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Why Presidential Order Establishing 28 States should be nullified

By Dr. James Okuk, PhD

October 4, 2015 (SSNA) -- On Friday 2nd October 2015 in Juba and quoting as usual Article 101 of Transitional Constitution of South Sudan (2011), President Salva Kiir Mayardit issued “Establishment Order Number 36/2015 for the Creation of 28 States in the Decentralized Governance System in the Republic of South Sudan.” 

The Order is supposed to come into force in 30 working days (i.e., by 4thNovember 2015) from the date of signature and in accordance with the attached delimitation map to the Order (8 States for Equatoria and 10 states for Upper Nile and Bahnr el Ghazal each). 

The President shall appoint gender-balanced (i.e., 25% women) governors and legislative assembly members for these new states with powers of making and promulgating states’ constitutions as well as electing speakers and their deputies respectively. 

The President shall also establish States Border Dispute Resolution Committee (SBDRC) to attend to the arising or connected conflicts between the new states. 

The core purpose of the Order is implementation of Articles 36 (1) of the Transitional Constitution, which requires promotion of decentralization and devolution of power to the people through the appropriate levels government where they can best manage and direct their affairs. 

The President can also issue further operational Orders for the new states if deemed necessary. The Order will create new constituencies for the incumbent members of the previous States Legislative Assemblies on whom additional members shall be appointed by the President but with a total not exceeding 21 MPs for each new state. 

The Order shall remain effective unless amended by another Presidential Order. 

Now, looking critically at the scanned Text of the Presidential Order, it is observation that it bears no signature and sealed of H.E. Gen. Salva Kiir Mayardi; neither is it printed on an official headed paper though it was read over the SSTV. 

The Article 166(6) (a) and (b) in the Order was a wrong quote because it is supposed to be about local government and not states’ government. The correct article would have been Article 162(1) and (3), which defines the territory of South Sudan as composed of 10 states governed on the basis of decentralization and with prohibition of altering the name of any state or its capital town except by a resolution of the Council of States approved by a simple majority of all members on the recommendation of the relevant State Assembly. 

Further, the quoted Article 101 (b), (f), (k) and (u) was also flawed in relation to the substance of the Order because it has no supplementary read of another legal prescription apart from the Transitional Constitution, and also because it only empowers the President of the Republic to supervise executive institutions and initiate constitutional amendment through the National Legislature mechanisms (see Article 86(5). The President is not allowed to temper with matters affecting the Bill of Rights, the Decentralized System of Government or alteration of Administrative Boundaries of the States. 

Further more, some of the names of the counties that were mentioned in the Order have no legal existence (for example, there is no Kodok or Malakal Counties; what is there is called Fashoda and Makal Counties). Some states have only one county and you wonder why call them states. 

Above all, the Order is a violation of the IGAD-Plus’ mediated Agreement on Resolution of Conflict in South Sudan, which was signed by President Kiir himself in Juba on 26th August 2015 and ratified later by the National Legislature so that it becomes supreme over the Transitional Constitution (2011 and amendments). 

The Establishment Order may be suspected as rejuvenation of ‘Kokora’ but on tribal enclaves where the lucky ones get their GPAA as David Yayau got it, though now baptized (except Abyei Area) in the names of 28 states. 

By choosing unconstitutionality, President Kiir could be seen as equivalent to Chief rebel Dr. Riek who is not bound by any constitution or law in his decisions. 

To save the nation from constitutional and peace setbacks and also from more negative economic implications and social strife, I urge President Kiir to nullify the Order with clarification that it is a position of his ruling SPLM-J intended for influencing the direction of the permanent constitutional making process later. 

Prof. John Young had previously warned of attempts to adopt the complicated and complex situation of Ethiopian-like ethnic federalism, because it is dangerous for survival of South Sudan at this particular moment.

Dr. James Okuk is lecturer and analyst in the area of politics. He can be reached  This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it .

Did the president’s recent state of the nation address meet the threshold of an ideal state of the nation/union address?

