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A Critique of the IGAD Protocol on Agreed Principles on Transitional Arrangements towards Resolution of the Crisis in South Sudan

By Professor David de Chand

August 29, 2014 (SSNA) -- First and foremost of all, it gives me the pleasure, the opportunity and the privilege to a make a brief critique on the IGAD Protocol on Agreed Principles on Transitional Arrangements towards Resolution on the Crisis in South Sudan. I would focus on the main points of the Protocol signed by six (6) heads of state and governments, namely, Ethiopia, Uganda, Djibouti, Kenya, Sudan, Somalia), witnessed by Special Envoys for South Sudan, and the illegitimate President of South Sudan, minus the leader of the SPLM-in Opposition (SPLM-in-Op) Dr. Riek Macchar on 25 August 2014 in Addis-Ababa, Ethiopia.

Realistically, the IGAD has failed its duties, responsibilities and obligations entrusted to it by the United Nations Security Council (UNSC) and the Office of the UN Secretary-General, H.E. Binky Moon to address professionally, effectively and efficiently the root causes of the ongoing acutely and the aggravating situation in South Sudan. This critical and escalating civil war that has already involved genocide, war crimes, crimes against humanity, atrocities and other heinous crimes committed against humanity has not fully, honestly and legitimately tackled reasonably and more effectively in the course of the past eight (8) months of war and bloodshed and massive human suffering in South Sudan. The IGAD mediators have tried their best in dealing with the problem before us in South Sudan. Nevertheless, I think that they could have done much better in South Sudan crisis. It is now about time that African leaders must and ought to deal and to find durable, just and permanent solutions to African problems rather than looking externally to solutions on African problems. It is now about time to cut off “dependency syndrome” and the bureaucratic red tape to become more creative, assertive and critical in seeking solutions to pending African politico-military and socio-economic problems by African leaders.

There were demands presented a few months ago before the IGAD mediators as the roadmap to peace and conflict resolution and none of them remained unimplemented or unexecuted, unfortunately. These demands were as follows that:-

(1) The Dinka dictator Salva Kiir must and ought to step down from power and to turn over all the state powers to the governed as the final authority that all powers emanated from in any given nation-states. If and when Salva Kiir could do the aforesaid demand, the roadmap to peace would be clearer and smoother than ever before. Nevertheless, as long as Salva Kiir’s resists this demand, the roadmap to peace remains murky, grim and with no light in the tunnel.

(2) Immediate and unconditional withdrawal of all foreign forces from South Sudan-mainly- Ugandan People’s Defense Forces (UPDF), mercenaries and Soldiers of Fortune, Justice and Equality Movement (JEM) (Tarabora), South Revolutionary Front (SRF) and the SPLM/A-North (SPLM/A-N) and any other hired foreign forces and witchcraft men by Salva Kiir to commit genocide, massacres, mass killings, resulting in senseless lost of life, mass internal displacement and destruction of the socio-economic infrastructure. Reckoning, the gravity of the situation in South Sudan, the war cannot be permitted to continue amid the threats of war-induced-famine and further devastation, to end the war and to restore peace and political stability in Africa’s youngest failed state in South Sudan.

(3) Full explanation on the targeted Nuer ethnicity or nationality for genocide… as the gravest and the greatest crimes against humanity as declared by the UN Convention on Genocide adopted as the United Nations resolution 260 (III) A on 9 December 1948 and came to effect on 12 January 1951, and

(4) Formation of a Transitional Administration without the participation of the Dinka dictator and the murderer of child and woman Salva Kiir and Dr. Riek Machar leader of the SPLM-in-Opposition.

(5) Unless the aforementioned have been diligently, effectively and efficiently discussed and concluded, the roadmap to peaceful and political conflict resolution in South Sudan looks grim, doomed and gloomed. There would be, of course, no peace in South Sudan if any of the preceded conditions have not been fully met as pre-requisites sin-qua-non to peace in South Sudan.

We would also demand from the Dinka dictator to provide as material evident of the alleged coup d’état attempt, which Uganda dictator Yuri Museveni stated loud and clear for the first time that “No coup attempt has occurred in Juba, saying what caused the crisis in mid-December 2013 was simply fighting between the Presidential Guards”. President Museveni further added that “Fighting erupted when Salva Kiir ordered the Presidential Guards Commander to disarm Machar’s Nuer ethnicity or nationality in Juba” that triggered the genocide against thousands of the Nuer nationality as a “final solution” in whole or in part. We would like to know in details from Salva Kiir the root causes of the probable cause of genocide against the targeted Nuer nationality as a “final solution” in whole or in part.

