Shattered Hopes: The Involution of Powers Negotiation in Addis Ababa

By Nelson Ungang

November 15, 2014 (SSNA) — For 10 consecutive months under fatigue, South Sudanese have held up to their hopes for the delivering of the genuine peace accord that’s being negotiated in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia by the Intergovernmental Authority on Development (IGAD) after President Kiir and former Vice President Riak sidetracked and dropped the country into political and ethnic cataclysms. The demand for formation of Interim and Transitional Governments became so obvious and urgent with the hope that both rivals would recant and be accorded a humble time to break from power to give peace a chance so that South Sudanese can begin the reconciliation process, comfort the bereaved families and move on as "one nation, one people" as the slogan of South Sudanese says. But the peace negotiation came down to one thing: Involution of powers. 

The involution of power will not favor millions of South Sudanese who want, so dearly, just peace and peaceful living.

The misinterpretation of the Interim Government for the Involution of powers by the IGAD, Troika and all international bodies involved in this negotiation is a postponement of war for a short break. The real peace that the South Sudanese are yearning for is a permanent peace that brings in neutral leadership who will work to heal the wounds, lead the reconciliation process, restructure the government and armies, propose developmental agenda and move South Sudan forward from this current stalemate.

While appreciations can be accorded to the IGAD and international communities for mediating the past and current peace talks, it’s equally appalling to see the level of ignorance for the misinterpretation of the Interim Government for the Involution of Powers that won’t provide tangible solutions. It doesn’t meet international standard. This peace talks should be centered not only between the rivals but most importantly for the people of South Sudan, who are bearing the brunt of this senseless war, which must be handled with extreme care. The peace accord must be peoples’ peace. If extra judicial decisions are not applied, the peace accord would be received with clemency as the most mishandled peace accord in the world because of the return to war is easily predictable.  Who would want to return to Addis Ababa, Ethiopia again for the 4th times? Whichever it’s decided, it should receive all necessary support to prevent another catastrophe.

Three years ago when South Sudanese celebrated the high spirited Independence, South Sudan government promised that their freedoms would be at the center of all walks of their lives. Today their freedoms were dazed and became illusion – Thousands didn’t finished the third year of independence celebration because their leaders felt off their political comfort zones and drove the country into bedlam wrath.

Given the level of pain this war has inflicted onto South Sudanese, the path to reconciliation without telling the truth and defining the root causes of the conflict will be hilly as each side blames the other. Reconciliation among the South Sudanese will be the top priority during the Interim period which the current leaders won’t be able to offer. The social fabric of the South Sudanese is fragmented which requires a strong leadership to stitch it all together again and forge away forward as a nation.  It is in this view that IGAD must be prepared to receive the South Sudanese again in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia for another incoherent madness should they continue with the negotiation of Involution Powers.

Peace in South Sudan, at this very moment, can only return through IGAD-led negotiations in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia. But each time the peace-talks is held in abeyance while debating over Involution of Powers exacerbate more pain and sorrow as families hear regular sad news of losses reported and the prolong suffering – prompting questions whether the leaders who are wasting resources over abortive peace-talks are there for the interest of South Sudanese or not while children, elders and women endure the burden of this unnecessary war.

How can South Sudanese get out this trouble? 100,000 civilians are at the UNMIS, over 10,000 killed, over 500,000 exited the country, targeted sanctions are on the way, and the nation is about to be declared as a failed state (if not yet). This man-made crisis isn’t any more about President Kiir or former Vice President and all the vices but it’s about the nation that needs to be rescued through constructive dialogue. Peace can’t be obtained through rhetoric, propaganda and violence nor will it be obtained by continuing to live in the past because if you continue to live in the past, you will not get to the future. The best solutions begin to resolve this crisis is to abstain from calling your brothers or sisters as rebels, and etc. Let all South Sudanese look at themselves as brothers and sisters who happened to disagree and void being baited by those who want to see South Sudan disintegrated further while they continue to rip the benefit of such division.

Shattered hopes over interminable violence, destruction and involution of powers beg the question whether when will religiously blessed-genuine peace really return to South Sudan, in a golden plate, at the earliest time possible or not? The urgent quest for peace is so desirous among South Sudanese as you hear them express their unconcealed grievances and the call for genuine peace and peaceful living.

The call is real, urgent and NOW!

Nelson Ungang is a concerned citizen who wants peace and peaceful living in South Sudan. He can be reached at [email protected].

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