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Who Will Speak the Language of Peace for South Sudan?

The armed opposition faction (SPLM-IO) led by South Sudan’s former First Vice President, Riek Machar, has for the first time come out with a statement declaring war on the “regime” in Juba under President Salva Kiir and called on the international community to declare it a “rogue” regime. The opposition group also said it has now dismissed all its senior members who are in President Kiir’s new government. This came in a resolution passed by the political bureau meeting convened for three days in the Sudanese capital, Khartoum, under the chairmanship of Machar, also commander-in-chief of the SPLM-IO.

According to Article 2 (d) of the resolution obtained by Sudan Tribune, the SPLM-IO’s political bureau resolved to “Call for reorganization of the SPLA (IO) so that it can wage a popular armed resistance against the authoritarian and fascist regime of President Salva Kiir in order to bring peace, freedom, democracy and the rule of law in the country.”

This is the first official statement from the opposition’s leadership since the 8 July violence erupted in the capital between Machar’s bodyguards and forces loyal to President Kiir, killing over 200 soldiers. The resolution also accused President Kiir’s regime of allegedly attempting to “assassinate” the leadership of the SPLM-IO at the Juba-based presidential palace when the fighting erupted. Machar vowed to reorganize to “wage a popular armed resistance against the authoritarian and racist regime of President Salva Kiir.”

This is one of the strongest indicators that South Sudan is headed to war – or that the country is continuing to be at war, after all, strictly speaking, South Sudan has never had a period without war since its  secession from Sudan. It was barely five years of relative calm, after its independence from neighboring Sudan, South Sudan descended into civil war in December 2013. Tens of thousands of civilians were killed and more than 2 million displaced.  A peace agreement was recently reached in Addis and Riech Machar reappointed as First Vice President. It only lasted for few months before violence erupted in Juba, in July this year leading to the withdrawal of Machar from government and from Juba.

Now that South Sudan is headed to war; what does this portend for the peace of the people of South Sudan who are yearning for peace? People who struggle to barely survive? People who have never known peace and stability for ages – first during the armed struggle against Khartoum and now in the civil war beating Machar and Kirr. When will the people of South Sudan know peace? Who will speak the language of peace to and for them and how? 
Who Will Speak the Language of Peace for South Sudan? Who Will Speak the Language of Peace for South Sudan? Reviewed by Ibrahim Magara on September 29, 2016 Rating: 5

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