Title: IGAD SHOULD DISMISS RIEK MACHAR FROM ADDIS ABABA/Gordon Buay
Author: Gordon Buay
Date: 08-25-2014, 05:54 PM
The problem of Seyoum Mesfin is that he fails to understand that Riek Machar has no control over the rebel warlords in South Sudan. The death of a member of IGAD VMT under the detention of Peter Gatdet should not surprise anybody. IGAD should be blamed because they got a clearance from Riek Machar who stays in hotel in Addis while the real person controlling the ground is Peter Gatdet. Had IGAD listened to my advice and considered each rebel warlord as more important than Riek Machar, such an incident could have been avoided.
The mistake of IGAD, particularly Seyoum Mesfin, is the inability to understand the political and military dynamics within rebels fighting the government. The first thing IGAD should understand is that Riek Machar has no control over Peter Gatdet, Simon Gatwec Duel, Gabriel Tanginye, etc. Once they understand that, then, they will devise a plan for its VMT to operate by reaching an agreement with the warlords on the ground. Consulting Riek Machar without dealing with the warlords on the ground is like taking a permission from Ban Ki Moon about the security in Addis Ababa city without consulting Prime Minister Hailemariam Desalegn.
The problem of Seyoum Mesfin is that he is so naive when it comes to South Sudan politics. The only person who has an experience dealing with South Sudanese is the Kenyan General Lazarus Sumbeiywo.
The fact that Addis Ababa hotel has become Riek Machar's headquarters is something that should alert the IGAD that the man has no control. Riek Machar cannot return to South Sudan because he has no place to live after Nasir was captured in May by the government.
My advice to IGAD is to ask Riek Machar to return to South Sudan forest with his wife and show to the world whether he controls the warlords like Peter Gatdet. That is simple as that. Once it is confirmed that he has no control, then, the IGAD should start re-examining its strategy in dealing with South Sudan, that is, mediating a peace between the warlords and the government.
Seyoum Mesfin looks like somebody from another planet because in June he came to New York calling for sanctions. The fact that Peter Gatdet is sanctioned by the U.S. and EU is hampering the peace itself because he is now feeling that he has nothing to gain from the peace while he is needed by the international community. Basically, Peter Gatdet is in the situation of Joseph Kony. Peace for Gatdet means ICC. He therefore decided to live in the forest like Joseph Kony instead to accept peace while he is an indicted person.
I told US State Department officials that indictment can play a negative role in peace building in South Sudan because warlords like Peter Gatdet would rather fight like Joseph Kony to the finish than to sign a peace to jail. No warlord can sign a peace to go to jail. Seyoum Mesfin, being naive, doesn't know that.