Opinion: Be ready for the E-R-ARCSS Era

“There are a lot of doubts, there are a lot of doubting Thomases that [ask] what happens if you don’t implement the deal, and this is what most of you have in mind that ‘This is the government of people who have decided to rule, they are not ready to step down for elections, they are obstructing all the times and delaying the implementation because they want to stand again”Michael Makuei Lueth (21.02.2023)

The The Revitalised Agreement on the Resolution of the Conflict in the Republic of South Sudan (R-ARCSS) has had several of deadlines and is on overtime as we speak. The implementation and the lack thereof are the reason for the current quagmire. The slow process and lack of progress is infuriating. Though it is better to be slow, than be quick and re-start conflict. So, in that sense… it is better to be careful and listen to the people on the ground. However, the actions of Juba and the high-ranking official is a game of prolonging the agony as long as possible.

Ever since the signing of the R-ARCSS things has moved glacier slow. There has been so many setbacks and acts of which make it seem to be the endgame. It is just a way of ruling without having to worry about elections, protocol or institutionalize things. Because, if they had done that… the ones in the Transitional National Legislative Assembly (TNLA) or in Cabinet wouldn’t maybe even be there. They are all through negotiations and separate agreements, which are done by stakeholders or others. Therefore, these are not elected people, but selected to represent former rebels, war-lords and even the Presidents own men.

This Peace Agreement was first bound to be implemented by November 2019 and now we are in February 2023, and they will have another two years to fix it. This just shows how long the “Transitional Period” is and how they are stalling it. If they were sincere and willing… a lot of the stipulations and parts of the R-ARCSS would already be in order. However, there is now will and therefore… there is no way.

We are now not only in the era of R-ARCSS but officially entering the territory of E-R-ARCSS, the Extended- Revitalised Agreement on the Resolution of the Conflict in the Republic of South Sudan (E-R-ARCSS), the R-TGoNU is giving itself a life-line of 24 months. No one should be shocked if they need more time after this. They are just finding ways and measures to prolong it anyway.

The ones in-charge are not only taking this very soft and not acting swiftly. They are not rushing, no hesitation or forging away ahead. No, they are just taking it day by day and awaiting a verdict. It is just like a long-con, instead of a short-con. Since they are ahead and in office. There is nothing substantial or worthy of finishing it. Because, if they finish it and execute the R-ARCSS. They might loose office and could easily be history. That’s why they rather linger and stall the process. It is a “victory” for them and it keeps them “busy”.

While the hope the donors, the stakeholders and everyone else just accepts the slow reforms, the non-reforms and the non-action as a peace gesture.

We can all without shadow of a doubt, believe and abide the one simple thing. Nothing is as stagnate or permanent as a temporary policy or institution. These high ranking officials are earning, profiting and gaining influence by keeping it this way. If they suddenly where to loose or miss out. They would re-amp and re-start the process. The same ones would usher in improvements and actually deliver R-ARCSS. However, they are not getting anything out of it and risks losing it all. That’s why they are not willing or have the heart to finish it.

That’s why we have entered the era of E-R-ARCSS, and this is the political framework, which makes Juba going. If not, this is the glory and greatness of President Kiir. His legacy is bound by the slowing down of the process and stopping the tracks of implementation. A man who is worried about having to retire. Peace.

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