South Sudan: Have little faith in reviving ARCSS or the Peace-Agreement 2015, which is the new effort started by IGAD in Juba today!
It’s been a while since the ‘Compromise Peace Agreement on the Resolution of the Conflict in South Sudan’ on the date 26th August 2015, where the different parts of the South Sudanese conflict together with Ethiopian diplomats and IGAD secretariat made an inclusive agreement for all parties. This peace-agreement was short lived, as the stay of Dr. Riek Machar and his SPLM-IO wasn’t long in Juba. The months after the IGAD-Plus mediation after the Peace-Agreement fall apart in 2016. He came back in July 2016 to implement the Peace Agreement with the SPLA/M and President Salva Kiir Mayardiit. It was the same month the fires between Kiir’s guards and Machar’s guards that flared the skirmishes and the whole civil war between these war-lords.
The moments of peace in the new Republic has been short… nearly glimpse of hope of a new journey as a nation. The IGAD, JMEC and UNMISS have all been involved together with Troika of Norway, United States of America and United Kingdom, they have all set their provisions and their mandates to make the place better. Still, with all these organizations, multi-national organization, all sort of dialogue and extra-ordinary meetings in Ethiopia, Ugandan and in Kenya. Still, the measures haven’t added-up.
SPLM-IO is split in two fractions, different opposition rebellious groups tied down to bring down SPLA/M, the SPLM-IG, the President Kiir fraction by force and by will of the guns. That wasn’t there when the latest Peace Agreement in 2015 was signed and supposed to be implemented in 2016. Still, the IGAD are meeting today and tomorrow for yet another extraordinary meeting in Juba. Its like the Ethiopian and IGAD Secretariat tries to make themselves important and revive a dead agreement. It is sad to say the 2015 Agreement gone to the wind, but the blazing rifles and massive amounts of refugees should be powerful statement of misguided policies towards the Nation. It might have been done in good-will and with good-purposes. However, the War-Lords have not put the guns and tactics of the bush-wars.
The deserters and opposition forces are maneuvering, while the National Dialogue meetings are not for anything more than making more people loyal to the President. Since it is not involving all parties or all parts of the SPLM. That shows the intent of the Ugandan President Museveni who knows how war-games and shadow games work in politics. Therefore when I read statement from the Ethiopian government on the meeting, I am not hopeful:
“Dr Workneh Gebeyehu arrives at Juba Airport, South Sudan in the afternoon for talks on revitalization of the Agreement on the Resolution of Conflict in South Sudan (ARCSS) as per the decesion reached by the 57th extraordinary Session of IGAD Council of Ministers. Up on arrival Foreign Minister of the Republic of South Sudan Deng Alor Kuol warmly recieved his Ethiopian counterpart. Ambassador Fisseha Shawol and Staff members of Ethiopian Embassy in Juba also joined the occassion. Foreign Ministers of the Sudan and Djibouti are also in the Republic of South Sudan for the revitalization talk. The delegation led by Dr Workneh included State Minister Mrs. Hirut Zemene and Ambassador Shamebo Fitamo among others. IGAD led by Dr Workneh will meet the president of South Sudan and will have discussion with AU, UN, EU, Troika and other partners on the revitalization process of the peace accord” (The Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Ethiopia, 23.07.2017).
So now two years after the 2015 agreement they want to breath life into the dead and after three days Jesus came-up from the dead, he walked out of the grave and walk into the desert. Well, the same will not happen for ARCSS, the rebels will not accept the power-structure and the possible interference from President Kiir. Seems like the foul play that has been done. Not that this only be the answer, all of the parties are not at the meeting in Juba. The foreign partners of the legit government SPLM-IG are sitting drinking coffee and tea, discussion provision and possible amendments passing the minutes and trying to figure out the troubling affairs. As the villages has been burned, the famines has hit areas and even corridors of food supplies has to come across the borders through Sudan to feed the hungry. This proves the volatile situation.
The IGAD meetings now, is in good spirit, but out of bound. Out of reach and doesn’t have the focus, just like the National Dialogue meetings at the Okello State in Entebbe, Uganda. They are with good intentions, but when all parties aren’t present, when all voices aren’t included and the rebels are running large, when the new groups are appearing will to risk it all to get rid of the Central Government. When reports that civilians are running and fleeing when government forces are coming, but giving food to rebels. Because the rebels shows more mercy than the forces supported by the President in Juba. You should know the are certain approaches and certain roads not taken…
There been many bridges burned, lot of water under the same bridge and even more more huts put on fire. The reality is these talks are not sincere, and will not been seen as honest efforts. When you have not engaged the whole specter of forces or voices, who uses guns and tactics to overthrow Kiir. There are not like in 2015, about SPLM-IG and SPLM-IO, now the situation are more complex and grown more dire. It isn’t just two elephants fighting and hurting the grass. So I am less than hopeful for the efforts done by IGAD, IGAD-Plus or any sort of body trying to intervene. Not because I don’t want peace.
If there is supposed to be real peace, there needs to be talk between all the ones who is hurt, all the ones who is someone and also the leadership of the rebels, armies and whatnot involved in the battles, done in the states, towns and villages. These ones cannot be silenced because the IGAD doesn’t recognize their effort to undermine international contribution, neither can National Dialogue if it is a sincere way of generating hope not include the SPLM-IO, but they don’t. It show lack of will and also wish of total control. Hope that the ones with biggest army and biggest fund will be able to sustain the warfare longer than the rebels. Peace.