January 31, 2018, In another development, a senior government official in Juba alleged that the government of South Africa has secretly established a backchannel for a peace talk between President, Salva Kiir Mayardit, and rebel leader, Dr Riek Machar Teny. The anonymous official, who has spoken to some of those, who accompanied President Kiir to South Africa in recent visit says, officials in South Africa have advised Kiir that; the ongoing war in the country is not profitable to any of the party, millions of people who have voted for South Sudan to be free are now suffering, both within and outside the country, thousands have been killed along with a large proportion of widows and orphans, properties worth billions have been destroyed and is completely not worth it.
In addition, the official claimed that the South African mediators had frankly told Mr Kiir that he and Riek will regret their ignorance in a long run; the prevalence of insecurity will not get any better and will continue to drag the country into more problems, the current government spending on tackling insecurity is a waste of resources, South Sudan economy is already in a serious situation and will not recover without peace. He went on saying that, the officials had cautioned Mr Kiir to bring peace, because South Sudan is about to lose foreign support and that will be the most dangerous point, on the ground that, people will resort to drive out the ineffective government. One official was quoted saying, “While you still have South Africa support, you better act”, because South Africa and South Sudan have so much in common, we were marginalises by the Apartheid for years, which was the same as South Sudan under the Khartoum regime. However, all South Africans are now free, so you should consider our brotherly advice.
The local source asserts that the symposium concludes by Mr Kiir’s agreement to deliver the 2015 peace agreement, where Riek’s will be allowed to return to Juba. He maintained that both Kiir and Riek have directly agreed to restrain their forces to give peace a chance. But one thing the source could not explain was the secret-channel itself, whether it was established under the request of IGAD and AU or if the idea was entirely of South Africa government. Although, its early to tell if the strategy is going to succeed, one can clearly see that the desire for peace in South Sudan is not only among the victims.