South Sudan: Machar Objects To Sign An “Imposed Agreement”
According to the IGAD’s 29th “Extraordinary Assembly” of Heads of States and Governments scheduled for 29th of January but later adjourned to 31st January, SPLA-Juba factions should maintain 60% of power while the SPLM/SPLA-IO takes on 30%.
According to this arrangement, presented to be non-negotiable, “take it or leave it”, Salva Kiir government would take the lion share with 332 members of parliament while Salva Kiir remains the president.
The SPLM/SPLA, according to IGAD’s document would take the position of First Vice President, 8 ministerial positions, 2 deputy ministers and 20 Members of Parliament.
Although the power sharing differs from earlier proposals, the Opposition stresses the need for reforms, federalism, security and economics arrangements, which the latest Peace Proposal fails to tackle.
According to Dr. Riek Machar Teny, IGAD is attempting to take custody of South Sudan away from its people.
“Neither the government nor the opposition has been consulted about reports presented by IGAD to the African Union Peace and Security Council,” Machar told The Anadolu Agency on Friday.
“We reject any custodianship of South Sudan,” Machar added.
Machar cautions the regional bloc that any solution for South Sudan conflict must be driven by the South Sudanese, however, IGAD threatens to take a collective actions against any party that refuses to sign the imposed deal.
“We cannot reach a solution to the [South Sudan] crisis away from the government and the opposition,” he said.
According to SPLM/SPLA Chief Negotiator, Gen, Taban Deng Gai, the recent approach by IGAD has killed the earlier agreements, and undermines the prospect for reaching a sustainable agreement.
According to Hon. Reath Muoch, the SPLM/SPAL-IO representative to Washington, IGAD must give South Sudanese a sense of ownership to their problems and solution.
“Any agreement reached as a final resolution to the current conflict, belongs first and foremost, to the people of South Sudan who are the real stakeholders in this crisis. Therefore, any imposition of unwanted solutions, would deprive them of their sense of ownership to any peace accord which could adversely affect its implementation” Muoch said.
The European diplomats, on the other hand, believe that the conflict has cost about 20 million euros, and stress that the six agreements signed so far have all been violated by both sides in the conflict.
The diplomat stresses that “patience is wearing thin” due to the enormous costs incurred so far.
“One could be forgiven for having the impression that they’re interested in the per diem, the luxury hotel, the bar and the minibar, enjoying the nightclubs of Addis Ababa, and not peace,” said another European diplomat observing the talks, according to AFP.
“They don’t seem to have any sense of urgency or responsibility to the people on the ground who are dying. They have displayed total contempt for their own people.” the diplomat continue.
While the delegates of South Sudan’s warring parties blames IGAD members for meddling in South Sudan conflict, both on the ground and on the mediation table, some European diplomats gives IGAD credits for containing the conflict.
“We’re talking about the breakdown of South Sudan’s whole political system and yet IGAD has contained what could have been a dangerous regional confrontation. It could have created a proxy war, but we’re not there yet,” said Alex Rondos, the EU’s special representative for the Horn of Africa.
The regional bloc, IGAD, has been slowed down by its own internal divisions. While the members states failed to agree on the root causes of the conflicts, they also disagree on imposing sanctions.
Kenya and Uganda stands against imposing sanctions since they both have important economics interests that would be affected by the sanctions.
In addition, South Sudan hires mercenaries from Uganda to defend Salva Kiir’s power as Sudan is accused of supporting Machar.
It is yet to be verified how the IGAD members states, agrees on items of peace agreements, which tend to have little trend in content, and would as well affect their long-term interests in the oil-rich South Sudan.