Dr. Machar (L) and President Salva Kiir (R) in Addis Ababa
By Leonard Akida Kamugisha
On Friday 3rd May, 2019, the Inter- Governmental Authiruty for Development (UGAD) has announced that South Sudan leaders have signed an agreement to delay transitional government for six months and set temporary guarantees that the deal could follow.
“The Parties unanimously agreed to extend the Pre-Transitional period by an additional six months effective from May 12, 2019 to enable the execution of the critical pending tasks,” said the Intergovernmental Authority on Development (Igad).
This came after both parties claimed they lacked political will, financial and time constraints which have caused to delays in the implementation of the Pre-Transitional tasks.
The Authority emphasised that the extension was due to start on the exact day which the transitional government was expected to be installed.
The extensions will give the chief principals, President Salva Kiir and Riek Machar more time to iron out their differences.
According to Lt-Gen (Rtd) Augostino Njoroge, the Interim Chairperson of the Reconstituted Joint Monitoring and Evaluation Commission (RJMEC) a body that monitors implementation of the peace agreement in South Sudan said the rescheduling will allow parties to discuss sticking issues.
“The determination of the Parties to continue to work in a spirit of cooperation and consensus was clear, and accordingly the extension was agreed unanimously through compromise.
Njoroge admitted that the two Parties regard the peace process as the best chance for stability and for ending the suffering of the people of South Sudan.
A transitional government of national unity was part of the clauses contained in the September agreement to bring peace in South Sudan. Dr Riek Machar was to act as a vice president of the unitary government. However, this has failed as either sides have failed to resolve crunch issues stated in the September 2018 agreement.
Mediators called a meeting Ethiopia purposely to address the difficulty in forming a transitional government of national unity in Juba.
Envoys representing regional bloc, Igad, had on Thursday warned critical components of the deal have not been implemented.
President Kiir, Machar and a handful of other groups inked the peace the Revitalised Agreement on the Resolution of the Conflict in South Sudan (RARCSS) deal in September 2018.
The May 12 deadline was supposed to provide ample time to rearrange the structures of government.
Only 27 of the 59 tasks listed in the agreement have been completed. Seventeen of the rest are still ongoing while 15 others are stalled.
It should be recalled that on Wednesday, U.S, Norway, and the UK— funders of the peaceful transition process had warned Juba to ensure urgent formation of the transitional government so that elections can be held in March 2022.
However, Dr Machar has refused to return to Juba from exile where he Fred in 2016 prior the first peace agreement, until his security is guaranteed.
“If the regime fails to implement the security arrangements and decides to form the government on May 12, the SPLM/SPLA (IO) – the revolutionary leadership of the people’s war–shall not be responsible for our people’s reaction,” said Mabior Garang De Mabior, the group’s chairperson