South Sudan, when an agreement is not an agreement

Africa ExPress Special Correspondent
Saba Makeda
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.

Salva e Rieck

All the major  networks are covering the story and  not matter how  the diplomats try to dress it up it is clear that:

  1. Mr Rieck Machar has signed the Agreement
  2. Mr Pagun Amun has signed the Agreement
  3. 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.

Kenya SudanToday’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

Makeda Saba
makedasaba@ymail.com

On the picture up Salva Kiir (left) and Rieck Machar. Down Pagan Amun, secretary general of SPLM  

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Corrispondente dall'Africa, dove ho visitato quasi tutti i Paesi