The International Community is Searching for the Solution to Stop the War in South Sudan

On  Monday 11  July 2016, in view of the deteriorating situation in South Sudan  and  in particular  in Juba  there were emergency meeting of  both  the UN  in New York  as  well as  of IGAD Council in  Nairobi.    

The IGAD Council  meeting held in Nairobi  was also  attended by the Troika  representatives of USA ( Ambassador HE  Nic  Hailey), UK ( High Commissioner HE Robert Godec), Norway (Royal  Norwegian Charge D’Affairs HE  Vebojen Heines ); the Head of the EU Delegation to Kenya ( HE Stefano Dejak); Deputy  Head of Mission  Embassy of Italy to Kenya  and  Representative of the IGAD Partner  forum  ( Ms Angela Loi).

Following the meeting the IGAD Council issued the following statement:

  1. Condemns in the  strongest  terms  the  eruption  of  fighting  on 7th July 2016 between the Sudanese  People’s Liberation Army(SPLA) and the SPLA in Opposition (SPLA – IO) in  Juba and the huge  loss  of life and casualties as well  as the destruction of properties that  still continues unabated
  2. Further condemns the  targeting of the UN compound and attempts to prevent  civilian population from  getting protection
  3. Urges President Salva Kiir Mayardit and First Vice President Dr Reik Machar to assume responsibility and  take immediate   measures to  prevail  upon  the respective  military leaders and  stop the fighting that continues  unabated in  Juba  and  may  soon  escalate to other  areas of South Sudan
  4. Underlines the importance of the leaders  assertion of the command and control of their respective  armed forces and  passing of continuous  messages  to the  general population for calm  and reconciliation

 And demands

  1. An immediate cease  fire
  2. Re-opening of the Juba International Airport  to be protected by UNMISS
  3. Immediate return of  all  armed  forces  and  weapons to their  barracks
  4. Opening of humanitarian corridors
  5. Urgent revision of the UNMISS mandate to  establish an intervention  brigade and increase number of  troops from the region to inter alia  secure  Juba
  6. Accountability of those responsible for the breakdown of law and order;  and
  7. Immediate implementation of the  security  arrangements  as  enshrined by the  ARCSS  ( IGAD Plus  Agreement on the  Resolution  of the  Conflict in the Republic of South Sudan)

Late on Monday 11 July 2016, friends and colleagues in Juba started to report that they could hear announcements on the streets of Juba of cease-fire  this  was  later officially confirmed by Brigadier General  Lul Ruai, the spokesperson for  the SPLA  who  read  the  Republican Order No 17/2016 signed  by President  Salva Kiir Mayardit on SSBC .

Today  ( 12 July  2016 )   the  UN Security  Council  plans   to meet  and discuss  recent events in South Sudan . It   is of  particular  relevance that in  preparation  for the  UN Security  Council  meeting the Secretary General Banki Moon is lobbying for the imposition of an immediate  arms  embargo,  additional  targeted sanctions on leaders and commanders  blocking the implementation of the Peace Agreement  , and the fortification of the UN mission  in the South Sudan   which  has in  fact been  the  target of  attacks  during  recent events.

Thought the ceasefire in  Juba  is most  welcome  the reality is that the IGAD Plus  Agreement on the  Resolution  of the  Conflict in the Republic of South Sudan ( ARCSS)   (also  known  as the Compromised Peace Agreement )  is in  tatters . This time the armed conflict was not limited to Juba, almost simultaneously armed clashes were reported in Wau, Torit, Bentiu, Lainya, Yei , Kajo Keji. Though it is not   possible to say  that there was a deliberated coordination it is clear that there is widening of the conflict throughout South Sudan. To address the situation that is now developing in South Sudan, there will be a need to seriously consider the meaningful inclusion and participation of Civil Society in the peace process. The  previous  attempt  of  involving  Civil Society  in discussion  held in  Ethiopia  was  very poor  and farcical

Juba  a  city barely  recovering from the horrific  events of  December 2013 is once  again   left  wounded, in mourning   and  fearful that the  perpetrators of the  recent violence will use the  lull  to  re-arm and regroup .   Today the  people   of South Sudan  are left with  many  unanswered  questions   that  can be  summed up  with the one  universal  question  – WHY ?

Civil Society Organisation  are once  again left to pick up the pieces,  Community Empowerment for Progress Organisation ( CEPO) , South Sudan   Peace and Reconciliation Commission  and others  are  calling for   national  mourning  as a means  not only to mourn  the dead but also  to regroup to fight for the only fight  worth  fighting  Peace For  South Sudan . Peace for the Children of South Sudan

Makeda Saba

makedasaba@ymail.com

The International Community is Searching the Solution to stop war in South Sudan

 

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