August 25, 2014 (SSNA) — Yes as shoddy deals and back room back-stabbing are beginning to emerge in Addis, it’s important to revisit the position and contribution of the messiahs of the conflict to its resolution. The G10 throughout the crisis are perceived by majority of us, as the least of the 3 evils. Whether that’s vague argument depends on which part of the fence you leaned on. Of course they don’t have any army to carryout deadly skirmishes or capture a territory like the two warring piglets but their neutrality gives the crisis a green light to continue. Had they joined either of the parties, the peace deal could have been struck long time ago and crisis brought to an end because there would’ve not been any middle men to juggle the talks. With G10, IGAD and TROIKA are attempting to impose a deadly deal on South Sudanese which maybe deadly as the armies of the two parties. Deadly because they would stand rewarded for a blood of other parties who sacrificed their families/friends to be freed or maintain the status quo. This will not stand well with those carrying guns and their families.
G10 are neither neutral nor innocent. We have seen in their statements what they stand for. Their policy for way forward and governance in South Sudan can’t be differentiated with the SPLM-I-O. They demanded a federal system of governance and Ramciel as a capital and so did SPL-I-O.
Based on their fairly- sewed policy document of way forward in South Sudan, the G10 wants to address the war and its causes, democratic governance, reforms in the economy, security sector transformation, the justice sector, civil service reforms , the Nile waters, Social policy, fighting corruption, development of infrastructure, land and natural resources, the process for a new Constitution, foreign policy and more importantly, the establishment of a Transitional Government of National Unity (TGONU) that will prepare and lead the country into a new era of peace, stability, democracy, justice, the rule of law and constitutionalism. This is no different to SPLM-I-O position either and I believe they saw the SPLM-I-O paper before they wrote theirs.
Now, what do G10 wants to get away with sitting in the middle of the whirling pools of polices made by government and SPLM-I-O? Simple: power and IGAD & TROIKA want to deliver just that because "they are neutral". These are the guys whom among them stole millions of dollars in dura scandal, bogus anti-fire equipment deal and disparities in austerity measures. They also among them have one of the architects of the current damning constitution that gave Kiir the upper hand in everything. The already obsolete group were made to be so special by IGAD that they are now negotiating with the SPLM-I-O on transitional arrangements without the other warring party, the SPLM-Juba! And they seem to be comfortable with it even when knowing that the outcome won’t bear anything. (Yes, the 6 days boycott by the government delegation is so wrong given that they also share the same need for direct talks with SPLM-I-O, who preferred the government delegation to lead the protest and receive condemnation in return. A political manoeuvring).
The G10 want to remain as yes men as possible to escape with a much bigger plate. Now with Dr Lam Akol disowned by political parties’ delegation to Addis Ababa, "for ganging up with a group of disgruntled delegations to work out a deal to overthrow the government through pen and paper" as SSTV’s Oyet Patrick called it, do not rule out a possible coalition between the G10 and Dr Lam Akol. Although it may not appear as a major breakthrough in peace talks if they formed one, it’s indeed a worrying one since IGAD and TROIKA forcefully want a way out of SPLM-I-O and the government of salva kiir, and that coalition can fit their bills.
Interestingly, the South Sudanese have fully understood the former detainees’ shaky project and how they can’t be trusted anymore to bring the much needed peace to South Sudan. To add insult to the injury, their popularity continue to dwindle ever often they present a press statement. The group don’t appear to realise this either, instead, they’re depending so much on IGAD and Troika that they forgot the core of the South Sudanese who sang in ululation when they were released early this year.
The recent stalls in peace talks in Addis Ababa (Ethiopia) will be felt so badly by the group more than the government and SPLM in Opposition. Former detainees were given a lot more recognition than they should by IGAD. Per the failed IGAD communique, the group were given the post of a deputy prime minister, the second vice presidential posts in the transitional agreement as well as numerous government ministerial portfolios. Technically, the group who are currently 10 in number can all be in the transitional government if it was not for warring parties to abstain from signing the presented IGAD document. To them, failure in striking a deal on Monday is not business as usual and so it might not be a surprise if they pursue sanctions on warring parties with the help of IGAD and Troika as long as it clear the way for them to ascend to power.
The Author is a concerned South Sudanese who lives in Australia.