Will 2016 be a year of peace?

By: Bol Khan

January 6, 2016 (SSNA) — As all eyes, all over the world, are on South Sudan; the New Year, 2016 is expected to be a year of peace for South Sudanese people. If and only if: Implementations of the Peace Agreement signed last year but brokered by the regional bloc, IGAD can go smoothly. However, will the IGAD-PLUS Compromise peace agreement entirely, be implemented as very much being expected? This is one of the pressing questions one needs to ask in this piece! As we all know, that fragile peace document was regionally designed so that it must twist 2016 to be a year of peace for South Sudanese people. But the practical implementation of the peace agreement is now standing before a BIG question mark! To be or not to be; implemented!! I know, while it is precisely clear to many including the author, it is also equally unclear enough to many other whether or not the South Sudan’s current rulers not leaders will live up (all) to the agreement they signed in August last year.

Perhaps, it is really unclear, especially for those who aren’t yet familiar with the SPLM’s ruling styles. For they may not know that; SPLM’s rulers always every year utter one thing in words and put other different thing into action. To be specific, the rulers of course that I am referring to are those from the SPLM-Juba or SPLM-in-the Government. The SPLM-I-G is still up to now tossing dices or playing a waiting game as usual. Look; in an agreement the SPLM-I-G signed in August last year says: “There shall be only ten states in South Sudan during the transitional period of thirty (30) months”. But, contrary to this fact, the SPLM-I-G now has unilaterally decreed in, twenty-eight (28) unconstitutional states. This unilateral decree has already invited more tribal, national problems and shall let the war to continue for other additional two or even more years. So as we speak, there is a flimsy reason to hope for peace and reconciliation in 2016. Take it or leave as my sick/healthy analysis!

In fact, if issues at hand can go, implemented as expected, and in accordance with IGAD-PLUS Compromise Peace Agreement; one would hopefully say that this new year; 2016 will be a year of stability, Peace and Reconciliation. But, just from its look now or its smell, the year 2016 shall be as unhappy (more or less) as previous late 2013, 2014 and 2015 that had already passed. Unless there is a drastic, surprised change or miracle which may be on the way coming, otherwise my analysis is so healthy. I am bringing it up this way; because of the following statements and reasons, issued by the country’s rulers themselves. You can read for yourself and I think you will agree with me that there are some people within the nation who are not preparing for peace but for opposite in South Sudan.

“As we begin a New Year, Jieng Council of Elders (JCE) would like to remind the International Community, the Joint Monitoring and Evaluation Commission (JMEC) and all parties to the IGAD-PLUS peace agreement to cautiously tread the path to implementation of “ACRISS” due to the fact that certain clauses in the agreement undermine the sovereignty of our beloved Republic”.

This very statement was from the tribal powerful Jieng Council of Elders, it is so strong and should not be considered as simple as such. If I can repeat: “to cautiously tread the path to implementation of “ACRISS” due to the fact that certain clauses in the agreement undermine the sovereignty of our beloved Republic”. 

This statement alone signifies that the Council has already planned something; indirectly using threat and on behalf of the government. I have one question here or two; what is a correlation between the two institutions, JCE and JMEC? Does it mean that the Jieng Council of Elders is a legislative body of South Sudan’s Government?  I think you can even remember, when the council noted down the reservations in regards to IGAD-PLUS Compromise Peace Agreement the same reservations were also brought up by the Government on the following day (s).

“The areas which brought names of women are conflict areas. But the women are weak and could not defend their states, in war zones, like men. So we don’t want our governor to be kidnapped and that is why we don’t bring women,” said president Kiir during the swearing in ceremony of 28 newly appointed governors on 29th Dec 2015.

If the nation, the President and the people are indeed preparing for peace the above statement would have not been stated by the President. At best, women are even better than men in translating and restoring peace to the levels men destroyed.  I am not betraying us; we the men, instead this is the truth itself I am stating! They women, without dispute, are the real peacemakers compared to almost ninety percent of men who may be war-liked ones. In short, if the President Salva Kiir is for peace he would have appointed women to the governorship positions of his unilateral twenty-eight (28) imposed states. In another words, Salva Kiir’s action which apparently appeared in the above statement means that he is not ready for peace. And those twenty-eight men he appointed governors will continue with the war as they go to their respective states’ capitals in this very New Year; 2016. So, the New Year; 2016 may not be a year of peace as expected or if the IGAD-PLUS Compromise Peace Agreement is not implemented accordingly.

The author is a concerned South Sudanese. He can be reached at [email protected].

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