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African leaders call for immediate resolution of S. Sudan conflict

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June 9, 2014 (JUBA) – Several prominent African leaders have appealed to South Sudan’s rival leaders to find an immediate solution to the country’s ongoing conflict, saying the fate of those facing the brunt of the crisis largely depends on them.

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South Sudan’s president, Salva Kiir, and rebel leader Riek Machar signed a peace deal in the Ethiopian capital, Addis Ababa, on 9 May 2014 aimed at resolving conflict in the country peacefully (Photo: Reuters)

“Let this be your moment to follow in the footsteps of the great African leaders who have left behind a legacy of inclusive peace. Let your decisive action now to end hostilities be your legacy to all the people of South Sudan, to Africa and to the world as history will harshly judge you if you fail to do so", partly read the letter signed by the 14 leaders, 12 of whom were former African heads of state.

"The fate of South Sudanese children, who have been affected by unimaginable violations, including killings, forced recruitment, rape and abductions, is in your hands", it added.

The renowned leaders said they were disappointed by the level of destruction and killings resulting from the conflict, yet they thought its dependence would improve lives.

“The Independence should have led to all South Sudanese living in peace, having access to jobs and incomes and public services enabling them to live in dignity. Instead, 1 in every 5 displaced South Sudanese is living in inaccessible areas, making it difficult to access food and clean water", they said in their letter.

The rights that South Sudanese hoped to enjoy after independence have been obliterated by war, a war that must be replaced by dialogue, the leaders stressed.

"As signatories to this appeal, we encourage you to recall the long and painful path the people of South Sudan have taken to achieve statehood", further reads the letter.

A meeting between South Sudan president Riek Machar and rebel leader Riek Machar is due to take place in the Ethiopian capital, Addis Ababa on Tuesday as part of efforts to bring to an end nearly six months of the country’s bloody conflict.

“In the lead up to the next round of talks, we write to ask you to exercise your leadership to bring an immediate end to the fighting in South Sudan. We appeal to you to engage in an inclusive peace process which is not only defined by those who picked up guns and waged war but by all women and men of South Sudan from different communities, religions, ages and ethnicities", the leaders argued.

The violence, which broke out in mid-December last year, has forced more than 1.3 million people, including over half a million children, to flee their homes. Over half of South Sudan’s population, aid agencies say, were at risk of starvation and 223,000 children could face acute malnutrition while 50,000 of these children may not survive.

"The people of South Sudan need peace and security now, not more war", the leaders said.

SEED OF PEACE

However, South Sudan’s information minister, Michael Makuei said his government was "optimistic that this round of discussions will sow the seeds of peace".

Oxfam’s director, Winnie Byanyima said the letter signed by the 14 eminent African leaders shows that the leaders of this continent were no longer prepared to sit by and watch the humanitarian catastrophe continue to unfold in South Sudan.

"In the letter, these leaders say it is unconscionable that Salva Kiir and Riek Machar could allow the unravelling of the very unity and optimism that prevailed when South Sudan gained its independence almost three years ago, rather than shepherding their young nation to peace, prosperity and stability", Byanyima said on Monday.

“The continent’s leaders have spoken out against what is happening in South Sudan today, and they cannot be ignored", she added.

Archbishop Desmond Tutu, former presidents Kenneth Kaunda (Zambia), Pierre Buyoya (Burundi), Joaquim Chissano (Mozambique) and John Kufuor (Ghana) among others, signed the letter.

(ST)

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  • 10 June 07:55, by Lango2010

    Let this day be the day of lasting peace in this country because our people have suffered much. we need real peace not position negotiation between government and rebel. the whole is shamed of us, for being lawless, corrupt, and brutal to ourselves. may the prince of peace bless this country with true peace and love.

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    • 10 June 11:45, by Adodi Jotuwa

      African leaders, do not get confused like the illiterate "White Army" misled by Dr. Fool Riek who is good at rebelling and ending up in Khartoum since 1991 after shedding blood. Riek has a record that African and international community do not bother to question why does he politically behave like that if he believes that he can lead the country without using violence or relying on his tribal back

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      • 10 June 11:47, by Adodi Jotuwa

        Riek and his followers have topped the list of being militia and tend to remain militia in national, African and international history. In the North Sudan, they’re good at being used as militia and supported logistically by Khartoum and as a workforce for building Amarat (storey buildings) but in the South they pretend that they’re warriors and good at leading a country brought to them….

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        • 10 June 11:48, by Adodi Jotuwa

          …on a golden plate although few remain loyal to the leadership of Dr. John Garang De Mabior whom Dr. Fool Riek killed his people in Bor and demanded in 1991 in his first rebellion that Dr. Garang “must step down” because the movement (SPLM/A) was not democratic, while Nasir faction proved to be the worse and undemocratic like the current one which can be easily verified.

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          • 10 June 11:49, by Adodi Jotuwa

            In reality, Dr. Fool Riek and his followers, mainly his tribesmen, are not good at leading a country but LOOTING a country, BRUTAL KILLINGS AND INFLICTING MASSIVE DISPLACEMENT ON THE CIVIL POPULATION as the order of the day for survival. It’s good you have seen with your own eyes how professional looters destroy infrastructure in a minute and displace civil population.

