February 2018, to strictly consider “revitalization or revivification of the ARCSS 2015.” The new engagement rules out the reviews or fresh negotiations.
A review or a new-negotiations of a new agreement, rather than the ARCSS, as demanded, earlier on, by SPLM IO (Riek’s group), Dr. Lam’s group of parties and former detainees (FDS), was promptly and clearly rejected by IGAD with the full backing of the United Nations Security Council (UNSC), African Union (AU) and Troika (the USA, UK, and Norway). It seemed as if the travel-makers politicians, Dr. Lam Akol Ajawin, Pagan Amum and Deng Alor Kuol are out for the total destruction of the IGAD’s advanced peace efforts. Their presentations completely ignored and violated the collectively “declared principle of inclusive dialogue among the warring parties with the intention to resolve the conflict.” This principle of inclusivity was demanded by all parties, supported by all South Sudanese and kindly adapted by the peace-mediating international community. The politicians of fortunes are here again for the destruction of peace efforts.
[box] South Sudan stakeholders at the High level revitalization forum in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia(Photo: file[/box] )
Their presentations (papers) suggest complete irrelevance to the guiding principles of the HLRF: (a) an exclusion of the SPLM’s Chairman, Salva Kiir Mayardit and Chairman of SPLM IO, Dr. Riek Machar Teny, from the next Transitional Government; (b) thus installing themselves, instead, as President and four vice presidents, without a supporting justification why they should be the ones to rule and govern the Republic of South Sudan during and after the Transitional period; (c) two armies-no clear explanation why? And (d) after all, they lack, even spiritual and humanitarian instincts to mention, at least, the destruction they have caused and incurred politically, economically and socially on the country, let alone the cries, plights, and sufferings of the people of South Sudan which top the world media today. They “care none at all.” Not only that, they are mute to propose or mention a constitutional transformation that could govern this war wreckage country.
True leaders and free-minded politicians are always bound by the national strategies and interests of their country. But these political gangsters lack basic nationalism, simply because, they believe that they were appointed and designated by the late leader Dr. John Garang de Mabior, to own the SPLM and thereafter own South Sudan. John worked tirelessly for freedom of South Sudan and beyond. Their assumptions are nonetheless, far from being anything to do with freedom of South Sudan, but may be unworthy, hopeless and unnecessary dreams to translate.
South Sudan is now a free country that could be governed by an inclusive democratic constitution. The suggestions above contradict the revitalization spirit of ARCSS, as suggested by IGAD and agreed by all the warring parties. It is only the HLRF that could stop these politicians from jeopardizing furthermore the peace efforts, so much prayed for by the people of South Sudan, as the only option capable in rescuing physical lives and livelihoods. In my opinion, peace can be achieved through IGAD by the ruling SPLM and SPLM IO, direct and face to face talks.
This opinion is based on facts that generated and triggered the ongoing war in December 2013. It was the power struggle between President Salva Kiir Mayardit and Vice President Riek Machar Teny that brought the present war in South Sudan to its present existence. To resolve it, honestly, the two leaders, Salva Kiir and Riek Machar must be reconciled in order to negotiate, yet, a save constitution for South Sudanese people to secure the unity of their country they have collectively fought for fifty years running. These two leaders are only divided by “violence” but they could be reconciled and purposely united through ” liberties and democratic” decisions and ballots and not bullets.
Before them, many world leaders, including Dr. John, Dr. Riek, and Dr. Lam; and ultimately General Bashir and Dr. John, had the hottest fighting and huge destruction of human lives and properties, yet they were able to conclude a worldwide recognized Comprehensive Peace Agreement, CPA, that created the independent, sovereign Republic of South Sudan. This scenario may bring our peace back to us and the country.
To disable the war mongers and peace spoilers, the IGAD mediators should be realistic to deal with the two parties, the SPLM and SPLM IO. These are the parties in the war of guns, not a war of words with one another. The both have supporters across South Sudan. Sincerely speaking, it is President Salva Kiir and Riek Machar that can negotiate a lasting and permanent settlement of this war in South Sudan. Those politicians who want Salva and Riek out of transitional period’s government are not genuine. The search for the peaceful settlement of the conflict should continue but factually based on the ongoing political power struggle between the two warring leaders. “Do not beat around the bush!” The spoilers are around here to ambush “good faith” intentions for the peaceful ending of the war.
Keywords: SPLM, SPLM IO, Salva and Riek.