14th Aug, 2018
Re: We shall Rally behind Khartoum Peace Agreement
The Unity State Community Association in Kenya was established in 2010 to organize and mobilize the people of Unity State in Kenya ahead of the historical referendum that brought our country independence to fruition on 9th, July, 2011. Soon after the successful completion of this land mark exercise, we regroup further and decided that this body should be continued to foster peace and collegiality among its members.
All this long, it has been medium for social interaction which link us with our people back at home in Unity State. Ancient Writer and Thinker, Aristotle says if an individual is not able to live and socially interact with other human beings in society, or has no need because he is self- sufficient, that particular individual is not human being, and either he must be beast or god.
Under its legal document, the Unity State community Association in Kenya is none political and none profit making organization but rather a social welfare Association formed to preach peace, cultural activities and education as well as harnessing the spirit of one love and patriotism in South Sudan and beyond.
With these in mind, we vowed to respond to a call to action for common good. The fact that we are none political entity does not reduce us to mere spectators who sits on the fence in the face of gross human rights violations in South Sudan and Unity State in particular.
In other words, we cannot avoid or refrain from debating matters of national importance. We have always paid close attention to the happenings in South Sudan. We normally react and respond to any moves that contradict and contravene peaceful coexistence, human rights and fundamental freedoms. More often than seldom, we not only regret but condemn the continuation of war and perpetuation of the culture of impunity in our country.
The report saying that the ongoing conflict is between Nuer and Dinka is false narrative peddled by those who either want to exonerates the perpetrators of war or defeat the cause of justice. This unverified claim had made many innocent members of these community became casualties of this war.
Currently, South Sudan has got only three main enemies whom we must fight to the end, and these are disease, poverty and ignorance. The fourth enemy to deal with frontally is corruption that has brought our country down to its knees. Morally, we cannot remain mum when we see deliberate attempts to claw back the gains of our liberation struggle whom many South Sudanese perished for. We are violently opposed to antidemocratic tendencies for it is the same style of leadership which forced us into exile in the first place.
Frankly, we are longing for a democratic leadership which thrives in social justice and any other things which are rooted in fairness, rule of law and constitutionalism in South Sudan.
Interestingly, aware that information is power, on 11th August, 2018 we organized an event dubbed ‘Peace Conference’ in Nairobi hotel under the theme: Briefing and Analysis on Khartoum Peace Agreement signed on 5th August, 2018.
We had invited Analysts who are well verse with the said accord: Author, Deng Vanang, war veteran, World Tiger, student leader, Matai Muon, University of Nairobi Post graduate student, Bol Luoy, Senior Youth of South Sudan representative, Benjamin Ubur and others Youth Leaders and compatriots to tell us the pros and cons of Khartoum peace agreement so that we can make inform choices collectively and individually.
In our six hours analysis, the issues of the controversial 32 states and boundaries, security arrangement plus federal system of governance are often raise by the speakers and listeners as ones which can prevent us from achieving lasting peace.
These issues were bracketed and termed as emotive topics which need to be keenly looked at objectively to avoid recurrence of war. Other than the above topics, there was great worry on the silence of the parties and IGAD mediators on the root causes of the conflict.
Surprisingly, there was no mention of the report of African Union commission of inquiry throughout the talks. The million dollar question is: has the work of the Obasanjo-led commission swept under the carpet by IGAD? To be honest, unless or until these four issues are factored in the agreement, they might force us to the drawing board sooner than later. However, the good thing is that peace negotiations are still ongoing. We believe these obstacles and outstanding issues can be address amicably on the negotiation tables as time goes.
The moment these issues are address by all parties to the conflict we can thereafter say it is a just peace. In spite of these pending issues, we saw the need to rally behind our leaders who signed the Khartoum peace agreement.
We shall do it for the sake of our people who yearn for peace. As matter of fact, the People of South Sudan are weeping from the internally displaced camps and elsewhere calling for a break from war. We must listen to their voices. We thank our leaders who have heard their cry by signing the Khartoum peace agreement on the aforesaid date. Were it not for our leaders who had shown political good will and compromise, the Khartoum peace agreement would have not been signed. We also thanked everyone who fought bravely and tirelessly for this peace to come not forgetting the mediators who spend sleepless night writing those papers.
Those who bring peace in this time of turmoil and turbulence like Ethiopian Prime Minister Dr. Abiya Ahmed are leaders whose time has come in this region. The youth are looking unto peace makers in this very challenging period. Whatever that will prevent this peace we shall not come from us. Real fighter knows the right time for war and time for peace.
Our mere support for this peace is not sufficient; we must roll up our socks and push for the implementation of the Khartoum peace agreement to the letter and spirit.
On the same note, we shall keep encouraging each other to tune down social media rhetoric and uses such platforms to propagate for peace knowing very well that those who want peace must be too prepare for war. We shall try our best to lobby for the quickest implementation of the Khartoum peace agreement knowing that the signing of the peace agreement is one thing and implementation of the same is another.
In the same spirit we shall reach out to other local communities for dialogue and reconciliation at the grass root level so that this unity pact can hold and last.
We had called it enough is enough. If this opportunity presents itself to make peace, we must be makes this peace succeeds collectively and individually.
Finally, in our briefing and analysis, we learned that the Adisa Ababa peace agreement 2015 was far much better than the Khartoum peace agreement 2018.
Of course, the Khartoum Peace Agreement 2018 and Adis Abab peace agreement 2018 cannot be one and the same for one reason or another. Despite the disparities in the two documents, peace must be accorded a chance to prevail over war.
Chairman, Unity State Community in Kenya