The Right Hon. Justin Trudeau
Prime Minister of Canada
House of Commons
Ottawa, ON, K1A 0A6
March 2nd, 2019
Re: Ambassador Ismail Wais, the IGAD Special Peace Envoy to South Sudan
Dear Prime Minister,
I hope this letter finds you, Sophie, Xavier, Ella-Grace and Hadrien well and in good health.
I am writing to you regarding Canada’s contributions to the United Nations Mission in South Sudan (UNMISS) and the Intergovernmental Authority on Development (IGAD) peace mediation activities.
As you know, Canada has been one of the top five donors to the peace process in South Sudan and Sudan since 1990s.To cite a few examples, the UNMISS, the Fish Market in Juba, and Mother, Child Maternal Health Care in Warrap State as well as Programmes on Gender Equality stand out as glowing contributions and mark of moral obligations of Canada in supporting the right cause directed towards just peace in the country through credible regional organizations.
So far, Canada’s funding to support IGAD has covered counter-terrorism capacity building project (judiciary, inter-departmental cooperation; border control; information sharing, training & best practices) amounting to millions of Canadian Dollars since 2006. In addition to this, Canada contributed over $900 million to the huge international effort to support peace, state-building and development in South Sudan; and from 2014-to present Canada contributes around $60 million per year.
Canada is a second home to South Sudanese born-Canadians with an estimated 19,000 living in western Canada, followed by large numbers in the GTA, the Nation’s Capital and Halifax. It is worth pointing out that most Members of South Sudanese born-Canadians and Canadians of African descent are eligible voters for the forthcoming federal elections, and I would encourage and mobilize them to vote for a party that supports the 5-Point Recommendations below:
- Canada should halt funding IGAD with immediate effect
- Troika member states should search for a new trusted, honest, credible and impartial mediator
- Canada should consult with Canadian Institute for Conflict Resolution (CICR) and explore possibility of Dr. Vern Redekop Senior Professor and expert of Conflict Resolution to lead a new South Sudan mediation process.
- The Swiss Peace, Initiative of Change International (IofC) and CICR should be considered as new mediators and tasked with new inclusive peace talks agenda that addresses the root causes of the Crisis in South Sudan These organizations have excellent track records in mediation.
- Canada should suspend its foreign aid to countries such as Uganda, Kenya, and Sudan that are facilitating and fueling ethnic conflicts in South Sudan and intervening in the national affairs of their neighbor and supporting unelected governments on the continent. Currently Uganda and Sudan have deployed their troops to South Sudan to guard oil fields, to loot natural resources of the country and have engaged in illegal logging and gold mining businesses while at the same time carrying out military operations alongside the SPLA in Equatoria States.
In conclusion. I would like to bring to your attention that, the imposed Khartoum Peace Agreement (KPA) signed in August 2018,is a flawed and fake peace and it only serves the interests of neighboring countries of Sudan under Omar Hassan Al-Bashir who carried out genocide against the Fur people in Western region of Sudan and is wanted by International Criminal Court (ICC) for crimes against humanity; Abdel Fattah Al-Sisi of Egypt who is interested to increase Egypt’s access to water volumes at the expense of South Sudanese who have no access to clean water; Yoweri Kaguta Museveni of Uganda who is waging ethnic killings in northern Uganda and Uganda Defence Force (UDF) together with Sudan People’s Liberation Army (SPLA) forces who are carrying out indiscriminate killings and military operations in the Equatoria States; and Uhuru Kenyatta whose security sector is deporting members of opposition groups who have taken refuge in Kenya to South Sudan and some of them have suffered disappearances and extra-judicial killings.
Therefore, the imposed KPA under IGAD has failed to address Kiir’s core tribal governance problems, centralization of administrative, economic, political, and military powers in the hand of president (Art. 101). Kleptocracy, corruption, Dinkanization-Nuerization policy of institutionalized discrimination and marginalization of non-Dinka-Nuer and land grabbing by the Juba regime government officials and the opposition to the popular demand of the people of South Sudan for Confederate system after interim period are the order of the day. Please, see annex for further details.
To make things worse Ambassador Ismail Wais, the IGAD Special Peace Envoy to South Sudan has chosen to turn a blind eye to the tribal government of Kiir and his associates the Jieng Council of elders (JCE) that led the country into the 2013 and 2016 senseless ethnic civil wars that displaced and drove millions of people to become Internally Displaced Persons (IDPs) and flee as refugees into refugee camps in neighboring countries and the UNPCO camps in the country. Additionally, IGAD under the leadership of Amb. Wais, has reduced peace negotiations to negotiations about positions.
The March letter of Ambassador Wais to Members of South Sudan National Democratic Alliance (SSDNA) has clearly shown that, IGAD has taken sides and is trying to legitimatize the unelected Juba regime government as well as failing to be an honest, impartial and credible mediator. It has lost integrity and trust of the suffering women, children and men of South Sudan and especially those who are still living in the UNPCs and refugee camps for over seven years because IGAD’s failed approach and policy in resolving of the conflict in South Sudan.
In a nutshell, Canada and Troika member states should not fund and support the policy of IGAD that has legitimized the unelected government of South Sudan.
I call on your government to add its voice and ask the world leaders to take necessary measures to hold IGAD accountable and put pressure on the Agency to engage in an inclusive renegotiation of R-ARCSS to address the root causes of the political Crisis in South Sudan or otherwise face immediate defunding from donor States.
The bias, unfairness and favoritism of IGAD which has become the mouth piece of the Juba Government cannot be ignored by the international community any longer. I demand that Canada holds IGAD leadership accountable for yet turning another blind eye on the fake and the flawed peace agreement and its implementation. I am extremely concerned that, the situation in South Sudan continues to deteriorate and will soon result in a genocide if the international community fails to hold IGAD and AU leadership accountable.
As a committed global citizen, I must speak up and hold IGAD accountable for violating its role and abandoning its responsibilities and continuing to turn a blind eye to the flawed peace agreement in South Sudan.
Thanks Prime Minister and Canada for your interest in South Sudanese born-Canadian Voices.
Hüstin Läkü, Sr.
International Development and Conflicts Analyst
Former Human Rights advisor to Secretary of State for Africa and Latin America
Leader of South Sudanese born-Canadians
Founding Member of African Diaspora Association of Canada
Hon. Chrystia Freeland, Minister of Global Affairs
President Paul Kagame
H.E. Moussa Faki Mahamat, Chair of the African Union Commission
Ambassador Ismail Wais,
Troika Ambassadors in South Sudan
Foreign Missions in South Sudan
Episcopal Church of South Sudan (ECSS)
South Sudan Catholic Bishops Conference (SSCBC)
Mr. António Guterres, United Nations Secretary-General
President Donald Trump
Hon. Nancy Polesi, US House Speaker
Hon. Mitch McConnell, US House Majority Leader
US Members of Foreign Relations
Members of the House Sub Committee on Human Right
Members of House of Commons and Senate Canada,
Members of House of Commons and House of Lords, U.K.
Members of EU Parliament
Amnesty International Ottawa
Enough project, D.C.
Crisis Group, D.C