ONLY DIRECT TALK CAN RETURN PEACE TO SOUTH SUDAN:

By Peter Kleto,

Opinion.

The photo IGAD secretariats and members on tweets web site.

The photo IGAD secretariats and members on tweets web site.

September 15, 2014(Nyamilepedia) — South Sudan has been plunged into civil war due to disagreement in the top leadership of the SPLM party. The disagreement on the wording of the four basic SPLM documents, the constitution, the Manifesto, the code of conduct and rules and regulations and how the theory can be implemented practically led to the disunity within the SPLM hence leading to its paralysis and to the extend where we are now at. The peace talks medicated by IGAD started in January 2014 with the signing of cessation of hostilities which in actual sense did not materialize as there war was ongoing and accusations and counter-accusations on each other by the warring parties was frequent.

For those who have been closely following up the peace talks in the Ethiopian Capital, Addis ababa, you may agree that IGAD member states were and are still engage in trying to bring the conflict to an end once and for all. The various committees under the auspices of the African Union such as Peace and Security Commission, the AU Assembly which forms the legislative body of the African Union is also working hand in hand with the IGAD countries to try to find a peaceful solution to the conflict in question; because south Sudan is an inseparable part of the African continent and is a member states of the African Union.

Let me say here that the goal that IGAD is being playing is great and the two parties should also be congratulated for taking the initiative to present themselves to the negotiating table in Addis Ababa despite the anger that they may have in their hearts. In the same way, IGAD has also been seen playing the role of a negotiator as seen from recent document which was full of flaws showing it was not negotiated by the two parties. The document was prepared in unknown location and then presented to the leaders for signature. Where is the spirit of mediation and negotiation here?

Historically, South Sudanese are well known for handling their conflicts by themselves and I am sure if the two sides were to be engage in direct talk, this conflict could have ended since January 2014 and more suffering and bloodshed could have been avoided a long time ago. The following are some of the suggestions for the peace talk:

  1. IGAD should play the true role of a mediator and not negotiator
  2. The two warring parties should engage in direct talk
  3. IGAD, the AU and the international community should encourage the warring to compromise

Without engaging in direct talk, south Sudan should not expect peace to return soon as most of the outsiders are just for their interest and not for the interest of South Sudanese. It is only South Sudanese who can truly feel the pain of what is happening in the country. Some of us are hoping that the current negotiation in Bahir Dar, Ethiopia will bring us joy and peace and not sorrow. It is very important for the two delegations to think for the interest of the people and to rise above their personal interest as south Sudan is bigger than each one of us.

In conclusion, it is shameful for us to be fighting each other when we have been fighting for democracy, freedom, justice, equality for close to 200 years and we should expect others to laugh at us because our leaders have just forgotten the true mission of the liberation struggle for other things. We need a country where every citizen is equal, a country where all are happy and are proud of, a country where  you can freely pursue happiness without thinking of being killed, intimidated or harassed, a country that sees all of us as South Sudanese and children of one flag and not on our little ethnic groups.

I hope the delegations look at this matter deeply and come back to their various destinations with peace.

Thank you.

Peter Kleto can be reached at ecenecaprograms@gmail.com

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