ADDISAGREEMENT: ON THE ILL-WILL BY THE PARTIES, THE MEDIOCRE MEDIATOR AND THE ‘OGA OBA REPORT’
ONE-ONE-ONE TALKS COLLAPSED
South Sudanese peace talks are in a disappointing lull again. At the moment, it has been reduced to a piece of peace in the process of
one-on-one negotiation between President Salva Kiir Mayardit and his former Vice President Dr. Riek Machar Teny, leader of the rebel wing of the SPLM, also referred to as SPLM in Opposition, is in limbo for the umpteenth time in the 13th month of the multi-stakeholder talks in Addis Ababa.
The duo kicked off with the face-to-face angling of various positions on the paper on January 28, 2015, only to be interrupted by a slight bout sickness of President Kiir. After a short medical attention and rest from nose bleeding, the talks resumed in the morning of the 29th. Unfortunately, they tangled but failed to produce any tangible expectation, sending out pessimistic feelings to their constituencies, and the world over. And the war is not over!
The sharing out of percentages of political powers and language used display a very high level of intrigues and mistrust between the two leaders of the two wings of the SPLM party. According to the raw agenda on the paper leaked here, the proposal, though not the final paper, do not augur well with the outcome of the peace agreement. It is as if the whole war is about political positions, and the whole country belongs to only two groups, to be specific, only two individuals. Both the faith and the fate of the people are tied to the two unprincipled principals.
Have a look at the pictures of the features of the agenda here.
Secondly, the mediators, as seen on the pictured pages of the agenda attached here in pictures, have done a mediocre proposal. And the worst part of it is they are going to impose it on the South Sudanese! It looks as if the document was designed only for the leaders present in the talks; the masses suffering in South Sudan are not part and party to this proposal. IGAD is now NyIGAD or Nyagat (another perpetrator to the suffering of South Sudanese)!
It beats this blogger’s understanding as to what the rationale is for the mediators (IGAD’s special envoys to South Sudan peace process) to put out such a proposal. With the threat of taking over our country by UN Trusteeship, the IGAD’s leaders have a big interest to keep South Sudan burning, with the intention of intervention by themselves.
NB: The agenda paper (in pictures) was leaked to Weakleaks by another blogger/Facebooker from the venue. Therefore, the authenticity of the paper cannot be ascertained at the moment, in addition to the fact that the paper is a minute from the meeting not yet made into official position.
IGAD SUMMIT POSTPONED
The following is an email sent by one of the civil society observers in Sheraton hotel, where the IGAD’s summit was supposed to take place today, January 29, 2014.
“In fact, a great optimism for peace was shown today when President Salva kiir came in the room and individually greet each member of the SPLM/A in opposition by shake of hand and start chatting with Dr. Riek and SPLM Leaders Former Detainees. After three good hours waiting IGAD leaders who were in fact in the same premises but meeting alone in a different room; the IGAD Executive Secretary Ambassador (Eng.) Mahboub Maalim , quietly walk in and draw our attention first by apology for having kept us for three hours and finally announced the adjournment of the summit to Saturday 31st instant at 4: 00pm.
All stakeholders including the principals, I guess do not know what happened! Otherwise, they would have not been in the room in the first place. Let’s hope that the Saturday summit will bring peace and stability in South Sudan. We also pray that the friends of South Sudan do not have their confidential stake in our suffering in prolonging such remarkable meetings that are expected to end crisis on our country.” Beny Gideon
THE AUCISS REPORT
The world is still waiting for the official release of the African Unions Commission of Inquiry for South Sudan war crimes and crimes against humanity. With the unwillingness of the Government of the Republic of South Sudan to see the report released and the impunity through immunity by the African Union leaders, the report is likely to have no impact. Arguments are going on in the public domain as to why the CoI Report should or should not be made public. Some voices express the fear that the publication of the documents, that contains some big names, may interfere with the peace process. I don’t buy that shit, myself.
Others dispute that line of argument and put it forward that in the mandate of president (Rtd) Olusegun Obasanjo’s committee, the report must be handed over to the Peace and Security Commission (PSC) of the AU and made public there and then. This is in disregard of whether peace process is ongoing or not. Therefore, their argument is that without accountability and justice, war would not stop.