Based on my analysis, the IGAD mediators have failed their social responsibility in resolving the crisis in South Sudan. The Protocol signed encourages the escalation of the war rather than de-escalating it. Furthermore, the IGAD mediators have failed to discuss in full genocide that targeted against the Nuer nationality or ethnicity for extermination as a “final solution” in whole or in part on 16-17 December 2013 that shall be known hereinafter as the 2013 Juba Genocide.

Cognizant, that the IGAD has failed to adequately provide appropriate explanation, it has failed its duties, obligations and responsibilities as a regional organization significantly empowered under the UN Charter Article 52 to deal with regional matters for the preservation of international peace and security and the prevention of genocide. As consequence, the IGAD mediators give the Nuer nationality the green light to undertake committing the same genocide that targeted against more than 20,000 Nuer ethnicity or nationality in Juba alone as a “final solution” in whole or in part against the Dinka in the same pattern that it occurred on 16-17 December 2013 in Juba. Further genocide, senseless mass killings and massacres have been committed in Jonglei, Unity, Upper Nile and Bahr-el-Ghazel States. The Uganda Air Force (UAF) has used salvos or sorties internationally banned bombs such as cluster bombs, Napalm bombs, and the White Phosphorous bombs with side effects to human life and environment and the ecosystem in South Sudan.

Presently, the IGAD has given the Nuer people the green light to commit the same genocide against the Dinka as a “final solution” in whole or in part because the IGAD mediators have completely and totally avoided any discussions on this gravest and the greatest crimes against humanity. The IGAD should know that in the past we [the Nuers] have given peace a second chance to resolve the crisis in South Sudan through peaceful and political means. The UN Security Council and the Office of the UN Secretary-General that appointed the IGAD to mediate or to deal with this acutely and aggravating situation in South Sudan, should not be exonerated, but should be considered as part and parcel of the problem rather part of the solution. Let the world and the IGAD know that because it has failed to address the issues at hand, the Nuer nation and its resilient people shall pretty soon declare war on the Dinka in Bahr-el-Ghazel or wherever we can find them on the five Continents of the world at large. The IGAD mediators have failed to talk seriously about the root causes of genocide committed in South Sudan.

Assuredly, nothing would deter us to declare war against the Dinka nationality at any time, at any place and at anywhere until Salva Kiir would be defeated sooner rather than later is defeated whether he likes it or not, he would be defeated. The Dinka power elite if they wanted really to live, they must and ought to toss over the tables or to undergo social revolution or social renaissance against Salva Kiir Now and not tomorrow.

We have discovered that the IGAD countries because of vested special interests they have been directly or indirectly involved fighting in South Sudan war because the evident that we have gathered at the war front minus three (3) countries, viz., Ethiopia, Djibouti and Sudan have been overwhelmingly fighting the SPLM-in-Opposition and its affiliates united as two bodies, but one, fighting against the SPLM under the wing of Salva Kiir in Juba.

We have collected many military personnel identification cards from the foreign dead soldiers from the IGAD countries, vis-à-vis, Kenya, Uganda, Rwanda, Burundi, Somalia, Tanzania, Zimbabwe, Rwanda-Uganda-M-23 recently flashed out of the mineral rich Eastern Democratic Republic of the Congo by the Congolese National Armed Forces (CNAF), including Justice and Equality Movement (JEM) (El-Adala wa Masawa) (Tarabora) led by Jibril Khalil, Sudan Revolutionary Front (SRF) (Nuba Mountains) led by Abdul Aziz El-Helou and the SPLM/A-North (SPLM/A-N) led by Malik Aggar in Southern Blue Nile (Ingessena). How could the IGAD countries less Ethiopia, Djibouti and Sudan be fair, honest and impartial in their decision-making as if they have been part of the problem rather than part of the solution?

We considered all these forces as well as everything that they used in the war against the Nuer have been as if they were been useless, hopeless, stupid, ignoramus, weak link and wicked Dinka. All of these forces would be fought by the ferocious and gallant White Army or theNaadth (Nuer) Defense Forces (NNDF) and the regulars rebel forces. In addition, we (the Nuer) would not hire any foreigner to come fight for us like the Slava Kiir and his tribal henchmen have done in this war. We shall and we will prevail in this war.

