Kenya Press Release

No one country can impose sanctions on South Sudan


Opposition party leaders Hon. Raila Odinga(left) chatting with his colleague Kalonzo Musyoka(Photo: file/Standard)
Opposition party leaders Hon. Raila Odinga(left) chatting with his colleague Kalonzo Musyoka(Photo: file/Standard)

Oct 17, 2016(Nyamilepedia) —– The peace accord in Sudan that brought about South Sudan as an independent state was a collective agreement led by the Intergovernmental Authority on Development.

Kenya cannot therefore unilaterally impose sanctions; it’s a self-seeking proposition by the legislators concerned, in my view.

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I can understand the frustration as Kenyan legislators would be seeing that leaders in the new nation have been stealing from their country and investing elsewhere in the region, but that can be handled separately.

Matters of sanctions cannot be imposed by one country, and can only be discussed within the framework of Igad. These MPs were just addressing the local problem. If you would say the East African Legislative Assembly is looking at this matter, it makes more sense – but unilateral sanctions don’t make any sense.

South Sudan gained Independence from Sudan North, or Khartoum, through the Comprehensive Peace Agreement of January 2005, signed here in Nairobi. It was a culmination of efforts put in by neighbouring countries and Igad member states.

I was once the chairman of the Igad Council of Ministers that was behind the deal, together with my good friend Lieutenant General (Rtd) Lazarus Sumbeiywo.

It should be known that, before the deal, we were persuaded by the fact that over two million people had died because of the long-running conflict – since 1956 when the British colonial masters left Sudan. At this time, Sudan was the biggest country in Africa by land size before it was partitioned to create Southern Sudan.

Sudan-Khartoum was governed by Sharia law that administered stiffer penalties. For instance, thieves had their hands cut off.

At some point, John Garang’, who took over as Southern Sudan president before he died, once told me that he wanted an assurance from Sudan North President al Bashir that he should accept his ability and not cut people’s hands, the majority of them from Southern Sudan, off. It was a big problem. The separation of the state and religion and marginalisation were real big problems.

I remember when I was the Foreign Affairs minister I reconciled the late Garang’ and Machar when things were not moving for about 24 hours here in Nairobi, for the sake of peace and respect from Sudan-Khartoum.

Southern Sudan is an independent state and has officially joined the EAC as the sixth member. We are really proud of this development, because the EAC family is growing.

We put in place a good foundation: You cannot, therefore, get peace within Africa through unstructured sanctions or force.

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