Home | News    Friday 13 June 2014

South Sudan peace deal receives mixed reactions

separation
increase
decrease
separation
separation

June 12, 2014 (JUBA) – South Sudan’s peace deal which the country’s rival leaders signed on Tuesday aimed at ending six months of conflict has received mixed reactions from citizens, with analysts citing uncertainty surrounding the failure of previous agreements to halt the violence.

JPEG - 11.6 kb
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)

Under the agreement, South Sudanese president Salva Kiir and rebel leader Riek Machar committed themselves to the formation of a transitional government of national unity within 60 days and ensure unhindered humanitarian support to affected people with immediate effect.

The signing followed a meeting between the two rival leaders on the sidelines of an extraordinary summit in the Ethiopian capital, Addis Ababa, which was convened by the International Governmental Authority on Development (IGAD) to discuss the South Sudan situation.

Nyoka Alberta Pitia Samuel, a resident of Juba from Central Equatoria state, expressed optimism of the possibility of peace and harmony in the country, but said there remained significant mistrust in affected communities.

“It is an historic moment for our people who are eager to return to their homes. The victims of this conflict will have a reason to smile as this agreement raises their hopes,” she told Sudan Tribune on Thursday.

“Nothing is [an] impossibility to achieve if there is a will. I know some people are talking about the damage and the mistrust, as well as the shame this conflict had brought on the country, but I hope things would change and we will have normal relations among our communities,” she added.

Conflict in South Sudan broke out in mid-December last year following escalating political tensions within the ruling SPLM.

TARNISHED IMAGE

Bol Chan Mawien, a native of Warrap state presently in Juba, said the conflict had severely damaged the image of the new nation in the eyes of the international community and portrayed its leaders as power hungry figures.

“It has really damaged our pride to find ourselves in this situation,” said Mawien. “We believed our leaders could have shown understanding to solve their own differences through dialogue, but it seems not.”

He said recent events had left South Sudanese people, including himself, depressed and had killed off the optimism the country experienced after seceding from Sudan in 2011, after a protracted civil war spanning more than two decades.

“The feeling that things must get better is no longer there. There’s no pride in being a happy people anymore. The killing has gone on for too long,” he said.

DIFFICULT TO BE OPTMISTIC

Meanwhile, Juba-based analyst Anthony Sebit said it remains to be seen how the agreement, signed under enormous pressure from the regional and global community, would be implemented on the ground.

“This is a welcoming development. It allays fears and raises hope for peace but the reading is that this agreement was signed under pressure from the region,” he told Sudan Tribune in an interview on Thursday.

He said both Kiir and Machar would need to get there military forces in the field on board if the agreement is to succeed.

“It is one thing to talk to the politicians in Addis Ababa and in Juba and it is completely another talking to the generals and the fighting forces in the fields,” said Sebit, adding that past violations by both sides of an existing ceasefire deal “makes it difficult for someone to be optimistic about this agreement”.

The leader of the opposition group in parliament, Onyoti Adigo, has expressed concern over the 60-day time period for negotiations, saying there was limited time to discuss the fundamental issues agreed to by the parties to the conflict with the full participation of other stakeholders.

Adigo warned that any attempt to undermine the wider participation and inclusiveness of all political forces and relevant stakeholders would create further violence and division, particularly at a time when leaders will be fighting for positions in a proposed transitional government.

“The devil will be in the details of this agreement, but [we] hope the spirit of negotiation will prevail to overcome differences. We believe that movement forward is critical,” said Adigo on Thursday.

The opposition figure added that there are concerns that negotiations towards a transitional government may lead to further instability on the ground as both sides attempt to strengthen and consolidate their positions for political gains.

RISK OF FAMINE

The head of UK-based relief organisation Oxfam has warned of the risk of famine and spread of cholera should fighting continue.

People “have been forced to endure too much in the past six months – conflict, hunger and displacement – it can’t be allowed to go on any longer,” Oxfam’s South Sudan director Cecilia Millan said on Wednesday.

Eastern Equatoria state governor Louis Lobong Lojore has downplayed speculation that the elected governments, including those in the states, would be dissolved under the agreement.

He clarified that the cabinets, both in Juba and states, would be enlarged to accommodate some representatives of the opposition in order to pave a way for democratic elections in the country.

However, Lojore has warned officials against defecting to the opposition with the aim of securing political positions, saying only a few from the opposition would benefit.

The fighting in South Sudan has pitted government troops loyal to Kiir against rebel forces aligned with Machar, comprising largely of ethnic Nuer militia and dissident soldiers.

Thousands have been killed since the conflict broke out and than 1.3 million displaced, with aid agencies repeatedly warning the country is headed for a humanitarian catastrophe.

IGAD mediators had earlier expressed concern over the failure by the two warring parties to adhere to provisions of signed ceasefire agreements, warning of tougher consequences unless the rival sides took steps to end the violence.

(ST)

- South Sudan’s rival leaders agree on 60 day ultimatum

Comments on the Sudan Tribune website must abide by the following rules. Contravention of these rules will lead to the user losing their Sudan Tribune account with immediate effect.

- No inciting violence
- No inappropriate or offensive language
- No racism, tribalism or sectarianism
- No inappropriate or derogatory remarks
- No deviation from the topic of the article
- No advertising, spamming or links
- No incomprehensible comments

Due to the unprecedented amount of racist and offensive language on the site, Sudan Tribune tries to vet all comments on the site.

There is now also a limit of 400 words per comment. If you want to express yourself in more detail than this allows, please e-mail your comment as an article to comment@sudantribune.com

Kind regards,

The Sudan Tribune editorial team.

Comment on this article


 
 

The following ads are provided by Google. SudanTribune has no authority on it.


Sudan Tribune

Promote your Page too

Latest Comments & Analysis


The theory of African president and prime minister, working together 2014-11-22 05:32:12 By Steve Paterno November 21, 2014 - Africa is notoriously known for political instability, stemming in most cases, over power struggle among the ruling elites. Often times, the best and quick (...)

The UNAMID internal report on mass rape in Tabit. 2014-11-21 06:09:21 What UNAMID really said about their investigation of mass sexual assaults on Tabit: The internal report on what investigators found By Eric Reeves November 20, 2014 - On November 12, 2014 (...)

Bullying Darfur 2014-11-13 18:13:39 By Namaa Al-Mahdi November 13, 2014 - “We broke their backs in Abu Karshola, I doubt they have recovered since,” said a prominent Sudanese Armed Forces (SAF) member about their counter attack on (...)


MORE








Latest Press Releases


Sudan Democracy First Group condemns wave of arbitrary arrests in Sudan 2014-09-25 05:17:35 Sudan Democracy First Group 25 September 2014 - In a desperate attempt to prevent a series of events commemorating the victims of the September 2013 protests, Sudan’s notorious National (...)

HRW calls on UN rights body to press Sudan to investigate murder of peaceful protesters 2014-09-24 21:24:09 Human Rights Watch One Year On, No Justice for Protester Deaths (Geneva, September 23, 2014) – The United Nations Human Rights Council should call on Sudan to account immediately for the death (...)

Hundreds walk for peace in South Sudan 2014-09-23 08:30:16 National Platform for Peace and Reconciliation (NPPR) PRESS RELEASE Juba, 21 September 2014 - Hundreds of people took to the streets of the South Sudan capital Jubato ‘Walk for Peace’and demand (...)


MORE

Copyright © 2003-2014 SudanTribune - All rights reserved.