South Sudan rebel chief, Riek Machar, blames Uganda’s President Yoweri Museveni for disrupting the IGAD peace process.
Machar told SPLM radio that the proposals in an agreement that was being discussed at the peace talks with President Salva Kiir have been “hijacked” in the Ugandan capital, Kampala.
What Museveni proposed
At the recent Kampala IGAD Summit on South Sudan attended by Ethiopian Prime Minister, Hailemariam Desalegn, President Uhuru Kenyatta and South Sudan Foreign Minister, Marial Benjamin, Museveni made his own proposals that arm-twisted the rebels.
According to an internal memo seen by Insider, Uganda’s vision of resolving the current south Sudan conflict is reflected in a “Kampala Agreement of the Frontline States of the Heads of State and Governments for Resolution of South Sudan Conflict”.
Held on Monday August 10, 2015 at State House Entebbe, the meeting resolved thus: there shall be Power Sharing at National Level (A. 53% GRSS, B. 33% SPLM /SPLA io, C. 7% FDS, D. 7% PP).
It rejected power sharing in states and called for the return to status of election.
It rejected demilitarisation of Juba and other areas saying security arrangements would be decided by the Chief of Staffs of Ethiopia, Kenya, Sudan and Uganda with respect to Chaired Unify Command of the two Armies, reintegration of the troops, time frame of the unification of the army.
Machar rejects the proposals
According to Machar, the new proposals go against the IGAD PLUS Draft Agreement on South Sudan as a basis for negotiation.
He blames Museveni and Kiir for changing the text of proposals previously agreed to by both parties, ahead of the resumption of the peace talks.
“I was informed about changes in the proposal by Ethiopia’s foreign minister, Seyoum Mesfin, who is also a mediator of the peace negotiations,” Machar told radio SPLM.
He said the changed and hijacked proposals favour the Juba government and that there “was a provision in the peace agreement that says the national capital shall be demilitarized. … This has been changed. To us this is a very critical issue; this is a deal breaker”.
“The second issue is that the power sharing is limited to the national institutions, and I believe to the executives alone. There would be no power sharing in the states,” said Machar.
Machar said according to the changes made in Kampala by President Museveni, I there will be no peace agreement at all.
“And also, the security arrangement would be left to the four chiefs of staff of the four countries, and that is Uganda, Kenya, Ethiopia and Sudan. Our fate cannot be determined by other people; we should negotiate it ourselves. This is another deal breaker.”
“The whole thing to me is off, because what would be discussed on the 17th? Are we going to discuss the Kampala agreement or are we going to discuss the proposed compromised agreement which was delivered by the IGAD Plus? There seems now confusion,” said Machar.
As predicted, Kiir refused to show up at the resumption of the peace negotiations in Ethiopia’s capital, Addis Ababa, on Friday prompting the regional bloc, the Intergovernmental Authority on Development (IGAD) to halt negotiations.
Juba says that since Machar’s Generals Peter Gatdet and Gathoth Gatkuoth have defected and denounced his leadership, Kiir is not sure who to negotiate with as his rival is nolonger in control of the opposition.
Last evening, Kiir basing on that, pulled out of the peace talks despite the August deadline set by US president, Barack Obama.
Machar has now written to IGAD expressing disappointment at Kiir’s actions saying Museveni’s meddling will escalate rather than end the war.
The John Garang’s son, Mabior Garang de Mabior, reminded the Yoweri Museveni Adminsitration to understand that “we are not negotiating a surrender…to paraphrase the late Dr. Garang: …the cost of not signing and implementing the proposed IGAD Plus Agreement will be higher than the cost implementing it…”