South Sudan: Peace deal in dilemma

By Nyarji Roman

Opinion

South Sudan President, Salva Kiir Mayardiit (L) shakes hands with SPLM-IO leader Dr. Riek Machar Teny-Dhurgon during peace celebrations at Dr. John Garang deMabior Mosoleum in Juba (File/Supplied/Nyamilepedia)

South Sudan President, Salva Kiir Mayardiit (L) shakes hands with SPLM-IO leader Dr. Riek Machar Teny-Dhurgon during peace celebrations at Dr. John Garang de’Mabior Mausoleum in Juba (File/Supplied/Nyamilepedia)

February 4th 2019 (Nyamilepedia) – It is clear that the implementation of the latest agreement between the South Sudan warring parties is passing another dark tunnel similar to the last agreement signed in August 2015 in Addis Ababa Ethiopia.  At a time, we are observing different positions from the region and the international community in regards to supporting and funding the implementation of the peace agreement. 

The countries of the region are already divided among themselves between the two blocks of the warring parties to the conflict, while other regional countries are preoccupied with their internal affairs. 

Sudan and Uganda are the main guarantors of the latest peace agreement, and we cannot ignore that those two countries are directly influencing the security and economic situation in the Republic of South Sudan. As for the international community represented by the Troika countries, they already expressed its position explicitly on the Sudanese-brokered agreement and distanced itself from its support.

Accusing the parties of the agreement or lack of seriousness and lack of political will at the same time worked to impose an arms embargo and other economic sanctions on some top figures in the government and the opposition, those sanctions was accompanied by other sanctions hidden on the state itself, coupled with undeclared boycott and diplomatic isolation. While Britain has limited its support in a small part of implementation mechanism JMEC. 

The role of Sudan and Uganda ensures the continuity of the agreement and it creates kind of balance at the same time. Ethiopia was neutral, but the internal events in which Sudan and Ethiopia are currently going through weakened their role in monitoring and implementing the agreement, at a time Uganda continued to exploit the preoccupied of its rivals and Its bitter enemy over the years by redeployment of its forces into South Sudan territories, the absence that resulted of the return of the Ugandan troops under the umbrella of the security agreements between the two countries, where the intervention of the Ugandan government comes to sway the ally of Juba.

The absence and preoccupied of the two countries gave the government in Juba an opportunity to exercise and put more obstacles to crack down on the opposition and to delay the implementation of the agreement due to lack of logistics and support for the implementation committees and the security arrangements.

In the security arrangements the government deliberately prevented the full implementation of the protocols and push for limited implementation of the security arrangements which means only the deployment of joint forces within Juba, while keeping its troops inside the cities and they may slow or overlook the implementation of the rest once the opposition leaders return to Juba which expected to take place in May. Observers expected that the government will work to block the deployment of UN and RPD forces to disrupt its functions.

The government’s forced recruitment process in Bahr al-Ghazal region leads to explicit desire to wage another civil war. The last round maybe if the opposition is distracted and preoccupied with reaping ministerial allocations.

It is clear that the government is playing tricks with its rivals by pulling Popular opposition like SPLM-IO to carry out joint operations against the movement of Thomas Cirilo which will cut any opportunity for military coordination between the SPLM-IO and NAS in the future. And at the same time, maybe the government is working to drain and exhaust the limited resources of the SPLM IO in its wars to be exhausted when the turn on the role.

The presence of Ugandan troops inside the South Sudan territories at this time means that the government has already started a declared war by which it intends to encircle the movement of salvation from all sides.

The continued violation and the harassment of the IGAD’s monitoring committees confirm that the government will continue to exercise this kind of coarse objection with the parties to the agreement in which it shows the non-recognition of the agreement by the government, main while it deals with the agreement as an opportunity to rearrange the internal house and gain some international and regional support that it lost during the last 4 years. At the regional level, Juba has worked closely with Khartoum to pass its oil interests which have effectively benefited from oil insurance and the re-operation of oil fields that have been destroyed by the war. A convergence that diverged with the US positions in which Juba tried to take advantage of Khartoum’s experience in changing its allies as necessary and interests.

Internally, the policy of drying up the resources by the government that they exercise with the opposition may push the opposition to accept the minimum agreement which will weaken its ability to resist the Juba agendas, including breaking the text of the agreement and redrawing a new map to implement the agreement in its favor. Which it will lead things to fall back to the previous era before 2013 and explode with the upcoming elections.

The author can be reached via: nargi.roman@hotmail.com