Well, this is just one of them days, as we know that President Yoweri Kaguta Museveni has for long invested in Juba, in the Sudanese People’s Liberation Army/Movement (SPLA/M) and in President Salva Kiir Mayardit. This is well known, but IGAD memo is revealing a sinister approach, which is not surprising, knowing how the UPDF have been involved and the arms trade to Juba from Kampala. All of these things combined with the leaked memo today. Shows a pattern and a approach to conflict, not to generate peace, but actually be a merchant of death.
The warlord Museveni have found a weapon brother in Kiir. They have both earned and profited from the business they have done together. Now, the amounts and speculated earnings are coming to the surface. President Museveni and the cadres around him needs this source of income and will not jeopardize that. Not at this point and time. That is why his a threat, because what would he do, if the gravy-train stopped pumping. Have people considered that?
Take a look!
“The documented dated August 15, 2019, claims that the Ugandan President Yoweri Museveni is the real threat to peace in South Sudan and that South Sudan has become the second source on income for the Ugandan leader. “We [IGAD] are playing with our minds. There will never be peace in South Sudan as long as other IGAD member states keep quiet. The real threat in South Sudan is Uganda, and we must confront Uganda if we want peace to return to South Sudan,” the seemingly frustrated IGAD official wrote. “One million dollar a month is the one keeping Uganda in South Sudan. This new country is now the second source of Museveni finance,” the source claims” (South Sudan News Agency – ‘Leaked memo: Uganda is the real threat to peace in South Sudan’ 16.08.2019).
We know, Museveni have used the UPDF without a mandate in South Sudan over a long time. We know he has sold and traded arms, equipment for warfare, even as the UN arms embargo has persisted. Therefore, we know his reckless in concern of profits and using the army as a bargain-chip for fresh funds.
Now, we know, that the IGAD, one of the negotiating bodies which the R-ARCSS process going through is questioning the motives of President Museveni in South Sudan. This means, that the neighbour is a threat and a possible hazard for the peace-process. As they know, that the Warlord of Uganda, will not give up his money or his profits of the hurt in South Sudan. That is the sort of man he is and that is why, he will find ways to “resolve” his bottlenecks and get paid-in-full on the weaponized enterprises in South Sudan.
Surely, this leaked memo says it all. The warnings and the UN Experts Reports has been validated by this. Peace.
“The Finance and Economic Planning Committee of the National Legislative Assembly has proposed that South Sudan should buy a presidential jet to be used by the President, the vice-presidents and senior members of the executive” (…) “South Sudan spends millions of dollars in travel costs for government officials a year. Members of committee said purchasing a jet would curb travel expenditure from the office of the President. The committee added that purchasing a plane would also ensure the “security of the president” is not compromised” (The National Courier, 14.08.2019).
Somewhere along the lines of misuse of power, somewhere the misuse of funds and the lack of transparency bears fruit. Where the Presidential Decrees and total control looses value. In this instance, it is the total disregard of the public and their needs. As the basics are covered by donors, and donor funded organizations, while the state is living lavish on either aid or oil-money.
They are so heavy eating, that they have no trouble, even funnelling money through shady agreements, while crying havoc for the Peace Agreement. Because, no one want to be the bad man and stop that because of some lack of funds. No, everyone will step up for the sake of peace, even if the TGoNU have misused funds. Like buying a Presidential Jet, when the state cannot manage to build roads, schools or even implement the state functions according to the newest peace deal.
“With millions of dollars from oil revenues being funneled to Ashraf Al Cardinal, the Revitalized Agreement on the Resolution of Conflict in South Sudan (R-ARCSS) is in danger of collapse due to lack of funds. As provided for in the R-ARCSS implementation matrix, cantonment of opposition forces which was supposed to have started within 30 days has not begun due to lack of funds; the Joint Transitional Security Committee (JTSC), which is a critical component of security arrangements is struggling to even hold meetings and travels to proposed cantonment sites due to lack of funds; demilitarization of civilian centers and collection of weapons that was slated to have been completed within 45 days has not begun due to lack of funds; training for unified forces to serve in the national army, police , security service or protection of VIPs – again a critical prerequisite for the arrival of opposition leaders to Juba- has not begun due to lack of funds. The list is long and, by no means, inexhaustive and if this situation continues until May this year, the hopes of the people of South Sudan for peace will have been terribly dashed. The people have really been patient with their leaders, especially H.E President Salva Kiir Mayardit, who recently made a solemn public pledge to bring peace to his people at any cost. And to his credit, the President ordered his Cabinet over a month ago to allocate funds for the implementation of R-ARCSS. This was indeed a commendable move which gave the public a strong reason to hope that their Government was bent on mobilizing local rather than foreign resources to implement R-ARCSS. However, the public have now been surprised, shocked, disappointed and outraged to learn that the financial resources that are said to be unavailable for peace implementation – thereby saving lives of thousands of South Sudanese people- are now being readily and happily availed to one man called Ashraf Al Cardinal” (Peace Observatory Group – ‘R-ARCSS poised to collapse due to lack of funds and Ashraf Al Cardinal’ 10.03.2019).
President Salva Kiir Mayardit and the whole SPLM/A-IG have to be called out for this. The ones claiming to not have funds for peace, but funds for a plane. That is mismanagement at its core. Wastage of public funds and certainly, when its talk of peace and following up on old agreements. Agreements that isn’t that old and soon the deadline is over too.
The state could fix that and at a later junction, when it has spare funds start purchasing planes to the President. To ease his travels, but this is just foolish. The TGoNU and the SPLM/A-IG is mocking its citizens, which have no ability to get their basics delivered by the state. However, their President should live lavish and like a Executive with all the perks. Shouldn’t they just buy him a Gucci bag, Armani suits and Cubano cigars while they’re at it? Peace.