By Clement Maring Samuel
May 21st 2018 (Nyamilepedia) – When General Paul Malong Awan, the leader of South Sudan United Front (SSUF) declared his movement, his intention was not for war, but for peace so that collectively all the parties to the conflict can find a comprehensive solution to the conflict in South Sudan. Malong was a party to the conflict and his intention to join the peace talks is a positive step towards peace. But TROIKA is obstructing his participation in the peace talk, and hence, violating the rationale of seeking peace through inclusivity.
Malong applied for membership into the Opposition Alliance known as South Sudan Opposition Alliance (SSOA), and for inclusion into the discussion of the peace talks in Addis Ababa. His intention was to give peace a chance, which is a positive idea. But TROIKA and some elements among the IGAD heads of States reject the idea of him joining the peace talks. What do they want if Malong is having good intention to participate in peace talk, is that a bad idea? Who is a war monger here, is it Malong or TROIKA?
The idea of TROIKA rejecting Malong to participate in the peace talk is related to him being sanctioned for war crimes, well, that is a good idea, but to be fair enough, TROIKA should also exclude Honorable James Makwei Lueth, James Gadet and James Koang who are with Malong in the sanctioned list. Contrarily, TROIKA and IGAD allowed the three to participate in the peace talks while rejecting Malong. What is the logic to target one person while favoring others? I think TROIKA is the biggest obstacle to the peace in South Sudan. To be fair enough, the logic would be either TROIKA should accept them all or reject them all; otherwise, TROIKA is harboring a hidden agenda against Malong.
The issue of war crimes should be tackled in two tracks: either it should be sought through institution of truth and reconciliation process or through the Hybrid court. This should be done when peace is achieved, but not when the war in continuing. In order to achieve the desired peace, the stakeholders in the conflict should be involved to collectively find amicable solutions. In African contexts, their involvement alone is indirectly reconciling them to create conducive atmosphere for reconciliation and peace.
TROIKA doesn’t know the dynamic of the internal politics of South Sudanese and the Africa mechanism of resolving conflict. The supporters of Malong today composed of people whom Malong himself had caused them to leave the country when he was the SPLA General Chief of Staffs, but for the interest of the suffering people of South Sudan, and for the stability of the country, they had dropped their personal differences in favor of the bigger picture of peace in South Sudan, and that is a reconciliation itself amongst the South Sudanese.
Naturally, South Sudanese loves each other, but, they were made to hate themselves by the result of this war which was created by Salva Kiir Mayardit who is only interested to defend his seat, but not the people of South Sudan. It is this same man whom TROIKA is darling with to cause more carnage in the country. TROIKA should not push the people who are eager for peace into the angle of war? What is TROIKA’s interest in war, when we the people of South Sudan are fed up of war?
The ongoing discussion of peace in Addis Ababa won’t yield fruits if TROIKA is favoring one side. Even if they come up with a readymade solution, it will not solve the grievances in the hearts of South Sudanese; they will only suspend them for a while. Any agreement that is signed in favor of others will explode like time bomb, and this will return the people of South Sudan back into more suffering. TROIKA should be sensitive on this.
General Malong was part of the conflict; he should be included into the discussion to be part of the solution. His ideas should equally be valued like the ideas of those war criminals whom TROIKA and IGAD have allowed in the peace discussion. Why should TROIKA value the ideas of Salva Kiir and Riak Machar who brought about this war? And Why reject Malong who knew the inside story of the crisis? His participation will shed light for negotiators to draw out easy roadmap to peace especially in the security cluster. Rejecting him is like adding more fuel into fire.
IGAD and TROIKA are not really taking people for genuine peace, but for fake peace because they are discussing positions of the SPLM-IG, SPLM-IO and SPLM-FDs, while undermining the fundamental root causes of the problem. The trio-SPLMs are comfortable with this calculation of positions based on figures, and indication that they were only fighting for their positions, but not for the quest of the suffering people of South Sudan.
There is propaganda by the government that the current war in South Sudan is a war that Nuer and Equatorians have united to fight the Dinka and TROIKA and IGAD are deceived by this naked lie. This propaganda is to keep Salva Kiir in power to torture the people of South Sudan. Kiir himself has turn against his fellow Dinka, and many more Dinka are suffering much more than the rest of the tribes. The coming of Malong mostly from the populated Dinka section of Bahr el Ghazal will diffuse this negative thinking purported to prolong the conflict by keeping Kiir in power. This is sure because, Salva Kiir Mayardit is now using Dinka tribe as a ticket to deceive the Regional Leaders and the international Community to keep him in power. TROIKA and IGAD should not be ignorant of this deception, unless if they are squarely bribed to intentionally keep the people of South Sudan to be punish under the cruelest rule of Salva Kiir Mayardit.
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