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IGAD-Plus and Peace Politics: Dateline without Deadline

It is time we define governments in Africa as the responsibility, not the power” – Dlamini-Zuma

By James Okuk, PhD

August 21, 2015 (SSNA) -- On 17th August 2015 in Addis Ababa, the Intergovernmental Authority on Development for mediation of peace talks by the warring parties in South Sudan, known as IGAD-Plus, managed to conclude the twenty months negotiations. In the evening of the dateline set for the end of peace talks, the reinvigorated leadership of IGAD-Plus’s presented finally to the stakeholders the “AGREEMENT ON THE RESOLUTION OF THE CONFLICT IN THE REPUBLIC OF SOUTH SUDAN".

After ups and downs of the last minutes of peace talks politics, the agreement was initialed by the Government of the Republic of South Sudan (GRSS), the Sudan People’s Liberation Movement/Army (In Opposition) known as SPLM/A-IO, and the SPLM Leaders known as the Former Detainees (FDs). Unfortunately, the Political Parties of South Sudan were prevented to be in Addis Ababa to initial and sign the Agreement (though they welcomed it and stated their intention to sign it once given the opportunity to do so either in Addis Ababa or in Juba). However, the GRSS postponed for two weeks the final signature of President Salva Kiir Mayardit on the document (pending the result of tactical further consultations or may tempers cooling at home). The president and his team have been given the benefit of doubts to prove their honesty within 15 days.

Good enough, the rest of the stakeholders, adherents, guarantors and witnesses initialed and signed the agreement with good faith. The fact that the IGAD-Plus, powers from all corners of the world and most South Sudanese stakeholders have stood firmly together with one voice for ending the war and ushering peace, is a strong indicator that the GRSS has been left alone with no dignified choice at the end but to sign the peace agreement by 31st August 2015 in Addis Ababa. Thus, the GRSS’ requested further consultations shall not have significance apart from mere registration of dissatisfaction and fear with some articles of the agreement, but which shall remain unaltered despite the protests. The dateline has not become a deadline for South Sudan! Good.

Despite the delay, there is still a great light at the end of the darkened tunnel. Peace is now outside from around-the-corner. Those who have been thinking that President Kiir is not committed to ending the war and bringing peace back to the country shall all get disappointed soon. The evils that they might have been planning on the back of war situation shall get dispelled by the power of peace agreement that is going to be celebrated by all good-hearted people, both internally and internationally. Anyone can call it a ‘forced agreement’ or a ‘bad deal’ but it will still be a congratuleable step for stopping the current devastating war and avoiding international humiliation!

There can never be ‘Bad Peace’ even if is achieved through unfair agreement.  The awaited peace will bring the dignity of South Sudan back to where it had been from the time of its declaration of independence in 2011. There shall no longer be desperate and dying South Sudanese at the congested inhumane UNMISS camps inside and refugees locations abroad. There shall not be threats of hunger. The children shall go back to schools. Rural hospitals and clinics shall reopen. There shall be hope of livable livelihood and prosperity to all in all corners of South Sudan. Hard lessons would have been learnt.

The politics of peace talks is already over. What has remained for those who are still enjoying its hangover is nothing but emotional choice theory via frustration venom. The Rational Choice Theory would dictate that the clever politicians should focus on politics of implementation of the signed peace agreement. Those who still want to continue with war or attempt to obstruct the implementation of the agreement shall be losers.

When the peace deal is finally signed and celebrated officially by all the designated representatives and permanent ceasefire within 72 hours is declared immediately, the 75-Page document shall become binding for implementation within three years (2015 – 2018). The document comprises the Title; Table of Contents; Acronyms; Preamble; Transitional Government of National Unity (TGoNU); Permanent Ceasefire and Transitional Security Arrangements; Humanitarian Assistance and Reconstruction; Resource, Economic and Financial Management; Transitional Justice, Accountability, Reconciliation and Healing; Parameters of Permanent Constitution; Joint Monitoring and Evaluation Commission (JMEC); Supremacy of the Agreement and Procedures for its Amendment; Signatories; and Appendixes.

