The chairman Gulu District Local Government, Mr. Ojara Martin Mapenduzi has urged the African Union to intensify pressure on the youngest African nation, South Sudan to end the political crisis that has ravaged the country since 2013.
Mr. Ojara made the plea in Gulu at Churchill Courts Hotel on Monday the 06th of November 2017 during a regional stakeholder consultation review mission organized by the African Peer Review Mechanism, a specialized agency of the African Union.
He castigated the Humanitarian Agencies and the Donors’ countries to South Sudan for addressing the symptoms of the political turmoil other the root causes.
“Assisting South Sudanese refugees is one thing but addressing the root causes of the conflict is another thing much bigger than the relief support,” Ojara added.
He says, the political crisis in South Sudan is disastrous to the Uganda, her immediate neighboring country in terms of security, trade and other diplomatic ties.
“We shall not have peace within East Africa when there is no peace in South Sudan and so, the African Union must put pressure to end this conflict” He continued.
The African Peer Review Mechanism Head of Strategic Planning, Mr.Dalmar Jama says, this specialized arm of the African Union is a self-monitoring instrument to access, present progress and provide lesson on good governance in the African Continent.
He noted that, the organization is assessing the extent to which the policies and agreed political economic, democracy and good political governance values, principles, codes and standards that conform to the African Union declaration of democracy,ecomomic and good political governance.
The oil rich South Sudan became the world youngest nation in 2011 upon its independence from the Karahtum Government after a long civil strife.
However, the country soon got submerged into ethnic struggle with heavy bloodshed since 2013 when President Salva Kiir sacked his Deputy Mr. Riek Machar.
The forces loyal to Kiir, a Dinka and forces under Vice President Machar have battled each other killing tens of thousands of civilians forcing nearly a third of the population of 12 million people to flee their country.
More than 1 million of these South Sudanese refugees have crossed to Uganda constituting of 85 percent of women and children in 2017 when peace deal between Kiir and Machar collapsed.
Nobody knows how many people have died but an August 2017 report by the South Africa based South Sudan Human Rights Observatory said, 987 people died in this violence across South Sudan between May and July 2017 alone.
The situation became tense when the Uganda Peoples’ Defense Forces (UPDF) last troops withdrew from South Sudan on 02nd of November 2016 followed by other peacekeepers from the African States which include Rwanda, Kenya, Ethiopia and Sudan.
However, about 13,000 foreign troops of United Nations and African Union continue to show present in South Sudan for peacekeeping mission though with little impact.
The African Union has however endorsed plan for deployment more peacekeepers to back up those already on ground but South Sudan Government opposed such deployment.
“We are not ready for a deployment of even a single additional soldier,” South Sudan Information Minster Michael Makuei told BBC Focus on Africa on the 19th of July 2016.
Report by Simon Wokorach and Willbroad Onencan