Uganda schools Kiir on governance at the height of his misplaced priorities and contradictory utterances
Salva Kiir’s call on the Sudanese armed opposition groups and the leadership of Sudan’s Sovereign Council to dialogue and negotiate in good faith, and make necessary compromises for the sake of peace is not only ironic, but also an insult to the plight of South Sudanese – Gen. Thomas Cirillo, Chairman of the National Salvation Front said.
“Kiir has not demonstrated willingness to reach meaningful peace with his own brothers in South Sudan; is it not ironic that the same Kiir – supported by the regional leaders – should lead efforts to resolve the conflict in Sudan, or even urge them to negotiate in good faith and make compromises?” asked Gen. Thomas.
The comments follow a deliberate refusal of regional leaders to confront Kiir on the issue of peace within South Sudan.
“The conference toward peace in Sudan by the government of Salva Kiir is shameful and an insult to the plight of South Sudanese who continue to suffer in Protection of Civilian camp (PoC) sites, Internally Displaced People’s camps and refugee camps spread across Uganda, Kenya, Democratic Republic of Congo, Ethiopia and Sudan,” reads an internal NAS memo.
“The priority of the government in Juba should be to explore all available options to a political settlement of the conflict in our beloved South Sudan and restore the dignity of our people. Instead, Kiir talks about peace in South Sudan only in the context of his red-lines,” explained Thomas, adding that “the language of threats and intimidation cannot resolve deep-rooted problems that led many of us to take arms to once again liberate our country and people”.
At the root of the conflict in South Sudan is the policy of Salva Kiir, a policy with which he has sought to divide and rule; an identity politics, which has been adequately represented in the re-demarcation of the country into tribal, geographical enclaves –an action that has been rejected by Independent Boundaries Commission.
With the mastermind of members of the Jieng Council of Elders (JCE), Kiir has continued to further divide the country into those who support his dictatorial mismanagement of the country and those who call for genuine democratic change.
This policy is the basis for Kiir’s kleptocratic reward system, where communities perceived to be against his leadership are discriminated against, stripped of power and relegated to second class citizenship.
Article eight of the Mission of National Salvation Front clearly addresses the pitfalls of ‘Tribal loyalty; a recipe for disintegration and chaos’.
Skillfully addressing problems of identity politics among both the Sudanese political and military opposition groups as well as educating his host; Uganda president Yoweri Museveni said “it is absolutely rubbish to even waste one afternoon to talk about the identity of a tribe. These mistakes have been going on because of this rubbish of identity and we have killed each other.”
Museveni added: “If you do not know what to do, go back home and mismanage your home. Don’t come to a public office to cause suffering for the people.” A message that was perhaps more directed to Salva Kiir and his inept government than the Sudanese politicians, whose citizens have not yet become part of the global man-made refugee crisis.
“People who are ideologically bankrupt have no alternative but to use opportunism of tribe and race. This is a crime against Africa,” concluded Museveni.
A coalition of Sudanese armed opposition groups has agreed that lasting peace can be attained in Sudan only when the “root causes of the problem” are addressed.
NAS reiterates that the government in Juba must make use of the speeches made by regional leaders to reflect on its actions and internalize the calls for a serious political settlement of the conflict in South Sudan by fully committing to a renegotiation of an inclusive peace process where all the root causes of the conflict are addressed.
Chairman Thomas added that “Kiir has not shown the people in South Sudan that he can dialogue and negotiate a peaceful political settlement in good faith. He has not made any compromises. Instead, Kiir has engaged in counter-insurgency war efforts, recruiting tribal militia, procuring weapons, attacking the defensive positions of NAS and other non-signatories to the R-ARCISS, displaced civilian populations in areas under the control of armed opposition groups, and driven the country deeper into the abyss”.