July 26, 2018
The Coalition of Advocates for South Sudan urges the armed stakeholders of South Sudan, IGAD member states, the Troika and all members of the international community to put the people of South Sudan first in negotiations regarding an end to violence and a future of peace for South Sudan.
Current talks, that include multiple vice presidents – rather than establishing effective plans for addressing the immediate crisis facing the country, demonstrate a priority of obtaining power rather than a priority of serving the people of South Sudan.
Requirements in peace negotiations regarding access to oil and seeking approval from regional leaders provide damning evidence that IGAD member states are motivated by their own interests and not the interests of the people of South Sudan.
Rushing a peace process and not taking the time or providing the necessary resources to address the root causes of conflict in South Sudan – including Britain’s colonial legacy, oppression under governments of Sudan, and generations who have known only war – demonstrates that the international community is more interested in checking off a box than genuinely standing with the people of South Sudan.
Achieving and sustaining true peace in South Sudan is a challenging long-term endeavor that will require patience, commitment and sacrifice for no other reason than the good of the people of South Sudan. All other motivations are not only painfully obvious and ridiculous, but they are doomed to fail.
The people of South Sudan are seeking leaders who demonstrate by their character and service that the people of South Sudan are their first priority. Who will that be? Equally as important, what does it mean to put the interests of the people of South Sudan first? Specifically:
It means all armed stakeholders standing down to allow the country the opportunity to learn from the past seven years and to re-birth in a more thoughtful and productive manner.
It means convening a peace process where no one leaves with power, but everyone leaves with a well thought out plan for an institution to govern the country until free and fair elections occur.
It means that these leaders, who are determined to use their energies to fight and destroy the country, abandon their guns and instead take up their pens together with other stakeholders to draft a plan for working with the international community and the people of South Sudan to safely deliver food and other humanitarian aid to every community in South Sudan that is needlessly suffering.
It means that these leaders who are experts on the battlefield determine to use their minds and join with other stakeholders to design a country with sound institutions that protect and promote the rights of every citizen and that develop social services and markets that serve and reward the hard work of its citizens.
Fighting over power in South Sudan is evil and a lazy man’s game. Real leadership that produces legitimate pride comes from doing the hard work of making peace with each other to do the enormous work of building a great nation in which every single citizen is prepared and allowed to contribute to for the long-term benefit of real peace and prosperity.
The people of South Sudan have had enough of immature self-serving war games. It is time for the leaders of the armed stakeholders of South Sudan to get down to business with true representatives of the people and produce real results -or- it is time for them to get out!
Approved by the Board of Directors: