South Sudanese letter to Kenyan President Uhuru Kenyatta

Photo: BBC

H.E. Uhuru Muigai Kenyatta
President, Republic of Kenya
May 15, 2020

Sub: Letter of Appeal

Your Excellency,

May 15, 2020 (SSNA) — This letter of appeal is in response to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the
Republic of Kenya’s letter dated 6 May 2020 recalling H.E. Amb. Lt. Gen. (Rtd)
Augustino Njoroge and nominating H.E. Maj. Gen. (Rtd) Charles Tai Gituai as
Interim Chairperson of the Reconstituted Joint Monitoring and Evaluation
Committee (RJMEC).

First and foremost, we take this rare opportunity to thank you and your government
for providing leadership; and remind your Excellency of enormous supports the
Governments and the people of Kenya have contributed to the liberation, attainment
of independence, peace, and security in South Sudan. Our journey is long and
memorable beginning at the time when Kenya’s founding fathers i.e. Mzee
President Jomo Kenyatta and colleagues were struggling to liberate Kenya and
continuous to date. Throughout history, Kenya stood and supported the cause
of the people of South Sudan manifested by decades of hosting South Sudanese
refugees in camps as well as in major towns and cities across Kenya. Also, Kenya
played vital roles in mediating and guiding various peace negotiations heralded by
the signing of the Comprehensive Peace Agreement (CPA) in Naivasha, Kenya in
2005, a symbol of Kenya’s solidarity. The CPA could not have reached a
conclusive triumph had it not for the tireless efforts of the IGAD regional leaders
and international backing organized under the able leadership of H.E. Lt. Gen.
(Rtd) Lazaro Sumbieywo, the Chief Negotiator.

At the turn of things, just as the world settled that we have finally found peace, the
young nation plunged to another senseless war in 2013 – two years after gaining
independence. At this juncture, allow us to recall what Nelson Mandela said, and
quote ” don’t judge me by how many times I fall but by how many times I arise” end
of quote. Though fatigued, the region could not falter but to rise to the challenge;
and Kenya through your Excellency, deployed one of its revered sons, Amb. Lt.
Gen. (Rtd) Augustino Njoroge to rescue South Sudan’s fragile peace agreement. At
first, and just at the dawn of the Revitalized Agreement for the Resolution of

Conflict in South Sudan (RARCSS) which coincided with the resignation of the
first Joint Monitoring and Evaluation Committee (JMEC) Chairperson, former
President of Botswana H.E. Festus Mogae, whom South Sudanese believed to have
slept on the job, and the confirmation of Amb. Njoroge as the RJMEC’s interim
chairperson, South Sudanese were highly skeptical. They were doubtful of the
roles the new Interim Chairperson (Amb. Njoroge) could play to ensure full
implementation of peace accord different from his predecessor. But shortly after
assuming his office, Amb. Njoroge proved everybody wrong.

Your Excellency,

Amb. Lt. Gen. (Rtd) Augustino Njoroge has proved to be the kind of leader South
Sudan needs to believe and realize the R-ARCSS’ promise. As the presiding
RJMEC’s Interim Chairperson since 2018, Amb. Njoroge has demonstrated
remarkable leadership as shown by the way he steers the peace implementation
process through turbulent self-serving party interests. He depends on his
experiences and leadership qualities such as objectivity, transparency, courage, and
integrity to guide the implementation process; but most importantly, he sticks to
the book. Amb. Njoroge closely engages the Parties to the Agreement where there
are disparities. Amb. Njoroge does not shy from facing and stating RJMEC’s
position in the face of emotionally loaded partisan contests. He is bold and
decisive; and does not succumb to unwarranted pressure, intimidation and
harassment. He is always guided by the provisions of the Agreement. He addresses
his concerns to IGAD as R-ARCSS custodian, and it would be unfortunate to
blame him for IGAD and South Sudanese leaders’ failure. Like Sumbieywo, he is a
true gift for the region and had made Kenya and your leadership shine in the hearts
of so many South Sudanese. In his dealings, Amb. Njoroge is proud and confident
and this is undoubtedly because of the pride, respect, and love for Kenya and
humanity at large.

Your Excellency,

The departure of H.E. Amb. Njoroge at this crucial time is harmful to the peace
agreement. Not only does Amb. Njoroge comprehends the Agreement, he has also
acquainted himself with the South Sudan politics including having a good working
relationship with the key stakeholders. Our writing is influenced not by the fear of
the unknown but for the importance of continuity and consistency. Knowing first
hands that the parties to the South Sudan peace agreement are dragging their feet
when it comes to the implementation, the least the regional leaders can do is to
deploy leaders who will come and learn from the peace partners; and yet expect

results. We feel the recalling of Amb. Njoroge will send a wrong signal and
question the intention of the regional leaders when it comes to the implementation
of the RARCSS. The people of South Sudan have been expecting the region to
redoubles efforts to strengthen RJMEC and, instead, endorse Amb. Njoroge to
become the agency’s Chairperson.

Your excellency,

Kenya is a guarantor of the South Sudan peace agreement and an influential member
of the Intergovernmental Authority for Development (IGAD). Guided by its own
interests, it should work to see the realization of durable peace in South Sudan for
mutual prosperity and sisterhood. We are, therefore, confident that your
government will listen to the voice of reason and reflect on our appeal knowing
that you have the best interests for regional peace and of the people of South Sudan
at heart.

Signed by concerned South Sudanese in Diaspora:

Mr. Nhial K. Wicleek
Psychotherapist/Counsellor @Wicleek’s Counselling and Consulting
Former ROSS Country Director/ Canada
[email protected]
Canada Representative

Hon. Wol Atak
Former member of Parliament
National Legislative Assembly
[email protected]
New Zealand Representative

Mr. Duop Chak
Executive Editor
South Sudan News Agency,
[email protected]
US Representative

Mrs. Sarah Nyanthuok Simon
Deputy Chairperson,
Nuer Community in North West England
[email protected]
Europe Representative

Mrs. Nyabana Riek Dhoal
Business Woman
[email protected]
Australia Representative

Albino Kang Tongyik
Lecturer, Rift Valley University
[email protected]
Ethiopia Representative

H.E. Dr. Abdalla Hamdock
IGAD Chairperson, and
Prime Minister of the Republic of Sudan
H.E. Mr. Gedu Andargachew
Chairperson, The IGAD Council of Ministers; and
Minister for Foreign Affairs of the FDRE
H.E. Dr. Workneh Gebeyehu
IGAD Executive Secretary
H.E. Amb. Dr. Ismail Wais
IGAD Special Envoy for South Sudan
H.E. Salva Kiir Mayardit
President, Republic of South Sudan
H.E. Dr. Riek Machar Teny
First Vice President, ROSS
SSOA Leadership
SPLM Leaders (Former Detainees)
OPP Leadership

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