Is JMEC Failing South Sudan Peace Agreement – Find Out!
July 29, 2016(Nyamilepedia) —— Speaking on BBC, the former Botswana President Festus Mogae, who heads the Joint Monitoring and Evaluation Commission, remains in a state of confusion over the situation that cost South Sudan over 300 lives two weeks ago.
The security situation in South Sudan remains tense and could explode into a full-scale war anytime soon, however, president Mogae feels helpless and hopeless.
While asked if this is the right time for him to show leadership, Mogae replied that he has “no tanks or attack helicopters” to demonstrate his leadership.
Concerning Taban Deng Gai’s controversial appointment by President Salva Kiir, Mogae is not sure if the appointment is legitimate or not.
According to article 6.5 of the Agreement on Resolution of Conflict in South Sudan (ARCISS), the peace agreement that brought Machar and his 1371 soldiers to Juba, in an event of “temporary absence” the First Vice President is expected to delegate his next most senior minister to act on his behalf.
“In the event of temporary absence of the First Vice President, the First Vice President may delegate a senior South Sudan Armed Opposition Minister to carry out functions and duties as stipulated in this Agreement.” article 6.5
Machar, the first vice president, said he asked his deputy chairman, Lt. Gen. Alfred Lado Gore, to act on his behave as he was being forced to leave the capital.
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It is yet to be seen if JMEC determined if the situation required an immediate replacement of the First Vice President before silencing the guns or arresting the unfortunate situation first and ensuring that it does not interrupt the implementation of the peace agreement again.
In a seemingly more complicated issue, JMEC needs to know the body within SPLM/SPLA-IO that is responsible for appointments of the First Vice President and whether a quorum was convened to appoint Gen. Taban Deng Gai.
“The agreement said the IO [SPLM/SPLA] will nominate the person to appointed the First Vice President and we don’t know the body in IO that nominates that person. We don’t know, how many people are required, what positions they approve, whether for instance the IO executive committee or some committee whether it is a political party or not” Mogae said.
Having listened to both side of the story, Mogae is sure that even if Taban was legitimately elected by SPLM-IO political bureau, he could not be the right guy to implement the peace agreement without the support of the military, SPLA-IO.
“If he does have the support of the majority of his generals because that is the problem in South Suan. It is he who carries the gun, not he who says the most reasonable position” Mogae said.
“We are receiving contradictory indications. He himself told me because I met him on Monday with two of his colleagues. They assured me that we have to defend them. They even claimed that they have the support of the majority of the general but still they are taking actions for initiatives to brief many of their generals, explaining their position to them” he continued.
From the voice of President Mogae, JMEC seems too weak to confront any party or even to stand its own ground to carry out its mandates.
In a report extended to Nyamilepedia two days ago, Mogae said “his interest is to see” a solution that promotes peace.
“Our only interest is to see a solution that promotes peace and a return to normality as well as security in South Sudan” said Chairman Mogae,
To maintain a neutral ground, the Chairman decided to leave the matter in the hands of JMEC members, both the South Sudanese and International Partners, to decide whether the recent controversial appointment of Taban Deng Gai was legitimate or not
The international body, which established it offices in South Sudan more than 8 months ago, is yet to score a major victory in peace implementation.
The security arrangement has collapsed and many important elements of the signed peace agreement have either been violated or not implemented at all by the warring parties.
Humanitarian crises remain volatile as over 470 women from minority tribes were raped by Kiir’s soldiers in Juba within the last two weeks.
More restrictions on flight clearances and state of emergencies in some areas threaten human lives in the young nation.
With Machar and his forces outside the capital, Juba, chances of more fighting are very high. The forces have had major clashes within the last two weeks but neither side is admitting defeat.