South Sudan: Will the latest power sharing agreement hold?

Posted: August 13, 2018 by PaanLuel Wël Media Ltd. in Junub Sudan

By Martin Ariel Majak, Alexandria, Egypt

CEPO Fact Sheet on the Signed Khartoum Peace Agreement on the Revitalization of the 2015 ARCSS

Monday, August 13, 2018 (PW) — The government of South Sudan and a conglomerate of oppositions groups signed last week, in Khartoum, a new power sharing agreement in the hope of putting an end to years of civil war that has ravaged the country, rendered thousands dead and millions displaced.

The agreement sees Riek Machar return to government as the first Vice President out of the five vice – Presidents to President Salva Kiir, places 550 MPs (332 from the government and 128 from the opposition) in the parliament and creates 35 ministerial positions with 20 slots to the government, 9 to the IO and the remaining slots to the other smaller groups.

The deal didn’t go unscathed moments it was inked. It came under fire from different corners. Troika dismissed it as “not realistic”. Some from opposition quarters, especially the FDs, were complaining about how bloated the transitional government would be and that it would stretch out the resources we have and hinder service delivery to the people of South Sudan.

In fact, almost all the parties to the agreement voiced reservations while it was being drafted before giving their signatures on the deal later on. There are fears that the new power sharing agreement may meet the same fate as the 2015 peace agreement that collapsed and ended with Machar’s fleeing the country. So it leaves a question mark hanging, will the latest power sharing agreement hold?

Considering the fact that the two warring parties have previously signed peace deals, but none has held for longer than a few weeks, it is hard to tell what the future holds for this deal. As a matter of fact, the fate of the deal lies within the hands of the two principals, President Salva Kiir and Riek Machar, who have got everything in their powers to either sink the deal or make it work.

So as to offset the odds of a repeat of the 2015 scenario, the two figureheads will have to cultivate a great deal of trust between themselves or logging of horns as fierce or worse than the 2013/15 episodes will be an inevitability.

Honestly speaking, the deal has got some mind blowing clauses on it which literally makes it impractical. In real sense, the deal is a wreck and is more like an experimental one – never applied anywhere before. Distended Presidency, Distended Parliament, Distended cabinet and remember how cash strapped we’re. Don’t tell me donor money will alone oil the transitional government in its three year lifespan?

In spite of all these anomalies of the deal and with no better alternative to it except war, President Kiir and Riek can straighten up the messed up agreement if they can get along very well in their newfound partnership. They can make peace happen if all of them put aside their differences and work jointly for the greater good of the nation.

More importantly, it is to be said that this time the power dynamics revolve not only around President Kiir and Riek Machar. There are multiple players on the field whose roles are indispensable to ensure a lasting peace in every corner of the country.

The likes of Gen. Cirrillo, the leader of NAS, and Gen. Paul Malong who heads SSUF plus others do need to be called upon from the bushes and urged to join on the new drive for a new beginning. There’s no such thing as a “small rebellion”. It always comes down to killing a person and for this reason, it is to be insured that all guns go silent everywhere in the country.

My own personal opinion about the deal, its shortcomings notwithstanding, is that, if there was ever a time in history during which the South Sudanese leaders, bound together by their collective love of their homeland, could right the wrongs and come to work together to save the troubled country, I would say, now is the right time to act. A bad deal is better than war.

The writer is a student at the University of Alexandria, Egypt. He can be reached via his email: Ariel Majak <arielmajak93@gmail.com>

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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