IGAD unveils new peace proposal as warring factions sign a partial agreement on cantonment of forces

Posted: May 23, 2018 by PaanLuel Wël Media Ltd. in December 2013 Crisis, Editorials, HLRF, Junub Sudan, Opinion Articles, Opinion Writers, PaanLuel Wël

By PaanLuel Wel (Juba) and Emmanuel Ariech Deng (Addis Ababa)

CEPO fact sheet on the power sharing arrangement

Monday, May 22, 2018 (PW) — The Inter-Governmental Authority on Development (IGAD), unveils a new peace proposal on power sharing and security arrangements as South Sudan’s warring parties and stakeholders at the High Level Revitalization Forum of the 2015 ARCSS in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, signed a partial agreement on the cantonment of forces and reaffirmed their commitment to the cessation of hostilities agreement.

IGAD was compelled to release the “Abridging Proposal” after the failure of the warring parties to resolve outstanding issues pertaining to power sharing and security arrangements of the revitalized transitional government of national unity. Under the new IGAD’s compromised peace proposal, the revitalized transitional government will be headed by a president nominated by the current government of national unity in Juba under the leadership of President Kiir, 1st VP Gen. Taban Deng and VP Dr. James Wani.

According to the abridging proposal, the president of the revitalized transitional government will be assisted by three presidents, who would be in charge of governance cluster ministries, economic cluster ministries and social services cluster ministries. The 1st VP will be nominated by the SPLM-IO of Dr. Riek Machar, the 2nd VP will be nominated by the current transitional government of national unity in Juba, while the 3rd VP will be nominated by other opposition groups, comprising of the Former Political Detainees (FDs), South Sudan’s Opposition Alliance (SSOA), and Other Opposition Parties (OPP).

On power sharing arrangements, which IGAD euphemistically called responsibility sharing, the 55% of the revitalized transitional government would go to the current transitional government in Juba; 25% to the SPLM-IO of Riek Machar, 10% to the South Sudan’s Opposition Alliance (SSOA), 5% to Former Political Detainees (FDs), while the remaining 5% would go to Other Opposition Parties (OPP) within the country.

At the state level, the current transitional government will take 65% of all state governors while the SPLM-IO takes 25%, and other opposition groups, comprising of the Former Political Detainees (FDs), South Sudan’s Opposition Alliance (SSOA), and Other Opposition Parties (OPP), will take the remaining 10%. IGAD stipulated that the SPLM-IO should be given precedence in nominating the share of opposition governors in the Greater Upper Nile region while SSOA should be given precedence in nominating the share of opposition governors in the Greater Equatoria region.

IGAD has also proposed that the revitalized transitional cabinet will be composed of 42 ministers, plus 15 assistant ministers. Meanwhile, the revitalized transitional assembly would increase from the current 332 MPs to 440 MPs. Of the additional 108 members, 70 of them will come from the SPLM-IO while 38 will be contributed by other opposition groups, comprising of the Former Political Detainees (FDs), South Sudan’s Opposition Alliance (SSOA), and Other Opposition Parties (OPP).

The speaker of the revitalized transitional national legislative assembly will hail from the Equatoria region under the government ticket while the deputy speaker will be nominated by the SPLM-IO from any of the three regions of the Republic of South Sudan. The membership of the Council of State shall remain unchanged during the revitalized transitional period.

In terms of security arrangements and guarantees, IGAD has proposed that the integration and unification of all armed forces shall be completed within 12 months after the signing of the final agreement. Additionally, IGAD has proposed that opposition leaders from the SPLM-IO, FDs and SSOA who would feel insecure in Juba will be placed under the protection of the Regional Protection Forces (RPF) with support from the joint integrated units.

While the SPLM-IO and other opposition groups have been adamant about the call for federalism and have also demanded the reinstatement of the 10 states during the transitional period, the government has suggested holding a national referendum to decide the fate of federalism and the number of states in a popular exercise. The abridging proposal from IGAD has pushed the question of federalism and the number of states into the reform phase after the constitution of the revitalized transitional government of national unity.

Reacting to the unveiling of the new peace proposal from IGAD, Mr. Edmund Yakani, the Executive Director of CEPO, urges “South Sudan parties to take the opportunity seriously and get engage in making compromises for peace.” He said that “the citizens of South Sudan want peace urgently without any delay or dragging of feet,” adding that “the table proposal of IGAD should offer a chance of making the parties drawing resolutions on sorting out the outstanding issues on governance.”