By Juma Mabor Marial

September 21, 2015 (SSNA) -- Sometimes, one gives up on public affairs when the nation has ended up on a road to nowhere. This is the conclusion I made when I stopped writing and concentrated on my private businesses. I deliberately stopped writing to avoid putting myself into loggerhead with those who thought I might have been infringing on their authority.

But even as I was busy with my private businesses, I didn’t neglect my civic duties of sharing with colleagues and other like-minded intellectuals the challenges and wrong path our nascent country was taking. I didn’t however shared a lot on the on-going conflict and it dynamics or the peace negotiations basically on the assessment I had made and against the experiences and the difficulties those who contributed faced as most of them were easily branded as rebels sympathizers or government mouth-piece. It was and it is still a risky venture to undertake and that is why I decided to remain neutral at least until the objectivity and rationalism is restored.

This may not be the topic of discussion but I thought about this disclaimer because I wish to once again share with the public my reaction to the recent State of the Nation/Union Address by the President of South Sudan, General Salva Kiir. For some of us who may not be familiar with the meaning and objectives of the State of the Nation/Union Address, I want to share a little bit on the theory before we could move on to the content and analyst the strengths and weaknesses of the recent State of the Nation/Union Address by the President.

A State of the Nation/Union Address (SoN/UA/) is a political model in which the President  reports on the status of the nation. The address not only reports on the condition of the nation but also allows the President to outline his or her national agenda and national priorities. It is here that the President can recommend any measures that he or she believes are necessary and expedient.

The SoN/UA is often broadcast to inform the nation about its present economic, political, and social condition. It is also a vehicle for the President to summarize the accomplishments and plans of his/her programme of government both for a particular year and until the end of his/her term of office.

In the United States of America, the President address a joint session of the United States Congress, typically delivered annually. The address not only reports on the condition of the nation but also allows the President to outline his or her legislative agenda (for which they need the cooperation of Congress) and national priorities. The address fulfills rules in Article II, Section 3 of the U.S. Constitution, requiring the President to periodically give Congress information on the "state of the union" and recommend any measures that he or she believes are indispensable and convenient. During most of the country's first century, the President primarily only submitted a written report to Congress. With the advent of radio and television, the address is now broadcast live across the country on most networks.

In several countries, state of the nation address are criticized by various sectors for being too ostentatious and flashy, with politicians and media personalities treating the event as a red carpet fashion show. One Senator Miriam Defensor Santiago blasted the organizers and called the event a "thoughtless extravagance" where "peacocks spread their tails and turn around and around, as coached by media in a feeding frenzy."

This criticism is too heavy to be replicated in South Sudan or one risked other consequences, but let us now moves back to the situation and critically looks at the state of the union address of our President. Unlike in the United States of America and many other countries of the world, the State of the Nation/Union Address of the President of the Republic of South Sudan is not delivered through the legislature or given on a specified calendar date. This may be by design or default.

It is unfortunate that, the few technocrats that controls the timetable of the President sits and decides any weekend that the President should address the nation on this date and rush the announcement to the media thus obliging everyone to anxiously wait for what the surprise state of the nation address would deliver. This can of course not be blamed on these secretaries in the office of the President but it should be blamed entirely on the framers of the Transitional Constitution and the legislators for not having thought it important to incorporate a specific calendar date for the state of the nation address as an integral provision of the supreme law and other enabling legislations.

Their attempt to cater for this event is vaguely articulated under article 78 of the Transitional Constitution of the Republic of South Sudan, 2011 which states that ‘the President may personally or by a message, address the national legislature or either of its houses. The national legislature or either of its two houses shall accord priority to such request over any other business. The President may also request the opinion of the national legislature or either of its two houses on any subject matter’. 

This is the highest ambiguity that any constitution would allow because the letter and spirit of this provision is to the extent that, its gives the President the privilege and the freedom to call on parliament any time he deems fit and appropriate to address the nation, i.e. If the state of the nation address is to be given through the parliament. Again, if one look at article 101 (t) of the Transitional Constitution on the functions of the President, this is where you would find the proviso on the annual state of the nation address but whether this one is being implemented is another glaring question because for instance, how many state of nation address did the President made since South Sudan gained independence, one would likely suggest four on approximate but whether they were four or more is another area that need research. But that is not the issue of contention here; the question is the substance of what the context of the State of the Nation/Union Address that the President has been giving and is yet to be giving entails.

