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It is in the Interest of President Kirr to Have Juba Insecure

Recently South Sudan was treated to a big return of former first vice president turned rebel leader and now first vice president of the Republic of South Sudan, Dr. Riek Machar. The return was characterized by jubilation as majority of the people of South Sudan and beyond thought that his return would mark the beginning of the peace process and rebuilding of a country that has since been torn a part by the sting of civil war. For those who pegged the success of the peace agreement on the return of Dr. Machar and his subsequent appointment as first vice president, this was indeed a luminous moment. But this hope seems to have been short lived. 

I have always had my reservations on how the entire peace process, from the commencement of the negotiations to the signing of the peace deal in Addis Ababa was conducted. Methinks the urgency with which all those involved in the peace process wanted the deal signed by all costs meant that time preceded reality, procedure and detail in the whole negotiations. At some point one could not avoid but see a desperate attempt by actors to just have the deal signed. Through coercion the primary actors were forced into signing the agreement. I do not think they believe in what they signed. At least it is not being felt. South Sudan is going to represent a case study of rushed process of negotiations and a largely externally imposed peace agreement. Such agreements never hold. Even the one of Burundi negotiated in Arusha, Tanzania back in the 90s and that was somehow better than this one of South Sudan has since collapsed leading to the current crisis in Burundi. Sometimes I honestly wonder if we hate to learn or we simply love to have things work badly! 

I see a major challenge in the implementation of the South Sudan peace agreement. The reason is rather straightforward; parties to conflict do not believe in what they signed; they do not own the agreement. Both sides will do all within their power to manipulate and/or elide full implementation of the agreement. As we speak, President Salvar Kirr does not seem to be interested in disarming the population in South Sudan, especially the capital Juba. I find it a tactic to make the opposition feel insecure hence jeopardizing their service delivery and ultimately undermining the unity government. If one section of the government of national unity fails to deliver due to rampant insecurity, then the other side can find justification to accuse it of incompetence or irrelevance. Those in the opposition may then feel insecure and flee or may actually decide to start arming themselves and their groups as well. The result will, at best be the collapse of the agreement and return to negotiations, or at worst a relapse into outright violence, where the winner will take it all. Meanwhile the people of South Sudan continue facing the worst ever humanitarian crisis of our time. 
It is in the Interest of President Kirr to Have Juba Insecure It is in the Interest of President Kirr to Have Juba Insecure Reviewed by Ibrahim Magara on May 18, 2016 Rating: 5

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