Some articles of the agreement that have been stipulated under these headings are excellent, others are good and fair, but yet others are controversial and suspicious. The preamble is excellent as it stipulates in writing the spirit under which the letter of the agreement is supposed to be implemented. It affirms the ideals of diversity, inclusivity, humanitarianism, reforms, collegial decision-making, transparency, accountability, rule of law, truth, justice, apology, reparation, compensation, healing, harmony, federalism, reconstruction and development that should become a norm by virtue of the advent of  value of peace to South Sudan. The preamble promises generically a peace that should make cats to lie in harmonious dignity in one territory with mice and rats.

The humanitarian and economy aspects of the agreement are good and fair in many aspects. The religious part of it is also acceptable to all the stakeholders as it focuses on reconciliation, forgiveness and healing in the warring communities so that the lost trust can come back so as to reweave the loosened social fabrics.

However, the power sharing aspect of the agreement is controversial, particularly for some selfish politicians and businessmen who are interested in holding or acquiring position seats for the sake of luxury. This is where Machiavellianism is seen playing its principles of ‘the end justifies the means’ and ‘victory to the cleverest and the cunning’. This could get interwoven with the armed forces aspect of complications if not handled carefully with an eagle eye and sustained pressure from members of international and regional governments who have better leverages and stakes in South Sudan.

Regarding the security arrangements, the cantonments and demilitarization is not going to be a very easy affair unless the armed forces job is made less lucrative. The rebels may inflate their numbers but this shouldn’t be made a big deal as the mechanisms of the security sector reforms will catch up with them later. Juba and other capitals are not going to be demilitarized as it was proposed in the first draft compromise agreement. What will take place shall be redeployment of forces to specific locations. The rebels might not like this provision but they have no choice but to put up with it.

The presidential guards will remain intact but pending reforms too. Military Barracks and Warehouses arms guards shall also stay put without limitation. That means the GRSS could redeploy as many soldiers into Bilpam SPLA Headquarters and Giyada as they wish (provided that they don’t come out to mingle with civilians while militarized with uniforms or arms). There will not be foreign armed forces to neutralize the capital but only joint integrated police who shall also be deployed in Bor, Malakal and Benteu and in any other place in South Sudan with UNMISS’ Protection of Civilians (PoC) site. This is for building confidence in order to dispel fear of being harmed outside UNMISS’ premises when the civilians go back to their homes finally.

The unification of the warring forces shall be complete within 18 months so that no political leader goes to elections while owning a bullying military wing of his party. The SPLA name would also have been changed by then so that the newly reformed and standardized conventional defense forces of the Republic of South Sudan could take up their national duty in a rightful manner, far from regionalism or tribalism or nepotism. All the allied forces from neighboring countries shall leave South Sudanese alone.

However, the rotary choice of the executive positions within the agreed percentages of 53% for GRSS, 33% for SPLM/A-IO, 7% for FDs and 7% for Political Parties (who attended in June 2014 the IGAD’s Recognized Addis Ababa Symposium) is going to be very uncomfortable for the GRSS because the SPLM-Juba shall lose the grip on important some important ministries (like the Defense, the Security, the Interior, the Finance, the Petroleum, and the Foreign Affairs).

Some powers have been taken from the President and given to the First Vice President. The Incumbent Vice President (i.e., James Wani Igga) has nothing much to show for governance powers beyond commissions and smaller specialized institutions unless when delegated by the President but on condition of non-conflict with the duties of the First Vice President. However, this is not a surprise because Vice President is supposed to be part and assistant of the President and not a competitor of the First Vice President.

Both the President and the First Vice President shall not have absolute powers individually, because in case they failed to reach a consensus on an issue, the 67% and 23 quorum of Council of Ministers will have complete power over the divided Presidency in final decision-making on essential issues of governance and leadership.

Women can no longer be marginalized. Their 25% is now a right and not a benevolent duty from any male politician any more. They shall be in the Cabinet as full ministers and deputy ministers nominated by the principal stakeholders and appointed not by chance.

The National Legislative Assembly’s Speaker shall be from Equatoria but James Wani Igga shall have no option to switch from the Presidency to that post unless he resigns first. However, the replacement to the Vice President’s post shall not be guaranteed to go to Equatoria after he has left it. The concerned party (the GRSS) shall nominate any eligible South Sudanese from any region or from any gender to that vacant post.

