RTGNU must live up to its mandate or lose its legitimacy

Hon. Oyet Nathaniel Pierino | Photo: Courtesy

Opinion | By Hon. Oyet Nathaniel Pierino

Opinion —The statements by Troika, EU and IGAD Special Envoy on the occasion of One Year Anniversary of Transitional Period are “hollow” and fall sort of the realities of Implementation of the Peace Agreement.

I know the international community cannot and will never speak for us. They are bound by the prima facie notion and principles of the “sovereign equality of states” and “no interference in the internal matters of other states” etc. The statements by Troika, EU and IGAD only serve to embolden the peace spoilers and particularly elements within ITGNU that have been sabotaging the peace process.

The reality on the ground which we should and shall continue to speak of and alert the world, and friends of South Sudan is that the Peace Implementation has stalled. The assertion that the Peace Agreement is being implemented is a sheer blackmail and a flatter. There is No Political Will to implement the Agreement and deliberate refusal to commit funds for implementation for the last 29 months has severely stifled the Peace Agreement.

Even the formation of RTGNU is not complete at the national and state level after one year long; the ITGNU have been dragging their feet on the Agreement for the last one year,

The Pre Transitional Tasks which had been occasioning perpetual extension for six months and 100 days and later moved to the transitional period have not been touched during the first one year of the transitional period. The parties have been attempting to form a government, of which they have not yet completed the same. What do we have to show during the twelve months of Transitional Period other than attempting to form a government?

Where are the forces we have unified after 29 months; the forces continue to languish under despicable conditions in the cantonments and training centers for the last 2 years. Others have died, or deserted the training centers. Few are only left. This is the master strategy of the ITGNU and group within the country that do not want to implement the Agreement.

The peace spoilers have been succeeding for the last 29 months; they have displayed the highest level of lack of political will, refused to commit funds to implement the Agreement.

There is no any credible justification that South Sudan lack resources to fund the peace Process. The last fund for implementation was released in November of 2019 and it was a peanut. We could have understood that during the Pre Transitional Period it was ITGNU running the government single handedly and therefore may fail to release funds.

How could the government of the Peace Agreement (the RTGNU) composed of parties to the Agreement fails to release funds required to implement the Agreement for the last one year and during the Transitional Period?

Besides, we have been witnessing clear violations of the Peace Agreement by the ITGNU and the SSPDF, namely;

• Failure to adhere to the implementation matrix;

• b) The continuous violation of Permanent Ceasefire including attacks on cantonment sites and training centers themselves;

• c) Refusal to appoint the Governor of Upper Nile;

• d) Violations of the terms of Transitional Constitution 2011 as amended; the President has decided to retain the powers awarded to him under the previus Constitution;

• e) The ongoing parallel training of forces by the elements within the SSPDF around the country; a big concern. Meaning this group is preparing for a war; a violation of the terms of Cessation of Hostilities Agreement;

• f) The encouragement of and breakdown of parties to the Agreement just to mention few;

• g) Reluctance by ITGNU to take part in the Permanent Constitution Making Process displays bad faith in this process;

• h) Refusal to submit names of nominees to the TNLA to NCAC for appointments by the President;

The Peace Agreement is at a crossroad, between “success and collapse”, the security arrangement is over stressed; the forces in the Cantonment and Training Centers are going without food, medicine and shelter etc. Any delay to graduate, unify and deploy these forces may lead to total breakdown of Transitional Security Arrangements, the Permanent Ceasefire and the Agreement altogether;

If RTGNU shall not implement the Agreement as timely as possible it shall forfeit its legitimacy; the forces in Cantonment and training centers that have been waiting to implement Security Arrangement will completely disperse and close those camps. And further delay to implement the Agreement will lead to loss of confidence in the Government of the day.

The writer is a senior member of the SPLM-IO and representative at the National Amendment Committee – a mechanism responsible for overseeing and incorporating the R-ARCSS into the permanent constitution.

The views expressed in this “Opinion Section” belong to the author and do not necessarily reflect the editorial policy of The South Sudan Herald. Should you wish to submit your opinion piece or analysis, kindly contact us at: thessherald@gmail.com

Kiir faces lawsuit over unlawful appointments of state officials

President Salva Kiir Mayardit | Photo: File

A group of lawyers has filed a lawsuit against President Kiir Salva Mayardit, accusing him of violating the constitution by unconstitutionally appointing state officials .

Over the past few days, President Kiir has reconstituted and appointed state officials including ministers, advisors, and chairpersons of independent commissions in a presidential decree, a move considered as illegal by observers and activists.

“The concern that comes with the appointment is the distinction between the power of the governor and the powers of the presidency being exercise by the president himself,” Advocate Philip Anyang said, on behalf of the layers.

