“I want to reiterate our commitment to the latest document we signed, which was a roadmap negotiated in Addis. We signed it not under duress — we felt that it was a compromise document. It did not meet all our requirements, but in peace you make compromises. So we did make compromises and we will continue — for the sake of peace — making compromises so that peace can return to South Sudan” continued Riek Machar Teny Dhurgon as Kenya’s President Uhuru Kenyatta looked on admiringly!
June 5, 2014 (SSNA) — It was obvious that Dr. Machar had scored considerable points with His Excellency Uhuru Kenyatta during a briefing at Kenya’s state house after Dr. Machar held face to face talks with the President about ending South Sudan’s first and last post independence war if the agreement Machar signed with Salvatore Kiir Mayardit on May 9, 2014 is implemented as Machar desires!
“And I want to assure you that we are serious in ending this senseless killing in South Sudan. I want to assure you that we support the cessation of hostilities, that we will respect the roadmap and that we will move forward together” Machar re-affirmed.
Well wishers around the world extolled Machar as a hero for publicly authenticating his commitment to the agreement he signed with Salvatore Kiir Mayardit on May 9, 2014 because they understood that such public ratification was assurance that Machar would do everything in his power to ally with the People of South Sudan in their pains to bring about sustainable peace through an interim government, a fundamental constitution and democratic elections! However, little did they know the depths to which South Sudan’s villains would sink to undermine the hard work that went into securing this decisive agreement!
“Please urgently note that we the UDF delegates to the IGAD talks were this afternoon prevented from boarding the Ethiopian Air Lines plane to Addis Ababa, where upon our passports were confiscated. The Chief Security Officer at the airport said he had orders to stop me from traveling anywhere. Please kindly convey this message to the IGAD Mediation Committee as soon as you can” read a heartfelt email from Justice Peter Sule, to the Intergovernmental Authority on Development (IGAD) Office of the Special Envoy to the South Sudan Mediation Process.
Justice Peter Sule had received a formal invitation from IGAD to participate in South Sudan’s vital peace talks in the Ethiopian capital of Addis Ababa in his capacity as Founder and Chairman of the United Democratic Front (UDF) Political Party. He and a small number of South Sudan based stakeholders had been booked on a private Ethiopian Airlines Flight sent to Juba for the exclusive purpose of transporting the stakeholders to the imperative peace talks. The selected individuals were scheduled to depart for Addis Ababa on June 4, 2014 at 5:00pm local time but they were prevented from leaving by South Sudan’s tyrants!
Salvatore Kiir Mayardit is still the Tyrant in Chief of lawless South Sudan so it is plausible to assume that he is the one who ordered the Chief Security Officer at Juba International Airport to stop Justice Peter Sule and the other stakeholders from travelling to Addis Ababa for the decisive peace talks. Justice Peter Sule is an avid defender of all the people of South Sudan regardless of tribe and region of origin. Preventing him from participating in the negotiation of a transitional government of national unity as the Founder and Chairman of the United Democratic Front (UDF) Political Party is an outright violation of the Interim Constitution of the Republic of South Sudan and the agreement Salvatore Kiir Mayardit signed on May 9, 2014.
If the South Sudan Peace talks in Addis Ababa and IGAD’S credibility are to be salvaged, there needs to be swift action by the nations of the world to deal with this defiance and brazen challenge by Salvatore Kiir Mayardit. Anything less will be setting a very dangerous precedent in light of the fact that the tyrants are becoming more daring in obstructing the People’s wishes for sustainable peace and development, an interim government and Democracy by sabotaging the peace talks in Addis Ababa, “scheming” to protract their murderous rule and continuing to callously murder South Sudanese!
Needless to say, IGAD will also need to rectify the slapdash approach and legitimate concerns that compelled Elhag Paul to issue the stern rebuke ingrained in his article titled “IGAD on the issue of stakeholders”.
Margaret Akulia is co-author of the sequel Idi Amin: Hero or Villain? His son Jaffar Amin and other people speak. She brings to the South Sudan dialogue a multidisciplinary professional background including but not limited to “grassroots activism”. Additional information at https://travellinglearningcircles.com/Save_South_Sudan.html