South Sudan: Non-Political Stakeholders’ Coalition on Constitution Making Process in South Sudan – Press Statement (08.06.2023)
I write what I like.
In Juba, South Sudan… people should be worried, and the sign of the everlasting transitional period is having its affects. The price of the continues transitional period is starting to vein on things. The political elite and the former foes are now butting heads. The lack of implementation, progress or creation of institutions are hurting the process. The current regime is reckless by sticking by its guns and not acting upon the R-ARCSS.
President Kiir and his closest associates cannot decree themselves out of this one. There is a need to hold talks, negotiate and find positive measures to ensure the articles and the agreed upon R-ARCSS is implemented. This has been done at a glacier slow speed and done so on purpose. The leaders have bought itself time by doing nothing and twinning their thumbs.
This UN Experts Reports is damning of the leaders in South Sudan. They are now held accountable and what they have done is making things even more fragile. Just because it is easy to take it slow.
Just read these parts of the Report!
“Their experience is likely familiar to many South Sudanese, whose patience, trust in the process and ability to survive have been tested in equal measure since the signing of the Revitalized Agreement on the Resolution of the Conflict in the Republic of South Sudan in 2018. The date of 22 February 2023 would have marked the end of the transitional period, had it not been for the two-year extension agreed in Juba in August 2022. As the symbolic date approached, the Government issued a lengthy press statement outlining its achievements while stressing that everything would remain “business as usual” for the Government throughout the extension. Implicit in that message was the need to allay two concerns. First, that the extension would be used to undermine the fragile power-sharing structures ahead of the implementation of the most challenging provisions of the peace agreement, notably its security provisions, constitution-drafting process and preparations for elections. Second, that “business as usual” would mean further delays, not the progress that peace once promised. The transitional period was not supposed to last for such a long time. It was also intended to be buttressed by significant reforms that would bring security, economic stability and development, while remedying the democratic deficit of the current arrangements through a clear timeline towards elections” (Final report of the Panel of Experts on South Sudan submitted pursuant to resolution 2633 (2022), 26.04.2023).
“Under the extended transitional period, elections are now scheduled for December 2024. While other short-term priorities, including security arrangements, continue to dominate the political agenda, the approaching prospect of elections has started to shape the political landscape. With the Sudan People’s Liberation Movement in Opposition (SPLM-IO) fragmented and weakened, both militarily and politically, the Government has sought to press home its advantage by reshaping key national and State-level institutions. This has already sparked significant confrontations among signatories to the peace agreement, before many of the most contentious election preparation activities have even started” (Final report of the Panel of Experts on South Sudan submitted pursuant to resolution 2633 (2022), 26.04.2023).
“Recent Necessary Unified Force graduates who spoke to the Panel hoped that their deployment would mean the start of “a new life”. While some progress has been made towards the implementation of the peace agreement, delays continue to test the patience of those who remain hopeful that it will eventually deliver relief from insecurity and humanitarian hardship. The patience of many has already been exhausted, however, before several of the most contentious and potentially combustible provisions of the peace agreement have even started, such as drafting the constitution, formalizing political boundaries and conducting a census” (Final report of the Panel of Experts on South Sudan submitted pursuant to resolution 2633 (2022), 26.04.2023).
If you read them like me, you are getting concerned and worried. Because these things aren’t a sign of sustainable peace or development for a better future. No, this is a sign of stalemate and buying time. While they are thinking of how to get ahead in a possible election in 2024. Though that is all in the air, if the lack of implementation is hurting that process too.
There are to many temporary fixes and lack of due process. That’s why we should be worried and concerned. The high-ranking officials and the ones in leadership positions needs to be alert. They need to read this report and act. These folks cannot just look by and let it all sail away. Especially, when this peace has cost so much, and they shouldn’t risk it either. The price of not having peace is even more. Kiir and Machar has seen what a civil war does and they shouldn’t risk that again. Especially not over petty grievances and lonely power struggle.
The well-being of the Republic should matter more to them. However, the UN Experts reports is damning, but not totally without hope. That’s why we can hope that the slow transitional government will eventually pick up the speed. Nevertheless, I wouldn’t count on it. Peace.
“President Salva Kiir has appointed a new minister of Defense and Veterans Affairs. Chol Thon Balok, a member of the SPLM replaces Angelina Teny who was relieved early this month. The changes were announced in a Republican Order read last evening on state broadcaster” (Radio Miraya, 30.03.2023).
Has there been a slow train coming in Juba, South Sudan. That slow train has been reforms and been implementation of the R-ARCSS – Peace Agreement, which was first signed and secured in December 2018. Since then, there been several of deadlines, postponements and lack of process or work on the implementation of the R-ARCSS. That’s why things are moving super slow or if it is moving at all.
President Salva Kiir Mayardit has been in-charge, the head of state and the commander in chief. He has ruled the republic by decree and seems to be comfortable with that. The President has the last say and can enact whatever he feels like. That’s how it looks and in this regard. He does it…
While doing so, there are ramifications and pushback. The President is questioned for his action to sack a minister and appoint another one. Especially, when the Minister is from another party and another signatory to the R-ARCSS. There are stipulations and agreements involved, which limits the scopes of the Republican Orders or the Presidential Decrees. Because, he has to be in-line with the articles and agreements, which he has signed in past.
It is maybe a few years ago and the times are changing. Maybe Kiir finds it best to have all security details and oversight within SPLM-IG. While the SPLM/A-IO wanted this role and have this influential ministry. Alas, here is the issue… it was done without consultation and later not settled after the sacking. The President just bought himself time and played around with Machar. Just to show him who has the power and who is the underdog. Kiir really just proved a point and Machar got nothing to show for it.
This Transitional Government seems to be a forever entity. Kiir don’t want to be challenged or questioned in office. He just wants to rule and give plum jobs to his allies. The President just want to feed his pocket and call it a night. That’s how this looks and it evident of it too.
Kiir knows perfectly well that this would cause a stir and be an issue. He is not only toying around with SPLM/A-IO role in the Transitional Government, but he sacked the wife of Machar. That was just bound to cause havoc and become a hectic quick. Not like Kiir sacked a random general or a run-of-the-mill mouthpiece of another party. No, he sacked the wife of the leader of one of the parties. By doing this… he knew he would cause problems and possibly create a quagmire.
Part of me believes this is a scheme of Kiir to prolong and waste more time. Just so the signatories need more meetings and address the concerns. In the end, it will mean another deal and agreement, which gives further stipulations and regulation of power. While we know at any moment another Republican Order can be announced and create a new problem. That’s just the way these things go…. Peace.