The long journey to bring peace home to roost
By : Odongo Odoyo and Morris Dogga
Sometimes memories do elapse and at times people tend to forget very first what their life looked like yesteryears. With a day to go to the formation of the unity government it is only necessary to remind ourselves of the past and remember the good and the bad roads we have walked to reach this far and to have peace with us. Some pundits would want the general population, mostly, the youth to believe in their doctrine while the truth lies bear and can be clearly related in details to where all of this started. The journey for peace has and continue to be a priority of the government under the leadership of President Salva Kiir Mayardit from day one of the 2013 and 2016 crisis which resulted in the conflict that has seen the country loss the meaning of development with a number of investors take back seat of wait and see. Time will tell but the facts that there are people who committed themselves to restore peace for the people and the country there should be saluted. In fact there is a saying that “it is better sleep hungry than have a volatile situation around you.” This milestone has been made possible with and by people whose credential might not be heroic but that which can stand the test of time with the backing of the majority citizens. Time is of importance and essence for the citizens to put their trust behind their leaders who have criss-crossed the boundaries in search of peace and more when it comes home to roost it should be guarded to the hilt with all possible defense available to the citizens and leaders with the necessary zeal.
These are some of the chronologies of the Ups and Downs in the journey to implement the Peace Agreement
After the 2015 Agreement on the Resolution of Conflict in South Sudan (ARCSS) collapsed in 2016, President Salva Kiir and Dr. Riek Machar signed the Revitalized Agreement on the Resolution of Conflict in South Sudan (R-TGoNU) together with other opposition groups in the Ethiopian capital, Addis Ababa.
The war that started as a political dispute between Kiir and the then vice president Dr. Riek Machar exploded into armed confrontation after the forces got divided between Kiir and Machar.
The conflict has killed at least 50,000 people, many of them civilians, and displaced over 2 million, according to the United Nations.
The Revitalized Agreement on the Resolution signed in late 2018 was mediated by Sudan and Dr. Machar was reinstated to his former role as vice president.
In that deal, other insurgent factions also signed the new agreement including the South Sudan Opposition Alliance (SSOA)-an Alliance of about 9 opposition parties.
Under the 2018 deal, a new government was supposed to be formed in May 2019, but it was postponed to the 12, November 2019. After the parties failed to implement some of the main provisions of the agreement, President Kiir and Dr. Machar agreed to postpone the formation of the unity government for another 100 days.
It was the third time the formation of the Unity Government was delayed. Some analysts were very skeptical the sides would not be able to bridge the differences that were holding them up.
After the extension, the parties agreed to establish a mechanism for the guarantors and the parties to supervise implementation of the deal.
The agreement also called for creation of a unified national army, as well as a transitional unity government.
As the days went by during the 100 days extension, there was no hope for the Unity Government as the parties continued to disagree on the Number of states and boundaries and some chapters in the agreement especially the security Arrangement.
After several talks in Addis Ababa, the government had maintained that the number of states remained at 32 plus Abyei Administrative Area, while the Main Opposition led by Dr. Machar descended down to the former 10 states.
This was yet another setback on the peace implementation. The IGAD led meeting between Machar and Kiir early this month failed to resolve the matter.
Kiir requested that the IGAD ministers give him more days to consult with the citizens.
The states deadlock prompted widespread protest across the country, with pro 32+ states supporters siding with Kiir while some protestors especially in the Protection of Civilians sites were against the 32 states.
On arrival at Juba International Airport, the pro 32+ states supporters flocked the airport to welcome the President. At the same time the pro 10 states rallied at the PoC.
Kiir’s consultation unanimously recommended that the 32 states plus Abyei Administrative Area should remain. But in a turn of things over night, Kiir surprisingly reverted the country into the former ten states and three Administrative areas.
Though the decision was welcomed by the SPLM-IO, things turned apart for a while when Kiir freshly expressed reservation on the designation of Ruweng as Administrative Area but the demand was dropped.
Dr. Machar returned to Juba on Monday to continue the process of the formation of the Unity Government.
With Just two days left for the formation of the Unity Government, citizens are waiting for the formation of the Unity Government.