South Sudan Government Facing Isolation!

Isolated-kiir

South Sudanese president, Salva Kiir Mayardiit, facing isolating as war flatters his government(Photo: via Nile)

June 15, 2014(Nyamilepedia) — The government of South Sudan continues to face the aftermath of a deadly coup that was alleged in December 2013. Although the world has come to terms that there was no coup in Juba, the government continues to face isolation, locally and internationally.

On Thursday, the United States of America, through the state department, came out to warn the American citizens of insecurity in the country.

“Due to security concerns,” the State Department added, “spouses and family members of US government personnel are not permitted to reside in South Sudan.”

The warning was received with mixed feelings given that a day has never gone by without fighting for the last six months.

Although the department did not share any intelligence findings with the beloved citizens, the warning hints that the US embassy will operate with only a limited number of staffs, thus, anyone who visits the oil hub nation should do so at their own peril.

“The government of South Sudan has limited capacity to deter crime or provide security to travelers anywhere in the country.” The US embassy “will continue operating at reduced staff levels for the foreseeable future.”

US evacuated the non-essential staffs in December when the conflict broke out, however, their latest report does not indicate whether the America is now opting to withdraw the essential members, who have been helping to broker peace deal between the warring factions.

American’s frustration with the slow peace process is not only witnessed in Juba but also among the mediators in Addis Ababa.

The latest peace talks meeting, on Tuesday, demonstrated intense frustrations with the South Sudanese leaders. While the IGAD as a bloc threatens to use collective sanctions and punitive actions, the executive Secretary of the Inter-Governmental Authority on Development, Mahboub Maalim, took it upon himself to describe the South Sudanese leaders as “stupids” and warmongers.

In other reports, the Ugandan president, Yoweri Museveni, the only president that has committed to defend the South Sudan’s troubled government, backed by numerous rebels groups and militias, confessed against the coup allegation in front of the IGAD Summit.

Museveni denied that there was no coup, something that has frustrated Juba the most, but just a fighting among the units of presidential guards.

This is the first time Museveni denied the coup after many difficulties that include economic downfall and isolation for defending Juba. Uganda has had shaky position in the regional bloc, IGAD, as the SPLM in Opposition objects their participation, unless on the side of South Sudan’s government delegation.

Reports from Addis Ababa convey that Museveni negotiated directly with Machar on the side of Salva Kiir, the South Sudanese president. The Ugandan president did everything he could for Salva Kiir’s government, even in the expense of alleged violations  of human rights and crime against humanity.

Museveni swiftly responded in December, while threatening to crush the rebellion within the shortest time possible, preferably within 4 days. Unexpectedly, the Ugandan army has suffered severely at the front lines.

One of the UPDF’s commanding generals was killed in Kuachdeng of Ayod county, Jonglei state in early March. Many soldiers have also been killed.  By mid April Uganda refused to help the government loyalists to restore Bentiu, the capital of Unity state, after it was overran by the SPLA in Opposition. Today, the UPDF is exhausted and looking forwards to withdraw from the strategic towns of Bor and Juba, the only towns they are defending.

Although the change is still a news to South Sudan government, Museveni has spoken enough not to be mistaken. In March, Yoweri Museveni remarked that he would resign or hang himself if his people had to be protected by the United Nation like South Sudan. The remark was downplayed by the Juba officials and the latest confession on the coup allegation is being carefully managed.

A memo that was intercepted by the South Sudan News Agency has the following quote:

“The president of Uganda acted in the IGAD meeting without consulting me. An urgent meeting needs to be held as soon as possible. I warn you not to talk against him [Museveni] or his government in the media”, the memo reads in part.

As it is known to many people, the presidential guards fought among themselves because the commander in chief, Salva Kiir Mayardit, ordered the commander of his guards to disarm the ethically Nuer soldiers; however, Dr. Machar suspects that there was a conspiracy between the two presidents because the Ugandan army was reportedly prepared and deployed two days prior to the incident.

Despite, the South Sudanese government expected the South Sudan army, the region and the international community to denounce and crush any uprising in the country. On BBC, the president was quoted saying that the moment he announces a coup, the region should immediately turn up to crush the rebels.

Contrary, the region denounced the allegation and more than 70% of the national army turned against the government. Many soldiers continue to defect or abandon their positions at multiple fronts.

Last week more than 1000 troops were reported to have abandoned their defensive position at Gadiang, Poktap, Ayod and other fronts in Jonglei state. Gadiang is the main front that protect Bor and Juba. Similar reports are also echoed in Upper Nile and Unity states.

In addition, lawmakers are resigning and fleeing the country, some have now joined the SPLM in Opposition. On 7 June, 18 members of parliament joined the SPLM in Opposition in the neighboring Kenya where Machar hosted meetings until June 6.

Other MPs, senior politicians and division 6 commander, from Northen Bahr el Ghazal have also joined Machar this month. The trend continues as the debate on Federalism hit Greater Equatoria and Greater Upper Nile region, against the will of the regime.

Regionally, South Sudan’s bilateral relations are soaring. Juba criticizes Kenya for red carpeting the opposition leader, Dr. Machar, when he visited the country. According to Salva Kiir’s spokesperson, Ateny Wek Ateny, only the president can be treated with such respect.

Similar complaints were directed to the neighboring Sudan for allowing Machar’s delegation to host meetings in the Sudanese capital. Machar is expected to meet government officials in the near future.

South Sudan’s ministry of foreign affairs, under Dr. Marial Benjamin, has been quoted demanding that it should coordinate Machar’s Khartoum visit. Juba is suspicious that the meeting may secure military support to weaken the surviving regime. The government also seeks military support from Sudan but very little has been granted so far.

South Sudan government is also facing similar isolation from the opposition parties, currently residing in Juba. SPLM-DC and USAP, which have been participating in peace talks on government delegation opt to participate independently. The SPLM-DC has secured seats, during the symposium, to lead the political parties on their own.

“It was on the basis of this understanding that SPLM-DC and USAP represented the political parties in the delegation of the Republic of South Sudan (call it the government’s delegation if you like). The participation had nothing to do with supporting or otherwise the idea of federation, because that simply did not arise.” Dr. Lam Akol

Related stories:

S.Sudan rivals are warmongers, mediators say

US warns against all travel to South Sudan

South Sudan threatens to abandon IGAD mediation

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