United Nation should replicate East Timor in South Sudan

Monday July 16 2018

South Sudanese peace agreement

Presidents Salva Kiir of South Sudan, Omar al Bashir of Sudan and former South Sudanese vice president Riek Machar in Khartoum on June 27, 2018 during the signing of the ceasefire documents. PHOTO | ASHRAF SHAZLY | AFP 

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The Khartoum Declaration on South Sudan will come to nothing. Why was South Sudan welcomed into the East African Community with no conditions for peace?

Despite benchmarking studies EAC integration experts carried out of the European Union, the clause on non-automatic accession escaped them.

Veteran scribe Charles Onyango-Obbo suggests a realistic way out: That the United Nations and the African Union take over the affairs of South Sudan and steer it to prosperity. And he is right; the Intergovernmental Authority for Development is just buying time.

South Sudan has a sizable intelligentsia and experts across the globe who can spearhead the exploitation of the country's vast resources to the benefit of its citizens.

The war-scarred generation will only fuel perpetual conflict, since this is the only life they know.

That the militias fighting on the government’s side actually receive monthly subsistence from the oil revenue, means they have no incentive to quit fighting. It’s not their fault, but neither is it their right to receive that money.


It is time now to invest that oil revenue in transformative agricultural and industrialisation.

All fighters should be demobilised and deployed to farms and schools as deemed appropriate. Igad can only be relevant by helping train a new army for South Sudan, from a new generation.

In the meantime, an UN-AU military and police should be keeping the peace, as the South Sudan diaspora intelligentsia lead the economic reconstruction.

During the World Refugee Summit held in Kampala in June, UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres urged Igad member states to end the South Sudan crisis. Yet the UN has the military, financial and leadership expertise to end this conflict. The UN should take an active lead in restoring sanity and accountability among South Sudanese leaders.

As Onyango-Obbo once proposed, all the feuding generals should be made to leave their respective power bases. Each will be given a chance to live in a foreign capital of their choice, outside Africa, and thus rendered militarily ineffective.

The UN, working with Igad, Comesa and the EAC, will set up a transitional but mandated government led by experts in various fields.

This UN Government for South Sudan will embark on rebuilding the country using oil revenue. And to ensure lasting peace, the current generation, which has known nothing but war, will be re-educated into a productive force in schools and colleges across Africa, and systematically deployed back home.

The UN Government for South Sudan shall run the country for 20 years, during which a new generation of leaders will be deliberately created, using the nucleus of the current South Sudanese diaspora to turn the re-educated generation of warriors into producers.

A new political leadership, army, police, civil service, corporate leadership, academia, clerics, and other leaders is what South Sudan needs and this cannot come out the countless so-called peace treaties signed in regional capitals.

The buck stops with the UN. South Sudan is ready to be the next example the UN’s success in East Timor.