Who Will Fill the Constitutional Vacuum in South Sudan?
By Joseph O. Odhok,
March 14, 2016(Nyamilepedia) —— Those who follow closely the development of events in South Sudan are likely to come up with possible several scenarios that could take shape in the near future. Progress in peace implementation modalities is characterized by ambiguity and vagueness. There seems to be lack of confidence between the parties and also a lack of commitment by the government as it continues to lay obstacle after obstacle on the way of implementation. With the current situation of the standstill of the peace process, one of the following scenarios is likely to happen in the near future:
- Formation of TGoNU and subsequently the States Governments
- Resumption of Full Scale War over Refusal of Government to revert to 10 States or
- Collapse of Government due to Economic Decline.
South Sudanese, the Regional and International Communities would want to see the first scenario happening, and as soon as possible. JMEC and the TROIKA are working tirelessly to make it happen. They have already stockpiled various life necessities for the SPLA/IO advance team and other arrangements are ongoing for airlifting of the forces to Juba. The Government will ferry the forces to where they will finally be lifted by TROIKA.
The second scenario will happen in the event that after the formation of the TGoNU, the two parties do not agree on the number and boundaries of States. An eventuality of which puts the government under obligation to revert to 10 States as provided in the IGAD,s Ministerial Communiqué . Any insistence by the government to stick to its unilaterally created 28 States will spark inter community wars on one hand, and between the government with its allies against the SPLA/IO with it allies.
The probability of the 3rd scenario, the collapse of the government due to economic pressures, is most likely to happen for the following reasons:
There are a number of political synthesis which suggest that Kiir and his cronies —name them— are not ready to give in to regional and international pressures to implement the Peace agreement with its current provisions for a multiple of reasons:
- Eventual lost of power to the Opposition,
- fear of indictment for crimes committed against humanity— by some army generals and powerful politicians ,
- fear of lost of positions by supporters and relatives in the security sector and public institutions as a result of institutional reforms in line with the new revised transitional constitution of the Country and
- With the new set-up of the Legislature—Reinstatement of former MPs+ appointment of 68 new MPs will shift the majority in favour of the opposition.
The regime believes it can cling on to power for generations to come and bases it its fancy idea on the account of current political status in the region where many incumbent leaders have exhibited a desire of ruling for life through oppression and suppression of their people. No matter what it takes to achieve that. “The end has always justifies the means”.
The transition of power from Salva Kiir (according to their belief) would be only to a successor of Jieng descent and that will be at his convenient time.
Therefore, the regime will employ every possible means and strategy that will impede the peace implementation process and maintain the status quo. And which is why it has embarked on strategies such as: the operationalization of 28 States, rejection of SPLA/IO cantonment areas in Greater Equatoria and Greater Bahr El Gazal, continued military operations across the country and the recent massacre of IDPs in Malakal UNMISS Protection Site.
The AU with its child, IGAD together with the UN are playing an observer’s role whose presence in the country means nothing in terms of protection of civilians.Since they could allow massacre of civilians under their protection without intervening, their presence is seen as of no value. Malakal IDPs Civilian Protection Site incident stands out as a striking example. Why would anyone treat him ( Kiir )differently, if Rwanda’s Kigame under the pretext of the Hutus genocide of the Tutsi tribe, could send his army and massacre as many as 2000 Hutus IDPs in Kibeyeho camp and later on follows them into the DR of Congo, destroys their camps and massacres them in millions while the world watch on and he still gets away with it!!!
Kiir’s thirst for blood is yet quenched. If the incidents of 15th December 2013 through the war have not taught them manners, he is ready to go on hunting them exactly as Rwanda’s Kigame had done to the Hutus. But in this particular case he will be doing it to the non-Jieng!
Kiir wants to rule for life. He has already enlisted the support of Musevini and perhaps the support of Kigame as well. Kigame had waged his war against Rwanda from Uganda and with the support of Yoweri K. Musevini .Later after ascension of Kigame to power, both Musevini and Kigame invaded the DR of Congo and carried out killings and pillage under the pretext of pursuing dissidents of their respective countries. In fact Juba and Kigali have good diplomatic relations and a cooperation agreement in the Security Sector. It is assumed or according to Inmates of UN Malakal Protection Site, that the Rwandese Blue Helmets are in one way or another, implicated in the incident that killed over 40 and injured over 120 people and over sixty missing. But this is yet to be proven as the probe into the incident is underway.
Now with the stalemate of peace and no clear sign of the parties to the conflict reaching agreement on modalities any time soon, the country seems headed to a total disintegration and chaos.
The economic decline has reached its peak and impacted severely on all walks of life in the country with most if not all of the businesses closing down. Importing assorted food commodities and other goods without matching purchasing power by the citizen will not be good for business. So businessmen would only bring in quantities that could be consumed in proportion to the purchasing power. The market hiking prices is a result of a declining SSP against the US Dollar. These sky rocketing market prices don’t match the citizens’ purchasing power due to devaluation of the currency. The consequences is that we are threaten with hunger and diseases which in turn threaten our life and with this, a spontaneous situation of looting and killing may surface, started by armed elements and would gradually engulf the towns and then the breakdown of the public order.
Based on this sequence of events, the writing may be on the wall for President Kiir’s regime. But Who will fill the Constitutional Vacuum of South Sudan? Would it be the SPLA/IO marching to Juba and taking over the power? Or might be one the SPLA generals declares himself President! or the JMEC Chairman urges the AU/UN Security Council to place the country under Un Mandate?
Only the coming days have the appropriate answer. But also a contingent plan by JMEC to maintain security and protect civilians is imperative.
The author is a concern South Sudanese and can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org