IGAD HAS FAILED TO ADDRESS THE ROOT CAUSES OF THE CONFLICT IN SOUTH SUDAN:
To: IGAD Heads of State and government
March 29, 2017(Nyamilepedia) —— The office of the SPLM IO Deputy Representative to the United Republic of Tanzania condemns in the strongest terms possible the decision taken by the IGAD heads of state and government in its 30th Extra-ordinary summit on South Sudan held on the 25th March 2017 in the Kenyan capital Nairobi. The communiqué issued by the IGAD heads of state and government is a clear evidence that IGAD has turn a blind eye on South Sudan by siding with a dictatorial, fascist and tribal regime that is terrorizing our people by torching houses, raping young girls and women, torturing and targeted killing of innocent civilians based on ethnicity and carrying on serious military offensives on our positions across the country.
The visionary and democratic leader of the peoples’ movement the SPLM/A IO H.E Dr. Riek Machar Teny Dhurgon has from day one been calling for a peaceful political settlement of the conflict so that the immense suffering of our people is ended once and for all. To our surprise, we are seeing IGAD member states does not want to see peace in South Sudan due to vested interests and this alone compromises the neutrality of the regional body. A case in point is Uganda’s direct involving in the conflict by openly siding with President Salva Kiir to fight our freedom fighters and the Republic of Kenya on the other hand have collaborated with the government in Juba to deport our officials at the request of the authoritarian tribal regime in Juba. In light of the above, IGAD is directly assisting President Salva Kiir to complete his task of building a monolithic tribal state in South Sudan.
The office of the Deputy Representative is calling upon the IGAD heads of state and government to completely change its political direction if it wants to remain relevant or trusted in the region and by the international community. South Sudan case is a litmus test to the IGAD heads of state and government for the future mediation of conflicts in the region. How will any country in the region trust IGAD to mediate its conflict in the near or far future given its total failure in ending the South Sudan crisis?. One of the guiding principles of mediation process is that the mediator cannot take side and fight in support of one side of the conflict and also be the judge at the same time. This is to say IGAD should have not accepted to mediate South Sudan conflict in the first place given the direct involvement of one of its member in the conflict unless Uganda was completely sideline from the mediation process.
The office would like to strongly inform the IGAD member states that peace will only return to South Sudan if the peace agreement is resuscitated through a peace process which will pave way for the return of H.E Dr. Riek Machar Teny Dhurgon to Juba. There will be no peace in South Sudan without the presence of the Chairman and Commander in Chief of SPLM/A IO because he commands the majority of the support both inside and outside the country. Africa as a whole will not move forward let alone the region if democracy is seen as a threat by those in power. Democracy is the best way to transfer power from one person to another through the choice of the people rather than through the barrel of the gun.
President Salva Kiir policy of using guns and tribal elements to silence and to eliminate his political opponents so that he can build a tribal state for the interest of a few instead of for all will never return peace to the country. It is very unfortunately for the regional leaders to ask the SPLM/A IO to surrender to the murderous regime in Juba to be slaughtered one by one as they have always been doing. How can a large force that controls half of the country be asked to surrender to a dictator? This is unacceptable and the marginalized people who are suffering under the hands of the ruthless and fascist dictator in Juba will never and ever accept to surrender their guns to be slaughtered by President Salva Kiir untrained tribal elements. Our people who formed the majority of the population in the country will continue to defend themselves until the world and the region approach H.E Dr. Riek Machar Teny Dhurgon to discuss on how to end the conflict.
Lastly but, not the least, the office of the deputy Representative strongly call upon and appeal to the IGAD heads of State and government to review their position and hand over the mediation process to the African Union and the UN so that peace returns to the country. Peace in South Sudan means peace and stability in the region. Handing over the mediation to a neutral body will earn IGAD as an institution respect and credits. This is the way forward; anything short of this will only prolong the war and the suffering of the people. The National dialogue that President Salva Kiir announces is just for him to consolidate power rather than to end the conflict in the country. We are saying since the national dialogue is in the agreement, it should be conducted once the agreement is resuscitated.
Mr. Peter Oyoyo Kleto
SPLM/A IO Deputy Representative to the United Republic of Tanzania
CC: Government of the United Republic of Tanzania