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Uganda intervention is the stumbling block that prevents peace to prevail in South Sudan

By Gatwech Ruot Nyoat

August 25, 2015 (SSNA) -- Before the onset of December 15, 2013 outbreak of war, the movement of Uganda People’s Defense Forces (UPDF) was witnessed in the border town of Nimule at the time when President Salva Kiir started to relieve generals in the army, issuing executive order to remove Dr. Machar’s executive powers and final dissolution of the whole government of South Sudan with exception of himself in power on July 23, 2013. This was anticipated by most citizens that President Yoweri Kaguta Museveni of Uganda was behind the scene of most decisions made by Salva Kiir with his support and believe that he would be the rescuer in case the situation went out of order. With all ills intentions of Museveni for people of South Sudan and his warmonger business in the Horn of Africa and the Great Lakes Region, he was the first to convince the regional leaders and the Obama’ administration that he would prevent infrastructure in the capital Juba and help in evacuation of foreign nationals out from South Sudan.

When Museveni got the greenlight from regional leaders and the international community behind the curtain, he started his devilish work by supporting the genocidal government of Juba that targeted and killed more than 20,000 Nuer civilians in the watch of international community and regional leaders without condemnation of this act of atrocities. UPDF did not stop its war of interventions in Juba, but continued its military support by using clusters bombs against the rebels and the civilians on Juba- Bor road. The international community did not give an ear even when the cluster bombs that are banned internationally were used and Uganda being signatory to the treaty is not held accountable up to now. United Nations (UN) experts reported the use of cluster bomb but no country regionally or internationally which condemns the use of cluster bomb. Why is that so? It is because Uganda did not go to war alone in South Sudan without the concern of others even though it has its own hidden agenda with the regime in power. It is with the support of the IGAD countries that viewed Museveni as an elder brother and the grand old man of the region in which his intentions cannot be questioned. The other regional leaders feared of Uganda support from the US because of its stands on the war on terror in Somalia and the Lord Resistance Army (LRA) of Northern Uganda. The Ugandan war planes are not only targeting the rebels but also the civilians in the greater Upper Nile no voice that call Uganda to account. Ugandan leader is being seen as key figure to bring peace in South Sudan while all destructions in South Sudan are all his own making. Museveni does not want to see South Sudan with leader who has vision for the country. For instance, the mysterious death of Dr. John Garang De Mabior, the late General George Athor and the current disappearance of Peter Abdelrahman Sule, the leader of the United Democratic Front( UDF) and others are believed to meet their fate in the hands of Uganda.The plan of Museveni was to help Salva Kiir to assassinate Dr. Riek Machar so that Kiir stays in power because he is yes man for him. The disappearances of South Sudanese politicians and opponents of the government in Juba clearly depicts the true color of Museveni and his ally whom he mentors. He wants to rule South Sudan as part of Uganda without knowing that he puts himself to the war that he will face the consequences in the long run whether he exit or not.

The recent conference in Kampala by the So- called frontline states_ (Ethiopia, Kenya, Uganda and the Sudan) was an attempt by Ugandan President to derail the IGAD- Plus Compromise Peace proposal as he had been dragging the IGAD countries by their feet in the past 20 months of South Sudan civil war. It was strategy to make amendment that favors only the regime in Juba in order to undermine the role of other African countries that became part of IGAD- Plus.  President Museveni called the document of IGAD- Plus as white man thing while he relied on white man to stay in power for almost three decades. What president Museveni and his ally Salva Kiir do not know is that the world has come to realize that Museveni is manipulating the IGAD peace process as the frontline military fighter for Salva Kiir and peace mediator on IGAD heads of States and Governments.

If the region and the internationally community really mean what they say about peace to prevail in South Sudan, Uganda interferences can be halted if it were removed from the peace process and being pressure to convince Kiir to sign with immediate effect.Without countermeasures to ensure signing of document by Kiir the international community and the region will be viewed as toothless entity without enforcement. Mr. Salva Kiir has to make tough decision whether to rescue himself by signing the peace agreement or allowing the generals that committed atrocities to prevent him to sign because of fear being held accountable if peace comes. If Uganda troops are not called out of South Sudan, the war in South Sudan will spread to its neighbors like a wild fire because of many interests in the region and internationally.

