Blunders IGAD can’t afford to repeat again in South Sudan

Posted: October 25, 2017 by PaanLuel Wël Media Ltd. in Commentary, Contributing Writers, Junub Sudan, Opinion Articles, Opinion Writers

By Martin Ariel Majak, Alexandria, Egypt

President Kiir and Ambassador Nikki Halley

October 25, 2017 (SSB) — The revitalization of the ARCISS that’s already underway and being spearheaded by IGAD that brokered it in the first place – is a promising thing to see happening given the urgency of addressing the problem of the civil war that has devastated and ravaged our country.

Brutally speaking, the pact being renegotiated has all along been hanging on the thread. It suffered a heavy blow on the day Riek abandoned Juba for the bush and his subsequent declaration of an armed rebellion against the government.

If it was not Taban’s intervention to take the mantle of leadership of the SPLM/IO following Riek’s departure from Juba, the agreement would have been completely buried under the sand by now and there would have been an all-out-war between the government and the SPLA/IO.

It is the second time IGAD is mediating a peace agreement and it has to be said that the first agreement that was signed under their auspice was a disaster and flawed.

It was more idealistic than pragmatic which made it hard to implement and so they must have learned it where they went wrong. I’m not trying to pile up the whole blame for the demise of the first agreement on the back of IGAD but they had their hands in it.

Many things that were out of the making of IGAD paved the way for the crucifixion of that agreement prior to its implementation.

First, it was largely impractical. How didn’t they really foresee that the idea of bedding two antagonistic armies together in Juba – fresh with memories of fighting each other – was not feasible?

Secondly, it was forced onto the warring parties to accept it with all its shortcomings. I remember President first refusing to sign it before he finally put his signature on it. He had a lot of reservations about some clauses in the agreement and so did Riek.

It was like the two leaders were coerced into signing up for something they didn’t actually like and that actually contributed to the short lifespan of the agreement. There was a lot of mistrust that festered over time and sunk the whole agreement.

Thirdly, the agreement never really had international monitors on the ground to ensure that it was not flagrantly violated. That was the opportune time to bring in a force like the Regional Protection Forces to act as a buffer between the two warring sides. I don’t still understand why they didn’t do this?

All of these factors, amongst others, all together combined and dug a grave for the burial of the agreement barely 3 months after it started taking effect.

IGAD and the political leaders of South Sudan – all alike – have got a second chance to deliver peace to the country that has seen enough of bloodletting.

It is still never too late for peace to prevail in every corner of our country.

The writer is a student at Alexandria University, Egypt. He can be reached via his email atarielmajak93@gmail.com

The opinion expressed here is solely the view of the writer. The veracity of any claim made is the responsibility of the author, not PaanLuel Wël: South Sudanese Bloggers (SSB) website. If you want to submit an opinion article or news analysis, please email it to paanluel2011@gmail.com. SSB do reserve the right to edit material before publication. Please include your full name, email address, the city and the country you are writing from, plus a concise biography of yourself.

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