At the states levels where the parliaments shall remained untouched; the SPLM/A-IO shall not have the upper hand in power sharing. Only the governors of Upper Nile and Unity state shall be nominated by the SPLM/A-IO while Jonglei State Governor shall be nominated by the GRSS. The Ministers who shall serve under these governors shall be apportioned as 46% for GRSS, 40%for SPLM/A-IO, 7% for FDs and 7% for Political Parties who have been recognized by the IGAD. That means, the upper portfolios control in Greater Upper Nile shall remain with the GRSS party, in addition to overwhelming control of the rest of the seven states in other regions where the armed opposition (not specifically SPLM/A-IO because it could be REMNASSA, etc) shall be granted 15% share of executive power while the GRSS retains 85%. All these are rewards to the rebellions but also to all factions of SPLM for having subjected South Sudan into crises. But given the dire quest for ending the war, this could be tolerated limitedly.

Any Member of Parliament at national or states level who has been dismissed shall be reconfirmed. However, the agreement is silent on the mode of replacement of those who have or who might have died while on parliamentary duty.

The national wealth (e.g., oil, gas, gold, timber, land, water, forests, fish, wild animals, etc) at the states levels shall not be left to the mercy of states governments. Revenues shall be centralized for the implementation of the agreement and accommodation of politicians and army generals. The desired equitable distribution of revenues in the spirit of sharing and rural community developments vis-a-avis population proportionality (call it taking towns to the people in the poor and destroyed villages) shall wait for later.

The IGAD-Plus in consultation with the stakeholders shall constitute a Joint Monitoring and Evaluation Commission (JMEC) as well as National Constitutional Amendment Committee (NCAC) to do the necessary for implementation of the provisions of the agreement during the 3-month pre-interim period and beyond. Other important institutions shall also be constituted or reconstituted (e.g., the National Elections Commissions, the National Constitution Review Commission, etc) for the same purpose.

All in all, if the SPLM leaders managed to unite by virtue of Arusha Reunification Agreement (which I doubt they will), the monopoly of power and wealth at the Presidency, the Council of Ministers, the Parliaments and the ten States shall become less sensitively controversial because the total share of all the SPLM factions shall be 93% and even more. Otherwise, the SPLM with all its disgruntled factions shall remain volatile as groups competing perpetually for power and wealth monopoly interests. Their differences and conflicts in offices might trickle down to their militarized guards where history of 13 December 2013 might repeat itself. This is where the presence of neutral forces in the capital could make sense of safety predictability.

The Addis Ababa II Agreement seems to have come back minus the past glory of the dinosauric SPLM. This is good news for germination of multiparty democracy in South Sudan as each of the divided factions of the SPLM will soon find better ways of organizing and coalescing with others politically. The SPLM shall finally be archived in historical records and given the necessary past credits. Congratulations to IGAD-Plus!

However, the “AGREEMENT ON THE RESOLUTION OF THE CONFLICT IN THE REPUBLIC OF SOUTH SUDAN” has not been written on hard stone because it is subject to amendment (but based on some stringent legal procedures). This provision is an acknowledgement that it is not a perfection document as there could be unforeseeable difficulties of implementation ahead.

Although the signatory phase of the agreement shall be commended, the implementation phase shall still have its hiccups, especially from the security arrangements aspects. Some disgruntled politicians and splintered armed groups might still resist the spirit of the agreement and opt for disruptive saboteurs’ activities, thinking that they may have better gains for Other Armed Groups (OAGs) like what happened to late Gen. Paulino Matip during the implementation phase of the Comprehensive Peace Agreement (CPA). Perhaps, this is where arms embargos during the peace time would make some sense.

It is observable that the courage from the South Sudanese warlords comes only from guns and ammunitions. But they don’t have any capacity of manufacturing such lethal power.  Also most of those who are threatening the lifeline of the agreement cannot have the same courage of Somalis even when they promise Somalization. I have never witnessed any South Sudanese putting a bomb on himself and getting out to a target un-shivering. Even those who are grinding their teeth now for seeing the President and other stakeholders signing an agreement that can bring peace back to the country will soon change their behavior and embrace sanity that usually comes with stability. Big attention should not be accorded to their unfounded threats because some of them are already known for cowardice and propaganda as they depend on others for courage.

