Will IGAD-led Initiatives Ever Brings A Meaningful Peace?

By Bang Teny Wang,

Opinion.

President Uhuru Kenyatta, Salva Kiir and Museveni in a parallel meeting on Friday, August 23, 2014(photo: Uhuru)

President Uhuru Kenyatta, Salva Kiir and Museveni in a parallel meeting on Friday, August 23, 2014(photo: Uhuru)

Nov 03, 2014(Nyamilepedia) — East African regional body, the IGAD stepped in to stop what SPLM Juba faction called an attempted coup. Well, what could have prevented lost of lives have been hijacked by certain leaders within the region whose interest lies outside of the South Sudanese civil war. One outstanding example is the Ugandan president who responded by deploying troops prematurely against the aggrieved party. While the coup attempt becomes a story, we have a very shaky Cessation of Hostility Agreement which was signed in January this year. It is shaky in that some important component of that agreement was to withdraw foreign forces from South Sudan. As of today, Uganda is even sending more reinforcement in support of Salva Kiir Mayardit. This is something that the mediators should hold either Kiir or Yoweri Museveni of Uganda responsible but it looks like ‘it was signed, so let move on to next stage.’

Personally, I am of the opinion that IGAD will fail due to the following reasons:

1) IGAD mediators were not partial when it comes to what ought to be done, they are directed by heads of states of which Museveni, and Mayardit are also members. One would simply conferred that there would not be justice on Dr. Riek Machar Teny because neither Kenya, Ethiopia, or Sudan would fit in his shoes to explain what had actually transpired prior to December 15, 2013.

2) South Sudan conflict has turned out to be used as an opportunity to bribe corrupt officials to create more instability in the region so that the few in Juba fattened their pockets. There are hundreds of thousand of South Sudanese suffering from hunger, curable diseases and other Mayardit’s made humanitarian crisis while South Sudan is buying modern weapons with millions of dollars.

International organizations should ask their respective donors to put more pressure on Juba so that it helps its own citizens as well. An excuses that there is no money or that those who are in United Nations Protection Sites are rebels are rubbish.

3) Mayardit being recognized by IGAD does compromise the neutrality of the mediators.

4) The OIL: South Sudan oil tops the lists of special interest that some quarters in the region are indirectly fighting over. As long as the world allows its sale in the market, Juba and its allies would be reluctant to accept any deal which would eliminate their ownership monopoly.

5) Failure of IGAD to address the root cause of the conflict. As survivor myself, I would like the root cause of massacre honestly addressed. Anything short of that is a waste of time and resources including human capitals.

6) IGAD leaders fear to complicate one of their colleagues: It is crystal clear that certain individuals feared working against Mayardit for that may backfired at home. So they insisted on keeping someone who has admitted to murdering 10 thousand people. I do strongly believe that taking one life away is a crime and that perpetrator should be punished not rewarded.

Ways Forward:

IGAD Must:
1) Listen to the crying voices of the victims and survivors and tell Mayardit that South Sudanese do not want him any more. Period.
2) Address how best peace and reconciliation can be established.
3) Come clean and be partial. It is just too weird for some leaders to be mediators while at the same time fighting an actual war in support of one side of the warring parties.
4) Value the lives of South Sudanese not positions
5) Fully support democratic reforms as proposed by SPLM in Opposition using federal System of governance
6) Incorporate plans to compensate victims
7) Live up to the commitment agreed up earlier
8) Leave South Sudanese Pounds alone, please!

The author can be reached at bangteny@yahoo.ca