A Bad Peace is Far Better Than a Good War.

Opinion

By Wiek Bol Reath,

President Omar Hassan Al Bashir reacts after Salva Kiir refuses to shake hands with Dr. Riek Machar after the signing of a peace agreement(Photo: file/supplied/Nyamilepedia)

President Omar Hassan Al Bashir reacts after Salva Kiir refuses to shake hands with Dr. Riek Machar after the signing of a peace agreement (Photo: file/supplied/Nyamilepedia)

Oct 5th, 2018(Nyamilepedia) — As the nation celebrated the dawn of peace and the peace signatories spoke out of their senses and experiences, by delivering remarkable speeches during the event and more importantly, most, if not all prisoners of war, political detainees and abductees are released, somebody would at least conclude that the R-ARCSS is holding and the long-awaited peace has returned home.

It was hard to convince my own self that this peace is genuine because the peace that was signed was somewhat a win-win, in fact, the SPLM-IG or TGoNU has the real win or lion share in the signed Khartoum peace accord. Despite the fact that the agreement favors the government the most, the government failed to implement and be abided by the Principles of the Agreement. Instead, it went on violating the agreement even after signing the permanent ceasefire by not observing the cessation of hostilities and not releasing prisoners of War (POW) as well as political detainees and abductees.

The government also maintained its constant aggression against the SPLM-IO forces and other opposition forces in Equatoria and Upper Nile particularly Yei River and Unity states. All these violations did not only demoralize the people of South Sudan but also make them question the regime’s seriousness on bringing peace back home.

However, some progress and commitment shown by the peace actors that boosted hope of many South Sudan was seen in the recent peace celebration in the state capital Juba whereby the parties to the agreement were reiterating their full commitment followed by the release of Political detainees and abductees, and the opening of all checkpoints ordered by the president. This makes it convincing for ordinary South Sudanese to celebrate because now there are reasons to celebrate peace because their prayers for peace are finally answered by the Highest. Due to the fact that our displaced population in refugee and IDPs Camps are in a deteriorating situation and dire need of peace, our leaders are left with no option but to bring peace, therefore, as citizens, we should also own the peace agreement and play a major role in implementing it.

It is now our collective responsibility to make it hold, those with reservations should put their personal ambitions aside and join hands together with our leaders in supporting this peace to make it sustainable so that it yields fruits. It is true a lot of demands have been compromised during the negotiations, but that is the culture of every negotiation, you cannot get all that you want. Based on the fact that many compromises were made, many of us named this peace a “BAD PEACE” but forgetting that “BAD PEACE is far better than a GOOD WAR”. In fact, we neither have bad peace nor do we have a good war. It does not make sense putting it that way, as many of us were born and have grown up in wars, we are aware of the effects of war and those of us who got chances to travel to peaceful countries know the effects of peace. Hence, we should never categorize our peace and war into bad peace and good war.

In conclusion, it is only if we embrace peace, embrace each other,  respect our co-existence in diversity and political differences, forgive one another as our leaders forgave themselves, own the peace and play role in its implementation, help in advocating and delivering message of peace to our grassroots and uninformed people, there then the peace will prevail.

Wiek Bol Reath is a student at Kampala University pursuing a diploma in Business Administration, chairman of Unity State Universities and Colleges Students Union in Uganda and also the spokesperson of the SPLM-IO Youth League in Uganda. He is currently residing in Kampala, Uganda and can be reached at wiekbol@gmail.com