Give Sword a Chance or Compensate the ‘Nuer’ with Power in Order for a Just and Lasting Peace to Rain in South Sudan
By Paul Tethloach Dak
Oct 14, 2014(Nyamilepedia) — The United Nations secretary-general, Ban Ki-moon on 27th September 2014 while addressing the world body; “Called on both rival leaders in South Sudan to end the ongoing conflict, and also urged them to heal the wounds they have opened that caused so much suffering to the people of South Sudan”.
His Excellency: I agree with you that this senseless war Salva Kiir has introduced must come to an end. Nevertheless, I don’t get it right whether the world’s highest body stands firm to its missions and mandates to safeguard all nations on equal basis. Unless behind the news, since the time of Juba massacre committed on innocent Nuer civilians in December 2013, instead of single condemnation, you rather called on Uganda government to intervene into South Sudan crises. Indeed, your call gives Yori Museveni a boost and impunity to execute his desires of fighting Riek Machar whom he badly hates for reasons only known to him, and until now Yori Museveni gets away with the blood of innocent Nuers unquestionably. Where is justice from the world’s highest office of yours? Yori Museveni even used banned cluster bombs against civilians whom were in the march towards Juba to bury their slaughtered countrymen/women, and yet the world keeps silent.
His Excellency: Have you not contributed to these open wounds, and so be part of leaders to heal them too? Had it not been that you called for Uganda intervention the Juba government would have been defeated since January 2014, and all human lost incurred from both sides after January 2014 could not perished.
His Excellency: We need peace as South Sudanese people but the due process should be genuine, free and transparent from external influences and interests. A genuine peace which prevails by excavating out the truth of the root causes of the conflict, what went wrong and by whom?
His Excellency: In Rwanda after Hutu ethnic group massacred Tutsi ethnic group, peace only prevailed in that part of the world when lives of innocent Tutsi were compensated by granting them power through Paul Kigame as the president. Assumed if the world had insisted that a leader would have come from Hutu (genocides), I am very sure peace would precipitate in a thin air at the said country.
Likewise; in South Africa, though Mandela spent 27 years in prison and his people (Black indigenous) were subjected to enormous sufferings, but after being released from jail and having been compensated with power he (Madiba) managed to lead his people through peace and democracy path. Mandela managed to tell his country men/women to desist from hates, and avenges. Instead; embrace the need for peace to unit as people of South Africa. Assumed if the world had insisted that a leader would have come from Boers or Apartheid, I am very sure peace would precipitate in a thin air at the said country. And Mandela whom we honored as an icon for peace would have been named differently. Same theories credited to Gandhi of Indian as a man fought for peace!
A top US diplomat Mr. Stephen Rapp, said that; “South Sudanese people need accountability for crimes committed during the last 10 months of the conflict if the country is to realize meaningful peace and national healing.”
His Excellency (United Nations secretary-general): I totally agree with the above top US diplomat that certain individuals will bear accountability for crimes they have committed, and I think you will shoulder some of these accountabilities too because your message of intervention has granted the president of Uganda to kill so many Nuers.
Now the most lingering question is; are the Nuers have been compensated enough for the lost of thousands of their people inflicted upon them by Salva Kiir and Yori Museveni? If not otherwise, will a fake transitional government leads by the same killer machine (Salva Kiir Mayerdiit) quench Nuer’s bitterness in forgiving their brothers? Let’s the world body be the judge in this aspects.
Next coming round of Peace talk between both rival leaders:
Eyes of so many South Sudanese people around the globe are looking up on Addis Ababa, Ethiopia for next round of peace talk between rival parties’ leaders hoping this day around something tangible/ fruitful at least will come out. But if one takes a look from clearer broaden lens he/she may agree with me that it’s just another round of talk for the sake of talks, and far from reaching a lasting peace. Given all the surrounding elements and modalities such as power sharing and security arrangement, it’s not easy to convince a sound minded analyst that a breakthrough is short forth coming.
Yes, Dr.Machar will come to the negotiating table smiling and holding olive branch tree hoping to bring peace. On the other hand; any talks asking for relinquishing of Kiir’s power is a “Red line” as Kiir has already drawn this line.
Sudan Tribune website on 6th October 2014 published an article by the Nuer Youth leader calling on international community to exclude Salva Kiir from interim government for having had massacred thousands of Nuer ethnic people in December 2013, or else appealed on South Sudanese to unite behind the rebellion leads by former vice-president Dr.Riek Machar to force Salva Kiir to step down. This message from the Nuer Youth leader is what is in the hearts and interest of many Nuers, but will Salva kiir comply with it? Only rattles of guns will force Kiir to step down.
On the same note, and on the same Sudan Tribune website, a group called itself South Sudanese Youth on the 7th October 2014 rejected the participation of both rival leaders from participation in the interim government suggesting that their participation will likely plunge the country back into war again in future.
