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CEPO: STATUS OF THE R-ARCSS IMPLEMENTATION

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14 MONTHS OF PRE-TRANSITIONAL PERIOD: LESSONS LEARNED AND WAYWARD

12th October 2019

Abstract: This report presents some findings and arguments on the 14 months of the pre-transitional period for implementing the Revitalized Agreement on the Resolution of Conflict in South Sudan (R-ARCSS). The 14 months of the pre-transitional period were unable to deliver the intended outcomes that were designed under the (R-ARCSS). It has evidently been proved that several factors, including the inadequate and untimely release of funds; lack of trust and confidence among the top leadership of the parties towards working together; lack of political will and politics of bad faith, largely contributed to the slow execution of the pre-transitional tasks.

Regionally, the Intergovernmental Authority on Development (IGAD) lacked an institutional establishment at its technical headquarter level for coordinating efforts between various institutions and mechanism tasked to deliver the pre-transitional tasks. Additionally, the African Union (AU) established adhoc committee that comprises of South Africa, Rwanda, Chad, Nigeria and Algeria has been ineffective in its role of complementing IGAD’s efforts for genuine implementation of the (R-ARCSS) during the pre-transitional period. Therefore, any way forward on the fate of the November 12, 2019 deadline or any decision from any party should focus on the gaining political consensus among the parties’ signatories to the (R-ARCSS).

1. EXECUTIVE SUMMARY

The 14 months of pre-transitional period was evidently witnessed by the high level of deficit in trust and confidence among the top leadership of parties that signed the R-ARCSS on September 12, 2018. The slow performance of the parties in delivering the intended tasks of the pre-transitional period was a clear indicator of the lack of good faith politics and political will among the top leadership of the parties to the R-ARCSS. One of the key factors to be avoided is the formation of an exclusive government without the genuine trust and confidence among the top leadership of parties’ signatories to the R-ARCSS. Formation of any exclusive government has many negative implications on the fate of genuine implementation of the R-ARCSS. Currently, the key deadlocks before the parties that require their compromises for breakthrough are;
a) Adequate funding for pending issues in the security arrangements
b) Resolving the issue of boundaries and the numbers of states through a political decision
c) Enactment of amendments of five security laws before formation of the Revitalized Transitional Government of National Unity
d) Incorporation of the R-ARCSS into the Transitional Constitution 2011 amended in 2015 before the formation of the Revitalized Transitional Government of National Unity
e) Genuine distribution of ministerial portfolios and allocation of states among the parties
The deadlocks before the parties’ signatory to the R-ARCSS are matters that require demonstration of political will and good faith politics from the top leadership of the parties’. The top leaders of the parties can only resolve these deadlocks by doing the following;
a) Increase interaction/dialogues on seeking possible compromise solution on the outstanding issues
b) Abolish the language of imposing pre-conditions and threats
c) Prioritize adequate and timely funding of outstanding issues in the R-ARCSS
d) Improve external relations through embracing dialogue

Regionally, IGAD should improve its approach for handling the R-ARCSS implementation. Among the key improvements required are;
a) Establishing a unit for handling South Sudan peace agreement implementation at headquarter level. The unit should focus on strengthening coordination of various efforts on R-ARCSS implementation
b) The IGAD Special Envoy to South Sudan should approach behind the scene issues with full respect to the principle of inclusivity
On the other hand, AU ad hoc committee should step up its role of complementing IGAD’s role in the implementation of the R-ARCSS.
Finally, there is a clear dilemma on the fate of the formation of Revitalized Transitional Government of National Unity on November 12, 2019. The increases in the parties’ attitudes to give pre-conditions are potential indicators may call for more extension of the pre-transitional period. Lack of trust and confidence among the parties makes it hard to reach a political consensus and compromise.