I shall conclude with a quote from the UK PM Sir Winston Churchill, said, he that “We shall defend our island, whatever the cost may be, we shall fight on the beaches, we shall fight on the landing grounds, we shall fight in the fields and in the streets, we shall fight in the hills, we shall never surrender”. In the same vein, we [the Nuer] shall defend the Nuerland and the Greater Upper Nile region, whatever the cost may be, we shall on the swamps, the grazing lands, we shall fight in the kraals; we shall fight in and around our villages, we shall fight in our bushes, we shall never surrender.

Firstly, the Protocol although given forty-five (45) days for the formation of a Transitional Government of National Unity (TGONU) has been rushed, smuggled to be drafted outside of the IGAD premises, it offers no best progress and no chance for peace, tranquility, national unity and national integration and reconciliation as the way forward. Unless the IGAD mediators spin or turn the clock backward to adequately and sufficiently address the root causes of genocide against the targeted Nuer nationality or ethnicity, the roadmap to peace and the TGONU would be imperatively impractical, if not impossible, to attain in South Sudan.

Secondly, failure on Salva Kiir to step down from the helm of power and to turn all the state powers apparatus to the governed, it would be unlikelihood that we could move forward, but we could move as if in a vicious cycle and in a snail speed to achieve peaceful and political conflict resolution in South Sudan crisis.

Thirdly, the lack or the absence thereof of withdrawal of foreign forces from South Sudan soil without any preconditions or quid-pro-quosas sin-qua-non to peace, reconciliation, cooperation and the way forward.

Fourthly, even if peace returns, South Sudan would be the same. It would always remain unstable, disintegrated and disunited. It has already become a failed state and unsecured state that is moving from being ungovernable, lawlessness, and rampant corruption and the insecured state is now moving from being stateless to statelessness.

Therefore, I highly suggest or recommend that South Sudan should be disintegrated because it has already been disintegrated compared to the Island nation-state of Cyprus that has divided itself into two (2), viz., the Greco-Cypriots on the Westside of the tiny Island nation of Cyprus and the Turkish-Cypriots on eastside of the Island nation of Cyprus and the case of the former Yugoslavia Federation that disintegrated into seven (7) nation-states in the Balkans. The Greater Upper Nile region would not return to Juba, but would govern itself as an autonomous region like Kurdistan-Iraq in northern Iraq and would eventually seek a political divorce from South Sudan. We shall utilize our resources for the great reconstruction awaiting us at the end or before the end of this long and protracted civil war in South Sudan.

Finally, Salva Kiir has failed the state and its people. Naturally, “He who cannot govern himself cannot be able to governed others or “Do not orders that cannot be obeyed” Therefore, he (Salva Kiir) should not continue to become the leader. He has to go, to follow or get the hell out of the way”. I shall conclude that “Unity”, per se, cannot be superimposed by force; it can only be achieved by understanding, consensus and consent”. This is raison d’être for the national disintegration of South Sudan that has been already disintegrated and started life in chaos like a child born with all the childhood diseases on the planet-Earth.

We shall and we will resist all forms of Dinka hegemony or anyone hegemony, ethnocentrism (tribalism), domination, oppression and exploitation in South Sudan. The US President J. Fitzgerald Kennedy, said, he that “The cost of freedom is always high, but Americans have always paid it. And one path we shall never choose, and that is the path of surrender, or submission”. In the same vein, based on the preceded quote from one of the world leaders and a Harvard University Graduate, we the Nuer nation and its people know that the cost of freedom is always high, but the Nuer people have always paid it. And one path we shall and will never choose, and that is the path of surrender, or submission. Alexander the Great, said he that “I am not afraid of an army of lions led by a sheep; I am afraid of an army of sheep led by a lion”. It would be Salva Kiir and Paul Malong Awan to interpret the preceded quote.

Professor Dr. David de Chand, PhD, is the Chairman of the South Sudan Democratic Front Party.

The Inter-Governmental Authority for Development’s double standard against SPLM-in Opposition

By Gai James Kai

August 29, 2014 (SSNA) -- Regional politics at Inter Governmental Authority for Development - IGAD is a dirty rotten game played by the so-called “big powers” of the region that has been blatantly discriminatory to the Nuer caused over the last 8 months. These daily fabricated and bogus accusations of Salva Kiir`s reign of terror against Nuer and SPLM-IO at the kangaroo court known as IGAD are meant to deny the right of Nuer and South Sudan existence as sovereign state.

These oft-repeated myths and fabrications of Inter Governmental Authority for Development – IGAD and its sponsors has become a monthly ritual for Juba`s genocidal regime. Anything! Even if it has nothing to do with reality. IGAD just pass some kind of bias resolution that please Salva Kiir and punishes Dr. Riek Machar and his SPLM-IO.

