Responding to JOHN Penn Article: “Taking War to the People: Khartoum Agreement too Weak Compared to 2015 ARCRSS”
By Oyet Nathaniel Pierino,
July 28th, 2018(Nyamilepedia) – Thank you very much for your article John. I have these observations in your article:
1. You and a consortium of your colleagues indeed have been in Khartoum city but never at the venue in Sobba. I remember seeing you once or twice in the entire one month or more before you “quit”. But you are able to put up this splendid article laden with “value addition. Your colleagues in the venue as well couldn’t do much because of the less attention given to them by the mediators. The fact that there has never been plenary in the talks. They were not part of the discussions we had unlike in Addis Ababa where they attended plenary sessions. Therefore It may not be accurate to conclude thus.
2. “Taking war to the people” is appropriate description I can’t agree with you more. You should have added that War is as old as human society. From the time man left his solitary confinement to establish a community of whatever description war was invented as an industry to mitigate injustice, oppression, deprivations etc. when it became costly people again invented diplomacy (dialogue) to handle disagreements and war. Note that when diplomacy fails there will be war. Every party to war will seek to ensure advantage of numbers and weaponry. If “war is taken to the people” in South Sudan, I wouldn’t want to over state which party to the conflict at hand scored in this respect. This takes me to your point that;
3. This “Agreement is weaker than ARCRSS” by all standards NO! Read it together with the security arrangements;
1. Juba wanted to integrate forces but finally we agreed to reunification of forces;
2. The total cantonment of opposition and government forces is much stronger than just the previous demilitarization of juba and major cities and towns;
3. Points 2 was made more stronger by the clause on “demilitarization of civilian centers”
4. Joint training of government and opposition forces by regional and international partners to re-establish a new national army; this is very strong aspects of this agreement. To mention few.
5. If Your contention is on governance arrangements let me beg your indulgence;
6. Presidency; 1 president +5 vps. Put interest in the article 1.3; 1.4; don’t scratch the surface. At aggregate levels, The composition of presidency is 3 against 3; mind you it’s collegial as per art. 1.4;
Don’t forget Dr. Riek Machar is in town, release and FVP designate. It was easy after Juba1 created situations of “estranged groups” remind me if this reference is somewhere in the agreement.
7. Council of ministers; 35 ministries; composition as follows 20 ministers for governments of Kiir, Taban, Lomoro, Onyoti etc; IG had 16 ministers alone, before. Today in this agreement he must give out of 20 ministers to taban group, Lomoro, Onyoti; Kiir must drop out some of his erstwhile allies in government to accommodate taban and his group; taban must lay waste some of his allies not to take too many of the 20 ministers, lomoro, onyoti also need their share from the 20; this is the logic of conceding to them this much.
IO got 9 ministers (lost one of the original 10 in ARCRSS; in order to get the speaker of Council of States and First Deputy Speaker in the TNLA; (a trade off); the FDs retained 2; the new groups-SSOA got 3 ministers; OPP 1. This’s the outlook of the power sharing;
8. Decisions making is by consensus failure is by 67% (24 ministers) votes; IG or government party shall require extra 4 votes from opposition in council of ministers to make decisions in their favor.
9. In TNL, I have already talked of opposition gains of speaker of CoSs, and 2 deputies in TNLA, never did we get in 2015 ARCRSS; decisions making shall be by consensus, failure shall require Two-Third majority; government shall require 366 votes and they have 332 of the former elected members of which Dr. Riek is part of them as per article 3.2 which talks of expansion not dissolution. It’s Councils of State which is to be reconstituted as per article 3.4; in any case it shall be a game of politics, and the political program that parties advance is what shall attract supports in TNLA.
10. Your point; “referendum on 32 before end of year or early January, 2019; it is misleading.
Depends on when the peace agreements will be signed; and the start of Timeline or implementation matrix; as per your assumptions; if peace is signed today; 03 months shall be the duration of work of IBC (28th October). But then the IBC shall have upto 05 months (upto 28th March) to organize a referendum. But now there’s no agreement yet, so your assumption is not based on facts but guess work.
11. What is apparent is that the IBC shall be fully funded by the NPTC which runs budget or funds of the pre transitional period; NPTC shall also fund a referendum in events that the IBC fails in its work then comes second option; a referendum.
12. Conduct of Referendum:
1. IBC transforming itself into a “Referendum Commission on Numbers and Boundaries of States of the Republic of South Sudan” article 4.13; its important to quote this subject of referendum;
2. The RCNBSS being composed of representatives of parties shall plan as to who to vote, where to vote, security of voters and recruitments and staffing etc; and the design of this exercise shall be in accordance to international standards article 4.14; under AU and IGAD supervision;
The RCNBS shall carry out the referendum based on the “viable alternatives advance by parties; article 4.8 read together with article 4.15; simply put the referendum shall be conducted based on;
1. Viability of 32 states and created by Kiir decree and their boundaries;
2. Viability of 21 states created by IO as per former colonial district as stood at 1st January 1956;
3. Viability of 10 States and their boundaries established by sudan government Khartoum conference as per 1956 independence boundaries and enshrined in TCRSS and ARCRSS;
4. Any other viable options as deemed necessary.
5. The security of this exercise shall be by joint forces; by the 6th, 7th, and 8th months The parties shall have achieved significant requirements of security arrangements of cantonment of all forces, selection, recruitment and deployment of joint forces to major towns across South Sudan. They shall be beep up by RPF and UNMISS forces under respective mandates;
How Kiir will manipulate this joint forces to rig, intimidate the citizen is far fetched and this is my take on your article.
The author is the SPLM-IO governor of Imatong States.
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