Having said this, one would not be surprise by the substance of what the content of the address entails as it is prima facie a rush and unplanned event where some note takers thinks it is just but a bullet point exercise that is not worth wasting time to prepare. Throughout his state of the nation address, the President has continued to keep the nation (citizens) glued to the televisions and their ears fixed on the radios waiting for something that never come at the end of the day.

In his recent state of the nation address, the President was expected to inform the nation (citizens) about the relationship with the foreign and diplomatic community and affirm whether the gaps that were apparent have been bridged after he signed the peace agreement, people were also eagerly waiting to hear the security status of the country and what are the developmental and infrastructural plans for the country, the commitment to peace agreement and the challenges and achievements that the government is able to report. He was also expected to talk about the economy.

The President didn’t do much in all the above areas except that he spent his entire time talking about the Compromised Peace Agreement that he had signed and reiterates his insistency on a number of reservations that he made when he signed the pact. This is not a bad elaboration to have been made by H.E. because, as the head of state, he must share his commitment on the peace by enlightening the citizens on the deal and ask them to support him in the implementation in order to have a sustainable peace in the country.

The President scored highly on this item and he was applauded crossed the country and around the world for this statesmanship. Those who assisted him from his office on the literature and philosophy in giving the world and the people the assurances of his commitment to peace were equally appreciated.

However, it was unfortunate to realize that, the state of the nation address was only organized to talk about the signed peace agreement and left out other crucial issues like the state of our foreign relation as a country, our development master plan, the achievements that the President and his government might have made despite the strife in the country, the infrastructural plans, the economic status and the challenges that the nation faced as a result of the conflict and other external factors.

Precisely, the President was expected to assure the citizens that his decision to append his signature on the Compromised Peace Agreement (CPA) has improved the foreign relations of South Sudan and her international friends, he was also expected to give a rough summary of what his government has achieved despite the on-going conflict, talk about the northern corridor project, the EAC engagement, the cooperation agreement with Sudan, the implementation by his government of the GPAA peace agreement, the improvement on the healthcare, education and infrastructural development. The President should have also taken it as his government achievement the declaration of cease-fire even if it is being sabotaged by the enemies of peace. He should have informed the nation of his government short and long-terms plans. The recently pasted vision 2040, what it entails in terms of development, infrastructure, education, healthcare systems, democracy, security and other well-fare issues.

After that the President should have talked about the challenges that his government is facing in its attempt to deliver services to the nation and this is where it would have been convenient for him to justify his calls for the nation to support him in the implementation process so that the country can return to stability and redefine its destiny. Again because the organizers of this event thought it was just a breakfast activity, they made the President, someone I have always considered a Wiseman and hold with highest respect repeat himself over and over again on one item called the implementation of the peace agreement.

My ultimate discontentment came about when the President came to the end of his address with regard to the state of our economy and informed the nation that and I quote; ‘I know some of you wanted me to talk about economy, but I decided not to talk about it purposely because I know, even if I talk about it [economy], we will just be discussing it here, but there is nothing that can be done about it’. This is where he scored NIL, as a President, you are like a doctor, a teacher, a father in the house and everything. You may be aware of the difficulties and the challenges just like all of us knows that the economy of the country has nearly collapsed but the last person to declare that is the President because like a doctor, you cannot tell the patient that the disease is incurable less you risk them taking their lives before you leave that room, as a father, you cannot tell your children that, I know you are hungry but there is no food and therefore, you have to live with it.

I know the President was giving this statement from the position of honesty but what he should have known is that there is more to his office than just being honest, he didn’t have to express himself in the negative but rather, he should have turn it positive by informing the nation that, he is aware of the economic difficulties the country is facing as a consequent of the conflict and the only way out would be for all the citizens to join him in implementing the agreement that he has signed with the rebels as this will enhance improvements in the economic sector.