The level of ignorance and double standard at Inter Governmental Authority for Development -IGAD when it comes to South Sudan politics is sickening. We have tried our very best telling the IGAD that Uganda is occupying sovereign South Sudan illegally in defiance of International Laws and per International Court of Justice`s decisions and instructions but all in vain and perhaps, fall in their deaf ears. How is that for justice really?

These self-proclaimed “big powers” at Inter Governmental Authority for Development-IGAD can see no right on the side of opposition and no wrong on the side of Salva Kiir. Nuer throughout their history has been subjected to a unique double standard of judgment and criticisms for their actions in defending their existence. If Nuer were judged by the same standard as every other African tribe, then it would be at or near the top of the list in every test of human rights, morality and justice. But this double standard applied to Nuer continues at IGAD.

The Inter Governmental Authority for Development – IGAD for instance has never condemned Salva Kiir and Museveni for massacred thousands of innocent Nuer in Juba and continues illegal occupation of sovereign South Sudanese territories respectively. If the IGAD was not a kangaroo court and SPLM-IO was allowed due process in defending themselves, these false accusations by Kiir would have been thrown out for lacking merit. If IGAD is truly interested in human rights and peace South Sudan, a good place to start is with the investigation of Salva Kiir`s genocidal actions against innocent Nuer in Juba.

The more the IGAD picks on SPLM-IO, the more South Sudanese people circle the wagons and jump to the defense of their caused. The IGAD is just making mockery of human rights in South Sudan. Seriously, the rotted regime in Juba deserves sanction and its leaders must and will be brought to the court of law for the crimes against humanity they have committed in the last 8 months against Nuer. As soon as possible, the International Society must do something before the people of South Sudan at large are destroyed by Kiir and his bribed IGAD and before the country is dispersed.

If the IGAD is for peace and human rights, it wouldn’t have prevent to investigates the root cause of the conflict instead of rushing into unnecessary and undesired power sharing that favours non rather than the blood-sucker AKA Salva Kiir Kuethpiny. Also they wouldn’t have kept quiet while thousands of Nuer civilians were becoming a target of all kinds of weapons from China and Uganda. They wouldn’t have kept silent while watching innocent unarmed Nuer being massacred, old men and women with their children for more than 8 months. They wouldn’t kept quiet when more than 500,000 South Sudanese children are starving at UN`s camps. What reason does SPLM-IO have to trust this so-called IGAD as a body for peace?

We wants to be treated fairly, first let the root cause of the conflict be defined, implement constitution, let the people moves freely…then power sharing at last, for we are not fighting for glory but the massacring of our fathers, mothers, brothers, sisters uncles, aunties, grand-fathers and grand-mothers by Salva Kiir in Juba. Don’t forget that (IGAD) is just a frog not an elephant.

Most analysts would agreed with me that, historically, the foundation of the SPLM/A was not only to free South Sudanese from Khartoum`s occupation but also to liberate South Sudanese from international or regional oppressors like IGAD member countries such as Uganda and to ensure a sustainable development in the country through democratization. Thus, understandable, people had been inspired and promised by the revolutionary leaders that once got independence, South Sudan would be for all the citizens and each citizen would be treated with dignity and equality regardless their ethnicities. No one would be above the law and the ladder of the opportunity would be accessible by all to climb to the greater heights. That the country would have a set of rules, a Constitution that would govern all people impartially.

However, Salva Kiir Kuethpiny through the “help” of President Museveni of Uganda has failed South Sudanese people`s desires at the watch of the so-calls Inter Governmental Authority for Development – IGAD. Kiir charged to a despot and has put at risk the very nation which he shamelessly claimed to “never brings back into war,” quoted in his campaign for 2010 elections. Hence, the rules of the jungle prevailed, dissent is not acceptable, following is no longer a choice, the national bread is serves behind the closed doors, ladder for opportunity is only accessible to the privileged, the ratified constitution is remained hidden and some of our neighboring countries like Uganda intervened into our internal affairs without due consideration of our sovereignty.

Yet despite the horrendous consequences of Salva Kiir`s ruling in South Sudan, the double standard, regional bloc known as IGAD still engaged in the treacherous habit of denial. Above all, they are in denial when they continue the mindset and practice of unjust past. South Sudanese have experienced their national catharsis. It has cost us very dearly: massive loss of life and destruction of properties, displacement of a significant portion of people; and countless other ills, but worse still, the barking dog that can’t bite (IGAD) persist on their ignorance about Salva Kiir and Museveni`s evils politics.

Abraham Lincoln once said, “it is true that you may fool all the people some of the times; you can even fool some of the people all the time but you can’t fool all the people all the time.” We the people of South Sudan have attempted to prove Abraham Lincoln wrong. We have deluded ourselves for over 8 months now, trusting this failed regional bloc called IGAD. At what point will we wake up from the slumber of self-deception to the dawn of realistic national awareness? God have mercy on South Sudanese!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

The author is an independent writer who has written numerous articles on politics, democracy, law and order. He can be reached through, This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it or add him on Facebook; searching for the above names.

The beautiful ones are not yet born: Is it a dilemma over interests or overlooking natural justice; Or is equity on the cross?

Note to editor: Biel Boutros Biel takes a look at IGAD’s Protocol and the intertwining interests on South Sudan’s Crisis

By Biel Boutros Biel

1. Introduction

August 27, 2014 (SSNA) -- I had an opportunity of going through the ‘Protocol on Agreed Principles on Transitional Arrangements Towards Resolutions of crisis in South Sudan,’ the final ‘Communique on the 27th Extraordinary Session of the IGAD Assembly of the Heads of State and Government on the Situation in South Sudan’ and the ‘Implementation Modalities for the Cessation of Hostilities Agreement Matrix.’ All these documents were dated as of 25 August 2014, in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia.

2. What is IGAD up to?

After reading through the documents, I recalled Ayi Kwei Armah’s novel; ‘The Beautiful Ones Are Not Yet Born,’ where Armah’s concern was that; though the independent Africa, from Ghana across the divide, was, by 1968, free at least, from the colonial yoke, yet, it was a mere materialisation of change of guards and that, ordinary citizens, only enjoyed empty memories of Independence Days! Is Armah’s narrative repeating itself on the IGAD-led peace mediation for South Sudan’s crisis? Is IGAD caught in a dilemma of telling the truth that may displease the ‘club’ or is the controversial discourse rolls on overlooking the rules of natural justice which are in fact rules of equity?

3. My Take!

In this piece, I tend to argue and put highlights on some of the provisions of the Protocol in question especially the underlying narrative which IGAD whether intentionally or by omission, did not pretend to cover. From the outset, I should thank IGAD for taking upon itself to think together with the suffering South Sudanese people, in an attempt to find solutions to the ongoing civil war in South Sudan. The fact that IGAD has been trying to mediate the warring parties, notwithstanding the ‘ups’ and ‘downs’ the mediation has had, yet, by keeping the torch on, is per se, a commendable job. Amb. Seyoum, Gen. Mohamed and Gen. Lazaro, you rock it ‘kabisa’!

4. Uncovered bad faith: emotions and interests?

In looking closely at the Protocol in question, from its preamble, it portrays a bad faith as the document was not given much editing. There are no errors in terms of language but no one cared to ensure that it was written in a manner that spacing was desirable. That is why it spells ‘about the’ as ‘aboutthe’ (paragraph 2), concerted efforts as ‘concertedefforts,’ ‘Member state’ as ‘memberstate, ‘IGAD Peace’ as ‘IGADPeace’ (para 4), ‘Envoys throughout’ as ‘envoysthroughout’ and some more unspaced words. These errors may seem just simple but in my view, they appear to mean two similar assumptions; firstly, the document might have not been drafted by IGAD but might have been drawn up by somebody who might be a South Sudanese or a person whose interests coupled with his or her biases and emotions, intended to have the document available and because of time for want for rush, it bears those editing errors. Secondly, if indeed, the document was drawn by IGAD based on the views of the stakeholders and parties at the negotiation as it proclaims, then it is right to conclude that, it might not reflect the original view of the parties and therefore, IGAD, has different intention which could rightly be said, has been revealed by other provisions cited in the protocol itself observed hereinafter. That said, how IGAD came forward with this document, represents some realities that I shall leave to the conventional wisdom of South Sudanese people.

