South Sudan: Are we seeing a new stand-off between Kiir and Machar?

These days it seems more likely, even if we don’t want to phantom it or really consider it. The prolonged agony of the R-ARCSS in combination of lacking implementation and rising insecurity. The leaders of Juba are now gearing themselves up again.

This is happening after the Khartoum Declaration, the R-ARCSS and all the mechanisms moving things glacier slow. There been little to no significant progress and we are still living in a Republic where the Presidential Decree is the final word. That’s why we are getting in trouble, yet again.

The President suddenly without forewarning dismissed or sacked a minister. Not just any minister, but the Minister of Defence, which happens to part of the SPLM/A-IO. The various of stakeholders and consignees of the Peace Agreement have negotiated themselves into several different offices and amassed power by doing so. Therefore, the dismissal is going against this idea and also shuffling without consent of the co-signers.

President Salva Kiir Mayardit should know this by now. That he couldn’t just sack a fellow Minister or do so without warning or talking with the party the Minister was a part of. This is he what he did. The President didn’t consult the SPLM/A-IO and will later announce a successor, which will most likely be a part of his SPLM-IG. Therefore, it is demoting the SPLM/A-IO and giving them a less prominent office. Which also doesn’t adhere to the agreements and the negotiated settlements the parties has agreed upon.

Some has claimed that Dr. Riek Machar has always looked for reasons to be disloyal, disgruntled and displeased, just so he can launch a “war-cry”. However, in this instance… he got it on the up-and-up. This is the ego of the President and his sudden change of heart. There might be valid reasons for the sacking, misuse of power, inept or just not fit the office. Nevertheless, none of that was communicated and it just came out of thin-air. A decree dropped in the late of night and sudden in the public domain.

That’s why the SPLM/A-IO had all the reasons to feel hurt. They have the right to call it out. Some might say… that the stakeholders and co-signers are only in it for the offices. That is partly true, because everyone is first searching to feed their own belly. Secondly, the working for their cause and their party. Which they are supposed too… but still, the President should have informed and spoken in the right forum about the planned sacking of the Defence Minister. That would only have made sense. Especially, since that would have been done according to the Peace Agreement.

The President should know all this and I don’t know why he wanted to poke the hornets-nest. It seems risky and who really plays with fire. A seasoned man and a for life president like Kiir should know better. Nevertheless, maybe he just wanted to create tensions and have reasons to end the stalemate. Get less hectic partners and try to gain more control. However, that is a gamble and it haven’t paid off for him in the past.

This move will certainly stop the implementation of the R-ARCSS, yet again. It will create a mess and someone has to clean it up. The President should be wiser than this and do it smarter. Especially, when he knows who his bargaining with and knows how easily things can spark. Therefore, why do it now? When you have just entered another extension of the R-ARCSS?

Make it make sense… it is just like you want to have reasons to grab the guns again. That’s how it looks like from a far. A silly excuse to end the games and charades… and just go back to the battlefield, one last time. Like that would resolve anything. It would only cost more lives, create more internally displaced people and refugees in the nearby countries. A new conflict would only damage the nation more and consistently hurt civilians in the cross-fire. That is something all the parties here knows and this is why they should have more caution. Especially, a man who has been so long on the throne, President Kiir. He should know this and I think he does… Peace.

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