South Sudan: Why one of the VPs should go to the Greater Bahr el Ghazal region?

Posted: August 6, 2019 by PaanLuel Wël Media Ltd. in Junub Sudan

By Pal Chol Nyan, Juba, South Sudan

Taban Deng Ghai and President Kiir, Juba, Dec 22 2015

Tuesday, August 06, 2019 (PW) — The R-ARCISS was inked last year in Khartoum under the auspices of the ousted Sudanese President. The agreement provided that there shall be five VPs including the FVP to constitute a collegial Presidency for the transitional period which commences once a unified security forces are put in place. The Mechanisms are now working on these modalities though behind schedule but on course.

It is clearly stipulated in sub-article that The Chairman of the SPLMIO Dr Riek Machar Teny shall assume the position of the FVP.  One to be nominated by the FDs and must be a woman. One to be nominated by SSOA.  In the incumbent TGONU, one of the two VPs is from Upper Nile and the other is from Equatoria respectively as per the August 2015 ARCISS now being revitalized. 

For those who have read the R-ARCISS, they will agree with me that it spoke about the reconstitution and expansion of the National Parliament, Councils of States, Cabinet ministers and reforms within the security sector plus all the institutions within the Republic of South Sudan. 

It is worth mentioning that the Head of the SPLMIO is from Upper Nile region. Summed up, the four VPs will come from the Upper Nile should the President swallow his pride and maintain the incumbent two.

That means, Bahr el Ghazal region will have only person in the Presidency who is none other than His Excellency, the President of the Republic of South Sudan. If taken to be true, it will be a moral blunder in the sense that His Excellency, the President doesn’t represent a region, state or a constituency.

He represents the whole country. He is the symbol of our sovereignty and the State. 

If you read Chapter 1 of the ARCISS; article 1.9, about the powers, functions and responsibilities of the President, the FVP and the other VPs; you will find that the RTGONU is founded on the premise that there shall be a collegial collaboration in the decision-making and continuous consultations within the Presidency.

With that taken into an account and in the event that the Presidency doesn’t see eye to eye on any outstanding issues related to regional interests, the people of the Bahr el Ghazal region will have theirs compromised . As such, I am of the opinion that one of the VPs ought to come from Bahr el Ghazal region for equal representation in the decision-making center (Presidency).

When I talked about this last year, some quarters accused me of conspiring against individuals they favour more than the general public and which they didn’t know was damaging to some parts of the country.

I leave it to you to analyse and see where did I go wrong. The negotiation of the agreement was faulty from the beginning in the words of our renowned academician and a veteran politician Prof Peter Adwok Nyaba.

There were issues not addressed for the good of all but much time was devoted to who becomes or gets what. The roots causes of the conflict were addressed half-heartedly. The President should not be confused and bothered by people who don’t have people and the country at heart.

In retrospect, when you looked at the hierarchy and organizational structures of the SPLM/A since its formation in 1983, seniorty didn’t take precedence in essence.
Arok Thon who joined the Movement a year later than Capt Salva was a Major but Capt Salva was made senior to him because the early birds catch worms.Capt Salva was appointed to the 4th strongest position of the deputy Chief of staff for Security and Operations. Major Arok Thon took the 5th most powerful position in the hierarchy as the deputy Chief of staff for Logistics and Administration.
The five including the Chairman, his deputy and the Chief of staff became known as the permanent members of the Politico-Military High Command (PMHC). It formed the decision-making body and the nucleus of the Liberation Movement.
Convinced and determined of what he was set to do, Col Dr Garang decided to drop the use of the conventional ranking system for the traditional one making the seniority in the then Sudan irrelevant.
The highest rank was the commander followed by Alternate commander, then capt and down the line. When Major-General Kuol Amum later joined the Movement; he was commisioned into the SPLM/A with the rank of Alternate commander, captain and down the line. The seniority for commanders was recognised in the design of the berets and insignias. Promotions were later based on merit.
As time went by and for the war to be prosecuted smoothly , Dr John Garang, the Chairman and C-in-C came up with the notion of naming some senior commanders as Alternate members of PMHC.They consisted of the 12 senior officers selected from the three regions and assigned as zonal commanders under the five axis commanded by the permanent members of PMHC. They were 6 from Upper Nile region,3 from Bhar el Ghazal region,2 from Equatoria regionand 1 from Nuba Mountains and Ingessa Hills.
With that arrangement,the Movement was united and more government garrisons and towns were captured by the SPLM/A.
The issues of reforms addressed in the R-ARCISS will tackle the tribal hegemony and regional representation. Let us pray the agreement is implemented in letter and spirit. 
In the next RTOGNU, all the 64 tribes shall see themselves and well represented. No tribe will claim supremacy over others and neither will any tribe or region be neglected. 
For a prosperous and stable South Sudan!

Time for self-aggrandizement is over. We all need to live in ivory towers. 

The author, Pal Chol Nyan, is a Graduate from the College of Radiological Medical Sciences from Sudan University of Sciences and Technology. He also holds a Diploma in Teaching Methodology and a Diploma in General Medical Sciences. He was a red army soldier, a former Primary school teacher, currently serving as a General Medical Practitioner in Juba Teaching Hospital in Juba, South Sudan. He is a columnist with local newspapers in Juba/South Sudan and contributes in many websites about social, security and economic. 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 Media (PW) website. If you want to submit an opinion article, commentary or news analysis, please email it to 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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