THE JUB’A’D’DIS’AGREEMENT: 4-Comment-based Analyses of How Peace was Undone in Juba Consultation Meeting
It’s complicated! It looks like the pre-December-15, and/or post-July-23 administration. It looks not. It tries to date back to post-July 23rd, but it misses a little point in such a way that the Juba Proposal is three-pronked: President, Vice President and Prime Minister, besides the Council of Ministers. The debate is still hot, hotter in Juba’s rub hall (Freedom Hall) than in Pagak. While Pagak’s Peace Consultative Meeting is gathering the storm, let’s have a brief glimpse into today’s (Nov. 25) meeting in Kiir’s Camp. There are four but three points. These are they, according to the MC, Hon. Elia Lomoro, Minister for Cabinet Affairs, in Juba.
1- POWERS BETWEEN PRESIDENT AND PRIME MINISTER
QUOTE: “Our system is a presidential, not parliamentary. These were the key issues we discussed,” he told reporters. “The discussants said that the President should be the executive president and the head of State of Government and Commander in Chief of the Army,” he said.
“On the powers of the two positions of the president and the prime minister, the conference resolved that the powers of the president shall remain as defined in the Transitional Constitution of the Republic of South Sudan and that the president, at his own discretion, should delegate any other functions on routine bases and as required to the prime minister”
“That the six powers already suggested in the power sharing arrangement between the president and the prime minister are enough and there should be no more,” said the Cabinet Affairs Minister.
“In fact there were other arguments which said that the prime minister does not deserve any powers. However, the president had already agreed to those six powers and the conference therefore conceded to the aspiration of the president.”
“…the conference resolved that the powers of the president shall remain as defined in the Transitional Constitution of the Republic of South Sudan and that the president, at his own discretion, should delegate any other functions on routine bases and as required to the prime minister”
COMMENT: Two killer phrases have been smuggled in again! This is because the President oversaw the debate, giving no room for any daredevil to suggest otherwise. This is the major weakness with the Juba Consultation Meeting. Let me hope it may not be the same with the ongoing Pagak Consultation Meeting. The consulted do not necessarily play the roles of the consultant. In this case, the ‘consulter’ (president) takes over again and overrules the meeting as seen in these praise phrase that smuggles the pre-December 15 political viruse that has now plunged our baby nation into this political Ebola. The two phrases can also be traced back to the much dreaded Transitional Constitution that gives the president the demigod status over the nation.
“…and the conference resolved that the powers of the president shall remain as defined in the Transitional Constitution of the Republic of South Sudan and that the president, at his own discretion, should delegate any other functions on routine bases and as required to the prime minister”
“…and the conference therefore conceded to the aspiration of the president,”
2- FIVE-PRONKED STRUCTURE VERSUS THREE-PRONKED STRUCTURE OF CABINET:
QUOTE: “They support the position of the vice president and non executive ceremonial position of prime minister to be deputized by three deputies.”
However, according to the Transitional Structure of the TGoNU by the SPLM/A in Opposition, seen by Gurtong, it contains only the two structures namely; President, Prime Minister and Council of Ministers unlike the Government Structure. (Click their draft structure document here…: https://weakleak.files.wordpress.com/2014/11/machar-28th-011.png
COMMENT: The ‘…non-executive ceremonial position of prime minister…” is blatantly a blank cheque to the Peace Process in Addis Ababa. And if so, then what did the president want to hear from his government? A rubber stamping stumping of feet endorsing again exactly what he proposed in Addis Ababa that made him not agreed with Dr. Riek Machar, leading to this consultation conference? What now is the difference that the Juba Administration will report to IGAD in the next summit of the heads of government and state if they have maintained the same position that failed the process during the 27th Summit? Just like his contradictory bickering over the UNMISS role of facilitating peace conferences by airlifting the inaccessible ones, regardless of which side they come from, as usual, President Kiir has openly declared to the world that he is the obstacle to the much awaited peace.
There would be no problem with vice president and three deputy prime ministers if we were talking of TGoNU, but that will make the government politically too obese. Political accommodation was tried with the post-independence cabinet but that has regrettably backfired as we can now see the result of what we, analysts (they call it ‘critics), were vilified for having warned them against.. Check this in one of my blog posts entitled “So Our Government is Now Lean and Clean?” in 2011 below:
“Needless to say all these new comers need directors, secretaries, drivers, just imagine how much the tax-payers will lose to their allowances (salaries being their constitutional rights) for travelling abroad, for footing medical bills, housing bills or hotel bills, school fees, cars, ladies, beers, etc. Oh my God! And you accepted to redouble the government, Mr. President! Well, I will only forgive them not until they redouble their efforts in providing us with what we pay them for. This time, no swelling and swirling in wheeled chairs like persons with disabilities and ordering foreign companies to do the jobs the civil servants are already salaried for. To make it worse, they even do it at a blown-up cost.
To conclude here, but not in the minds of yours and mine, we have just created for our economic burdens unnecessary bloated consumption bureaucracy with the assumption of a gloated democracy. I repeat, like the outgoing GOSS which was full of political goss (rumours), our incoming post-independence administration, GRoSS, is very gross (bulky): all in the pretense or pretext of broad-based government, something-‘unity’ or something of that kind. So is it lean and clean now?” https://weakleak.wordpress.com/2011/09/06/so-our-government-is-now-lean-and-clean/
3- THE STATUS OF THE ‘SPLAs’ (ARMIES)
“People also discussed about the position of the SPLA, whether the Army should be two armies during the Pre-Transitional Period.” Dr. Lomoro said on the SPLA Status, the views were unanimous that there shall be no two armies. There shall only be one army and that the processes of integration shall only affect those who defected from the SPLA and shall be reintegrated into the army with the same rank they had before they rebelled. “No individuals who joined the rebellion and was not in the SPLA shall be accepted to be integrated into the Army.
