U.N. Ambassador Nikki Haley's Riot Act To Salva Kiir Should Be To Gen. Museveni

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Nikki Haley in South Sudan. Photo UN Mission in South Sudan website

Nikki Haley, the U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations just came back from a trip to East and Central Africa, stopping in Ethiopia, South Sudan, and the Democratic Republic of Congo.

She traveled to the region as a direct representative of President Donald Trump, who bypassed Secretary of State Rex Tillerson.

In Congo Haley told Joseph Kabila, who now rules the country illegally since his term expired at the end of the year that he would face international isolation unless he agreed to organize elections for a successor.

Haley's most extensive comments however have been about her trip to South Sudan and her meeting with another dictator whose term has also expired under the agreement that created a transitional government of national unity, Salva Kiir.

Haley told The Washington Post that she was blunt when she met Kiir: "“I basically said the United States had invested well over $11 billion in South Sudan and into him and that we were now questioning that investment..”" The horrific war in South Sudan escalated in December 2013 after Uganda's militarily intervened to back Kiir in a political dispute with his vice president Riek Machar. Ugandan troops even reportedly used internationally banned cluster bombs during scorched earth operations to support Kiir. Emboldened by the military muscles from Ugandan dictator Gen. Yoweri Museveni, Kiir forced Machar into exile. 

A new national unity government was created and Machar returned as vice president. Kiir again turned the guns on Machar forcing him into exile once again this time to South Africa.

A report by a United Nations Group of Experts has documented the crimes committed by all sides in the South Sudan war but much of the blame has been directed at kiir. The report, submitted to the Security Council in April also documents Uganda's and Egypt's roles in supplying arms to Salva Kiir. The report also makes it clear that there can be no military solution to the conflict and that there can also be no settlement that excludes the exiled vice president Machar.

Haley has basically given Kiir an ultimatum. However, Kiir does not act independently of Gen. Museveni, who provides him the military might in South Sudan. In turn Museveni diverts international attention from his own domestic woes and oil speculators based in Uganda ink deals with Salva Kiir.

In order for U.S. taxpayers' dollars to stop subsidizing crimes against unarmed civilians, children and women in South Sudan, Haley should address her memo to Uganda's Gen. Museveni and then copy South Sudan's Salva Kiir.

In addition to restoration of a national unity government South Sudan needs a neutral force to ensure domestic peace and national security.

 

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