2. INTENDED TASKS TO BE DELIVERED BEFORE 12TH NOVEMBER 2019 (14 MONTHS OF THE PRE-TRANSITIONAL PERIOD)

SECURITY TASKS Status of deliverance POLITICAL TASKS Status of deliverance
Reconstituting Disarmament and Demobilization and Reintegration Commission (DDRC) Accomplished Incorporation of R-ARCSS into the Transitional Constitution 2011 amended 2015 Not accomplished
Reviewing the five security laws, namely SPLA Act, National Security Service Act, Police Service Act, Wildlife Act, Prison Service Act and Fire Brigade Bill Accomplished Enacting the proposed amendments on the five security laws namely, SPLA Act, National Security Service Act, Police Service Act, Wildlife Act, Prison Service Act and Fire Bridge Bill Not accomplished
Cantoning and barracking forces Accomplished Resolving the issue of boundaries and number of States Not accomplished
Forces vacating civilians sites Partial accomplished but new occupation is taking place Rebuilding Trust and Confidence Partially accomplished
Developing Unified Necessary forces training curriculum(Instructors and Trainee curriculums) Accomplished Distributing responsibility sharing at national, state and local government levels Not accomplished
Training and graduation of instructors for training the unified necessary forces Accomplished Prohibition of hate speech and hostile propaganda Partially accomplished
Screening of forces Partially accomplished Political Parties disseminating the R-ARCSS to their constituents and citizens Partially accomplished (with the support of the United Nations Mission in South Sudan)
Formation of the VIP Protection Unit (Trained and redeployed Partially accomplished
Collection of light and heavy weaponry Not accomplished
Training and redeploying unified necessary forces Not accomplished

3. UPDATES ON THE STATUS OF THE REVITALIZED AGREEMENT ON THE RESOLUTION OF CONFLICT IN SOUTH SUDAN IMPLEMENTATION AND PERFORMANCE OF ACTORS

Thematic task Details action on the task Status of implementation Identified issues Suggestions for way forward

CHAPTER 1:

REVITALIZED TRANSITIONAL GOVERNMENT OF NATIONAL UNITY –GOVERNANCE

Incorporation of the R-ARCSS into Transitional Constitution, 2011 Amended, 2015 Reasonable - compliance The draft of the constitutional bill is before the Transitional National Legislative Assembly and it seems parliament is reluctant to pass it The Transitional National Legislative Assembly Parliament should take action on R-ARCSS incorporation into the Transitional Constitutional , 2011, amended 2015 before November 12, 2019
Amendment of the five security laws namely Police Services Act, SPLA Act, National Security Services Act, Prison Services Act, Wildlife Act, Fire Bridge Bill, 2019 Reasonable -compliance The Transitional National Legislative Assembly Parliament is reluctant to act on this matter The Transitional National Legislative Assembly should take action on amendments of the five security laws before it

Implementation of the affirmative action of at least 35% for women at institutions and mechanism for the R-ARCSS implementation

Non-compliance R-ARCSS implementation mechanisms namely RJMEC,CTSAMVM, NCAC, SDSRB, JDB, JMCC & JTSC failed to meet the threshold of 35% for women The mechanisms for the implementation of R-ARCSS leadership should insist on parties to meet the threshold of 35% for women during their members appointment to any mechanism
R-ARCSS implementation institutions under National Pre-Transitional Committee (NPTC) including NPTC secretariat failed to meet the threshold of at least 35% for women The institutions (under NPTC and NPTC secretariat) for the implementation of R-ARCSS leadership should review for the parties to meet the threshold of at least 35% for women during their members appointment to any mechanism
Resolution of the boundaries and number of the states Non-Compliance Absence of consensus and compromises among the parties to R-ARCSS The issues of the boundaries and number of states is totally a political issue that requires political decision with consensus among the parties’ signatories to R-ARCSS.
The issue of the boundaries and number of the states needs to be handle with extra-care and wisdom among the political elites. It is a politically emotional issue

CHAPTER 2

PERMANENT CEASEFIRE AND TRANSITIONAL SECURITY ARRANGEMENT

Observing Ceasefire Compliance The military leadership of parties signatories to R-ARCSS demonstrated genuine responsibility for making their forces obey the ceasefire The military leadership should be encouraged to keep the spirit of compliance with the ceasefire
Vacation of occupied civilians sites by the parties forces Slow-compliance The military leadership of the parties to R-ARCSS should get their forces away from occupying the civilians sites Vacating civilians sites occupied by the parties forces should be embrace because it increase civilian trust and confidence on R-ARCSS

