Opinion: Killing peace through its bogus implementation, the JCE’s style
This statement is in response to what transpired in Juba.That the government’s sanctioned South Sudan’s national dialogue has come up with proposal to revive the defunct three administrative regions of Upper Nile, Equatoria and Bhar el- Ghazal. In each region, old colonial districts shall be re-instated in place of currently contested states.
With Presidency being rotated among the three administrative regions at some undefined intervals subject to further consultative discussions.
Conspicuously absence is whether or not the regions shall be re-established based on federalism as currently and popularly acceptable form of governance in South Sudan.
The move is welcomed, simply in that it shall defuse the deadlock on the ongoing contentious debate about number of States and their boundaries which militates against both the viability and sustainability of the recently signed peace agreement in Khartoum.
Having said that, the proposal is not devoid of any skepticism which always docks political processes the world over and in this case South Sudan. Part of the skepticism is the fact that such proposal is not a new thing to be tabled.
During peace talks in Addis and Khartoum, SSOA was at the forefront with the proposal which government flatly rejected in favour of unitary South Sudan Republic and its more questionable constituent 32 States.
Barely two months down the line since 12th September, 2018 after peace agreement was inked, what has changed government’s mind to accept what it painstaking rejected earlier? The answer is that government was not opposed to the proposal in the first place.
If anything, it wanted it in its own terms like many other opposition’s positions which it rejected before at peace talks, but only to turn around and come up with them and say they must be enacted in the agreement long after it has been signed.
It is government’s usual tactic to drive opposition into doing its own bidding and political agenda ever since October, 2015 when it unilaterally introduced 32 states after objecting SPLM/A-IO’s 21 States at peace talks in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia.
Something that makes this agreement no any different from 2015 ARCSS the government was hell-bent on violating until its collapse it orchestrated on 8th July, 2016. To begin with, government’s proposal to celebrate peace in Juba was not part of the peace deal. It is the ploy to scuttle security sector reforms as enshrined in the agreement, the splitting headache of the sitting government.
Peace celebration dragged members of opposition to Juba under sole protection of the government they previously said was the threat to their physical survival. It was that fear which effected the establishment of Joint Integrated Unit, JIU to secure Capital Juba and other major States’ capitals before members of the opposition set foot there come April, 2019.
It is in the same breath that it was decided in the agreement that meetings of the National Pre-Transitional Committee (NPTC) be conducted outside South Sudan until transitional government of national unity comes into effect in the middle of next year.
Now with senior members of the opposition already winning and dinning with government’s counterparts in Juba minus security nightmare, then why should pre-transitional committee meetings be conducted outside S. Sudan as well as JIU being established, government may rightfully ask anybody that cares to listen?
More so, the proposal to table three regions of late by the government it is not only the strategy to escape transitional justice system as enshrined in the agreement aimed at bringing the indicted war criminals to book, but also to trick opposition into recognizing government’s sanctioned South Sudan’s National Dialogue it earlier turned down and replaced with South Sudan's National dialogue, Reconciliation and Healing in current agreement through the dangled bait of proposed three administrative regions.
For it will sound ridiculous for one to refuse to deal with what he calls an illegally constituted institution while he at the same time accepts services it offers.
With opposition being tricked into jointly violating one provision after another of the agreement by the government, more violations must be expected until the whole agreement is rendered no more before April next year.
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