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S. Sudan former detainees demand hybrid administration

February 7, 2018 (JUBA) – A transitional government in the form of a hybrid administration and a reconstituted legislature should be established if the 2015 Agreement on the Resolution of the Conflict in South Sudan (ARCSS) is to fully be implemented, the country’s former political detainees proposed in a position paper.

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President Kenyatta with 7 South Sudanese former detainees, Rebecca Garang, his son and Dalmas Otieno special envoy for the peace process 12 February 2014

The former political detainees were a group of politician at the start of the civil war that broke out in the young nation in 2013.

According to former detainees, regional mediators and the international community can only end the cycle of violence and ensure the full implementation of the peace agreement by negotiating an honorable exit for the incumbent President Salva Kiir and deposed ex-first vice president, Riek Machar.

“The hybrid executive shall be comprised of competent personalities of high integrity (politicians, technocrats, professionals, civil society, etcetera)”, says the proposal.

“Members of the transitional government shall be barred from offering themselves as candidates in elections at the end of the transition and from holding any public office for 10 years,” it adds.

The former political detainees are part of those taking part in the High Level Revitalization Forum (HLRF) initiated by the Intergovernmental Authority on Development (IGAD) to revive the peace process in the Ethiopian capital, Addis Ababa.

The detainees, however, insisted that a stringent selection criteria and vetting mechanism of all the officials to serve in the transitional government be designed and effected.

“The legislature shall be a newly reconstituted national assembly that is made up of 200 members and council of state composed of 50 members bath representing all stakeholders in South Sudan,” proposed the group.

The former political detainees, in their position paper, also demanded that South Sudan reverts to the federal states as per the provisions of 2015 ARCSS with development of governance system being left to the permanent constitution making process.

Also proposed is that the order dismissing judges and justices be revoked and that the executive be prevented from interfering with the independence of the judiciary and the judiciary be reformed.

“Overhaul the leadership of the judiciary including the office of the chief justice and the judges of the supreme court through an independent judicial mechanism,” the group further suggested.

The aim of the transitional government, it further said, should be to stabilize the country and achieve economic recovery, with a clear program to eradicate fragility and state failure in South Sudan.

“The transitional period should be 3 years and sho uld conclude with peaceful, free, fair and credible elections,” said the group.

They said repeated violations of ceasefire agreements and the president’s decision to create 28 new states from the initial 10, partly explain why the full implementation of the ARCSS failed.

(ST)