5. Substance of the protocol: Is equity on the cross?

Words are very important, how they are used, matters a lot. Principle 2 of the Protocol, has some words emotionally charged which to me, show emotions of the IGAD’s members who drafted the document. In making a reference of who shall lead the so called ‘Transitional Government of National Unity’ and ‘Commander-in-Chief of Armed Forces’ they wrote in reference to President Salva Kiir as; ‘shall be the elected, incumbent President of the Republic.’ By adding the word ‘elected’ with emphasis, makes foolery of the intelligence of South Sudanese people. Was President Salva Kiir elected during this crisis and that some people at the negotiation should be made to know that there is an ‘elected’ President? South Sudanese know that President Kiir was elected and he has been the President of the Republic of South Sudan though his Presidency came into question since December 2013. By adding the word; ‘elected’ instead of mentioning the ‘incumbent President of the Republic’ shows that IGAD was sending a provocative message emotionally and that alone, uncovers the intention hidden in the rushed Protocol. Another shame was again in paragraph 2 of the preamble; which purports that the stakeholders are concerned to stop the ‘senseless loss of life, mass displacement and destruction of property.’This is quite an emotional provision and if I may ask; is there sensible loss of life, sensible destruction of property and sensible mass displacement? This unconsciousness in this document shows the realities behind the scene of IGAD. How much would it have cost the drafters to just say; ‘loss of life, mass displacment and destruction of property? It is an issue!

Principle 4 of the Protocol provides for the office of the Prime Minister (PM) to be nominated by the Sudan People’s Liberation Movement or Army In Opposition (SPLM-IO) under Dr. Riek Machar. The PM, according to Principle 5, shall work in harmony with the President. This is not in dispute but it needs no political philosopher to guess the intention of IGAD as to why in principle 6; they state;

the Prime Minister will not be eligible to stand for any public office in national elections at the end of the Transitional Period

Here is the bone of contention in which, even I think, needs no much thinking to realise that, there was and there is a problem in IGAD. I tend to believe that even an honest bodyguard of President Kiir or President Museveni, who for a minute, poses to think deeply about the humanity of all people, would say, ‘it is unfair provision’.

6. Why is this provision of barring the Prime Minister unfair?

Firstly, it proves that the protocol was stage-managed by a group of people within IGAD or without, while having in mind one person from the SPLM-IO as to fill up the office of the Prime Minister so provided for. In principle 4 above, to prove the ‘already decided matter at the back of the minds of IGAD members’ in making reference to the competence for the person to become the Prime Minister, a reference of ‘him’ has been made. Who is ‘him’ in this matter? Does it mean the SPLM-IO has no competent lady to take up the post? Certainly not! This is also gender discrminatory but the intention of IGAD now seems an open book to read. Taking them on their own words, ‘him’ could therefore, mean any one of the senior members of the SPLM-IO; however, to my mind, it does not need one to be a political philosopher to know that the IGAD’s referenced prepositon ‘him’ succintly means the chairman of the Opposition Riek Machar.

Unambigously, having unveiled that IGAD’s ‘him’ refers to Riek Machar as proved by the underlying intention uncovered, this, will now help my reader to clearly understand why there was a provision stipulated in the protocol that the ‘Prime Minister will not be eligible to stand for any public office in the national elections after the end of the Transitional Period’.

7. Why was that provision of barring the PM from standing in the elections put in the protocol by IGAD?

Firstly, one would not appreciate the argument right away without looking at the composition of IGAD.

With due respect to the rest of the members of IGAD, such as Ethiopia, Kenya, the Sudan, among others, it is imperative to crucially unpack the role of Uganda and South Sudan in IGAD, so as to bring to the fore, the tricky trajectories clouding IGAD’s approaches to the resolution of civil war in South Sudan.

Secondly; in a bid to project a clear role of the two countries, one has to look from the onset the narratives surrounding the ongoing civil war and cutting it nearer to the year 2013. Uganda and South Sudan’s political leadership have been in close military ties and Uganda’s army had been in South Sudan right before the start of 15 December 2013 crisis with intention to protect Salva Kiir during the awaited SPLM 3rd National Convention. By the wake of 15 December 2013, Uganda People’s Defence Forces (UPDF), just transformed its war-strategies to fight an internal war among South Sudanese alongside South Sudan’s Army; the SPLA and President Kiir’s militia.

IGAD mediators should have appreciated that, one of the principles of natural justice is that; no one should be a judge in his or her own cause. This simply means that, a person cannot sit to decide on a case where his or her interests are the subject matter and will be expected not clash with his or her official position. Commonsense would dictate that such a person is likely to favour his or her own side of the story. This is exactly what IGAD has done. Presidents Salva Kiir and Yoweri Museveni of South Sudan and Uganda have their troops on the ground fighting the SPLM/A-IO forces and with the sole aim of preventing the Opposition from overthrowing President Kiir. If IGAD allows the two Presidents to be in such summit which they rightly belong by virue of their positions as presidents, then it could have followed logically that IGAD should not have allowed itself to deliberate on South Sudan’s issue when the two Presidents are full participants and are in complete conflict of interests of preserving the position of President Kiir versus the interests of South Sudanese people. In such situation, Kiir and Museveni sat on their own case and have become judges on their own cause against the principles of natural justice.