The people of South Sudan are just waiting for the international community to make the IGAD-Compromise Peace Agreement realistic by standing firm to its decision by calling the government of Salva Kiir to accept the call of the peace to come to South Sudan. It is known fact that ordinary people of South Sudan want peace, but the military leaders in Juba that committed gross human right violations and atrocities should not be allowed to take South Sudanese people hostage by derailing the peace process. You hear people saying we will consult with people of South Sudan and if they accept peace we will sign it. Who are the people to be consulted when all stakeholders had signed the IGAD-Plus with exception of Salva? Are they not the section of military elites and the Council of Dinka Elders that are against peace because they are beneficiaries of the war? Is it not the Ugandan President who thinks that his relationship with Salva Kiir is more important than sisterly and brotherly co-existence between ordinary Ugandan and South Sudanese citizens?

Finally ,the international community and the regional countries that want South Sudan to be at peace with itself should stand united against Uganda interference militarily and being anti-peace in the region by using its military in DRC, Somalia and South Sudan. Uganda intervention in any country in Great Lakes region and the Horn of Africa had not beneficiary to any of the countries, so why allowing this warmonger and dictator to ruin the region?

South Sudan peace process is a practical test for the region and international community that needs to be addressed amicably; otherwise the spoilers of peace will use the failure of international community and African Union as scapegoat in the future. This stumbling block of peace by President Yoweri Museveni of Uganda makes the government of Salva Kiir so intransigent by not signing the peace deal. This needs urgent solution by all peace loving nations of the world to call President Yoweri Kaguta Museveni out of South Sudan.

The author is a recent MA graduate from 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 .

Analysis and observations about South Sudan peace talks and IGAD-Plus compromise peace agreement

By Lul Gatkuoth Gatluak

August 25, 2015 (SSNA) -- On the weekend of August 15-6, 2015, South Sudan political climate reached its boiling point at 212 degrees Fahrenheit or 100 degrees Celsius. The atmospheric precipitation elevated as the pressure mounted from world’s powerful nations arrived at a higher fixed reference point on South Sudanese leaders to sign Peace. While thousands of South Sudanese, fellow African regional players and international community partners were enthusiastically hustling to converged in the capital of Ethiopia Addis Ababa aiming to witness the signing of the proposed compromise Agreement on South Sudan conflict.

Other Billions of the world community, ordinary South Sudanese in towns, villages, bushes, Refugee camps both at home in the United Nations’ concentration sites and neighboring countries, in addition to those of them in diaspora; were highly alerted full with hope that the peace will finally be signed on Monday August 17, 2015. South Sudan president was dragging his feet to defy the worldwide call for peaceful compromise. In regard of that hope for peace, many South Sudanese living abroad in various countries working under different capacities had either called in sick that day from their jobs or quit sleeping. Friends connect themselves with phone conferences and social-media to discuss some contentious issues parties to the conflict are still disagreeing upon and other challenges laying ahead. Like other thousand South Sudanese-Americans, one stay up all night chatting on “Social-media” with friends who are present at the scene of the peace talk since the day coincided with one’s day off from work. In this article, the author is intending to highlight some push factors that culminated to force individuals like Obama to act on pressurizing South Sudanese parties to the conflict sign peace and one’s observations during the day of Monday August 17, 2015. But first, it’s worthwhile to mention some historical facts pertaining South Sudan crisis.

When the disagreement between South Sudan’s ruling party (SPLM) members exploded into violence in Juba, thousands of people have been killed and millions were driven out of their homes to either United Nations peacekeeper bases or neighboring countries. Since then, Violence had spread across The Greater Upper Nile region, including Unity, Jonglei, and Upper Nile States, following mass defections of the national army of the Sudan People’s Liberation Army (SPLA). In that early stage of conflict ignition, millions were faced with food shortages that force humanitarian donors around the world to pure in food aid in order prevent famine or humanitarian catastrophe. In order to block such manmade crisis, South Sudanese and friends of South Sudan alike, took it upon them and frequently communed between their respective residencies and government centers around the globe to request world’s powerful leaders to act accordingly on solving South Sudan matter. Some prominent outstanding calls for action were made by forming rallies in Australia, Canada, the United States of America and many other countries. The tone was, “We need Peace in South Sudan”. One outstanding contribution was made by a patriotic South Sudanese named Simon Deng, who led a hungry strike to White House for one month asking President Obama to act now. His call coincided with Obama scheduled official visit to Africa, which subsequently corresponded with fourth anniversary of South Sudan independence. In his Address to African Union, Obama called on South Sudanese leaders to sign already proposed IGAD-Plus compromise proposal to resolute South Sudan’s conflict one and for all otherwise the warring parties will face sanction if they are not going to meet the dateline. Behind the scene, he also met with important individuals urging them to play positive role come scheduled date of August 17, 2015.

