How Dishonest Peace can be a Noble Peace

By Santino Aniek, Upstate New York,


Leaders of South Sudan's warring factions greet at the signing of a roadmap agreement in Ethiopia in May 2014(Photo: file)
Leaders of South Sudan’s warring factions greet at the signing of a roadmap agreement in Ethiopia in May 2014(Photo: file)

Nov 23, 2014(Nyamilepedia) — I have some additional reasons for paying this well-deserved tribute to the dishonest peace, which is under the construction of diplomatic solution in Addis Ababa. Sadly enough, there is a basic paradox at work here, and I do feel that the rhetoric in the head quarter is taking on a more aggressive manner with the choices to threaten war to continue. It is extraordinary how in South Sudanese people’s lives, the most unforgettable acts of violence are habitually refusing to be driven away despite the longest war we fought with the regime in Khartoum and at the end we have shown lack of understanding to take advantage of the experience. There are many times when violence seems to have been extended to our people almost with divine evil, and it would arrive when our people are seemingly discouraged or when they are completely hopeless. This is the reality on so many levels, and subsequently complicated yet simply in its truth that the South Sudanese people are suffering unnecessarily countrywide because their leaders are annihilating the innocent people and misusing natural resources for the almighty war and unchecked tyrannical power creating massive death tolls across South Sudan. Ultimately, the most devastating and more sophisticated is a dishonest peace that doesn’t seem to have legs and impending genuine challenges our citizens certainly never experienced before.

At the same time, the notion of two separate armies in one country is part of the root cause of this senseless war causing horrendous atrocities on both sides, and tens of thousands of lives have been lost across the country. Yet the new inclinations to redefine our citizen’s wellbeing in more than merely peace in terms of security and stability in South Sudan has drawn more attention to the fact that we need more than a peace, because our citizen cannot be in harmony without a tangible peace. Nevertheless, most of the South Sudanese people have been constantly passionate for a serious debate about promoting a long-term diplomatic solution, and they are keen to address this horrific suffering. However, the aims is overcoming individual and social experience of traumatization and creating conditions for subjective and collective reconciliation and healing wounds of this senseless war, never has been more importance than now. As a result, there has been urging daily and nightly across the country for peace and stability, and believe it or not, people are terrified that the situation is slowly developing into a civil war. Now its intensity depending on whether South Sudanese people will accept the dishonest peace or whether they will be ecstatic with the continuation of this senseless war, after which the killing on both sides will resume.

Yes, indeed, every communities is based on certain beliefs, however, allow me to say this again, this war is not only inspiring people, but I’m instantly sure that it is changing the lives of 8 million South Sudanese people including mine, and therefore, there is no way I can even begin to sort out my feelings, when I see these innocent children, including women are continually suffering in a daily bases. The emotions, the sadness, the anger, the heartache, the physical pain in my entire body, are all coming jumbling and tumbling, head to toes and I’m incompetent to pin them down and sort them out appropriately. However, the single common thread that I have found is the resilience and deceptive lack of bitterness and self-pity of our leaders. Furthermore, the South Sudanese people are subsequently and methodically disgusted with their leader for being so capable of doing such horrific things to their innocent people whereas they are not capable to have a solution to this crisis. Nonetheless, with this war continuously to consume our people’s lives, our generation’s appetite to speak with one voice to try to unite the South Sudanese citizens is below zero.

Moreover, I must admit that at this point in time, the South Sudanese citizens have felt that they could no longer bear such a heavy burden of this senseless war, and people have been tempted to retreat to a more quite peaceful life and longing for the returning of peace to the new nation. Just as we adapted ourselves in recent years to the winds of wars, negotiation among the South Sudanese people is becoming a national subject, and they have seen time and time again in their lives that peace is considered to be less and less important, because peace was never intended to be honored or as in fact not honored in South Sudan before. In addition, I have believed and understood the condition in South Sudan needs an urgent solution; because I’m absolutely positively convince that there is a need to create the condition for subjective and collective reconciliation, dialogue, forgiveness, tolerance, and peace in order to prevent massive death again. As I said before, war never has been the solution. It wasn’t the solution during the 21 years of struggle when we fought the ruthless regime in Khartoum, it isn’t the solution now, and it will never be the solution for South Sudanese people to departure from this catastrophe. More importantly, this senseless war is so remarkable and profound to few individuals, and I have been thrown to the side, when I watched this tremendous suffering of our innocent people on social media day and night.

