South Sudan Solution: Proposal for Local Peace Effort to supplement the IGAD Initiative

By Kon Reech,

Archbishop Dr. Daniel Deng (center) with other bishops and clergy plus traditional chiefs at the Peace & Reconciliation Conference in Juba held on September 2-4, 2010(Photo: ECS)

Archbishop Dr. Daniel Deng (center) with other bishops and clergy plus traditional chiefs at the Peace & Reconciliation Conference in Juba held on September 2-4, 2010(Photo: ECS)

August 30, 2014(Nyamilepedia) — We have been following the IGAD-sponsored South Sudan Peace talks very carefully for the last eight months, but with nothing to show for all the efforts exerted thus far by the Parties and the Mediators. There are various underpinning reasons for this snail-pace negotiation; however, it is not the focus of this proposal to narrate them.While average South Sudanese are aware of the interests of the warring parties, what they may not know is that the IGAD Countries have opposing interests on the country making it difficult to resolve the problem.

The interest of Uganda is to keep the status quo; Kenya wants its G-10 to lead South Sudan; Ethiopia is banking on Machar as the best candidate for the country due to pressure of the Ethiopian Nuer in that country while the Republic of Sudan holds a drum of gasoline fanning and fueling the war as it takes attention away from Abyei and border discussions. The victims are South Sudanese and not the IGAD Countries. Therefore, it is time for South Sudanese to start seeing with two eyes!

With the inevitable failure of IGAD to bring the warring parties face-to-face to negotiate peace, the onus is now on President Salva Kiir and Rebel leader Riek Machar to bring peace to the people of South Sudan as only two of them are capable of taking us out this unfortunate vortex of misery. In order for our two leaders to bring peace, it is now time to propose a supplementary peace effort using South Sudanese apparatus. We need to use our tradition methods of conflict resolution which involves ourselves.

I would like to propose that four (4) Paramount Chiefs from Dinka communities, four (4) Paramount Chiefs from the Nuer Communities, four (4) Paramount Chiefs from Equatoria States, four (4) Senior Bishops, Pastors, and Muslim Clerks and four (4) senior politicians (retired or active) to be constituted to meet President Kiir and Riek Machar to address the political problem in the country.

We know from experience that South Sudanese political problems have always been resolved through South Sudanese efforts. There are examples to this effect. The problem between SPLM/A and Anya Nya II was resolved by efforts of South Sudanese themselves in 1987; the split of 1991 was resolved by South Sudanese themselves in 2002; the Juba Peace between the then Government of Southern Sudan and Paulino Matip group was negotiated by South Sudanese themselves in 2006; as well as the most recent one-David Yau Yau rebellion-was resolved by South Sudanese themselves in 2014.

We know that when we sit down as people of South Sudan, we tell the truth, blame each other, unite and move forward. We cannot continue to condone the death of our people while we anticipate the impossible to happen from outside the country. The people that are dying are not the people of IGAD, they are the people of South Sudan and both President Kiir and Dr. Riek have legal and moral responsibility to bring peace to the people of this country.

Author is Kon Reech and can be reached at konreech1985@gmail.com

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