Arguably, even if it were to be Jesus Christ being Salva Kiir and Museveni among IGAD heads of state and government, I doubt whether the Good Lord could have spoken a contrary view and without protecting his position as the President of South Sudan. Blantantly to say, it was an opportunity for President Kiir to see a document that gangs-off, his rival Riek Machar and Mr. Kiir was certain that the ‘club’s members, would pat him on the back; ‘he did it again.’ In fact he did it as he managed to have a provision,  slammed on the face of Riek Machar as barring him forever from standing in ‘any public office in future elections.’ Good Lord!(I don’t think this provision will survive soon)

In the above scenario, one would argue that Riek Machar was in attendance; I would argue that he had no similar legitimacy of manipulating as Museveni and Kiir, who have combined significance as IGAD members by virtue of their Presidencies and parties to the conflict, who are bound to protect their interests. This shows that IGAD has no intention to resolve South Sudan’s crisis but trying to avoid dealing with the issue differently as its approach is crowded by the protection of their ‘brothers in the club’. This is why; the vulnerable fish to be skinned was found to be ‘him,’ who unmistakenly, Riek Machar in this case, an intention which IGAD failed to conceal in the protocol. It is strange that though interests clouded the thinking of IGAD but putting such a bar on sombody, is unrealistic and have wider repercussions, costly and haunting.

8. What are the implications of barring the ‘assumed Prime Minister’ from standing in any public office in future elections?

I need to look at the implications not in the person of Riek Machar but as generally, from the viewpoint of the positon of South Sudanese law, regional and international human rights law.

Firstly, the provision of principle 6 of the protocol, if implemented, is very dangerous, in the sense that, it is a discrimination against individual and its spirit cannot survive constitutional muster. It is unconstitutional and against the very heart of South Sudanese supreme law; the Constitiution.

Article 14 of the Transitional Constitution of South Sudan 2011, provides for equality before the law and it goes further to prohibit discrimination on the ground of race, ethnic origin, colour, sex, language, religious creed, political opinion, birth, locality or social status. In view of the above constitutional provision, the person to be Prime Minister barred from standing in any national elections, has been discriminated on ground of political opinion and I would add; social status as well. Furthermore, if IGAD, Museveni and Kiir have in mind Riek Machar which truly they had, then I would add, he could be assumed to have been discriminated on the above mentioned two grounds and to also include his ethnic origin because there is no reason provided and in the thinking of Kiir and Museveni, the ‘Nuer factor’ in Riek Machar’s situation, presumably might have played the melody in the thinking of the duo.

Under regional and international human rights instruments, though South Sudan is not a party to some or all these, but they should be persuasively used in this argument to show the depth of the dangers of what IGAD had doctored in the protocol barring an individual from his or her natural right to participate. (It is mind-boggling as to why would IGAD choose to violate a known equality principle enshrined in their respective constitutions) leave alone the international human rights law!

Article 13(1) of the African Charter on Human and Peoples’ Rights (hereafter referred to as ‘The African Charter’) provides for one to participate in the affairs of his or her government directly or through a representative of his or her choice. In this case, it is strange that IGAD members, all of whom except South Sudan are state parties to the African Charter, could insert such an unpopular provision against the heart of the African charter.

Articles 16 and 26 of the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights (ICCPR), respectively provides for equality before the law and outlaw any discrimination on any ground. Specifically, article 25 of the ICCPR, like African Charter, provides for one right to participate in one’s own government. Articles 1, 2, 6, 7 and 21 of the United Nations Universal Declaration of Human Rights (though a non-binding law) provide for freedom and equality, non-discrimination, recognition before the law as well as right to participate freely in one’s own government and public affairs of his or her own country.

With all the above national, regional and international human rights instruments prohibiting discrimination on any ground, it is strange that the members of IGAD allowed themselves to be misled to the extend of disrespecting clear norms of equality and instead of solving the problem but adding more fuel. Today, they might think of Riek Machar as the person Museveni and Kiir are happy to bar from standing but it will affect the South Sudanese at large because, assuming that Riek Machar becomes the Prime Minister, he could not be there indefinitely and would this unconscioable provision be applicable to another person? That is the start of another civil war!

