Searching for the Wrong Peace by detaining Riek Machar

By Elbow Chuol,

Dr. Riek Machar Teny-dhurgon, former Vice President, Chairman and Commander in Chief of SPLM/A-IO(Photo: file)

Dr. Riek Machar Teny-dhurgon, former Vice President, Chairman and Commander in Chief of SPLM/A-IO(Photo: file)

Oct 9, 2017(Nyamilepedia) —– This article doesn’t address the roots causes of South Sudan civil war but discussed how peace is being prevented to prevail by taking the wrong path.

We are losing the direction. The right direction in which this peace can be possible and given to people of South Sudan. We are losing the direction because we abandoned the right path and chosen the wrong trend to bring peace to people of South Sudan.

The simple question would be, and then if we are all lost, what are we missing? There is nothing we are missing. We just chose to go the wrong path. This is what we are all missing.

We either invent a new path better than what we currently took or go back to the old path and make things easier for everyone.

The problem is focus is given to individuals and not the public. The population of South Sudan is what needs to be study and given the focus not the particular politician, political entity or opinions of the interest groups outside South Sudan. By getting to know the public opinions, then peace decisions should be made based on the attitude of the public demand.

Before we even go deep, it is irony to give President of Uganda an opinion on how the peace talks should go when his forces are practically engaged in frontline fighting the Armed Opposition. Are you seeing among many things what we are missing?

What are we missing?

That is exactly what we are all missing giving an individual’s like Uganda president a key role in peace process when he is a shareholder in South Sudan conflict protecting President Kiir’s presidency. Everything president Museveni contribute favor Kiir aiming to defeats Riek Machar, thus, contradicting the position of neutrality expected from his government.

Searching for the wrong peace by detaining Riek Machar is what we are missing. Let me prove to you how this is a wrong step that will not bring peace back to people of South Sudan.

Just a minute let me explain with evidential facts.

South Sudan crisis always started in Juba and then spread to all other areas. If this is so, what can we do to contain the situation in Juba not to spread across the country? The absent of war in Juba positively contribute to the other part of the country. This means, we must do things that maintain Juba being peaceful for South Sudan to return to normalcy.

For instance, Gen. David Yau Yau’s rebel didn’t took place inside Juba and so it s remained outside that city and it didn’t spread. There was no mass displacement of civilians to the neighboring countries. Despite the fact that, Gen. David Yau Yau held from one of the minority ethnic groups in South Sudan, his dissatisfaction alone, if he started the whole rebellion in Juba he would have caught much attentions. There were already people who were more disgruntled about Salva Kiir administration then David Yau Yau himself.

He and General George Athor are good examples on how less effect of war outside the Juba city doesn’t have much impact to the rest of the country. So, this mean, if Juba is silence the whole country’s 90 percent population can enjoys peace. This is the fact and not a fiction.

Coming to current crisis, a year and half was unbelievable for the world at large. More than 200,000-300,000 people estimated killed. Half a million population Internally Displaced Persons (IDPs) living under the protection of United Nations Mission in South Sudan (UNMISS). 3 million displaced to the neighboring countries. If the war continues, then, the entire country will be left empty.

All this happened and continues to happen because Juba’s December 15 of 2013 killing of the Nuer civilians by the forces loyal to President Salva Kiir bring the whole nation to its knee.

Yes, many would say, Shulluk were killed in 2012 but that was not in Juba. If it were in Juba, we would have seen terrible outcomes.

Murle too and all other major events that took place in South Sudan before and after independence were treated minor because they were outside that country’s city. The engagements of Government with Lou Nuer in 2006 hundreds were killed but it didn’t affect the rest of the country.

Recent History

A year and half of worse civil war, South Sudan’s Kiir and Riek Machar signed the August 18 2015 peace agreement. It would take stereotypes, propaganda, threats to bring the two principles to the same table in Juba.

Peace was here at last. Guns were silence, and no more displacement. Reason is Dr. Riek Machar is back to the country’s capital. Economic was improving, and security was all getting better. They even gave him a nickname, Mr. Dollar. Life was good. Hope returned.

Then 8 of July 2016 war broke out again in the country’s capital. Peace agreement is dead. Guns were opened, and more displacement kicked on. Reason is Dr. Riek Machar is out of the country’s capital. Economic went wrong, and security is now getting worse than before. Life is bad. Hopelessness returned.

The simple ignored question would be what is the connection between Dr. Riek Machar being in Juba for peace agreement and calm returned and being outside Juba because of war and worse returned? We must ask questions to find a solution.

