IGAD Mediation and the Avoidance of the Core Issues in the Conflict!

By Gatwang Joak Kuoth

Opinion.

South Sudan rebel delegation holds talks with IGAD mediators on December 27, 2013(Photo: PSCU)

South Sudan rebel delegation holds talks with IGAD mediators on December 27, 2013(Photo: PSCU)

August 13, 2014(Nyamilepedia) — IGAD Mediation in the current conflict in South Sudan has now gone into its 9th month with no light being seen at the end of the tunnel. This is because the mediators have run out of ideas and have avoided the core issues on the conflict. Some IGAD countries themselves have contravened the moral obligations that are expected of them particularly the issue of impartiality. For example Museven, hearing of the impending crisis in South Sudan rushed his UPDF army to Juba and Bor to defend Kiir’s administration. Museveni, as a member of IGAD should have taken a more positive statesman and brotherly action by asking both Kiir and Dr. Machar to exercise restraint and meet them personally.

But as they say, the power of the purse is above everything else; the Ugandan President ignored his responsibility of remaining impartial. This is no wonder for Kiir is sitting on billions of oil dollars that he defrauded from the people of South Sudan and that he must use to bribe dollar-loving African leaders in order to stay in power. For Museveni that was a golden opportunity to seize. Museveni threw out the window the principles of neutrality and impartiality that informed IGAD Organization. One thing that IGAD mediators are aware of but are shy to challenge is the covert efforts being made by President Kiir and his friends in East Africa to undermine the IGAD mediation through what the perpetuators called the ‘Northern Corridor’. Leaders of this so-called Northern Corridor held several meetings in Kampala and Nairobi to the exclusion of some IGAD members. What is this corridor for? Is it for fighting Dr. Machar or for looting the resources of South Sudan?

Another fatal mistake that the IGAD Mediators committed was their avoidance of the core issues that brought about the conflict. IGAD mediators should have listened to the views of South Sudanese as to why the conflict broke out in the first place. For the information of the IGAD mediators, president Kiir is sitting on a murderous and corrupt administration that has killed thousands of South Sudanese in cold blood and has defrauded public resources to the tune of $4 billion. Worst still Kiir runs what he calls a government of South Sudan, but if you look carefully into its composition, over 65% are from Dinka and the remaining 35% from other tribes. Remember there are over 65 tribes in South Sudan! All the ministers that control the army, police, security, economy and other essential service sectors are from Dinka.

In the army the Chief of General Staff and his Assistants are Dinka. The Inspector General of Police and his Assistant are Dinka. The Director General of Prisons, the Director General of Wildlife and that of Fire Brigade, the Internal Security Director, the Director of CID and Military Intelligence are all Dinka. The corrupt practices of President Kiir are beyond comprehension. If you go further and look at the heads of the Commissions, the Elections Commission, Constitutional Review Commission, Revenue Authority, Governor of the Central Bank and Census and Statistics Commission, are Dinka. The Chief Justice and his Deputy are Dinka. 90% of South Sudan Ambassadors are Dinka. Can such a state be stable and viable? This is why I said earlier let the IGAD mediators take the bull by the horns and make bold decisions to discuss the core issues surrounding the conflict. Apart from this action IGAD mediators will be wasting valuable time and donor’s money on an issue they know they can not resolve.

The threats made by Kiir that there are red lines not to be jumped by the IGAD, when trying to find solutions to the problem, are comical. He has no red lines. By the way President Kiir lost his legitimacy in the two weeks he has murdered in cold blood his voters which are now estimated to be over 10,000 dead. So he has no ethics and moral aptitude to threaten anybody. Let us just take out the hen from its nasty roosting nest and allow credible South Sudanese leaders to put back the young nation on the path of civilized nations.

The author is a concerned South Sudanese in Diaspora and can be reached at gatwangjoak@gmail.com

 

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