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South Sudan: Keeping Faith with the IGAD Peace Process

Posted: July 27, 2015 by PaanLuel Wël in Reports

International Crisis Group’s report: Executive Summary

For more than eighteen months, the Intergovernmental Authority on Development (IGAD), the regional body mediating peace negotiations to end South Sudan’s civil war, has struggled to secure a deal in the face of deep regional divisions and the parties’ truculence. To overcome these challenges, it announced a revised, expanded mediation – “IGAD-PLUS” – including the African Union (AU), UN, China, U.S., UK, European Union (EU), Norway and the IGAD Partners Forum (IPF). The initiative is designed to present a united international front behind IGAD to the warring sides but so far it has failed to gain necessary backing from the wider international com- munity, much of which is disillusioned with both IGAD and the South Sudanese. Rather than distance itself from IGAD, the international community needs to support a realistic, regionally-centred strategy to end the war, underpinned by coordinated threats and inducements. Supporting IGAD-PLUS’ efforts to get the parties’ agreement on a final peace deal in the coming weeks is the best – if imperfect – chance to end the conflict and prevent further regionalisation.

South Sudan’s war has brought underlying regional tensions to the fore. It is part of yet another chapter of the historic enmity between Uganda and Sudan, while rivalry between Uganda and Ethiopia over their respective influence on regional security has coloured the mediation process. Ethiopia, Kenya and Sudan have dedicated envoys mediating the process while Uganda is only involved at the IGAD heads of state (HoS) level. Kampala’s military deployment in support of Juba creates facts on the ground and precluded it sending an envoy to the talks, while Addis Ababa seeks to control the mediation and eventual balance of power in the region. One of IGAD’s achievements has been to manage these tensions, thus contain the conflict, but rivalries prevented the HoS from agreeing on final aspects of power-sharing and security arrangements, enabling the warring parties to continue without agreeing.

Three major factors limited IGAD’s mediation and remain a challenge: 1) regional rivalries and power struggles; 2) centralisation of decision-making at the HoS level and related lack of institutionalisation within IGAD; and 3) challenges in expanding the peace process beyond South Sudan’s political elites. Following the oft-violated January 2014 Cessation of Hostilities agreement, the HoS mediation strategy focused on deploying a regional force to create conditions for peace negotiations. When the wider international community stymied the prospective regional force and the situation stabilised by June 2014, leaders could not overcome their divisions to agree on an effective alternate strategy. This undermined the IGAD special envoys, and the warring parties opted instead to engage directly with individual HoS in a series of initiatives in Kampala, Khartoum and Nairobi. IGAD itself had little leverage. For example, despite public threats, the warring parties understood some member states were reluctant to support sanctions, repeatedly called IGAD’s bluff and refused to compromise.

IGAD is important as a forum to regulate the regional balance of power, but it needs high-level support if the region is to reach a unified position on peace. IGAD-PLUS should become a unifying vehicle to engage the ever-shifting internal dynamics in South Sudan more effectively and address the divisions among IGAD members that enable the parties to prolong the war. In particular, the AU high representative might lead shuttle diplomacy within the region to gain consensus on the way forward. A dedicated UN envoy for South Sudan and Sudan should represent the UN in IGAD-PLUS and coordinate the various UN components’ support to the process.

IGAD-PLUS is the proposed bridge between an “African solution” approach and concerted high-level, wider international engagement. If it is to overcome the challenges that bedevilled IGAD, its efforts must be based upon regional agreement and directly engage the South Sudanese leaders with greatest influence through both pressure and inducements. To end this war, a process is needed that seeks common ground, firmly pushes the parties to reasonable compromises, builds on rather than is undermined by the Tanzanian and South African-led reunification process within the Sudan People’s Liberation Movement (SPLM, the dominant political force in South Sudan), and whose outcome is guaranteed by IGAD, the AU, the U.S and China. The coming weeks will require concerted international action, coordinated with IGAD, to take the final, necessary steps to secure an agreement. Failure to do so will lead to further violence and fracturing in South Sudan and leave the region without an effective mechanism to mediate its own internal divisions, with devastating consequences for the people of South Sudan and the region.


By Sunday de John, Nairobi Kenya

 kiiriiek

July 27, 2015 (SSB)  —-  With proposed peace pact delivered to the belligerent parties, it is inevitable that what everybody has been yearning for is already underway. What boggle one’s mind are the perception by stakeholders and the content of the proposed agreement.

In many instances, there are discrepancies glaringly alarming within the paper that are sending chills down the political spine of the warring parties and other stakeholders in the political dispensation. On either side, what the mediators referred to as Compromise Peace Agreement has caused mixed reactions with possibility that the reactions would disregard the feasibility of the motives behind this great work of the interested well wishers.

