Kiir, Machar signed peace deal to evade sanctions: Atlantic Council

South Sudan’s President, Salva Kiir (R) shaking hand with First Vice President designate Dr. Riek Machar Teny (L) in Addis Ababa after signing the revitalized agreement (File photo)

September 14th 2018 (Nyamilepedia) –  South Sudan President, Salva Kiir Mayardiit and opposition leader Dr. Riek Machar Teny signed the revitalized peace agreement on Wednesday not as a show of commitment to peace but to evade sanctions against them,  the Director of the Atlantic Council’s African Center, J. Peter Pham, said.

South Sudan President and opposition leader Dr. Riek Machar Teny signed the long-awaited revitalized peace agreement on Wednesday in Addis Ababa to end the five-year conflict.

“What was signed today was not a peace deal. It’s being labeled that, but essentially it is nothing more than a desperate play by two people who between them have ruined the prospects of the world’s newest state for at least a generation,” Peter said.

He said the signing of the agreement by the two is to avoid sanctions which are seen as inevitable against them.

“It is simply a ploy to avoid what is inevitable, which is sanctions on them and their henchmen and ultimately the political marginalization of both of them as the only way forward for the long-suffering South Sudanese people,” he said.

He says the only way forwards to achieve a lasting peace in South Sudan, could have been additional and targeted sanctions against peace spoilers.

“The only way we are going to move to peace is to have sanctions that target those most responsible for the ongoing conflict, the networks by which they make their money exploiting the war economy, and then delegitimizing and marginalizing them as actors,” he added.

The Director of the Atlantic Council said the term Commander-in-Chief as it has been repeatedly used several times for referring to South Sudan president in the revitalized ARCSS text is boilerplate language, so often misused saying there is not a professional army shoes commander could be referred to as the Commander in Chief.

“The agreement repeats boilerplate language that the president is commander-in-chief of the armed forces. But the fact is that there is no such thing as the South Sudanese armed forces,” he said.

“What is there are a plethora of militias, splinter groups, and ad hoc bands of fighters who usually align themselves into roughly two major factions.”
He said.