To Engage In Conflict Resolutions, One Does Not Bring A Knife That Cut – But A Needle That Sews.

By Chuol C. Puoch,


South Sudan rebel delegation holds talks with IGAD mediators on December 27, 2013(Photo: PSCU)

South Sudan rebel delegation holds talks with IGAD mediators on December 27, 2013(Photo: PSCU)

Sept 03, 2014(Nyamilepedia) — It has already been eight month since the mediation and processes of resolving the South Sudan Conflict by IGAD started. Little did, the conflict is only escalating with more arms and troops reinforcement from the government in trying to liberate the territories under the control of SPLA – IO. Citizens are hopelessly in desperate inhumane condition that they were subjected to by their very own people – their leader (s).  There has been a hope for peace and stability coming back to the Country as the negotiation has been ongoing in Addis Ababa, whereby all the parties so far seem to have been very much committed to ending this war. However, looking into the styles and procedures being used by IGAD in the negotiation and consultation, one would simply convince that the distance between us (South Sudanese) and our lost peace is a thousand miles away.

IGAD mediation is absolutely humbug and fruitless, but the world never knew their weakness and hypocrisy. They dress in suits, grouping together calling themselves the leaders of the region – the best solvers of South Sudan conflict. They walk softly but carrying their BIG dictating sticks and sharp knives while doing their mediation and consultation with the parties involved in the conflict, and especially to the SPLM in opposition delegates. To the best of my knowledge, I know nothing more than the fact that Dr. Riek Machar is a regional democrat who needs to be eliminated by the ruling dictators in the expenses of South Sudanese lives and suffering.

But the fact is that, this government of Salva Kirr is dwindling politically, economically and militarily which will of course mark his end, regardless of how much political and military supports he may be given by his co-dictators – his mentors in east Africa. IGAD are doing the mediation with their sharp knives to permanently fragment our Country for their sake of being in power by mean of dictating and helping other dictators, rather than by needles to sew the differences and put the leaders (our leaders) together by addressing the root cause and give the right to who and/or where it’s due; Then, holding the perpetrators of atrocities accountable for their action would follow right away. Contrarily, IGAD has already chosen to be following their hoodwinking resolution in favor of Kirr for a number of reasons: Machar is a democrat who, if ascended to power, would politically, diplomatically and socially weaken their dictating leadership in the region. The internal transformers within their various Countries will rise up for their democratic political rights and obligations to democratize the region and weaken the current regimes politically and among others.

Looking at the above mentioned, the world, and especially the UN, US and other important and powerful international communities, should have understood that IGAD is not the right body to partially solve this conflict; not even when you supervise them closely, still the result of their mediation will always be in the backward direction.

The Case of the Former Detainees and other political parties:

It was a shock to see that, some political parties members are still pursuing their dirty personal political feeding by abandoning their table in negotiations and follow the government, simply because of some threats that they would lose their positions in the government, should they maintains their sitting as political parties members in the negotiation table. If I may ask, what is the purpose of forming a political party? Were people going to Addis Ababa to succumb to threats from other parties or was it all about looking for peaceful resolution to this conflict? Where in the world can a spiritually baptized pastor be an active politician involved in political hoodwinking? If the members of political parties, who actually came from Juba with the government, are succumbing to threats of the government in Addis Ababa, would we really expect their impartiality in negotiation? To be sincere, those political parties do not even deserve to go for negotiations; in fact, the government will/is absolutely using them as “barking dogs” on their behalf – they are the stick carriers of the government – Abominating!

If we honestly and patriotically divide the percentages of the to-be formed TGNU among the SPLM-juba, SPLM-IO, Other political parties and the former detainees, would any of them get a 30% sharing from that government? Absolutely NO! Each party/group would be given about 25% or less defending on their roles in the conflict and their influence in the community.  But the former detainees (Only 10 person in total) wants to own 30% of that government and the other groups including the two warring factions of SPLM will have the remaining 70%. The question is; would they deserve what they proposed? The answer would be NO! Because they neither have a great role in this conflict nor do they have any standing political foundation among their various communities where their influence would be digested. Those disgruntled former detainees do not only carry knives that cuts, but also magic that confuses and a spirit that jeopardize and constrain the progress of the peace process.

Ending this Conflict, peacefully with coherence or forcefully with defeats?

If I was to be one among those political parties’ members or former detainees, I would only be looking at ending this conflict peacefully and immediately. Once the conflict is ended peacefully, some of those groups’ members will enjoy their full political status as well as getting the little share in the arrangement of the state institutions and its affairs, as its being proposed in the negotiation. However, considering their current miscalculation of their political futurity, not even the combined SPLM, but also the faction of the SPLM (Juba and IO faction) will continue to discriminate, dominate and dictate them unavoidably.

Moreover, with multiple and numerous weakness and setback from the IGAD mediators, the chance of achieving and reaching a peaceful settlement to this conflict are/will be very limited and dwindle. To put it clearly, should any of the two SPLM warring factions succeed militarily, your future in politics and state affairs will be of submissiveness if not quitting it at all. Is that what you are looking for?

It has been a call by the ordinary citizens that the two main principle of this conflict (Kirr & Machar) be left out of the interim government and let other people come in for that government from all the political units of our Country. Little did, you failed to act with political positivity.We thought that your stays in east Africa and daily approach to the leaders and government officials of those Countries would mean a better chance for shaping your political future, and persuade those respective leaders of those Countries for changes in our Country. However, we were only surprised that the leaders of those Countries you (and not Salva Kirr) lives in, actually came up with resolutions suggesting Kirr to be the army C-in-C, the president and head of state for the TGNU, and he will still contest in the next election. We didn’t know that it was all about getting good foods and accommodation in their Countries.

In conclusion:-

As mentioned above, to engage in conflict resolutions, one does not bring a knife that cut and fragments the situation or escalates it – but a needle that sews, that unite, and that resolve and pursue the best resolution possible regardless of external jeopardizing factors. In respect to the suffering of our people which they don’t deserve, we may tend to rush into quick decision and succumb to resolution recently made by IGAD for Salva Kirr to continue in leading the country, but for the sake of lasting peace and stability in our Country, and for us to bury our hatched, our immediate and unified call is for Salva Kirr to step aside from the TGNU, no matter how big is his stick he may be carrying. It should also be made clearer to the IGAD mediators and the rest of the stakeholders involves in the conflict that, anyone who will hold a high political post in the TGNU, will not necessarily have a chance to contest for any public position in the next election.

Chuol C. Puoch is a South Sudanese living in South Sudan; he can be added/follow on Facebook with his name mentioned above, on twitter @ChuolChot and via email: . You can also access his words on

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