Meanwhile, those who call themselves leaders of this country have to rise up, speak the truth about this dishonest peace to the South Sudanese people and explain to them how noble it is, to influence those who have ears can hear, and those who have eyes can see. Though, knowing that the citizens are about to witness the developing of the untrue peace chosen by the leaders of the new nation with their partner IGAD and those who think they are hearing the returning of peace, certainly, it is true and we must embrace it since the people of this nation do not have the finest alternative but the one we call dishonest peace. It is time for the citizens of this nation to prepare for what we are about to witness in some months to come, as the majority of our people are hoping that the smile will once again return. Nonetheless, it is generally perceived that the discriminatory killing of our innocent citizens has dominated the arena of debate among the South Sudanese people and it reaches to the point of a joint reconstruction, which will draw upon regionals perspective to deepen understanding to reduce mistrust and facilitate reconciliation and heal the wounds of this senseless war. Although living under these conditions, many citizens had lost faith in themselves, in their leaders and they have been searching for all sorts of explanations from their leaders. Unfortunately, Juba have taken a wrong turn; since then those who have not woken up have to be pushed to the side, out of the way as a result, our citizens seem to be feeling perhaps they are less humans and few individuals have concluded that their destiny will be determined in the battle field and not in the arena of compromise. However, hearing this news coming from Addis Ababa, we can understand how the victims of this senseless war are feeling, whose innocent children, mothers, relatives were taken away from them and eventually will not get virtual justification when the peace returns within reasonable time limits. Though, the families who lost their loved ones, including me, have to go through this ridiculous untidiness in order to prevent more death in South Sudan is nothing, but a soaring order to be grasped. Specifically, looking back to a long history full of atrocities, we have no other adequate avenue rather than accepting this horrendous arrangement.

More generally, many people around the country are worried about the arrangement that has been put in place in Addis Ababa. Numerous people reflect this will put innocent people at more risk in the future, but this is what the fellow citizens need to understand. There is no other guiltiest jeopardy than this, subsequently we undertake that our people would weigh the lost and benefit when deciding to continue with the war and when ending the war. Meanwhile, even if the two sides do agree at some point in the coming months to form a united government, there is another ominous battle looming in the country. The tribal conflict is uncontrollable and the government is running out of time. The reason this conflict has been going on for quite sometimes, party, national government and local communities cannot agree on principle and the local community’s view that the national government is out of control and lacks discipline. My fear is that, the government might not be able to handle the situations because Juba has been weakened by these wars and Juba may not be able to rattle their adversary without properly addressing some of the main fundamental issues that instigate this conflict to spark. What remains a matter of curiosity however, the senseless war has not really achieved its targeted goals, and I have no doubt that this arrangement will succeed if given a chance. In addition, I impartially hope that my position will later be approved when all of its provisions of this peace become fully implemented in terms of how it correctly or wrongly effects the already existing conflicting wounds of this senseless war. The chronic conflict between the communities have not only held the new nation from moving forward with the development and nation building, but has been devastating the South Sudanese people, causing an intolerable loss of human lives.

On the flipside, the document seems not to be answering all the questions surrounding this arrangement and I think that is the most compelling about the narrative of this peace. These two separate armies seems like a tremendously giant issue and a greater concern to all South Sudanese citizens, since it is a huge barrier between the government and the citizens who want to see the returning of peace and stability to the new nation. However, defining a goal is extremely difficult, but the document’s finding is ultimately what makes this peace so interesting. Furthermore, this document will finds its groove by delivering hope to South Sudanese communities, by giving voice to the local people and answering their skepticism when this arrangement is implemented. Interestingly enough, so much of what the South Sudanese people are hoping is the product of the lobbyists of this dishonest peace and as result, we finds that politics is ultimately identical and unpredictable. This is what I love about the South Sudanese leaders. They will celebrate the possible unnecessary worst achievement that reveals their pity wonderful relationships and their disconnections virtually with the reality and they will not shy away from addressing the enormity and messiness of their task when the peace and smile return. Oftentimes, the philosophy of the South Sudanese leaders have been discouraged by the voices across South Sudan, from city centers to rural communities and the disprovable is still growing as we speak.

