Press Release

South Sudan: SPLM-IO Calls For A Government Structure Without Vice President and Deputies Premier!

The leader negotiators, Gen. Taban Deng Gai for SPLM/SPLA and Nhial Deng Nhial for GRSS signed the matrix for cessation of hostilities agreement as the two principals take two weeks off to consult before signing Power Sharing Protocol(Photo: Oyet Patric|Nyamilepedia version)

Nov 10, 2014(Nyamilepedia) — South Sudan’s SPLM in opposition faction insists that the Transitional Government of National Unity (TGNU), during the 30 months transitional period, has to forgo the positions of Vice President and the proposed two Deputies to Prime Minister to expedite the implementation of the Peace Agreement and Security arrangements.

According to Gen. Taban Deng Gai, the SPLM [In Opposition] Chief Negotiator, the armed opposition believes that the position of Vice President and two Deputies to Premier will complicate and slow down the implementation of Peace Agreement and Security Arrangements.

“We in the SPLM/SPLA insist that the implementation of the Peace Agreement, through the various protocols particularly the Security Arrangements during the Transitional Period, shall require trust and confidence between the President and the Prime Minister.” Gen. Taban said.

“This means altering the status quo to accelerate the building of this trust and confidence and to move the country forwards and therefore entails compromises and sacrifices on both sides.” He said.

“We believe that the positions of the Vice President and the two deputies to the Prime Minister will complicate the working relations between the two principals and therefore should be expunged from the government structure.” Gen. Taban reiterates.

The SPLM [opposition] is mindful that such proposal should not be politicized on grounds of ethnicity, regional power balance or on the principle of inclusivity but rather a proposal to rebuild trust, confident and to expedite the implementations of programs of the Transitional Government of National Unity.

“This in our opinion does not contradict the principle of Inclusivity. The principle plays out in the context of the formation of the Transitional Government of National Unity [TGONU] and the distribution of the ministerial portfolios as shall be spelt out in the power-sharing formula in the Peace Agreement and should not be tied to specific individuals.” Ge. Taban explains.

“The suggestion made by some quarters that removal of the vice president from the government structure smacks of marginalization of Equatorians (Bantus) by the Nilotics is incitingly absurd and does not augur well for peace, reconciliation and national healing in South Sudan” Taban emphasized.

According to Gen. Taban Deng, the problem that has been triggering crises in South Sudan since 2008 is the building of constitutional provisions around individuals, which renders it difficult to make political compromises in order to implement government policies.

Gen. Taban reaffirms that the SPLM leadership “accepted in Arusha that the responsibility and the root cause of the conflict lies in the political failure of the SPLM and not in the ethnic and regional configuration of South Sudan.”

The Chief Negotiator reiterates that the conflict should not be interpreted entirely on accounts of individuals being affected by the changes occasioned by the implementation of the Peace Agreement.

“The CPA implementation [2005 – 2011] is a living example of changes in the government structure in the Sudan.” Gen. Taban added.

Gen. Taban further emphasizes that the Peace Agreement should accommodate everyone and “particularly those who took up arms in response to the massacres of innocent people in Juba and elsewhere”.

While referring to the Protocol on Security arrangements, Gen. Taban stresses that the Peace Agreement must assure the disgruntled SPLA forces and the allied wild White Army that the December atrocities must not reoccur in the future.

“There is need to assure them that the Peace Agreement especially its Protocol on Security arrangements will prevent commitment of such atrocities in future. The agreement therefore must be sellable, internalizeable and implementable to restore and rebuild the social capital destroyed by the conflict.” Taban said.

Re-commitment to IGAD Peace Process

The Delegation of SPLM/SPLA took the opportunity to congratulate the IGAD Heads of State Governments for the successful conclusion, and the resolutions of 28th Extraordinary Summit of the IGAD Heads of State and Government, 7 November 2014, that marks a breakthrough in the IGAD Mediated Peace Talks on the South Sudan Crisis.

The armed opposition, SPLM/SPLA, reaffirms its commitment to peaceful resolutions of the civil war, which the opposition believes has been shown by making concessions that allow Salva Kiir to remain as an Executive President and the Commander-In-Chief of the government loyal forces.

“ have gone an extra mile to demonstrate that commitment by making strategic concessions in the powers of the Prime Minister in regards to chairing the Council of Ministers.”

“This makes the agreement on power sharing between the two principal a powerful document. It however, requires a power structure that is simple for its effective and efficient performance during the Transitional Period.” Gen. Taban added.

The Opposition further acknowledges the important roles played by the regional bloc, IGAD and partners in resolving the first South Sudan civil war.

“We avail ourselves of this opportunity to pay tribute to the IGAD Special Envoys and the IGAD Secretariat, the IGAD Partners, the Troika, the European Union, the African Union, the People’s Republic of China and the United Nations for the relentless efforts to resolve the South Sudan crisis and bring peace back to the country” The statement concludes.

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