Addis Ababa: Controversies Over Formation Of Transitional Government of National Unity

An extraordinary session of the IGAD heads of states meeting in the Ethiopian capital, Addis Ababa, on 10 June 2014 (IGAD photo)

An extraordinary session of the IGAD heads of states meeting in the Ethiopian capital, Addis Ababa, on 10 June 2014 (IGAD photo)

August 25, 2014(Nyamilepedia) — The heads of Intergovernmental Authority on Development (IGAD) will resume South Sudan peace talks today in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia.

The talks were postponed yesterday due to unresolved controversies over the formation of Transitional Government of National Unity(TGNU).

According to a reliable source, who has not been authorized to speak on behave of the warring parties, the regional leaders, which include Salva Kiir Mayardit and Dr. Riek Machar Teny, divide on power sharing arrangements.

While some argue that the president should remain as the Commander in Chief of the armed forces, others prefer a ceremonial president like in India and other democratic systems. The later demands that the Prime Minister be the Commander in Chief of the armed forces of the Transitional Government.

Independent sources at the meeting revealed that three of the five stakeholders groups prefer a ceremonial president. This conclusion was supported with reference to maintaining peace in the country.

The stakeholders groups that support a ceremonial president believe that to avoid this man-made conflict in the future the president must have his hands off the army. This is important, as they argue, because the president is expected to preside over most of the national issues and therefore expected to interact with the civil population more than the Prime Minister.

Some stakeholders argue that if the post of Prime Minister is created, like in the previous Kenyan system, then there would be two deputy prime ministers without a vice president or with a vice president that has comparatively less powers. It remains unclear if the warring parties would fill these positions or render them to other stakeholders.

The reliable source revealed that the mediators stranded on dissolving the current government of Salva Kiir. While some members argue that the Transitional Government will only be effective if formed afresh, some believe that Salva Kiir should retain his current government and instead absorb appointed members from other stakeholders. Again, with exception of government delegations, the stakeholders argue that the Salva Kiir government must be dissolved.

The stakeholders argue that dissolving the current government will allow room for an independent tribunal to investigate individuals who are suspected to have committed human right violations in the current conflict from both sides.

The stakeholders reiterate that if Salva Kiir retains his government then the current regime will claim powers to protect “criminals”, who have committed gross violations and crimes against humanity.

The armed opposition, SPLM/SPLA, demands that a swift reform must be carried out in many institutions.

The opposition strongly urges the regional mediators to work out a realistic procedure to reform the security sectors and to implement federalism in the country.

According to the insider, the regional leaders argue that the current protagonists, Salva Kiir and Dr. Riek Machar, must not participate in the election if they choose to lead the Transitional Government. However, both Kiir and Machar downplayed signing the document as they both want to contest in the following elections.

The government delegation argues that the president was elected by the people and therefore it must be the people to decide whether or not he should contest in the subsequent elections.

It is yet to be verified how the transitional constitution would selectively bar some citizens from contesting in an election. However, constitutional reform is one of the items that are expected to be discussed if an agreement is reached between the warring parties.

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