Opinion

Museveni: Meddler or Savior of South Sudan Nation

The President of Uganda, Yoweri Museveni is waging parallel initiative that aims to reunify SPLM at this time when the attention of South Sudanese is focused on the national dialogue, which is seen as offering a rare opportunity for resolution of the conflict threatening the integrity of the country. He is making serious consultations with the SPLM factions: SPLM-IG, SPLM-IO and SPLM-FD. Recently, he held a consultative meeting in Uganda with a group of politicians belonging to SPLM-FD. A few weeks ago, he came to Juba and carried out similar consultative meetings with the SPLM-IG.

Museveni’s move involving sudden change of attitude towards South Sudan political affairs is surprising the people of this country. Why wage parallel dialogue among SPLM politicians instead of supporting the national dialogue process? The Intra-SPLM Dialogue of January 21st 2015 led to the signing of Agreement on the Reunification of the SPLM in Arusha, Tanzania. This unification and reforms agreement was not implemented. Why?

Majority of SPLM politicians, particularly from SPLM-IO and SPLM-FD had wanted the IGAD peace agreement to be reached and implemented before any attempt to reunite and reform SPLM. The author finds logic in this line of reasoning. The three groups of SPLM: SPLM-IG, SPLM-IO and SPLM-FD are parties to the Agreement on the Resolution of the Conflict in South Sudan (ARCSS). Reuniting them at the moment is a violation of the ARCSS. The right time, if necessary, to unite and reform SPLM is at the end of the ARCSS. The national dialogue should be used to strengthen and operationalized the ARCSS as it has resolved a great deal of issues. An issue that has been resolved in the ARCSS should only be part of the agenda of the national dialogue if it is not implemented, and in this case, the dialogue participants are under obligation to recommend to the TGoNU for its immediate implementation. Instead the dialogue participants should focus much attention on issues that have not been covered by the ARCSS.

For the success of national dialogue processes, the organizers have the greatest role to play. They must not entertain any parallel initiative like that being pursued by President Museveni. The author gives a credit to Museveni’s political account for his huge and remarkable contribution in the liberation of South Sudan from Khartoum’s tyrannical regime. History has recorded him as the savior of South Sudan nation. He was consistently working hard to salvage the people of South. But the current inconsistent behavior of this great man towards the politics in South Sudan has forced the author to debit his political account. He has a debit balance in his political account in South Sudan.

Museveni is no longer enjoying the respect of majority of people in South Sudan like in the time of liberation struggle. Why should Museveni’s behavior towards the situation in our country change? This is simply because of geopolitical benefits Uganda gets from our country. Indeed, Museveni sees the conflict in our country through geopolitical interest. Too much emphasis on geopolitical benefits accruing from Ugandan’s trade deals with South Sudan has jeopardized his ability to diagnose precisely the prevailing realities. Given Museveni’s inconsistent and wavering position, the author does not see him as having good intention towards peace and stability in the country. It can be correctly stated that he is more of a meddler than a savior to the suffering people. Let him be stopped from meddling in the affairs of our country!

The author appeals to organizers of the national dialogue to isolate Museveni’s parallel initiative. The process of unifying SPLM should be handled in the post national dialogue period. The conflict in South Sudan is beyond the boundaries of SPLM. It is a chronic conflict having multiple root causes. The comprehensive and sustainable solution to the conflict can only be worked out when the people of South Sudan dialogue among themselves and reach a common ground of understanding. The credible national dialogue that reinforced the ARCSS is the only surest way of reaching just peace!

By Christopher Sebit                           

sebitomini@gmail.com

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