Contributor's James Nguen Peace Process South Sudan

Nomination of 28 States’ Governors: Does This Mean The Peace Agreement Is Dead or Still Alive?

By J. Nguen,

Some of the newly appointed governors of Salva Kiir(Photo: file)
Some of the newly appointed governors of Salva Kiir(Photo: file)

Jan 03, 2016(Nyamilepedia) — As the world awoke to the news that President Salva Kiir of South Sudan has nominated governors of controversial 28 States and the decree was televised on nation’s owned TV on the 24 of Dec. 2015, the world was profoundly shocked and citizens were deeply shaken and dumbfounded. The news was in-dignifying, unexpected and unwelcomed.

Partners in the peace agreement and those who supported the peace agreement from the onset and wishes normalcy to return to South Sudan after peace was signed in August 2015 were reported terribly disappointed by the development.

The declaration of 28 States’ governors leave everyone second guessing because the move begged question whether the signed agreement is dead or alive? This simple question haunts South Sudanese populace. For example, across the globe uncertainty is the order of the day. Before the declaration of 28 States’ governors, there were hopes that peace was nearing and senseless death shall soon ceased in South Sudan. With surprised decree, these very hopes are dashed.

Besides, question of trust and reliability on President Salva Kiir also emerged. Both at global stage, regionally arenas and national circles, Kiir’s controversial decision proved that Mr. President is unreliable and can’t be trusted. For instant, Kiir signed the Compromised Peace Agreement in August 2015 in presence of head of States and delegations to witness and affirm is his commitment and the accord is based on the ten States.

Therefore, with the establishment of 28 States and its administrative governments, Kiir has clearly violated the Compromised Peace Agreement and showed his dishonesty to head of Sates who witnessed and serve as guarantors. Kiir’s move is a far-fetched decision as far as the agreement and trust and honesty are concerned.

Without sugarcoating the agreement with “defunct” ten States means the agreement is dead. There is no shred of meat left to salvage for peace implementation, so to speak. The covenant was brutally wounded by Kiir’s order and died overnight when Kiir named governors of 28 States on Christmas Eve.

No “African God (s)” will rescue and restore this broken covenant without restoring the ten States status in the country. In retrospect, the move proved Kiir’s previous statement that the compromise peace agreement was neither “Bible nor Quran” and ought to be dishonored. Thus, a repetition of an infamous statement which once trashed 1972 Addis Ababa agreement. An historical agreement aimed to resolve Sudan’s first civil war of Nya Nya I.

History is repeating itself, but the only slight difference is that Sudan was not sectioned up into tribal enclaves in 1972. Hence, the abrogation of the agreement by President Kiir followed the same trajectory.

To my readers, the surest thing to share is that the covenant which was negotiated and signed in Addis and Juba respectively is broken and “no-more” unless President Salva Kiir reserve 28 States. No matter what, the implementation will not materialized letter to the agreement without the ten States. However, the sad part is, 28 States is a sure path to balkanization of South Sudan.

Though in the next few days, President Kiir will still claim his failed government’s readiness to implementing the peace agreement, this would be a lie. Also, I heard Gen. Taban Deng, Dr. Dhieu Mathok and Mabior Garang of the SPLM/A –IO tried to be politically correct and sugarcoating the violation of the agreement. Both gentlemen underplayed the seriousness on the hole pierced through the accord on the pretext of not to give warmongers in the government a chance to bank on. However, such position will soon fade and reality will hit with deadly blows.

I repeat, as far as the peace agreement is concerned there is no peace if ten States do not exists. The Resolution on the South Sudan Conflict will never materialized without them as reference in the devolution and share of powers between partners in peace during the transitional government.

The IO need their fair share from the ten States. In the agreement it’s clearly articulated that it’s IO’s mandate to nominate governor of Upper Nile and Unity States from its ranks and files. Without this, there is no peace and no matter how much we can be politically correct.

However, it appears that without 28 States in place, Salva Kiir is not going to relent. Then, deadlock is ensued. Therefore, out of this mess, the SPLM/A –IO is now banking on the JMEC’s President Mr. Festus Mogae with unstoppable intervention. Though hope is not a strategy, the IO is hoping that Mr. Mogae will perform some mysterious miracle blessed by an “African’s God” and thus will make Salva Kiir relent and withdrew order of 28 States.

