By Kocrup Makuach
Earlier this month, I had envisaged eminent collapse of the Revitalization Peace talks held in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia under the auspices of Intergovernmental Authority on Development (IGAD). From where I sit, the failure was pre-arranged and orchestrated by the numerous brief-case rebel groups who are not interested in peace and stability of South Sudan. According to their immutable demands, it is very clear that their aim is to negotiate out the democratically – elected government under H.E, President Kiir Mayardit rather than to consider the common good for every citizenry. This to me is irrational and partisan!
The government on Thursday rejected a proposal calling to establish a collegiate leadership body including four vice-presidents led by President Salva Kiir. Also, the opposition groups called for the removal of President Kiir during the transitional period saying he hinders the implementation of the peace agreement.
The opposition’s proposal of (four Vice- Presidents) is obscure, incongruous and opaque in so far as South Sudan’s Transitional Constitution is concerned. There is no country or government on the face of the earth that accommodates 4 vice presidents. It is an undeniable fact that the proponents of such a course are insatiable for political power rather than the suffering of South Sudanese civil population.
I would recommend for the international community; AU, UN and Troika to reign in on such divisive elements and to set pace in what the upcoming talks should focus on. In my thinking, the forum is dubbed revitalization peace forum and not another negotiation peace deal where a new government is established. The talks must revolve around the already existing deal that saw the establishment of the current transitional government led by SPLM/SPLM IO rather than renegotiating another government without particular people on board.
It is sad that the world views the sitting government as the only obstacle to peace and stability in South Sudan. The vast majorities of the rebel groups have stolen public funds and are living luxurious lives overseas. It’s unlikely that the South Sudan’s government will sign and adhere to peace agreements until the international community opens its closed ears and ceases to turn its blind eye on the opposition war-lord groups in South Sudan as well.
During the struggle for Independence from the successive Arab’s led Khartoum clique regimes, our late hero, Dr. John Garang clearly painted the current predicament bedeviling our country South Sudan in the following words “Khartoum government came to Kenya recently and told IGAD that we give you one more chance to achieve peace in Sudan, ‘I was amazed because that is like a patient telling the doctor that I give you one more chance to cure me, I believe it is we the Sudanese people , the Sudan government and the opposition , that should be pleading with the IGAD mediators ‘ please help us to achieve peace in our country ‘ and not an ultimatum to the mediators , threatening them’ saying we give you one more chance”
Peace building is a life long journey. Do not be deceived; ousting President Salva Kiir will not be the panacea to the ailments facing our country. The cure for our self-inflicted mess is with each and every one of us, the government and the opposition alike.
We must desist from blame games, violence, ethnic cocoons, corruption and selfishness. Let’s work towards enacting a new constitution after which we conduct free and fair elections. The constitution must be one that strengthens all independent institutions that safeguard the interests of all citizens.
The elected leadership must tore line to uphold rule of law, democracy and guarantee social liberties that set a right platform for economic stability and social well-being for the young and old, women and children, fathers and mothers and the youth from every corner of the state.