The group said in a statement that the move taken by Kiir is illegal and conflicts with the provisions of the peace agreement, which mandates the president to appoint ministers at the national level only.

“The agreement gives the president powers to appoint national ministers, governors and structures at the national level only. All the state appointment should be handled and done by the governors.”

On Monday, the Minister of Information, Michael Makuei Lueth noted that since the agreement has not been incorporated into the South Sudan Constitution, the president has the right to appoint officials at the local level.

“The state constitution has not yet been incorporated into the agreement; and as such, this idea of power-sharing or responsibility-sharing is not in their (states) current constitutions,” Makuei stated.

Open letter to President Uhuru Kenyatta

Opinion | By Mary Nyibol Maker

August 23, 2020 (Thessherald)–Thank you Mr. President, Uhuru Kenyatta for your unwavering support for peace to reign in my country, South Sudan. Indeed, some of us who lived and grew up in Kenya will always see Kenya as our second home regardless of whether South Sudan is peaceful or not. We are grateful for the hospitality given to us who found Kenya as a home.

However, coming to the painful reality of our nation with our leader’s malnourished leadership, I am sorry to say that your commending the parties has not been convincingly refuted.

Here’s why I say so;
Firstly, these leaders, both claim to have partaken in the arm struggle for freedom from the North (far enough they did and we’re grateful), hence, they should know what it took them to gain Independence in their country. And if anyone should be more concerned about the suffering of the people of South Sudan, it should be them, because they tasted the pains, suffering and agony of having to live a slavery life.

Secondly, our leaders started off by fooling the majority that the problem was between the tribes, which they succeeded in as they butchered thousands of innocent lives in Juba in 2013 and 2016. They thought that people were going to remain blindfolded and continue to follow blindly.

No! What was the truth started emerging and now, it’s apparent that the problem has never been tribes but greed, corruption, deceits, illiteracy and lack of leadership traits. All their dirty laundry commenced coming out when they started killing innocent, educated civilians who tried to raise concerns for what they saw.

Thirdly, the people of South Sudan have been and continue to suffer grossly from all sorts of pandemic, i.e. hunger pandemic, unknown gunmen pandemic(horrible), corruption pandemic, greed pandemic, nepotism pandemic, simple diseases that shouldn’t be killing our people but they are pandemic, poverty pandemic, illiteracy pandemic, sexual abuse(rape and molestation) pandemic, tribalism pandemic and hatred pandemic. Our people are at the verge of loosing hope! Some have actually lost it.

Fourthly, Mr. President, let me ask you a question, say for instance, communal clashes/conflicts broke out in the counties surrounding Kenya, for example, Turkana, Machakos, Kiambu or even Narok county, would you have sat back and not worry about them killing themselves? Wouldn’t you have swiftly come up with a strategy to end the clashes so that you can save people’s lives and also save your country’s reputation?

Fifthly, Mr. President, the peace progress has been very slow, as slow as a snail, unfortunately! In a country full of problems like South Sudan, a real leader will not find rest till he or she has found a solution to the problems the country is facing. The fact that the parties took their time to appoint the governors shows that they care less about the people they’re leading. They do not give a dime whatsoever whether people are dying of hunger, sicknesses or in communal conflicts. It means that what they’re there for is nothing but their personal gains, be it power or wealth, fame or pride. Period! If they truly cared about their people, for instance, they would’ve been more proactive with their actions, the armies wouldn’t be going for more than 7 months without pay, they wouldn’t be keeping silent after hearing what’s called “unknown gunmen”, a matter of fact, they wouldn’t be going from country to country, involving and being sat down by other men who are just like them, to lecture them on what to do to make their country a better country. No! Not unless something is wrong upstairs!

Finally, Mr. President, the people of South Sudan are tired! They’re exhausted! They’ve had enough! They need nothing but genuine peace so that they can go about doing their daily activities for themselves and their families. Nothing else! Security is what they need so that they can move freely without the fear of someone gunning you down without a reason. They want freedom of speech so that people are not hunted down and killed by the “unknown gunmen” simply because you have criticized the government. They need the basic necessities like infrastructures, health facilities and institutions founded for educational, religious, professional and social purpose.

Please tell our leaders that you’re no different from them. The brain you have is what they have. You’re leading a country with people and so are they! If they say that they don’t know how to resolve their conflicts, well, how did Kenya resolve theirs? They can simply copy from you Mzee Uhuru and paste it mbiyo mbiyo kwetu so that tuwe na Amani.

Mwisho Kabisa, sisi wananchi wa South Sudan, tumeshukuru kila mtu ambaye ametia bidii kuleta amani kwetu. Tunawashukuru na Mungu awabariki sana . Asante sana Mkuu wa Kenya.

The author is a South Sudanese human rights defender and currently resides abroad, she can be reached via an email: marymaker1@hotmail.com