By James Okuk, PhD, Lecturer, JUN/13/2015, SSN,
“Men will cease to commit atrocities only when they cease to believe in absurdities” – Voltaire;
Since the start of peace mediation by IGAD for the second time in the history of South Sudan, a lot of political absurdities have been floated as a solution to the SPLM’s triggered crisis in the country since the close of year 2013. The most absurd of these proposals is the power sharing formulae that rewards all the SPLM’s factions for having thrown South Sudan into the current unforgivable abyss of spree of insecurity, economic turmoil, ethnic head-knockings, hunger, diseases, displacements and death.
The latest of these funny floats for truce is that, comes July 2015 at the level of the executive positions in National Government, the current government in Juba shall get 53%, the SPLM-IO in Pagak 33%, and the leftover 14% is to be thrown to the remaining stakeholders (i.e., SPLM-FDs and Other Political Parties).
On top of that the current GRSS will run away with top VIP positions of the President and Vice President of the Republic. The SPLM-IO will get the lucky award of 1st Vice President with strong powers of consent, similar to that of the 2005 CPA’s model.
The Other Political Parties and SPLM-FDs will get nothing at tops. The presidency is not designed for their bad luck in the coming proposed 33 months of the transitional period of Addis Ababa II, because they failed to take up arms to fight for the positions.
At the level of National Legislature, the current SPLM’s overwhelmed parliament shall be expanded from 332 to 400 with 50 representatives nominated by SPLM-IO, 17 by Other Political Parties and 1 by SPLM-FDs. All the SPLM’s MPs who were dismissed shall be reinstated within the total 400 transitional period legislators. Indeed, a very crowded Big Ten parliament of rent-seeking accommodation for buying peace!
At the level of states, the current government status quo shall continue in the so-called ‘Greater Bahr El Ghazal’ and ‘Greater Equatoria’ except for the three ruined states – Jonglei, Upper Nile and Unity – of the so-called ‘Greater Upper Nile.’ There the changes shall be made so that the government gets 33%, the SPLM-IO gets 53%, the SPLM-FDs get 7% and the left over 7% of the executive and legislative posts is thrown to Other Political Parties.
That means, the non-violence opposition SPLM-DC shall lose almost all the 17% of its MPs currently serving in Upper Nile State Legislative Assembly. The Independent MPs in the all the targeted states shall also be zero losers in this IGAD-Plus peace game.
Nothing has been said specific about governors of the ruined ‘Greater Upper Nile’ states.
What is new then? The same faces in the same parliaments and Council of Ministers of SPLM Oyee’s clappers! It seems the other political parties are unwanted for a meaningful existence within a multi-party political context in South Sudan. What an insensible IGAD-Plus proposed truce that is perched to eliminate the Non-SPLM MPs from the political scene! Is this the real start of the making of one-party state for the IGAD’s rescued Republic of South Sudan?
Surely, the IGAD has been over trapped into the fallacious thinking that South Sudan is the SPLM and the SPLM is South Sudan. Thus, comes the undermining of the inclusively value for the IGAD-Plus and resort to upholding the SPLM Reunification Agreement with all its inherent weaknesses of implementation. The Scientist Einstein must be turning with heat in his grave as the same experiments are repeated with insanity of expecting new results at the end of the futile attempts.
Given its proven history of down-lettings, the SPLM shall remain too deformed to be reformed for the necessary if not the sufficient needed reforms in the country vis-a-vis the”Key Provisions for the Agreement on the Resolution of the Conflict in the Republic of South Sudan”: -1) Transitional Governance Arrangements;
-2) Permanent Ceasefire and Transitional Security Arrangement;
-3) Humanitarian Assistance;
-5) Resource, Economic and Financial Management;
-6) Transitional Justice and Accountability;
-7) Reconciliation and Healing, and
-8) Parameters of the Permanent Constitution Making Process.
The reinvigorated IGAD-Plus and its funding partners seem determined to re-impose a SPLM’s dominated country where promotion of crises management style of leadership rather than good governance continue to prevail permanently to no avail.
But will the ever failing SPLM’s leadership be capable this time to implement the devils in details of the IGAD-Plus proposed truce?
At least the 1972 Addis Ababa Peace Agreement will be better (though dishonored) than the proposed IGAD’s Addis Ababa II Truce. The Anya-nya veterans didn’t negotiate themselves into shameless power formulae. They negotiated peace and development.
The move by IGAD-Plus to renegotiate all the SPLM factions back to power by way of Addis Ababa II is not only dangerous but also detrimental to any successful germination of democratic multiparty governance system in South Sudan.
But before the IGAD-Plus could finalize its strange and alienating truce, it needs to clarify honestly the following critical queries:
1) If the SPLM is still the SPLM, then why should its factions (SPLM-IG, SPLM-IO and SPLM-FDs) share different formulae of power rewards for igniting the current senseless war in the country?
2) Does the Government of the Republic of South Sudan comprise other non-opposition parties it is now sharing the portfolios with?
3) Does the SPLM/A (In Opposition) represents a political party or a guerrilla rebel movement comprising disgruntled and discontented different parties and entities united by nothing much apart from the common enemy in power?
The IGAD-Plus should not lose the track of the hard fact that all the SPLM’s factions admitted in Arusha their collective responsibility of failure to govern South Sudan. They went as far as promising a public apology to the people of South Sudan. Where then are the IGAD-Plus and its friends and partners getting the audacity to propose an overwhelming power reward to the SPLM’s factions? Is this a conspiracy to keep South Sudan a perpetually failing state or what is it exactly?
The SPLM, hitherto, doesn’t deserve any future credit of legitimacy and dignity. This outdated dinosaur party and its military wing must be laid to rest of historical archives. The good future of South Sudan should transcend beyond the evils of the SPLM/A. It is by then, and only from then, will the Republic of South Sudan see in reality the 800 years Magna Carta values called peace, harmony, liberty, justice, prosperity and happiness.
The Addis Ababa peace talks should not come back with the SPLM’s lost glory because South Sudan shall for a longer time be held hostage for no apparent noble reason apart from power greed and malice of unwanted continuity. Instead, the peace talks should bring home the dignity of the people of South Sudan where they will choose the leaders who have no blood of innocent people tainted in their hands.
“Know thyself”is the Socrates’ philosophic command that the people of South Sudan need to notice keenly from the current crisis and after it is over. The SPLM has already been known and tested for over ten years of misgoverning South Sudan since 2005.
After all, since the independence era from 2011, the SPLM has been a malignant entity that doesn’t deserve to continue in mismatch with the new reality of the Republic of South Sudan. If the IGAD-Plus is still so much in love with the SPLM, let it take this stranger dangerous dinosaur to the Sudan where it was born.
The best way forward for the reinvigorated IGAD-Plus mediation is to invite all the stakeholders, and not only the favorite few self-proclaimed shareholders of South Sudan, to negotiate the fate of the Republic and determine jointly a consensual outcome of the “Key Provisions for the Agreement on the Resolution of the Conflict in the Republic of South Sudan”.
Otherwise, any undermining exclusive IGAD-Plus imposed peace agreement that favors the SPLM’s factions only will never be owned by the people of South Sudan in their different beautiful diversities. We want a situation where we shall be proudly saying together “there is a country” rather than regret of “there was a country.
If it has been said ‘Economic, Stupid’, let it be acclaimed ‘Politics, Clever!’ The IGAD-Plus should beat a retreat immediately!
Dr. James Okuk is a concerned South Sudanese analyst and a lecturer in the area of politics. He is reachable at firstname.lastname@example.org