BY MARGARET AKULIA, CANADA
April 26, 2016(Nyamilepedia) —– “Our troops are already on standby. They are ready to take over Juba if a Dinka lunatic harms Riek or shoots even one bullet in the air in a drunken state. For every Dinka man, there will be 62 people chasing him and he will have nowhere to run. Everyone will regret it if their intention is to eliminate Riek when he arrives in Juba in favour of Kiir,” the frightful words continued to reverberate!
It was a conversation I had with an “insider” as the whole world especially South Sudanese watched the deadlock relating to Riek Machar’s return to South Sudan to take up his position as First Vice President in an unfriendly “Agreement” dubbed August 2015 Agreement on the Resolution of Conflict in South Sudan (ARCISS).
GOVERNMENT INTRODUCES NEW DEMAND ON MACHAR’S RETURN TO JUBA
MACHAR IS DENIED LANDING AT JUBA AIRPORT
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The “insider” was not talking about the battle hardened soldiers that had now been flown into Juba from other parts of South Sudan and assembled in cantonment areas around Jebel Kujur, in compliance with the ARCISS either. He was referring to other armed forces operating “under the radar” for purposes of being on a par with Paul Malong’s Dinka militia allegedly transported into Juba in droves but clandestinely. The alleged underhanded activity by Paul Malong is in direct contravention of Chapter II of the August 2015 Agreement on the Resolution of Conflict in South Sudan (ARCISS).
The Chapter deals with Permanent Ceasefire and Transitional Security Arrangements but it has been repeatedly breached and those infringements ignored by the guarantors of the Agreement! The laxity of the guarantors of the August 2015 Agreement in protesting fervently, pursuing and imposing severe consequences on the violators of Chapter II of the Agreement have led to brazen accusations that they are colluding with Salva Kiir’s lawless and genocidal government!
“This is the clearest evidence yet that what we have been saying all along is the truth. The international community is pro Salva Kiir and they want Riek Machar removed from the scene. Unfortunately I think they are dead wrong because this time there will be a real nasty civil war that makes the last two years of SPLM war look like kids’ play.”
“Just read the nonsense in this article https://radiotamazuj.org/en/article/igad-troika-insist-machar-return-saturday. Honestly if I were asked to give advice to SPLM/A-IO, I would strongly recommend to Riek Machar not to go to Juba and let them do what they want. At the same time, I would strongly recommend to them to involve the Diaspora. In addition they should engage top firms of lawyers in Washington, DC to issue Press Releases highlighting the negligence of the guarantors and the bias of the international community in supporting a murderous regime in Juba. That should be able to shut up the international community and shine the light on the genocidal government in Juba.”
The guarantors referred to in the foregoing fiery charges are none other than 1. His Excellency Hailemariam Dessalegn, Prime Minister of the Federal Democratic Republic of Ethiopia and Chair of IGAD 2. His Excellency Yoweri Museveni, President of the Republic of Uganda 3. His Excellency Omar Hassan al-Bashir, President of the Republic of Sudan 4. His Excellency Ismaïl Omar Guelleh, President of the Republic of Djibouti 5. His Excellency Hassan Sheikh Mahmud, President of the Federal Government of Somalia 6. His Excellency Uhuru Kenyatta, President of the Republic of Kenya and Rapporteur of IGAD 7.
The African Union High Level Ad hoc Committee for South Sudan and the African Union Commission comprised of the Chairperson of the African Union Commission and individuals representing the People’s Democratic Republic of Algeria, the Republic of Chad, the Federal Republic of Nigeria, the Republic of Rwanda and the Republic of South Africa 8. Representatives of the IGAD led Mediation who include Ambassador Seyoum Mesfin, General Lazarus Sumbeiywo and General Ahmed Mohamed El-Dabi 9. International Partners comprised of a Representative of the People’s Republic of China, a Representative of the Kingdom of Norway, a Representative of the United Kingdom, a Representative of the United States of America, a Representative of the United Nations, a Representative of the European Union and a Representative of the IGAD Partners Forum (IPF)
Some of the same guarantors are listed as endorsers of a statement captioned “IGAD, Troika insist Machar return by Saturday https://radiotamazuj.org/en/article/igad-troika-insist-machar-return-saturday.” The statement gave Riek Machar until Saturday, April 23, 2016 to report to a militarized Juba!
Many spectators are unrepentant in heaping blame on His Excellency Festus Mogae for a performance they deem mediocre in executing his duties as Chair of the Joint Monitoring and Evaluation Commission (JMEC). The role of Chair is clearly outlined in CHAPTER VII of the August 2015 Agreement on the Resolution of Conflict in South Sudan (ARCISS) but the critical voices are disenchanted with what they consider a lackadaisical attitude by Mogae towards this important role.
“Festus is just useless. He has failed the people of South Sudan and Africa for not following the agreement to its letter” one observer uttered, unabashedly before continuing.
