October 12, 2016 (JUBA) - A group of South Sudanese politicians has issued a statement calling on the regional bloc and guarantors of the August 2015 peace agreement in the country to urgently convene a roundtable to discuss a way forward to put to a stop the rising security situation, which they said, resulting from lack of confidence in implementing the peace deal.
- Former cabinet affairs minister and G-10 team leader Deng Alor with former justice minister, John Luk Jok, after their arrival at Juba Airport on 1 June 2015 (Photo Moses Lomayat)
“We urge IGAD and JMEC, (as midwife of ARCISS and oversight mechanism for its implementation respectively) to urgently convene a roundtable of all South Sudanese stakeholders to address this rapidly developing crisis in order to avoid another explosion. Such a roundtable should aim at arresting any further deterioration in the situation by opening lines of communication, agreeing on measures that need to be taken to calm tempers quickly, in the short run,” a statement, seen by Sudan Tribune, signed by Kosti Manibe Ngai, former finance minister and member of former detainees, reads in part.
“Resuscitating ARCISS (Agreement on the Resolution of the Conflict in South Sudan) in a modified form, or working out a new agreement in the event ARCISS is proved to be beyond salvation, should be the ultimate objective,” the statement added.
The group, according to the 11 October statement, also warned that genocide could occur in the country if no immediate measures are taken to restore hope and build confidence among communities.
“The country is on the edge of a precipice. For all purposes and intent, our country appears to have been placed in a staircase to the world of Former Yugoslovia, with all the ills of ethnic cleansing and fragmentation. Are the leaders of South Sudan, especially its ruling class going to allow this to happen? The results we are working for through these incomprehensible and indeed reprehensible acts are an insult to the sacrifices of the two million people who paid for our independence with their dear lives. What is happening in our country and the apparent inability of our leaders to stop it is nothing but a disgrace,” the statement said.
The group expressed disappointment with what it described as a wanton killing, destruction of livelihoods, targeting on the basis of ethnicity, extreme intolerance for people professing different views than one’s own. These acts, it stressed, must stop if the country was to stay in peace and harmony.
It said they were of considered view that all the leaders need to sober up, have a rational re-assessment of the options before the people and retrace steps and do the right thing so as to avoid calamity”.
“We therefore wish to appeal to all South Sudanese to allow sobriety to rule in their engagement with one another and in addressing the many issues about which we so passionately feel, whether these be related to insecurity, tribalism, fairness, equality, justice, marginalization, targeting on basis of ethnicity, nepotism, etc,” it said.
They appealled to leaders of South Sudan at various levels and stations in life, and especially leaders of the warring parties and those who are carrying arms to exercise restraint and reign in their emotions.
“We further urge them to avoid taking precipitous actions or decisions in the heat of the moment. During such trying times, sobriety is of essence,” they advised.