Hints on International politics towards the impediment of peace in South Sudan

Posted: April 2, 2018 by PaanLuel Wël in Geng Chan, Junub Sudan

By Joseph Geng Chan, Juba, South Sudan

four vice presidents of south sudan

four vice presidents of south sudan

April 2, 2018 (SSB) — Felix est Qui Potuit Rerum Cognos Cere Causas Meaning, Happy is he who has been able to understand the causes of things. South Sudan as a country became independent on 9th July 2011 after an exercise of the referendum, demonstrating to the whole world the consummation of the longest conflicts in the recent horn of African history.

However, sadly, on December 15, 2013 South Sudan once again slides back to conflict and fight between the South Sudan Presidential guards triggered what later become labeled a Civil war (International Crisis Group, 2014). Members of the presidential Tiger Battalion fought for reasons that are yet to be fully disclosed, sparking off shooting and violence in various residential neighborhoods in Juba.

The main protagonists of this armed conflict were President Salva Kiir and his former Vice President Rick Machar. In fact, the South Sudanese President Salva Kiir Mayardit appeared on national television in full military uniform something he had not worn since the end of the war and accused his former vice president Riek Machar and several others of plotting a military coup (Awolowich, 2015 and Lunn, 2016).

Machar however, denied having anything to do with the initial fighting. Despite the fact that, he quickly declared himself the commander of the SPLM/A in Opposition, an armed opposition group. In the week that followed, eleven members of the SPLM/A elite, including its secretary general Pagan Amum, former ministers, and the former SPLA chief of staff were detained under charges of the attempted coup. Several SPLA commanders defected from the army to join a rebellion that had been born (De Waal, 2014).

After the war broke out, many regional and international leaders saw the opportunity to exercise their political interests in the event of South Sudan conflict. This has led to the sharpen division among the regional and international players with some supporting South Sudan’s government led by H.E Gen Salva Kiir Mayardit (SPLM/A-IG) and the Armed Opposition (SPLM/A-IO) led by Dr. Riek Machar Teny on the basis of who should serve one’s interest between the duo.

Regionally, if you look critically at the way South Sudan’s conflict has been handling by Intergovernmental Authority on Development ( IGAD), you will find that the regional leaders (IGAD), the way they look at the problem is also a problem itself because they are all having their own problems. For example, Ethiopia and Egypt have their own unsettled issue on Ethiopia’s Hydro-electric Grand Renaissance Dam that Egypt says it threatens its water supply which relies almost exclusively on the Nile that runs from Ethiopia through Sudan and Egypt to the Mediterranean Sea albeit Addis Ababa says will have no impact.

Look at Ethiopia and Eritrea Border dispute town of Badme that continues to countermine their bilateral relations. Also, Kampala and Sudan that have been trading accusations of each supporting the rebels and South Sudan and Sudan have also been trading the similar accusations of each supporting the rebels. With these unsolved problems, how do we think these regional leaders will bring the war to an end in South Sudan? The continent leaders slogan of solving African’s problems with African Solution is non-other than a mere muff invitation of fueling current African’s problems with African’s existing problems.

The South Sudan conflict albeit some people contextualized it as a complex matter that retards the holistic approach to bring the parties into common share of the national cake (inclusive power sharing), it is in fact simple and be addressed with least cost if it was not because of these divergent interests that the regional leaders have in South Sudan.

It is instead complex because of their dirty hands on the internal affairs of South Sudan. They have been meddling with our own affairs in a dirty way as opposed to the maxim of equity “He or she who seeks equity must come with clean hands”. Their hands are carrying the malicious substance that only increases our suffering as people of South Sudan.

Internationally, the two economies, Capitalist (U.S and its allies) and Communist (Russia, China and their allies) have made South Sudan a testing ground for their foreign policies. They have discovered themselves as great countries that have gone so far politically, military, economically and technologically thus, fear to face each other in a direct way and resorted only in transferring their resource gains political dichotomy to other poor countries where they test and rate their political and military strengths such that their consequences would only affect the inhabitants as vividly seen in Syria and South Sudan.

The explicit example of these two catalysts resource gains political dichotomy is the continuing civil war in Syria where Iran, Russia, and Hezbollah support the Syrian government militarily, with Russia conducting air operations in support of the government since September 2015 and on the other hand, U.S-Led international coalition established in 2014 with a declared purpose of countering ISIL, have conducted airstrikes against Syria’s government and pro-government targets.

After knowing the fact that those who have been handling South Sudan conflict have their own hidden political agenda in achieving peace in South Sudan and also have their own carrying problems, then it will be very easy for the prudent men and women to analyze and scrutinize such bodies that have different interests in South Sudan will never bring peace in South Sudan. Do not expect the fruitful outcome of the meeting between a bunch of “goats and hyenas” or “Mischief of rats and clowder”.

In my own opinion, South Sudan will only achieve peace when we as South Sudanese use the precedent of the past of solving our own problems rather than wasting our scarce resources at hands for traveling to Ethiopia endlessly without achievement. For example, the 1999 Wunlit Dinka- Nuer peace and Reconciliation Conference that was held to bring together two communities. This Peace and Reconciliation conference laid the basis on the common understanding between the leaders of these two great communities thus, led to the formation of the Comprehensive Peace Agreement in January 2005.

Finally, South Sudan conflict was ignited by factors that include power struggle within SPLM as a party, gross corruption, patronage and impunity, militarization and arm proliferation, instrumentalization of ethnics identities, weak institutional capacity, lack of inclusiveness and participatory state apparatus, lack of commitment towards nation building, will to fight (braveness) and past rift.

To achieve peace in South Sudan, we must either ameliorate or eliminate all these factors that contribute to the impediment of peace in South Sudan. Leaders have had planted poisoned seeds on the people of South Sudan, that is to say tribal hatred and bitterness, loss of hope, and so on but still we as people of South Sudan, if we work together to eradicate and kiss-off all these detesting sentiments then, we will have South Sudan we all want as quoted by John C Maxwell that “the experience of pain or loss can be a formidably motivating force”.

“The Greatness of the country is determined by the greatness of its leaders and people towards their love for the nation”.

The author, Wicmon Joseph Geng Chan, Holds an LLB at Busoga University, Uganda, and Diploma in Advanced Leadership and Management at Institute of Advanced Leadership-Uganda. He can be reached via: josephwicmon.lawyer@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, commentary or news analysis, please email it to paanluel2011@gmail.com. PaanLuel Wël website (SSB) do reserve the right to edit or reject material before publication. Please include your full name, a short biography, email address, city and the country you are writing from.

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