Meeting Of Kiir And Riek Must Not Give Us Blank Cheque

"Apparently, the country is already put on the path of federal arrangements, with the Ministry of Federal Affairs established but the people must explore what federal system best suits South Sudan."

By Beny Gideon Mabor*

The yesterday meeting between H.E Salva Kiir Mayardit, President of the Republic of South Sudan, and leader of SPLM-IO Dr. Riek Machar, is a beginning of trust and confidence building and a welcome move. It's to be noted that the end game of any conflict is trust and confidence building before you conclude to have genuine business.

However, the face to face meeting of the two leaders with their respective political and security officials dated 9 September 2019 at Presidential Palace J1, should not give South Sudanese, who are yeaning for peace and stability a blank cheque, leaving them in the balance of not knowing how much is achieved as a result of the long awaited meeting of the principal leaders.

In practice, unless otherwise informed, such meetings would have been followed with "media advisory" detailing what were the subjects of discussion and deal or no deal reached.

As a responsible citizen, I'm aware of three most outstanding issues that are bothering smooth progress and implementation of the Revitalized Agreement on the Resolution of Conflict in South Sudan (R-ARCISS) and they are:
1. Security arrangements especially trainings of unified protection command of 83,000 special force for protection of the Presidency and other critical installations while registration, screening and training of unified Army, and other security organs and to a larger extent the complete development of the country's security architecture, remain a work in progress.
2. The issue of States to which the members of Independent Boundaries Commission (IBC) could not reach amicable solution when they voted in South Africa in June 2019 and a final outcome of States was missed by one vote. As a result the matter was referred to the Intergovernmental Authority on Development (IGAD) and the principal leaders to the R-ARCISS) to make a final decision.
3. The third most contentious issue is that of system of governance. Article 1(4) of the Transitional Constitution of the Republic of South Sudan provides, inter alia... that South Sudan is governed on the basis of a decentralized democratic system and is an all embracing homeland for its people".
On the other hand, the mandate of Revitalized Transitional Government of National unity (RTGoNU) under article 1.2.15 provides devolution of powers and resources to the state and local Government levels.

These two provisions above brought deadlock with the Government insisting to continue with the provision of the constitution which is "decentralized system" while the other Opposition groups want "devolved system" of governance as provided by the R-ARCISS with supremacy of the R-ARCISS over the Transitional Constitution in the event of conflict between the Transitional Constitution and the R-ARCISS as per chapter 8 article 8.2 of the Revitalized agreement.

Apparently, the country is already put on the path of federal arrangements, with the Ministry of Federal Affairs established but the people must explore what federal system best suits South Sudan.

In light of these three outstanding issues, I'm of the opinion that our leaders should make use of the available time to help clear cloud of doubt as we have been patiently waiting for the Rome equivalent of white Smoke at J1 Principals meeting to issue press release on what was in your store of discussion and the subsequent outcome. This's the only way to ensure your accountability and solemn declaration to the people of South Sudan of your renewed commitment to peace.

*This's my personal observation and does not represent position of any entity associated with me.

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