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By Ajo Noel Julious, Juba, South Sudan

South Sudan's coat of arms, in which the eagle symbolizes vision, strength, resilience and majesty, and the shield and spear the people’s resolve to protect the sovereignty of their republic and work hard to feed it.

South Sudan’s coat of arms, in which the eagle symbolizes vision, strength, resilience and majesty, and the shield and spear the people’s resolve to protect the sovereignty of their republic and work hard to feed it.

July 27, 2015 (SSB) —– Land in South Sudan is a prickly thing, complicated even further by the confusion associated with legal land ownership. The parallels and discrepancies between provisions in the laws and practice on the ground have driven the confusion. The absence of sound government policy on land ownership has made it even worse.

Starting at the beginning, economists divide the factors of production into four categories: land, labor, capital, and entrepreneurship. The first factor of production is land, including any natural resource used to produce goods and services. Thus, land is an essential element of any well-functioning economy. In this piece, I will focus on land as the first factor of production, but will specifically address the plots, hectares, acres, and miles of land used for establishing residential houses or businesses.

Under the Transitional Constitution of the Republic of South Sudan 2011, the people of South Sudan own all the country’s land and its usage is regulated by the government in accordance with the Constitution and Law. The applicable law in this case is the Land Act of 2009.

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John Adoor Deng, Australia

kiiriek2

July 27, 2015 (SSB) — The recently published document by IGAD Plus on South Sudan conflict resolution, call the Compromise Peace Agreement, is finding its home with many South Sudanese peace lovers. The document has explicitly defined, divided roles and powers at all level of the expected government of national unity. It has too; provided parameters that would guide the accountability and has in its mechanism to curb bad governance in the expected transitional government. For example, all decision-making in key institutions such as the presidency has been matrixed, and thus things like previous unsubstantiated non-consulted decrees shall as a result of this new matrix, ceased.

Secondly, the document had spent out a provision to observe transitional justice through the establishment of Hybrid Court for South Sudan (HCSS). This court, according to this agreement shall hear all cases of atrocities and human right abuses committed during the 19months in South Sudan conflicts. As an international monitored and funded court, it will act lawfully unlike other African courts where offenders go without being given penalties they deserve. Apparently, this court will be unique and forceful in all matters presented.

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Marol Ariech Mawien, Aweil, South Sudan

Dinka wrestling matches

Dinka wrestling matches

July 27, 2015 (SSB) —- The law is very clear in term of marriage; it is the opposite sex to married themselves in South Sudan, Kawaja will not have room to impose gay or lesbian marriage in our land South Sudan. But through culture government should have put all that, they stated in the law to functioning, regulation should be there such that the issue of hotels where a girl/women you haven’t marriage go with you in the lodges must be restricted, if a person attempted he/she must to present the evident, that testify she/he is wife or husband to the other sex. (Baled karabu) brothers and sisters we have miss the right direction, which we were supposed to be. The people that were been along respecting South Sudanese have realized now that we are the cheapest people who just could be easily changed; they are no longer respecting us.

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By Kur Wel Kur, Australia

Mamer Deng Jur: The Author of an Upcoming Book

Mamer Deng Jur: The Author of an Upcoming Book

July 27, 2015 (SSB)  —-  Suffocating in regimes of Arab minority, regimes that propagated lies in order to remain in power, our heroes resorted to guerrilla warfare in order to slice off our beloved country from the whole Sudan map.  In guerrilla warfare, nothing wears truth because many with criminal minds take advantage of the situations. Most stories are either told in white lies or dressed in “good lies”. Lots of unsieved personal stories contributed to Amazon, African and Asian forests destruction. Without peers’ reviews, some weightless stories wait for gigantic trees in line to receive a cracking sound and smell of diesel fuelled electric saws, just to make these untruthful story survive in prints.

Deficient of written histories, we welcome all but every word written or uttered in the name of the history must pass under the glaring eyes of historical critics. With that said, I am happy and proud to announce a truthful book by Mamer Deng Jur.

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An Eagle Eye

Posted: July 27, 2015 by PaanLuel Wël in Contributing Writers

By Dut Lual Anei

July 27, 2015 (SSB)  —  The encounters of the spiritually based notions and interventions are fading away while abandoning the basic beliefs to social engineering of the community desire for change. The primary instrument of social change as regarded to be a law seems to be causing us considerable damage in implementation with the agenda of spreading the gospels with limitless political possibilities or differing political orientations.

Any reader who has been following me on the editions of eagle eye would be an informant of the Christian based organization that has been operating during the struggle period for independence of South Sudan in a locale of Tonj, you will either appreciate or be a mind conservative like nobody can love the sinner and hates the sin. Don Bosco under the diocese of Rumbek has been instrumental in discharging duties which are theoretically deemed extremism in the defense of liberty to vice.

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