June 10, 2017(Nyamilepedia) ——- The FDP/SSAF would like to contribute to The IGAD-Plus and partners’ bank of knowledge on South Sudan conflict by highlighting some of the most pressing and underlying fundamental issues that need to be put into serious consideration when looking for an amicable solution for the crisis in South Sudan in the coming 12th June IGAD Extra Ordinary Summit..
The IGAD-Plus and partners’ sponsored agreement was well articulated and had presented a good opportunity for the government and the opposition in South Sudan, a noble chance to transform the country into a democratic system of governance that would end the leadership struggle that led to the outbreak of violence in December 2013. However, the agreement fell short of tackling the fundamental issues of Governance and Tribalism, just to mention a few and ignored the interest of other stakeholders in South Sudan. These fundamental root causes if not properly addressed in any political negotiation or dialogue, still remain a harbinger to the existence of South Sudan as a democratic state.
While the August 2015 Peace Agreement (ARCISS) was intended to end the war by addressing the leadership crisis between President Salva Kiir and Dr. Riek Machar, however, the underlying root causes of the conflict were not addressed. The power sharing in the ARCISS agreement was mainly between the three SPLM factions (SPLM-IG-53%, SPLM-IO-33% and SPLM FDs-7%), giving them the lion’s share of the entire government (93%), while the majority of South Sudanese political parties (more than 19 parties) were relegated to a quasi-role in government (7%). It is worth mentioning that, the ongoing conflict in South Sudan was brought about by the SPLM party leadership struggle for power and not the failure of entire fraternity of the country.
The FDP/SSAF suggests that the ARCISS be reviewed to address the following issues:
- The inclusivity of all stakeholders to the agreement (all armed and non-armed political actors, faith based groups, academia, youth and women groups, the civil society organizations and the traditional leaders/chiefs) to reflect the ethnic, regional and political diversity of South Sudan.
- Tackle the Security sector imbalances in all the institutions to reflect the ethnic and regional diversity of South Sudan.
- Immediate and complete deployment of Regional Protection Forces to enhance the peace process.
The FDP/SSAF wants to reaffirm its support for a genuine and an all-inclusive National Dialogue as a means for attaining a sustainable peace in the country. However, the ongoing National Dialogue in Juba will not reconcile the country since it is entirely a dialogue between the parties in the government and people inside South Sudan (a dialogue of friends).
The FDP/SSAF would like to propose the following for the National Dialogue Process:
- The IGAD-Plus and partners should take charge of the National Dialogue Process to help South Sudan end the ongoing conflict as soon as possible. The IGAD-Plus and partners identify Eminent personalities to head the National Dialogue Steering Committee backed by renowned experts in conflict resolutions, just like the Kenyan case in 2007/2008 post-election violence.
- The Panel of Eminent personalities and experts shall appoint its secretariat to steer the National Dialogue process.
- The panel shall then develop an agenda for the dialogue after thorough consultation with all the stakeholders in the country.
- Inclusion of ALL political parties/movements/actors (both in Government and Opposition), civil society organizations, faith based groups, youth and women groups, the academia, and the traditional chiefs/leaders in the National Dialogue Process.
- The National Dialogue should take place in a neutral venue other than South Sudan, so as to guarantee freedom of expression and security of participants without fear of intimidation.
- The IGAD-Plus and partners should mobilize resources from Friends of South Sudan to fund the whole process. We strongly emphasize that, funding of the peace process to end the war is by far cheaper than what is currently being paid by the Regional and International Community on South Sudan, in terms of UNMISS Peace keeping Forces, Regional Protection Forces, Humanitarian services, IDPs, Refugees, loss of human lives, destruction of property, suffering of the people, lack of health/ sanitation and educational services and South Sudanese man made famine.
In conclusion, we think that an all-inclusive National Dialogue Process steered by a neutral body in a neutral venue would go a long way in enhancing the peace process in South Sudan by incorporating the agreed upon resolutions to the August 2015 Peace Agreement (ARCISS).
The FDP/SSAF has some concrete proposals for resolving the current crisis in the country by addressing the issues of governance, diversity, equality, tribalism etc, which we can present and shared with South Sudanese stakeholders and IGAD-Plus and partners when a forum is availed to us.
Hon. Gabriel Changson Chang
Chairman and Commander in Chief of FDP/SSAF
Currently in Nairobi/ Kenya
+254 705 290 726