This fear was expressed by the SPLM-IO’s leader, Dr. Riek Machar, in his Arusha document briefing at Safari Park Hotel in Nairobi on Saturday, 24 January 2015. Dr. Riek wondered if the report was not made public, how would he convince somebody whose relatives were killed, especially if that person has a gun in their hands. He recommended that the report be released before the talks so that it is discussed as part of the negotiation, while Juba argues that its content may derail the talks. How? is yet to be explained.
Weakleaks had an unofficial access to the views expressed by H.E. Obasanja on January 26, to one of the leading human rights organizations in Nairobi. The official chat between Mr. Obasanjo and the organization’s representative states:
“[On the release of the CoI report]: What I believe is important is that once the report is presented to the PSC, it should become public. I will formally hand it over to the PSC chairperson at 6 pm [on 29th]. Once it is handed over to the PSC, it ceases to be a secret document. If there is reluctant to make it public, your organization must take some action. If I were you, I would make sure I get a copy and publish it online.”
[On the content of the report]: The report is now in French and English. Generally I am satisfied with the report. One thing that we must not condone is impunity. The report does not condone impunity. It is a voluminous report but we had a big mandate. I haven’t written the report to please any leader but it is written in the interest of the people of South Sudan.
NB: Our interpretation of this is that the report most likely contains names of suspected perpetrators.
BLOGGER’S OBSERVATION: I, for one, have no hope in that report. As usual, it will be dumped from the first instance it was raised. With the presence of leaders like Museveni of Uganda being party to the war and its crimes, the Report is no deal to lay somebody’s hope on. It is binned in advance! Let’s just wait and see! And the people of South Sudan in particular, and Africa in general, will have been betrayed in exchange for power by their greedy leaders. Peace traded with justice was my hope, but now with the African brand of impunity by immunity, it is leadership exchanged with justice! But my hope is anchored on the lines by the Big Man of the Report. Should the African dictators sweep the report under their carpet, some Snowdens or Assanges will do service to our people. I mean, the Report should get leaked out of frustrations, Inshallah!
(Petition to AU by South Sudanese Organisations on the Release of the CoI Report)
If the African Union (AU) decides to keep its report documenting wartime abuses in South Sudan under wraps, it could hinder bringing those responsible for war crimes and crimes against humanity to account.
On Thursday, the AU Peace and Security Council is expected to consider the final report of the AU Commission of Inquiry on South Sudan, its first-ever commission to document the conflict’s abuses and offer recommendations on justice and reconciliation. It should release this report to the public.
In December 2013, a dispute between South Sudan’s President Salva Kiir and former Vice President Riek Machar set off a shockingly brutal armed conflict. The region’s long history of impunity for grave crimes has only fuelled the abuses in the recent war. If South Sudan is to end cycles of violence, ensuring justice this time around is one of the key ingredients.
The AU’s creation of the Commission of Inquiry on South Sudan was a crucial step in the right direction, but its unprecedented effort risks being undermined if the report is not made public.
Some regional players may be reluctant to see the information in the report published on the idea that it could upset current peace negotiations. But this assumption is misplaced. To the contrary, the parties to the peace negotiations should be fully confronted with the commission’s findings, and they should be pressed for concrete steps to bring about justice in any peace agreement. Human Rights Watch has seen many times in our work on conflict situations that countries can both pursue efforts to hold human rights abusers accountable and advance peace agreements. However, the risks of trading away justice are significant – lack of accountability can embolden perpetrators of further crimes and undermine respect for the rule of law.
Both parties to South Sudan’s conflict have repeatedly pledged to promote justice. There is strong support in South Sudan for ending impunity for grave crimes. Local, regional, and international stakeholders are waiting for the report before they take the next steps to advance accountability. There should be no further delay of publicly reporting on these findings and recommendations.
South Sudanese have endured enough pain and suffering and deserve redress for the horrific crimes committed in the past year. Justice is not only an individual right of the victims of abuses, it is also a crucial part of building sustainable peace and a brighter future for this young country. The AU, which has sought a resolution to the conflict, should not lose sight of the importance of publishing the commission’s report as an important means to promote justice for grave crimes committed.