The frontlines states (Sudan, Uganda, Ethiopia and Kenya) have already demonstrated commitment that they could help (collectively or individually) the Republic of South Sudan to be peaceful or to disintegrate totally if the rest of the world’s powers do not take the lead pragmatically beyond mere pronunciation of pressure and sanctions for spoilers of peace. Also South Africa, Tanzania, United States of America, the United Kingdom, the Kingdom of Norway, the People’s Republic of China, the African Union Commission, the United Nations Security Council and the European Union have not been folding their ends when it comes to the crisis in South Sudan. All of them have appended their signatures to be the guarantors of the agreement and would do whatever is at their disposal to ensure return of sanity of peace to South Sudan. However, what is critically required from these foreign powers is “The Responsibility while Protecting” the peace interests for the Republic of South Sudan and without conspiracy tactics or Plan Bs.

Viva for the upcoming of peace and justice to the born-again Republic of South Sudan!

Dr. James Okuk is lecturer and analyst in the area of politics. He can be reached This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it .

Opinion piece on IGAD-Plus, its implication to SPLA- IG, SPLA/SPLM –IO, and the people of South Sudan

By Gatwech Ruot Nyoat

August 20, 2015 (SSNA) -- As the deadline set by IGAD-Plus is approaching, with the looming international community sanctions and pressure in urging South Sudanese warring factions to bring lasting solution to ongoing civil war that led to immense loss of lives and human suffering. The principal parties to conflict have to make wise decisions to compromise their positions to give South Sudanese people in UNMISS camps, refugees in neighboring countries and those bearing the burden of hardship economic crisis inside the country an opportunity to restore their living. A lot of sacrifices in reaching a lasting peace is expected from Mr.Salva Kiir and Dr.Riek Machar.

Both principals should know that failure to negotiate in good faith to bring peace back home will have adverse effects in which military solutions will not bring sustainable peace at the end.

The IGAD-Plus Compromise Agreement Advantages to the Government or SPLA-IG

In the light of the IGAD-Plus Compromise Agreement, the SPLA-IG have to take advantage of this agreement by signing it to legitimize, the illegitimacy of the government that came into being by expiring terms on 8 July 2015 as stipulated in the Transitional Constitution of South Sudan. By doing so, the government will get grassroots support because it has brought to the people of South Sudan a peace that is much needed. This will also show the government commitment to peace and restoration of the international relations that deteriorated as a result of war.

It is within the reach of the government to exert its efforts by convincing the warmongers, the loyalist Nuer generals and the small cliques of Dinka that belief in crushing the rebels by military means and have mentality of born to rule - the like of Kuol Manyang , Makuei Lueth and Paul Malong, who said a year ago he would crash the rebels within a month). Otherwise, the consequences of refusing the IGAD-Plus Compromise Agreement will adversely affect the government particularly the ordinary citizens who have not got any dividend of the independence of South Sudan.

For instance, the rejection of the IGAD-Plus Compromise Agreement will result into international isolations and sanctions to government and individuals that derail the peace process. This will be followed by the economics collapse in the country as well as deteriorating support from citizens that want peace to come and improve their livelihoods .The ordinary citizens that had been affected by war did not benefit or had not been part of the dividends of independence. If war will not stop, the likelihood of conflict to spread to more peaceful states will be more. The case of Western Equatoria where citizens were frustrated by the behavior of the army that mistreats the ordinary citizens is very tangible example. Hence, such scenarios will create enabling environment for citizens to take up arms against the government. The better way is to bring peace so that ordinary citizens will focus on how to improve their livelihoods.

Other aspect that the government should consider is the drop of oils price that supports the existence of the mercenaries such as Uganda Defense Forces, the Darfur rebels -JEM and the SPLA-North will have no way to be maintained if war continues. Failing to pay them will mean there will be no grantee for the existence of government in Juba.