On the civil side of things, the declaration of 28 States’ governors by president was a “nasty bitter Christmas Gift” to the people of South Sudan during this “holiday season.” This is one of the last thing my people expected and would like to hear.

Not only that, the declaration of 28 States’ governors by President Salva Kiir is also a spat in the face of the IGAD –Plus, AU, Troika, EU, UN and JMEC, respectively. This is why I strongly believe what Mabior Garang, Dr. Dhieu and Gen. Taban is unrealistic. First off, who the heck is JMEC’s president alone for President Salva Kiir to listen to after all?

For example, Kiir has declared war in the form of nominating governors of 28 States in the presence of JMEC knowing quite well that JMEC’s head and others partners in the peace agreement must be represented in any decision making process moving forward especially when peace was signed. Kiir didn’t care and give a shit

So, this is self-evident that JMEC and other partners in peace means nothing to President Kiir. In their face, Kiir made unilateral decision without regard of their inputs. Thus I see no chance Salva Kiir is conceding on the issue of 28 States come rain or sunshine if no tangible action is taken.

Another lame argument that I can see on the pipeline is the constitution review committee as an option to supersede Kiir’s creation of 28 States. Some think that the constitution review committee will fix President Kiir’s mischief. If this thinking indeed exists among some partners in peace, I should say this is one of the poorest thought out frame of resolution.

Banking on the constitution review committee is nothing short then pure surrender. The fact is President Kiir will still chisel his way through using decree methodology. So, if Kiir can use decree now, what is that unquestionable logic at hand which will prevent him from decreeing out any attempts to remove any constitution clause on 28 States? In my view, nothing of course.

Regarding Troika, AU, EU, IGAD-Plus and the UN, I feel sorry for them simply because President Kiir has betrayed them. These actors have worked extremely hard both financially and physically to ensure South Sudan return to normalcy.

Unfortunately, it appears that their hard works and contributions were rendered useless and trashed before sun sat on the December 24, 2015. A man whom some have once called legitimate and elected President of South Sudan made their hard works and contributions obsolete. What a shame!

For the last 2 years, civil war in South Sudan has caused irreversible damage both socially, culturally, economically, politically, and above all on humans’ lives. After momentous glimpse of hope, President Kiir has once again declared continuation of war over peace. That say Kiir wanted more innocent lives to be wasted except that of his own. The surest way to do so is the recent nomination of 28 States’ governors.

With this mind, there is a need to call for calm but condemn Kiir’s decision in strongest terms possible and strong statement that it must be reverse by all sound minded human beings.

To exert more pressure on Salva Kiir, the writer recommended to IGAD-Plus, AU, Troika, UN and JMEC to perform the following steps:

  1. The IGAD-Plus, AU, Troika, EU, UN and JMEC must condemn President Kiir’s unilateral decision and give him (Salva) an ultimatum to withdraw the order.
  2. Former president of Botswana, Mr. Festus Mogae must call off all JMEC’s meetings until former notice.
  3. The IGAD-Plus and partners must convene an emergence meeting and the agenda must include to urge the Republic of Sudan to withheld the transit of South Sudan’s oil from passing through her territory.
  4. The Troika, EU, IGAD –Plus and other world governments must cut diplomatic ties, government to government trades and aides to the government of South Sudan.
  5. It’s on public domain that South Sudan has presale its oil to unknown buyers, but, it’s strongly recommended that any South Sudan’s oil shipments on route to the international markets be confiscated and sold and its proceeds escrow and use for humanitarian purposes to rescue and feed starving civil population in the country.
  6. The IGAD –plus and partners must also impose economic sanctions, armed embargo, targeted individuals sanctions and financial freeze and recovery on those who obstacles peace in South Sudan.

These six step items, if implemented, I believe will starve Kiir’s government’s finances and ensure her compliance to the term of the peace agreement without firing a bullet and which may put innocent lives at risks.

Nguen is a concerned South Sudanese citizen living in Canada. He can be reached at jamesnguen@gmail.com.

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