Indeed, conflict is too costly in terms of human and materials lost apart from under development it projects to the nation. In this article I want to share my view in the light of how one would like to see this South Sudan conflict ended.
Contrary to the proposals made by both youth groups, none of the rival leaders will agree to step aside. For instance; Salva Kiir bearing the fact that he has massacred thousands of Nuer will not heed with any calls excluding him from any government. He called it “Red line.” Because if he does step down, it will be like he made a direct walk to ICC house. Likewise; Dr. Riek Machar will not concede to renounce his rebellion while seeing Salva Kiir grasping on power.
From this simple logical understanding both rival leaders will remain the prime key players in the interim government. But let’s try to examine this transitional government structures and its functions, and will it truly help South Sudanese people in restoring trust and confident among themselves.
Interim Government and its Implications:
Now, let’s assume both rival leaders coming next meeting will be pressured by international community to agree on a 50%-50% power share deal in order to form an interim government. Is it practical to run this transitional government effectively without plunging the country into further violent when two elephants have enough forces under their separate commands? Will coward Salva Kiir agrees to work handy with Dr. Machar with strong army forces under the later overall commands? I don’t think so! For instance; Machar’s forces will not agree to be integrated by SPLA-Juba based faction, and the same is true that Salva Kiir’s forces will not agree to be integrated by SPLA-IO faction. This is being one of the stumble blocks for achieving the peace deal, what is the best mechanism to handle this hotly security arrangement?
With these loggerheads awaiting both parties of how to integrate/combine their forces, the international community may try to craft a sustainable formula by keeping both rival forces separate until the expiration date of interim government. For instance; Salva Kiir loyalists may be forced to station in only Greater Bar el Ghazal region, and Dr Machar loyalists be forced to station only in Greater Upper Nile region. Is this a win-win arrangement? Well, I am not convinced with this formula because allowing both rival armies being stationed separately while supplying them logistically with all that the army needed in terms of weapons, money, trainings and etc…is like preparing them for further bloody military engagement in the near future should their leaders at Juba fall short in resolving some of contentious political issues.
In other words, a simple dispute between both rival leaders during programs/policies implementation is unlikely to be resolved within good political spirit with both leaders hoping of their well equipped forces. This arrangement will not spare the country from further violent; instead will make both forces stronger and susceptible to clashes in no time.
Let’s craft another formula by demilitarizing both rival forces at their bases, and handover the security of the country to United Nations, then, the question becomes: Is the sovereignty of the country still holding? Would the two rival factions agree with such an arrangement? And in case they agree, then, what if there happen to be an external invasion on South Sudan land, would the United Nations can defend all the South Sudan territorial integrity?
ICC and its Implications:
Given all the forth mentioned scenarios, it’s likely that none of the formula will save the country from plunging back to another bloody civil war. As a result; the international community may try to play a smart card by luring the main rival leaders to sign an agreement that gives each of them 40%-40% power share, while rendering the remaining 20% share to other political parties and former political detainees.
With this arrangement the world’s body will make sure a post of one or two deputy prime Ministries are created. In this calculus, the world will attach an imaginary ICC package upon president, and prime minister. I called it imaginary ICC package because at the time of signing this agreement neither mediators nor the international community peace brokers will talk about ICC. But somewhere down the transitional period, the ICC issue will pop-up asking both president and prime minister to answer some of the accusations that their forces has had committed atrocities during the war. Through ICC package, the world community will trap both rival leaders, and with the above hierarchy or structure the deputy prime minister will be uplifted into becoming the head of the government. Once either leaders or both are indicted by ICC, the newly emerged leader with the support of international community will embark on policies of unifying all the former rival forces. However, the question will remain as: Are these once to be rival factions will cooperate with the new head of state after their loyal bosses are indicted by ICC?
In a nutshell; the only way of bringing a lasting peace in South Sudan is to either compensate the Nuer with power or gives sword a chance. Like many peace loving people I would like to see the country back at peace but with fake agreement the country will likely to bleed again. One may argue that neither of the warring parties will win this war militarily hence it takes 10 months. But the universal fact is in any war there must be final winner. It doesn’t matter whether it will end in 12 months or 12 years yet there will be winner. Since the time this senseless war sparked, the SPLM-IO has not been supplied with any military equipment, and had they have been armed the conflict would have been resolved military long ago.
In other words; the party that is knocked down will bury its head down on the grave. It’s only after the defeat when a just, sustainable and lasting peace will reign. Only it through the military decisive victory that will protect the leader whom his forces won the battle field from the court of ICC like in the case of Omer al Bashir of Sudan.
Eng. Paul Tethloach Dak is a freedom fighter, but views aired on this article represent the sole opinion of the writer. He can be reach at: email@example.com