22 Jul 2019

 

Call For Dialogue To End Stalemate In South Sudan Peace Agreement

"The current leaders must show responsibility and avoid being sadly recorded in the history as entrepreneurs of political violence and strategists of disorder to remain in power".

By Beny Gideon Mabor 
South Sudan, as an independent country borne out of bitter armed conflict that lasted for nearly four decades, must learnt to be exemplary for peace in Africa, and beyond. Remember that sovereignty comes with responsibility and everything in place: peace, security, development, and capacity to engage with other community of nations.
 
These webs of issues require a great deal of responsible leadership. For example, the responsible leadership in Kenya and Ethiopia have shown it. It costs nothing to swallow empty pride, ignorance, and selfish interests and replace such vices with love, learning new things, and embracing public interest over private one.
 
As a result, the courage that inspired warring parties and other South Sudanese stakeholders in January 2014 after an outbreak of political violence in mid December 2013, to engage in a political process that culminated into  the agreement on the resolution of conflict in South Sudan and later revitalized peace agreement, should continue to guide you now in the implementation of the revitalized peace agreement. 
 
Equally important, we are all aware of matrix for implementation of the said peace agreement. Some activities are conditioned to the formation of the revitalized Transitional Government of National Unity. At the same time, such activities like security arrangements and other related matters come with financial and human resource capitals, some of which are outside the limit of all parties and the government as primary duty bearer. The two faces of the same coin have both challenges. 
 
In light of this situational background, I strongly advise that both the government, opposition groups, and other stakeholders need to exercise maximum restraint at this point in time just after many political and religious leaders returned from Vatican in a high level spiritual pilgrimage of the first kind, which was presided over by the Heads of Catholic, Anglican and Presbyterian churches.
 
In particular, the response from Deputy Leader of SPLM/A in Opposition and a person of high respect to me, Hon. Henry Odwar  in a BBC interview as a follow up compliment for similar statement said  earlier by the SPLM/A-IO Principal Dr. Riek Machar, is uncalled for. 
 
Threatening statements such as withdrawal of members from all mechanisms of the revitalized peace agreement and unilateral action to form the revitalized Transitional government on 12 May without a consensus are a great setback and disservice to the vulnerable men, women, and children dying of war, disease, and hunger. 
 
The current leaders must show responsibility and avoid being sadly recorded in the history as entrepreneurs of political violence and strategists of disorder to remain in power.
 
In conclusion, South Sudanese must agree that any challenge can be resolved by dialogue. As a responsible citizen, I strongly call on President Salva Kiir Mayardit, Dr. Riek Machar, Gabriel Changson, Dr. Lam Akol and Principals of other coalitions to urgently convene an internal political process, mostly preferably in Juba to revisit timelines of unfinished  activities and agree on whether to compromise on the said timelines and form the government on 12 May 2019 or voluntarily agree to extend the pre-transitional period to implement the remaining activities and subsequently form the government.
 

Beny Gideon is South Sudan's Human Rights Commissioner and this piece is solely that of the author. He is reachable via benygmabor@gmail.com 

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