As South Sudan Urgently Negotiates Peace, Riek Machar Must Watch His Back While Dealing With Uganda’s Gen. Museveni


(By the look on Dr. Machar’s face in the photograph, during the handshake, it is clear he’s aware of what he’ll have to deal with. Left to right: Machar; Museveni; Sudan’s President Omar el-Bashir; and, Kiir).

[Speaking Truth To Power]

Poor South Sudan and its long suffering citizens.

In 2013 Ugandan Dictator Gen. Yoweri Museveni pushed South Sudan President Salva Kiir into trying to kill his Vice President Riek Machar who somehow survived and fled.

At the time of that political crisis in South Sudan Gen. Museveni’s army invaded to support Kiir and Human Rights Watch reported that it even used cluster bombs which are banned under international law.

Another peace deal was hatched out and Machar returned as Vice President. Museveni again pusher Kiir into trying to kill Machar. He and his wife Angelina Teny were hunted with helicopter gunships that dropped explosives. They somehow escaped but Machar was wounded. He went to South Africa for treatment and the corrupt Jacob Zuma –now former president– and ally of Gen. Museveni, placed him under house arrest.

Gen. Museveni escalated the brutal war in South Sudan and had citizens pushed to Uganda as refugees. He then cynically hosted a Global Solidarity Conference for refugees and invited world leaders including U.N. Secretary General Antonio Guterres. There was a call for $3 billion to be raised for the refugees. We warned in an editorial in September 2017, that Museveni’s regime would steal the money–it did not take rocket science and our prediction came true.

It was later revealed that the Museveni regime had grossly overestimated the 1 million refugees figure.

Recently Kenya’s leading Statesman, Raila Odinga, who is close to South African President Cyril Ramaphosa helped win the release of Riek Machar. The U.N. in a 2017 report had already stated that there can be no resolution of the South Sudan conflict without the involvement of Machar.

There are new rounds of negotiations whose proposals include:

1. Another ceasefire.
2. Cessation of hostilities.
3. Power sharing.
4. Transitional period
5. New national army and police.
6. National elections.

All these activities are good on paper.

Left alone, Kiir and Machar could probably co-exist and rebuild South Sudan. But a peaceful, stable, prosperous South Sudan is not good for Museveni because it will force the world to critically focus on his 32 years of corruption, tyranny, massacres and unresolved assassinations –Andrew Kayiira, a former rival turned ally whom he fired; Francis Ayume, his Attorney General, who urged him not to remove term limits from the constitution; Noble Mayombo, his former top military aide; Kaziini, his former military chief of staff; Cerinah Nebanda, a 24 year old lawmaker who denounced corruption; Gen. Aronda Nyakairima, a former interior minister; Andrew Kaweesi, a top police official; Ibrahim Abiriga, a lawmaker from his own ruling part dictatorship, who in recent media interviews said Museveni had stopped returning his calls; to name a few– and his regional military aggression campaigns.

Museveni invaded Rwanda in 1990, leading to four years of war, culminating in the genocidal killings in 1994; he invaded Congo multiple times beginning in 1997, unleashing continuous warfare that’s claimed the lives of millions of Congolese–in 2005 the International Court of Justice ordered that Uganda pay Congo $10 billion in reparations and on June 8, 2006 The Wall Street Journal reported that Museveni had urged U.N. Secretary General Kofi Annan to block an ICC investigation of the same alleged crimes, which could have resulted in Museveni’s indictment.

So, Gen. Museveni needs fires in neighboring countries to divert attention from his crimes; that’s why he’s been the arsonist in Congo and South Sudan.

Recently, he’s started mischief again on Lake Victoria, over the ownership of islands disputed with Kenya; now that President Uhuru Kenyatta is working together in a brotherly manner with Odinga and Kenya will be a beneficiary of the relocation of more than 90% of U.N. operations to Nairobi, the new designated regional hub, from Entebbe. (We also understand that Museveni’s foreign affairs minister Sam Kutesa may soon have to answer for the $30 million his then company Entebbe Handling Services –ENHAS– was paid when he wrongfully billed the U.N. since he would not have been awarded the contract had he disclosed his ownership stake; both Kutesa and Museveni are also implicated in an ongoing money-laundering and bribe case in U.S. District Court in New York).

So while a peace process is critically needed for South Sudan and its suffering citizens–children, women, the elderly– who will be the guarantors to ensure that Gen. Museveni does not once again try to get Dr. Machar killed? President Kiir is as much a victim since without Museveni’s military firepower he could have been ousted when a large segment of the army deserted in 2013 at the beginning of the crisis.

The United Nations is well aware that Museveni is a critical obstacle to peace in South Sudan as was made clear in the April 2017 report to the Security Council by a panel of experts. Museveni had even recruited European mercenaries to fly Ugandan air force jets to bomb fighters loyal to Machar, on behalf of Kiir, according to the report to the U.N. Security Council.

In the middle of all this, the United States continues to train Museveni’s army, and provide him with weapons and financing — all in excess of $1 billion in taxpayers’ money.

As long as the world pretends that the main problem in South Sudan is between Kiir and Machar, when in fact it is well known that it is between Museveni’s dictatorship/militarism and South Sudan, the cycle of violations of peace agreements and horrific violence and mass rapes will continue.

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