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让美国与朝韩的外交博弈保持一致
让美国与朝韩的外交博弈保持一致
A Major Step Toward Ending South Sudan’s Civil War
A Major Step Toward Ending South Sudan’s Civil War
South Korean President Moon Jae-in and North Korean leader Kim Jong Un attend an official welcome ceremony at Pyongyang Sunan International Airport, in Pyongyang, North Korea, 18 September 2018 yeongyang Press Corps/Pool via REUTERS
Commentary / Asia

让美国与朝韩的外交博弈保持一致

朝鲜和韩国的领导人举行了为期三天的峰会,自918日开始了新一轮的南北朝鲜外交。与此同时,美国和朝鲜的关系又恢复到之前的糟糕状态。韩国政府助力重新启动与朝鲜政府富有成效的联系,美国政府应当对这一举动表示欢迎。

韩国总统文在寅于周二上午到达平壤,开始为期三天的访问。此次与朝鲜领导人金正恩的会面将会对2018年剩下的时间及未来做出计划。但两国关系的进展将部分取决于双方能否逆转自6月12日金正恩和唐纳德·特朗普总统在新加坡会面以来美国对朝鲜事务参与减少的颓势。

朝鲜的外交博弈从9月9日的70周年国庆日开始。庆典上包括了在金日成广场上矩形的阅兵式和大型团体操表演。值得注意的是一位中国高级官员,中共中央政治局常委栗战书的出现 。他帮助朝鲜政府实现了首要的外交目标:在与韩国(很可能也同美国)进行更近一步的对话之前,证明朝鲜与中国关系的稳固。

现在轮到了韩国方面,文在寅履行了其4月27日在韩朝停战村板门店第一次与金正恩的会晤中访朝的承诺,带着紧凑的议程到访朝鲜。文在寅将要再次担当他曾于2018年上半年取得相当成功的调解人角色,促使金正恩采取切实行动实现半岛无核化,以为与美国的对话扫除障碍。他还将致力于减少朝韩之间在黄海(西海)问题上产生冲突的持续风险。根据四月份会晤达成的《板门店宣言》,朝韩双方会达成一项包含建立联合捕鱼区的协议,将“西海北面界限附近的区域转变为军事和平区”。

韩国政府极不可能为了与朝鲜建立经济联系而违反联合国安理会决议、损害自己的名誉

文在寅带去了包括政府官员和工业界高管在内的约200人的代表团。代表团中有韩国“四大巨头”三星、现代、SK集团和LG 的领导,以及浦项钢铁公司和韩国发展银行的主席。这些企业领袖的出现意味着朝鲜可从和平中获利,也表明韩国政府在国内一系列经济政策遭遇挫折的情况下,希望在朝韩经济关系上取得进展。

代表团的构成同时也表明,韩国政府对突破与朝鲜经济合作的限制急不可待。韩国方面展现出迫切合作意见的一大根据是,9月14日,朝韩在北部境内的开城开设了板门店宣言中规定的联络处时。联络处李朝韩两国官员在不同的楼层办公,中间有一个会议室。该处旨在为朝韩沟通提供可靠的渠道,同时也将是协调未来经济交流的中心,。

韩国经济受限源于2017年大大加强的国际制裁制度和2010年5月韩国施加的单边制裁。文在寅政府的个人立场是朝鲜(经济)已经从制裁中获得一些恢复。然而,韩国政府极不可能为了与朝鲜建立经济关系而违反联合国安理会决议,损害自己作为负责任的国际事务参与者的名誉。

不幸的是,在中国和朝鲜的关系有所改善,而韩国也在有限范围内寻求以创造性的方式与朝鲜建立联系时,美国和朝鲜的谈判却停滞不前。自6月份特朗普和金正恩的会面以来,美朝关系的显著恶化使得美国国务卿迈克·蓬佩奥原计划于8月底第四次到访平壤的行程在最后一刻尴尬地被取消。文在寅前往平壤,正是试图阻止美朝关系的恶化。