This statement would not mean doing something about it but rather, it will help in restoring hopes among the citizens and that is why the Presidents are called the fathers of the nations because they are the symbols of hope for the nation even in situations where the people are in despair. The President should have realized what his actions and his statements could do when he signed the peace agreement on 26th August, 2015, the market reacted positively to this development and a dollar that was exchanging at 17 SSP in the black market lowered to 11 SSP just in a matter of hours, this is doing something about fragile economic situation because economy usually reacts to political developments. His statement that there was nothing that could be done about the worsening economic situation open flood gates for unscrupulous business practitioners to abuse the market and after that day, the dollar that was trading at 14 SSP shot up to 16 SSP while the local shopkeepers increased their prices by 40 % and when asked about why they are doing that, they would simply reply, ‘there is nothing we can do about it’.

It is not surprising though that our President is not known for motivating the citizens in the situation of despair for instance, when the first graduation ceremony was made in the University of Juba early this year, the President told the grandaunts that they should not hope for being absorb into the government since there are very few positions in the government. This was not to encourage them to be job creators because he felt short in declaring that aspects, instead, he was telling them that there was nothing his government could do about the high rate of unemployment even as most of them graduates into the job market.

Summed up together, it is unfortunate to conclude that, the recent State of the Nation/Union Address by the President just like many other statements that he gives in public occasions failed to meet the threshold requires by an ideal state of the union practice. Most importantly, the President and those who organizes these functions with  him must also understand that the hopes and expectations of the people of South Sudan are usually anchored upon their office and anytime they come out to say something in form of the state of the nation address, people eagerly anticipates a solution to a number of challenges that are facing them and for the President to declare that there is nothing that can be done about something like economy is suicidal and  to some larger extent an absolute declaration of despair.

Finally, I can’t blame the President so much because he cannot do all by himself but my disappointment goes to those who are in his office, they should be the ones to read the minds of the public and advice the President to tailor his state of the nation address in such a comprehensive manner as to cover all the aspects regarding the country’s political and socio-economic situation. They should also advice the president to usually gives assurances and guarantees where the citizens are about to give up. These are the tasks for which they are being paid and maintained otherwise, if they allow the President to speaks the way he did in the recent state of the nation address, then, they could be deliberately sabotaging his relationship with the citizens or altogether ineptitude. I don’t know which one of these is relevant but a serious investigation must be made on those two scenarios.

Juma Mabor Marial is an advocate. He can be reached at This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it .

IGAD-Plus and Peace Politics: Dateline without Deadline

It is time we define governments in Africa as the responsibility, not the power” – Dlamini-Zuma

By James Okuk, PhD

August 21, 2015 (SSNA) -- On 17th August 2015 in Addis Ababa, the Intergovernmental Authority on Development for mediation of peace talks by the warring parties in South Sudan, known as IGAD-Plus, managed to conclude the twenty months negotiations. In the evening of the dateline set for the end of peace talks, the reinvigorated leadership of IGAD-Plus’s presented finally to the stakeholders the “AGREEMENT ON THE RESOLUTION OF THE CONFLICT IN THE REPUBLIC OF SOUTH SUDAN".

After ups and downs of the last minutes of peace talks politics, the agreement was initialed by the Government of the Republic of South Sudan (GRSS), the Sudan People’s Liberation Movement/Army (In Opposition) known as SPLM/A-IO, and the SPLM Leaders known as the Former Detainees (FDs). Unfortunately, the Political Parties of South Sudan were prevented to be in Addis Ababa to initial and sign the Agreement (though they welcomed it and stated their intention to sign it once given the opportunity to do so either in Addis Ababa or in Juba). However, the GRSS postponed for two weeks the final signature of President Salva Kiir Mayardit on the document (pending the result of tactical further consultations or may tempers cooling at home). The president and his team have been given the benefit of doubts to prove their honesty within 15 days.

