The Paradox of the implementation of South Sudan’s peace agreement

Opinion | By Peter A. Necding

November 22, 2020 (Thessherald)–The implementation of the Revitalized-Agreement on the Resolution of Conflict in South Sudan (R-ARCSS) is rapidly becoming a mindboggling paradox. Thus, many South Sudanese people might be certainly wondering about the unfolding events in the peace process.

On one hand, Dr. Riek Machar Teny-Dhurgon and the leadership of SPLM/A-(IO) in Juba, are trying everything in their power to implement the R-ARCSS in letter and spirit.

On the other hand, there are several indicators that President Salva Kiir and his group are working hard to derail the Peace Agreement. Those indicators include the delaying tactics in the implementation of the Security Arrangements, refusal to constitute the Revitalized National Assembly and refusal to appoint Gen. Johnson Olony Thubo as Governor of Upper Nile State. In addition, people have already witnessed many counter-insurgency tactics to instigate defections and rebellions within the rank and file of SPLM/A-(IO).

In other words, it is becoming clear everyday that President Salva Kiir has different interpretation for the implementation of the R-ARCSS.
For example, in the issue of Upper Nile State, President Salva Kiir gave himself the right to violate the Agreement by accusing and rejecting a candidate of another party forgetting that SPLM/A-IO can reject many Internationally accused war criminals among his appointees.

This blatant violation did not only deny the constitutional right of the people of Upper Nile State to have a Governor, but it created a hostile and volatile situation in Malakal as indicated by the recent killing of innocent citizens in that city.

Surprisingly, nowadays news are coming out that people, who turned Malakal into a mine field are asking the victim to give a guarantee that the mines will not explode, when people walk on them!! What a paradox?

As it is well known, Malakal has already become a ticking bomb and the issue of the appointment of Gen. Johnson Olony Thubo is nothing, but one of the scapegoats in that scenario.

Frankly speaking, people have every right to suspect the statements and actions of President Salva Kiir, because they don’t imply implementation of the Peace Agreement in good faith.

As a rule of thumb, building confidence in the R-ARCSS should be one of the main priorities for all the peace partners. However, President Salva Kiir statements and actions are eroding every shred of confidence in the Peace Agreement.

Therefore, there is a need for our Chairman, Dr. Riek Machar Teny-Dhurgon and the leadership of SPLM/A-(IO) in Juba to continue standing firm in their current position, because any further concessions can be counter productive.

In fact, the onus is on President Salva Kiir to prove his commitment to the Peace Agreement by implementing the Security Arrangements and appointing Gen. Johnson Olony Thubo without any conditions.

In a nutshell, it is really very hard to trust any step in the Peace Agreement without the full implementation of the Security Arrangements.

Peter Ayul Necding is the SPLM-IO Representative to Australia. He can be reached through his email at

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