Mr. Edmund Yakani, a veteran civil society leader and human rights activist in South Sudan, advised the warring parties that “negotiating peace is not always based on the win-loss approach but it is based on win-win approach,” concluding that, “Therefore, South Sudan parties should take responsibility for losing and winning for peace. Peace has a price that always any party in peace mediation can face”

The new compromised peace proposal by IGAD is in sharp contrast to the respective proposals of the warring parties according to the report of contentious issues compiled by IGAD during the Intensive Interlinked Consultations (IIC) of the High Level Revitalization Forum (HLRF), May 11-13, in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia.

The current transitional government in Juba had proposed that any revitalized transitional government would be headed by the incumbent President Kiir, who would then be assisted by the incumbent 1st VP Taban Deng, and the incumbent VP Dr. James Wani Igga.

The government had further proposed that additional three assistant presidents under the current incumbents would be appointed, the first of which would go to the SPLM-IO of Riek Machar (but not Riek himself), the second one to the South Sudan’s Opposition Alliance (SSOA) and the third one, who is to be a female, would be nominated by Other Opposition Parties (OPP).

On their part, the SPLM-IO had proposed that the revitalized transitional government would be headed by a president nominated by the current transitional government in Juba, but not President Kiir himself. Furthermore, SPLM-IO had proposed that the president would be assisted by the 1st VP who would be nominated by the SPLM-IO, and then a 2nd VP who would be nominated by other opposition groups such as the FDs, South Sudan’s Opposition Alliance (SSOA) and Other Opposition Parties (OPP).

The Former Political Detainees (FDs), along with the South Sudan’s Opposition Alliance (SSOA) and Other Opposition Parties (OPP), had proposed a lean technocratic government without the involvement of President Kiir and Dr. Riek Machar. Their technocratic government would be composed of 5-person rotational presidency, of which three people would hail from each of the three regions of South Sudan while the other two people would be a civil society leader and a lady.

Under their second option of a lean hybrid government, an executive prime minister plus his deputy and 15 ministers would form the technocratic government of which none of their members would be eligible to run in any future elections. Under this system, members of the lean technocratic or hybrid government would simply formulate and implement reform in preparation for a general election. Security and law enforcement would be handed over to the UN forces in the country.

In term of the cabinet, the government had proposed that there should be 42 ministers and 15 deputy ministers of the revitalized transitional government. Regarding power sharing, the government had proposed that 80% of the revitalized transitional government would go to the current government while the remaining 20% would be shared by the SPLM-IO, the FDs, SSOA and OPP. At the state level, the government allocated itself 85% of all governors while leaving 15% of the governors to be shared by the SPLM-IO, the FDs, SSOA and OPP.

The SPLM-IO had proposed 30 ministers for the revitalized transitional cabinet. The SPLM-IO further proposed that the power sharing formula should be 40% of the cabinet to the current government while 40% would go to the SPLM-IO. The remaining 20% would be shared among the FDs, SSOA and OPP.

Observers are worried that the warring parties might react negatively to the proposed power sharing and security arrangements from IGAD. In the event that the new peace proposal is rejected by the warring factions, IGAD might be compelled, once more, to impose a doom peace agreement on South Sudan’s warring factions, a factor which was largely blamed for the failure of the 2015 ARCSS which was imposed on the government and the opposition.

South Sudan was plunged into a deadly civil war in December 2013 following a leadership contest in the ruling SPLM party when President Kiir and his then deputy, Dr. Riek Machar, failed to agree on the best method of conducting party election for the post of the chairmanship. Winning the post of the chairperson of the ruling SPLM party is widely seen as an assured way of clinching the presidency.

The five year old civil war has displaced over four million people, crippled the economy, frayed social fabric and exacerbated underdevelopment in a nation besieged by conflict for the best part of its nascent existence.

Reporting by PaanLuel Wel Media Correspondent, Emmanuel Ariech Deng, at the IGAD-led High Level Revitalization Forum (HLRF) of the Agreement on the Resolution of Conflict in South Sudan (ARCSS) in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, and Editing by PaanLuel Wel from Juba, South Sudan.

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 Media (PW) website. If you want to submit an opinion article, commentary or news analysis, please email it to paanluel2011@gmail.com. PaanLuel Wël Media (PW) website do reserve the right to edit or reject material before publication. Please include your full name, a short biography, email address, city and the country you are writing from.

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Comments
  1. David says:

    Our country is really mess up, we actually don’t even know the aim of what we were fighting for in the first place, if ordinary citizens knew it was going to go down like this they could have not voted for referendum. Other countries made a proposal for us of how to govern our own country, that indication proof that we can’t rule ourselves. what a shame.

    Like

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