Good enough, the rest of the stakeholders, adherents, guarantors and witnesses initialed and signed the agreement with good faith. The fact that the IGAD-Plus, powers from all corners of the world and most South Sudanese stakeholders have stood firmly together with one voice for ending the war and ushering peace, is a strong indicator that the GRSS has been left alone with no dignified choice at the end but to sign the peace agreement by 31st August 2015 in Addis Ababa. Thus, the GRSS’ requested further consultations shall not have significance apart from mere registration of dissatisfaction and fear with some articles of the agreement, but which shall remain unaltered despite the protests. The dateline has not become a deadline for South Sudan! Good.

Despite the delay, there is still a great light at the end of the darkened tunnel. Peace is now outside from around-the-corner. Those who have been thinking that President Kiir is not committed to ending the war and bringing peace back to the country shall all get disappointed soon. The evils that they might have been planning on the back of war situation shall get dispelled by the power of peace agreement that is going to be celebrated by all good-hearted people, both internally and internationally. Anyone can call it a ‘forced agreement’ or a ‘bad deal’ but it will still be a congratuleable step for stopping the current devastating war and avoiding international humiliation!

There can never be ‘Bad Peace’ even if is achieved through unfair agreement.  The awaited peace will bring the dignity of South Sudan back to where it had been from the time of its declaration of independence in 2011. There shall no longer be desperate and dying South Sudanese at the congested inhumane UNMISS camps inside and refugees locations abroad. There shall not be threats of hunger. The children shall go back to schools. Rural hospitals and clinics shall reopen. There shall be hope of livable livelihood and prosperity to all in all corners of South Sudan. Hard lessons would have been learnt.

The politics of peace talks is already over. What has remained for those who are still enjoying its hangover is nothing but emotional choice theory via frustration venom. The Rational Choice Theory would dictate that the clever politicians should focus on politics of implementation of the signed peace agreement. Those who still want to continue with war or attempt to obstruct the implementation of the agreement shall be losers.

When the peace deal is finally signed and celebrated officially by all the designated representatives and permanent ceasefire within 72 hours is declared immediately, the 75-Page document shall become binding for implementation within three years (2015 – 2018). The document comprises the Title; Table of Contents; Acronyms; Preamble; Transitional Government of National Unity (TGoNU); Permanent Ceasefire and Transitional Security Arrangements; Humanitarian Assistance and Reconstruction; Resource, Economic and Financial Management; Transitional Justice, Accountability, Reconciliation and Healing; Parameters of Permanent Constitution; Joint Monitoring and Evaluation Commission (JMEC); Supremacy of the Agreement and Procedures for its Amendment; Signatories; and Appendixes.

Some articles of the agreement that have been stipulated under these headings are excellent, others are good and fair, but yet others are controversial and suspicious. The preamble is excellent as it stipulates in writing the spirit under which the letter of the agreement is supposed to be implemented. It affirms the ideals of diversity, inclusivity, humanitarianism, reforms, collegial decision-making, transparency, accountability, rule of law, truth, justice, apology, reparation, compensation, healing, harmony, federalism, reconstruction and development that should become a norm by virtue of the advent of  value of peace to South Sudan. The preamble promises generically a peace that should make cats to lie in harmonious dignity in one territory with mice and rats.

The humanitarian and economy aspects of the agreement are good and fair in many aspects. The religious part of it is also acceptable to all the stakeholders as it focuses on reconciliation, forgiveness and healing in the warring communities so that the lost trust can come back so as to reweave the loosened social fabrics.

However, the power sharing aspect of the agreement is controversial, particularly for some selfish politicians and businessmen who are interested in holding or acquiring position seats for the sake of luxury. This is where Machiavellianism is seen playing its principles of ‘the end justifies the means’ and ‘victory to the cleverest and the cunning’. This could get interwoven with the armed forces aspect of complications if not handled carefully with an eagle eye and sustained pressure from members of international and regional governments who have better leverages and stakes in South Sudan.

Regarding the security arrangements, the cantonments and demilitarization is not going to be a very easy affair unless the armed forces job is made less lucrative. The rebels may inflate their numbers but this shouldn’t be made a big deal as the mechanisms of the security sector reforms will catch up with them later. Juba and other capitals are not going to be demilitarized as it was proposed in the first draft compromise agreement. What will take place shall be redeployment of forces to specific locations. The rebels might not like this provision but they have no choice but to put up with it.

