SOUTH SUDAN PEACE TALKS IS ABOUT TO BE CONCLUDED

BY Peter Kleto,

Dr. Riek Machar's SPLM-IO delegation, posting for a picture during consultation with Kenyan president in Nairobi Kenya(Photo: Nyamilepedia)

Dr. Riek Machar’s SPLM-IO delegation, posting for a picture during consultation with Kenyan president in Nairobi Kenya(Photo: Nyamilepedia)

October 19, 2014(Nyamilepedia) — As noted in the meeting by the Chairman of SPLM in opposition, Dr. Riek Machar Teny, during his consultation with the Kenyan president, His Excellency Uhuru Kenyatta, on October 18, 2014, the peace talks have made significant progress.

Though slow, the Leader of SPLM in opposition, Dr. Machar narrates that the unresolved issues which are considered to be contentious in the talks are the system of governance, federalism and leadership structure.

It is worth mentioning that the SPLM in Opposition leader, Dr. Riek Machar, has made it clear to IGAD that he is fine with not taking part in the upcoming transitional government and waits to take part in the election once the interim period subsides. In this respect, if Salva Kiir leads the transitional government during the interim period, Dr. Machar warns he should not participate in the upcoming election or else if he wish to do so, he must step down and gives someone else a chance to reconcile the populations and prepares the country for the election.

The first proposal was for the rebel side to choose their candidate for the post of Prime Minister’s, however, the opposition argue that the Prime Minister should be the head of Government and Security like in any other federal states in the world. The government delegation objects the proposal and instead demands that Salva Kiir should head the government and security.

Despite that the federal system of governance has been agreed upon on paper by the parties, the content and when it should be implemented remains controversial. In addition, leadership structure is another sticking point, however, some suggest the composition should be based on the percentage of popularity of each party in the country.

It is also recommended by the IGAD and agreed by the stakeholders that the civil society organizations should appoint their representatives to take part in the interim government, which would last for 30 months.

The interim government will prepare a transitional constitution based on federal system of governance, review the existing bills and change them to reflect the documents agreed by the parties in Addis ababa and Bahir Dar; and finally prepare the country for the election.

For genuine peace to be achieved, the followings remain to be decided:

  1. The government should decide whether president Salva Kiir will participate in the government of National Unity and not participate in the election at the end of the interim period, or;
  2. The two leaders must agree to step aside for peace to return and wait for the elections.

After Machar made his decision, the ball remains on the government’s court. Participation of both leaders in the interim government prove difficult as the two leaders want the executive powers to lead the government and security.

Hoping that the invitation by the Tanzanians’ ruling party, Chama Cha Mapinduzi, the SPLM leaders may possibly find solutions to reunify the party. The latest testimonies from the first group are promising and hopes remain high that sharing of party experiences will motivate and encourage Salva Kiir to compromise in order to end this conflict.

Dr. Machar has arrived in Arusha to attend the session that begins Monday and Salva Kiir is expected to join the talks.

The author, Peter Kleto, can be reached at peterkleto@gmail.com

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