IGAD Peace Talks Breakthrough, The “Text Arising Document”!!

South Sudan stakeholders in Bahir, Amhara Province Ethiopia, 20th Sept, 2014(Photo credits: Oet Patric)

South Sudan stakeholders in Bahir, Amhara Province Ethiopia, 20th Sept, 2014(Photo credits: Oyet Patric)

Sept 22, 2014(Nyamilepedia) — The IGAD led South Sudan peace process resumed today, August 22, at Bahir Dar, the capital of the Amhara National Regional State, Ethiopia, following a long deliberation and consultation on the agenda of the sixth phase.

The consultation has resolved and drafted a compromise document that comprise of elements from 25th August Protocol, Thematic Committees and Stakeholders positions, entitled the “Text Arising from the 25th August Protocol and Stakeholders Positions, Draft I”, dated 22 September 2014.

According to Ambassador Seyoum Mesfin, the Chairperson of the IGAD Special Envoy, the document has incorporated the positions of all participants, however, it requires thorough negotiation.

“The document you have in front of you, which incorporates the Protocol and the position or official response of the stakeholders to the single negotiating text developed during the 5th session of talks, recognizes that there is still much work to be done, and much negotiation still to occur” Amb. Seyoum Mesfin said.

Gen. Taban Deng Gai, the Chief Negotiator of SPLM/SPLA, reaffirms that the content of the document is inclusive of all the position of the Stakeholders as presented in Phase II session 5.

Following the opening remarks by Hon. Yalew Abate, Speaker of the Amhara National Regional State Council, IGAD Envoy and stakeholders presented their positions on the “text Arising” document.

According to Amb. Seyoum, the approach of the mediation is to draw on the guiding principles provided by the Protocol endorsed by the IGAD Head of State and Government on August 25, 2014.

IGAD acknowledges that the Protocol is not a final agreement but a roadmap of guiding principles that should guide the South Sudan stakeholders toward a negotiated agreement.

South Sudan stakeholders, while putting less emphases on the protocol, contemplated that all the content of the consolidated “text arising” document must be subjected to thorough scrutiny.

“All content of the consolidated document shall be subject to negotiation by all Stakeholders mentioned in May 9, 2014 Agreement without exception.” Gen. Taban Deng Gai said.

According to SPLM/SPLA, the consolidated document shall be negotiated through the thematic committees as established during Phase II session 5.

SPLA/SPLA reiterates that the content of consolidated document shall be divided among the thematic committee.

On the other hand, Hon. Micheal Makuei Lueth, the acting Chief Negotiator for the Government of South Sudan, appreciates IGAD, TROIKA, and all friends of South Sudan for their contribution as peace brokers.

Hon. Makuei hopes that all the stakeholders shall collaborate and work together within the set of principles agreed by IGAD heads of states in the Protocol document.

“We hope, this time around, all the stakeholders and the mediation team will combine their efforts in this session, collaborate and work together within the set frame of the Protocol on Agreed Principles on Transitional Arrangements Towards Resolution of the Crisis in South Sudan” Makuei said.

Makuei reiterates SPLM-Juba’s commitment as a Government to fully abide by the Cessation of Hostilities (CoH) Agreement and the CoH Agreement Matrix to “save the remaining lives in South Sudan”.

Lueth decried a planned workshop on the CoH Agreement matrix scheduled for the first week of September 2014 failed to kick off for reasons not known to his delegation.

Makuei blames the SPLM/SPLA for lack of progress and alleged attacks on their positions but wish that the sixth round negotiation ends without attack by the SPLM/SPLA-IO.

“we expect to end this session and conclude peace, at the very least, without any fresh attacks on our positions by the SPLM/A (IO).” Lueth said.

The Faith Based Organization and SPLM Leaders reiterates that Themantic Committee recommendations, principles drawn from IGAD Protocol and positions of the stakeholders be given special attention and priority during the sixth round.

The stakeholders and IGAD’s Special Envoy concur that the following, among others, principles shall be negotiated during the negotiation:

  1. Transitional Government arrangement; the structures and leadership of TGNU
  2. Security Arrangement and Permanent Ceasefire
  3. Parameters of Permanent Constitution.
  4. Resources.
  5. Economics and Financial Management.
  6. Transitional Justice.
  7. Reconciliation and Healing.

SPLM/SPLA urged that the following key issues in the document be given special and immediate attention and negotiation priorities:

  1. The structure of the TFGONU
  • President and Prime Minister
  • Powers and duties of the President and Prime Minister
  • Terms of Office
  1. Leadership of theTFGONU
    • The positions of President and Prime Minister shall be apportioned to SPLM/SPLA and GRSS. Hence, the two parties shall negotiate who takes what.
    • Power Sharing Ratios
  1. Negotiation of the transitional constitution and parameters of the permanent constitution.
  1. Dissolution and formation of the governing structures and institutions of the TFGONU.
  2. Comprehensive Critical Reforms as outlined in April 28, 2014 Agenda.

According to the IGAD report, “the representative of the stakeholders have reiterated commitment to address the root causes of the conflict as soon as possible”.

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