美国面临要承担朝鲜半岛问题没有进展之责备的风险

美国现在发现自己处于困境。美国政府极力主张在自己采取措施之前,应立即采取额外的无核化措施(除了拆除平壤的核试验场和导弹发动机试验设备),但这并不符合韩国政府的经济优先政策。美国政府如果忽视了关系的中断,就会面临要承担朝鲜半岛问题没有进展之责备的风险,同时为朝鲜破坏美韩联盟的战略谋取了方便。

就文在寅而言,他试图安抚那些批评他的人。批评人士认为,他急于建立朝韩联系可能会削弱美韩联盟。当高级部长官员们忙于在开城设立朝韩联络处时,文在寅在朝鲜半岛最南端的巨济岛奥波造船厂为海军的攻击潜艇举行仪式。为了平息国内外国家安全保守派的恐惧,他把韩国的朝韩策略描述为“通过实力实现和平”政策之一,并提到他的政府拥有一支强大的军队;而他的更鹰派的对手认为与美国保持紧密联系是维护朝鲜半岛和平的基础。

从某种程度上来讲,美国和韩国之间不断加深的分歧是美国政府内部机能失调的产物。许多韩国政府人士认为,特朗普对与金正日外交进展的乐观态度和他们认为的大部分美国政府的国家安全机构的悲观前景存在差距。专家们起初担心特朗普会对朝鲜发动奇袭产生的灾难性代价漠不关心,但如今华府内部的普遍观点是他太容易被操纵。

令人担心的是,特朗普会在没有获取足够互利让步的情况下,放弃结束朝鲜战争政治宣言这一战利品。美国政府内部的强硬派认为韩国政府可能会因此获取强大的力量,从而迫使美国政府从半岛撤军,因为美军驻韩的主要原因将不复存在。尽管特朗普可能会欢迎这个撤军的机会,认为可以节省开支;但是他的安全顾问和华盛顿的大部分国家安全机构肯定不会苟同。反对观点认为,特朗普的政治直觉要比他的顾问们好:他应该给朝鲜一个相对不那么兴师动众的促成半岛和平的环境,然后观察结果,并不需要同意撤军要求。这些都是重要的观点,但是美国政府的行事方式却造成了政策不一致的感觉。

不管美国是否同意这样的宣言,也会有其他措施来改变会谈。美国对朝韩联络处的明确支持态度为缓解朝韩边境的紧张军事局势起到重要作用,也将有助于恢复与韩国一致的目标。更妙的是,有相关人士建议,美国政府在平壤设立一个联络处以适当的方式考察朝鲜的意图。尽管美国政府先行签署和约可能不太寻常,但是这会让美国保持与朝韩事务的统一步调。韩国政府希望开城的新联络处将会成为在朝韩两国首都开设外交代表处的先驱。

特朗普6月12日在新加坡与金正恩会晤后发表的联合声明中承诺的新型美朝关系已经消失。9月的下半段时间为三位领导人提供了重建外交和弥补损失的机会。当文在寅和特朗普在联合国大会的外场会晤时,这位韩国的领导人一定会带来自金正恩的消息。朝鲜可能愿意做出让步,推动朝鲜问题和平解决。若诚然如此,美国必须要敞开心怀接受文在寅,并且准备好提出创造性的己见。

South Sudanese President Salva Kiir (L), South Sudan's opposition leader Riek Machar (R) and Mohamed Hamdan Daglo (C)"Hemeti" hold hands together as they speak to media after their peace talk at the State House in Juba, South Sudan. AFP/Majak Kuany
Statement / Africa

A Major Step Toward Ending South Sudan’s Civil War

After months of delays and deadlock, bitter rivals Salva Kiir and Riek Machar finally clinched an agreement to form a unity government in South Sudan. Regional leaders must now maintain pressure on both men and other conflict parties to keep the fragile deal on track.