Cantoning and barracking of forces

Reasonable-Compliance The process of cantoning and barracking forces is moving on well but very slow and behind expected schedule Still some compliance are required for forces to report to some of cantonment sites and barracks
The great challenge before the cantoned and barracked forces is inadequate social services such as proper shelter, food, drinking water and medical care Prioritizing social services of the forces in cantonment sites and barracks should be taken seriously by the political leadership because chances of the forces turning to get food by force from civilian sites is high
Screening/registration of forces in cantonment sites and barracks Compliance 68,000 troops are successfully registered for the process of creating unified forces The registration of the forces has to undergone proper due diligence process
Training of necessary unified forces instructors Compliance The graduated instructors for the training of the necessary unified forces was welcomed Catering for the needs/services of the instructors for the training of the necessary unified forces should be taken seriously by the political leadership of the parties to R-ARCSS
Establishing VIP protection unit Reasonable-Compliance On-going preparations for making the VIP protection unit functional is reasonable Political leadership of the parties is required to provide political will for VIP protection unit to operationalize and act independently from political influence
Training of necessary unified forces (41,000 out of 83,000) including redeployment of the trained necessary unified forces Non-Compliances The training and redeployment of the 41,000 forces may need at least 45 days of effective training before redeployment Parties should get together for reaching political consensus on the of training and redeployment of the 41,000 forces
Prohibition of hate speech Reasonable-Compliance The spread of hate speech among the leadership of the parties to R-ARCSS has reduced, but remains high among their supporters The top leadership of the parties to R-ARCSS should take the responsibility of warning supporters of their parties about the dangers of hate speech
Prohibition of hostile propaganda Inadequate-Compliance The issue of hostile propaganda among some leadership of the parties to R-ARCSS still exist, mainly in the form of threatening and pre-conditioning political opponents The top leadership of the parties to R-ARCSS should be mindful of the language they speak in public on the implementation of R-ARCSS

IGAD –TECHNICAL PERFORMANCE

IGAD Technical Directorate/unit based in headquarter

Inadequate-compliance Absence of specifically assigned technical unit at IGAD headquarters to handle South Sudan cases as coordinating body between the IGAD Special Envoy, RJMEC, IGAD Executive Secretary for influencing IGAD Council of Ministers and Head of State and Government summit IGAD Headquarter leadership should agree to establish ad hoc unit for handling South Sudan filed. The main purpose of the unit is to strengthen coordination on the R-ARCSS implementation process with various actors including help IGAD Special Envoy with behind the scene engagement with South Sudanese parties

IGAD-SPECIAL ENVOY TO SOUTH SUDAN

Influencing parties to Revitalized Agreement on the Resolution of Conflict in South Sudan Reasonable- Compliance No effective engagement with the parties behind the scene IGAD Special Envoy to South Sudan should opt to engage on behind the scene with the parties signatories and non-signatories to R-ARCSS as an effective approach for making peace and stability prevail in South Sudan

IGAD R-ARCSS GUARANTORS

Sudan Performance Compliance Sudan as R-ARCSS guarantor was effective Sudan current leadership should be pro-active on R-ARCSS implementation because success of R-ARCSS have mutual benefit for both sisterly countries
Uganda Performance Compliance Uganda leadership attempt for resolving the power struggle within the South Sudan Opposition Alliance (SSOA) was creditable Uganda leadership should attempt to take the stand of being neutral as guarantor because peaceful South Sudan benefits all and violent South Sudan hurt all

AFRICAN UNION ad hoc COMMITTEE

South Africa Performance Reasonable-Compliance Increase in Pro-activeness is required Embracing African Union complementary role in R-ARCSS implementation is paramount
Nigeria Performance Reasonable-Compliance Increase in Pro-activeness is required Embracing African Union complementary role in R-ARCSS implementation is paramount
Algeria Performance Bouncing-Compliance Increase in Pro-activeness is required Embracing African Union complementary role in R-ARCSS implementation is paramount
Rwanda Performance Reasonable-Compliance Increase in Pro-activeness is required Embracing African Union complementary role in R-ARCSS implementation is paramount
Chad Performance Non-Compliance Inactiveness of Chad is discouraging Newal of pledge for complementing IGAD efforts is required from Chad

TROIKA GROUP USA Performance Reasonable-Compliance Appointing Special Envoy to South Sudan is critical Congress pro-activeness on South Sudan is determine by the engagement of the Special Envoy as horizontal actor
Absence of USA special envoy to South Sudan is a strategic mistake that requires to be resolve immediately
UK Performance Compliance Having Special Envoy appointed was remarkable Keeping the Special Envoy pro-active on South Sudan should be embrace. Further the special envoy should get the UK leadership get pro-active on South Sudan
Norway Performance Compliance Having Special Envoy appointed was remarkable Keeping the Special Envoy pro-active on South Sudan should be embraced. Furthermore, the special envoy should get the Norwegian leadership more pro-active on South Sudan

