August 7, 2016 (NAIROBI) – The resolution by the Inter-Governmental Authority on Development (IGAD) heads of states that a regional force be deployed in South Sudan, is victory for all South Sudanese, Pagan Amum, a former secretary general of the country’s ruling party (SPLM) said.
- Former SPLM secretary-general Pagan Amum speaking at Chatham House in London on 1 May 2012 (Photo: Chatham House)
The regional bloc, in a communiqués issued on Saturday, said a unit of the intervention brigade be deployed where former First Vice President Riek Machar is currently located for him to securely return to Juba and assume his duties.
Machar fled Juba about a month ago after his forces clashed with those loyal to President Salva Kiir in the capital, Juba, leaving over 200 dead and about 40,000 homeless.
“You have won a great victory. [President] Salva Kiir has been forced to reverse his opposition to deployment of an intervention brigade from our African neighbors. This must happen to help stop the killing of people, rape of our women and the pillage and destruction of our country,” Amum said in a statement extended to Sudan Tribune.
President Kiir had earlier rejected calls for the deployment of foreign forces, saying the young nation already consisted of a 12,000-strong United Nations mission peacekeeping force.
But Amum, a former political detainee, said Kiir needed pressure to honor his promise and give peace a chance.
“The [President] Kiir faction must not delay the arrival to Juba of the regional force in any way,” stated Amum, adding, “Already their intransigence has caused hundreds of deaths, rapes and untold suffering in recent weeks”.
According to the former SPLM secretary general, President Kiir’s latest move to replace Machar with Taban Deng Gai grossly violated the August 2015 peace accord.
Regional heads of states, in the communiqué, agreed among other that Juba and other major towns be demilitarized, all combatants in all states be cantoned, the establishment decree that created 28 states be nullified and that the original 10 states in the country be re-instituted.
The IGAD heads of states also called for the incorporation into the country’s Transitional Constitution of the Agreement on the Resolution of the Conflict in South Sudan (ARCISS).
Amum, however, said South Sudan’s political problem will not be solved by military intervention, but security would improve.
“An enduring solution must include a political component to uproot the entrenched kleptocracy and address lack of political will,” he stressed, adding “Only such a plan can stabilize and usher South Sudan to peace and democracy”.