Implication of IGAD-Plus for SPLA-IO

In my opinion the IGAD-Plus Compromise   for SPLA- IO has advantages because majority of Greater Upper Nile executive organs will be dominated by them .That will give the SPLA- IO opportunity to start federal structure at grass root levels. People of the Greater Upper Nile are mostly affected by the war, living in UN camps, displaced within the country and denied humanitarians access, dying of hunger and diseases daily. The SPLA-IO should take the agreement seriously by making compromise so that these citizens be rescued from this inhumane conditions. Otherwise, people will lose trust and confident in peace process since they are the only ones in the country that call for war to stop. SPLA-IO should know that it is when there is ceasefire that the ideology of federalism will be realized in people's hearts. Signing this agreement give the opposition chance to mobilize citizens to support them in upcoming elections when transitional period ends. During the transitional the SPLA-IO can strengthen their army and supplies in case government refuse to implement the agreement. Within the transitional period SPLA_IO can make coalition with other political parties to unite people of South Sudan based on the ideology of federalism that most people of South Sudan want .It will be the time for SPLA_IO to mobilize citizens to support federalism if it is taken up for referendum. Signing the agreement will signify the leadership commitment of SPLA/SPLM to IGAD-Plus modality on peace agreement to show to the international and regional bodies their commitment to bring peace and desired reforms in South Sudan. So the SPLA-IO should work with regional countries to have representations in Greater Equatoria and Greater Bahr El Ghazal since there are supporters from these regions in the movement who want to be represented in the agreement.

Therefore, taking decisive action to avoid international isolations and sanctions should be taken seriously by SPLA_IO to escape the IGAD-Plus and the IGAD- countries which will use their interests to fight directly or indirectly with them to prolong their interests. In the same nutshell, the leadership of SPLA_IO has to convince the warmonger commanders that roar like lions without analyzing the implications of being internationally isolated even if you are fighting for just cause. The arms and ammunitions to fight with come through international boundaries; unless you have support there is no way to fight. Let the government that sign the arms deal with its neighbor refuse it so that it will lose support internationally. The regional and international isolation might include the use of forces and the expulsion by the IGAD countries that give refuge to the movement. In order to avoid that looming sanction it wise to be on the right side where the international community will support the movement.

For people of South Sudan in the current situation, it is clear that their sufferings will continue as far as the warring parties are not likely to sign the agreement as of August 17, 2015   approaches. Since the IGAD-Plus is being maneuvered by the president of Uganda as the dominant figure, the international community and the regional leaders should be vigilant to any amendment made to original IGAD- Plus Compromise Agreement. Failing of the international community and AU to pay attention into detailed agreement will be betrayal to ordinary people of South Sudan who are waiting for peace in inhumane circumstances created by man-made civil war.

The author is a MA graduate from the University Of Notre Dame, Kroc Institute for International Peace Studies, South Bend Indiana, USA. He can be reached at This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it .

South Sudan: Why regional and International Community should decisively act now!

“If an elephant has its foot on the tail of a mouse and you say that you are neutral, the mouse will not appreciate your neutrality”. Desmond Tutu

By: Bol Khan


August 15, 2015 (SSNA) -- The IGAD, continental body; the AU plus International Community should take very sharp action by now against the established South Sudanese chronic disease, the SPLM. In another word, the said regional and international community should decisively start seeking quick avenues on how to save the lives of remnants innocent South Sudanese civilians from this “destroying machine” called SPLM. Especially, after a failed Monday 17thAugust 2015 deadline, given to SPLM’s two sides by IGAD plus in order to strike a final peace deal. The machine has been grinding or slaughtering innocent civilians since 16th Dec 2013 to date. Those are unnecessary situations, created by the SPLM!  Where innocent South Sudanese civilians have been dying across the corners, every day, and everywhere just like chickens. Does regional and international community just wants to provide billions of Dollars in humanitarians’ assistances but cannot able to stop the “destroying machine”? In the eyes of the world-nations, thousands of innocent South Sudanese civilians were massacred, buried in mass graves even as we speak civilians are still being killed just like chickens and buried.  

Yet these powerful communities couldn’t take any substantial action to stop random killings.  The communities have been standing on unwanted neutral ground while speaking a language of “we are urging the two warring parties to the conflicts to stop war or bring peace”.  Can such language solve any problem between any two foes?  Both words, right or wrong in English would have not been there, if we cannot be able to pronounce them in a situation of solving problem between the two persons.  In nature, a mediator; any mediator cannot succeed in reconciling or solving any problem; if he/she cannot sometimes clearly tells Mr. X or Mr. Y that: You Mr. X you’re right here and wrong there and vice-versa.   For instance, the Republic of Uganda had involved, at the outset of South Sudan’s conflicts, militarily in the crisis but the IGAD’s other member states couldn’t frankly tell Museveni that you’re wrong. Instead, IGAD initiated endless; now IGAD-plus mediated peace negotiations which have been off and on in Ethiopian capital Addis Ababa since early 2014 but without fruitful results. Has the regional and international community chosen South Sudanese innocent civilians’ side or its opposite? For in any deadly situations like this, two choices are always there: either you join the side of the culprits or the side of the victims. There is no impartiality in a state; where death and life are the order of the day! Irrespectively, the people of South Sudan are dying in mass today both in GRSS’s controlled areas, in the side of SPLM-IO’s controlled areas as well as in the refugee’s camps outside the country. Needles to mention those are dying in a cross fire. In total, since Dec 2013; eighty thousand (80,000) innocent pure civilians are already reported dead. This was very big number, so it deserves bold action and not just verbal words as usual.  Conflicts and suffering already either escalated to other states like WES, EES, and the region of Bhar el Gazhal. Civilians should not be left alone being killed just like chickens everywhere. Action needs to be taken!

