We are seriously getting concerned as the oppressed, the footstools of the warring parties and the shitholes of the elites in South Sudan. As people who desire the peace in South Sudan most, we are growing concern and nervous with the utterances emanating from the warring parties to the agreement that was signed in Khartoum.
Considering what Kiir preached in Juba airport and at Bilpam yesterday and taking also into account the response of SPLM-IO to Kiir’s amnesty, we are wondering whether these two protagonists are reading the security and the governance agreement from the same page or it is an attempt to antagonise the gist of the agreement.
It appears on the security arrangement, Kiir has either not understood it or he actually intends to negate or implement his own perceived agreement that in not in the security arrangement. The security arrangement is loud and clear. In fact the framers of the agreement did not mince their words. They stipulated crystal clear that during the pre-transitional period, first all soldiers will be withdrawn from the civilian populations. We thought this was meant to protect us the defenceless civilians who have been the main target of the brutal regime forces. We have been butchered, our wives and daughters raped, our houses burnt down, our farms looted and we were forced to abundant our dear homes to flee either to IDP camps or refugee in the neighbouring countries. Therefore, the framers of the security arrangement wanted to ensure that the civil population is relieved of the torment that has been inflicted on them.
Secondly the security arrangement stipulates that during this period, all the forces will be separated, disarmed and their heavy weapons collected. This is meant to reduce accidental misunderstanding and reduce the threat of soldiers resorting to using heavy weapons in case of any unforeseen misunderstanding. This is supposed to be followed by thorough screening of all the warring forces so as create new South Sudanese army. The selected soldiers from all the warring parties will then be trained together so as to indoctrinate them in new philosophy of being south Sudanese forces for all South Sudanese unlike the current situation where every warlord has his own tribal or semi-tribal militias.
Apparently when Kiir came back from Khartoum, he immediately talked of integration of the rebels into his militia. When he went to Bilpam to brief his militia, he urged them to welcome the rebels into their fold. This means Kiir is actually talkiing of his own security arrangement whereby he wants the rebels to integrate into his ruthless army of attrition and plunder. He does not want to see a new representative and professional army of South Sudan. Our suspicion is that Kiir does believe that a new South Sudan professional army will not guarantee his position and position of his cohorts. It is rather unfortunate that Kiir is deliberately interpreting the security arrangement to suit his own power desire and mechanics. Certainly this is likely to be the first bullet of a renewed conflict.
On the other hand, we were also bewildered by the antagonistic and harsh response from SPLM-IO to Kiir’s declaration of amnesty. This is rather astonishing coming at the time when the two parties are supposed to be toning down their usual harsh and uncompromising rhetoric pronouncement and showing restrain so as to start cultivating conducive atmosphere for reconciliation and mutual understanding. Kiir may be wrong to have declared the amnesty after all peace agreement has been signed and certainly according to the terms of the security arrangement, Kiir should have released the political prisons but we see no advantage in SPLO-IO talking loudly about Kiir being brought to face justice when SPLM-IO has opted for government positions instead of pursuing justice, equality, equity and protection of the people’s rights.
Looking at the agreement on governance, there is nowhere mention that the human rights violators will be brought to book in South Sudan. The agreement has already resuscitated the government in Juba and has indeed solidified Kiir’s position as defacto president to South Sudan until he is removed by the people. SPLM-IO itself has signed to it. It has agreed to work, cooperate and accept the dictatorial decrees of Kiir. Therefore, instead of sitting cosily on the table of plunder and looting, we still continue to hear the rumbling noises of dejected hyenas which have no meaning to the oppressed people of South Sudan.
Once one has surrender to his fate, there is no need to be antagonistic again but wait patiently for the loot that you can receive instead of antagonising the situation. However, we never know this could be another way of achieving more or it is a clear warning that peace is nowhere near. God bless South Sudan.