Home | Comment & Analysis    Thursday 27 July 2017

IGAD’s Revitalization Forum on South Sudan is a hoax

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July 25, 2017

The Nuer Supreme Council (NSC) would like to take this opportunity to declare that Intergovernmental Authority on Development (IGAD) is no longer a credible peace broker in South Sudan, but rather, a sham and hallowed financial profiteering institution driven by IGAD’s nation States political and financial gains.

The recent IGAD)’s High Level Revitalization Forum on South Sudan is a Hoax, Deeply Flawed and Driven by Financial Gains. This is showcased by IGAD’s position on the SPLM/A-IO, the main opposition armed Movement in South Sudan.

Due to IGAD’s deeply flawed and monies driven position on the South Sudan peace, the Council demands that IGAD relinquishes its mandate on the South Sudan Peace Agreement to the African Union.

The IGAD’s approach going about with the High Level Revitalization Forum is not genuine. The Revitalization Forum is highly selective, ill-conceived and we believe such a method will fail.

Thus, the Council agreed that IGAD’s approach is “exclusionary initiative” and only meant to prolong the war efforts and suffering of the people of South Sudanese, while IGAD’s member States representatives continued to get their paychecks in the name of unachievable peace.

To recap, the Intergovernmental Authority on Development (IGAD) is an East African regional bloc, mandated by the African Union (AU) in 2013 to oversee and mediate the peace negotiation efforts in South Sudan. IGAD is supposed to be non-partisan, genuinely honest and objective in all its approaches.

IGAD came to such a prominent position when President Salva Kiir falsified a coup d’état against his own Government, and then, mass murder 20, 000 innocent Nuer civilians, which then caused the civil war. IGAD was entrusted with responsibility to bring the warring parties to the negotiation table.

Despite the murderous nature of the political problem in South Sudan, the East African’s leaders and the African Union maintained that the path to peace in South Susan be an African driven approach meaning - “Africans’ solutions to Africans’ problems”.

The intent was to deny the international community’s involvement and influences on what African’ leaders called “Africa’s state of affairs”. The international community accepted the proposal in principle to avoid a false accusation of imperialism or neocolonialism intent by the West in Africa in the 21st century.

However, with this African’ driven approach, of Africans’ solutions to Africans’ problems, the problem arose on the financing. The African nation States are bankrupt and lack financial muscles to ensure ownership in the process and also to guarantee that the method is indeed for Africans, by Africans and on the African continent.

Instead, the Africa’s nation States particularly the IGAD asked for financial supports from the West, particularly the Troika (USA, United Kingdoms and Norway), EU and China to help facilitates the peace process in South Sudan.

These contradictions created a setback on the Africans’ solutions to Africans’ problems objective. In reverse, it created financial dependency. This financial dependency turned IGAD a beggar and hallowed financial profiteering institution meant to benefit no one but themselves. Today, the Council can state this with a straight face that IGAD is a sham and hallowed financial profiteering institution.

With resounding confidence, the Council declared that the High Level Revitalization Forum aimed to revive peace in the South Sudan is a scum and subject to failure.

The initiative is nothing but a mockery and grossly incompatible to the 2015 failed Peace Agreement. For example, in 2015, IGAD patched a weak Peace Accord on South Sudan. IGAD did not and still not protecting any peace accord in South Sudan. Its failure in protecting the signed accord add to IGAD’s lack of sincerity and commitments. Therefore, the Council concluded that IGAD can no longer be trusted. It motivation on South Sudan peace is financially driven and not a genuine search for peace.

The weak Peace Accord broker by IGAD for South Sudan collapsed on July 8th, 2016 and IGAD failed to hold to account the violators. Instead, IGAD continued with deafening silence even though people were dying and being displaced in their thousands all-over South Sudan.

Due to the deadly nature of the war, those whose intentions were to achieve genuine peace for South Sudan called for peaceful revitalization process through political means. Sadly, IGAD’s nation States blatantly refused and claimed that the Peace Agreement was intact and being implemented.

Of late, IGAD subtly acknowledged that the peace agreement on South Sudan has collapsed and required a political revitalization process. In June 2017, IGAD tabled the High Level Revitalization Forum and subsequently followed by the timeline.

The High Level Revitalization Forum aims to revitalize the collapsed Peace Agreement on South Sudan. To achieve this objective, IGAD has initially declared that the process will be inclusive. All the warring parties and other oppositions would be involved including the estranged groups. IGAD also stressed that all would be engage in a transparent process.

The Council and the world at large were delighted and endorsed the IGAD’s initiative and change of heart without second guess that IGAD’s initiative could be a financial scam and deeply flawed. We lauded the IGAD’s nation States for such a decisive move at the eleven hours after a year of deafening silence on South Sudan.

To everyone surprise, the IGAD Executive Council, Workneh Gebeyhu of Ethiopia had this to say on July 24, 2017 in Juba, South Sudan: "revitalization forum is not a fresh negotiation or a renegotiation to implement the agreement, but rather an opportunity for all South Sudan stakeholders to return to the implementation of the peace agreement."

First, the Council would like to reinstate that the peace in South Sudan has collapsed and there is no peace agreement to be implemented by all South Sudan stakeholders. Instead, there is a raging war in the country. In our view, the first attempt must be to stop the war before IGAD’s rubbish talks of implementation of the peace agreement that does not exist.

Second, for IGAD to say that “Dr. Machar will be allowed to send representatives to the Revitalisation forum which is due in September, but will not be allowed to attend the forum by himself” is deeply troubling and irresponsible.

With that statement, the Council believe that IGAD nation States has killed their initiative, the High Level Revitalization Forum and we think this was not accidental but IGAD’s intention in the first place. Similarly, with this position, we suspect that IGAD has secured some financial supports for the initiative which the donors have no way of reclaiming.

Third, it’s improbable to think and talk of peace in South Sudan when the SPLM/A –IO’s top leadership is excluded in the High Level Revitalization Forum. It must be noted with clarity, that the SPLM/A-IO is the main signatory to the Peace Agreement which is falsely claiming to be revitalized and the only armed force on the ground fighting Salva Kiir’s forces in South Sudan.

Their exclusion by the IGAD in the High Level Revitalization Forum means no peace and no genuine High Level Revitalization Forum for all South Sudanese, which is what IGAD wants. Another IGAD’s intention is continued financial gains which we precisely believe to be a financial profiteering in the name of South Sudan’ peace.

Fourth, IGAD cannot call for an inclusive forum for all South Sudan stakeholders and yet denied the SPLM/A-IO’s top leadership participation in the form. This is hypocrisy and true conduct of a financial profiteering institution.

In closing, it’s fitting to say that the High Level Revitalization Forum was a hoax and meant to lure in Western Governments to fetch-in financial supports to benefit IGAD’s Nation States. The IGAD’s High Level Revitalization Forum is not genuine. It’s a sham and whose objective is to racketeer in the name of suffering people of South Sudan.

Therefore, the Council call on the African Union to take-over the South Sudan’s peace portfolio from IGAD.

The Council also call on the Western countries, particularly the Troika, EU and other International bodies to defund the High Level Revitalization Forum under IGAD.

The Council asked the Troika, EU and other International bodies to only fund genuine and inclusive initiative whose goal is to bring lasting peace to South Sudan under the African Union.

The Nuer Supreme Council is an independent think tank, whose objective is to advance peace, research and bottom-up development in the rural South Sudan. The Council is also an advocate for fair treatment and equal representation of all South Sudanese in the South Sudan state of affairs.

J. Nguen is the Chairman of the Nuer Supreme Council. He can be reached at jamesnguen@gmail.com



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