Juba’s intransigent towards sustainable peace in South Sudan?

Of course, Juba will remain intransigent because of a military support provides to Kiir by President Museveni of Uganda.  Deeds can translate the reality on the ground. This is one of the important facts the world should know! For this reason, President Kiir and his inner-circle in Juba’s Presidential Palace won’t listen or do different things relevant to peace unless they are told to do so by Yoweri Meseveni of Uganda. In any country worldwide, it is the President who can measure how far the situations of his/her ordinary citizens have worsened.  President Kiir was supposed to measure those situations because he is the only one; presiding over the country. However, given that catastrophic situations the civilians have been passing through since Dec 2013; he (Kiir) never thinks of restoring sustainable peace to South Sudan. We have been saying this in a number of occasions or briefly in an article I wrote in May last year titled “The regional and Global Actors should learn how Salva Kiir dictates”. I am not saying: the rebels’ leader, Riek Machar should not play a significant role in bringing about peace in South Sudan. No he should but not much. Nevertheless, believe or not if President Bashier of Sudan didn’t decide to end African longest civil war when he accepted the rights to Self-determination for Southern Sudanese people, which was poplar’s demand, CPA would have not been materialized in 2005. And I think no South Sudanese in his/her right sense would wish giving up a fight for popular demand; like current badly needed reforms, federalism, equality, democracy, justice and rule of law in South Sudan. The 1972 Addis Ababa Accord of Joseph Lagu and Nemeri is a best example. So, President Kiir would have ended these sufferings of his country if he ever wants to. Presidency isn’t far better than thousands of innocent South Sudanese civilians lives lost in that period of twenty months of endless negotiations. As a replacement, the Presidency has been resisting the fact that a large segment of its offerings were massacred with an order from within. Participations of all stakeholders are also crippled by SPLM’s Juba. Opposition parties Alliance’s leader, Dr. Lam Akol cannot leave Juba for peace talks in Addis Ababa.  Salva Kiir favors Elias Lomuro, a well-known government mouth piece, to go and talk on opposition political parties’ behalf. Bravo to IGAD plus mediators who prevented him (Elias Lomuro) from participating in the peace talks. The SPLM Juba has grossly violated the South Sudan’s transitional constitution which every now and then, the officials in Juba was regularly quoting saying: “We are acting in accordance with South Sudan Transitional Constitution, 2011”. But that constitution says “the mandate of President Salva Kiir and entire government officially expires on 9 July 2015”. This implies, Salva Kiir is supposed to be out of that unblessed Presidency as of 12:00 AM 10th July 2015. That did not happen.

Does Salva Kiir work to remain in power for life?

Definitely yes! Salva Kiir was and is still working days and nights to remain in power for life. He clearly made or personally said it in May 10th, 2014 in Addis Ababa-Ethiopia that “I am the President of South Sudan, and I must always remain in that position as the President, the leader of that country forever” this statement translates the core objective of President Kiir in full. That was why he afterward ordered his kitchen cabinet to in-shamefully on 13th Feb 2015 sat and extended his government lifespan for more three full years, up to 2018. The following was a statement issued on Friday 13th  Feb 2015; by Government’s Spokesperson, Mr.Michael Makuei Lueth to the press shortly after the meeting “The council of ministers chaired by General Salva Kiir, an elected and legitimate President, has today decided to extend the lifespan of the Government of South Sudan, the National Legislature for two more years, until 2018”  The objective of an increase of the Government’s lifespan was a practical implementation of what he (Kiir) said in Addis Ababa on 10th May 2014. Or basically was to reduce increasing pressures from regional-meditating block, the IGAD or purposely from the international community which might urge him and his Government to sign peace with rebels. They have solo extended their terms in offices until 2018 and from there for sure they will extend it again for another four more years.  Indeed as they planned, Juba is just normally working now as a legitimate Government (elected by the people on 9th July 2015 and will work for the people) without feeling much pressure from any external Satan or White dogs, they continued.

