By James Okuk, PhD., JUBA, NOV/13/2015, SSN;
When Chapter One on Transitional Government of National Unity (TGoNU) as per August 2015 Agreement on Resolution of Conflict in South Sudan (ARCISS) gets implemented by the end of this year, many ministers and deputy ministers who are enjoying the privileges of power now will lose their positions and go home so that others who shall be favored by President Salva Kiir Mayardit could get appointed to fill the new posts for peace.
From an average calculation, the GRSS shall lose 25 Ministers from the current cabinet and only retain 6 while getting 13 new faces for TGoNU. That means more politicians shall be mourning the exit while fewer rejoice the entry.
According to the agreed power sharing formula the GRSS shall retain 53% Ministerial portfolios (16 Ministers) while South Sudan Armed Opposition shall be rewarded with 33% (10 Ministers); and the Former Detainees shall be awarded with 7% (2 Ministers) while Other Political Parties shall be thrown 7% of Ministerial portfolios (2 Ministers).
Each Party will get its share from the 30 national ministries in accordance with the random lottery on:
1) Governance Cluster (Cabinet Affairs; Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation; Defence and Veterans’ Affairs; Interior; Justice and Constitutional Affairs; National Security; Parliamentary Affairs; Information, Communication Technology and Postal Services; and Ministry of Federal Affairs; Minister in the Office of the President) in addition to Deputy Ministers for Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation; Defence and Veterans’ Affairs; Interior; Justice and Constitutional Affairs; and Information, Communication Technology and Postal Services;
2) Economic Cluster (Finance and Planning; Petroleum; Mining; Agriculture and Food Security; Livestock and Fisheries; Trade and Industry; Energy and Dams; Transport; Roads and Bridges; Environment and Forestry; Land, Housing and Urban Development; Water Resources and Irrigation, Wildlife Conservation and Tourism) in addition to Deputy Ministers for Finance and Planning; and Agriculture and Food Security;
3) Service Delivery Cluster (Higher Education, Science and Technology; General Education and Instruction; Health; Labour, Public Service and Human Resource Development; Gender, Child and Social Welfare; Culture, Youth, and Sports; Humanitarian Affairs and Disaster Management) in addition to Deputy Minister of Labour, Public Service and Human Resource Development.
No party shall be allowed to have a bullying monopoly on selection of ministries in each cluster. For example, if the GRSS selects in its first chance of lottery the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation and its Deputy, it will not guarantee retaining the Ministry of Finance and Planning, the Ministry of Defence and Veternas’ Affairs and the Ministry of Interior with their Deputies, and any other Ministry until the second chance for lottery avails itself but by not repeating the first choice in the first cluster.
The SPLM-IO, the Former Detainess and Other Political Parties (who are not currently represented by ministers in the National Cabinet) shall not feel the pain of losing like the GRSS and its allied political parties.
That is where the warning of Vice President Wani Igga makes sense as many current ministers are seen unhappy with the changes that are coming with the implementation of the peace agreement. They sleep less every day in worries and hope that every morning comes with no changes so that their ministerial positions are not threatened.
Some of these ministers have reached to the extent of not caring about the suffering of people of South Sudan. However, it is not up to them because peace should be greater to any current ministerial position of war time.
President Kiir should by now know very well who are fit for his 10 ministers and perhaps 3 deputy ministers for the time of peace in addition to the small share he shall give to those of Martin Elia Lomuro, Joseph Ukel and Bishop Gabriel Roric, perhaps.
He should punish the ministers who have shown themselves these days to be against peace agreement and never appoint any of them to serve in the coming peace Cabinet.
If they want to threaten him with new rebellion let them try because they will hate the consequence of going against peace.
They shall not get sizable supporters of war like what Dr. Riek Machar, Mr. Taban Deng and other SPLM-IO leaders got when they were removed from power in 2013.
If things had gone well with good faith of implementing Chapter One on TGoNU by now and after 90 days from the time of the signing of ARCISS the new government would have been the one ruling the country.
