What South Sudanese leaders should learn from regional and international handshakes

Posted: June 19, 2018 by PaanLuel Wël Media Ltd. in Commentary, Contributing Writers, Junub Sudan, Longar Mathiec Wol, Opinion Articles, Opinion Writers

Another tedious search for peace: What the South Sudanese leaders should learnt from regional and international handshakes

By Longar Mathiec Wol, Juba, South Sudan

Raila and Riek

Former Kenyan PM, Raila Odinga, meeting South Sudanese opposition leader, Riek Machar, in South Africa, in the lead up to the face to face meeting in Khartoum between President Kiir and Dr. Riek Machar

Tuesday, June 19, 2018 (PW) — As the negotiation teams expected to resume another phase of negotiation in Addis Ababa, IGAD led peace mediation after face meeting schedule in Khartoum between President Salva Kiir Mayardit and Dr. Riek Machar Teny, if that initiative succeed; till then, the suffering masses will have to continue to patiently wait for the peace they have been yearning for a little longer. It has been painful experience and set back since Junubeen world turned a part in 2013.  Since then, the struggle to restore peace and stability rage on, the despair seems to overcome hope. Many people see the strategies deployed by the mediation organization, country and the opposition to be defective; people felt led down, the suffering continues.

In the view of the people of South Sudan, peace is the only way forward, and for the peace to come the politicians at this time are expected to sacrifice. They are expected to at least do right things. People have suffered enough. The analyses have it that, the country failed to achieve lasting peace because our leaders put their personal interest above all interests. The real peace will never come till when the leaders stop demanding for positions, instead of diagnosing the real root causes of this tragic civil war that led million to displacement camps in East Africa.

Rewarding people with positions without investigating and come up with permanent solution to avoid the repeat of the same mistake in the future is a deception to millions of South Sudanese lingering in poverty in all the corners of the country. Our leaders turn blind eyes to the real cause and they start put more efforts and focus on negotiating for their seats.

However, without uniform explanation about what were the roots causes of the conflict since people come up with their own account and understanding that made it hard for the outsiders like some of you and me are not able to verify and analyze. We are left alone to guess and make our own conclusions. Though the issues of the leadership features to be one of the prominent causes of the conflict, still it is a surface of the one of the deep-rooted innumerous unknown reasons to why the custodians of our country miserably led us down. That would be a question of another day which needs and expert in the field of conflict resolution or knowledgeable insiders to take us through.

Back to our today discussion, as the negotiation continues, many South Sudanese began to question themselves to whether the peace that continued to be negotiated for too long is too late to rescue the situation on the ground. That question is tempting and could attract many and any answers based on who you asked. Many people see the situation as too fragile and unrestorable and they seem to have lost hope. However, with all these still there is a hope, there is a hope in sense that peace has never been too late and at the end of the day there is always a light at the end of tunnel. We should keep the hope lives.

But that can only happen if our leaders revisit their actions and think fondly about the people of South Sudan they will be able to do something tangible to rescue the situation. As the tedious trials for the search for peace in South Sudan continues, there is a need to change our approach toward the way the negotiating team has been negotiation. The focus should shift from who should be given what to who should compromises what. That is what the people of South Sudan want not blaming game.

When we go to negotiation with open minded, with the two teams ready to concede between them, then the peace we are yarning for will come any time soon. Negotiation is about give and take. Let us not think that everything that when wrong will be resolve on the negotiating table, some will be complete in the process toward stabilizing the nation. What is important in any political arrangement is the good will for the parties involve to implement the little the agreed and expand to other areas that need reform. An agreement is a paper till when it is translated and put into action by the parties.

In days to come we will witness face to face talk between President Kiir and Dr. Riek Machar; how I wish the look beyond the border and see how thing are done on the other side of the border and adjust to it. Let take for instance, their neighboring country like Kenya it was almost undergoing through the turmoil we experience in our country but because of their patriotism the parties involve have for their country the mange to cool down the chaotic and unpredictable political environment ever. They did one of the wonderful things that the world is talking till today, the “powerful handshake” how I wish our leaders forget their differences and give the people of South Sudan handshake.

 Hence, with unpredictable nature of our politics everything is left on it own to chart it owns way. They should at least try to turn this hopeless into hopeful situation, this uncertainty become unbearable. The citizens continue to borne the brunt of this war through the hardship the country is currently undergoing. As citizens we should united and speak one voice that we need peaceful South Sudan. The war has done more harm than good to our social fabric, and continuing suffering of our people should be a key priority to the leaders, negotiators and mediators.

Many people lose hope and are almost given up if the never gave up already on search for peace in South Sudan. They think both opposition and the government seem not to be serious in bringing peace, meaning the parties involve in negotiation should at least maneuver their way out of this complexity and come up with mechanism that works in order for the peace to come.

The leaders who care for their nations can go extra miles to make sure peace is achieved in their respective countries, as I mentioned before, the example lie next to our border “The Kenya famous handshake” between the opposition leader Hon. Raila Amolo Odinga and President Uhuru Kenyatta to bring peace to their country. After the 2017 election dispute erupted, the leaders from both sides took initiative to make sure that violence never gone out of control. They put their country first and their political interest second. That spirit of having your own people in mind should have guided our leaders to bring peace to our country. Any agenda should be on how to bring peace to our country and the rest followed. Nation’s building is all about sacrifices.

We also, saw the change of mind from US administration when US president accept to have handshake with the North Korean’s president in move that is seen by many people as an avenue of bring lasting peace between the rival nations. These are some of the positive example that leaders of South Sudan should imitate to give their people peace.

We expect the two leaders, President Salva Kiir and his rival rebel leader Dr. Riek Machar to show positive gesture in their next meeting to bring peace to the people of South Sudan. The meeting schedule to take place in Khartoum should be a turning point for peace in the country. They should put their rivalry and their personal egos and interests aside and put the interest of the nation above. We expect them to tackle and bring the issues that had been stumbling block to peace in Addis Ababa to an end. Let them show the nation that it is time for the change of hearts and bring reconciliation among the multitudes in the country.

Finally, with another tedious search for peace continues. What the South Sudanese leaders should learnt from regional and international handshakes. May be they might view it on their own way, but what I know handshake between rivalries means peace and that’s what people want. People of South Sudan and the friends of South Sudan will be watching anxiously for the handshake between South Sudanese leaders schedule this week in Khartoum as it been perceived as one of many other chances for peace to prevail. That is my appeal and the appeal of many other South Sudanese back home and across the globe, may peace and stability reign in our country.

The author is a concern South Sudanese national living in Nairobi Kenya and can be reach through: Email address: longarmaxiech@gmaail.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 Media (PW) website. If you want to submit an opinion article, commentary or news analysis, please email it to paanluel2011@gmail.com. PaanLuel Wël Media (PW) website 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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