Who could be the major effective player to bring peace in South Sudan in the current conflict?

By Friday C. Awow Okuch
Posted to the web on February 11, 2014

February 11, 2014 (Melbourne, Australia) — South Sudan as an independent sovereign country has an ultimate right to protect its citizens both from internal as well as external aggressions and can utilize external support and back-ups to sustain and maintain its strength where and when required. In the meantime, South Sudan has a moral obligation to observe humanitarian needs and human right of its citizens.

It is unfortunate that, just after two years of gaining its independence, South Sudan and its ruling party has to disintegrate into this preventable war between the SPLM-in-Opposition as termed recently led by Former VP Dr Riak Macher and the Government of South Sudan under President Salva Kiir. With different analyst based on conflicting interests, describe the causes as motivated by regional, tribal, organised failed coup, inter-party fragmentation.

Friday C. Awow Okuch, the commenter

There is a saying which says “a disease known is half cured”, the current internal conflict has another dimension, both South Sudanese warring parties and international community diagnoses of this conflict genesis, be it definition or identification, failed to reach a common ultimate remedy to their findings, as there seems to be contradictions from both sides.

South Sudan conflicting parties initially made the right decision to trust IGAD intervene and mediate to resolve their conflicts, given the fact that IGAD had most of South Sudan’s records and references that can be analysed and contextualised to resolve the issues timely and effectively.

The initial main reason IGAD was established 1986 was to bring hands of the member countries together to combat drought and desertification which directly threats their and economic and wellbeing. Later on, politics and peace building and other issues necessitated, thus IGAD (The Intergovernmental Authority on Development) superseded IGADD (the Intergovernmental Authority on Drought and Development). It is worthwhile mentioning IGAD’s member countries Djibouti, Ethiopia, Kenya, Somalia, Sudan, Uganda and South Sudan.

Since its inception, most of IGAD’s member countries if not all, have been in a way or another actively involved directly or indirectly harbouring and strengthening rebels and opposition of another member country, participating directly into the internal affairs of another member country through both domestic and international initiatives against the will of another member country’s opposition, rebel or official government.

Currently, the involvement of Uganda directly in South Sudan affairs and publically siding with the government against the opposition-in-arms should not raise IGAD’s eye brows as the practice has no a recorded instructional disciplinary measures within its membership policy. However, international observers and other major organizations specialised international mediation and intercession in complex conflict resolution disqualifies IGAD effectiveness in the role given the ambiguous objectivity of the organization towards envisioning a lasting reconciliation and peace in their endeavours.  

As for IGAD, I cannot see a major difference between conflict resolution & reconciliation, as both are conceptualized as the processes & methods involved in facilitating the peaceful ending of conflict and retribution. IGAD and its member countries should by all means act as mediators and interceders just for the sake of peace and prosperity in the East Africa region and beyond.

As I mentioned in one of my articles that I “Only Peaceful dialogue & reconciliation leads to a lasting peace and healing in South Sudan”. I still stress that both President Salva Kiir and Former Vice President Dr Riek Machar should heed the humanitarian and human rights calls of its citizens and observe the importance of ceasefire and its pre-requisites as termed in the agreements signed in Addis Ababa.

The ball is in President Salva Kiir hand to use wisely and end the bloodshed.

 The untimely release of the detainees and the delay withdrawal of Ugandan Defence Forces escalates the friction between South Sudan Government and the SPLM/A-in-Opposition as well as implicates IGAD, thus derails the whole situation to worst. I understand the position of the Government to abide by its constitution and apply law to infringers.  Martin Luther King said, "Injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere", there are cases in Sudan Sudan’s law enforcement institutions pending for years without hearing, some of which are mild civic and others national and yet nothing was done. Here in Australia, there are Court cases of 1960s to early 80s brought to light again and the law still takes its course effectively.

Is it not possible to delay justice,  bail the defendant and pend the  plaintiff for more hearings and observe the humanitarian and human rights overwhelming alarming the whole world to the extend some of us are already referencing the biblical Isaiah 18 prophesy being fulfilled in the current South Sudan.

Let me conclude by reminding President Salva Kiir of his famous quote “‘Let us heal our wounds. Let us preach harmony and peaceful co-existence. Let us forgive one another”.

Friday C. Awow Okuch, Melbourne, Australia. Can be reached at fridco88@hotmail.com


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