Opinion: Tabuley and Ayuen swallowed a nasty first hand taste peace
When Khartoum peace deal was inked between the peace partners, it was received with mixed expectations whether it will hold water or not. The body language of President Salva Kiir Mayardit suggests that peace is nasty. It is one thing to sign an agreement, but another to implement it. Right in Khartoum, President Salva Kiir Mayardit refused handshake with his brother Riak Machar Teny. Handshake is a core of that peace deal in Khartoum because it is sprouted from the Uhuru-Raila brotherly handshake in Nairobi.
Secondly, President Salva Kiir’s embarrassing words to the splinter group of NAS headed by Julius Tabuley and Ayuen Michael who deposed their chairman Gen. Thomas Cirilo and defected to sign peace deal in Khartoum received a nasty first taste of peace. They were expecting to be received as peace seekers.
Paradoxically, President Salva Kiir Mayardit humiliated them in his speech after landing in Juba to address the people who want to hear the words of peace. Instead of promoting peace message, the NAS-IG members tasted the smell of the rat and they were reduced to the level of opportunists other than peace seekers, and that they were behind time. I wish they would reply him back that they were not behind time, but they were in time for peace, but not for positions.
President Kiir has portrayed himself as the President of Monyjang (Dinka) instead of all tribes of South Sudan when he ask Ayuen Michael an ethnic question that “why did you joined Thomas Cirilo who was fighting the Monyjang?” “We in Bahr el Ghazal have not joined people who are killing people”.
Such oratory is a public proclamation that Gen. Salva Kiir Mayardit, the President of Republic of South Sudan is the chief progenitor of tribalism. He has not treated the two as South Sudanese, but he look at them on ethnic lens. Julius Tabuley was portrayed as an Equatorian, he has to swallow the nasty pill of being called a killer of Jieng, and Ayuen Michael was viewed not in the lens of Dinka tribe, but he was reduced to a sectional Dinka Bor from Kolnyang, he has to swallow the bitter pill because he is not a Dinka from Bahr el Ghazal. With that statement, the splinter group of NAS-IG will be treated as political underdogs who are not coming for peace but seeking for positions, it is sending message that they should return to the bush. What kind of president is that who is making a coup against himself and the public?
The people of South Sudan should know that President Kiir has no good faith in that peace; he is just luring the opposition groups to sign a peace that he will break himself, and the first hand taste of breaking that peace is the public humiliation of the splinter group of NAS-IG. What will guarantee that President Kiir will honor the implementation of the peace in near future?
It is obvious that the interest of the people of South Sudan is peace, but it must be a genuine peace that brings total stability in the country. It is incumbent upon South Sudanese to discern the speech and body language of President Kiir whether he will honor the peace or dishonor it.
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