Home | Comment & Analysis    Saturday 30 August 2014

IGAD failure to delivering peace for South Sudan!

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By Jacob Odong

August 29, 2014- The East African Inter-Governmental Authority on Development (IGAD) is concluding a plan to allow for what they are calling a unity government for South Sudan. If Riek Machar agrees to the dubious plan, then the South Sudan opposition has already lost the entire game.

A unity government does not represent any change. And a unity government is not an interim government. If President Kiir is to lead that proposed so-called unity government, Machar supporters have no way of ever beating Kiir in elections. The plan is also said to create a “prime minister” (PM) position for opposition party.

The PM position that IGAD wants to create to appease a single man is fatally deceptive and not useful for resolving the South Sudan conflict. What South Sudan needs is a landmark constitutional change to address its chronic tribal-based political problems for all of South Sudanese, not just to appease Dr. Riek Machar or Mr. Salva Kiir. The 2007 Kenya political ills yielded an empty PM position for Kenya’s leading opposition party.

Mr. Raila Odinga filled that the PM position but which proved very meaningless and in the end Raila rightfully ended up losing elections to Mwai Kibaki. Odinga even quarreled with Kibaki over his prime ministerial powers. The power boundaries were extremely murky. Kibaki was always over ruling Raila Odinga in power issues.

But the Kenyan political reforms had one major constitutional change attached to it. That single most significant reform was the presidential term limit instituted to prevent presidents overstaying in power. That was what ended up saving Kenya. The electoral commission reform turned out useless because it remained politically partial up to the last Kenyan elections, whereby, Odinga had to challenge its ruling in court and he miserably lost it allegedly because of judges that still supported Kibaki’s political party. Reforms in that arena had not yet taken off from the ground. Machar is now beginning to lose sight despite showing strength at the early stages of his rebel movement.

It is unthinkable to hear that Riek Machar is allowing Kiir’s friends Presidents Yoweri Museveni and Uhuru Kenyatta to call the shots for South Sudan political reforms. Machar also recently sent his men to Kampala to meet with Museveni and begged him to help in resolving the South Sudan problems. And yet it was Museveni that went to Juba and held a press conference warning Machar that IGAD would defeat him.

If the unity government plan becomes workable, IGAD will likely demand that Machar’s rebels effectively disarm before taking the PM position it will create to meet their needs. And that would be a big loss for Dr. Riek Machar’s group.

Looking critically at the S. Sudan problems, the formation of a unity government is the dumpiest way forward ever. Unity government is not an interim government. What South Sudan needs is an independent interim administration that leaves out both Mr. Machar and Mr. Kiir for the betterment of it. The interim administration can then organize a free and fair presidential election within 12 months. Machar and Kiir may run for the presidency just as any other South Sudanese. During this interim process, Machar should hold on firm to his rebel army and to the land under his military control. Machar’s rebel movement is the driving force behind the reforms. South Sudanese must not forget this fact. Without the rebel movement, South Sudan wouldn’t be at this point talking about reforming its political system.

It is so sad indeed that not even the United States of America can guide South Sudan in resolving this conflict. This is further indication of Obama administration’s weak and bankrupt foreign policy dilemma. This failure is apparent even when it was United States that was instrumental in helping South Sudan gain political independence. The Obama administration is not interested in getting to know the root causes of the South Sudan conflicts. Obama’s administration is giving Salva Kiir the upper hand and allowing him to remain dictating the politics of ruins in South Sudan. African leaders are still many steps away from achieving the necessary moral standing to resolve their own political problems.

The hardcore fact is that IGAD is a unity front for East African dictators and strongmen. IGAD will therefore not deliver any lasting and genuine peace for South Sudan. IGAD itself is part of the problem and not the solution to the South Sudan conflict.

Mr. Jacob Odong is journalist by profession. He also served as school teacher and he lives in the United States of America. For comments on this article contact Mr. Odong at Kapplan11@yahoo.com.



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  • 1 September 08:06, by jur_likang_a_ likan’g

    Jadwon’g Odong,

    Your piece of writing on this subject matter is a great advice to South Sudanese to seek a genuine solution to the prevailing devastation taking place in South Sudan. Anything less than whatis suggested here is a path to more catastrophe to the people and the country.