As the day was drawing near, South Sudanese both in government and rebels, in addition to IGAD mediators had congregated to sensitize the document. Some IGAD heads of State shuttled to Uganda to see how President Museveni stand on proposed compromise document. Mr. Museveni was not only rigid he also came up with a parallel proposal that erased provisions which give rebels 53% upper hand in Greater Upper Nile region. A move that rebels’ chief responded by written an accusation letter to IGAD-Plus mediators; saying, “the outcome of the Kampala summit not only contradicts but also completely undermine the IGAD-Plus Proposal that was presented to the stakeholders in July as basis to negotiate on.”

On Thursday and Friday August 13 and 14 respectively, voices to persuade Salva Kiir to attend Peace talks were roaring given that the later ruled out he will only delegate his Vice President James Wani Igga to Addis. Instead of boarding the shuttle, Salva resorted of calling a special Council of Ministers’ meeting on Friday August 14, 2015 which have been attended by Presidential Advisors, Members of the SPLM Political Bureau, some heads of South Sudan Political Parties he has confidence in, South Sudan ten (10) States governors, Heads of independent Commissions, Chief Administrators of Abyei & Pibor, Senior members of the National Legislative Assembly and members of the Council of States. Their meeting resolute that, all government negotiating team must be called back to Juba, Salva Kiir must not travel to Ethiopia and delegate James Wani, they also wanted to know whether Yoweri Museveni proposal of discarding IGAD-Plus has been accepted and finally, the argument that Peace could not be signed while the rift occurred in rebel camp. Out of all these five points, the prominent of all is that, the tyranny regime developed a nil hope propagating that above mentioned rift is a heck of a bigger deal.

Finally on Sunday August 16, Salva Kiir gave in out of regional presidents’ intense diplomatic pressure especially the voice of Yoweri Museveni who have a great linkage with him than the rest; and flew to Addis Ababa to join already overcrowded compatriots and the international community observers who had hoped South Sudan’s rival factions would finally reach political settlement to result almost two years conflict that torn the country desperately. Hence, early on Monday August 17, 2015 at 9:00 A.M, all delegates congregated in Sheraton Hotel in Addis Ababa Ethiopia full with euphoric expectation to chant after the peace is signed. Unfortunately, such an expectation fades away when Salva refused to broker a deal, citing looming rift in the rebel camp. He warned the function that, it would not be possible to sign a lasting peace while other opposition factions are excluded. While discussions were underway, and signatures were expected, Museveni pullout from the venue of the peace talks in Addis Ababa and the media reasoning that he has had clashes with other regional leaders which get in his nerve and expelled him before Dr. Riek, Pagan Amum and the rest of signatories signed their part on the peace document. It has been stipulated the chairperson of IGAD regional body Prime Minister Haile Mariam Desalegn told Museveni Uganda’s support to Salva Kiir was complicating regional efforts to persuade Salva to sign the peace and angered Museveni to walk out before the peace agreement is worked out by the IGAD-Plus mediators and South Sudan parties to the conflict. When Kiir saw Museveni retreated, he as well made an attempt to evacuate the talks.

Such move prompted Kenyan President Uhuru Kenyatta to engage him in the hallway. President Kenyatta’s gesture tells it all. He was verbally telling Kiir to come back and sign the document. After Salva Kiir settled to asked for 15 more days to consult with his sycophantic masses in Juba and only initialed the document, Madam Rebecca Nyandeng De Mabior widow of the SPLM/A founder Dr. John Garang, broke down and shed tears, which she later reasoned in an interview that, she cried for all people of South Sudan, whose suffering is being extended by Salva Kiir. To her, people of South Sudan do not need more consultations, they need peace and delaying peace may have serious consequences for the civilians who have suffered for 20 months of a brutal civil war. By the end of all these cycle, Riek went to press and declared that “he was surprised by Kiir’s decision.” “I didn’t know that he was not going to sign,” he said. “I couldn’t find any explanation for this because he had it all. There is no reason why he requested for more time. We had already been given enough time to consult our entities, this is a good agreement-----he had a lion’s share on many areas.” Then, the United States’ envoy to Sudan and South Sudan, described Kiir’s decision as “unexpected,” saying, he hope the president will sign the agreement soon.

