The “Fundamental Factors” in the December 2013 Crisis and Civil War in South Sudan (Part 1)

Posted: July 15, 2018 by PaanLuel Wël Media Ltd. in December 2013 Crisis, HLRF, Junub Sudan, PaanLuel Wël

The “Fundamental Factors” in the root causes of the December 2013 Crisis and the present civil war in the Republic of South Sudan (Part 1)

By PaanLuel Wël, Juba, South Sudan

The Flag of the Republic of South Sudan

The Flag of the Republic of South Sudan

Sunday, July 15, 2018 (PW) — Five years into the political, military, economic and humanitarian crisis in South Sudan, and peace is still a distant chimera to the beleaguered souls caught up in the vicious conflict across the country. One glimmer of hope, so far, has been that the High-Level Revitalization Forum (HLRF) of the 2015 Agreement on the Resolution of Conflict in the Republic of South Sudan (ARCSS), under the auspices of the Inter-Governmental Agency on Development (IGAD), would offer a viable solution to the intractable conflict in South Sudan.

While much was, and still is, predicated on the hard political compromises and security arrangements that the leaders of the warring parties – particularly President Salva Kiir and Dr. Riek Machar – are, and will be, prepared to make, the expectation was that the Agreement on Cessation of Hostilities (CoH) would be promptly negotiated, honestly signed and faithfully adhered to by the warring parties. The subsequent phase would have been to craft a feasible political resolution of the debilitating crisis in form of a revitalized, expanded and inclusive Transitional Government of National Unity (TGONU) based in Juba, South Sudan, with security guarantees to all leaders of the warring parties.

However, the fate of the IGAD-led High Level Revitalization Forum (HLRF) of the 2015 peace accord still hangs in the air, precariously, as phase two of the Khartoum round of peace talks was abruptly adjourned to next Tuesday, the 17th of July 2018, owing to continued irreconcilable differences over the fundamental issues of governance, couple with lingering doubts related to the signed security arrangements and permanent ceasefire agreements.

Meanwhile, since the war erupted in December 2013 and as the struggling civil population of South Sudan await anxiously for the successfully conclusion of the revitalization of the peace process in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, supporters of the warring parties – both armed and political ones – have been embroiled in nasty shouting matches characterized by vitriolic attacks and wild allegations, rancorous name callings and blame games, tribal prejudices and polarizing sentiments, and scathing slanderous attacks on and incitement against each other.

For all practical purposes, the enlightened national debate that preceded the conduct of the 2010 referendum on the secession of South Sudan and later greeted the birth of South Sudan in July 2011 was the first casualty of the civil war. There is hardly any pretense to understanding, let alone appreciating, the fundamental root causes of the December 2013 crisis, without which it would be scarcely possible to resolve the protracted civil war in the country.

This is why the civilized national discourse initiated by Hon. Arop Madut Arop and Comrade Mabioor Garang de Mabioor is long overdue, and therefore deserved to be accorded its due before hard feelings coalesce and partisan interests blur the visions of the warring parties at the Revitalization Forum in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia.

Therefore, this article will contribute to this civilized national discourse by highlighting the essence of the cultured national debate initiated by Hon. Arop Madut Arop and Comrade Mabioor Garang de Mabioor – a celebration of the fact that South Sudanese are capable of rising above the partisan bickering and tribal politicking by electing to partake in a civilized national debate devoid of vitriolic attacks, tribal pandering and slanderous name callings.

With the current deadlock over the power sharing arrangements at the IGAD-led High-Level Revitalization Forum (HLRF) in Addis Ababa, Khartoum, Kampala and Nairobi, arguments advanced and conclusions made by Hon. Arop Madut Arop and Comrade Mabioor Garang de Mabioor are both timely and weighty matters worth pondering by the leadership of the warring parties, JMEC, IGAD and AU, Troika, the international community and the people of South Sudan.

More importantly, it is crucial that the people of South Sudan should clearly understand and appreciate the fact that the proposed power sharing and security guarantees under the revitalized ARCSS will not, and can never be, a substitute to resolving the fundamental root causes of the December 2013 that ignited the present intractable conflict in South Sudan.

Reconciling the political differences, assuaging the security jitters, and harmonizing the socioeconomic aspirations of these warring parties – a conflict that is rooted in an enduring ancient grudge – is the best hope of the largely war-traumatized people of South Sudan and the great dilemma of the Inter-Governmental Agency on Development (IGAD), and the Troika.

PaanLuel Wël, the managing editor of PaanLuel Wël Media (PW) website, graduated with a double major in Economics and Philosophy from The George Washington University, Washington D.C, USA, and currently works as a Project Coordinator for one of the international NGOs in South Sudan. He is the author of Pioocku Thuongjang: The Elementary Modern Standard Dinka (May, 2011), The A.B.C.D.: An Introductory Book into the English Alphabet (July, 2011) and  Who Killed Dr. John Garang (July, 2015). He is also the Editor of The Genius of Dr. John Garang, vol. 1-3 (November, 2013), including Dr. John Garang’s Speeches on the War of Liberation (November, 2015) and Speeches on the Comprehensive Peace Agreement (November, 2015), Salva Kiir Mayaardit: The Joshua of South Sudan (with Simon Yel Yel, February, 2011), as well as The Customary Laws of the Greater Bor Dinka Community: Legal and Basic Rules for Self-Administration (July, 2017).

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 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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