The presidential guards will remain intact but pending reforms too. Military Barracks and Warehouses arms guards shall also stay put without limitation. That means the GRSS could redeploy as many soldiers into Bilpam SPLA Headquarters and Giyada as they wish (provided that they don’t come out to mingle with civilians while militarized with uniforms or arms). There will not be foreign armed forces to neutralize the capital but only joint integrated police who shall also be deployed in Bor, Malakal and Benteu and in any other place in South Sudan with UNMISS’ Protection of Civilians (PoC) site. This is for building confidence in order to dispel fear of being harmed outside UNMISS’ premises when the civilians go back to their homes finally.

The unification of the warring forces shall be complete within 18 months so that no political leader goes to elections while owning a bullying military wing of his party. The SPLA name would also have been changed by then so that the newly reformed and standardized conventional defense forces of the Republic of South Sudan could take up their national duty in a rightful manner, far from regionalism or tribalism or nepotism. All the allied forces from neighboring countries shall leave South Sudanese alone.

However, the rotary choice of the executive positions within the agreed percentages of 53% for GRSS, 33% for SPLM/A-IO, 7% for FDs and 7% for Political Parties (who attended in June 2014 the IGAD’s Recognized Addis Ababa Symposium) is going to be very uncomfortable for the GRSS because the SPLM-Juba shall lose the grip on important some important ministries (like the Defense, the Security, the Interior, the Finance, the Petroleum, and the Foreign Affairs).

Some powers have been taken from the President and given to the First Vice President. The Incumbent Vice President (i.e., James Wani Igga) has nothing much to show for governance powers beyond commissions and smaller specialized institutions unless when delegated by the President but on condition of non-conflict with the duties of the First Vice President. However, this is not a surprise because Vice President is supposed to be part and assistant of the President and not a competitor of the First Vice President.

Both the President and the First Vice President shall not have absolute powers individually, because in case they failed to reach a consensus on an issue, the 67% and 23 quorum of Council of Ministers will have complete power over the divided Presidency in final decision-making on essential issues of governance and leadership.

Women can no longer be marginalized. Their 25% is now a right and not a benevolent duty from any male politician any more. They shall be in the Cabinet as full ministers and deputy ministers nominated by the principal stakeholders and appointed not by chance.

The National Legislative Assembly’s Speaker shall be from Equatoria but James Wani Igga shall have no option to switch from the Presidency to that post unless he resigns first. However, the replacement to the Vice President’s post shall not be guaranteed to go to Equatoria after he has left it. The concerned party (the GRSS) shall nominate any eligible South Sudanese from any region or from any gender to that vacant post.

At the states levels where the parliaments shall remained untouched; the SPLM/A-IO shall not have the upper hand in power sharing. Only the governors of Upper Nile and Unity state shall be nominated by the SPLM/A-IO while Jonglei State Governor shall be nominated by the GRSS. The Ministers who shall serve under these governors shall be apportioned as 46% for GRSS, 40%for SPLM/A-IO, 7% for FDs and 7% for Political Parties who have been recognized by the IGAD. That means, the upper portfolios control in Greater Upper Nile shall remain with the GRSS party, in addition to overwhelming control of the rest of the seven states in other regions where the armed opposition (not specifically SPLM/A-IO because it could be REMNASSA, etc) shall be granted 15% share of executive power while the GRSS retains 85%. All these are rewards to the rebellions but also to all factions of SPLM for having subjected South Sudan into crises. But given the dire quest for ending the war, this could be tolerated limitedly.

Any Member of Parliament at national or states level who has been dismissed shall be reconfirmed. However, the agreement is silent on the mode of replacement of those who have or who might have died while on parliamentary duty.

