Question: The Ethiopian Foreign Minister, Adhanom has declared that negotiators from the South Sudanese government and the rebels loyal to Riek Machar will arrive in Addis Ababa today 01/01/2014 for peace talks. He then added, “I am worried that the continued fighting in Bor might scupper the start of these talks”. Attack and retreat fighting is ongoing, sometimes it is controlled by one side and then by the other… South Sudanwitnesses since 15/12/2013 fierce battles that are feared to turn into a civil war, which began after Salva Kiir accused his deputy Machar of launching a coup against him.
The question is: What is behind all this? Is it to do with the colonial rivalry between America and Europe on the region? Or is it a local tribal rivalry?
To answer that we should present the local reality and what is related to it, and then the international position and its attachments:
1. It is known to everyone that the United States is the one that oversaw the implementation of the separation of Southern Sudan and the establishment of a state in it. This was after it created a separatist movement called the Sudan People’s Liberation Movement in 1983, led by its agent, John Garang, to work to contain all the rebels and their movements in a single movement. On the other hand, America brought Omar al-Bashir and his clique into power in 1989, to concentrate its influence in the country, and then to implement the idea of separating the South. That’s what it was, and Sudan, both north and south, became a settlement of U.S. influence… Nevertheless, Europe, particularly British because of its influence in the former Sudan and their agents there, has kept trying to intervene whenever possible, to regain its influence in Sudan, or at least to share with America, even a little influence there.
2. It is also well known that Britain has been the forerunner to the idea of separation before America, and rang a tune of separation in Sudan since 1955… Then when America established the Garang’s movement in 1983, Britain tried to have its men in this movement. Riek Machar was in that period in Britain studying industrial engineering and strategic planning… He returned to Sudan to join this movement since it was founded. It happened between him and the movement leader at that time, John Garang, conflict and fighting that led him to leave the movement in 1991. John Garang accused Riek Machar of being a British agent. Riek Machar’s wife, Emma McCune was English and had been working under the cover of a British relief organization. She was accused by John Garang as being working with the British Intelligence and Garang named the War that took place between him and Machar the Emma war. She was killed in 1993 in a traffic accident in Nairobi. Machar has tried to find his way to secede away from Garang’s movement and to form a separatist movement, especially in 1997 when he began talks with Omar al-Bashir as an independent separatist… But he did not succeed in this… The People’s Liberation Movement, led by Garang remained the prominent and the influential one. Hence, Machar, motivated by the British, tried to return to it, and because of the heavy influence of his tribe “Nuer”, America has agreed to his return even though they know his reality, and instructed Garang to consent to his return in order to control and contain him under his leadership. This is because America knows his weight because of the existence of the tribe behind him, which is the second largest tribe in the south. However, the differences between them have continued within the movement, when Garang did not appoint him as a second man in the movement, but instead he appointed, Salva Kiir, whose rank in the movement was less than his.
3. The latest fighting has spread to areas other than the capital, it extended to the town of Bor, the capital of Jonglei and Torit, the capital of Eastern Equatoria State… Reuters reported on 18/12/2013 a spokesman for South Sudan’s army confirming that the army lost control of the City Bor, then the army retook it, then Machar forces gained control over much of it as reported in the news on 01/01/2014, and just shortly the news quoted that Machar forces controls it after the withdrawal of Salva Kiir army.
The government of South Sudan has admitted on 26/12/2013 that the rebels have seized some oil wells and took control of half of Malakal, the capital of Upper Nile State, a major oil producing state. While a presidential spokesman in South Sudan said that their troops are fighting to prevent rebels allied to Machar from setting control on the other part. The battles affect half of the seceded country, that is five states out of ten states, namely Jonglei, Unity, Central Equatoria, Upper Nile and Eastern Equatoria, indicating that things have gone too far, where rebel forces take control of cities and regions, and after they lose them, they are trying to regain them… All of this also suggests that things may not end easily… The Secretary- General of the United Nations after three days of intensified fighting has said he was “deeply concerned about the situation in South Sudan. He stated that it is a political crisis that needs to be dealt with quickly through political dialogue, and that there are a risk of the violence spreading to other states”, he added: “we have seen signs of that”. (BBC 18/12/2013)
4. The attitude of America, the one with influence there, towards these events is that it showed great disturbance, and it moved quickly to contain the situation:
A. President Barack Obama sent a message to the Congress in which he said, “I am following the situation and I work to protect the citizens and property, including our embassy in South Sudan” (AFP 23/12/2013). On 21/12/2013 four U.S. soldiers were wounded in a gunfire that hit their aircraft near the airport in Bor. The American President in his letter has explained that “these soldiers were among a group of about 46 military arrived on board on CV-22 Osprey aircrafts to take part in the evacuation of American citizens from South Sudan.” (Reuters 20/12/2013). He also said: “The latest fighting threatens to plunge South Sudan back into the dark days of its past”. He stressed: “Today, the future of the country is in danger”, adding that, “the United States will remain a firm partner to Juba”. (BBC 20/12/2013).
