The IGAD and the Peace talks in Addis Ababa

By Yien Lam,

eac-mainMembers of IGAD heads of states, Uhuru Kenyatta(right), Paul Kagame, Yoweri Museveni and Salva Kiir(left)(photo: past file|Nyameilepedia).

March 17, 2014 (Nyamilepedia) — To begin with, the proposed IGAD troop’s deployment in South Sudan is one sided case that cannot be accepted by any living creature ever. It is not good and should not be even discuss at all. It is purely a political ploy intended to replace the UPDF in South Sudan that the regime wanted. The IGAD member states should have known that this will in fact hinder the peace process in South Sudan. The organization should not have taken to an account one sided proposal in first place. It’s illogical and must not be taken into consideration. In this matter, it would be better for the organization to be judicious when it comes to dealing with this issue of peace in South Sudan.

This issue is very interesting if not complicating. It is so, because it will rest the question of its neutrality in the peace process. This will in fact complicate its ability to make peace in South Sudan as it initially intended to do. Its summit in the Ethiopia capital Addis Ababa on 13th of this month will be considered as hindrance toward peace. It will also be viewed as the step backward instead, unless IGAD reverses its decision. If I were the IGAD, I would have finished with the issue of the Uganda withdrawal from the land of South Sudanese as well as the case of the remaining four detainees first before doing anything else. This would have been better start for the peace to survive in the country. Leaving these two issues as vague as they have been is a setback for the organization. In addition, the organization should prioritize the issues and deal with them accordingly. Taking up one issue today and tomorrow move to the next without finishing the first one, will otherwise devalue its credibility in the future.

However, Suggesting of bringing troops from the organization, in which some of its member states already have taken side in the conflict cannot and will never do any good in term of peace. This will obstruct if not exacerbate its process. One cannot negotiate with individual whose side has been seen overtly. This would only be seen as the mere tactic of the South Sudan regime giving the fact that it was the only one representing on the 13th summit of the IGAD. For that matter, it will otherwise be seen as the one way road.

As the matter of fact, if the IGAD is serious as it merely seems to be. It should not have its own troops in my view. It does not need it.If the organization needs to have its boot on the ground as proposed by its summit, what would those troops do other than the UN peace keepers that are doing the exceptional job and being revered worldwide with the exception of the kiir’s regime? Would that not be the protection of infrastructures and the oilfield as the South Sudan government wanted or what would be the role of such a troops? In my view without a doubt, it would be the protection of the said infrastructures as well as oilfields? If that is so, as it has been the intention of the South Sudan government, why would the government asked only the protection of infrastructures and oilfields rather than the protection of people? Do you think such a government cares about the lives of its people than keeping itself breathing? Be the judge! To me, I genuinely doubt the legitimacy of such a government as it sound. In this scenario, I always enormously believe that government should always be there to protect its people. But this has not been the case for this government of ours. This government cares more about the protection of resources than human lives. The reason for this is obvious on the minds of many. It is because the regime buys foreign mercenaries in order to help it fight the rebels. It does not care for the people of South Sudan as many may have known it if not most. This has been the case since South Sudan independence in 2011.It has long been the unwavering stance of the regime since then.

Nonetheless, for what I know so far, the government is supposed to be worried about the suffering of its people than infrastructures and oilfields. If it only worries about such a things than the lives of human beings, that government has fever that needs to be treated.  To be sincere though, I never heard a government of people saying as such ever. It is my first time to hear such a things being said by the government that claimed to be elected by the people of the South Sudan. If this is the case as the regime claimed, why would it only cares for the resources and infrastructures? Believe it or not, this regime is trying everything it can to prevaricate to whomever it can entice in order to gain whatever necessary for its survival. This is its intention. If the careful look is not taken by the IGAD, the peace process will never go forward. It will remain as such as it has been since January. There will never be a changed in term of peace in South Sudan. You may believe it or not, this regime manipulation will tell you the rest of what you may be missed.

Finally, IGAD must be careful and keep its neutrality in this case if it needs to bring peace in South Sudan. Without doing so, it is going to be tough for it to go forward in peace process.  In addition, it needs to take its duty as serious as supposed to be. Otherwise, peace in South Sudan will be in jeopardy.

The author is concerned  SouthSudanese and can be reached at Lam981@hommail.com

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