IGAD PARTNERS FORUM

Canada Reasonable-Compliance More efforts needed Making the IGAD Partners forum more pro-active is essential
Japan Compliance The on-going support for R-ARCSS is impressive Promote transparency and accountability on use of funds for implementation of R-ARCSS
Russia Bouncing-Compliance Sense of taking responsibility for securing global peace is required Support genuine implementation of peace agreement should treat as global responsibility under the concept of global responsibility to protect
China Compliance The on-going support for R-ARCSS is impressive Promote transparency and accountable on use of support for the implementation of R-ARCSS
European Union plus its member states Compliance The on-going support for R-ARCSS is impressive Promote transparency and accountable on use of support for the implementation of R-ARCSS

4. KEY RECOMMENDATIONS

4.1. FOR SOUTH SUDAN PARTIES

a) There is need for an urgent face-to-face meeting of the top leadership of parties to the R-ARCSS on the fate of the November 12, 2019 deadline
b) The top leadership of the parties to R-ARCSS should take primary responsibility on compliance with November 12, 2019 deadline, through consensual political decisions
c) Avoid the language of pre-conditions and act more on delivering the pending tasks of the pre-transitional period
d) There is need to operationalize the established committee by the parties on finding a solution on the issue of boundaries and number of the states
e) There is need to consider the option of using the 79 counties as a last resort for resolving the matter of the boundaries and number of states
f) There is need for the Transitional National Legislative Assembly to deliver the incorporation of the R-ARCSS into the Transitional Constitution 2011 amended 2015, including the timely enactment of five reviewed security laws
g) There is need for the parties to enforce the affirmative action of at least 35% for women without any compromises
h) There is need to resolve the issue of children and women presence in the cantonment sites and barracks –this is humanitarian issue that requires urgent intervention
i) There is need to have trust and confidence for moving forward through embracing political consensus and compromises on outstanding issues
j) There is need for the top leadership of the parties to avail good faith politics and political will for expediting the pending tasks of the pre-transitional period
k) Adequate and timely release of funds for accomplishing the pre-transitional tasks in a transparent manner is required

4.2. IGAD AND IGAD SPECIAL ENVOY

a) IGAD headquarters should establish a unit for handling South Sudan file with stronger terms of references, focusing on coordinating actors inter-linkages on R-ARCSS implementation
b) IGAD Special Envoy to South Sudan should engage in handling some of the issues through the approach of behind the scene but this should not compromise with the principle of inclusive
c) IGAD should hold urgent face-to-face meeting of the top leadership of the parties to R-ARCSS

4.3. AFRICAN UNION ad hoc COMMITTEE (AU C-5)

a) There need to strengthen the engagement of AUC-5 with clear terms of reference on complementing IGAD in implementing the R-ARCSS
b) AUC-5 should keep African Union Peace and Security Council engaged on South Sudan

4.4. IGAD R-ARCSS GUARANTORS

a) The R-ARCSS guarantors should double their efforts in fostering trust and confidence among the top leadership of the parties
b) Guarantors of the R-ARCSS like IGAD should be more effective and action-oriented by ensuring its headquarters has an established unit for handling South Sudan coordination

4.5. SOUTH SUDAN FRIENDS

a) There is need to continue supporting South Sudan’s efforts for making peace happen
b) The United States of American (USA), as Troika group member, should appoint a Special Envoy to South Sudan to foster proper engagement on South Sudan political transitioning
c) There is need for friends of South Sudan to deal with R-ARCSS issues, such as double standards

5. CEPO’S ROLE:

It will mostly engage in advocacy and lobby with the parties signatory to the R-ARCSS. CEPO will also take effective roles to engage the parties on the principle of no return to war and take the primary responsibility for genuine implementation of the R-ARCSS, which is the cornerstone of our lobbying and advocacy work.
Further, CEPO will be effectively engage in fostering the genuine enforcement of the affirmative action of at least 35% for women agreed upon by all the parties that signed the R-ARCSS.

6. CONCLUSION

It not yet too late and it will not be too late. Change of political attitudes and behaviors from that of no compromise and consensus to attitudes and behaviors of making compromises and consensus for the ultimate objective of making the R-ARCSS implementation genuine and accepted compliant with the November 12, 2019 when an Inclusive Revitalized Transitional Government of National Unity is formed. Trading for the fate of 12th November 2019 through political consensus should be the primary objective of the parties.

Mature politicking is always described by the values of tolerance, patience, consensus and compromise that placed the best national interest of the citizens first. The parties’ signatories to the R-ARCSS have the primary responsibility for using the peace accord as an instrument of regaining the broken social fabric among the communities of South Sudan. This must be now, not tomorrow.

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Kind regards,

The Sudan Tribune editorial team.

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