“As we speak, Juba is not demilitarized and this is happening under Festus Mogae’s nose and the noses of IGAD and the Troika. More troops landed in Juba in the last week from Salva Kiir’s village directed by Paul Malong. The SPLA-in opposition cantonment areas are being attacked by Salva Kiir’s forces. Ceasefire violations are all occurring in plain sight and the guarantors are doing nothing about it!”
“The genocidal government should not be dictating anything let alone being responsible for security in Juba or the other parts of South Sudan” another observer hissed.
“It is Festus that should be making the rules now not the lawless government of Salva Kiir” another opined.
The death defying statement and deadline for Riek Machar to report to a lawless Juba by Saturday, April 23, 2016 (https://radiotamazuj.org/en/article/igad-troika-insist-machar-return-saturday) was endorsed by Kenya, Ethiopia, Uganda, Sudan, the African Union, China, the European Union, Norway, the United Kingdom, the United States, Canada, the Netherlands and the United Nations Mission in South Sudan despite an alleged plot to assassinate Riek Machar upon his arrival at Juba International Airport.
“A big plan is already hatched by some elements from the government” a source tipped before explicating on the alleged plot to commit a criminal act in open view of the whole world. He also blamed the international community and alleged collusion with Salva Kiir to commit the said reprehensible crime.
For many avid followers of events that continue to unfold in South Sudan, the statement giving Riek Machar a deadline without caring about what will happen to him in a militarized and lawless South Sudan was clearly unfair and unjust. Even people who are opposed to Riek Machar see the unconcealed injustice and they protested! In many people’s minds the statement and deadline conclusively substantiated the wide-ranging conspiracy theories relating to getting rid of Riek Machar by any means necessary in order to firmly install the tribal government of Salva Kiir. If this is true, the end result is aiding and abetting more genocide in South Sudan. However, the nefarious plotters should think twice because the 1994 genocide in Rwanda will pale in comparison if they insist on plotting to eliminate Riek Machar or any of the other Titans!
“JMEC shall be chaired by a prominent African personality appointed by the IGAD Assembly of Heads of State and Government in consultation with IGAD-PLUS Partners, and form Committees to facilitate its activities as deemed necessary. JMEC may select deputy Chairs in accordance with the number of the said Committees” reads section 2.5 of Chapter VII of the August 2015 Agreement on the Resolution of Conflict in South Sudan (ARCISS).
Finally, an actual African solution for an African problem many people thought when His Excellency Festus Mogae was chosen as the Chair of JMEC. The African Diaspora around the world approved and celebrated the choice of His Excellency Festus Mogae as the Chair of JMEC with respect to the ARCISS because he had impeccable credentials as a revered statesman in Africa. In other words, he fit the calibre of prominent African personality until the outward appearance of the apathetic stance that has led to the blistering criticism that could tank his standing if he doesn’t become forceful with ARCISS upon the establishment of South Sudan’s Transitional Government of National Unity (TGoNU).
One case in point is the fact that as one of Africa’s highly regarded leading politicians tasked with chairing the implementation of the August 2015 Agreement on the Resolution of Conflict in South Sudan (ARCISS) His Excellency Festus Mogae did not protest its abrogation when a tribal minded Salva Kiir contravened both the Constitution of South Sudan and the August 2015 agreement by dividing South Sudan into 28 states for purposes of allotting other tribes’ lands to his Dinka tribe. Salva Kiir did this under the glaring watch of the guarantors of the ARCISS and despite the fact that his mandate as President had already lapsed! To say that Salva Kiir’s audacious contravention of the August 2015 Agreement has continued to cause a big turbulence throughout South Sudan and its Diaspora is an understatement as is the fact that another war is imminent if His Excellency Festus Mogae does not become more forceful with ARCISS and facilitate proper resolution of any breaches.
ARCISS is no longer about Riek Machar and Salva Kiir but saving South Sudan I managed to mutter as I combed through the unfriendly August 2015 Agreement on the Resolution of Conflict in South Sudan (ARCISS) and a number of legal implications suddenly dawned on me in a big way!
I hope you don’t drop the ball again Your Excellency Festus Mogae. Don’t degrade Africa more than it has already been degraded by anarchic dictators, I dialogued in my head. I was referring to the fact that in my opinion, not dealing with Permanent Ceasefire, Transitional Security Arrangements, the issue of the 28 states and all aspects of the August 2015 Agreement on the Resolution of Conflict in South Sudan (ARCISS) effectively and decisively is dropping the ball His Excellency Festus Mogae has been entrusted with!
Implementing the August 2015 Agreement on the Resolution of Conflict in South Sudan (ARCISS) will be a tall order because it hangs by the skin of the teeth. However, it can be salvaged if His Excellency Festus Mogae transforms from a lackadaisical Chair to a more forceful one. Otherwise ARCISS will most definitely disintegrate and the alternative is unthinkable now and in the future! All eyes will now be on His Excellency Festus Mogae as he discharges his duties of Chair of JMEC from the moment the Transitional Government of National Unity (TGoNU) is established in South Sudan. Being forceful with immediate effect is the only way South Sudan will survive. It is the only way to avert more bloodletting!
The author, Magret Akulia, is a concern South Sudanese living in Canada. She can be reached at email@example.com
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