More importantly, employment is the big issues all the South Sudanese citizens are facing across the country, combating poverty and achieving freedom and equality requires a major reorientation of economic and development planning however, the above mention are the epicenter of this senseless war. As common sense tells us, the wellbeing of human beings can be determined by some of the necessities explicitly food, clean water, shelter, etc., and without those, there will be more turbulence in some years to come in the new nation. It should therefore not come as a surprise that wellbeing parallels to some extent with material prerequisites while, at the same time, huge unfairness in the distribution of natural resources is another factor obstructing peace in the new nation. As always history remind us, poverty and destitution are the root causes for despair in Africa, especially in South Sudan and equally, poverty and unfairness prevents us from living in peace, as peace is theoretically more enjoyable in the absence of war. The South Sudanese people need to know that there is no short cut in this effort to fight cruelty, division and isolation but to create a condition for constructive that will promoted reconciliation, compromise, dialogue, tolerance, and forgiveness to bring trust and confidence to our citizens to return to normal golden days where all communities live side by side. But in my mind, there is still a considerable debate or controversy surrounding the life of our citizens needs to be addressed. In the ability to exercise legitimate rights for our citizens, however, the unity government’s current priorities under the social inclusive program will have to include the Secretary of the Veterans Affairs that will help jobless families with children whose parents have perished in this senseless war by helping them into sustainable employment and aiding them into a good start in life.  The examination of our citizen’s view indicates that although the predicaments of violence against our citizens have become widely recognized and the issue has been consistently placed on the agenda for reconciliation, dialogue, tolerance, forgiveness and compromise.

Nevertheless, recognizing the competition between government and rebel for better positions would require an agreement on the broad principle that the two sides share power equally without going back to war. The principle of creating a constructive understanding would be a comprehensive outlines to stop any violence in the future against our citizens. Leaving aside whether it is purely moral to have two armies in one country or whether there should be no peace at all, as public opinion conceding that indeed there is a fair argument to be made for peace to return. It is actually more costly to put this dishonest peace to death; given all the death and tremendous suffering the South Sudanese people have been put through. However, there is more than a reasonable argument to be made here why this arrangement should be given a chance and recognized a break to our innocent citizens. Even though many people seem to oppose this bargaining between the two parties, I wondered though how you would feel if you lost loved ones to this senseless war. Would your ethical convictions and spiritual beliefs be powerful enough to withstand your grief, rage, and yearning for retribution? Quite possibly you could not. That is exactly why the decision to put this senseless war to a deathbed would be made dispassionately without undue emotion over the particulars of any given situation. Otherwise, if the continuation of this war seems to be the best option to few South Sudanese people, this explains to us that we have given in our basic instincts to become murderers ourselves. In this case, allowing this senseless war to continue is barbaric, pathetic, and is not justifiable by any circumstances.

Nonetheless, throughout the history of mankind, societies have maintained the right to put war to an end and leave it to continue is far outside the pale of unobjectionable behavior. What make us wiser than our predecessors is that it is not instantly restricted to the most outrageous behavior of our leader, but few avaricious individuals who always seem to appreciate when innocent lives are being lost is the difference here. Our innocent citizens’ horrendous suffering is an inspiration to all of us to be able to embrace this dishonest peace until the people of this nation decide what is best for them. We could debate endlessly and vigorously over the root cause of this tragic disconnect between ourselves and the leaders of this nation but the truth of the matter is, we have arrived at this crisis from many varied directions and no solution has been found yet except this dishonest peace. We have to be honest to ourselves, thoughtful, and open minded about the current contacts in this conflict in what we call our country. It is not something materialized overnight, however, these issues have been filing up for some decade and they need a commonsense and middle ground approach and not rhetoric.

