Countries in the East African region are sharply divided over military intervention in South Sudan, as the talks in Addis Ababa flounder over political detainees and the presence of Ugandan troops… Kenya and Ethiopia have resisted [President] Kiir’s appeal for military intervention, opting to pursue diplomatic options.
President Kiir’s approach to the current crisis seems to favour the military option over the political process going on in Addis Ababa, saying that his government was ready to talk to the rebels but if they were not responsive, he was ready to fight…. Aly Verjee, a senior researcher with the Rift Valley Institute, said that President Kiir was reluctant to participate in the Addis talks from the outset, and has clearly limited the mandate of his negotiators in Addis Ababa, while the situation is further complicated by the belief by both sides that they are right.
“The government of South Sudan has the right to invite troops from regional and African member states to enter the country, but that doesn’t mean it would be a good idea. It would be a definite escalation of the conflict. The rebels have decades of experience, and will not have qualms about attacking forces that they see as partisan. Regional militaries risk being drawn into a war they cannot decisively win,” said Mr Verjee.
Sources in the Foreign Affairs Ministry revealed that Kenya has taken a position against military intervention but has intensified behind the scenes diplomatic pressure for the release of political detainees.