By Patrick Alubale Moki
President Uhuru Kenyatta today forced himself in the South Sudan crisis by flying over to Juba in what may escalate the already deadly spat between loyalists of President Kiir and former Vice President Dr Riek Machar.
Uhuru who landed in Juba and was received by President Salva Kiir’s top government officials is leading a highly botched peace negotiations which will fail before they even start. As usual, Ethiopia’s Prime Minister Hailemariam Dessalegn, the AU Chair, is in tow.
But why is peace unlikely in this Uhuru led initiative? First, President Uhuru is not seen as a neutral arbiter in the South Sudan crisis. Critics accuse the Kenyan president as serving a personal and parochial interest rather than seeking peace for South Sudan people. prodded by the AU, Uhuru is using the South Sudan crisis as another chip in his defense at the ICC. He is using South Sudanese people as pawns in a global political game whose end result is to make him politically evade justice.
It is curious that Uhuru who is the current Chair of EAC allowed Uganda’s Presidnt Yoweri Museveni to send troops to Juba without seeking permission from EAC, IGAD, AU and even UN. It is only to the politically blind who cannot see that the problem in South Sudan is being heightened by actions of key regional leaders like Museveni, Uhuru, Dessalegn and President Kiir himself.
The second disadvantege with Uhuru’s hurred entry into South Sudan is that it is only meant to push pressure on the rebels led by Dr Machar to stop the insurgency and surrender without any political recourse from Juba. President Salva Kiir is a comfortable member of Africa Union’s newly established despots who harbour dangerous tendencies key among which is fear of the rule of law and party democracy. Joined by his ilk, this union will only lead to more bloodbath in South Sudan because without important concessions by Kiir which will eventually lead to political solution, the rebels may only be ‘defeated’ into surrender.
The South Sudan crisis is political. However, bringing in political leaders with self-interest in the problem only exacerbate the problem. Kiir is one of President Uhuru’s strongest anti-ICC allies meaning the Kenyan president, himself an ICC fugitive, may not want to stamp his authority and ‘demand’ that Kiir allows for a negotiation which will lead to an amicable political settlement to the South Sudan crisis.
In fact, critics are convinced that President Uhuru rushed to South Sudan to increase his personal geo-political significance in the East African region. With Somalia restive and South Sudan under turmoil, Uhuru will remind the UN and the ICC that his state and regional responsibilities are far important than Â justice for the post-election violence victims in which he is charged as major perpetrator.
Uhuru’s selfish actions is also seen in the manner in which Kenya has bungled evacuating its citizens trapped in South Sudan. While the United States, a country thousands of miles away, rescued all its citizens in South Sudan within days; Kenyans are still stuck in Juba and elsewhere in South Sudan. Already, two countrymen have been killed. Uhuru is known for using tragedies to advance his person cause.
Like in Westgate where the country was treated to two weeks of fighting ‘four’ terrorists; and where under order from Uhuru (commander-in-chief) KDF bombed the whole building after looting, killing every surviving Kenyans in the ordeal, Uhuru is rescuing Kenyans from South Sudan in a piecemeal manner to push the world to view the crisis as so terrible that it demands full time leadership in Nairobi.
But it is the accusations of impartiality which may render Uhuru’s peace initiative dead.
Patrick Alubale is a guest blogger, the views expressed here DO NOT NECESSARILY REPRESENT those of KENYA TODAY. Patrick is apoliticalÂ pundit