REFLECTIONS ON THE IGAD PEACE PROCESS

The following statements are a collection of remarks made by members of civil society, religious communities and academia as they discussed and evaluated the IGAD peace process that took place after the December 2013 civil war took place during a meeting that took place in Juba.

“The partiality of the IGAD mediation is linked to geopolitical dynamics. The mediators are overseen by their heads of state who have their social, political and economic interests at heart. The envoys are shuttling between their heads of state and the mediation process. The envoys are not free; they are under constant scrutiny by the respective heads of state.”  – Civil society member

“The envoys were appointed, and not on a basis of consultation: ‘the people of South Sudan, and the Government of South Sudan, have not been asked if they accept the mediators or not.”

“We will never achieve peace if you don’t speak the truth.”

“South Sudan is landlocked. We need to recognise the interconnectivity in the region within any solution. The cost of war affects the whole region. Stop looking at our neighbours as waiting to loot us. The region is not anti-South Sudan. Stop thinking that way. They see us as a baby that needs to be supported. Don’t cry out. Why are you becoming a victim? If you call yourself a victim people will take advantage of you.”
Representative of Academia in South Sudan

“Because people have their own interests they will never allow us to reach peace.”

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“We need those who are neutral and without fear. If we rely on the government and the opposition we will never reach peace.”

“IGAD members have interest in this country. Unless that interest is diffused, we will never have peace.”– Government representative

“We want the discussions to be done in Juba so we can threaten the negotiators.”
– South Sudanese woman

“Uganda, Ethiopia, you are dictatorships. If South Sudan is able to become a democracy you will be threatened by South Sudan.”   – South Sudanese media representative

“There should be a time limit [on negotiations]. They have reduced our lives by many already.”

“Civil society, they are dormant; they need to wake up and speak out against wrong doing and rising prices.”

On the issue of the leaked AU Commission of Inquiry report:

“With due respect, you may not know the impact of the leak [of the AU Commission of Inquiry Report]. It has created mistrust and may encourage people not to speak in future. Whoever leaked it, it is presumed to be someone from the Commission that leaked it. It is diluting the whole issue of the call for transitional justice. The AU and the Commission cannot distance themselves from the leak.”   – Representative of Academia in South Sudan

OTHER VOICES

  • Reflections on Issues of Justice
  • Voices from Civil Society
  • Women’s Voices

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