The continuation on attacking our character, integrity and conduct accusing ourselves of selling ourselves to higher bidder, or wanting our 30 minutes of fame or name recognition needs to stop and accept this dishonest peace by moving forward. It is a travesty that those in uniforms who served during the Anyanya I war and have continued to serve during the SPLM/SPLA war to preserve the freedoms of this country are continuing to risk their lives, continuing to perish, only because of the party’s disagreement. It is nothing but troubling and heartbreaking. A question could be asked, what can we expect from the government that has no moral compass? In this circumstance, each South Sudanese citizen has the highest responsibility; we have to take ownership of this travesty, and stop playing blaming game at the moment in time, more importantly, time is not on our side and we have killed more of our people in ten months than Khartoum killed in ten years, while our traditional enemy is watching us. Nevertheless, this is a deplorable behavior from the South Sudanese leaders who have been entrusted by their people to take care of the bravest citizens who have liberated the nation from a ruthless regime in Khartoum, but to use these finest citizens as a tools of fighting wars, is more disturbing.

Truly, I’m not as fearlessness as South Sudanese people are, I will never do anything as amazing as such our people have been struggle by holding on for more than 10 months, but I will never have anything to offer them in return of their loved ones they have lost during this senseless war other than my guiltiness and sorrowfully sympathy I myself can hardly afford at this difficult time. The realization of our citizens’ rights is a national struggle based on universal human rights and the rule of law and that right cannot be achieved through the barrel of the gun, but to be determined by a painful decision that the South Sudanese people have to take by putting this senseless war to an end, is the only common sense approach that will create the sense of trust and understanding among the communities. Before this senseless war, South Sudan was fast becoming a model for other countries in Africa to replicate its success of a longest war in Africa that has been seen throughout the decades of struggle. This achievement by the South Sudanese people has touched on many people’s hearts around the world and it did cover a rethinking how the South Sudanese people stood together as a one people and liberated themselves from the regime in Khartoum. Nonetheless, hearing that an agreement has been reached in Addis Ababa, encourages the majority of the South Sudanese people, and because the situation has been deteriorating and people have been hoping for anything that can decrease anguish. Nevertheless, this dishonest peace will positively pick up more support among the South Sudanese people and, in the end, it is worth a consideration in order to bring tranquility and alleviate this horrendous situation to silence.

Indeed, the dishonest peace is seeking to extended assurance to more than 8 million people by prohibiting the senseless war and decreasing the death level in the new nation. It will create a safe environment for time being for our innocent citizens who have been given a preexisting condition by the champion of this senseless war to perish and since then they have been denied to live their lives freely. The goal of this arrangement is to stop the hostility, and brings some sort of stability and calmness. In addition, there will be an optional gain in this arrangement and will occur through the integration of the two armies in the long run. The argument can be made though, after the peace has become a law, however, there is still a lot of work to be done to promoted reconciliation, dialogue, compromise, tolerance, forgiveness, and the healing of wounds of this senseless war to counteract future conflict. The arrangement will basically and hopefully address how to build trust and confidence among the South Sudanese communities, which has been a great concern and was lacking during the PCA. To address these concerns, the South Sudanese citizens will hope the so-called leaders will attempt to be sympathetic on how to develop ways to isolate those sensitive matters that divided the communities.