What are some of the reasons Salva Kiir refused to sign the peace for?

According to the IGAD-Plus Compromise Peace Agreement Proposal (CPAP) President Kiir is required to consult First Vice President on most security issues, Salva and his cronies are not pleased with that provision. They also have substantial disagreement over number of other contentious issues ranging from power sharing, demilitarization of Juba during the transitional period, system of governance, having separate armies during the interim period until when a full amalgamation and transformation of the army is finalized. These above issues threaten Kiir and preventing him from running the country as his own property through so-called Presidential decrees.

What are some provisions SPLM/A-IO and former detainees signed on Monday August 17, 2015?

Although there had been changes, the agreement that was signed on Monday August 17, pretty much originated from July 24 Compromise Peace Proposal IGAD-Plus had availed to the parties to the conflict for further study. During the reconvened of the negotiation after parties were called back from Pagak and Juba, IGAD mediators saw some changes when the parties engaged in a dialogue. Base on new IGAD observations, President Kiir’s government will no longer control 100% on power sharing of seven States. The new arrangement gives Kiir 85% while SPLM/A-IO will get away with 15% share in each of the seven States. On the other hand, SPLM/A-IO will no longer control 53% as the proposal suggested from the first place. In the three States, government will take 46% while SPLM/A-IO will take 40%, then, former detainees and other political parties will get 7% each.

At the national level, the power sharing ratio remained as the original proposal indicated with government controlling 53%, SPLM/A-IO will get 33%, then, former detainees and other political parties will again get 7% each.

The document has further indicated that, the current 325 members of the national parliament in Juba will be maintained and those who defected to rebel during the crisis will be reinstated to their previous parliamentary positions like it was before December 15, 2013. Then, SPLM/A-IO will appoint 50 additional members to the national parliament while the former detainees will appoint one additional member and political parties will appoint 17 additional parliamentarians. The fact that some stakeholders had signed the document, IGAD-Plus officials said, the peace deal signed by the two leaders on the August 17 was the final document, there will be no more discussion; when Kiir makeup his mind, he will sign it without further renegotiation to the deal.

What’s makes Kiir agree to sign the agreement?

Many factors attributed in forcing Kiir to sign. First, following his refusal to sign on Monday August 17, many important world leaders persuaded him to reverse his decision. Second, his godfather---- Yoweri Museveni’s influence had faded away. Regional leaders had back down and start to oppose his rigid stand on South Sudan. That was the reason why urged Kiir August 18 to sign peace, saying “he will not be able to reverse worldwide popular call of peace.” At that juncture, Salva Kiir who was in limbo and set himself on the boiling pot by refusing to sign is left with no choice other than agreeing to the peace with all provisions he refused to sign on Monday August 17. If Salva would have kept his word of opposing the signature, sanction would have been imposed on his rotten murderous regime. Then he and his godfather Museveni could have been cornered from mainstream world order, despite the fact that the world would withdraw its neutrality stand and throw their support on opposition.

As we are now transitioning, IGAD, AU and their partners, need to set up a commission of inquiry to investigate human rights violations and other abuses committed during the armed conflict in South Sudan and make recommendations on the best ways and means to ensure accountability, reconciliation and healing among all South Sudanese communities. Those who ordered militias to kill innocence civilians need to be held accountable without delay. A truth commissions that recommend serious cases amount to trials, reparations, and hybrid or international courts are all possible means of achieving accountability. African Union alone could not carryout this fact finding investigation given that AU has been double standard on pervious crime investigation. The fact that it failed to avail atrocity report has a bit disqualified it to act solo on that matter.

Lastly, one would not miss to express a sincere gratitude to IGAD and its partners for bringing the peace to South Sudan. We can’t wait to see an immediate establishment of the transitional Federal Government of National Unity with clear mandates and powers to implement the agreement on the bases of a federal system that prioritized good governance that vest power on ordinary citizens rather on elites.

The author can be reached at either  This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it  or  This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it .

Editorial: Greenhorn Generals are the Weakest Links in Chains

By Kuach Tutkuay

August 12, 2015 (SSNA) -- In the last two weeks, defection of some of the generals from the SPLM/A-IO has dominated the media and perplexed the minds of concerned citizens who are probing the motive of the whole fiasco whether it holds any benefits for South Sudan. The move I categorically termed as an “ego showcase” sufficed at the sideline of the seemingly progressive IGAD+ peace process that aims to bring to an end the conflict in South Sudan. It hurts the Moment so much that the generals who gave their alls in pursuit of a just and peaceful South Sudan would fall short of maintaining the goodwill of their supporters.

