October 14, 2016(Nyamilepedia) —— Kenya — The efforts of the Government and the people of the Republic of Kenya to resolve the crisis in South Sudan is admirable and is unmatched. The people of Kenya stood with South Sudanese people from the 1955 civil, the 1983 war that ended with the signing of the Comprehensive Peace Agreement (CPA) in 2005 – eventually, leading to the independence of the country and the current war that started in 2013. President Uhuru Kenyatta played a central role in bringing about the Agreement on the Resolution of the Conflict in South Sudan (ARCSS) signed in Addis Ababa on 17th August and in Juba on 26th August, 2015 respectively.
All the while Kenya ensured that peace, security and stability returns to South Sudan whenever a conflict arises and its approach has been methodological, consistent and emanates from complete understanding of the conflict drivers and how to address resultant conflicts. One would only hope that the current MPs in the Parliament in Kenya would apply the knowledge that Kenya has acquired about the South Sudan conflicts over the years, to assist the country to return to normalcy instead of pursuing the path of slapping sanctions against South Sudanese leaders and the threats to throwing their family members out of the Kenya.
It is important to understand that the spat of violence that started in the Presidential Palace in Juba, popularly known as J1, was occasioned by the deliberate actions of President Kiir and his political and security forces in Juba to derail the implementation of the peace agreement signed in August 2015. United Nations Report entitled “South Sudan’s Fighting Directed at Highest Levels” published on Sept. 9th, 2016 confirmed it. The report is available on www.usnews.com
When the situation deteriorated, it was Kenya that came out first and called for the meeting of the IGAD Foreign Ministers on 11th July, 2016 to address the threat to the implementation of the peace agreement – followed the AU meeting, IGAD Heads of States meeting, IGAD Plus meeting, another AU meeting and the UN Security Council meeting. The resolutions of those ad hoc meetings to address the July crisis were published and contained practical steps to stop the fighting and rescue the peace agreement. Those resolutions, if followed up and implemented today, have the capacity to stop South Sudan from sliding back in to a full-fledged nation-wide conflict and to restore the Transitional Government of National Unity (TGONU).
President Kiir, effectively, ended the TGONU on 25th July, 2016 when he appointed Taban Deng Gai as the First Vice President, while his forces were chasing the legitimate First Vice President, Dr. Riek Machar, in the bushes of Equatoria with the aim of killing him – while the witnesses and guarantors of the peace agreement set back and watched without even issuing a word of condemnation.
The solutions to resolving the current conflict are political in nature and it is important to make all efforts to engage the parties to the conflict in an all-inclusive process of political dialogue to first understand the root causes of this conflict. After which a political solution reached at by all the parties can be formulated and commitment by the parties to abide by and implement the solution are made. Any one party who would not want to adhere to the political solutions would be singled out and reprimanded.
Rushing to impose sanctions against leaders and threatening to kick their relatives and family members out of Kenya, will not help resolve the political problems of South Sudan either. In fact, doing so, will only complicate the conflict further.
Kenya should not allow itself to be influenced by talks in certain quarters that are not familiar with the South Sudanese crisis and are biased. It is important for Kenya to continue playing its leading role as the stabilizing factor in South Sudan given its knowledge and experience of dealing with the crisis.
SPLM/A In Opposition Representative to Kenya