President Festus Mogae Knows That There is Time for Everything

Posted: August 21, 2018 by aljokd in Junub Sudan, Malith Alier

By Malith Alier, Perth, Australia

jmec chairman festus mogae


Tuesday, August 21, 2018 (PW) — President Mogae could not be thanked enough. He had endured the unforgiving high expectations of the South Sudanese people for the dishonoured 2015 peace agreement reluctantly entered into by the SPLM opposing sides.
Had the 2015 peace agreement held as agreed, Festus Mogae, the former president of Botswana would have to leave in 2018 or soon thereafter.

It was Chairman Mogae after 2016 debacle who, claimed that the peace agreement was wounded but not dead. He was trying to salvage the images of the peace guarantors and that of his organisation, The Joint Monitoring and Evaluation Commission (JMEC).

The Joint Monitoring and Evaluation Commission was created to monitor the ill-fated peace agreement between SPLM IO and Government of the Republic of South Sudan from 2015 through to 2018 after which agreed reforms would have been made and elections conducted under a new constitution.

The former Ethiopian prime Minister, Hailemariam Desalegn appointed the former Botswanan president who was thought to be above board and acceptable to both parties to the agreement to monitor and oversee the agreement to the end. Things did not work out for reasons too well known to us and the international community that bankrolled the agreement.

Why the SPLM ruptured is not known but roughly, corruption, power struggle and lack of trust emanating from the war years make up some of the suspects for the 2013 fight and the subsequent civil war.

Festus Mogae is a well-regarded leader and stateman in his own right. He has ruled his country since 1999 and was elected twice to the post. He stepped down in 2008 as a gesture and to entrench democratic credentials of his country – Something that continue to elude many African nations to date.

Being an economist by profession, he managed to steer his mining dependent country to the respected level it is today. In doing so, he avoided what has become to be known as resource curse to most African countries including ours. Botswana’s economy is more less like that of South Sudan: mining, cattle and tourism form the core of that nation’s economy.

Festus Mogae was at the fore front of those people and organisations who wanted to steer South Sudan out of its man-made crisis. The UN was the first international body to establish United Nations Mission in Sudan (UNMIS) to monitor the 2005 agreement between the government of Sudan and the then rebel SPLM led by late Dr. John Garang.

On the conclusion of the transition period and the conduct of successful referendum for Southern Sudan president El Bashir requested UNMIS to leave while the soon to be independent Southern Sudan requested UN to modify UNMIS for the new nation to deal with issues of capacity building and the establishment of the new state.

UNMISS since 2011 has seen through Hilde Johnson and Margethe Loj the two Secretary General’s representatives go.

The 2015 peace Agreement also known as Compromise Peace Agreement (CPA) spear headed by Intergovernmental Authority on Development (IGAD) and signed by the parties in August momentarily fell a part in August the following year. The IGAD came up with its own monitoring body in form of JMEC.

On many occasions, the monitoring body was mistaken for enforcement of the peace agreement by those who did not study its mandate according to the agreement. It was meant to monitor, document and report the progress to the peace mediator and guarantors but nothing more. It essentially had no power to enforce or punish any party to the agreement. Having said that and to the best of our knowledge, JMEC was placed between the rock and the hard place due to the SPLM old rivalries.

Being a highly experienced man, President Mogae managed to propose the High Level Revitalisation Forum (HLRF) to IGAD so that the wounded peace agreement could be salvaged. The odds that it would rescue the agreement along with the country is yet to be ascertain. So far, the peace process moved from Ethiopia, Uganda and Sudan and certain declarations; governance and security have been signed.

The main challenge is in the implementation as evidenced by the 2016 failure. This might have prompted Mogae to call it quit this September so that new players may take over from there.

Whatever the case, President Mogae is a Teflon man in what he accomplished for our nation. He deserved a pat at the back. If South Sudanese have learnt nothing from him in the few years he’s been here then they may not find another person like him at any time soon.

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.

  1. David says:

    I hope this resignation is not other stupid plans from IGAD to derail peace in our country.


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