By Andrew Kuong Ruach Lam
OPINION – The SPLM/A-IO military high command, after having issued two documents signed by the chief of staff, seem to have fallen to deaf ears, even the peace brokers (Sudan and Uganda especially) and IGAD who were addressed in those two documents could not response or taken a chance to check why peace agreement could not go according to the timetable. Nor responded to allowed Dr Riek Machar either to go or organise two days conference in Khartoum or Kampala, because these were the two countries that made the last broker for the singing of the R-ARCSS, or in any one of IGAD Countries like Ethiopia.
What does this means of this complete silence of the two countries and the IGAD and what is the friends (Troika, EU, UN and AU) of IGAD who always advice and signed up to witness the events are doing about this? The two documents expressed a legitimate claims and there is a need of communication between the forces of IO and their leadership Dr Riek Machar Tenydhorgon.
The concern behind this is that Dr Riek is said to be in house arrest in Juba which does not make sense, the question would be who arrested Dr Riek and why especially when he is the first vice president, is there a precedent to this example? It has been stated that his passport has been withheld and commandeered, if this is true then the first vice president of South Sudan has no immunity of his position that protect a constitutional post holder like him be humiliated, whilst is sitting officially as first vice president, this may set a jungle horrible example in Africa if not the world at large.
Who is behind that? Is IGAD aware of this? Why Dr Riek is quiet about it, what is he waiting for, has the world conspired against him? Can a popular leader, with forces on the ground be humiliated like that? What will his forces think about this? It means the world peace is upside down, and IO forces have the right to come up with those documents requesting their leader to come out and brief them.
Who is behind this conspiracy against Dr Riek? that his forces would leave and defect to the government than?, those behind this conspiracy are not for making peace rather fuelling the situation in South Sudan, this will undermined the peace that we thought for the people of South Sudan, this will dictated the political situation in South Sudan without the will of the people.
The international community must wake up to help because president Kiir had developed a region instability by incorporating regional friends against peoples’ movement the SPLM/A-IO supported by the majority of people of South Sudan, a conflict like in South Sudan does not end with conspiracy, it will backfire with the wishful thinkers for already South Sudan is verge of collapse if not already done.
The International community must not wait to correct the wrongdoing going on in South Sudan. What replace hostiles is peace like R-ARCSS with honest implementation, the mediators seem to have only what serve their interest like the peace of Sudan which recently signed in Juba. The question how comes a peace destroyer like Juba be peace maker of Khartoum? The International Community are out to challenge this kind of situation and not be silence which not going to be helpful to the regional peace of East Africa. Among the International Community especially is the Troika (US, UK and Norway), EU, Au, who we seem to share values and aspiration. I thought the world said, Rawanda caught them by surprise, how could South Sudan genocide of December 15, 2013 also caught the world by surprised?
President Kiir Mayardit does not put R-ARCC implementation a priority, and the world is silence, his government only caters for certain people in South Sudan, having inserted so called administrative areas, cutting the meat of South Sudan and leaving the unwanted bones to those he out-caste, and the intention is known, others people especially the Nuer and other non Dinka are not in his gospel.
What kind of future is South Sudan going to be with a situation like that? Gen. John Olony is the evidences of that. That is why critics is saying that the international community is not giving peace a chance, when the government of Kiir Mayardit is messing about peace agreement and they are turning deaf ears and blind eyes, they pressured by setting hundred days twice for the implementation the peace agreement, why are they quiet now, and if it is IGAD why allowing it to mediate when they compromised their position by taking side, because the allegation of Dr Riek house arrest said to be the IGAD, which is not a neutral position.
Whoever is thinking of a third option outside this R-ACSS of peace agreement that was witnessed and signed by the International Community and the friends of IGAD, that 3rd option will not work because December 2013 by itself was an uprising by the Nuer and other South Sudanese, taking up arms. Uprising like the Khartoum Sudan one will not take place in South Sudan because Salva Kiir government first target was the civilians that was why UN compounds in Juba were opened to civilians’ safety after the Nuer people were slaughtered and massacred of 20,000 in only 3 days of December 2013 in Juba by president Kiir.
David Shearer declaration of withdrawing of protection forces in the protection of civilians in UN camps in Juba is a mistake, even Dr Riek Machar was assured to be protected when he is Juba became a joke and end up protect by the very government that attempted to kill him in July 8, 2016 in J1.
Because Nuer plus others were not safe from the government of Salva Kiir, civilians should have remained protected with Riek Machar till the security arrangement is fully implemented before the withdrawal of UN protection forces from POCs in Juba and other towns in south Sudan. What is behind this decision of protection withdrawal? What is new from the UN representative in Juba, why relinquishing from the protection of civilian in Juba?
That is a big mistake, Juba and other town held by the government are not safe for the people like Nuer and non Dinka people and the Dinka as well people started to talk about it. Killing every day and night from the unknown gunmen become the talk in South Sudan, nobody is safe including the Dinka people.
