Aug 16, 2017(Nyamilepedia) —– A total collapsed economy, leadership failure, bad governance, low life expectancy, corruption, tribalism being practiced by Dinka dominated regime of President Salva Kiir, prolonged detention without trial, collapse of the rule of law, non-payment of civil servants’ salaries for several months, high cost of living, insecurity, poor and worsening living conditions of all South Sudanese, marginalization and oppression of 63 non Dinka tribes and continued government imposed war, refusal of the government to sign and implement a genuine peace agreement and the cut off of economically viable roads such as Juba-Nimule, Juba-Yei, Juba-Rumbek, Juba-Yambio and Juba-Bor has now threatened the future of South Sudan and its people, as the international community keeps watching.
Since conflict broke out in South Sudan in December 2013 and July 2016, tens of thousands of people have died while one in five South Sudanese which is more than 2.3 million people have been forced from their homes. An additional one million people have been pushed below the poverty line in what was already one of the poorest countries in the world. South Sudan has now become a failed State.
Despite a dead peace agreement signed in August 2015, violence persists and 4.3 million people are in need of urgent humanitarian aid – a figure that is increasing monthly. Most of these suffering people are in SPLA/M IO controlled areas, internal displaced camps and refugee camps in neighboring countries.
With inflation at close to 300 percent, which is the highest level in the world and with the South Sudanese pound dropping 98 percent of its value since independence, the majority of working South Sudanese are now poorer than they were 11 years ago. The plummeting oil price and production, all grinding to a halt due to intense fighting, have had a devastating impact on a country which depended on oil for 98 percent of its revenue before and after December 2013 crises.
In an attempt to generate money to finance the war, the government of South Sudan made the worst mistake and sold oil stocks still in the ground as future. But it is not only the future of oil that is being sold off. By auctioning off the main source of revenue, the government has sold off the future of its people, particularly the young generation and the generations to come.
With a dead economy and rampant inflation which are compounding the suffering of millions of South Sudanese and condemning them to an even more uncertain future, South Sudan has now become a failed State.
As I write this article the economic crisis continues to worsen. Military spending accounts for up more than 60 percent of the national budget and yet the military are not being paid regularly, while education, health and infrastructure accounts for just five percent. The country’s budget deficit in 2016/17 was projected to top $1.1 billion, which has made the public services institutions such as education, health and infrastructure to deteriorate.
I urge all the people of South Sudan and international community to act now to remove the current Salva Kiir’s government from power and revive the dead economy.
The new government must be able to change the direction of our country’s economy and rebuild the nation. The international community will then be asked to support the new South Sudan government b providing funds to prevent further disaster and promote economic development, consolidate lasting peace and long term healing and reconciliation.
We, the innocent people of South Sudan are paying an incredibly high price for this conflict on daily basis and will continue to pay if the current government is not removed from power and final lasting peace is not achieved. So long as this regime remains in power and our people do not feel safe enough to return home from internal displaced camps and refugee camps and rebuild their lives under the current genocidal regime, their futures will remain mortgaged and their lives put on hold.
The time to remove the current Salva Kiir’s regime from power and revive the dead economy of South Sudan is now, as this regime is not willing and ready for any genuine peace negotiations with all fighting forces and opposition groups in an inclusive manner.
Remember that, the current national dialogue, planned 2018 elections and attempts to reunite and reunify the SPLM are not going to bring lasting or permanent peace in South Sudan. National dialogue, SPLM Reunification and 2018 elections will only be possible and work if there is PEACE in the country. The priority for the South Sudan government now is to stop the war.
Real peace is possible and will easily come if the government of South Sudan is ready to follow an already agreed upon and outlined clear road map and do the following:-
SPLA/M IG and the entire South Sudanese government, must go back to Addis Ababa for another round of peace talks, recommit itself to immediate permanent ceasefire, agree to revive and review the 2015 dead peace agreement with full participation and inclusion of all warring and political parties, civil society organizations and start a new genuine implementation of the signed Peace Agreement, beginning with the following points:-
- Total demilitarization of Juba
- Immediate formation, training and deployment of Joint Integrated police to Juba town and other contested towns as per the signed peace agreement.
