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Let’s ‘consolidate our peace, time is running out’ -Kiir

Authors: Woja Emmanuel | Kelly Abale | Published: Friday, July 10, 2020

File: President Salva Kiir Mayardit/Courtesy

President Salva Kiir has called on his partners in the transitional government to exercise political reciprocity to resolve all the pending issues in the 2018 revitalized peace agreement.

He warned that without timely political concessions, the parties risk failing the agreement and the people of South Sudan.

Kiir reminded the nation of the concessions he made when he accepted to work with the leader of the SPLM-IO, Dr. Riek Machar, and by agreeing to dissolve the 32 states -paving way for the formation of the unity government in February 2020.

In his 9th July remarks, the President affirmed his full commitment towards the implementation of the peace agreement.

Kiir acknowledged that peace implementation remains painfully slow and far behind public expectations.

He called on the parties to pick up the pace to resolve sticky issues in the implementation of the agreement.

These issues include; the unification and deployment of unified forces, reconstituting the national parliament, the appointment of the remaining governors of Jonglei and Upper Nile states, including their cabinets.  

Kiir cast doubts on the ability of the parties to make concessions over the remaining transitional period.

He further warned against the tendency by the parties to refer every matter to the guarantors without making genuine concessions.

“Unless we’re willing as stakeholders in this agreement to reciprocate each other’s concession, we will not achieve the required progress within the time frame left,” he said.

The President stressed that the agreement can only be sustainable if leaders prioritize peace and stability over political stands. 

“More importantly, the revitalized agreement did not cater for everything there are issues it left for the parties to themselves to sort out through amicable political understandings. To the issues where the agreement is silent, I would like to emphasize that it is essential we avoid the temptation of foot-drag when tackling them.”

President Kiir added that the government is still negotiating with opposition leaders, Thomas Cirillo and Paul Malong who did not sign the 2018 peace deal.

“We ought to forget the idea of seeking to extract concessions from others for nothing because to engage in such practices would be to squander valuable time,” Kiir stated.

He said the guarantors will not provide solutions to every obstacle in the agreement.

“It is also critical that we the parties to the agreement desist from adopting uncompromising positions in the hope that the mediation will eventually back them. We must move away from such attitudes because the peace we seek to consolidate is our own peace as South Sudanese.”

Kiir called for more political concession among the parties to the revitalized peace deal.

“It is only us who stand to benefit or lose in its success or failure, our regional partners and the international community are only there to lend support but they will not prescribe solutions to our problems.”

A political analyst said that the unwillingness by the parties to make concessions often warrants the interference of the region.

“If these South Sudanese parties particularly the leaders of those parties were capable of sitting down alone and resolving their problems even we wouldn’t have needed to come up with this revitalized agreement,” Dr. James Okuk said.

“We would have solved this problem a long time ago.”

He, however, added that it is important to have oversight to ensure the agreement is not a regional failure.

Okuk stated that the emergence of unnnecesary disagreements among the parties often requires the intervention of a third opinion to break the deadlock.

“The fact that they cannot sit together and peacefully solve their problems is what brought the foreigners to to mediate between them so that they can be helped to move ahead with the peace process,” he added.

“So this is what brought IGAD and this is what brought the R-JMEC because they know that South Sudanese leaders if they are left alone, they are very chaotic they don’t listen to themselves.”

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