“The Unanimous decision of the conference is that we are one country, we have 64 communities or tribes; there is no way one community can demand to have 50 percent or 70 percent of the army,” said the Cabinet Minister.
Dr. Lomoro also said that “entertaining the idea of two armies is for more conflict within the Republic of South Sudan; and so that decision was very clear that we shall have only one army and there shall be no two armies in one country”.
COMMENT: Two armies is no good for one nation. However, the mediators and negotiators owe us a great deal of explanation on this proposal. It is not enough for politicians to just jump up with their own versions of interpretation and condemnation for political mileage to the unsuspecting masses, which would be the true beneficiaries of this peace being held at ransom at random by the very crocodile tears-shedding leader.
From the negotiators’ point of view, it is always almost impossible for two or more armies to accept the political armistice and march in their columns into each other’s parades under one C-in-C from the day one of the signatures by the non-military signatories in a political gimmick fanned and funded by foreign dignitaries. So what should be done? It is known. It takes time to mobilize or demobilize, reintegrate or disintegrate the highly tribalized militias and the falsely politicized soldiers into a professional and conventional national army. This time is called ‘pre-interim period’. It is the time during which the troops are wild and resentful to their own political and military leaders, leave alone some ‘cross-leaders’ forced on their traumatized ranks and files by the peace documents.
Unless we are postponing the war, we should not rush those wild armies like the ‘White Armies’, ‘Mathiang-Anyor’, etc. into one camp before they are cleansed from PSTD (Post-Trauma Stress Disorder) by their own chiefs. In such matters, the god of personal benefits should be exorcised in order for the good of national interests to be exercised. .
Secondly, it is purported in the Juba resolution that…”There shall only be one army and that the processes of integration shall only affect those who defected from the SPLA and shall be reintegrated into the army with the same rank they had before they rebelled.” And then this other peace-killer contradiction: ” …We have 64 communities or tribes; there is no way one community can demand to have 50 percent or 70 percent of the army.” How forgetful! Was it not cried out loud by the same politicians and generals in Juba that about 70% of the national army had defected, warranting the intervention of foreign forces?
With the over 50 percent from one tribe, and the myopic dictating that only those who defected as original soldiers on December 15 would be integrated, how then will the 64 tribes fit in here? Or do they mean they will use the same quota system to blow up the percentages from all the tribes to that of the Nuer, for example, so that we end up with half the country’s population in the army? If the conference was not doing unto the will of the president as confessed above, then some analytical debate should have been done. Why is our country so politically disarmed by one man to this extent?
Ok, since we are waiting for the version from Pagak Consultation Meeting, let me leave you with the summary of my reaction analysis of two weeks ago to sum up this ‘Two Armies’ issue.
“Finally, ABOUT THE TWO ARMIES, we need to understand the concept of bringing together warring armies at a peace table. There are what we call the pre-interim, the interim and then transitional periods. This is meant to amalgamate the forces from both divides, and is given some times as it is a process. This is during which the in-Opposition negotiators want Dr. Riek to remain in control of. As you put it, the local militias need a lot of work and time to be sorted out. This cannot be done by a ‘stranger’ other than the one to whom they subscribe their allegiance, both militarily, politically and ethnically. In short there is no way Gen. Salva Kiir (despite the powers of the C-in-C) as in the IO’s document or both, can stand up in Juba and order the ‘White Army’ to report themselves to Mapel or immediately disperse back to their villages. Dr. Riek can neither do the same to ‘Mathiang Anyior’, ‘Gelweng’, ‘Ber-mor-ben!’, or any other local recruits mobilized by either side into their main armies for the purpose of fighting this war after December 15.
If we could only be national, rational and kind of neutral and natural in our approach to the peace proposals, and in our reproach to the peace proposers, then our country will be back in full. With that mentality of this tribe or this non-national something, we may move nowhere. or mayn’t we?
4- THE FEDERALISM ISSUE
“Finally on federalism; the conference presented logical views that Federalism was indeed a call of the people of South Sudan before the country was united and after the country was united with the North in 1947 and that it should be explored to see whether it can deliver services better than the current decentralized system of governance,” he explained.
“It was then agreed that the proposal for federal system of government should be deferred to the constitutional Review Process, so that federalism itself is studied scientifically and appropriate type of federalism will then be presented to the people of South Sudan,” said the minister.
Referring to Federalism, Dr. Martine said, if necessary that should also be subjected to a referendum in order to make sure that everybody is comfortable with it and no citizen is deprived in expressing his views.
“These are the four key points that were discussed and they constitute the critical points, whether peace will be reached or not,” he concluded.
COMMENT: As for the case of ‘Federalism’, I had made my point already in another writing. Plus, since it is accepted, I don’t care who initiated it ‘Before Christ’ or ‘After Death’ (BC or AD). I care that it is going to be implemented, after all…be it through dictatorship or democracy—say, referendum. But the shameful question is till pending here. Why all this hullabaloo? Why the resistance from the president all this time, to the extent that another specialized war almost broke (if not broken) out in the Equatorias? Political Myopia! Right?
To wind this up, I cannot conclude it without the Pagak Version of the consultation. So watch this space…
SOURCE OF THE QUOTES: http://www.gurtong.net