But as the common wisdom optimizes that it is always better late than never, the peace-loving citizens and their regional and international friends are still hopeful that the TGoNU is going to be formed soon.
Starting from the mid of this month of November 2015 and onwards after the IGAD Extraordinary Summit had taken place in Juba, politics is not going be the same again for South Sudan. Those who are still sleeping for the past should get shuddered to come to terms with the new reality of peace.
The term and mandate of President Salva Kiir Mayardit, the Vice President James Wani Igga, and the serving 10 State Governors of the Republic of South Sudan shall be extended for duration of the Transitional Period (30 months) until general elections time unless some situations that demand exceptions come up, but which should be handled in accordance with the provisions of the ARCISS or amendments agreed upon by the signatory parties and Joint Monitoring and Evaluation Commission (JMEC).
The TGoNU (dominated by three SPLM factions with 97%) shall be obliged to carry out the following duties:
1) Restoring peace, security and stability in the country;
2) Expediting relief, protection, repatriation, rehabilitation and resettlement of IDPs and returnees;
3) Facilitating and Overseeing national reconciliation and healing process through an independent mechanism including budgetary provisions for compensation and reparations;
4) Overseeing and ensuring that the Permanent Constitution-making process is successfully carried out;
5) Working closely with the IGAD-PLUS Member States and Organizations and other partners and friends of South Sudan to consolidate peace and stability in the country;
6) Reforming the public financial management, civil service, and security sector;
7) Ensuring prudent, transparent and accountable management of national wealth and resources to build the nation and promote the welfare of the people;
8) Rebuilding the destroyed physical infrastructure in conflict-affected areas and give special attention to prioritizing the rebuilding of livelihoods of those affected by the conflict;
9) Establishing a competent and impartial National Elections Commission (NEC) to conduct free and fair Elections before the end of the Transitional Period and ensure that the outcome is broadly reflective of the will of the electorate;
10) Making all efforts to conduct National Population and Housing Census before the end of the Transitional Period;
11) Devolving more powers and resources to States’ and County levels; and
12) Carrying out normal functions of a democratic government of peace time (i.e., government by the people, of the people, for the people and with the people).
There should not be any lame excuse that there is no money for peace when, in fact, there has been money for war, corruption and looting of public wealth kleptocratically.
Of course and as far as we know the SPLM leaders, the success of such peace project shall still remain in a tricky balance without a sustained pressure from regional and international powers.
We shall have challenges of capacities and characters of the SPLM politicians (be they IO or IG or G10) who shall be appointed as Governors, Ministers, Deputy Ministers, Commissioners, etc, for the execution of the transitional peace tasks as enumerated above.
Worst still, it has already been seen how the SPLM historical politicians have become a cause of curse for the new country in contravention to the original vision of the freedom fighters.
Some people have described the SPLM leaders ironically that when they differ they kill the citizens instead of themselves but when they agree they loot the public money and assets in a spree shameless manner. Either way the SPLM is no longer of good use for South Sudan.
But what can the people do when IGAD-Plus and the whole world has decided to force the cursed SPLM on the throat of South Sudanese for the next coming three years in the name of peace?
They have to continue being patient. Some of us are sensing it that it is not going to be the same because sooner than later during the transitional period, the SPLM would be forced to go for transformation.
It has to change its name and create alliances for genuine popular political reality or disappear for good into history archives like KANU of Kenya.
Dr. Lam Akol is already ahead of the rest of the historical SPLM leaders because he has formed the National Alliance (NA) for a genuine non-violent democratic competition for power.
What he still needs terribly is a free political space and level ground for the success of his democratic and enlightened political endeavors in South Sudan.
He is not a leader by chance. The Republic of Nigeria did it recently and President Mohammadu Buhari is now putting his country above on the right track.
The People of South Sudan want nothing less than peace for prosperity!
Dr. James Okuk is a lecturer of politics. He is reachable at firstname.lastname@example.org