The Fallacy of One Sided Peace Process
By Deng Vanang,
Jan 22, 2016(Nyamilepedia) —– Peace is the middle ground where two warring parties meet to agree. Each has to let go some of its cardinal principles in order to accommodate another’s in what mediators called give and take principle. Most importantly, its terms and conditions address the root causes of the conflict and forge a way forward.
Legal procedures in peace agreement on compensation to pay back victims for damages done against them and their property are clearly spelled out. Deemed aggressors are then served with rehabilitative than retributive justice in competent court of law.
Such due process serves as the deterrence measure lest the same intentional wrong is repeated in future. On similar footing, the aggressed feels right is might and not the other way around with magnanimity to forgive the past.
Although in South Sudan against this background, many are still mulling over the contradictions now so prevalent in IGAD’s mediated peace process and its struggling implementation. Along the course of persecuting the imposed war on it down to opened peace negotiations, SPLM/A – IO made more than enough concessions for sake of peace which SPLM/A – IG never considered. If anything, IG is known for drawing its series of redlines beyond which negotiations couldn’t proceed while IO has none from the start till now.
Dr. Riek Machar and IO fought off Salva Kiir’s stage managed coup, the whole world including his friend Yoweri Museveni, denied having ever taken place, but false pretext to tighten nuts and bolts on the foreseen loosened grips on power. Which followed his armed ethnic goons descending on innocent Nuers in their thousands in door to door ethnic cleansing.
Machar and a dozen of sympathetic soldiers slipped through Kiir’s dragnet to the thick bushes while meeting on their way with members of the Nuer white army in a rash rescue mission to Juba. At Mongalla, they were stopped in their trek by international community from reaching Juba so that more reprisal killings were not committed.
With negotiations started in earnest that returned the survivors to their genocider in Transitional Government of National Unity, TGONU for another three years. Except in South Sudan and not anywhere in the world where a regime has survived its genocide. That is far more exceedingly and painful experience to say the least.
Another traumatic experience Machar lost his power base, Upper Nile to archrival, Salva Kiir in 40% and 46% power sharing respectively. Kiir remained in control of Greater Bhar El Ghazal and Equatoria by taking 85% in each of the seven states that make the two regions while Machar took a paltry 15% in each state of both regions.
Impeded peace implementation
Security arrangements which normally form the basis of peace implementation anywhere in the world face their major setbacks SPLM/A-IG must be squarely blamed for. While international community in connivance sheepishly looks the other way as if no violations were happening under its nose by SPLM-IG.
As usual and interestingly, international community is looking out for a slight stumble by IO to equate with that of IG’s elephant in the room in order to make its balance blame game.
Government has grossly failed to redeploy troops to 25 miles radius outside Juba and other state capitals while instead is amassing more troops and arms.
That makes it impossible for Machar to come with agreed force of joint police and army to Juba for IO’s designated cantonment areas, where such force should first assemble and organize, are under constant barrage of government’s firepower.
Yet Machar is blamed for what is widely considered as government’s fault by not coming to Juba where TGONU should be formed without new constitution and inauguration of re-constituted parliament whose process government deliberately sabotaged with subsequent tactical delays.
This is without pointing out the obvious wrong that putting the cart before the horse by Machar’s coming to Juba before constitutional amendments are done that could incorporate peace agreement into new constitution and new parliament inaugurated, as an act that clearly contravenes terms and conditions as stipulated in Compromise Peace Agreement, CPA.
Leave alone being an alleged assassination plan by the government to finish the unfinished business of 15th December, 2013 in connivance with some members of international community that urge him to come to Juba without the required protection of his forces.
Forming government minus laws to guide and regulate its functions and operations is more akin to the installation of military junta in South Sudan headed by self-styled Field marshal, Kiir who can do anything as usual as he so wishes far from the mission of rectifying his excesses against which CPA is made possible.
IO’s rightful refusal to open already closed peace for further renegotiations for the government to accommodate 28 states and earlier stated 50 reservations is equated to the former’s peace implementation violations.
Well placed concern is that further renegotiations on hitherto signed terms of peace, shall in the long run water down peace and render it null and void with each original term replaced with new one, consequently making no peace left to be implemented.
Besides the fact that newly introduced 28 states, apart from original 10 states up on which peace agreement is anchored, shall completely alter already allocated power sharing percentages and usher in new rigorous negotiations between government and other political parties including IO in the states.
With government already sternly telling IO there is no review of 28 states down ward but upward by increasing them. Either deduction or increment of 28 states is not an issue even if it means transforming 79 counties to 79 states, but the crux of the matter is that solution to break the impasse must lie with respecting land boundaries as from first January 1956 which the 28 states have flagrantly interfered with.
Anything short of such solution, is purely futile move to create more intractable communal conflicts than the tractable political one now on hand the world is trying to bring to an amicable end in South Sudan.
Apart from being the callous strategy of lulling unsuspecting people into sleep under the net of false peace fraught with likely evidences of unravelling anytime which will cause more deaths, destruction and agony unleashed by the same unrelenting and dangerously armed perpetrators of December 15th 2013.
Deng Vanang is journalist and author to be reached at:email@example.com