B. The White House said in a statement after Obama’s meeting with his national security adviser, Susan Rice, and other senior aides that “any attempt to seize power through the use of military force will result in the end of longstanding support from the United States and the international community”. The statement said “Obama stressed that the leaders of South Sudan have a responsibility to support our efforts to protect American personnel and citizens and pointed out that this conflict can only be resolved peacefully through negotiations”.(U.S. Associated Press 22/12/2013).
C. Kerry said while he was sending Donald Booth as his special envoy to South Sudan, “Now is the time, South Sudan’s leaders to rein in armed groups under their control, immediately cease attacks on civilians and end the chain of retributive violence between different ethnic and political groups.” He said: “I called President Kiir and urged him as a leader of all of South Sudan, to protect all South Sudanese citizens and work toward reconciliation.” (France 24, 21/12/2013). Jennifer Psaki, U.S. State Department spokeswoman, said “Foreign Minister John Kerry clearly said that continued violence will eliminate the hard-earned progress of independence”. (BBC and the Associated Press 22/12/2013).
D. U.S. envoy Donald Booth and Salva Kiir met and discussed “a range of measures to stop the devastating violence in southern Sudan.” The U.S. envoy, Booth, said that “Salva Kiir is ready to begin talks with Riek Machar to end the crisis without preconditions at a time that will be determined by his counterpart.” (German Agency dpa 24/12/2013). Booth explained that he met with 11 members of the SPLM (the Sudan People’s Liberation Movement) detained in Juba, and confirmed that these people are safe and treated well.
E. The agency reported from the U.S. Ministry of Defense “that the United States moved forces from Spain to Djibouti to be ready to provide assistance when requested.”
F. The position of the American agents regarding South Sudan is on the side of Salva Kiir, particularly Uganda, Ethiopia and the United Nations:
President Yoweri Museveni has said that his country will support the mechanisms put forward by IGAD to reach a peaceful settlement of the crisis in the State of South Sudan. Museveni threatened to prosecute Vice President Riek Machar wherever he is if he refuses these mechanisms. (Jazeera.net 30/12/2013). According to the Ugandan newspaper New Vision on Friday, 20/12/2013, Ugandan soldiers were deployed in Juba at the request of the Government of South Sudan in order to restore security to the capital, which is witnessing unrest. The newspaper said that the first unit of the Ugandan Special Forces have contributed to the establishment of security at the airport, and helped to evacuate Ugandan nationals from Juba after clashes between rival units in the army of South Sudan in recent days. (Al-Jazeera on Saturday, 21/12/2013).
– As for Ethiopia, the foreign minister, Adhanom who is the head of the IGAD delegation seemed keen to conduct negotiations in Ethiopia, treating Salva Kiir as the president of the state and Machar as a rebel or defector! All this makes the balance during the negotiations in favour of Salva Kiir.
– As for the United Nations, which is driven primarily by America, its Security Council has decided to double the international peace forces in southern Sudan from 6 thousand to 12,500, indicating that things are seen as serious… The United Nations’ delegate in Juba, Hilda Jenson said on 25/12/2013 that what is happening in the country, is a power struggle and the fighting cannot be considered along the ethnic lines, and she stressed the need for the parties to sit at the negotiating table to devise an effective solutions to the crisis ahead (Reuters, 25/12/2013). She also threatened that the United Nations may resort to the use of force to protect civilians in accordance with Chapter VII of the Charter of the Organization…
All this indicates that these events are not in favour of America and is detrimental to its influence in this region and it has threatened the lives of U.S. soldiers. Therefore it took action to the highest levels and threatened to end support for South Sudan. The separation of South Sudan was the most important accomplishments of America under Obama, and therefore America does not want to lose this achievement shortly after and in the era of Obama. This shows that there is a serious threat to America to impose its influence in the region after it got concessions, considered as treason, from the regime of Omar al-Bashir that it never dreamed of, it was able to implement its colonial project to separate the south from Sudan and put it under its influence and colonization.
This is in addition to the positions of the agents of America and the United Nations discussed above, they are working hard to press on Machar to negotiate or they threat him by force and Chapter VII.
5. The European position has been observed in the interest in the European media, especially the French and the English who were keen in Riek Machar and interested to conduct interviews with him and focus on what he has done from the first day; promoting the fighting between him and the government as an ethnic or tribal one in order to inflame the conflict and exploit it in their favour against America; which was able to drive away the Europeans’ influence to a large extent, and take control of the events and stopping the Europeans from manipulating the events and manufacturing them and participating in signing agreements and creating separate states there:
A. The BBC conducted an interview with Machar 18/12/2013 in which he said, “The violence that erupted in the capital, Juba, is the direct responsibility of Salva Kiir and he accused him of trying to cover the failure of his government by accusing Machar of a coup attempt.” He accused Kiir of ‘inciting ethnic and tribal violence.’ He added that “there was no coup attempt and the fighting broke out because of a conflict between members of the Republican Guard.” The BBC added that the political tension in the country has escalated since Salva Kiir, President of South Sudan sacked his Vice President Riek Machar, last July. Reuters reported on 26/12/2103 a call with Machar, saying, “I am in the bush and doing what I can to improve my position in the negotiations.”
