Why the SPLM/A – IO will not be Part of Transitional Government of National Unity

Opinion,

By James Nguen Nyol,

South Sudan's Machar (C) flanked by members of teh pre-transitional committee talking to the press in Khartoum on Tuesday, 23rd October 2018 (File/Supplied/Nyamilepedia)

South Sudan’s Machar (C) flanked by members of teh pre-transitional committee talking to the press in Khartoum on Tuesday, 23rd October 2018 (File/Supplied/Nyamilepedia)

October 27, 2019(Nyamilepedia) — First and foremost, we the members of the Sudan People Liberation Movement/Army in Opposition (SPLM/A-IO) applauded and welcomed the position of the Regional and International Special Envoys to South Sudan in a meeting held on Oct 25th to 26th 2019 in Djibouti on the implementation of the R-ARCSS. 

The Envoys clearly stated that the implementation of R-ARCSS is lacking behind. For instant, the critical items such as Security Arrangements and number and boundaries of States and other critical tasks are not met to supports the smooth formation of Transitional Government of National Unity comes 12th of November 2019. 

Despite this positive development, we would like to register our position on the United Nations Security Council (UNSC)’s visits to Juba and their subsequent position after meeting with all parties to the R-ARCSS. 

In reference to the UNSC’s meeting conducted in Juba with the South Sudanese warring parties on Sunday, October 20th, 2019, to assess the level of political commitments of the parties and to evaluate whether the implementations of the Revitalized Agreement on the Resolution of the Conflict in the Republic of South Sudan (R-ARCSS) is on course and supports the smooth formation of Transitional Government of National Unity comes the 12th of November 2019. 

In this regard, we the members of the SPLM/A –IO across the globe takes this opportunity to inform the people of South Sudan, the region and the international community that Security Arrangements and other critical tasks like number and boundaries of states articulated in the R-ARCSS are not met. 

That being say, the revitalized agreement implementation is not on course and failing. For example, if the security arrangements and number and boundaries of States and other critical tasks are not addressed, it’s our firm position that the Transitional Government of National Unity will not be form until such a time that these bear minimums articulated in the R-ARCSS are met. 

Also, it’s good to note that the Joint Defence Board (JDB), led by non other than Lt. Gen. Jok Riak of South Sudan People defence Forces and Lt. Gen. Koang Chuol of Sudan people Liberation Army in Opposition, a body responsible for the implementation of Security Arrangements In the R-ARCSS, informed the two principals (president Salva and Dr. Riek) on October 20th, 2019 that security arrangements and other critical tasks will not be completed on time even if 3 months are added after November 12. 

In light of this, the SPLM/A -IO see it fits and logical that the Transitional Government of National Unity should not be form comes 12th November 2019 to avoid the repeat of 2016 “dogfight” in the State House in Juba. 

Should the regime in Juba insists on forming the Transitional Government of National Unity without security arrangements and number and boundaries states issues resolved, then, the SPLM/A –IO made it abundantly clear that we will not be part and parcel of that government to give peace a chance and allow the people of South Sudan to enjoy the cessation of hostility. 

The SPLM/A –IO believes any transition to peace and stability in South Sudan must be genuine and based on sounds practical grounds to avoid the repeat of 2016 “dogfight”. We know our people had enough and the 2016 incident is a stark reminder which must deter us from any hasty formation of Transitional Government of Nation Unity without proper security arrangements in place. In our view, forming the government of national unity without critical tasks in place is a strong endorsement and recipe to violence and for us this is a nonstarter. 

The SPLM/A –IO will not endorse such a shortcut to violence. We stand for sustainable peace and genuine reforms grounded on three independent branches of governance such as judiciary, parliament and presidency. More so, the unified army whose mandate is to protect the sovereignty and territorial integrity of South Sudan and its people. Thus, predicate our position that we are not a seasonal organization, we are for genuine reforms and good governance. 

The United Nations Security Council (UNSC) can say whatever they want regarding the formation of Transitional Government of National Unity, but we would like assert that we not be persuaded or manipulated to taking wrong decisions. Knowing the truth, we suspect the UNSC are searching for reasons to justify their covert plan to take over South Sudan on the ground that South Sudanese have been given an opportunity three times to resolve our differences but failed. 

The SPLM/A-IO understood this covert plan and we will not allow the people of South Sudan to be misled once again. Our people have had enough and the movement will not accept naked deception from those with ill-informed interior motives. 

Against this backdrop, the SPLM/A –IO presents the following reasons why it will not be part and parcel of the Transition Government of National Unity comes 12th of November 2019 if the Juba regime persists on forming the new government: 

1. Security Arrangements which include the registration, screening, unification of forces, training and deployment of the unified forces have not yet started;

2. Demilitarization of civilians centres across South Sudan including Juba has not been completed;

3. South Sudan People Defence Forces (SSPDF) refused to declare their  parades;

4. The Number and Boundaries of States is not resolved;

5. Amended Transitional Constitutional to would be the Transitional Government of National Unity is not agreed upon by the parties and not passed into law by parliament;

6. Political Space, Juba regime has violently refused to open political space and informed Dr. Riek on his visit to Juba on 9th of September that any member of SPLM –IO who attempt to make political rallies in Juba and in the States will be shot at; 

7. Political detainees and prisoners of war are not yet release;

8. Funding, the government has refused to release required funding for the implementation of R-ARCSS; 

With the above-mentioned outstanding issues not addressed, we want to remind the people of South Sudan that the same issues were the reasons which led to the resumption of war in 2016. Thus, we believe our people are not stupid to repeat the same mistakes. These issues must be address to ensure peace and stability in South Sudan. 

Also, when we signed the Agreement on the Resolution of Conflict in the Republic of South Sudan (ARCSS) in 2015, we like to report people of South Sudan were misled and lied by the grantors which include the IGAD, AU and the International Community to forming the Transitional Government of National Unity which backfired. 

For example, the Region and the International community told the people of South Sudan that they would stand with them and protect the agreement and held those who would violate it to account. Regrettably, this has come to past and the grantors did not act to protect the peace agreement or held anyone to account when the agreement was violently violated at will by the government and our country went back to war. 

In this regard, it’s our conviction that the people of South Sudan would not be misled once again on false grounds. We know, it’s the same regional and the international community players who are now playing good guys’ card pushing for the formation of Transitional Government of National Unity knowing quite well the critical tasks to the R-ARCSS are not met. 

Not again, the people of South Sudan have witnessed and lived through tragic and deadly consequences because the region and international community failed them. As a result, South Sudan slid back to war in 2016 and the entire region of Equatoria was devastated and hundreds of thousands of innocent civilians were killed, women and girls raped and properties destroyed and millions people were displaced both internally and to the neighboring countries. 

We are saying never again! The Security arrangements and other critical tasks articulated in the R-ARCSS must be implemented first before the formation of Transitional Government National Unity to ensure a durable peace and stability in South Sudan.

James Nguen Nyol is a Public Relations Officer, SPLM–IO Mission in Canada Calgary, Alberta. He can be reached through his email at jamesnguen@gmail.com


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