Opinion: South Sudan Arms Embargo will not work as long as President Museveni provides cover!
If you ever wondered why people like me had doubts in the new sanctions from the United States and United Nations, it is because it is flawed from the get-go. It lacks one certainty and one key component. It is only hurting the leadership around President Salva Kiir Mayardiit, but not the structures or the profitable arms-trade between friends in the region. That is obvious and the Uganda People’s Defence Force (UPDF) and Sudanese People Liberation Army (SPLA) has collaborated and worked in the past. They have even had practice of equipment together with fatal outcomes. Therefore, the newly minted sanctions lose value, when the Ugandan counterparts plan to defy and resist the sanctions.
“I want to you tell this, and whether you believe it or not, the government will never fail to acquire weapons by any means. What the foreign countries, including the United States of America, are doing is a pursuit of regime change which nobody will entertain even in America,” said a presidential aide asked what actually was the message Ugandan envoy had delivered. “Nobody will accept that a democratically elected government be changed through the force or by an imposed agreement,” he further told Sudan Tribune on condition of anonymity” (…) “President Museveni is indeed a friend of the people of South Sudan. He sent the special message for two purposes. One, he assured his excellency, General Salva Kiir Mayardit of the support of the people and the government of the Republic of Uganda to the people and the Republic of South Sudan. His Excellency President Museveni gave the assurance of highest support in this situation. Two, in case of sanctions, the government of Uganda would do its best to ensure all weapons and associated services destined to South Sudan are facilitated,” he said” (Sudan Tribune, 2018).
President Museveni doesn’t care about the people of Sudan, he just needs the blood money fuelling his economy, as well as the foreign exchange from both the refugees and the arms. National Resistance Movement and Museveni only need loyalist in Juba so he can extort and get funds for his agenda in Kampala. This here is done, while he is still involved in the Peace process, which he should be kicked out from. Since he will support and supply with arms.
If the United States are serious, they will cut off supplies to Museveni. Even if he get Chinese and Russian gear, he still isn’t using the deadly manufactured in USA to continue the prolonged civil war in South Sudan. That should be a wished outcome. That will hurt the bottom-line right now, but would not it morally stupid to talk of sanctions and then supply the intermediary who trades them to final destination.
Because Museveni will talk with IGAD and have his meeting with different parts of SPLM/A, but he will still make sure arms and ammunition get delivered to SPLA. That meaning, their efforts for final peace and reconciliation is bound by the defeat of the opposition militias. All of this is warlords and rebels, who all wants their fair share of power. Seemingly, Museveni is a close ally of Kiir and its benefits Museveni. He get to trade weapons and has ally in the region. While he still is friendly with US, because they need his soldiers in Somalia. So he is winning both places and nothing ever changes. Except for the families, society and lack of institutions in South Sudan. Where the conflict just becomes more and more volatile.
Therefore, if the UN and USA is serious, they would do something about Uganda. I said it before and I say it again. He will continue to provide arms to Kiir, because it benefits Museveni. Not because he cares about South Sudan. Peace.
Sudan Tribune – ‘Museveni tells South Sudan not to worry from U.S. sanctions’ (11.02.2018) link: http://www.sudantribune.com/spip.php?article64703