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 [email protected].

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