ABYEI WILL MAKE OR BREAK PEACE AGREEMENT
The blatant violation by regime troops and loyalist militias of the 2005 Comprehensive Peace Agreement between Khartoum and the SPLM/A led Southern liberation movement 10 days ago has again highlighted the reckless disregard by Khartoum’s ICC wanted leader Bashir and his goons. Tens of thousands of refugees are streaming away from the state and Abyei town moving further South, after Northern military units and their allied militias overran the SPLA detach stationed in Abyei and reportedly in Darfur style raped, looted and burned to clear the area for the imminent occupation by Misseriya tribesmen.
A ruling of the International Arbitration Panel at The Hague and the provisions of the CPA did little to stem the regime’s greed to return Southern land into their fold, to continue the exploitation of mineral resources and their long standing policy of treating their African compatriots with contempt if not hold them in slavery conditions.
The East African countries which had in 2009 signed on to the peace treaty have already expressed their grave concern to Khartoum, and while presently opting for diplomatic pressures and mustering global opinion against the regime have not ruled out to come to the assistance of the South with military support, should Khartoum not withdraw their marauding troops and militias from Abyei forthwith.
Uganda in particular, but also Kenya are said to be increasingly upset that their continued engagement with Bashir’s regime has not resulted in Khartoum changing political course and while Bashir has in past visits to East African countries not faced arrest on behalf of the ICC, this lenient handling may soon be a thing of the past for him as he has once again exposed himself as a warmongering hardliner, even if some reports are true that this was only done to prevent his own overthrow by the more hardline Islamist elements around him. East Africa and other allies of Southern Sudan are also said to be concerned about Khartoum being prodded by their political godfathers into stirring fresh conflict with South Sudan, so that East Africa could on a broader basis be drawn back into wars and to create an enabling environment for Al Qaida sympathizers and affiliates to carry out attacks from their present strongholds in parts of Somalia and other ‘friendly’ regimes. This is supported by growing evidence that Eritrea’s posturing and rhetoric has of late increased again and that the resilience of Al Shabab and other Islamist militias, in the face of a largely underfunded and under-facilitated African Union mission in Somalia which has been unable to take the fight to the militants and militarily rout them out of their safe havens, has kept the balance of military power in Somali on knife’s edge.
Sources in Juba have in the meantime confirmed that SPLA units based in Abyei and nearby have undertaken a re-grouping exercise and are being reinforced should the invaders attempt to push further into Southern territory, but also pointed out that unlike the regime’s units they were still exercising restraint and not commence immediate offensive operations to clear the area again. This, the source pointed out was done to show their East African allies that the SPLM led government in Juba was indeed primarily seeking global and regional diplomatic intervention to have Khartoum withdraw behind the CPA demarcated lines and be compelled to compensate those who have suffered, instead of taking the ‘bait’ and being drawn into another round of armed conflict even if provoked by the Bashir regime.
Other sources are already talking about a fresh ICC investigation into crimes against humanity and war crimes inflicted by the loyalist militias in ‘Darfur style’ on the innocent population while at the same time making added efforts to have African governments change their tune vis a vis the ICC arrest warrant for Bashir in the light of these latest atrocities committed.
Political analysts in Juba also confirmed that preparations for the Independence celebrations on 09th July remained on course but with substantially increased security for the event to prevent any disruption by Bashir’s goons.
Watch this space.