With this in mind, who can still think that President Kiir and his cronies in Juba shall relinquish power or stop maiming South Sudanese innocent civilians who are dying like chickens? Logically speaking, which democratic government or leader (s) on earth has ever unilaterally and presumably decided alone to increase its lifespan in office? Nonsensically, with a pretext that I was/we are presumably elected by the people or mandated us to increase our term (s) in office for years! Except the guerilla movement-like undemocratic countries rule by military dictators who chose to do away with civil population in exchange with seat (s) including South Sudan.

Without shame, a hand to mouth or so-called National Parliament on Match 25 2015 passed Salva Kiir council of ministers’ resolution. Also, this was done in violation of South Sudan’s Transitional Constitution 2011 which says “if the term of the President expires in office not later than 9thJuly 2015, the Vice President shall assume the President’s duties pending Presidential Election within six months’ time”. Contrary to the stated legal fact, the parliament also presumed that it is in South Sudan’s people interest to extend the terms of Juba Government lifespan for three years, i.e. up to 2018.

Now such a move poses a lot of queries. First, who among the South Sudanese is really interested in increasing the Juba Government lifespan in office for three more years?  Only few! Look, more than one hundred thousand (100,000) South Sudanese civilians are terribly suffering in PoCs in Juba and across the country. More than that number of civilians is also living abroad as refugees, in neighboring countries refuges’ camps. Lakes state’s people are dying in dozens every day. In Western Equatoria, Warap state, WBGS-Wau, NBGS-Awiel, Eastern and even in Central Equatoria innocent civilians keep dying every moment. So far more than eighty thousand (80,000) innocent South Sudanese pure civilians have already reported dead.  This was according to the latest human right reports in South Sudan’s conflicts. Just in the beginning and during this twenty months old conflict in including 20, 000 one ethnic group massacred in Juba. 

Yet innocent South Sudanese civilians are still dying in thousands up to this minute from diseases or of hunger and in cross fires. Now which state’s people among the above mentioned states who can mandate Salva Kiir to extend his term in office for three more years?  Is it really convenient for a Member of Parliament likes Mr. Magok Rundial whose constituent’s natives are all maimed in whole or in part, to say on my people behalf I extends Juba genocidal Government’s term in office? For what reason, to kill another eighty thousand (80,000) or more South Sudanese innocent people for another three years? Can Salva Kiir and Magok Rundial honestly convince the world that those eighty thousand (80,000) innocent civilians’ souls massacred are also interested to extend Kiir-Magok’s terms in office? To me I think Salva Kiir can’t convince the world, he is only using this language and tactic so that he remains in power forever. Certainly, in disregarding how catastrophic the South Sudanese citizens’ situations are. Therefore, Kiir or Juba Government won’t accept to listen to either regional, international community or anybody telling him to sign sustainable peace for South Sudanese people. Unless those communities have to assure him that he (Kiir) has to remain in power for life, with absolute executive sharp powers in place.

Will two warring parties ever sign IGAD plus mediated peace talks?

Leave alone the already failed peace talks which were scheduled for 17thAugust 2015, the two warring parties to the conflicts won’t sign IGAD plus mediated peace talks whatsoever. Even if they are given another deadline or timeframe for them to negotiate further and agree, because:

The SPLM/A-IG (In Government) will keep saying: Status quo has to remain in place, rejecting demilitarization of Juba, and balanced sharing of powers with the SPLM /-IO.  SPLM/A-IG will also keep saying, General Peter Gatdet, Gathoth Gatkuoth plus other alleged generals have defected from the SPLM/A-IO. There are differences within SPLM/A-IO’s leadership, so we in an elected legitimate government cannot waste our precious time negotiating or sign peace with rebels of Riek Machar. SPLM’s Juba says: Juba based regime is a fresh elected and legitimate government mandated by the people of South Sudanese people on 9thJuly 2015. These are the statements the SPLM/A-IG or Juba based regime will continue saying in trying to vindicate why they are reluctantly acting towards peace agreement etc….

