The ARCSS is not Dr. Riek Machar and Dr. Riek Machar is not the ARCSS

Posted: December 27, 2017 by PaanLuel Wël Media Ltd. in Commentary, Contributing Writers, Junub Sudan, Opinion Articles, Opinion Writers

The ARCSS is not a subject of personality (Dr. Riek Machar Teny)

By Cde. Deng Gai Gatluak, Juba, South Sudan

Deng Gai Gatluak

Molana Deng Gai Gatluak


December 27, 2017 (SSB) — I have been merely a keen observer on how intellectuals debate opinions about the complexities of the ARCSS, HLRF and the disintegration within SPLM/A-IO, but opted to zip my mouth, watch behind the scenes and persistently kept my fingers on the pulse.

Nonetheless, I saw it wise to drop some lines on the subject matter. Martin Luther King Jr. once reiterated that “our lives begin to end the day we keep silent about things that matter.” On that note, It has come to my heed that, a substantial number of South Sudanese, predominantly the intellectuals, have exceedingly failed to comprehend the distinction between personalities and the agreement on the resolution of the conflict in South Sudan (ARCSS).

The ARCSS was signed between SPLM/A-IG and SPLM/A-IO plus other political stakeholders. Consequently, the agreement wasn’t a subject of Dr. Riek Machar Teny and H.E. Gen. Salva Kiir Mayardiit, notwithstanding the fact that they were the main signatories, we shouldn’t turn a blind eye on the fact that, SPLM/A-IO and SPLM/A-IG are legal entities that are separate from whoever spearheads them.

Hence, it is worth mentioning that, the ARCSS can still be implemented without the existence of the main signatories, as long as the replacement is legally executed without jeopardizing the provisions of the agreement. On that note, that’s why Dr. Riek Machar was legally replaced by H.E. Gen. Taban Deng Gai as provided for under article 6.4 of the ARCSS.

On a separate note, the IGAD’s June 2017 Communique has determined who are eligible to participate in the High-Level Revitalization Forum (HLRF) as “the parties to the ARCSS plus the estranged groups.” Thus, as per the IGAD’s communique on HLRF, SPLM/A-IO war faction, under the leadership of Dr. Riek Machar is considered as an estranged group.

However, this formulation is both ambiguous and insufficiently comprehensive, but legally implies that, the IGAD considered H.E. Gen. Taban Deng Gai, the current first vice President as the legitimate chairman and commander in chief of SPLM/A-IO and the implementing partner or signatory to the ARCSS, with reference to article 6.2 read together with article 6.4 of the ARCSS.

And on that note, that’s why the Transitional Government of National Unity (TGONU) opted to jointly participate in the HLRF, notwithstanding the fact that, the former detainees (FDs-TGONU) decided to participate separately.

Furthermore, if at all an agreement has ever been a subject of personalities, then we wouldn’t have achieved the independence of South Sudan when our late hero Dr. John Garang who was the main signatory to the comprehensive peace agreement (CPA-2005) died merely after 21 days from when the CPA was inked on.

Therefore, SPLM/A-IO is not an individual business enterprise, but a national movement that is advocating for democracy, reforms and transformation in South Sudan and anyone who believes in its mission, vision and objectives can undoubtedly carry on the task without the existence of Dr. Riek as an individual.

The author, Cde. Deng Gai Gatluak, is a member of National Dialogue Steering Committee (Secretariat), the Chairman of SPLM-IO Youth League-TGONU and a Law lecturer at Starford international University (SIU) in Juba, South Sudan. He obtained Master of Laws (LL.M) from Girne American University (GAU), Cyprus (2017) and holds a Bachelor of Laws (LL.B) from Cavendish University Uganda (CUU), (2014). You can reach him via his email:

The opinion expressed here is solely the view of the writer. The veracity of any claim made is the responsibility of the author, not PaanLuel Wël: South Sudanese Bloggers (SSB) website. If you want to submit an opinion article or news analysis, please email it to SSB do reserve the right to edit material before publication. Please include your full name, email address and the country you are writing from, plus a concise biography of yourself.


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