Well, today’s reports from Juba says itself. The deadline for the R-ARCSS of 12th November 2019 will not be met. Even if the foreign stakeholders and United Nations pressure the parties to settle it by that time. This might be a push to hard, as the positioning of the South Sudan Opposition Movement (SSOM), SPLM-IO and others might not be met. The cost will be another marriage, which will end in tanks on the streets of Juba like in 2016. And we don’t want to see that.
Therefore, even as the deadline looms. Maybe give the parties time to settle things. Even if it costs. Because, SPLM, SPLM-IO, Real-SPLM, SPLM-FD and SSOM needs to be part of the new transitional government on terms accepted by all. This means, that Kiir and Machar doesn’t only need to keep their soldiers at bay, but also ensure that the others doesn’t violate the requirements made. That is not an easy task. That’s why the IGAD, the UNMISS, CSTAMVM, RJMEC and so-on needs to continue to oversee and ensure the stakeholders do their thing. Since, they are all there already and we don’t want to see it go out of hand. Let them stop the cease-fire and let the full force of contained soldiers on the loose. We don’t want that, because that might happen if we force the R-TGoNU to fast.
Here’s today’s statements, which is interesting, but telling.
Government Press Release:
“President Salva Kiir Mayardit and the opposition leader Dr. Riek Machar were briefed by the leadership of the Security Council, the Joint Defense Board at the State House on Sunday. The meeting focused on addressing the outstanding critical issues related to security arrangements and number of states hindering the implementation of the peace deal. The Minister of Information and Telecommunication, Michael Makuei Lueth who is the official government spokesperson said, President Kiir and Dr. Riek were presented with the security report concerning the implementation of the security arrangements. Michael Makuei said, the two parties will meet again to come out with the final decision on whether the transitional government of national unity will be formed or otherwise” (South Sudan Presidential Press Unit, 20.10.2019)
SPLM-IO Press Release:
“On the Meeting of President Salva Kiir and Dr. Riek Machar with the R-ARCSS Security Mechanisms. H. E. Salva Kiir Mayardit, President of the Republic of South Sudan and H.E. Dr. Riek Machar Teny-Dhurgon, Chairman and Commander in Chief of the People’s Movement SPLM/SPLA (IO), held a fruitful meeting with the R-ARCSS Security Mechanisms today at the State House (J1), as agreed upon by the two principals during the face-to-face consultative meeting held yesterday October 19, 2019. The Two principals received comprehensive updates from all Security Mechanisms on the status of the security arrangements, the achievements, the ongoing activities, the timeline and the challenges. The Mechanisms was instructed to proceed conducting their activities as per the Revitalized Agreement. Cde. Puok Both Baluang, SPLM (IO) Director for Information and Public Relations” (SPLM-IO, 20.10.2019).
Let us all remember that its just a little minute ago since the parties agreed upon the 27th June 2018 and sign the Khartoum Declaration. Later last year they agreed upon R-ARCSS on the 12th September 2018. So, November 2019 would only be one year and month after the signing of the comprehensive agreement and ceasefire arrangement. Therefore, to consider the implications and the implementation of it in that short span was well, in hindsight that was a short time-frame to finish such an extensive agreement.
That should also the foreign stakeholders considers, as the costs of giving-up or even force it upon the parties. Might cost more, than actually just give way to them. So, that they can find the stipulations and the statutes to reconfigure again. Since, the try-out in 2016 didn’t go well. This time around, the parties might want to do it more. Because, they see the goodwill it gives both in Khartoum and in Addis Ababa.
Nevertheless, the situation and stalemate cannot last forever. This is one more hitch along the road. But that shouldn’t mean the process is over yet. Just that its one more hurdle and a little more to give before it hopefully returns a R-TGoNU and such. Peace.