Peace and Hope in South Sudan’s Current Conflict

By Diu Tut Deng

May 9, 2014 (SSNA) — The restoration of peace and hope among the communities in the New Nation has been the focus point from the people of goodwill toward the Republic of South Sudan since the conflict engulfs the new state of diversities yet the peace and hope still diminishing. One would like to define peace and hope in his/her own way, Peace  is a living together in the absence of war and other hostilities while Hope is a feeling of expectation and desire for a certain thing to happen or be the case. The south Sudan has been at war since December 15th 2013 up to date and good number of media outlet talks of “Peace” among the Communities of the South Sudan because living together is perhaps certain. War is a part of life to human being, injected when the community becomes reluctant of friendship and the hatred will come in. when things come to the notices then people will absolutely seek for settlement to the conflict where peace and hope will be restored.

But if people fight “death” will be the only language to use and the coming together becomes hard while taking back the memory of the beloved ones. If you need peace, there is only one language a person needs to say once and for all, that if your whole or part of your family has fallen in to this war, you need to say I will not revenge, I have forgiven those who killed my family, relatives and friends because I need Peace, no more killing, let peace a chance, then the forgiveness would have room in our hearts and this wouldn’t come just to say but through the hard work by the well-known bodies such as government, religious leaders and the people of goodwill via the media and intensive mobilization for peace not for the recruitment to the army as per the movement.

If one takes some minutes to revise the South Sudan Conflict you would have to see some complications to the resolution because war appeared to be in tribal lines while all sixty five tribes (according to President during independent Day where he separated Atuot from Dinka) of the Republic of South Sudan are all involved plus foreign troops and up to this Peace is needed.

If we have to bring peace to South Sudanese, we should go back to Follet ways of solving a conflict which are: Domination, Compromise and Integration. According to her, Domination is the easiest way of resolving conflict in the short run because it is a victory of one side over the other by elements of forces and therefore there is always a chance that the dominated will spring back the rebellion at the earliest available opportunity. This is the way US secretary of state trying to solve South Sudan conflict by bringing troops to abstract the movement of anti-government forces to the oil field and other important places of the government. The second to it is compromise which is the commonest way to resolve conflicts, where each side of the warring gives up little (albeit unhappily) to arrive at the solution. This was the way that brought Comprehensive Peace Agreement (CPA) in 2005. The NCP and SPLM by then, in the agreement were very low and stuck somewhere of their choice far from another, but the mediators would have to move them to the focus point and that was the reason CPA became Win-Win solution, if IGAD neutrality was doubted by any side CPA would have not be materialized. While the last way of solving problem according to miss Follet is Integration which is the most desirable way of solving Conflict in the long run. In this method the two desires are integrated neither side sacrifices anything but, the solution is innovation and manages to stabilize and settle the conflict permanently.

Integration is the best way to settle conflicts because it keeps both the warring parties happy and leads to adoption of better techniques, saves time and resources are often leads to the emergence of the new values. In this way IGAD have to outlines the roots causes of conflict and come up with the solution that the Interim government is needed minus Kiir and Riek, not even power sharing, still not a solution, if Kiir will still having his forces in the Capital City and Riek will also come in with his Troops the new dangerous Conflict is likely to arise. But in this way the participations of Religious Leaders, Civil Society, Youth, Women group, and SPLM twelve ex-detainees including Peter Aduok Nyab is highly appreciated so that their interest is to be integrated all together so that we will not see another disaster, no matter how slow the peace is.

The peace and hope in the south Sudan needs Meticulousness if we meant to have it because all the stakeholders could be derived by truth whereby will make them relatively free from cultural bias. Its so multifaceted to trust other stakeholders such as religious leaders, Civil society and women group because of lack of independency which was encounter in several occasions. During the South Sudan National legislature opening in April 23rd 2013, before the president speech it was opened with prayer by a certain priest and started the prayer “Oh God, we ask your mercy on the president Salva Kiir Mayardit, anyone who think of coming to power rather than Salva Kiir is curse” it was good prayer but it let other people included some of the legislators to talk murmur on his bias. And another Bishop led the prayer in Jonglei state Bor in March 2014 and said “we thank you God of Creating Ugandans” (he referred his prayer for the coming of UPDF to south Sudan fighting alongside the government). While a lot of hate speech being spoken by People of God (Fathers and sisters) on the Bakhita Radio, SSTV, Eye Radio, Miraya FM and others FMs in the Country, this also is creating doubt on the holy people if they will have to bring peace.

The people of South Sudan are not trusting their leaders such as Kiir and Machar to bring Peace since all this mess fall on their shoulders back from roots causes during their meetings in the SPLM political Bureau, Liberation Council and other Public occasions where song of 1991 was severally recorded and this made some of the people to say 2013 is the retaliation of 1991, President Kiir on 30th  July 2013 in the commemoration of Martyrs Day, when wounded Heroes crossing the stage said “my heart felt shock if I see our wounded heroes this way, because that tall wounded hero was wounded in 1991 during Riek Machar split and now look, he has lost his leg”  and on December 6th 2013 Dr. Riek and his group went in to SPLM house for the political rally and talk hate speech which was retaliated by VP James Wani Igga later with the hate speech too. The hope of peace is not on these people to bring peace to South Sudanese though they are on table. On the side of Civil Society, and women group, they are not independent in all areas, Deng Athai and his group were very good some years back but later were bribed by the president and is now (Deng) best man to president he would not have independent statement for peace likewise to women representatives and all these are jeopardizing the peace process.

There is also traditional way of peace if you could give the warring parties a quite sometimes to fight they will later exhausted and when you tell them to stop they will automatically stop and this could bring permanent peace, an example of this is Yau Yau rebellion, David was so much begged by the President Kiir to except pardon and refused, when he became exhausted he agreed only to two bishops without demanding the presence of Salva Kiir and excepted Peace,  you cannot claim to bring peace to the people who are claiming their strongest before full year, if there is nothing threating their lives. South Sudanese are very lucky this time around for the presence of UNMISS in the Country, if there is no UNMISS those civilians in Juba,Bor, Malakal, Wau, and Bentiu  would have to perish, no matter how they sometimes being attacked. During Sudan Long Civil war it was totally terrible; you either die or ran to bush but now there are havens.

In conclusion peace in South Sudan would come whenever we say let us forgive each other and forget the past, let stop all songs of hatred in the media and elsewhere, South Sudan is for all, and everybody has room there, even those who are not in south Sudan since independent. And only people who can bring peace to us are solely Religious leaders not the Polycentric Bishops, whom we can found in the government in the morning and in Church in the afternoon, there are other Frs, and Bishops who are active in the services of God if we consult them, they would have silver plate of peace to us. This time around we need people to drop oppression, it was oppression which let South Sudan seceded, if we do not take care other will demands for their independency and fight for it. May God Bless South Sudan!

The author is a South Sudanese appealing for the best way to peace in South Sudan, and can be reach by email [email protected].

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