The faltering Peace talks at the High Level Revitalization Forum in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia

Posted: May 21, 2018 by PaanLuel Wël Media Ltd. in Columnists, Commentary, Contributing Writers, HLRF, Junub Sudan, Opinion Articles, Opinion Writers, Pal Chol Nyan

By Pal Chol Nyan, Juba, South Sudan

Cantonment of forces

Monday, May 21, 2018 (PW) — The disconcerting news coming and reaching us from Addis say that there is a little progress in the ongoing talks. The warring Parties failed and are failing to reach any consensus on the key issues; thus rendering chances slim for peace to be concluded.

Commander Michael Makwei, the government spokesman and the spokesman of the government negotiation said they have agreed only on cantonment of forces and on an inclusivity. It sounds ambitious because nothing was elaborated further as to what that inclusivity is or will be and for what.

The religious leaders headed by the South Sudan Anglican Primate, in an exercise of divine powers, took over the talks in a bid to convince the warring parties but they have also failed to make the parties agree on a common ground to ink a deal. I don’t know what they will tell God now that their prayers went unanswered.

Definitely, they will not pray for the negotiators to die. It is only them who know the feedback they will give to the Creator of the suffering people of South Sudan on whose behalf peace is searched.

Their spiritual power failed to push the talks ahead. Observers say there is too much intransigence by all the parties. The IGAD drafted model will not produce positive results.

In my view, the talks fails simply because each Party dictates the terms of agreements. This approach has not been noticed to have brought peace anywhere in the region. Peace can be reached only once there are concessions and goodwill. Agreement is give and take in the whole world.

The government says no single change will take place in the existing structures. They want status quo to remain whereas the opposition wants general institutional reforms. They failed to agree on anything. Is the President being let down by his negotiations team or where does the failure to reach an agreement come from?

He instructed them to go and come with peace. However, as the writing is clear on the wall, they will come back with their handbags and probably what they may have saved from sitting allowances and per diems.

What will we expect if indeed the talks collapse as is now the case? Of course, an all-out war which will be more destructive and will cause more suffering worse than the present one. Now, who is to blame?  Beyond any reasonable doubt, the parties to the conflict.

The opposition takes the biggest portion of blame because it has never been heard of that a sitting Head of government is asked to step down. If they (the opposition) have the prowess, they can flex their muscles and we, the spectators see what happens.

I believe even IGAD will not accept the opposition call for the President to step down.

If any, they can only convince the parties to talk as brothers and sisters. They can only persuade them that they a common problem; they need to reconsider their demands which a friend in Juba told me are so draconian.

Sitting Heads of States don’t step down because they are asked to do so. In some countries leaders are compelled by the prevailing situations to abdicate power are dictated by their consciences to sign themselves out when the welfare of the ruled takes the prominence in their hearts.

It is clear from the word go that President will not give up on what he said; that he would only accept the expansion of the government to accommodate the opposition. Those who think he didn’t mean it are wasting their time.

The current economic hardships and the security may be the determinants for one to do a soul searching and to concede for the sake of peace. I have come to the conclusion that our peace will not come from outside South Sudan.

South Sudanese need peace and security with stable economy and once these are put in place, life will return to normalcy.

The author, Pal Chol Nyan, is a Graduate from the College of Radiological Medical Sciences from Sudan University of Sciences and Technology. He also holds a Diploma in Teaching Methodology and a Diploma in General Medical Sciences. He was a red army soldier, a former Primary school teacher, currently serving as a General Medical Practitioner in Juba Teaching Hospital in Juba, South Sudan. He is a columnist with local newspapers in Juba/South Sudan and contributes in many websites about social, security and economic. You can reach him via his email:

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