The Nuer Supreme Council Response to Friends of South Sudan’s claimed Lack of Neutrality of IGAD-Plus Mediation Team
By JAMES Nguen | Chairman, NSC.
August 13th, 2015(Nyamilepedia) — The Nuer Supreme Council (NSC) takes this opportunity to condemn in the strongest terms possible the unprofessional, emotionally driven and one sided reaction by the so-called Friends of South Sudan (FOSS) from East Africa Community Member States in baselessly accusing the IGAD –Plus Mediation Team of lack of neutrality in the South Sudan peace process.
To the best of our knowledge, the Friends of South Sudan is part and parcel of the IGAD –Plus Mediation Team for South Sudan. We also believe that this group was represented when the IGAD –Plus was drafting the Proposed Compromise Agreement. Therefore, the NSC can find no credible reason why the Friends of South Sudan would act as though it were not privy to the decisions of – and indeed – part of the Proposed Compromised Agreement drafting team. This leaves the probable cause of this untoward outburst as the Friends of South Sudan intentionally choosing to create a rift within the mediation team by labeling the rest of the drafting team as “no longer a neutral entity.”
This baseless reaction and unwelcome attitude is a stark reminder of the tendency of despotic African leaders’ who create a framework for betterment and then run away from such frameworks to avoid responsibility when realities kick in. In this case, the NSC thinks that the Friends of South Sudan cannot be trusted hereon in.
At the core of reaction is The Friends of South Sudan’s nonsensical accusation that the “IGAD-Plus Mediation team want the Government of South Sudan to delegate its responsibilities of searching for peace… to outsiders.” The NSC takes this blanketed accusation misleading, unjustifiable and outright fabrication. Our reasons are the following. First of all, there is presently no legitimate government of South Sudan as such. Both parties to the peace process would be the legitimate government of South Sudan when peace is signed. Second, the Juba SPLM- faction led by Salva Kiir has no responsibilities other than committing to the current Proposed Compromise Agreement. To be precise, the regime has carried out genocide against Nuer nation and it has outspent its stay in power, which amounts illegitimacy. If there were no other reason this genocide which marks an unwillingness to carry out the duty to protect its citizens is enough to mark Kiir’s regime illegitimate. In essence, the NSC would like to remind Friends of South Sudan that the previous government of South Sudan has long expired and Kiir’s regime no legitimacy whatsoever.
To prevent power vacuum, eminent constitutional crisis and total collapse of the nascent state, we urged both parties to the conflict to commit to the peace proposal and also allow credible and neutral entities like IGAD-Plus Mediation Team to serves as watchdogs to safeguard stability in the country and also facilitate the implementation of the truce, especially in the capital city Juba. In our view, this is not in any way a total takeover by IGAD –Plus Mediation Team or infringement of non-existing legitimate government. It is a humane effort to halt the disintegration of South Sudan.
Moreover, the Friends of South Sudan has also accused that the SPLM/A-IO of not being a legitimate opposition but a rebellion whose aim is to “kill people.” They said, the “rebels are people who violated the rules and must be treated like that within the republic of South Sudan.”
In this regard, the NSC finds this point truly hostile and shows the true color of Friends of South Sudan in the conflict. Thus Friends of South Sudan is clearly not a neutral body. To stress this point further, the Friends of South Sudan is supporting genocide and demonization of the Nuer in South Sudan. For it is paramount to note that the rebel in South Sudan took arms against the previous Government of South Sudan on the ground that their love ones were targeted, searched and summarily executed by President Kiir’s trained militias and paramilitary forces. On this basis, the NSC found the Friends of South Sudan’s blinded accusation against the rebel opposition to simply be thinly veiled contempt of the Nuer people and ultimately of a peaceful and harmonious South Sudan.
So much to our bewilderment, we find that the step taken by Friends of South Sudan violates the normal procession of a mediation team. It is unlikely that any impartial body in the history of mediation ever called one side of the parties it mediate to reach peace “killers and rule violators.” This further emphasizes our previous viewpoint that Friends of South Sudan is not a neutral body and should never be treated as such.
In conclusion, the NSC calls on IGAD –Plus Mediation Team and the SPLM/A factions to immediately remove Friends of South Sudan from mediating team. Their behavior is utterly in conflicts with their mandates and criterion of peace mediation. Further, should the Juba regime led by Kiir refuse to sign this Proposed Compromise Agreement comes the 17th of August 2015, it can be attributed to the disturbing behaviour showcased by the Friends of South Sudan.
The NSC should also like to warn that should Kiir`s regime refuse to sign this peace proposal, it will only strengthen the resolve of the SPLM-IO to accept weapons from allied states and remove Kiir by force, or to even succeed from South Sudan with the greater part of the resource rich Greater Upper Nile region, the homelands of the peoples that have been the victims of ethnic cleansing by the Kiir regime. The extent to which rebel resolve would gain strength is proportional to not only the loss of life the Nuer people have suffered at the hands of Kiir’s regime, but also by the rebel’s repeatedly demonstrated willingness to accept all reasonable peace proposals despite the fact that, like this current proposal, they have been far less than what the rebel and people of South Sudan deserve.
In light of the continued refusal of Kiir’s regime and his allies (which invariable includes The Friends of South Sudan) succession may be the most natural position to take to avoid incompetence, corruption, marginalization, genocidal tendencies and even the future mass killing of innocent civilians of South Sudanese by Kiir’s ruthless regime.
We also point out that an independent Greater Upper Nile would not be without its backer. There are other states that have much to gain from an independent of Upper Nile Region, particularly the Sudan, Eritrea and in time, even Ethiopia. These are some of the hard realities that will materialize if Friends of South Sudan continue to applaud and push the Kiir regime and its Dinka led faction to refuse to sign this peace proposal.
Nguen, chairman of NSC
Dr. Y. Chiek General Secretary and Research Coordinator of NSC