Africa ExPress Special Correspondent
Juba, 17th August 2015
It is finally the 17th of August 2015 and both President Salva Kiir and former Vice President Riek Machar are in Addis Ababa to sign the IGAD sponsored peace agreement to end the fighting that started, between the Opposition and the Government, on the 13th of December 2013.
Since the start of the fighting at least 10,000 South Sudanese have been killed and 2 million have been displaced both within the country as well within neighbouring countries and both sides have raped and committed other human right abuses.
All the major networks are covering the story and not matter how the diplomats try to dress it up it is clear that:
- Mr Rieck Machar has signed the Agreement
- Mr Pagun Amun has signed the Agreement
- Mr Salva Kiir has not signed the agreement – he has initialled it and is asking 15 days to discuss the agreement in Juba where in fact a number of voices were raised against signature of the agreement. A power sharing deal will require that some members of the present Government make some sacrifice
Therefore there is no agreement. Is this a surprise? Probably not.
Today’s events in Addis Ababa must be analysed having regard to the recent events in Juba such as:
(a) the rumours in Juba that some members of President Salva Kiir Government did not want him to travel to Addis Ababa;
(b) the dismissal, under the pretext of security concerns, of the following senior members of the Government on 16th of August:
- Governor Central Equatoria State – Clement Wani Konga . Mr Ali Juma appointed as care taker Governor – a member of Parliament who has previously been the Commissioner for Terekeka County
- Governor Western Equatoria State – Joseph Bangasi Bokosoro
- Acting Care taker Governor – Northern Bahr El Gazal State. The new Governor is Police Commissioner Akot Deng Akot
- Governor – Warap State State – Nyandang. The new Governor is Akec Tong
- Governor – Upper Nile – Simon Kun Puoc was replaced by SPLA Deputy Chief of Staff for Moral Orientation Lieutenant General Chol Thon. It is to be recollected that in early June 2015 Simon Kun had relocated the Upper Nile state capital from Malakal to Renk ( https://radiotamazuj.org/en )
So, despite the fact that many people in South Sudan want peace and despite the best efforts of the diplomats to dress up today’s events as a positive step, there is no Peace Agreement. At best there is a willingness to continue to talk, at worst there is confusion, further division within both the Government and the Opposition and ultimately within the communities.
South Sudan and its people continue to wait
On the picture up Salva Kiir (left) and Rieck Machar. Down Pagan Amun, secretary general of SPLM