Both Kiir and Machar factions oppose the deployment of Igad “protection” force!

By Fred Oluoch Special Correspondent, The East African.

 DR Machar-Kiir-The Niles-Waakhe Simon WuduPres. Salva Kiir Mayardiit (right) and the former VP, Dr. Riek Machar Teny (left) in a past event. (Photo credit: The Niles/Waakhe Simon Wudu)

March 22, 2014 (EA) — The crisis in South Sudan is likely to escalate after mediation talks failed to resume on March 20.

There are differences among regional countries over the proposed deployment of Inter-governmental Authority on Development (Igad) protection force to ensure that the warring parties do not continue violating the Cessation of Hostilities Agreement signed on January 23.

Both President Salva Kiir and his rival Dr Riek Machar are both opposed to the deployment of Igad protection force, which is being pushed for by Kenya and Ethiopia.

Sources in Addis Ababa indicated that President  Kiir is uncomfortable with the force because he believes it will be controlled by Troika — the US, UK and Norway.

Washington is on record stating that the talks must focus on South Sudanese security sector reforms.

The US favours a peacekeeping force, while at the same time insisting that those who committed atrocities and human rights abuses from both sides must face justice.

The Troika under the US, is not happy with violation of the peace deal and insists on progressive withdrawal of Ugandan troops.

President Kiir’s supporters further argue that deployment of Igad forces will amount to installation of an interim government.

President Salva Kiir is opposed to the seven former detainees from joining the talks and  has threatened to withdraw from the talks if the Western countries insist on them taking part.

He argues that South Sudan already has the United Nations Mission in South Sudan to protect civilians.

Jervasio Okot, a South Sudan political analyst argues that the situation threatens to engulf the entire region and that Igad mediators should take a strong position to ensure that both sides do not dictate the agenda.

The complexity of the situation further emerged  early in the week when Egypt expressed interests to provide troops to South Sudan.

Egyptian President Adly al Mansour promised to send troops with the hope that South Sudan should help in the mediation with other Nile Initiative Countries on the controversial Nile Treaty.

Egypt, Sudan and South Sudan are yet to sign the new Nile Treaty.

  • The East African

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