The former secretary-general of the ruling Sudan People’s Liberation Movement has formed an advocacy group to spearhead efforts to bring peace to South Sudan under U.N. administration.
Pagan Amum sees “South Sudan Reborn” as a collective effort to help the country out of its political, humanitarian and economic crisis.
The former SPLM leader told South Sudan in Focus in an exclusive interview that he wanted the international community to directly intervene in South Sudan in order to save it from collapsing.
The SPLM, now a political party, grew out of the Sudan People’s Liberation Army that fought in the country’s civil war, which ended in 2005.
Amum described the new organization as “a platform for advocacy and education, a campaign to keep South Sudan from collapsing into chaos and disorder, a campaign to engage the region where South Sudan is located, the IGAD region, the African continent, the United States, [Britain], Norway and other members of IGAD partners and the international community … to come to the rescue of South Sudan.”
IGAD, or the Intergovernmental Authority on Development, is an eight-nation trade bloc based in Djibouti.
The purpose of South Sudan Reborn, Amum said, “is to bring the violence to an end through calling on the United Nations to take over South Sudan.”
Make way for technocrats
President Salva Kiir; his longtime adversary, former First Vice President Riek Machar; and all other political leaders have failed to run the country, Amum said.
“President Salva Kiir took the country to a civil war, which he made very brutal and tribalistic, and now the genie is out of the bottle and it is out of control,” he, adding, “President Kiir has miserably failed to take the country back to peace.”
Amum is urging all political leaders, including Kiir and Machar, to step aside and make way for technocrats. He argues that a group of professional South Sudanese would be able to stabilize the country, build the institutions of governance and prepare for elections at the end of a transitional government, which would be carried out with the support of the United Nations and South Sudan’s neighbors.
Asked how he would solve the problem of tribal forces allied with military commanders in both camps — those who support Kiir and those who support Machar — Amum conceded the issue of tribal factions trying to impose their authority on the country remains a problem.
The present situation is dangerous, Amum said, and “is leading to the disintegration of the young South Sudanese state.”