Confusion on ‘Government’ and Joke of ‘Equatoria Community’

By James Okuk, PhD

February 3, 2015 (SSNA) — I read the agreement by President Kiir and Dr. Riek on "Areas of Agreement on the Establishment of the Transitional Government of National Unity (TGoNU) in the Republic of South Sudan" and its annex on proposed power sharing formula. Also I read the Conference Resolutions of Equatoria Community presented by its three governors to the IGAD’s Mediators Envoys in Addis Ababa.

1. The agreement could be termed as semi-break-through because IGAD seems to be reaching the tipping point of the dead-end of the whole affair. IGAD warns: Finalize it before it is too late for you or count us out of it if you don’t compromise to reach final peace agreement by April 2015. I hope this is a real final call from IGAD before its flight kicks off for good. Arusha got buried in Addis Ababa; requim mass for it is the only wait!

2. As the principals of war and their negotiators go back to Addis Ababa next three weeks, I would like some clarification on the term ‘Government of the Republic of South Sudan (GRSS)’. There is confusion in the usage of this term, unless the negotiators and mediators have come up with another meaning from what we know from literature of politics. Who shall be that ‘Government’ when the implementation of any sharing of power is finalized? Will the government be composed of SPLM party’s members at home (e.g., Salva Kiir, Wani Igga, Manase Magok, Joseph Bol, et al)? Will it be composed of the SPLM party’s members at home in addition to other political parties’ members who are participating in the current Kiir’s government (e.g, Elia Lomuro, Martin Tako, et al)? In short, will those political parties who are part of the current government (executive) be sharing the proposed 60% for the GRSS so that the proposed (10% or 14% or 20% or whatever leftover %) share remains reserved for ‘Other Political Parties’ who are not part of the current government? Not only this, but also who shall be called the ‘Government’ after the implementation of the percentages of the shares have been actualized? Will it be all of those parties’ members participating institutionally in the government from the agreed shares or it shall remain to be referred to those with Kiir? In my understanding, the power sharing needs to be for the government. It does not make sense but confusions if a government shares power for a government! The use of ‘SPLM-IG’ could make sense in sharing for government positions than the use of term ‘GRSS’.

3. The Equatoria Community is killing political partism in the Republic of South Sudan. Its resolution is an evidence that those who came up with the resolution are not loyal to the SPLM but their own region only. If governors of every regional community (Equatoria, Upper Nile and Bahr el Ghazal) adopt the same political behavior, I don’t think South Sudan is going to head anywhere politically as far as governance is concerned. Perhaps, it would be better we encourage creation of political parties called ‘Equatoria Party’, ‘Bahr el Ghazal Party’ and ‘Upper Nile Party’ rather than allowing and supporting the scrupulosity of one region.

4. I laughed when I read in the resolution that Equatorians are for Salva Kiir to remain as the President of the Republic but at the same time proposing rotational presidency during the transitional period. Why rotate Kiir to a lower level if you are sincerely for him at the top post? Why mix courage with cowardice! Equatoria Community is joking. I tend to think so.

Dr. James Okuk is lecturer and public analyst in area of politics. He can be reached at [email protected].

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