President Kiir knows who the unknown gunmen is, because it is his own making, the country is not safe because of his tribal control against others, government soldiers became the unknown gunmen very clear. Salva ideology will ruled for 300 years is the motives behind his desire even if the country sink into the deep sea.
Domination and bullying other became his legacy, so that he continue in power for the interest of one tribes, this became true because Dinka never come out clear to express their disapproval of such tribal policies, Gen. Paul Malong and Tilar Deng did not split to disapprove that policies rather than person grievances with Kiir Mayar. We wish the Dinka voices whose name had been using by Kiir killing other non Dinka be heard loud, they should not allow Kiir and his elements in power to destroy the country in the name of the Dinka people. The Dinka people must come out very clearly to deny Kiir using Dinka name for his own political interest.
We thought that Kiir must give peace a chance, instead Kiir is using the situation to water down and weaken the opposition to continue putting emphases on others like so called national dialogue in order to make a U-turn to 32 states from his recent monologue (un-inclusive national dialogue chair and co-chair by Angelo Beda and Abel Alier Kuai)
I don’t believe that Dr Riek is in house arrest, if he is then he must air out why and who house arrested him or who withdraw his passport, the question how can a first vice president be house arrest? Or how comes his passport be with restricted or withdrawn? Dr Riek must choose between unworkable Peace’s agreements or be with his forces, no international community can restrict a popular leader that lead a very popular movement, neither IGAD, OBAMA ADMINISTRATION NOR YOWERI MUSEVENI OF UGANDA nor Salva Kiir. Dr Riek should find out and begin to address, the issue. The problem is not with the forces of SPLM/A-IO who are waiting to see peace implemented or. The frustration is growing to highest level, he must give some answers to some question. Stacking on unworkable peace and the appointment of Gen. Johnson Olony, as a governor of Upper Nile State.
Kiir does not wholly want to implement peace agreement and want to go back to his way of dismantling the peace agreement. English would say who is going to bother with the dying horse? Dr Riek cannot wait for his opponent Kiir to do good to implement peace for him when the nothing going to happen in a foreseeable future. Kiir is comfortable with the quietness of Dr Machar, since IO members are leaving in hundreds day by day, IO military officers defecting to Kiir and shoot their own comrades. How many people defected to Kiir with the Slogans of Riek is running the movement as a family enterprise for a very long time and nothing being done about it by Dr Riek and people around him. We need to see changes concerning this very particular allegations. But nothing been done about it.
If it is a matter of peace implement concerning Gen. Johnson Olony, certain changes should have been made to test the luck of sincerity and political will from president Kiir to implement peace agreement. From the beginning the solution of dispute between Chollo and Dinka, could not have been by appointment of Gen.Johnson Olony. A neutral person from other tribes could have been the governor of the Upper Nile States in order to bring peace and reconciliation between the Dinka and the Chollo. That person being a Nuer, Anyuak, or Broun was the best option.
Gen. Johnson Olony did not say the only position he wants was the governorship, never, I am sure Johnson Olony claims of land was legitimate which was in view not too personal and can be address amicably by neutral mediations, having a neutral governor in place. Gen. Olony as long as he brought the issue to light, he has done his job as the son of the area.
Instead Kiir is interested in things like non-inclusive so called National Dialogue which is a waste of time and money of South Sudanese people, this tribal monologue in order to find a way by bringing back 32 states will not help.I remember when Khartoum peace Agreement was signed from 1996 started with the political charter Gen. Paulino Matip had advised the leadership of then South Sudan Independent Movement/Army (SSIM/A), that he did not wish to continue as the governor of western upper Nile rather than remained in charge of western upper military command and did not want to take a political role.
Gen. Johnson Olony, is capable to run any military position at this time rather being imposed on a political occupation, this would have tested president Kiir rejection of the appointment of Olony, what if IO would say ok, Johnson Olony become the minister of defence, Kiir would also said no, Kiir is very clear being president of one tribe and not all the tribe and especially the upper Nile people between chollo and the Dinka.
Dr Riek must wake up and not being deceive by people around him that he is alright, Dr Riek cannot be alright without implementation of R-ARCESS starting with the security arrangement which now seem to be irrelevant. Dr Riek can still communicate with his forces as he was in South African, why not communicating from Juba? Can Dr Riek give orders contrary to peace agreement and ceasefire? Of course not. Dr Riek can always brief the forces as he is in Juba as he was in South African, nothing wrong with that and if he is in house arrest, than this by itself is a violation of the peace agreement itself and the ceasefire, then it is the government to be blamed and not anybody else, the forces would see it that their leader is arrested and the peace agreement is not any longer working.
The author is a concerned South Sudan citizen and can be reached via: firstname.lastname@example.org
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