Title: South Sudan; the way forward to genuine peace and stability B Khalid Abdallah
Author: خالد عبدالله ابكر
Date: 01-18-2016, 01:41 AM
00:41 AM Jan, 18 2016
خالد عبدالله ابكر-
Signing the Peace Agreement for South Sudan is of paramount concern, not only to the South Sudanese, but also to the region and the whole world. The Peace Agreement put an end to a 20-month conflict between rebels, led by Riek Machar, the opposition of ten leaders as a civil opposition , known as G10, and president, Salva Kiir ‘s government. The war first erupted as a political struggle between the two main figures within the Sudan People’s Liberation Movement (SPLM) to lead the party. Such dispute spread to the army, which President Kiir described as an attempted coup masterminded by Machar and the G 10. Later on, the tension developed into a real war that brought about the widespread of killings, atrocities, rapes and severe human rights violations among the world’s newest nation.
However, the peace mediated by IGAD-plus mediation still faces challenges. On the one hand, both parties have reneged on the agreement, ever since its signature. On the other hand, the presidential decree issued by president Kiir, whereby the country was divided into 28 regions, was not accepted by the SPLA-IO, who demanded its cancellation, and the defection of government’s members to the oppositions . In addition, Kiir’s speech in welcoming the peace agreement did not carry much conviction, especially when he expressed his honest reservations over an agreement, and what seems as international struggle over oil resources between China and America.
It’s obvious that without the ability and genuine willingness of South Sudanese politicians the stability will not be achieved. Therefore, the threat of sanctions that international community has been expressing, cannot be the only powerful lever for peace. The first issue is that despite The Arusha agreement for reunification the SPLM, the dialogue within SPLM’s leaders is highly needed; they should call their attention to the fact that they fought together in the longest civil war in Africa, and they were the ones who negotiated the Comprehensive Peace Agreement, which led to creation of South Sudan. The dialogue should result in the reunification of the SPLM. Considering that in South Sudan there is no legacy of state of law, with the exception of the civil governance that the SPLM/A implemented in liberated areas during the war, and corrupt legacy of Basher’s government, it is the SPLM and other political parties responsibility to create such state. Recently, several events have illustrated the lack of a state of law legacy, such as last October, when the president of the Supreme Court Justice, Chan Reec, congratulated president Kiir on his decision to divide the country into 28 regions. There is also, according to some media reports, has denied many students access to schools on ethnic basis and corruption. Therefore, the reunification of the party would help to accomplish a democratic society, as soon as turns itself from being military movement into a civil en political party, which would solve the challenges that the face state building processes in South Sudan. On the contrary, the dismantling of the SPLM would result in the mushrooming of too many parties, set up on ethnic lines, as a first step to long-term instability.
The second issue of great concern to the country is the reconciliation, which was supposed to be conducted right after the cessation, due to the bloodshed among South Sudanese during the War. Even though there had been a committee headed by Riek Machar, Vice President at that time, but the committee did not forge ahead because of its political nature. Later on, another committee is set up during this war, which did not obtain consensus among the warring parties. The agreement’s provisions and the African Union commission of inquiry are dealing with this issue, however, preparing and understanding of the society as well the politicians is half of the task.
The third issue is the way of governing South Sudan. On the one hand, during the war, the SPLM/A had been supporting by east African’s countries, such as: Uganda, Kenya, Rwanda, Tanzania, and other neighbouring countries, where in most cases armed movements led their way from the bush to the power, imposing dictatorships. On the other hand, South Sudan is affected by the political culture in Sudan, where no armed movements have ever seized power through war, and many dictators overthrew by people’s uprisings. The result is that in Sudan nothing has been achieved and the South Sudan’s secession is due to lack of national vision to rule the country. In contrast, in many East African and neighbouring countries, some development and stability have been achieved without discounting the lack of democratic and freedom, which is the main threat to future of those countries. In light of these factors South Sudan should chose its way carefully.
The author could be reached at: [email protected]
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