We can only solve a problem when we identify it and then work to fix it. I think peace will not return if we work hard to isolate Dr. Riek Machar with ability to calms the nation when he is in Juba during peace agreement and things go back to worse when he is outside that country’s capital.

Riek Machar’s Influence of Power.

Ignoring Riek Machar’s influence of power in South Sudan politic is grave academic miscalculation.

Dr. Riek Machar control 75 percent of the country’s territory. He has 21 structured states with appointed governors. He has more than 150 military generals, countless Brig. Generals.

The size of his army is spread all over the country. His political Bureau is alive and sound. He got member of National Liberation Council. He has than any other persons anywhere in South Sudan a massive Diasporas supporters properly organized under chapters leadership with an ability to raise funds. He has a territory. He has a system in place. He got the civilians backup.

Anywhere on Earth rebels is isolated by civilians because it loots, killed but Dr. Machar’s rebel forces are warmly welcomes almost by everyone in the country wherever they settle. When his forces are dislodged, civilians too run alongside them. Mass displacement occurred. Like the recent 90,000 displacement of civilians in Maiwut when government forces entered the town.

Basically, all the Internally Displaced Persons (IDPs) are Riek Machar supporters. Half a million South Sudanese refugees in Ethiopia, 75 percent in Sudan, 80 percent in Uganda and 98 percent in Kakuma Refugee camp are Dr. Riek Machar supporters.

If I am wrong, why they are still inside the Protection of Civilians Sites (PoCs) across the country? Why half a million living in refugee in Ethiopia? The 75 percent of this in Sudan. 1.3 million In Uganda and the Kakuma Camp is filling up? There is no reasonable ground South Sudanese civilians would deliberately chose refugee camps if they love their government.

This is the point we are all missing, ignoring scientific facts with political superstition. We think Dr. Riek Machar is the problem because the opinions we listened too are all from his political enemies.

It is time to pay attention to the voice of the public; the public want Dr. Riek Machar back to the peace agreement.

Our individual’s hates against Riek should be put aside. Look, Dr. Lam Akol, Thomas Cirilios, Bakassoro, G10 of Pagan Amum, who else? They are many. If you ask the opinions of this individual their answer is simple and plain; Dr. Riek Machar or Kiir or both are the problem. And yet, they don’t have a political gravity to influence events in South Sudan.

Plain and simple, they don’t have forces in the ground. So instantly they shall be rejected and we are all back to square one.

These people don’t have civilians’ supports in South Sudan. The whole nation is equally splits between both Salva Kiir and Riek Machar. The country is not splits between Thomas and Pagan, or Changson and Lam….or anyone else. Riek and Kiir to me they are both side of Ying and Yang.

If we have to take them all out, we must ensure maximum clarity on how and where to place the loyalty of the South Sudanese. The issue is loyalty. Who are South Sudanese loyal to? Either on Pagan, Lam, Changson, Thomas, this is impossible. None of this individual has constituents.

So trying to accommodate such an individual interest by yelling to their demand is not inclusivity. Inclusivity is identifying the major figures by including the minority interest.

What everyone should learned here is that, South Sudanese leaders have personal grudges and this grudge is taken to political level. So you cannot solve it unless they personally decided to go over it. So when IGAD, UN and other concern body over the peace talks selectively request their opinions in private, they turned against each other putting their individuals hate first while overlooking facts on how to solve South Sudan crisis.

This is where things are always complicated. This is where South Sudan conflict remained unsolved and pretty complicated. Politic should be based on interest not personal hates or grudges.

In conclusion

Revitalized the 2015 August Peace Agreement, bring the two principles with the constituents to the table (let them solve their personal problem to solve the country problem), bring in the other individual politicians into the peace talks and accommodate them. The point here is accommodating their interest so no one feel is being left out. Take them all to Juba, deploys the UN force and its regional forces (Already there) with mandate to fully control the capital to avoid the future escalation of crisis like in 8 of July 2016.

Let the period of the transitional government be one year, two year or three year, decides, and then let them all those who want to go for elections try their lack. This is the only soft landing strategy I have.

Soon they will reject this idea; the circle continues spinning and we wonder why South Sudan crisis is complicated. Bye.

You can reach the Author via elbow.chuol@gmail.com

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2 comments

  • My friend, what you are written is helpless to you. Don,t you know that the world has already studied the mind of south sudanese on their daily activities from 1991 upto now. South sudan now is a country and is difficult for others nation to bring in some forces. There are laws governing world, not like our laws in juba that can be broken by one person every now and then.

  • Riek Machar in our house.

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