By Dr. Wesley Bokati Natana Abraham,
Oct 07, 2016(Nyamilepedia) —— Following eruption of a series of violence which started in Juba on July 8, 2016 and led to total collapse of both the Agreement on the Resolution of the conflict in The Republic of South Sudan and The South Sudan Transitional Government of National Unity, unconstitutional dismissal of Dr. Riek Machar Teny from the position of First Vice President, illegal and unconstitutional appointment of Taban Deng Gai as the new South Sudan First Vice President, the situation in South Sudan has changed from bad to worse in the following areas:-
- Economy of South Sudan has collapsed
- Humanitarian situation has worsened in whole of South Sudan
- The Country has become more ungovernable as the level of insecurity has increased. People are being arrested, tortured and killed on daily basis
- Civil servants are no longer being paid regularly and their salaries no longer match up with the cost of living due to high inflation rate
- SPLM/SPLA (IO) has regrouped and become more stronger than before and cut off Juba the capital City from Uganda as both Nimule and Yei roads are no longer save. Even the road going to Western Equatoria remains unsafe.
- Many people in Western, Central and Eastern Equatoria have been displaced in the bushes of South Sudan or to the neighboring countries, with no or limited food to eat.
- Many schools have been closed and a big number of school aged children are now staying without education, which is a violation of human rights
- No Press freedom in South Sudan as journalists are either being threatened, arrested, tortured or killed at will
- Corruption is at the highest level
- Health services have become too poor and resulted to high death rate, particularly among children, women and elderly persons mostly in the rural areas of South Sudan
- Raping of children, women and men by SPLA- IG Army is now at the increase
- Looting of food and properties of civilians by the government army in cities, towns and rural areas has increased and those responsible have not been arrested, sent to court for trial or imprisoned.
- People in government controlled areas are suffering as they are currently living in fear of their lives, unable to speak the truth of what is happening and not having enough food to eat
- Jobs in government controlled areas are being tribalized and mostly limited to the tribe in power.
- In rebel controlled areas, the humanitarian situation is getting worse every day as government does not allow timely delivery of humanitarian services to SPLA/SPLM (IO) controlled areas. NGOs do not have easy access to rebel controlled areas as the government do not allow them or give them permits to operate freely in these areas.
- Though the rights steps to be taken to restore law and order and bring peace to the suffering people of South Sudan are known to everybody, nobody is willing or able to let the government to do what is right at the moment. These steps to be taken to bring South Sudan back to the path of peace includes the following:-
- Urgent deployment of the Regional Protection Force to Juba and all other major contested towns and cities to restore law and order together with UNMISS.
- Dismissal of Taban Deng Gai as the First Vice President
- Re-instatement of Dr. Riek Machar Teny as the First Vice President
- Organizing a quick return of Dr. Riek Machar back to Juba to continue with the implementation of signed peace agreement.
- Establishment of cantonment sites for all forces and armed groups in all parts of South Sudan
- Suspension of the operationalization of the 28 States and establishment of a committee to look into this matter in consultation with the people.
- Reconstitution of the national and State parliaments with active participation of SPLM/SPLA (IO) under the leadership of Dr. Riek Machar (not Taban Deng as he does not control SPLM/SPLA IO Forces and has no influence over them), Former Detainees, other political parties and Civil Society organizations who are signatories to the signed peace agreement
- Quick deployment of Joint Integrated police to Juba, other major towns and cities which are being contested.
- Reform of all institutions of governance as stipulated in the signed peace agreement
- Reconstitution of all institutions of governance as stipulated in the Agreement
- Review of South Sudan constitution as stipulated in the signed peace agreement
- Subjecting the Country to free, fair and democratic elections within a specified timeframe without any manipulation and intimidation by the government
- Provision of all needed logistics to all Forces while at the cantonment sites
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All these above mentioned action points can only be implemented with strong support and pressure from UN, IGAD, Troika and EU. I am therefore making an urgent appeal to UN, IGAD, Troika and EU to organize an emergency round table peace conference for South Sudan, call a spade a spade, act quickly and find the way forward, so as to end the unacceptable suffering of the people of South. Let us remember that no peace can be brought to South Sudan without active participation of Dr. Riek Machar Teny and his group as he has a big fighting force and enjoys support of large population of South Sudan who do not agree with what the current regime is doing in Juba.
The author, Dr. Wesley Bokati Natana Abraham, is a Concerned South Sudanese elder and Former UN Diplomat. He can be reached for further comments at bnatana