There are something very wrong when an arms supplier of two decades like President Yoweri Kaguta Museveni of Uganda, are involved in the mediation and peace negotiation in South Sudan. Even if President Salva Kiir Mayardit are wanting him. They have had a longstanding relationship, which is the proof of the arms trade and helping each with armies when needed be. Therefore the impartiality with having Museveni isn’t there. Museveni will secure Kiir and his fraction as that pays him in the long-run and not necessary the best for South Sudan. Just take a look!
On the 26th May at the State House:
“Chaired a meeting of three different South Sudanese factions, seeking to reunite the South Sudan People’s Liberation Movement. The meeting at State House, Entebbe was attended by representatives of the SPLM in government, SPLM in opposition and former detainees. This followed a request by His Excellency Salva Kiir that I help in the mediation process. The meeting agreed to establish a working committee that will develop a workplan on implementation of the Arusha Accord, end the war and plan for peace. The meeting tasked as me as mediator, and new chair of the East African Community to determine time and venue for the next meeting, which I will do” (Yoweri Kaguta Museveni, 26.05.2017).
The relationship between Museveni and the conflict in South Sudan, can go back in to old libraries like the report from the Independent paper in the United Kingdom:
“The Nigerian-owned Boeing cargo plane was forced to land at Larnaca on Tuesday during a flight from from Tel Aviv to Entebbe in Uganda. According to the Cypriot civil aviation authorities, it was carrying weapons to Uganda. A senior Ugandan official said yesterday it was the first his government knew of the consignment, and there is speculation that the weapons may be destined for the Sudan People’s Liberation Army, struggling for survival in southern Sudan” (…) “The Sudanese government seems to regard Uganda as a supplier of the SPLA. Reliable sources in the area say Khartoum has been supplying dissidents elements in Uganda who have mounted random attacks near Sudanese refugee camps in northern Uganda” (Dowden, 1994). So Museveni has supplied the SPLA weapons for over 20 years and the recent reports show similar activity with Ukraine plane and pilot, instead of being a Nigerian one like the old report. Therefore, with the history of supplying weapons and ammunition to the SPLA. There isn’t like Museveni has chosen side in the conflict. The National Dialogue, which isn’t allowing Dr. Riek Machar and therefore excluding the real SPLM-IO, as well as the newly forged rebel-groups. Which is either dissidents of the SPLM-IO or the SPLM/A in the recent year.
So with the sanctions of who is taking part of the National Dialogue, it will not be sincere, since all of the parties are not involved. The rebels and their leaders are not in communication with the government. Therefore, President Kiir has an ally in the negotiation instead of mediator without any inside agreements. That means that President Museveni will be on the side of Kiir and not on a genuine peace-talks.
Like the interview of SMC in mid-May:
“Q. What about IGAD efforts now in South Sudan?
A. For the South Sudan crisis the IGAD was also supported by the international community. In fact the agreement is ‘IGAD-plus agreement’. The IGAD on the one hand and on the other hand, the members of the international community including the TROIKA and a number of other countries were involved in bringing the government of South Sudan and the SPLA together in agreement. So on the ground there is an extensive understanding and cooperation between the IGAD and the international community” (SMC, 2017).
So even if it is a ceasefire now, the attacks and skirmishes still happens in different states. The situation is still dire and my faith in the National Dialogue isn’t there. As the IGAD-Plus Agreement haven’t been respected, by neither party. As the turmoil and crisis is in the matter of the current leadership. Both from the rebels and also from the central government.
With all this in mind, what will be President Museveni motives to make a work-plan for the mediation and implementation of the Arusha Accord. Will it be to generate a real peace or for the help of his friend in troubling time. With the knowledge of the connection between Ugandan Army and the SPLA, Museveni is more important to keep Kiir as an ally, than generate a real peace. The National Dialogue is flawed and it doesn’t help that you have a partial motivated leader like Museveni helping out. It is not to give the mediation any credibility. Since the weapon-brother and the ammunition supplier of the SPLA would not be sincere in wishing peace. He has made sure that President Kiir could battle his enemies and had enough bullets to silence them.
I never had faith in Museveni to deal with this, might the rest of the world do, but then they are naive and not thinking of the implications of selling guns and than discussing peace afterwards. It doesn’t seem to be real and fit. Like a beer producers are promoting careful drinking is insincere as they are in the business of trading the brew and not safety. Peace.
Dowden, Richard – ‘Israeli weapons ‘bound for rebels’ in southern Sudan: Arms may be destined for SPLA fight against Khartoum’ (19.03.2017) link: http://www.independent.co.uk/news/world/israeli-weapons-bound-for-rebels-in-southern-sudan-arms-may-be-destined-for-spla-fight-against-1430077.html
The Sudanese Media Center (SMC) – ‘Interview: IGAD Special Envoy in Khartoum Lissane Yohannes’ (15.05.2017) link: http://smc.sd/en/interview-igad-special-envoy-khartoum-lissane-yohannes/