Opinion: CSO’s Paper to IGAD HLRF is revealing!
There were many insights and deep stuff in the CSO Report to IGAD, which has been written and submitted to Intergovernmental Authority on Development (IGAD), has put their stakeholders, and their pride into trying to forge a peace, even after the peace agreement of 2015 has been shot into tatters recently. The IGAD are clearly on a mission to sustain their place and their negotiations with the parties in South Sudan. As the conflict and battles within becomes more dire, when the consequences of not doing it, is more life in danger and a more uncertain future for the republic. Clearly, all parties knows what at stake, as the IGAD have proven not to be to impartial, as well as the foreign intervention from Uganda, has been in favor of the SPLM-IG, clearly, there are many more obstacles to fix before the due date of the newly proposed peace mediation. That is why the paper from the CSO is revealing, especially, the part if IGAD fail, which I think it will do, as long as people are sidestepping the SPLM-IO and the newly created militias and opposition forces. Look at their take if the IGAD fails, which is such a dossier.
“IGAD faces a daunting task in securing a political settlement through the HLRF process. Not only must it contend with the fracturing of armed groups and the proliferation of new political formations, but divisions among IGAD member states themselves undermine the diplomatic leverage that mediators have at their disposal. From the very start of the conflict, it has been clear that the four frontline states of Ethiopia, Kenya, Sudan and Uganda are essential to the solution of the conflict in South Sudan. Only they can offer the incentives and disincentives that are needed to bring the various factions together behind the terms of a political settlement. To date, the vested interests of some political elites in the region have prevented IGAD from mounting a united response. The next few months will show whether the situation in South Sudan has reached a point at which it poses such a serious threat to regional peace and stability that the region is forced to respond accordingly, or whether IGAD’s ability to respond will once again be undermined by narrowly defined state or personal interests” (CSO Paper, September 2017).
“If the HLRF process fails, the IGAD region must accept that it is unable to resolve the crisis in South Sudan and hand over responsibility for the mediation effort to the AU. The four frontline states can still engage in the context of an AU-led mediation, but they should not be able to dominate the process and use it as a forum to promote their own narrowly defined interests. The AU should start preparing itself now by developing a political strategy for a possible AU-led mediation effort. This strategy should go beyond any eminent personalities that may be appointed to lead the process to consider how the AU approach would differ from that of IGAD. In addition, IGAD and the AU should make clear to the warring parties that if they fail to agree on a political settlement in the context of the HLRF, IGAD and the AU will request that punitive measures be imposed on parties who undermine the process. Such punitive measures are long past due and are the only means to communicate to the leadership on all sides of the political divide that the African region will no longer allow the people of South Sudan and the region to be held hostage to their leaders’ pursuit of power” (CSO Paper, September 2017).
It is really telling how they are explaining in these passages, the reality of the daunting task ahead, as the SPLM/A and SPLM-IO are the key component to the crisis and stalemate, but this in effect has created many more enemies of both. The former SPLM/A and SPLM-IO who has become their own parties and their militias, are within all reason making the road-map for peace more hectic. As there isn’t just two leaders who wants to be supreme. But a dozens who wants to topple them both, by all means and with full force. This should not overshadow the need for diplomatic and negotiations between SPLM/A and SPLM-IO, neither stop the SPLM/A reunification project, even how flawed both has been.
The marginalized and silenced parts of the discussions, the rebellions against both parties, should be looked at if the IGAD HLRF Process is a honest one. If the IGAD approach should bear fruits, the SPLM-IO ghost is haunting the process and the dialogue. As well as all the former generals who has created their own outfits, who needs to included, unless they want to create a new fragile peace. That could blow up any second after the ink has run dry. Peace.
CIVIL SOCIETY OPTIONS PAPER ON THE IGAD HIGH-LEVEL REVITALIZATION FORUM (September 2017)