9. Other observable points in IGAD proclaimed documents

I have seen some big jokes in the implementation matrix and addendum especially the unreluctant provision of the withdrawal of the foreign troops from South Sudan but since by concern is to point out the dangers of having an emotionally charged protocol and imposition of a provision contrary to South Sudan Constitution, regional and international human rights instrument, I tend to leave it to the conventional wisdom of South Sudanese at negotiating table. But one thing to add, the mere expansion of the current most incompetent Legislature in the region, as IGAD presuposes, serves as final insult to the South Sudanese people. The proclaimed TGoNU, may as it is, won’t work, the two years won’t be completed without a war and the causes shall emanate from the failure of resolving the causes of the current war. Besides, it appears to me that the incoming government if in fact it will come, shall be a government that consumes than develops, that divides than unites, the causes are on every wall and IGAD knows very well. I predict a very large government just because IGAD doesn’t confront the truth!

10. Conclusion

I wish to make some observable remarks to both IGAD and South Sudanese at negotiation and elsewhere. First, it seems to me, based on what I have been reading and how I continue to interact with some friends and colleagues in civil society in Juba, Addis and Nairobi, South Sudan’s crisis has become a kind of theater where all are to be on the stage to score to the top. This, in my view has presented difficulties to IGAD.

One would be right to say that, IGAD is caught in the worlds of conflicting loyalties; to please Troika countries as well as donors and United Nations that threatens with sanctions any time soon. Another observation; it seems there are many camps whose interests are not centred on finding peaceful solution to our conflict but to score political history hence, would continue to confuse IGAD for eternity. Another group has its interests on donor funding hence continue to design boisterious projects in claim for peace but in actual sense, are sponsored to cause a row in the negotiations so that the donor interests continue to flourish and experts continue to exist. Some more groups seem to be concerned on how their salaries and safety can be secured in Juba. That group, will sing non-stop; ‘justice, justice’ accountability’ when in fact, they don’t believe in it but rather singing so to avoid saying anything truthful to IGAD while others tend to project future leanings with the Opposition and still are at lukewarm with Juba regime. I agree with Jesus Christ that; ‘it is not those who say ‘Lord, Lord, Lord’ but those who do the will of his father, will enter the Kingdom of God’!

While IGAD is caught in between protecting the ‘boys in the club,’ and please the sponsored ‘international agents’  it is even more complicated when it seems the Body is not itself in terms of making its own documents, when the language clearly appears to be somebody’s else material; we can detect our wordings, don’t we?  That said, IGAD is in terrible dilemma which if they cannot come to their senses, they would continue to listen to dangerous ideas and advice which would destroy South Sudan.  Perhaps they think, ‘experts’. If the focus is on individuals and not on underlying causes of the conflict, I am afraid IGAD’s approach, will produce more battles and if different ‘monsters’ shall continue masquerading as civil society experts, or religious gurus, or rebel fighters, or diplomats, or Juba ministers, or assumed international experts, political elits, leaders of this or that, to hide their interests from Gambeila to Raja,from Abyei through Renk to Nimule, to mislead IGAD, I then continue to weep for my country and it would be true to say, unless IGAD realises this, I will agree with Ayi Kwei Armah that the ‘Beautiful Ones Are Not Yet Born.’ I am of the view that we must confront the truth and the negotiations on the table in Addis, are the way forward if IGAD observes the rules of mediation and only ‘at large’ we stop misleading IGAD through our hatred of individuals who even have weight and rights in South Sudan, the road is too long to reach together. Let’s face it together yaa jamaah! Stop proposing your own peace to IGAD; let’s stop the trivialisation of the whole discourse to our whims.

“Finally, I have always stated that, a nation that lives on the myths of denials of the bitter past and unconfronted present truth, sits on a timebomb which bedevils its future. To my mind, it is a shame for all men and women of conscience to stand aloof in the name of neutrality when the whole humanity is descendind into grave and near to extinction. I am convinced that, for the least of our brethren, we must choose the path least travelled and stand with those who cannot speak for themselves. Let’s focus on the causes of the ongoing civil war and resolve it amicably to help our generation and the posterity to live a life non-humiliated and with that; the rest shall fall in line. We cannot put equity on the cross for the sake of our own interests which won’t help South Sudan today and beyond. IGAD, wake up and face it!


The author, Biel Boutros Biel is an Executive Director of the South Sudan Human Rights Society for Advocacy (SSHURSA) and former Secretary General and Spokesperson of the South Sudan Civil Society Alliance but the views expressed here are his own. He fled to exile since December 2013 and is currently pursuing his Master’s of Laws Degree (LLM) at the University of Pretoria, South Africa. He can be reached on: This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it / This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it

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