Wednesday, 1 January 2014

South Sudan: Why EAC Must Intervene

Diabolic fighting, power hunger and selfishness the world is evidencing currently in South Sudan can’t go without a comment. The author of this article wrote an article “South Sudan: One tribe takes it all perilous” in July 2011. If anything, after all symptoms were clear that South Sudan would go solo, it was easy to foresee what would happen. It was easy to see uneasiness between Dinka and Nuer represented by two protagonists president Salva Kiir Mayardit (Dinka) and Dr. Riek Machar Teny Thurgon former vice president (Nuer). The rift and enmity between these two tribes had a long history. It existed even at the time of fighting for the liberation of South Sudan from North.
Machar once defected to join Khartoum thinking he’d use it to gain power. He didn't thanks to the late John Garang de Mabior’s vision that put a stop on Machar’s move. Machar later found that those he schemed to use were also scheming to use him for his peril. He thus returned home where he was acclaimed by Garang who had warned him of the danger he’d face by allying with their arch foe Khartoum.
After the liberation-cum-separation, Mayardit awarded Machar the position of vice president believing that Machar would see the light. Again, the urge and thirst for power did not escape Machar. For the whole time he was VP it seems he was working to see to it that his dreams of becoming the president of South Sudan are fulfilled.
It is sad to find that an educated person of Machar caliber would become so blind to think about his personal ambition that he sacrifices and destroys such youngest and newest nation on earth.  When South Sudan went solo many thought that it’d join the East African Community (EAC) Just like Burundi and Rwanda and use it to avert the danger it is currently facing. Things didn't work after Kenya Rwanda and Uganda tried to force their fast-tracked community under what came to be known as Coalition of Willing (CoW). This move, if anything, derailed South Sudan’s effort to get a hunch for her own home problems. You can see this in the fact that after fighting erupted, EAC hasn't legally been able to dispatch any force to neutralize the mutiny.  How will EAC interfere while it lacks jurisdiction?
Although the situation in South Sudan can be regarded as a passing cloud, the truth is. It is there to stay. It can even get worse. Who knows if Machar isn't in bed once again with Khartoum that's desperately looking for reliable means to keep on enjoying oil revenues from South Sudan? This holds water due to the fact that Kiir’s government's already entered in some agreements with Kenya to build a oil pipe and harbour at Lamu. This isn’t good news for Khartoum. Shall it get any puppet that can see to it that South Sudan's occupied by intraconflict and fighting, Khartoum will nary let such a puppet go. For, Khartoum knows for sure that once a country cascades into intrafighting or civil wars, it won’t be able to embark on such developmental projects.  The monies that would be spent on such projects will be diverted to servicing war.
So it can be argued that Machar is likely to get backing from North to see to it that he gets what he wants even though such a move can become counterproductive and short time strategy in the future. Desperate as Machar is, he’s likely to enter any alliance with whoever supports his ambitions even at the expense of the nation.  He's two major trump cards to play. One's tribal card and another is Khartoum desperation to see to it that it doesn’t lose oil revenues from South which pays for the use of the pipes which lie in North.
Economically and strategically, Kenya and Uganda even Ethiopia have no choice except to go in South Sudan and make sure that the work is  quickly and well done. For the duo are almost the suppliers of almost everything as far as commercial life of South Sudan is concerned. So too, it must be noted. If South Sudan becomes a failed state like Somalia, Kenya and Uganda will suffer most.
Again, going into the country in the region whereby such a move had already cost others is difficulty. Refer to what happened to Rwanda and Uganda when they went into DRC. As it was in the Somali case whereby Kenya was forced to go in to flush Al- Shabaab out, the duo might consult with the African Unity (AU) and the UN to  seek their authorization of their move. Again, looking at how Kenya is gasping for fresh air in Somalia chances are that Uganda needs to organize more forces and resources to take up the task. This is out of question that the duo must do something timely and quickly before their countries take a hit.
When the duo gets into South Sudan, they also must underscore the fact that the current imbroglio is bigger than Kiir and Machar. South Sudan has more than two tribes however bigger they might regard themselves.So too, they should consider the role Khartoum and its Arab allies play in the current impasse.
Source: The African Executive Magazine Jan., 1, 2014.

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