On balance, I innocently understand the frustration surrounding this dishonest peace, and I voluntarily register my deep regret to these lives, which have been lost in this senseless war. I never seen anything like this before, but I’m not claiming to know impartially what we have seen in this conflict of our time. As always the case, for those of you who are saying we should despondently continue with this senseless war, first I applaud you. However, think about the steps maybe you will be taking to counteract these who will be still suffering and perish if this crisis is allowed to continue. Certainly, this dishonest peace seems to be too complicated. Still it is a unpretentious reality that our people have to suffer pointlessly in the hands of these callous leaders who have nothing but milking South Sudanese’s natural resources for their an benefit while this war was only manufactured for some heedless people to keep their day job. For the benefit of our people, we will have to accept this impossible arrangement, the unimaginable, and the vicious peace in order for these callous leaders to get their feet permanently off our innocent citizens’ necks once and for all. Similarly, we may be coming from different communities, but we share a similar ambition, being inclined to a methodical understanding instead of quick judgments, to dialogue, tolerance, compromise instead of quarrel, and reflect instead of project. The chances of these politicians changing overnight are very slim to none; unless we swallow our pride and help ourselves, we will never have a better summer in South Sudan. Frankly speaking, these men and women have put their lives on the line for us for too long however, they have made many sacrifices for this country; hence we need to accept this dishonest peace on the South Sudanese people’s behalf.

Nevertheless, people are alienated over the authorization of this dishonest peace; some argue that it will bring more division among the communities. Let me say this, there will be a struggle for the majority of South Sudanese people, initially in the process of accepting this arrangement, and it will become a point of major discussion in some months to come. The other side would argue that having two armies will steered the country into Somalia governance system and will eliminate the sense of a country hood and availability of unity among those who work hard to liberate this country. Despite the difference between our people, South Sudanese communities share more similarities than differences. Having said that, the arrangement will hopefully normalize the security instability countrywide, increase civilians’ protection, and emphasize the prevention of sectarian violence against innocent people. In order to maximize differences, it is necessary for negotiators to produce a conductive peace that will prevent this syndrome and cure the cancer of our time. All sides should look for the right procedures that will bring about the conductive atmosphere necessary for the comportment of the citizen’s protection that is reasonable and not the one that will take the country back to a civil war. Again, for fighting this violence radicalism requires a broad coalition of communities willing to stand up for the South Sudanese citizens’ interest, and unite against those who seek to divide our people among the fault lines of tribes, clans or communities. Defeating these extreme politicians means defeating their false aptitude, instead embracing the real aptitude we see in our citizens, investing in the entire communities and folks who are rejecting hate and division in favor of reconciliation, dialogue, tolerance, compromise, and peace are instantaneously indispensable. The idea of creating a healthy debate that will silence the hostility, and giving our innocents people a break from this madness is great especially in the age of war and death and will tremendously stop these toxic agents that has been feeding on the blood our innocent people.

For this arrangement, the benefits are far greater in terms of lives and death, but we should wait and see how much this document would add to the suffering. This dishonest peace will eradicate unnecessary killing and enormous suffering, but still there will be some concerns such as abusing of power and misusing of natural resources. However, in the absence of this favorable environment, the legality of the result of the dishonest peace in Addis Ababa would be questionable, and this would drag the country back into a bottomless civil war. Therefore, it is extremely necessary that all efforts would be rationalized to produce a favorable environment for peace once and for all. Both parties should be equally looking for the right procedures that will bring about a favorable atmosphere necessary for peace to return to the new nation. If there were good faith, the remaining time would be enough for preparing the ground for the implementation of this dishonest peace, and after winning the dishonest peace in Addis Ababa, hence enabling the South Sudanese people to freely express their opinion without coercion or intimidation in the future. The South Sudanese people never abandoned hope, because good things always come out of bad things and I’m hoping and convince that the beauty of life and the presence of Nhialic, our good friend in sky and gods of South Sudan will delivered peace to its people of this new nation. However, we all know how difficult it is in the position of the negotiators in such circumstance in South Sudan so divided to be able to forge this arrangement is incredible. The negotiators must have one aim to serve the best interest of the South Sudanese people that remain to be seen and must be trusted through the spirit of Nhialic, our good friend in sky and gods of South Sudan to bring peace to the new nation and must guide them days and months to come.

Santino Aniek is a concerned South Sudanese living in Upstate New York, U.S.A. He can be reached at santino.aniek5@gmail.com and find me on Facebook at santino aniek, on Skype or on twitter @saniek.

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