THE 5 PHYSICAL PEACE GESTURES BY IGAD
By Jon Pen de Ngong
IGAD or Intergovernmental Authority on Development, founded as Intergovernmental Authority on Drought and Development (IGADD) in the 80s upon the Ethiopian famine that claimed millions in two decades, is now on political development in the region.
Surviving mainly on a mono-project of a deliberately slow-motioned peace process for South Sudan for its financial sustenance and political relevance at the expense of thousands of innocent souls of the (now South) Sudanese people, the regional body is behaving funnily busy.
First, it tried to copy and paste the so-called ‘Handshake Politics’ from Kenya’s independence families’ ever feuding stalwarts. In the case of my South Sudan, it only could work when corruptedly spelled ‘Handy Cheque’, or a hand-a-cheque wealth and power sharing sort of among the political elite and their cronies.
This evolves from that smart handshake from Kenya into a huge hug in Addis Ababa and Khartoum for South Sudan, and possibly a hand wave in Uganda.
And, as if that is not even enough, there is a hand shift in the IGAD-led peace mediation system. Farmers would call it a rotational cultivation.
We have seen it in Addis Ababa (my book calls it ‘Addisagreement’), the almost half-a-decade negotiation being shifted to Khartoum, our immediate former colonial master. My former president, Omar all Bashir, will smile his way to the bank this week.
I mean why would IGAD include developmental projects in the communique on peace agreement? Some oil deal that we read in the media recently as offered by Kiir to Bashir is now being confirmed in the IGAD heads of state’s meeting while handing over the mediation role to Khartoum (Take note of Article 9 (b) of the Communique).This smells of conflict of interest, doesn’t it? To mortgage our future resources for an worthwhile political power is an unforgivable mistake in the leader’s legacy.
During the IGAD’s heads of state and government meeting, President Bashir has been instructed to hand the baton over to Uhuru Kenyatta a week after. It’s their turn to eat, while thousands of S Iouth Sudanese populace is starving to death in camps and their villages.
Wait a minute. What will stop it from being relayed on to Kampala since Uncle Museveni is being frustrated by the SPLM’s friendly fiends on the Arusha Reunification Accord (ARA)? And so on. And so forth. World without end. War without end!
However, Museveni’s new peace gesture now seen in that NTV video clip (Link: https://m.facebook.com/story.php?story_fbid=10212142136734943&id=1421628562) does not augurs well to the Kiirriek Duo’s handshake process. Given the fact that he is Kiir’s political godfather as he (Museveni and Kiir) declared in the recent SPLM convention in Juba, why would Kiir restrrain from waving at Riek though at that close distance?
Back to the video, while Amama Mbabazi, his former liberation colleague and former NRM Secretarial General, ambushes him for a post-election handshake, President Museveni defiantly evades Amama’s eager hand and, instead, waves blatantly a few inches into his former buddy’s face as they move along in a camera camaraderie talk.
My fears are informed by the fact that we, South Sudanese, have been dependently independent in terms of development and politics. We seem to embrace that old pidgin adage: Monkey See, Monkey Do!
Therefore, when the face-to-face peace talks collapsed between the Kiirriek in Addis Ababa last week, methinks, it was not coincidental that President Museveni did not show up in the Heads’ summit. Why? He would be forced to greet Dr. Riek, who was released and promoted to the level of a presidential attendants in the summit. Of course, he is no head of state by any means but of a ‘government’ as his SPLM-IO could have been elevated to that attendance qualification.
That one, Museveni and Kiir don’t like!
In conclusion, which, in terms of the HLRF snail boat, means inclusion of another argument, for South Sudan, IGAD has invented up to five physical peace gestures — and counting.
It began with a Handshake (between Kenyatta and Odinga). This resulted into a ‘Tummy Hug’, some sort of a hugely, hugly hug between Raila and Riek, which the South Sudan duo refused to perform. So they were subjected to a ‘Gang Hug, or Group Hug, into which Prime Minister Abiy curved the duo, with himself included, to make a miserably hypocritical trio. Then The Face-to-Face Face off between our Duo, ending up in a vain outcome. This, the IGAD wordsmith are transforming into the ‘Shuttle Duel’, a shifting negotiation from Addis to Khartoum, then to Nairobi; and, who knows, may spill over to Kampala and back to Arusha and Addis! God forbid!
Just after this, it’s interesting to summarize how we, South Sudanese, are mortgaging our future through our resources in a desperate attempt to buy back our own peace from the hands of the regional leaders.
It is obvious that Juba is now pushing Khartoum to take 4 oil blocks in northern South Sudan. For what? Museveni can explain.This means Sudan joining China and others in a new colonial overlordship over us. Our Fulla Rapids Dam is mysteriously down, and has now given way to Uganda’s Karuma Dam to supply Juba with a hydro electric power, to supplement the defunct Egyptian generators in the capital of our former 10 states.
As the group hugging is continuing in Khartoum, the LAPSSET project deal is going to be conclude in Nairobi tomorrow (June 26) for Kiir and Riek to come and cement in front of Uhuru. By the way, the double carriage railway and pipeline are supposed to pass through Uganda, so we have to pay our way through 2 countries.
What other member states have I forgotten with the vested interest in our resources? Yes, Ethiopia signed a 900-million dollar roadwork deal with Juba 2 years ago, as Djibouti awaits the promised pipeline to pass through Ethiopia as discussed during the Marial Benjamin’s foreign affairs’ days.
This scramble and partition over our resources for leaders to secure an erstwhile political power is betrayal of the future of this country! Alas, we are sold, kalas!
Having numerically summarized the 5 mega measures for approaching the IGAD’s experimental peace process for South Sudan, let me put this to an end with my pastoral uncle’s concern: “John, now that you are back from ‘Adith’ (Addis) without ‘pith’ (peace),” he asked, “Can’t we declare this IGAD of yours as ‘Nyigad’ (‘nyigat or nyagat’ means renegade, rebel, betrayer, etc. in that South Sudan political history of liberation).