Sept 06, 2014(Nyamilepedia) — Basically what are your reservations towards the IGAD draft protocol on the formation of the Interim Transitional government arrangement?
Our reservation towards the infamous IGAD protocol is basically the letter and the spirit of the protocol. The letter indicates essentially that Salva Kiir retains his seat, he should give final endorsement to the nomination by SPLM/A, the prime minister should work harmoniously with the president, this means that at any one time the president may wake up from his long sleep and abrogate the agreement by sacking the prime minister on the ground that he is not working harmoniously with him. The mother of all evil in the letter is the fallacy that the prime minister cannot run in any elections after the interim period. This is a mockery of democracy and abuse of human right of a person against which we are fighting. We have been fighting for political rights, against exclusion and marginalization. By this text, IGAD has turn the clock backward to those dark days of colonial domination and political malpractices by Khartoum based regimes and this will never happen in South Sudan, maybe it can happen in Ethiopia, Kenya, Uganda, Somalia, Sudan and Djibouti. If IGAD wants to retain Kiir in power let them convince the half a million IDPs in UN camps and they account for the over twenty thousand lives lost.
Are you ready to sign the agreement or continue in dialogue on the issues?
Which agreement? There is no any agreement in Addis Ababa on political principles. What you and IGAD call agreement or so call protocol is a rough work and a zero draft document with lots of spellings and legal errors. An agreement is negotiated and signed by the parties that negotiated it. What IGAD has done is an attempt to impose vested interest and extort signatures by the mediators. This is utmost malpractice and unacceptable. The protocol must be negotiated by the two parties; Government of South Sudan and SPLM/A before it is signed by the principals. As far as we are concern IGAD negotiated the protocol themselves they said they will sign and own it. May be it is good for their files and for future reference as some people learn through mistakes.
What will be your next step given the fact IGAD has set a deadline for the peace talks 45 days, could it be enough for the breakthrough of the last round?
We will continue to negotiate in good faith in 45 days or beyond whether we will reach an agreement or not. Time is not the problem. Real work is needed by both IGAD and the parties. This real work is in terms of substantive negotiation on the root causes of the conflict, reforms and restructuring the state. IGAD is wasting a lot of time arguing with the negotiating parties themselves. In the last round they actually did nothing but ended up trying to extort signatures from the principals. While in the second last round of talks, IGAD did not take off with mediation since the talks did not go beyond the mode of participation of multi stakeholders with no success. The structure of the peace talks itself have complicated the work of IGAD Mediators through talking about talks. Virtually the peace talks have been turned into a mini parliament, a talking shop and a business enterprise.
Do you think that IGAD has taken side in drafting the Protocol?
They have not only taken side but they have become protagonist. They deserve another table at the negotiation. They went into media offensive against the SPLM/A to justify failure at the talks. We are reliably aware that the texts were authored by Government of South Sudan and how they got it through the mediators and the summit indicates how some personalities in the mediation are probably compromised. IGAD use threats of use of force and invading South Sudanese in order to arm-twist and derail SPLM/A from bringing reforms in the country. If IGAD wants to invade South Sudan instead of mediating the talks let them begin by killing those who survived from Salva Kiir massacre and are now getting shelter in UN camps before they engage with all the South Sudanese. Nobody can violate the sovereignty and territorial integrity of South Sudan and get away with it without paying a price either now or tomorrow.