The national wealth (e.g., oil, gas, gold, timber, land, water, forests, fish, wild animals, etc) at the states levels shall not be left to the mercy of states governments. Revenues shall be centralized for the implementation of the agreement and accommodation of politicians and army generals. The desired equitable distribution of revenues in the spirit of sharing and rural community developments vis-a-avis population proportionality (call it taking towns to the people in the poor and destroyed villages) shall wait for later.

The IGAD-Plus in consultation with the stakeholders shall constitute a Joint Monitoring and Evaluation Commission (JMEC) as well as National Constitutional Amendment Committee (NCAC) to do the necessary for implementation of the provisions of the agreement during the 3-month pre-interim period and beyond. Other important institutions shall also be constituted or reconstituted (e.g., the National Elections Commissions, the National Constitution Review Commission, etc) for the same purpose.

All in all, if the SPLM leaders managed to unite by virtue of Arusha Reunification Agreement (which I doubt they will), the monopoly of power and wealth at the Presidency, the Council of Ministers, the Parliaments and the ten States shall become less sensitively controversial because the total share of all the SPLM factions shall be 93% and even more. Otherwise, the SPLM with all its disgruntled factions shall remain volatile as groups competing perpetually for power and wealth monopoly interests. Their differences and conflicts in offices might trickle down to their militarized guards where history of 13 December 2013 might repeat itself. This is where the presence of neutral forces in the capital could make sense of safety predictability.

The Addis Ababa II Agreement seems to have come back minus the past glory of the dinosauric SPLM. This is good news for germination of multiparty democracy in South Sudan as each of the divided factions of the SPLM will soon find better ways of organizing and coalescing with others politically. The SPLM shall finally be archived in historical records and given the necessary past credits. Congratulations to IGAD-Plus!

However, the “AGREEMENT ON THE RESOLUTION OF THE CONFLICT IN THE REPUBLIC OF SOUTH SUDAN” has not been written on hard stone because it is subject to amendment (but based on some stringent legal procedures). This provision is an acknowledgement that it is not a perfection document as there could be unforeseeable difficulties of implementation ahead.

Although the signatory phase of the agreement shall be commended, the implementation phase shall still have its hiccups, especially from the security arrangements aspects. Some disgruntled politicians and splintered armed groups might still resist the spirit of the agreement and opt for disruptive saboteurs’ activities, thinking that they may have better gains for Other Armed Groups (OAGs) like what happened to late Gen. Paulino Matip during the implementation phase of the Comprehensive Peace Agreement (CPA). Perhaps, this is where arms embargos during the peace time would make some sense.

It is observable that the courage from the South Sudanese warlords comes only from guns and ammunitions. But they don’t have any capacity of manufacturing such lethal power.  Also most of those who are threatening the lifeline of the agreement cannot have the same courage of Somalis even when they promise Somalization. I have never witnessed any South Sudanese putting a bomb on himself and getting out to a target un-shivering. Even those who are grinding their teeth now for seeing the President and other stakeholders signing an agreement that can bring peace back to the country will soon change their behavior and embrace sanity that usually comes with stability. Big attention should not be accorded to their unfounded threats because some of them are already known for cowardice and propaganda as they depend on others for courage.

The frontlines states (Sudan, Uganda, Ethiopia and Kenya) have already demonstrated commitment that they could help (collectively or individually) the Republic of South Sudan to be peaceful or to disintegrate totally if the rest of the world’s powers do not take the lead pragmatically beyond mere pronunciation of pressure and sanctions for spoilers of peace. Also South Africa, Tanzania, United States of America, the United Kingdom, the Kingdom of Norway, the People’s Republic of China, the African Union Commission, the United Nations Security Council and the European Union have not been folding their ends when it comes to the crisis in South Sudan. All of them have appended their signatures to be the guarantors of the agreement and would do whatever is at their disposal to ensure return of sanity of peace to South Sudan. However, what is critically required from these foreign powers is “The Responsibility while Protecting” the peace interests for the Republic of South Sudan and without conspiracy tactics or Plan Bs.

Viva for the upcoming of peace and justice to the born-again Republic of South Sudan!

Dr. James Okuk is lecturer and analyst in the area of politics. He can be reached This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it .

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