Feb 10, 2018(Nyamilepedia) — In what seems to be a suicide mission for the embattled South Sudanese government, the Salva Kiir’s administration this time has refused to settle for nothing less than more weapons, more parliamentarians but less punishment for peace spoilers, war crimes and crimes against humanity.
With thousands of government supporters protesting the recent arms embargo by the United States, mostly in Juba and in Northern Liech State — a region that is devastated by the ongoing war, the South Sudanese government delegation entrusted to bring peace home has spent most of its last two days protesting either the sitting of the Revitalization Forum or the signing of the Declaration of Principles(DOP) in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia.
At the time of this writing, the TGNU was the only party that has not signed the DOP document.
Like arms embargo, which would reduce the number of weapons entering South Sudan and its war zones, the Declaration of Principles aims to impose “strict punitive measures’ on the ceasefire violators and peace spoilers.
In addition to strict punishments for individuals or warring parties that would continue violating of Cessation of Hostilities and Permanent Ceasefire agreements, DOP would also ensures that the current transitional parliament is cut down from about 600 members(MPs) to less than 200 MPs.
According to observers, reducing the number of transitional MPs to less than 200 would cut down huge government spending on MPs and help relocate funding to peace implementation process and provision of other fundamental services.
With exception of the TGNU faction, the main armed oppositions, political oppositions, faith based organizations, civil society and other stakeholders have signed the Declaration of Principles.
According to Government Spokesman, Hon. Michael Makuei Lueth, South Sudan government does not want to sign up for sanctions, arrests of its members or any other punitive actions.
“This article is misplaced, it incriminates the parties, and it is not a principle. It is a punitive provision and as such it is misplaced and should not be there,” Makuei told journalists.
Hon. Makuei Lueth wonders why the American wants potential peace spoilers to sign up for sanctions and other punitive actions when he was never consulted to consent to his sanctions before the America sanctioned him.
“When they, the Americans, declared the sanctions on me, did they ask me to sign that document. Why now?” Asked Hon. Michael Makuei Lueth.
Speaking after the signing of the DOP, the SPLM/A(IO) National Committee for Information and Public Relations, Hon. Mabior Garang de Mabior assures their supporters and people of South Sudan that his faction is negotiating the peace in good faith and that IO shall not betray the hopes and aspirations of South Sudanese people.
“The SPLM/SPLA (IO) has resolved to negotiate with our partners in peace in good faith and our people should rest assured that we shall not betray their hopes and aspirations for peace and prosperity.” Said. Hon. Mabior Garang de Mabior.
With TGNU faction defending status quo more than the interests of the people, the other stakeholders are left to unite and stand ready to compromise in the interest of peace, reconciliation and stability.
This will not be the first time the oppositions, faith based group and other stakeholders sign an agreement before Salva Kiir’s government.
On August 17 2015, President Kiir refused to sign the Agreement of the Resolutions of the Conflict in South Sudan(ARCISS) until a week later when he was pursued by the mediators in his capital Juba, South Sudan.
In Juba, Kiir produced a long list of preconditions, which he called reservations, and went on to sign ARCISS affirming that it was not a Quran or a Bible – a press which intend to imply that the government can violate the peace agreement if the government reservations were not incorporated or reconsidered.
Few months after ARCISS was started but it was violated and forced to collapse at the watch of the international communities and peace mediators.
It remains to be seen whether IGAD, TROIKA, EU and other partners will attempt to pursue TGNU delegation to sign DOP and whether the regional bloc has better mechanism this time to enforce this Declaration and any other agreement that would be signed in this High Level Revitalization Forum.