In the words of Mahatma Mohandas Gandhi, “for any patient to be worth anything, it must endure to the end.” The generals could not hold any longer despite having smelt the breeze of peace brought about by the north-east monsoon of the East Africa region aided by the superpowers of the Occident. The generals wants a visionless and endless war, they forgot that we were never mean for Bushmen or Bushmen’s way of life; we went to the bush to search for lost rights, to fight for justice for the Juba massacre, to fight for dignity and equal representation of all tribes in South Sudan whether big or small. To fight for good governance based on the principles of federalism, to end South Sudan’s subjugation by the Uganda and to end a brooding dictatorship. If the IGAD is giving us that, we are willing to grab it and will not mind dropping behind any disgruntled general so long as we achieve South Sudan of our dream. When a snake dropped it slough, it shine even much better, so shall we by dropping these career combatants.

When war becomes a hobby, taking life, too, become a duty. These generals have forgotten the price they paid in terms of human lives; they thought these are people who just have to die because, in principles, they don’t know the cause of their death. It seems they fought because they want to, not because they have to. The motive is an absolute doom for the Naath society as well as for the South Sudan. I want the youth to blatantly disown these bush Mongols; their grey hair symbolizes their nearness to the end. Why would we, the young generation, throw all our might and main to people who will take it to grape tomorrow? We have done a great deal of the fight—physically in the frontline as well as politically on the media—we are capable and willing to fight much longer but not under disguise and vague objectives.

In everything a man does, there are always two reasons: a good reason and a real reason. Among the manifold of reasons provided by the generals, I could only pick three: (1) that Dr. Riek can’t supply more ammunition, (2) that they don’t want peace that retains Kiir and Machar, and (3) that Dr. Machar has been bribed by Chinese government not to capture Paloich. In my book, these are their good reasons, but their real reason, perhaps, is that their ring leader, Mr. Changson Chang, being a war profiteer, got interested in the international community’s habitual bashing of the two sides to the conflict and thought that this is a political niche he should capitalize upon. Now the illiterate generals and old mafias of retired politicians sit with their mouth agape and arms akimbo waiting for Mr. Changson to name their movement and draft their manifesto. I just hope it pass muster—phew!

It amuse me to think of where these generals will get arms supplies from, just out of cocoons in the forest of South Sudan and they think it would be a walk in a park to win international community’s admiration—poor me! A very bad gesture has already been shown them by Kenyan government who is currently tracking them down. They had to escape for Khartoum and some who cannot make it that fast had to run to Naivasha. It is so shameful that these elders, with their less number of years left, could not even think of what they will leave behind for their children. If elders are like this, it would have been better to have no elder at all. Whatever they are doing currently is painting dirt on the image of the young generation of Naath community and this is something we cannot easily allow.

It is an utter confusion they are creating by claiming that they are forming their own movement. This is the same way comrade Lul Ruai disguised himself, he claimed he is forming a separate resistance and later fall under overall command of Paul Malong. Our generals will soon take directives from Malong and his rotten Juba regime. This should ring at the back of our minds. Except for the confused Monytuil brothers, we rejected any move that turn Nuer against Nuer and surely this will not happen. Most of the defectors, like Changson Chang and Michael Mario among others, are survivors of the massacre. They were firsthand witness of the whole brutality and they should not forget that if fate gave them a first chance to survive, it won’t give them a second chance if they decided to join the Juba government. Some of them, according to the Juba government, are moving corps who deserves nothing else but a wooden coffin.

In lieu of conclusion, I want to assure the Movement and the general public that this is a good subtraction. They have actually been occupying positions that would have been occupied by the educated, young and energetic South Sudanese. I urge the leadership of the Movement to replace them with immediate effects from within the rank and file of the party. Just because one woman turned back and got changed to a mountain would not destruct the whole journey—aluta continua!!! And let’s sing this together. We are matching in pursuit of justice and peace; when a hero fall, another hero steps in; when a coward run away, a hero replaces until we achieve the course.

The author is a South Sudanese youth activist and independent blogger, you can reach him on This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it , follow him on twitter @kuach444. For more articles from this author, please visit his blog at http://tutkuay.blogspot.co.ke/

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