THE WEAKLEAKS WEEK’S LEAK: The IGAD’s Hot Paper That Turns into a Red Pepper…!
THIS IS NOT NEWS BUT RAW ANALYSIS FROM A LEAKED DOCUMENT:
Addis Ababa, an Amharic for the ‘New Flower’, had no fresh red roses normally presented at VIPs’ arrivals, but hot red peppers, to President Salva Kiir Mayardit and his former VP-turned-rebel, Dr. Riek Machar Teny, and their entourage. Everything seems a red hot paper or a hot red pepper found in firfir or mixed dish of the Ethio-cuisine.
With constant drizzling at around 20 degrees Celsius, the Addis’s August weather had a different message for Kiir’s trademark presidential decrees, the tendency reflected by the ‘Redline Warning’ against IGAD, the mediating regional body, by his Foreign Affairs’ minister, Marial Benjamin, before he (Kiir) arrived too late in the afternoon through Bole International Airport, yesterday (August 24, 2014).
As the climatic atmosphere was bitingly chilling, the political weather was unprecedentedly melting at ‘101’ Degrees Celsius or well over 200 Degrees Fahrenheit overnight. This exceeds the political heat generated by Kiir’s July-23 Presidential Decrees on mass political sacking or December-16 Military Decrees on mass political arrests, which launched the ‘ethnicized’ power-struggle war that gave rise to this peace talks in Addis Ababa. The political heat is not only seen in the forheads but in the number of crisis meeting here and there between Elilly International Hotel, where both warring parties are crammed into for God-knows reasons, and Sheraton where the Big Men are lodging or Dr. Riek’s house somewhere in the city.
This natural analogy is important because Kiir’s dictatorial tendencies are inspired by Article 101 of South Sudan Transitional Constitution, which gives him the power to rule by Presidential Decrees even over the people’s elected political congregations (the national assembly and state assemblies). Why jitters are running high in president Kiir’s quarters as seen in the helter-skelter rush and crisis meetings was not only the guilty from the government’s weeklong boycott and the president’s late arrival (evening instead of morning or at least a day before the summit)…It is that the IGAD’s paper is definitely going to reduce such powers, hence limit the degree of the decrees for the political and peaceful settlement of the conflict.
“IGAD must not force this peace agreement on us!” warned Dr. Marial, South Sudan Minister for Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation in a press briefing at the Peace Venue in Addis Ababa. For the rest of the best of the August-24 afternoon and evening times in Addis, Kiir avoided the Ethiopian Palace, where he was eagerly being waited for the whole day to work with his bitter rival, Dr. Riek Machar, in supervision of IGAD’s heads of state and government on the peace draft document which will be discussed tomorrow (August 25) and/or thereafter.
On the other hand, Dr. Machar’s camp was similarly on the heat seat. Insider leaks indicate that he is not comfortable with Kiir being in the government with business as usual as he (Machar) is going to be excluded in the interim system. “This will not end the war!” warned one supporter.
Unfortunately, Weakleaks is yet to see that IGAD’s Draft Paper that is said to be mimicking the G.10 Position Paper presented during the plenary sessions in Addis last week, except that it is said to be giving more powers to the president over the appointments. The paper being rejected by both parties is said to be having the following features:
– Kiir to continue as the president, deputized by his current vice president.
– Prime Minister with his powers balanced with those of the president.
– Riek to abstain if he wishes from the interim administration but appoint his protégé to represent him in the government as prime minister.
– The PM be deputized by two (preferably from the Government and Former Detainees, which rhymes with their/G10’s first draft).
– Kiir to have powers over the appointment of the Prime Minister.
– The system of Governance to be Federalism during the Interim Period.
NB: It’s not yet in this Leaks’ knowledge obtained last evening if Riek is going to run for elections and if Kiir would not (in accordance with the g.10’s paper).
Both blocs are said to, or will surely be, having the following objections over the IGAD’s paper, which contains much of the stakeholders’ month-long deliberations.
– Kiir doesn’t want that paper in its totality…wants the business to continue as usual with him forming the Government of National Unity ‘in good faith’, offering Riek the second vice president’s docket (if he wishes).
– Riek does not accept that proposal unless it does away with both of them (himself and Kiir) during the interim administration as they wait to tussle it out during elections time.
– Both do not want to be locked out of the next election should the run the interim administration.
CONCLUSION: As this writer has not got the amendments from both parties who are currently engaged in the negotiation over this document, it is recommended that readers do not use it in any way or reference. It’s is not official till the official position is obtained from IGAD and the parties after the talks tomorrow morning (August 25, 2014)!
However, the writer has only little objection with IGAD’s document as the first priority is not politicians’ positions but the bringing of meaningful peace back to the people of South Sudan, who were forced to the war unaware.
Parties should note that there is no job on earth that is worth human life. That is why IGAD’s logic to leave Riek outside the interim government seems plausible to some people outside South Sudan in the sense that it would avoid direct confrontation between the two principals over similar power struggle that will spark off another deadly revenge attack in the same venue (Juba) of the December-15 shootout. The proposal also gives Riek the leverage for leading the next government as he will have enough time to prepare for presidential elections.
Nevertheless, with Kiir continuing in power, chances that Riek becomes the next president are limited. It makes it the post-July 23rd scenario–no marked difference nor any new change! Therefore, maintaining the status quo of Kiir’s system (I call it ‘DemoKiiracy’) is no permanent solution to the war. It maintains the mistrust already entrenched and may make Riek’s generals not bring their forces home and lay down their tools.
In short, the paper must be subjected to intense negotiation as is now going on. But the bottomline for longer solution is either the two are in the government, and abstain from vying for the next political power, or they are out of the interim administration and wait for the next elections. Any other opinion that gives one an unfair advantage over the other is but a postponement of the past and present massacres for BIGGER ONES!
NO BAD PRECEDENT WITHOUT A BAD PRESIDENT…
Lest it is forgotten, the excuse by Kiir’s group that any new changes to the system will set a bad precedent is a lame excuse just as the slogan they have been singing that Riek and the group should have waiting for 2015 elections, yet war broke out at party primaries, where flagbearers are elected to the national elections (2015 or so). Our citizens should not always be fooled, hence made to fight for undeserved war. Who said bad precedent has not be set already in South Sudan? If you could only employ somebody after waging a full-blown war, if you could sack your running mate (who gave you his votes); if you could sack an elected governor and refuse to replace him by another election; if you could threaten the parliament to dissolution if they interfere with your decrees; if you could dissolve the whole political party and sacked its leadership except your only self; what other bad precedent are we fearing now? I thought the Constitution has already been abrogated. I thought Kiir’s proposal to appoint a second deputy president is a new precedent being set? I thought a national war and the quest for peace are greater than the constitution (amendable), which is an agreement of the people, by the people and for the people for the betterment of their life. Even Jesus made the donkey ate on the Sabbath on the principle the man was not made for the law but the law was made for men. That gives people, through their representatives (not a single-handed) president to change or amend the law to suit peoples’ current needs. Or do our politicians and population need a rocket science lectures to know that the Interim Constitution of South Sudan is primarily responsible for the outbreak of this post-independence war? Please, give us other excuses, but not the claim of leaving everything as it was for fear of ‘bad precedent’ (bad example), which is already spearheaded by a bad president.