April 23, 2016(Nyamilepedia) –—- South Sudan’s incumbent president, Salva Kiir Mayardit, whose term expired in July 2015, is recognized as the country’s president, however, whether Mr. Kiir has full authority over the current regime is still very controversial.
While his chief of army, Gen. Paul Malong Awan, has greater powers in the army, many politicians, mostly elders from his Dinka tribe, have excessive powers that leave the president with a very little say in his own government.
Malong, who has filled up SPLA ranks and files with loyalists and recruits from his own home town of Aweil, Northern Bhar el ghazal, has been carrying out many anti-peace activities including militarization of the capital and other violations of the peace agreement which Kiir reluctantly signed in August, 2015.
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Within Juba, the Jieng Council of Elders and politicians like Michael Makuei Lueth, a Minister of Information, conduct their own activities in violation of the peace agreement that Salva Kiir seems to have no approval.
Expecting his main rival, Dr. Riek Machar, who was expected to arrive in the last few days, Kiir skipped the meeting of heads of states of the Northern Corridor; a East African group comprising of South Sudan, Kenya, Uganda and Rwanda.
According to insiders, president Kiir skipped the important event in Kampala, Uganda, so that he would receive and swear-in his former Vice President, Riek Machar.
Despite, Machar’s scheduled return was again postponed in the last minute on Saturday morning. It is not clear whether or not Mr. Kiir has approval of the delayed arrival of Machar.
Announced by Michael Makuei on April 17, “South Sudan government” could not approved more than 40 presidential guards of Dr. Machar and his chief of staff, a precondition that was reversed within 48 hours.
Makuei, who holds more than three positions in Kiir’s government, further leveraged his position as the Chief negotiator for SPLM-IG to demand that Machar’s presidential guards and the guards of his chief of staff, 1st Lt. Gen. Simon Gatwech Dual, must not carry more than 7 PKMs and 7 RPGs and must be thoroughly inspected at the point of departure in Gambella.
Although the former was rejected by the international community and SPLM/SPLA-IO, the later precondition was carried out in Gambella, the “government” still insisted that Machar could not land at Juba airport due to a “maintenance” that was not raised as issue at the JMEC meeting on Thursday.
Machar and his Chief of army are now cleared to land on Monday, April 25th, 2016; however, another politician (if not Makuei Lueth) in Kiir’s government may test his powers and set new preconditions before Monday.
It is not yet clear, who set or reverse the new preconditions but Mr. Kiir seems to have very little command over his politicians and generals.
President Salva Kiir reluctantly signed the Agreement on Resolution of Conflict in South Sudan(ARCISS) in Juba, one week late, due to immerse pressure from the international community, who threatened sanctions and punitive actions.
Despite having appended his signature to the document unaltered, the president seems to have very little power to decide on how he should implement the compromised peace agreement with facing consequences either from powerful hardliners in his inner circle or from the peace guarantors and the international community.
According to critics, South Sudan president has developed “escape conditioning” to avoid important forums that address critical topics on South Sudan crises.
Instead, president Salva Kiir delegated his advisor on Economic Affairs, Agrey Tisa Sabuni, to attend the Northern Corridor of heads of states meeting in Kampala.
The meeting was attended by Rwandan President Paul Kagame, Kenyan president Uhuru Kenyatta and Ugandan president Yoweri Museveni.
It is not clear why South Sudan delegated an advisor to represent the African’s youngest state.
Being undeveloped and also in civil war, South Sudan has very little to gain from Northern Corridor Integration Projects.
The 13th Northern Corridor Integration Projects Summit reviewed the oil-dependent Standard Gauge Railway project which is being built to connected parts of Kenya to South Sudan’s Juba, Uganda and Rwanda.
While both Kenya and Uganda are reluctant on funding the $14.8 billions USD project using their oil revenues, South Sudan, which export no commodities in the region, is expected to fetch all its financing of Standard Gauge Railway from its oil reserves.
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