While on the other hand, the SPLM/A-IO shall also keep saying: It needs reforms, federal system of government and demilitarization of national capital, Juba for civilians’ safety, balanced sharing of executive powers to avoid another 15 Dec 2013 where all powers were in one man’s hand. The roots causes of the current civil war have to be clearly drawn out for once and for all. Categorical and systematic answering of questions pertaining to Justice in regard to crimes committed in Juba or elsewhere in South Sudan etc…. 

Now in such stalemate, what will regional and international community do to help save the lives of innocent South Sudanese civilians now? After the failure of 17th August 2015 given deadline! IGAD plus with support from other international community should impose compromised peace document, for those SPLM’s leaders have totally failed in solving their differences. Because the more there is stalemate between the two parties or delayed action in peace process, the more civilians suffer most and die increasingly. Will all these sufferings and rampant deaths wait?  No! Therefore, the mediators and international helping hands should move on with BIG different plan B of either confining the SPLM’s two factions’ top leaders on the negotiating table until they sign peace.  Or find other South Sudanese leaders to form a transitional Government without the SPLM as a ruling party. A technocrat Government to be led by an Independent South Sudanese leader or a chosen UN’s representative. That TGoNU’s term must be six months to organize general elections within the given period for all candidates to compete in would-be organized free and fair general elections. While the cases of crimes against humanity committed during the war, permanent peace and national reconciliations would be also address during that given time of Transitional period.

Why regional and international community should now act against intransigent from any side!

The communities know more than anybody on the planet what the South Sudanese ordinary people need. The result was obvious, that there would be no peace signed between the SPLM/A-IG and the SPLM/A-IO on 17thAugust 2015 as planned by IGAD plus mediating team. So I said in this piece, earlier on, that those aforesaid regional and international communities should make their points clear by now. Whether they would want only to provide Dollars but cannot able to stop what kill innocent civilians in South Sudan. This is a time to say enough is enough! As an adage in my mother-tongue goes “None relates to Death”. The deep meaning of this adage is: even if your neighbor is as bad as what, you cannot wish him or her dead, for there may be a need of him/her one day as time goes. South Sudanese innocent civilians are part and parcel of the region as well as of the world. Perhaps, this region and the world shall be in need of them one time in the future. So they deserve immediate and quick rescue now!

Therefore, the regional and international community should not stand just akimbo looking at innocent South Sudanese civilians being maimed by a greedy clique which needs to remain in power for life. In short, IGAD plus needs to start drawing plan B-board with multiple mottos “Save Innocent South Sudanese civilians now” or End Suffering in South Sudan now”. The regional and international communities have prerogative rights to stop uncontrollable deaths in South Sudan. They are the only Saviors for South Sudanese innocent civilians! Jesus Christ chased away the sellers and buyers who turned His Father’s house into marketplace. God stands with anyone who does the right things or protects His creatures, the downtrodden, from all kinds of inhuman acts done on earth by tyrant rulers. In another word, the regional and world superpowers are God’s gift into the right hands on earth and should be use to safeguard innocent lives of God’s creatures in this part of the world situated in Africa. Against any side, in South Sudan, that is seen as irrationally and intransigently refuses to strike deal with other for South Sudanese people! The 17thAugust 2015 has failed, what have you started doing since then?

In conclusion

On behalf of South Sudanese innocent civilians, the regional and international communities are invited to unite with majority South Sudanese, bring peace by all means and without fear decisively act against that intransigent side. Or re-enter with workable different plan not just to impose travel ban, personal assets freeze on top leaders but also to impose global arms embargo and even military intervention.  This is a best way to save the lives of innocent civilians! As Desmond Tutu directly put it in an above quote: “If an elephant has its foot on the tail of a mouse and you say that you are neutral, the mouse will not appreciate your neutrality. Likewise, the regional and international community needs to take bold action now against an elephant (the SPLM Oyee—destructive party) which is indiscriminately destroying African’s youngest nation over the last twenty (20) months or so.  Otherwise, should this community choose to remain neutral as usual; the dead South Sudanese’s civilians including the dying ones will not appreciate the international community’s neutrality.

The author is a concerned South Sudanese civil society member and peace activist. He can easily be reached, for comment, at  This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it

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