By: Hon. Oyet Nathaniel Pierino
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 particular 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 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 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 the 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 groups 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 credible justification that South Sudan lacks 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 handily and therefore may fail to release funds.
How could the government of the Peace Agreement (the RTGNU) composed of parties to the Agreement fail 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;
a) 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 previous 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 war; a violation of the terms of the Cessation of Hostilities Agreement;
f) the encouragement of defections and breakdown of parties to the Agreement just to mention a 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 crossroads, between “success and collapse”, the security arrangement is overstressed; 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 a 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.