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Mehari Taddele Maru, For Addis Standard

Recent Clashes and Measures threaten Peace Agreement

The recent clashes in and around Juba, Raja, Wau and other places have come as a serious threat to the establishment of the hard-won peace agreement for South Sudan. To be clear, the Transitional Government of National Unity (TGoNU) was not an assurance for durability of the peace agreement. Rather there was a clear understanding that the transitional process was brittle, unpredictable and volatile. A few weeks before these clashes, in contrast to the UN assessments of the implementation of the peace agreement, the JMEC expressed deep concerns regarding developments in the South Sudan peace process. In addition the AU indicated the lack of even minimum gains from the peace process. The lack of progress in the implementation of the Peace Agreement signed a year ago, particularly the delay in the demilitarization of Juba, has been a cause of grave instability and insecurity on the ground. In a situation where offices and posts are stuck with the huge economic interests of individuals, the probability of the military defending and actively becoming involved in the country’s partisan politics is high. In the short-term, the payment of salaries to the public service, including the armed forces, will be crucial for the stability of the country. Threfore, the military is quite likely to impose its will and act beyond  the purview of the state institutions. If the current crisis remains unabated, the role of the SPLA could be expected to increase in domestic politics. If not an outright coup, this development would mean that the government will increasingly fall under the direct influence of the SPLA, rendering the Transitional Government ineffective. Consequently, the SPLA faces further grave military and elite fragmentations along ethnic and geographic lines. With continued increasing pressure for the implementation of the Peace Agreement, clashes similar to what has already taken place are likely to increase.


Etana Habte, Special to Addis Standard

In the first part of this series, I explored in historic perspectives (particularly with developments in Oromia regional state) the Ethiopian government’s road to becoming a counter-protest state, and proceeded to discuss the systematic ways in which the regime further bolstered its role as a counter-protest state in Oromia. Taking the recent #OromoProtests as a point of departure, in this part of the series I discuss a more recent surge of popular protests, and the socio-political and party architecture in which #OromoProtests first took shape.