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            • 10 June 11:50, by Adodi Jotuwa

              They only know LOOTINGS and BRUTAL KILLINGS as it happened in 1991 Bor massacre is still evident and continued up to 2013/2014. The world did not fail to ignore the one of Bentiu although it did before in Bor, (thrice), Malakal (twice) where Shilluk even felt the heat. South Sudan will be peaceful only when Dr. Fool Riek renounces violence and believes in peaceful transfer of power.

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              • 10 June 11:51, by Adodi Jotuwa

                Dr. Fool Riek should not temper with the two words “democracy and federalism” or "formation of interim government." He has every right to run as a presidential candidate, whether as an SPLM, Nasir Faction, SSIM, you name it. But what I know is dat, Riek always wants short-cut to rule South Sudan at any cost, ruling out elections. That’s why he resorted to violence as usual to avoid 2015 elections.

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                • 10 June 11:52, by Adodi Jotuwa

                  When the late Dr. John Garang said "Sudan will never be the same again" Khartoum did not believe it until South Sudan breaks away. Now the same thing is applicable "South Sudan will never be the same again as pre-December 15th, 2013". Security arrangements and reconciliation should top the agenda to pave way for unity in diversity and peaceful contest in general elections when the time comes.

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                  • 10 June 11:54, by Adodi Jotuwa

                    When elections time comes, South Sudanese and the rest of the world will see which presidential candidate will really win the popular support of the South Sudanese masses and advance this youngest country for the next generation while living peacefully with the neighboring countries and especially resolving the outstanding issues between Juba and Khartoum. Elections will prove who is who.

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                    • 10 June 11:55, by Adodi Jotuwa

                      South Sudanese must never forget the record of every hopeful, whether the candidate has been recycled in the past as a Minister or not, what/why did he/she do right/wrong and how/why will he/she do it differently this time. We need to remember that those who are likely to run are on both sides of the isles—government side, opposition and the other political parties alike to reflect inclusivity.

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                      • 10 June 11:56, by Adodi Jotuwa

                        Regional or continental blocs (IGAD, AU), and international community should never turn a blind eye again or ignore the record of any candidate who brags about that he’s the potential champion of change or introduction of federalism while in essence he was/is and will still remain be the champion of lootings, rebellion, brutal killings and destruction, massive displacement, and humanitarian catast

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  • 10 June 19:39, by Fact Nonsense

    Big "thank you" to all African great leaders who have shared their feelings with peace loving citizens of South Sudan following the tragic events that set our beloved country into pieces. Indeed, the fate of the people of South Sudan lies in the hands of Salva Kiir and Riek Machar. It’s so sad that our leaders look at issues in their interest rather than national interest.

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  • 10 June 19:50, by Fact Nonsense

    It’s a huge shame on our leaders for failing to learned from the past. South Sudan in the heart of Africa has got vast experiences from the whole world on how to go about good governance, but just thrown out through the window. It’s fantastically stupid to have taken things for granted and our leaders at every level have led us (South Sudanese)down due to their interest.

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  • 10 June 20:12, by Fact Nonsense

    South Sudan today has no different from Belgium Congo which during its infancy suffered coup and divisions with massive killing that were not documented. Joseph Mobutu stole the show with support from the West who didn’t know how a mere journalist would turned dictator and best described himself as Leopard King or King of tribes. Mobuto became so popular in the good days of top job honeymoon but

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    • 10 June 20:26, by Fact Nonsense

      behind the scenes, horrible things unfolded. The then Prime Minister Patrice Lumumba was arrested, brutally killed and buried in unmarked grave in the forest of DR Congo. Joseph Mobutu renamed DR Congo to Zaire, Currency became Zaire and the river Congo also became Zaire. Oyee and dances became order of the day. Not until people got tired of wasting their voices for no returns. Mobutu

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      • 10 June 20:39, by Fact Nonsense

        gradually lost popularity at home and abroad. He became oppressive and only dedicated his leadership to his family. Peace of mind was out of reach for every Congolese and they had not lost hope that one day, things might turned for better. And indeed, everybody begun speaking out against untouchable Mobutu. Eventually, Mobuto was gotten rid of, and DR Congo still continues suffering today.

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        • 10 June 20:46, by Fact Nonsense

          However, South Sudan isn’t separable from any experience that Congolese had and have experience. But still South Sudan has got the worse experience since creation to be realistic with history. We’ve suffered more than anybody would imagined. With all these terrible memories of the past, our leaders couldn’t looked back and asked themselves what good/best they should give South Sudanese. It’s sad

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          • 10 June 21:03, by Fact Nonsense

            and unforgettable for South Sudan to be independent under bunch of naïve leaders who see themselves as GOD CHOSEN leaders to rule South Sudan. Some want to overtake history for themselves, others are so cynical about other ethnicities. What a shame? The future of South Sudan is doom if politicians and citizens at large can’t reconciled their sentiment. We shall not be like Congolese but worse!

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