The SPLM/A – IO’s Lonely Burden
By Deng Vanang,
Jan 05, 2015(Nyamilepedia) —- One image, a cartoon drawn by one Danny in The Daily Nation Mirror Newspaper of 30th December in Juba, 2015, caught my curious eyes among other prints.
The cartoon depicted SPLM/A-IO’s soldier carrying peace in form of a luggage on his head while he threw a way an AK47 rifle behind him a few meters nearby.
No body offered a helping hand to SPLM/A-IO in its noble endeavor of carrying peace. And neither was anybody making efforts to lift the peace burden off his head. It is only and only SPLM/A –IO’s business alone that peace burden and nobody else.
The cartoon in itself implicitly appreciates SPLM/A-IO’s commitment to peace while questions its partner, SPLM/A- In – Government’s seriousness on peace the former is carrying with all the gusto.
Joining Danny in his well-placed concern is one of my most loyal readers of my weekly column on Nyamilepedia website who goes by his pen name Gatdarwic.
In his comment on my last week column entitled: Pre-interim period and All It Entails, he blasted me for being fooled by both Festus Mogae and Troika. But fortunately fell short of declaring me as compromised by cash laden Mogae and Troika.
As known to most of us, Mogae is the head of JMEC in the Transitional Government of National Unity arrangements, both IGAD and Troika tasked with South Sudan’s peace implementation.
Troika is the tripartite bilateral institution composed of United States, Britain and Norway that foots larger portion of the bill of the IGAD – sponsored South Sudan’s peace process and its implementation.
All in separate locations and probably unknown to each, the two gentlemen’s pessimism widely reflects what general public think of peace and how it is going through thick and thin. Although the two major parties to peace process belt – out the opposite, a more reconciliatory and optimistic tone.
But what is more important in their collective opinion is that the two gentlemen dwelled on the actions of the two peace partners than what they say. Similarly they indirectly analogized peace to a dance in the party that takes two to tango to materialize far from what is going on here in South Sudan.
Nothing, to be precise, is authenticating the concerns of the two than the law of nature that what always reflects the true feelings of someone about something it is what he does than what he says about it.” Actions don’t lie but words do, natural law concludes’’.
If desperate actions to undo peace are anything to go by, just reflect on the recent events and those that are likely to follow.
During the day of signing peace in Addis Ababa, President Kiir stormed out of the venue screaming not to sign peace unless he consulted with his people back in Juba, while SPLM/A-IO’s Machar and Pagan Amum of Former Detainees Faction did.
Albert the fact that all knew including him when he was leaving Juba for Addis was going to be the last round for peace talks to be signed.
Accompanied with warnings of possible sanctions for failure to sign peace from international community, President Kiir finally succumbed with a number of reservations attached to condition of appending signature.
Lacking time and interest to return to Addis, East African Heads of state had to sacrifice busy schedules and valuable resources to come to one man in Juba to sign peace he clearly objected, if his statement that peace is neither Holy Bible nor Quran not to be tempered with is anything to be taken seriously.
More compounding to follow his forced signature was the formation of 28 states by fragmenting the already existing 10 states in the country to the wild out cry of the international community but without action to follow till now.
Immediately smarting on the foot step of 28 states’ formation was his dissolution of SPLM party’s governing structures which constitutes yet another violation of a certain complementary peace pact to Compromise Peace Agreement, CPA.
That pact is the Arusha SPLM party internal agreement signed in the Tanzanian town of Arusha as brokered by Tanzanians with the support of South Africans.
Currently SPLA-In-Government is raining bombs on SPLA-IO’s designated cantonment areas with helicopter gunships meant to prevent rebel army from assembling lest to organize for peace implementation and come to Juba including other states’ capitals.
Coupled with SPLM/A – IG’s troops build up in Juba as more military ordinance rolled in instead of evacuating to 25 miles away to the dictate of the peace agreement implementation.
SPLM/A – IO‘s first advance team’s coming to Juba is as well an eventful adventure. SPLM/A-IG obstructed its coming over timing and statistics until IGAD and Troika broke the impasse.
Four days later before the aching heels of the advance team’s members cooled in Juba, Kiir rubbed the hot pepper on the blisters by appointing 28 Governors and swearing them into office in full public glare and in an open contempt of the international community.
Proceeding actions greeting the gubernatorial appointments from those entrusted with peace implementation on the side of SPLM/A-IG in words and deeds speak for themselves. Chief of General Staff, General Paul Malong Awan was quick to hug and congratulate President Kiir on appointing the 28 Governors against the stark odds.
Defense Minister, Honorable Kuol Manyang Juuk drenched in his own sweat in grey suits and tie among joyous crowds thronging John Garang’s Mausoleum was busy mobbing the newly appointed and festoons draped Governor of Jonglei, Philip Aguer Panyang.
The latter, Aguer, was the SPLA-IG’s official spokesman the time he was assigned to the new political office. The gubernatorial appointments bared to all the doubting Thomases the true feelings of those prominent SPLM/A – IG officials’ unwillingness to give peace a chance.
All their hands they devoted to hugging and mobbing one another in streams of congratulations, for personal short term gains far from being engrained in posterity, could have been used to carrying peace high up together with SPLM/A-IO.
Instead, found themselves egoistically bolstered amidst hired ecstatic crowds that sang their voices hoarse and danced themselves lame to their masters’ thrilling tone of war cry away from legally instituted Compromise Peace Agreement as current supreme law of the land in Addis Ababa back in August.
To the dismay of the watchful local populace and global community, both the duped crowds and strong headed bosses have depicted themselves as nothing but a bunch of outlaws rumbling in their own jungle of lawlessness.
Finally, the words the same government’s anti – peace crusaders feared to say with their lips point blank got an opportunity to be lent out to SPLM/A-IO’s defectors. Who in broad daylight on 4th of January arrived in Juba to the usually deafening ululations from similar cast of hired crowds.
Mouthful with venomous words of bitterness due to Nuer community’s roundly rejection while brimming with energy they ill-acquired from government – sponsored accommodation in five star hotels in down town Nairobi, the paranoid defectors landed excruciating punches on Troika as their punching bag.
The Troika’s only sin, is why bringing peace to war torn country that could have been brought forth by South Sudanese themselves. Quite same old story of Africans solving their own problems which severally failed due to the known abject lack of statesmanship.
For African politicians only mastered the art of making money from the West’s dollar funded peace talks as their innocent people continue to die mercilessly from the intractable conflicts of their own making. Home-grown evidences attesting to this reality can be availed as follows:
First South – North’s Addis Ababa peace agreement of 1972 as brokered by the revered Ethiopian Emperor, Haile Selassie couldn’t survive typical African realpolitik of field marshal Gaafar Mohammed Numeri in 1983.
Second South – North’s Khartoum Peace Agreement of 1997 followed the same tragedy of African maxim: Africans solving their own problems.
Third South – North’s peace talks under the auspices of IGAD took a decade old until the benevolent West prevailed through Comprehensive Peace Agreement in 2005.
Then tell me if I’m short of memory where such maxim succeeded since time immemorial from North to South, West to East and heart of African continent. Have a blessed year of 2016.
Deng Vanang, member of SPLM/-IO’s advance team in Juba. To be reached at:firstname.lastname@example.org