Tough Days For South Sudan President In New York
Sept 27, 2014(Nyamilepedia) — The South Sudan president, Salva Kiir Mayardiit, who has been delegating his vice presidents to most of the United Nation General Assemblies, at least for the last few years, has attended the 69th session of UN General Assembly in New York this year.
Unlike his visit to U.S – African Leaders Summit last month, things haven’t gone quiet well for Mayardiit in New York.
On one hand, the president was not welcomed by supporters like they did while anticipation huge demonstrations in Washington last month, however, the aggressive peace protestors had nothing to spare to see Salva Kiir free in the beautiful city of New York like his colleagues.
Given how Ugandan President Yoweri Museveni was bullied by the peace protestors outside the General Assembly on 20th for fueling the conflict in South Sudan, Salva Kiir, the main protagonist, had to hide his face from his own people, the South Sudanese Americans, who overwhelmingly voted for Self-determination in 2011.
The president was not only vulnerable to the peaceful protestors but also to the world leaders who wanted to utilize the opportunity to dump their frustrations on Salva Kiir for failing to restore calm in his country for over nine months.
The president, who often mix English with local Arabic Juba, expected hot debates, finger pointing and warnings over humanitarian crises in the devastated South Sudan and possible resolutions to end the conflict.
As predicted, although the leaders preserved over their disappointments, sharp condemnations and warnings were uttered over the deaf ears of Marial Benjamin, the Minister of foreign Affairs, who was assigned to attend on behave of Mr. Kiir.
“There was a lot of disappointment expressed in the meeting that Salva Kiir, who is New York, did not attend the meeting,” a senior State Department official told reporters.
“Several of the attendees… made a point of noting that Salva Kiir was not there,” the official added, asking not to be named.
The disappointment was stressed in the strongest terms possible, which would mean, the sanctions could be tightened around the major political players in the conflict.
“All of the parties who are involved in the negotiations have come to the conclusion that if the warring parties do not take this seriously, then we have to levy more sanctions on them,” the official said.
On Thursday, the United States’ Special Envoy, Donald Booth, reiterates their frustrations over the conflict that there would be “consequences”, however, the sanctions have to be levied proactively not to shutdown the negotiation.
“So far the focus has been on military commanders but we’re signaling … we are intending to continue utilizing the executive order in order to give those who need to negotiate the thought that the U.S. is serious, that there are consequences if this continues,” Booth said in an interview.
“We will continue to move forward on this but we want to use our sanctions in a way that doesn’t foreclose negotiations but to facilitate them,” he added.
Booth doubts that the stakeholders could finalize an agreement within the time frame of 45 days, however, the Envoy expect the negotiators to come up with the nature, scope or the shape and the functions of a transitional government.
“More importantly what is really needed in this 45-day period is to come up with the nature, scope or the shape, as well as the functions of what the transitional government will do,” Booth said.
Similar frustrations were aired by the UN Secretary General, Ban ki Moon, despite the no-show of Salva Kiir, the president of the war-torn South Sudan.
“The secretary-general expressed deep concern about the security and humanitarian situation in South Sudan,” Ban’s spokesman told reporters here. “He called for the immediate cessation of hostilities, emphasizing that there cannot be a military solution to the conflict.”
According to Ban’s spokeman, the Secretary General stresses that the fate of South Sudan lies with the country’s leaders, emphasizing that the South Sudanese need peace.
” While UNMISS and humanitarian actors would focus on immediate, life-saving activities, the secretary-general noted that the fate of South Sudan ultimately lies with the country’s leaders. The people of South Sudan deserve peace, as well as commitment from their leaders,” said the spokesman.
On the other hand, the South Sudan president, is troubled by the collapsing bilateral relations with the right hand partner, Yoweri Museveni, who has fought bitterly in defense of Salva Kiir’s government.
While the forces of the two leaders clashes at Moyo, a town that is currently disputed at the border of Uganda-South Sudan, Salva Kiir government has issued a decree on 15th September to expel foreign workers, mostly Ugandans from South Sudan.
While Yoweri Museveni has punished elements in his government that include his sacked Prime Minister for overreacting to Salva Kiir government’s policy, Juba may implement the policy despite backtracking last week.
Like many other policies, Kiir’s government remain in confusion as some officials that include Dr. Marial Benjamin deny the decrees as others approves it, a dilemma that bothers Many Ugandans and Kenyans.
Museveni’s government on the other hand is closing ties with the SPLM/SPLA that the Ugandans have fiercely fought for the last 10 months.
Following diplomatic talks in Uganda between Museveni’s and Machar’s delegations, the opposition have established a new chapter in Kampala, Uganda, something that Salva Kiir’s government never expect.
Juba has been issuing tough warning to Sudanese government for allowing the opposition to hold conferences in their capital, Khartoum, however, the rebels are now taking over the backyard in Kampala, Uganda.
As seen in the latest discussions between the regional leaders in New York, president Salva Kiir sits at the tail of a new friend, the Ethiopian Prime Minister, Hailemariam Desalegn , at least for now that the peace talks are progressing in Bahir Dar, Ethiopia.
The regional leaders were well received by Barack Obama and lauds by Ban ki Moon for their roles in South Sudan and Somalian’s conflicts.
For Hailemariam Desalegn and Uhuru Kenyatta, who recently came to power through narrowed opportunities, the recognitions carried their days.
Back home in South Sudan, president Salva Kiir is receiving many bad updates. While Machar’s forces are closing in on the remaining oil fields in Upper Nile state, the security of president’s home region is deteriorating.
While dogs killed nearly a dozen, according to online Sudan Tribune two days ago, major inter-communal feuds have claimed more than 50 lives in Tonj counties of Salva Kiir’s Warrap state within this month.
According to Sudan Tribune there has been more than 500 separate dog attacks on residents in Rumbek, and while 40 people are undergoing treatment, 9 are reportedly killed by the dogs.
Security concerns and anti-government mobilizations in Lake and Northern Bahr el Ghazal states are also trending.