- Stop operationalization of the thirty two States with immediate effect and form a committee to look into this matter as per the previous IGAD Communiqué
- Immediate establishment of cantonment sites for all SPLA/M IO forces in Equatoria and other towns of South Sudan and provision of all needed logistics for them.
- Reconstitute the parliament and allow the Equatorians to choose a Speaker of their choice without any further manipulation and intimidation as stipulated in the signed peace agreement.
- Reconstitute/establish all institutions of governance as stipulated in the signed Peace Agreement
- Start reform process of all institutions of governance as stipulated in the signed Peace Agreement, beginning with Security Sector Reform.
- Recall all ambassadors, South Sudan Representatives to the United Nations and appoint new ones jointly with other parties as stipulated in the signed Peace Agreement, taking into account tribal, geographical and regional balancing.
- Allow immediate and speedy deployment of a regional, neutral protection force to Juba and other disputed towns in South Sudan, so as to facilitate quick return of the First Vice President Dr. Riek Machar back to Juba to assume his responsibilities and continue with the implementation of the signed Peace Agreement. Remember that, there will be no peace in South Sudan without full involvement and participation of Dr. Riek Machar and SPLA/M IO Forces under his command, since we control most parts of South Sudan. His immediate release and full participation in the South Sudan peace process will surely bring lasting peace in our country.
- Stop wasting money on the current national dialogue as this dialogue will not stop the war and bring lasting peace in South Sudan. National dialogue is only possible when there is peace in the country.
- Remove military from all roadblocks and check points in the Country and replace them with new trained police, so as to allow free movement of humanitarian workers, goods and people in and out of the country.
- Lift the state of emergency and allow people leaving the country to go without unnecessary security investigation and clearance.
- Release all individuals who are arrested because of having connections with SPLA/M IO and order the security forces not to arrest, torture or kill any civilians or loot their properties.
- All those who have lost their properties be compensated so that they can rebuild themselves and start a new life.
- Let the military be withdrawn from the SPLA/M IO base at Jebel, so that this base can be rehabilitated before the return of the First Vice President and his forces.
- Dismiss the current so called First Vice President Mr. Taban Deng Gai as he is the real obstacle to any peace agreement and has no control over SPLA/M IO Forces. He is no longer a member of SPLA/M IO and has no SPLA/M IO Forces under his command. He is now part of South Sudan government and uses South Sudan Army to fight SPLA/M IO forces. Therefore, anything to do with SPLA/M IO should not involve him.
- Increase and pay regular salaries of all government employees, who have now stayed six months without pay and are suffering with their families, instead wasting South Sudanese money and civil servants salaries to finance the war.
- The government must stop use of relief food as a weapon against the people of South Sudan. As I write to you now, civilians who are living in SPLA/M IO controlled areas are prevented from receiving any humanitarian assistance from UN and other humanitarian agencies. NGOs working in South Sudan are not allowed to operate fully in SPLA/M IO controlled areas. This is a violation of human rights and international humanitarian law.
In case the Government of the Republic of South Sudan refuses to take all the above mentioned actions, so as to revive the collapsed economy and bring lasting peace to the suffering people of South Sudan, I call upon UN Security Council to impose Sanctions , including arms embargo, assets freeze and travel ban on the government of South Sudan, or demand resignation of President Salva, so as to force them to come to genuine negotiation table and sign a new, all inclusive, genuine peace agreement with all warring parties and opposition groups, so as to end the long suffering of the innocent people of South Sudan.
It is worth mentioning that we in SPLA/M IO are ready for peace if the Government of South Sudan agrees to follow the road map to peace as outlined above.
I also call upon all citizens of South Sudan to make their voices head by organizing peaceful demonstrations against the government in all States, counties and payams, organizing civil strikes by not going to work and encouraging the youth to join us in the armed struggle so as to end the suffering of all South Sudanese.
Lt. General Wesley Welebe Samson
Deputy Chief of Staff for Training
SPLA/M IO General Headquarters
August 14, 2017