By Nasser Kasozi
As the deadline for operationalize of the 12th November deadline for South Sudan to form a transitional government is likely to hit a snag, experts have revealed and reminds both sides to respect the permanent ceasefire and revitalized the peace agreement.
In the Revitalized Agreement on the Resolution of the Conflict in Republic of South Sudan, signed by South Sudan’s President Salva Kiir and his rival, Riek Machar, Juba government has up to next week (November 12) to form a transitional government where the 25 man cabinet is expected to be announced.
Addressing the press in Kampala on Wednesday, Amb. Onyango Kakoba, the Secretary General of the Forum of Parliaments of the Member States of the International Conference on the Great Lakes Region (FP-ICGLR) said, whereas President Salva Kiir is in process of announcing the new transitional government, next week on 12th November his rival, Riak Machar says he is not ready and he is asking for another extension.
The new government according to the peace agreement will have 5 vice presidents. The peace talks between Kiir and Machar were spearheaded by Uganda (Yoweri Museveni) and Sudan (former President Omar Bashir) and could see Machar return as First Vice President, in a move to end the country’s brutal six-year civil war – the result of on-going clashes between opposing party loyalists in 2013.
Kakoba Onyango says if this matter is not well handled, it could awaken the conflict and endless civil war in Africa’s youngest country and threatens peace in Juba.
“Salva Kiir wants to form a new government as per the peace agreement, but it looks like some members of the opposition want another extension. In particular, Riek Machar says they are not ready yet. He cites that the national army has not yet been integrated and other conditions have not yet been met,” Amb. Kakoba said.
“Machar wants government to first address key issues raised in the peace agreement that include; forming a national army, sorting out issues of states among others. However, Kiir is ready to meet the new deadline of November 12, he insists on naming his cabinet and leaving the slots meant for opposition vacate until they (opposition) are ready to do so,” Kakoba said adding that the process to integrate the army has been frustrated by the International community that promised to fund the process in vain.
Between October 30th and November 2nd, 2019, FP-ICGLR that is chaired by Arinaitwe Rwakajara (Workers MP) conducted a fact-finding mission in Juba purposely to monitor and evaluate progress in the peace process and to identify challenges faced in the political, security and humanitarian fronts in South Sudan.
Kakoba Onyango said, that during their fact-finding mission, they observed that despite a few pockets of violence and abuse of human rights, there was general calm in the city of Juba and people freely go about their everyday life with functional public services.
The Committee that is expected to submit their findings to Plenary Assembly in December in Burundi, hopes that come November 12th, the two parties will comply and form a transitional government as per the peace agreement.
“The government of South Sudan is committed to achieving long lasting peace and we hope that come Nov 12th, there will be no other problems despite the unwillingness of some of opposition leaders who want an extension,” Rwakajara said.
FP-ICGLR in its communiqué, is calling upon international partners to avail necessary financial resources to complete the cantonment, disarmament, training, integration of troops in order to resolve the crucial issue of formation of a unified army composed of elements from both government forces and ex-rebels.
FP-ICGLR is an inter-parliamentary organization bringing together Parliaments of 12 Member States namely; Angola, Burundi, Kenya, CAR, Congo, DRC, Rwanda, Sudan, South Sudan, Uganda, Tanzania and Zambia.