What Kiir, Machar peace deal means for Uganda
Publish Date: May 09, 2014
What Kiir, Machar peace deal means for Uganda
South Sudan president Salva Kiir (left) and his former deputy-turned-rebel-chief Riek Machar are set to meet face-to-face. CREDIT/AFP
  • mail
  • img

By David Lumu

The South Sudan conflict started last December. With it came heavy sparks of violence against humanity and mass murder of thousands of innocent civilians, according to a recently released United Nations report.

Over 1.2 million people were forced to flee their homes, the UN report states.

Today the conflict puzzle that has pre-occupied the world and regional bodies, especially the question of how to end the conflict, might be unlocked.

Already, rebel chief Riek Machar has arrived in Ethiopia for talks with President Salva Kiir, who is also expected later this (Friday) afternoon.

In a statement released Thursday, Dr. Nkosazana Zuma, the chairperson of the African Union said that the Kiir-Machar first ever interface since the crisis started in the world’s youngest country, will help a great deal to solve what has been “a deteriorating situation on the ground, marked by widespread abuses against civilians and other violations of international human rights and humanitarian law.”

LEFT-RIGHT: President Salva Kiir, his predecessor John Garang and former vice president Riek Machar

The peace-talks are under the auspices of Ethiopian Prime Minister Hailemariam Dessalegn, the chairperson of the Intergovernmental Authority on Development (IGAD), bloc where Uganda is a member.

Now, according to experts, whatever way the talks swings, the meeting of the two actors—Kiir and Machar—would be beneficial for Uganda’s—political, military and social-economic sectors.

Yet, according to Prof. Sabiti Makara of the Makerere University Department of Political Science and Public Administration, if peace doesn’t prevail in South Sudan, regional players, especially Uganda could face chilling effects on the trade side.

“South Sudan needs Uganda almost for everything. And for Uganda to benefit from this nascent market, peace must prevail. Whoever takes power in South Sudan will need Uganda. Uganda is the nerve of that country,” he said.

Analyzing today’s meeting between Kiir and Machar; Makara says that, they would be no winner.

“What South Sudan needs is a win-win situation,” he said.

The conflict in South Sudan forced hundreds of thousands out of their homes. PHOTO/AFP

The conflict also brought along an overwhelming sense of desperation among those affected. There was a flight of refugees into neighbouring Uganda. PHOTO/AFP

Dispelling of the talk that if Machar takes over South Sudan, Uganda could lose, Makara said that there are many things that South Sudan needs from Uganda and that any leader who takes over Juba would have nothing to do but to establish direct talks with Kampala.

“Uganda stands a big deal to win whatever way the talks go.  Any leader who takes over South Sudan will need Uganda even if such a leader enjoys a great deal of support from Khartoum,” he said.

Recently President Yoweri Museveni told Justin Greening, the UK Secretary for International Development in a meeting in London during his UK tour that the “South Sudan problem can be solved by regional leaders” and also expressed dismay that the conflict had “succumbed to sectarian ideology instead of fronting a united country, adding that he was talking to both leaders to ensure that peace prevails.”

Government of Uganda estimates that Uganda’s economic loss since the conflict in South Sudan started is over Sh2.2 trillion. At least at the beginning of this year, Dr. Gabriel Ajedra Aridru, the Minister of State for Investment, gave the Sh 2.2 trillion three weeks after the war started.

On top of this, many Ugandan traders have lost money with some crying that their property and businesses have been destroyed.

UPDF is also keeping peace in Juba and protecting some key places in South Sudan.

Experts argue that the results of the mediation process that would take place would not only help South Sudan but the Great Lakes region, especially Uganda.


SOUTH SUDAN: Machar in Addis, Kiir awaited today

Freed S. Sudan 'treason' leaders in Nairobi

The statements, comments, or opinions expressed through the use of New Vision Online are those of their respective authors, who are solely responsible for them, and do not necessarily represent the views held by the staff and management of New Vision Online.

New Vision Online reserves the right to moderate, publish or delete a post without warning or consultation with the author.Find out why we moderate comments. For any questions please contact

  • mail
  • img
blog comments powered by Disqus
Also In This Section
Nigeria''s former national security advisor and an ex-junior finance minister have been hauled in for questioning over a disputed $2 billion arms deal, sources told AFP on Tuesday....
Blast hits Istanbul metro, six injured
An explosion of unknown origin hit the Istanbul metro on Tuesday, causing injuries and bringing the transport system in Turkey's largest city to a halt, reports and officials said...
C.Africa Muslim shot dead day after pope
A Muslim man was shot dead Tuesday in a besieged Muslim district of divided Central African Republic, a day after Pope Francis appealed for an end to violence between Christians and Muslims...
Climate talks drill into detail amid new warning of peril
Negotiators tasked with saving Earth's climate system embarked Tuesday on an 11-day race to overcome decades-long disputes as experts pointed to a towering threat from coal....
Aid reaches S.Sudan war zone but famine risk remains: UN
Aid workers in war-torn South Sudan have reached one of the worst hit areas where thousands are feared dying of starvation, the United Nations said Tuesday, but warned conditions may yet worsen....
Former PM Kabore elected president of Burkina Faso
Roch Marc Christian Kabore has won Burkina Faso's presidential election, official results showed, after a year of turmoil that saw the west African country's former leader deposed and the military try to seize power....
Do you think Uganda is winning the fight against AIDS?
Can't Say
follow us
subscribe to our news letter