The Long Walk To Peace In South Sudan

Dr. Saka Ssali, host and managing editor of Voice of America (VOA) “Straight Talk Africa” weekly programme on Wednesday 27th April 2016, called on President Salva kiir of South Sudan and the Rebel opposition leader, Dr. Riek Machar to put their ethnic and political differences behind them and together walk the long walk to peace for social and economic development of the embattled oil rich young African nation.

The veteran American journalist made this call when he moderated the discussion on South Sudan with his guests (Ambassador Garang.D. Akuong- South Sudan Envoy to the United States of America, Mr. John Tanza-Host, VOA South Sudan in Focus and Mr. Reath.M. Tang- North American SPLA/M opposition representative.

The guests in their discussion on the way forward for South Sudan in the implementation of the peace accord signed by the two leaders in August, 2015 were unanimous in their opinion, that the two year civil war retarded economic growth of the country, resulted into death and displacement of many people, put the country in huge debt with a large population of the people facing chronic starvation.

In view of the hardship and suffering of the war faced by the people, they believed that South Sudan needs peaces for the formation of a government of national unity to implement the Ethiopia peace agreement deal to enhance reconstruction, healing, social and economic development of the war torn country.

They called on the two leaders to close ranks and work together for peace to move the nation forward.

The discussants agreed that within the thirty (30) months formation and working of the Unity government, the two leaders must let peace rein in the coutry to prepare the minds of the people and make appropriate preparation for a national general election to forestall the growth of a viable democracy in the country to enable the people choose their leaders by way of the ballot box.

The United Nations, America and African Leaders have worked out the talk and have amicably settled the civil war that almost divided the country two years after independence from Sudan in 2011.

Reports from Juba, the capital city of South Sudan indicated that security is still tense with the presence soldiers war weapons almost everywhere and people are scared to move about freely.

President Kiir is of the opinion that he can not alone bring peace to the country without the support of the opposition leader. Riek Machar and his followers. After a long delay , Mr. Kiir eventually met with the security request of Dr. Machar, that his soldiers must be on ground with their fighting weapons before he could return to join the new government in the country.

The long awaited opposition leader, Dr. Machar flew into Juba on 26th April 2016 with grate apology to the government and people for his lateness. He was met on arrival at the airport by jubilant supporters shouting the slogan,” We want a united South Sudan.”

He was driven straight to the state house where the 15 member governing council were meeting and he was immediately sworn in as the first vice president to join hands and steer the ship of the country.

Political observers around the world are however scared why Dr. Machar should hold President Kiir ramsome about still returning with a large number of soldiers and weaponry? With the new unity government place, the country should be demilitarise for the physical manifestation that the war is over and every body is a free citizen of the nation.

Many observers however believe that Dr. Machar’s return to take up his former frontline position as one of the foundation leaders in the country will forestall harmony, peaceful co-existence and support of the opposition group for the task of moving the nation into limelight.

South Sudan has reached the dawn of a new era for peace, unity and rapid growth. The new national government of unity must quickly and successfully work to meet the aspiration of the people, gladden the hearts of the founding fathers and make their freedom fight and struggle meaningful to the world.

Disclaimer: "The views/contents expressed in this article are the sole responsibility of the author(s) and do not necessarily reflect those of The Nigerian Voice. The Nigerian Voice will not be responsible or liable for any inaccurate or incorrect statements contained in this article."

Articles by Babatunde Joseph Oduntan