March The 5th, a Test to IGAD’s Ability To Mediate !

By Tor Madira Machier,

Opinion.

Ugandan President, Yoweri Museveni, greets Dr. Riek Machar of SPLA after negotiating the withdrawal of his troops in South Sudan(Photo: Nyamilepedia)

Ugandan President, Yoweri Museveni, greets Dr. Riek Machar of SPLA after negotiating the withdrawal of his troops in South Sudan(Photo: Nyamilepedia)

March 6, 2015(Nyamilepedia) — Since the start of the peace negotiations in January 2014, by the South Sudan’s warring sides under the auspices of the Inter-governmemtal Authority on Development, regional and international pressures engulfed the venue of the peace talks. Western and many of the worlds most powerful countries threatened for punitive actions against the rival parties should they lost the way to a geniune peace agreement. The IGAD it self offered in the past many ultimatums and datelines for the warring sides. Tens and if not in hundreds, are attending and observing the peace process from Western diplomats.

However, despite these heated-international pressures, non of the rounds of peace talks have beared fruits. Yet the region and the international community despite their hot pressures fails to go beyond condemnation. They just echo a hard sound of pressure without the action itself.

On the 2nd of February, peace talks in South Sudan’s neighboring Ethiopia were once more suspended and only to continue on the 19th of the same month to give the warring sides a chance to consults with their respective organisations. They gave the warring sides 5th of March as the dateline for peace negotiations or face punitive consequencies should they miss this chance to reach a peaceful settlement to the conflict . At the start of the last round of peace negotiations which the two rival leaders of both side committed themselves to attend personally, president Salva Kiir fails to show up at the venue of the talks. While the president fails to show up at the talks, opposition leader Dr. Riek Machar issued a statement calling on president Salva Kiir to attend the peace talks as he promised on the second of February. As the talks fails to kick-off on time, the proximity between reaching a meaningful deal by 5th of March and the start of the negotiations morethan two days later than the said 19th of February denied the two side to produce a complete and a comprehensive peace on time ( 5 March ) in addition to the intrasigency being attributed to the govenment of the Republic of South Sudan.

The 5th of March has passed and yet no agreement had been reached. the IGAD once more extended the negotiations for additional 20 hours commencing from 12 am to 10 pm of the March 6 2015, but the outcome of the last round of talks is too complicated to forsee since many datelines like this one passed before without a fruitful outlcome nor with a clear punitive action from the mediators.

This round of talks put the ability of the Inter-governmental Authority on Development to the test weather the regional body (IGAD) is competent and capable of impossing consequencies upon the rival parties in return to their hesitation to bring a fruitful peace to the people of South Sudan, or mediating between warring parties and so forth. The first thing the IGAD should have done without setting a dateline for the peace talks was first to identifies those responsible for breaching the ceasation of hostilities signed on January 23rd last year and bring to account the violators in addition to releasing and making public the report of the African Union commision of inquiry regarding the human rights violations in South Sudan so that the people of South Sudan knows who exactly is responsible for the gross violation of serious human rights and commision of war crimes as well.

The government of South Sudan itself must be accounted for the first violation of the cease fire agreement of last year. The hesitation by the government to pull-out foreign troops from the country is the main obstacle to reaching a reasonable peace deal among others which the mediators would have first opened their eye on.

The lack of commitment of the government and its intransigence come not only from the mind of the South Sudanese president but also from some leaders of the IGAD member states interfering into the internal affairs of South Sudan and the warm endurance of the region and the international community towards those obstracting the peace talks.

The Author, Tor Madira Machier, a political commentator is a South Sudanese student pursuing Law Degree at the University of Ain Shams in Cairo, Egypt and can be reached through tormadira2013@gmail.com

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