National, News

No hopes on Nairobi peace talks- Analyst

By Bida Elly David


South Sudan politicians have demonstrated worries over Kiir’s invitation to Kenya for mediation of peace talks with holdout groups, saying it won’t yield any fruit.

It has been a number of years that the government of South Sudan and the holdout groups have been in continuous violations of talks as both parties object to reaching consensus.

James Boboya, a South Sudan political analyst, disagreed with the move, saying it won’t succeed as some holdout groups and other peace partners may not turn up.

“Thomas Cirillo may not be able to come to Nairobi because of that process again, as May many other political parties. I mean, the military parties that are part of this process may not be able to come,” he opined.

Boboya stated that the proposed Nairobi peace talks may only favor Paul Malong and his military organization since he is already in Nairobi.

“This move will only give chances to those military organizations that are in Nairobi, and probably one of them is actually Gen. Paul Malong, who becomes more advantageous because he’s already in Nairobi, and it’s just a matter of engaging with the government and then agreeing on some of these matters,” he explained.

“So probably one thing that the government is doing is that they would want it to use Kenya as a way to bring about peace in South Sudan, but largely it is to say, look, if you want peace, come to Kenya,” the analyst lamented.

Mr. Boboya slammed the two parties for jeopardizing the holistic Rome peace talks, saying it would have been the right one since it involves the church.

“The reason Rome was chosen for the mediation process between the SSOMA older groups and the government was because the mediation process was going to be a church-led process,” he said.

He added that Rome also became a very important place for the peace process because it provided a neutral ground between the different entities, be they the holdout groups or the government of South Sudan.

Moreover, Boboya argued that the Kenyan peace talks may not be so neutral due to conflicts of interest compared to St. Egidio.

He stated that the mediators initially chosen for the St. Egidio talks were neutral in nature, doing their job diligently to achieve lasting peace in South Sudan.

He said the talks would have prospered since there has been a religious relationship established between the office of the Pope and the peace partners in South Sudan.

“Because of the quest for peace in South Sudan, the Catholic Church committed itself to mediating this process through the St. Egidio mechanism.

Boboya rather encouraged the continuation of the Rome peace process, urging the opponents of its timeliness.

“My message is that the government has to really show that it’s interested in peace, and not only peace, but genuine peace, and anybody who is holding a gun out there and willing to bring about peace to South Sudan should commit,” he echoed.

“We really want to make sure there’s a holistic and comprehensive peace in South Sudan so that we can begin to develop this country moving forward, because that’s enough.

The political analyst called for total commitment from both parties to peace and its implementation.

“Our resources need to be devoted to building outstanding provisions for the peace agreement. One of the outstanding issues is the arrangement process that needs to be completed. We need to see a unified army finalized and deployed. We need to see salaries for civil servants,” he added.

With the talks that never materialized during the St. Egidio in Rome, President Kiir made a shift, asking Kenyan President William Ruto to rather help midwife the talks.

Early this week, President Ruto, following President Kiir’s call, demonstrated free will to mediate the talks between the government and the holdout combatants.

Ruto stated his position in a statement issued by his office this week.

“I have also personally reached out to all the hold-out opposition parties under the South Sudan Opposition Movements Alliance, expressing my desire to ensure an all-inclusive and equitable mediation,” he stated in the statement.

He said all necessary arrangements to welcome the two parties for talks in Kenya are underway.

“Kenya is currently making the necessary arrangements to welcome the parties to Nairobi for pre-mediation consultations. We invite all friends of South Sudan, including IGAD, the East African Community, the UN, the AU, the Quad, and all partner countries, to support this noble effort,” he continued.




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