BY: Nicola Bringi: August 9th, 2018. We have watched the signing of the mockery peace agreement with great concern since this peace agreement is not going to prevail as it is not addressing the root causes of the conflict.
Some may think that the problem is only between SPLM-IO leader, Riak Machar, and South Sudan president Salva Kiir, but the problem is between the Kiir government with the people of South Sudan; because the government of South Sudan has let their own people down.
Instead of focusing on development and services for the people of South Sudan, Kiir turned to nepotism, uprooting other tribes from their land and relocating his tribe into other peoples’ places.
As a result, some tribes such as people of Western Bhar El Ghazal rebelled in 2012 against the Salva Kiir Regime. By that time, Riak Machar was still the first Vice President and he then supported Kiir’s policy toward people of Western Bahr El Ghazal.
In 2013 when the fight broke out between Kiir and Machar, Machar was expelled from Juba and he became a rebel. The people of Western Bahr El Ghazal thought “the enemy of their enemy was their friend.”
Now they know they were wrong, as Machar only focuses on his personal interests and does not care about the people. Many people from the ethnic group of Machar have been killed, yet he does not think about their lives, their families, or communities in general.
Some of Western Bahr Ghazal’s people joined Machar based on the following conditions:
1. The policy of Wau County’s move to Baggari must be reversed
2. The annexing of Raga to Awiel must be reversed
3. Wau and Raga must remain as one state as pre-independence from Sudan in 2005
4. There must be an adaptation of the Federation of governance in South Sudan so that every group can work to develop their state
5. Accountability must be taken against those who are responsible for the killing and raping of innocent civilians in Western Bahr El Ghazal.
Now Machar is signing the so-called peace agreement without putting into consideration what the people of Western Bhar El Ghazal agreed to when they decided to cooperate with him.
He has not condemned the attacks following the ceasefire agreement and their counties are currently under attack. As they are signing the agreement, Salva Kiir is still attacking people in Baggari, Bringi, Mboro, Beselia, Bazia, Raga, Dulu, Mangayat, and Demzubier… etc.
The participants of the Khartoum so-called ‘Khartoum Peace Talks’ have never honored any agreement…. we saw this in 2015. We also saw this with the 2016 agreement, as well as the ceasefire agreement that was recently signed in July of 2018.
They violated these agreements many times in Equatoria, Western Bahr el Ghazal, and Upper Nile.
Machar needs to understand that he is signing an agreement with a culprit. Salva Kiir has never honored any agreement. Machar believes he is signing a peace agreement, but to Salva Kiir, Machar is signing his death warrant, as Salva Kiir refused to shake his hand for peace during the ceremony.
Concerned Elder – South Sudan ‘ Diaspora