Kiir, Machar standoff risks peace roadmap

By Bida Elly David

The on-going crisis between President Salva Kiir and his first deputy is becoming a stumbling block to the genesis of the 24 months peace roadmap set to resolve other pending tasks for successful implementation of the agreement.

The several decrees issued by President Kiir swapping off ministries and relieving leaders has triggered questions as oppositions termed it as violation of the accord.

Abraham Kuol Nyuon, a political analyst and an associate professor at the University of Juba told No.1 Citizen Daily Newspaper yesterday that the political row between the two leaders is a way to weaken the current security arrangements especially putting the forces in place to quell insecurity.

He said that President Kiir’s decision on swapping ministries and removing incompetent leaders would have happened through consultations with concerned parties to the agreement.

Dr. Kuol said the appointment of members to positions within the transitional government happens through tickets from each party, noting that there will be no future for the success of the agreement if the hitches continue.

“The crisis between President Kiir and Riek Machar especially the removal of the defense minister and the speaker of Jonglei State Transitional Legislative Assembly on SPLM-IO ticket will definitely affect the roadmap since it was out of the agreement,” he said.

He echoed that the current roadmap is based on the collegial way of decision making generated from a document agreed by political leaders to enable a new phase to the agreement.

“Looking at the way things have started with the indefinite removal of the minister of defense and at the same time swapping of the ministries and the removal of Jonglei state assembly speaker, the roadmap will not have hope,” he said.

He called on the presidency to speedily sit down, review the decision made by the president and parties who believed to have been affected should be told and convinced on the decisions.

“The political parties whose ministries were swapped and leaders relieved should be informed or else things will not be fine. This fight will create new dynamic where the council of ministers on decisions to discuss national matters will result to descending voice,” he said.

Abraham Kuol further added that, the current political fight by leaders within the regime has made international communities to turn their back towards supporting the peace process.

Nevertheless, Kuol also described lack of funding to security and constitutional committees as a setback to the implementation of the roadmap.

“Continuous lack of funding to different committees that are supposed to handle critical issues is a setback to the implementation of the roadmap. The government especially the two leaders should unite in a spirit to fund the committees tasked to run the critical issues,” he said.

He underlined that the future for the phase two graduation and deployment of the forces is dark following logistical and funding challenges that still remains havoc to the agreement.

“They should clear the convention on the army. Some of the soldiers were graduated but no salaries. Most of them will desert to their communities to seek for greener pastures,” Kuol added.

Meanwhile, Lily Richard, the chairperson of Women Link at South Sudan Council of Churches said that what is happening in the presidency is a political game meant to interrupt implementation of the agreement.

She said that removal of the defense minister by the president would have been at a safer side if communications and consultations were made to the party that ticketed her.

Lily said that the unification of the forces was just political but the fact remains that soldiers are still divided based on individual and tribal ownership.

She urged the leaders who also go to church every Sunday to stop using God’s name for destroying the nation but to mend what is broken.

However, Lily added that utilization of young people as tools to attack and kill would not give rise to the roadmap if leaders don’t remember God through repentance.

Recently the National Constitution Amendment Committee (NCAC) suspended all its operations due to nonpayment of national staff by the national government putting implementation of the roadmap to test.

The committee comprising of 15 members said they have not been paid for the last 3 years, adding that they only received initial funds of 0.5 percent out of the total submitted budget in 2020.

Not only that, last week the National Transitional committee and international peace monitors demonstrated cash trap report as R-TNLA failed to release cash for the staff.

All these challenges were termed by R-JMEC as future stumbling blocks that would paralyze peace monitors and global community from extending hands of help unless the R-TGONU mends the mess.

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