On 22 February, Riek Machar and other opposition leaders were sworn in as vice presidents in a new South Sudan unity government. This step came as part of a deal aimed at ending six years of conflict. President Salva Kiir declared the war officially over and asked for forgiveness from his long-time archrival, Machar, who in turn pledged to work in partnership with Kiir. The unity government’s formation, delayed twice over the last nine months amid political deadlock, is a major advance that gives the country’s leaders a chance to build upon a ceasefire between Kiir’s forces and Machar’s that has largely held for over a year. While the news is encouraging, South Sudan is hardly out of the woods. Kiir and Machar – whose past attempts to share power have foundered – will now need to work in concert to unify the national army, resolve disputes over control of key cities and make peace with holdout rebel groups. Continued pressure from regional leaders who played a key role in pushing the two leaders to strike a bargain will almost certainly be critical to the new arrangement’s success.

The deal came not a moment too soon. The fragile ceasefire dating back to the September 2018 accord that lays out a peace framework might well have started to unwind had the parties not reached a deal by the 22 February deadline they set for themselves. A return to fighting would have been devastating for a population that is exhausted by war and a country that lies shattered. Even a year after the two main belligerents stopped fighting, major towns are in ruins, emptied of most of their inhabitants. Ghost neighbourhoods stretch on and on in settlements across the country, the homes stripped of roofs and walls caved in. Up to 400,000 may have died in the conflict that started in December 2013, a staggering number in any country, but especially in one of only twelve million. Millions more were displaced. Bringing the South Sudanese people together will require the work of generations, but the first task is to preserve the new government’s unity.

Kiir and Machar have for years been, and may always remain, bitter political rivals.

That will be no small task. Kiir and Machar have for years been, and may always remain, bitter political rivals. Each is under pressure from hardliners in his camp to extract as much benefit as he can from the new government. The resulting wrangling could throw their respective forces back into conflict. Yet there are also reasons to believe that progress is possible. Both have shown more commitment to the peace process than in the past. That the ceasefire held as long as it did is encouraging, as are the compromises the two rivals reached to enable the 22 February swearing-in ceremony.

One major sticking point that required compromise concerned the number and demarcation of states within South Sudan, which has major consequences for the distribution of power across the country. During the war, largely in an attempt to appease demands from within his Dinka ethnic group, the country’s largest, Kiir had redrawn the boundaries to create first 28 and then 32 states. In order to reach a deal, he agreed to revert largely to the country’s pre-war internal boundaries, demarcating ten states and creating three “administrative areas”, one of them new. Kiir’s change of mind required him to fire 32 governors and reverse some of his most hotly contested gerrymandering.

To be sure, Kiir made this concession only under high-level pressure from the Intergovernmental Authority on Development (IGAD), the regional bloc mediating the peace deal, and, the man who by some accounts is his strongest ally, President Yoweri Museveni of neighbouring Uganda. But that does not diminish the magnitude of the concession or its significance to the peace process. It succeeded in breaking the deadlock, giving Machar the political space to return to the capital Juba without losing grip of his factious coalition, some of whose members had threatened to keep fighting if Kiir’s wartime state boundaries stayed unchanged.

A second hurdle was finding a responsible answer to the sticky question of Machar’s personal security in Juba. Crisis Group had previously warned that Machar should not bring his own forces into the capital, as he did in 2016, when the two men last tried to form a unity government under the terms of an earlier peace agreement. On that occasion, his forces clashed with Kiir’s amid political disagreements, scuttling the peace deal and reigniting the war. In the present context, Machar asked Kiir to allow UN peacekeepers to provide security in Juba. Kiir refused, but regional and international pressure on Machar to compromise following Kiir’s concession on state demarcation was successful. Machar returned to Juba without his own security force, relying on Kiir’s personal guarantee for his safety, at least for the time being. It was a bold move for Machar given that twice, in 2013 and again in 2016, Kiir’s forces have chased him out of the capital.

With those two contentious issues out of the way, the parties were able to close the deal by 22 February even though they left other major sticking points – including how to speed up the lagging unification of troops loyal to Kiir or to Machar in a single army – to be addressed as the new government moves into action to cement the peace. Although the two leaders will no doubt be focused for days, weeks or even longer on horse trading over who should occupy government positions and influential governorships under the peace deal’s power-sharing formula, they cannot afford to put aside these substantive matters for long.

Managing the many armed groups across the country is a particularly pressing concern.