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    • 1 September 14:54, by LabotoNyom KobiYe

      Jacob Odong.

      You r right to speak up ur mind but u r talking like a small child learning how to talk. I cannot find any substance in your piece. Whether Riek sticks to his position or not he will never be the President of the South Sudan because of his treacherous journey to Khartoum since 1991, back to SPLM in 2002 and again to Khartoum right after December 15TH, 2013 coup attempt up to date.

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      • 1 September 15:00, by LabotoNyom KobiYe

        There is no any solution offered in ur article except fueling the conflict for South Sudanese to suffer becoz you are in USA, in an air-condition apartment, not even knowing who is Dr. Hopeless Riek Massacre. If you believe in him to be your Godfather, wait n see. SPLM/SPLM fought SAF which is well-equipped for 21 year, not tribal rebellion support by Khartoum and some financiers in USA.

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        • 1 September 15:09, by LabotoNyom KobiYe

          Those who told Riek to wage a tribal war believe dat Riek wud win becoz they capitalized on public emotions dat de government was/is tribal, corrupt and bla-bla-bla. Was Dr. Hopeless outside or inside the government he pretends to label? If tribal rebellion/coup is de best option to overthrow an elected government, why do think it’s difficult for de other side to rebel? Question your intellect.

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          • 1 September 15:22, by LabotoNyom KobiYe

            If you really know dat IGAD is controlled by some Western powers and cannot come up with tangible solution, then regional, continental and international community must not worry about humanitarian cost becoz they are the one fueling it. They can support Riek financially and militarily through Khartoum today n tomorrow they change their mind as usual. God knows better de time for peace.

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            • 3 September 22:06, by Daniel Deng Monyde

              Riek Machar is a total failure and good for nothing. He wasted time visiting IGAD countries hoping they would support him, but it was just a waste of time because his record is clear since 1991 that he betrayed the people of South Sudan and has failed politically, militarily and diplomatically. Even the west has turned against him because he is only fighting selfishly for power. What a shame

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            • 3 September 22:07, by Daniel Deng Monyde

              If it was not for this traitor called Riek Machar, who betrayed the people of South Sudan, misguided his people and stabbed the liberation struggle in the back, South Sudan would have attained Independence long time ago during the 1990s. Since Anyanya 1 when Salva Kiir was still a young man, he has been struggling for the cause of the people of South Sudan, not because he wanted to be President.

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            • 3 September 22:08, by Daniel Deng Monyde

              IGAD Heads of State are not stupid and after making in-depth analysis of the situation in South Sudan, they have all clearly understood that the real problem of South Sudan is Riek Machar and they have made the most logical conclusion that South Sudan shall never have a bright future unless Riek Machar, the chief traitor & betrayer of the people is forever removed from the future of our nation

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  • 4 September 00:19, by lino

    I am not sure for how long Southerners will be barking like dogs looking for solutions. No African leader can solve these kinds of problem yet; we can see the they tried to do.
    Southerners will be stupid if they did learn yet from Mother Sudan. The sample problem that divided Sudan are now on surface in a 2 and half Baby, South Sudan.

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    • 4 September 00:23, by lino

      Arab felt they liberated the land from Anglo-Egyptian Rule thus they should have ruled, and now Dinka in the South Sudan felt they liberated the South from Arab and they are bound to eat the cake alone.
      We are in a different ball games in South Sudan and we must watch out for others. Both Kiir and Riek are stupid for they killed the people of SS one more time.

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      • 7 September 11:29, by Daniel Deng Monyde

        Cheap tribalist Lino, you should start by respecting yourself and respecting the people of South Sudan by showing respect to H.E. Gen. Salva Kiir, the Democratically Elected President of the Republic of South Sudan, before opening your dirty mouth to utter such empty bullshit from your shallow myopic brain. Salva Kiir has committed the whole of his life for the cause of the people of South Sudan

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      • 7 September 11:31, by Daniel Deng Monyde

        Since Anyanya 1, when he was still a young man, Salva Kiir has been struggling for the cause the people of South Sudan, not because he wanted to become the President. Salva Kiir has fully demonstrated unwavering commitment to the SPLM/A liberation struggle and has never betrayed the movement at any one time, and has continued to make tireless sacrifices for the sake of peace and unity

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