By Taban Henry
The President of the Republic of South Sudan on Thursday disclosed the extension of the Transitional period for the next 24 months.
The transitional period in South Sudan began in February 2020 but the 2018 peace agreement key provisions remain largely unimplemented.
General elections are scheduled to be held 60 days before the end of the transitional period which is supposed to be in December 2022 yet many prerequisite laws are pending.
The party recently formed a technical committee tasked to develop a roadmap to see the country out of transition and to lead to free and fair elections.
Addressing the public on Thursday, President Salva Kiir Mayardit officially announced to the people of South Sudan that the political parties who signed the Revitalized Agreement on the Resolution of the Conflict in the Republic of South Sudan (R-ARCSS) have unanimously agreed to the extension of the interim transitional period for 24 months.
He stated that he wanted the public to understand why “we reached this decision as seen by the unanimous decision by the political parties; we are not extending the transition because I want to stay in power longer. We don’t want to rush you in to an election that will take us back to war”.
“I was fighting since I was a teenager when I joined the first Anya-nya war and you can see myself now where have I reached to and how many months are still for me to stand on this world, I spent 50 years in the armed struggle so that you could feel the same dignity that many others worldwide feel nothing can be conferred to the happiness I felt as the SPLM/A delivered your independence,” Kiir said.
The head of state revealed that when they founded the government of the Republic of South Sudan, they had an opportunity to build a country that they would all cherished and defended but as “your leaders we lost the directions after the independence instead of building an effective state and cohesive nation we began fighting among ourselves for power which had taken you back to an even more bitter war where brothers fought themselves just to gain seats”.
“The Revitalized agreement was a chance to correct our mistakes and I did not underestimate or dismiss what we have achieved already through this agreement, we have stabilized the country and established a framework to transform the state by building effective security due to un presumed circumstances we have to finance the agreement a lot amidst other priorities like the bloated government and the catastrophic flooding,” he added.
Kiir stated that significant issues remained unimplemented among this “we must prioritize some of them to succeed as a country. I consider the reunification of the army, constitution making turn back, census necessary to implement decisions to establish the new government without reverting to war” adding that unifying the army means “we have to protect the outcomes of the elections against spoilers who would use it as an occasion for violence”. The constitution making process will determines what type of government is needed; centralized, federal or parliamentary.
“We wisely tried to insert South Sudan on a code of progress for census to come; the census will provide the evidence upon which we will determine the details of voting state formation and nation building. We will redouble our reforms to complete successful elections and build an effective government while article 8.4 says that two-third of the parties can amend the agreement,” he stated.
The head of state hinted out that the extension of the transition, the shared intention was “to take you through a peaceful elections while we want to implement the agreement entirely, we must be realistic, we did not event implement the CPA fully yet it remains in historic accomplishment that non will deny or reverse therefore we have decided to prepare the soil for the next 24 months to plan the seed of the next South Sudan elections with the unified army, visionary constitutions and understanding of our country upon which we need the government that can complete improvement on poverty, ignorance and hopelessness”.
“While we deliver this message with heavy hearts we nevertheless have a clear mind, we know this transitional government is not what you deserve but is better than war. We extend the transitional period as a realistic choice for 24 months of healing and consolidating,” he explained.