Managing the many armed groups across the country is a particularly pressing concern. The promised army reform is a huge challenge, the first phase alone meant to bring together 83,000 troops. While the process of melding the erstwhile antagonists into a single force will likely last for years, fighters will be watching closely in the short term for signs of progress. Thousands of Machar’s troops have already amassed at designated training sites near Juba and elsewhere in anticipation of unification, but they are also a reminder of how quickly peace could unravel if Kiir and Machar do not keep their competition in check. Also sobering is that rival rebel commanders have refused to assemble together and that both sides have embarked on new recruitment drives to inflate their respective ranks. In order to create needed momentum for unification, the forces already at joint training sites should proceed to graduation and unified deployment so that sceptics, particularly in the opposition forces, do not lose faith in the process.

The unity government will also need to work with the new governors being installed to address long-simmering conflicts that predate this civil war, particularly over control and inclusive governance of two major cities, Wau and Malakal. The government will also need to reach peace deals with insurgencies that did not sign the 2018 agreement, particularly Equatorian rebels led by Thomas Cirillo, and maintain the ceasefire reached with Cirillo and other holdout parties in January. Encouragingly, the government has committed to proceeding with political negotiations with these groups in the Rome peace track, mediated by the Sant’Egidio community.

The regional powers that pushed Kiir and Machar to make the compromises enabling the 22 February deal likewise cannot rest. History has shown that only pressure from South Sudan’s neighbours can compel its two top leaders to make major concessions. Certainly, that was the case in the run-up to 22 February. Two weeks earlier, IGAD met in Addis Ababa on the sidelines of the African Union (AU) summit, as the two warring leaders remained locked in their positions. Museveni, along with Sudanese Prime Minister Abdalla Hamdok, reportedly pushed Kiir to return to the pre-war state demarcation of ten states. South African President Cyril Ramaphosa, who chairs the AU’s C5 countries mandated to support the South Sudanese peace process, also conducted his own shuttle diplomacy in Addis Ababa following the months of mediation efforts by his deputy, David Mabuza, on the dispute over states. The Kenyan special envoy, Kalonzo Musyoka, reinforced these efforts. It worked. Now, their collective attention and effort will be needed to help the unity government get on its feet and prevent any future fallout between Kiir and Machar from derailing South Sudan’s journey back from war.

Donors also have a role to play. Top donor countries, including the Troika of the U.S., UK and Norway, as well as the EU and others, applied important diplomatic pressure in the run-up to last week’s compromises. Escalating U.S. sanctions on Kiir’s government and threats to levy more on both sides added to the pressure. Continued unity of purpose among donors, in both the carrots they offer and the sticks they wield, will be key to pushing Kiir and Machar to keep their commitments to peace.

Church leaders, global and local, should lobby South Sudanese and regional leaders publicly and privately to keep the peace accord on track.

Meanwhile, church leaders, global and local, should lobby South Sudanese and regional leaders publicly and privately to keep the peace accord on track, as they did before the unity government was formed. Vatican City could have a particularly important part to play. Kiir continues to refer to his April 2019 visit to the Vatican, where in a striking gesture, Pope Francis knelt on the ground and kissed his and his rival’s feet. The president now hopes for a papal visit to South Sudan to commemorate the country’s move toward peace.

Many South Sudanese reasonably doubt that Kiir and Machar can ever work together. With elections looming in three years, and Machar planning to challenge Kiir for the presidency, the relationship will remain fraught. Still, there are grounds for some cautious optimism. Fatigued by the long war, many South Sudanese fervently wish to put the years of bloody conflict behind them once and for all. The parties have thus far avoided repeating some of the mistakes of the past – such as dividing Juba between duelling security forces. Moreover, although it took substantial external pressure to arrive at this point, the magnitude of the compromises they have made suggest that both Kiir and Machar are more willing participants in this unity government than in the last failed one. The two long-time belligerents will now have to make a habit of the kinds of concessions that made last weekend’s deal possible, striking the bargains that are necessary to keep the fragile unification process on track and to allow their young country to end the brutal war that has already gone on far too long.