By Peter Gai Manyuon
May 4, 2018 (SSNA) — In fact, what is happening in the Republic of South Sudan is disastrous to the local, nation, region and the world at large. So far, cluster bombs and the same chemical weapons used against Syria civil population was used in 2014 between Juba and Bor by the government forces. Many that survived from chemical weapons in 2014 are currently too deformed where you find their legs and eyes are totally lost and more evidence are on the ground especially in the greater Lou-Nuer areas and some parts of Greater Fangak respectively. More evidently, different human rights reports confirmed government forces had systematically butchered men, women, children, slitting throats, gouging out eyes, castrating and mutilating men and gang raping men and women on a massive scale in the Country; which has worsened the crisis of South Sudanese more than Syrian Crisis.
Consequently, for the last four years, the conflict claimed thousands of lives, slashed oil production and driven about half of the population of 12 million from their homes to refugee camps in different countries where thousands are currently internally displaced persons (IDPs), under protection of United Nations Mission in South Sudan (UNMISS) in the Country.
Comparatively, after the massacred of thousands in 2013, Inter-governmental Authority on Development (IGAD) managed to intervene by bringing peace that was signed in Addis-Ababa in 2015 between government of Salva Kiir and the main opposition movement of Riek Machar, former detainees as well other political parties in the Country but nothing tangible was achieved by parties. However, in April 2018, many civilians displaced and thousands killed in Leer and Mayendit in Southern Unity, where up to now many disappeared in swamps and River Nile.
Nevertheless, early July 2016 a catastrophe occurred in Juba where thousands killed in J1 where Machar survived narrowly from Kiir forces between Congo and Juba. On the same month of July Taban Deng Gai, took both offices of the first Vice President of the Republic and leadership of the SPLM-IO of Juba-branch where up to now Machar ended up in South Africa for about two years so far and no peace in the Country.
Undoubtedly, fresh talks aiming to address the crisis began in February 2018 in Addis Ababa as pressure mounts on the leaders to take stronger action to end the Country’s four years civil war, but nothing agreed upon by mainly two rival groups especially Kiir and Machar. The current agenda of the revitalization of the peace process introduced by (IGAD) member States so far turned meaningless and the outcome or conclusion of this revitalization remains unknown and peace implementation is stagnant while thousands are dying in bushes and in displaced camps.
In addition, the regional body only interested in prolonging the conflict since the Country has become a center for businesses and exploitation in the region. Unquestionably, leaders in South Sudan lack political ideologies rather, what they only focus on is divisive politics characterized by hooliganism, sectarian politics, desperation, primitiveness and worshiping idols.
Who is delaying peace and stability in South Sudan?
Obviously, there are too many interferences by the government of Kiir in Juba and a certain group calling itself SPLM in opposition-Juba and when in fact don’t have constituency or troops in the Country. Masses are in dilemma on who will bring peace in the Country not knowing the agreement between Kiir and Taban is the only factor obstructing peace processes in Addis Ababa as per now. Admittedly, masses are very confused about what might come out from Addis-Ababa in weeks or months coming while others are projecting that, too many peace talks in Ethiopia normally since Addis Ababa Peace Agreement in 1972 between Southern Sudanese by then and Khartoum government never succeeded whatsoever.
On the same note, others are doubting the capability of Ethiopians in managing South Sudanese crisis while some few are claiming Ngundeng Buong prophecies could be another factor delaying peace- which on the other hand, lack empirical shreds of evidence. In fact, any peace talks coming or taking place in Addis-Ababa might not bring any genuine peace and stability in the Country due to interests of IGAD as the mediating body, East African Community (EAC) and the so-called frontline Countries. In reality, too many assumptions and interests attached to South Sudanese conflict continued undermining peace and stability.
How will peace be achieved in the Country?
In fact, the real peace and stability will come when President Kiir and his deputy Taban distance themselves from sabotaging the revitalization process that might resumes soon or in the near future. Even though recent sanctions on oil companies and some government institutions were announced by the United States government, still there is a need for individual’s sanctions and entire economic sanction for genuine peace and stability to be realized.
In addition, the country is divided on ethnicities by the Sudan People Liberation Movement (SPLM) goons who used the country resources for enriching themselves and their families while the civil population continuing dying in protection camps across the Country due to diseases, trauma and other social problems beyond treatment.
Generally speaking, not all politicians in South Sudan accepting peace but most of the SPLMs members only look for what benefits them not the entire population in the Country. The vision of the SPLM as the party is no more, what we are having is just tribal organization manipulated by the tribal leaders claiming the legitimacy of the country. I don’t know how these members of SPLM defines legitimacy? Legitimacy simply means conformity to the law or to rules but the government of Kiir doesn’t respect rule of law rather, what is being practiced in the country is the rule of man.
Similarly, these constituents of SPLMs (SPLM in government, SPLM in opposition, SPLM former detainees) and other small SPLM elements that have formed different factions using other names are confusing masses by dividing themselves in to different SPLMs, but all have the same philosophy or ideology of looting the country resources, killing civilians and enriching themselves with positions and wealth’s. All of them are visionless who only look for what benefits them not the Country or civil population.
In summary, the International community especially the America government and European Union (EU) should take serious measures and critically look in to the issue of South Sudan with immediate solution that could bring peace and stability in the Country even though it means, imposition of the same methodology used by United States, France, and the United Kingdom toward Syrian government could be much better since the government of the SPLM only listened to force not diplomacy as per now.
At this stage, diplomacy deserves to be put aside by the United States (US) and European Union; if real peace could be realized in the Country. President Kiir and his entire cabinet deserve sanctions since all of them are continuing approving the killings, raping and extermination of other ethnics group in the country. There is clear evidence that, majority of atrocities committed since 2013, 2014, 2015, 2016, 2017 and 2018, including the targeting of civilians, violations of international humanitarian law and international human rights law, have been directed or approved by President Kiir, National Parliament in Juba and Jieng Council of Elders (JCE) respectively.
In conclusion, the methodology to settle or find a remarkable solution to the already contentious matters on four years conflict remains unknown. The so-called Revitalization is not fruitful. The country is used for businesses by regional organizations like IGAD, Frontline Countries, and East African Community. What is ongoing, is serious exploitation of the Republic of South Sudan (RSS) resources (oil, minerals, and land) for regional gains while in the longer run, the incoming generations will suffer more and more.
Peter Gai Manyuon is an author, Independent Journalist, and Columnist who has written extensively on Human Rights and Democracy in South Sudan. Currently researching on Propaganda and Conflict in South Sudan. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or independentjournalistpgm.wordpress.com.