Peace Agreement in South Sudan: Positive News or Another Impending Failure?

By Scott Morgan

Once again, with the blessing of regional powers Sudan and Uganda, there has been a peace agreement signed between the major warring parties in South Sudan. While there was some optimism on the Streets of Juba there are some inherent flaws in the deal.

First of all, this pact is almost verbatim the 2015 Power Sharing Accord that collapsed literally before the ink was even dry on the signatures. That shows the level of distrust that currently exists between President Salva Kiir and Former First Vice President Riek Machar. If that deal collapsed back in 2015, why are there expectations that the current deal will actually work?

Speaking of the mistrust, why would Riek Machar be brought back into the Country after three years and resume his position in Government? He was accused of initiating a Coup Attempt after Meeting with Sudanese President Omar Bashir. Shortly after that meeting was concluded the violence broke out. So, it appears that bad behavior does get rewarded especially when you have IGAD and UN Peacekeepers in your pocket.

One key flaw to this accord is not all of the groups have signed it. Some of the opposing groups have splintered into several factions. Some of the leaders, such as former General Thomas Cirillo, who have received weapons from Khartoum have stated they have no intention of signing the deal due to a lack of “Federalism”. Some analysts won’t take comments like this seriously - much like the idea of President Kiir and Machar have reached a deal and then feel that the task is completed.

Another point of contention is that the security of the Oil Fields in South Sudan will be entrusted to Sudan. This is a bad move. Before South Sudan gained Independence in 2011 these fields were a major source of revenue for Khartoum.

This deal has the potential of having Khartoum placing an Economic Noose around the South Sudan Economy. 

That means Bashir can effectively control the actions of Juba. His agent on the Ground will be the newly reminted First Vice President Machar.

IGAD, the regional body, will deploy an undetermined number of forces on the ground to ensure that the situation on the ground does not explode into Civil War yet again. Some factions do not want any more foreign troops on the ground either. It will be interesting to see how this plays out on the ground and at the United Nations.

This is just one phase of a complex plan designed to restore peace to the long suffering nation of South Sudan. Next on the agenda is to formally sign a peace accord that will finally bring an end to this conflict. Then the next phase begins.

That phase will see an interim Government between President Kiir and First Vice President Machar formed within 90 days of the signing of that deal. This Government will be able to rule for 36 months before any elections are held. So, at the earliest the next elections would not be held until late in the summer of 2022 at the earliest. That is a very optimistic scenario that is being portrayed to move the Country forward from its previous era of never ending violence.

(Image: South Sudan's Coat of Arms - Wikipedia)

[The views expressed in this publication are solely those of the author(s) and do not necessarily reflect the views of Dissecting Society. © 2007-2018 Author(s) ALL RIGHTS RESERVED]


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