B. Radio France International conducted an interview on 19/12/2013 with Riek Machar in which he said, “I call on the Sudan People’s Liberation Movement and its ruling political party and its military wing (People’s Army, the armed forces in the country) to overthrow Salva Kiir from his position as the head of the country.” He said, “If he wants to negotiate on the terms of stepping down from power, we agree. But he has to leave, because he cannot afford to maintain the unity of our people, especially when he goes to kill people like flies and tries to ignite ethnic war.” This was in response to the offer to negotiate, which was introduced by Salva Kiir yesterday. France International reported on 25/12/2013 Machar saying: “Yes, we are ready for talks and have formed the delegation.”
This attention from the European media to Riek indicates a positive outlook by Europeans for the man and what he has done while the American media ignores him.
C. In addition to the action of the European media, Britain is moving via its agents in Kenya. The Kenyan President Uhuru Kenyatta arrived on 26/12/2013 to South Sudan for talks with President Salva Kiir. The Kenyan president who met with Salva Kiir in order to mediate said, “South Sudan is an emerging country and it should leave everything that will distance it from its development and to show wisdom and stop the loss of innocent lives.” (Reuters 26/12/2013) An innuendo and implicit accusation to Salva Kiir which indicates that Kenya’s position is anti Salva Kiir and in Riek Machar’s favour. This is an expression of the British position. Kenyan officials who are part of a group of ministerial mediation in eastern Africa said that they urged government forces and rebels in South Sudan who are loyal to Machar to the start negotiations on a neutral ground. The spokesman, the Kenyan Karnja Kibcho told reporters: “We believe that negotiation is the solution, and Kenya is ready to provide this opportunity” in Nairobi. He said, “Despite the fact that the two sides agreed to negotiations, it is still not clear the date and venue, the positions of each party is very strict.” (Dap 24/12/2013) and thus the British want to play an influential role through Kenya so that they can return to the South of Sudan.
6. From this review:
A. We find it likely that Britain lured Mashar and those with him to move and that there is a relationship between them, and Britain is working to return to South Sudan to play an influential role in it so that it will be able to restore its influence there. This is supported by the fact that Mashar’s movement greatly alarmed America and America moved at the highest levels and quickly from the first day to contain the situation, and threatened to halt aid to the south if the ruler changed and the putschists and rebels took control, and its airplanes were subject to fire and its soldiers were injured in the areas that Mashar took control of, as was reported by the press… and therefore America doubled the number of United Nations forces so that it would be able to control the situation.
B. It is clear that the issue is not a struggle between America’s agent for authority, but it is most likely a struggle between agents loyal to two different sides of imperialism. If this had been a struggle between agents loyal to one side of imperialism the issue would not have escalated to this extent. This knowing that America works to build the state of South Sudan that is not even two and a half years old, and it considers the separation of the south as one of Obama’s greatest accomplishments over his time in power, so it does not want the failure of this imperialist project to materialize, and in Obama’s own era.
C. It is evident that Salva Kiir is a true agent to America, and America wants to nominate him to another term in power and to reinforce his authority, and therefore it approved of his elimination of all those with aspirations for the presidency and all those dissentious to him, and they have a long lasting conflict with him, with Riek Machar at their head, and America agreed to their existence in what is called the Sudan People’s Liberation Movement with the intention of containing them and putting them under its supervision, because if they remained in different movements, then these movements outside of its control would be a gateway for rival European countries, especially Britain, and subsequently this would be a source of hindrance for America’s projects…
D. It is not likely that Britain will be successful in this movement to depose Salva Kiir and take America’s place, because America moved quickly and put all its weight behind thwarting this movement. This is in addition to the striking activity of its agents pertaining to this issue: Uganda, Ethiopia, the United Nations…. And as the head of the IGAD delegation, the Ethiopian Foreign Minister, announced, both sides have agreed to negotiations, so this means that the issue is tipped in favor of the government, because when negotiations are between the government and those opposed to the government they are called “insurgents”, so this means that the issue is tipped in favor of the government.
E. Europe, and especially Britain, will try everything they can to push Machar’s movement and his tribe to attain power-sharing…. Even if the chances of success in this are slim, because Kiir has absolutely refused in an earlier interview with Al-Jazeera saying “Machar must not be rewarded for his insurgency, and he has no right to power-sharing in the country.” (Al-Jazeera 1/1/2013), in addition to the extreme interest of America and its agents in supporting Kiir.
And therefore it is expected that the government of South Sudan will continue in the American line in a matter that will satisfy Machar because of the significance of his tribe, the Neur. Nevertheless, the fire will smoulder, and it might light up again due to any trigger, as is the case in the competition of the imperialists over areas of influence.
29 Safar 1435 AH