By Gatluak Khot Keat
History has it that South Sudan under the current totalitarian regime has witnessed untold brutality ensuing from tyrannical, dictatorial, autocracy, authoritative and iron fist rule since 2005 when the Comprehensive Peace Agreement (CPA) was signed. In lieu of the worst history, the corrupt mentality has never changed and it will never change to a developmental mentality. Hence, the continuity of crisis across the country summing up to crimes against humanity and massacres among others committed along the line of ethnicities.
Nepotism and favoritism in addition to absolute absence of democracy and willingness to work for reform in all the institutions became the culture of governance in South Sudan putting the end results to multiple rebellions and ultimately the current civil war. Such accounts lead us to close and critical observation of the odds the unilateral establishment order of 28 states has made and continued to make.
And following how the whimsical creation of 28 states violates and shall continue to violate the letter and the spirit of the August, 2015 Compromise Peace Agreement (CPA), I have so far discerned and noticed that there emerged a parallel path which accounts for oddity to the implementation of Agreement on the Resolution of Conflict in South Sudan (ARCSS) as follow:
Land Annexation and the Subsequent Intertribal Conflict
In less than a quarter of a year, the creation of 28 states has caused more deaths in the areas where lands which belong to inhabitant tribes are annexed to the lands of tribes from where the President hails. One of the most indelible instances was the recent killing of the civilians that sought protection in the United Nations Mission in South Sudan (UNMISS) compounds; an action seen as a complete violation of the international humanitarian law and a definite motive for the newly created 28 states. The President under a false pretense of having responded to popular demand thought that he was gathering credibility as the euphoric citizens started to excitedly welcome the bone of contention, not analytically examining the consequences it would bear.
Alteration of the Sequence of Peace Implementation
From the onset of the establishment order of 28 states, very many South Sudanese have been observing the alteration the unconstitutional creation of new states has made in the sequence of implementing the peace agreement. An account which started with the call to put on hold the permanent constitution-making process which would incorporate the peace accord. And as a matter of fact, known was the true plan that the Transitional Government of national Unity (TGoNU) would be formed after the amendment of the constitution. However, the order hampered it; meaning that the TGoNU would be firstly formed and followed by the amendment of the constitution.
Deadlock on the Constitutional Amendment
The order did not only caused alteration, but also unnecessary deadlock in amending the transitional constitution – leading to the Sudan People Liberation Movement in Opposition (SPLM – IO) and other stakeholders to drag feet pending the formation of the TGoNU. As a result, the formation of unity government missed the most anticipated deadline till the recent Intergovernmental Authority on Development (IGAD) communiqué which urged both parties to withhold the making of the constitution. That stands to reason that most of the provisions in the agreement will continue to miss the dates set to complete their execution as wholly noticed in the security arrangement provision.
Formation of the Unity Government in Absent of Constitutional Amendment
Given the observation by the IGAD, United Nations (UN), Africans Union (AU), TROIKA, Europeans Union (EU) and other international actors that the making of the constitution impeded the formation of the unity government and the insistence of the government on its 28 states which is clearly inconsistent to the accord, the unity government has been suggested to be formed prior to the amendment of the transitional constitution which entirely altered the sequence of the peace implementation. That does not squarely affect the letter and spirit of the agreement at Juba level, but affect the most in forming the governments across the states.
Foreseen Deadlock on the Formation of States Governments; 10, 21 and 28 States Governors
In view of all the prevailing factors which are being foreseen as potential threat to the amicable implementation of the peace agreement, the most controversial and flashpoint of the accord which requires proper study of the cause and the effect is the mechanism to employ in the formation of states governments.
Apparently, the August, 2015 Agreement spelt out that the basis on which the governments at all levels would be formed lie on the constitutionally 10 states. However, the government in Juba declared a unilateral creation of 28 states which lacked substantial basis and appropriate studies as a matter of countering the plan of created 21 states by the SPLM – IO, based on the former British Colonial Districts.
In fact, formation of the TGoNU is the easiest unlike when it comes to states governments’ formation. The concerned bodies need to keenly look at how the next stage in the implementation of the agreement will make odd and utmost put much stock on science on the approach to deploy.
Presently, there are 21 and 28 States Governors in contrary to the peace agreement which reads only 10 States Governors to serve in the transitional period unless otherwise. Given all these controversies, one will direct their efforts to ask the basis on which the states governments will be formed.
Hither and thither, the IGAD Communiqué confirmed that the TGoNU could be formed on the basis of ARCSS, and the provisions which rendered it supreme to the constitution. But the government does not seem to comply with the letter and the spirit of the pact.
Hitherto, the insistence of the Juba Government on the operationalization of 28 states which dully opposes the 21 and 10 states poses a potential risk in the formation of the states governments. The Joint Monitoring and Evaluation Committee (JMEC), IGAD Plus, AU, UN, TROIKA and EU should hold their heads up as more resistance loom in the next stage of governance in the constitutional 10 states.
For Justice, Liberty and Prosperity, I compose this opinion article.
Viva South Sudan