Home | News    Thursday 19 July 2018

South Sudan says governance proposal remains "problematic"

President Salva Kiir attends a session during the 25th Extraordinary Summit of the (IGAD) on South Sudan in Addis Ababa March 13, 2014 (Reuters Photo)
July 18, 2018 (JUBA) - South Sudanese government delegation said it had not yet taken a decision on the "problematic" draft agreement on the governance but stressed that they would not initial it on Thursday due to the visit of Egyptian President to Khartoum.

On Wednesday, the negotiating delegations of the parties to the Khartoum Round of peace revitalization process received a new draft Agreement on Outstanding Issues of Governance.

Also, the delegations met with the mediators who asked them not to submit any new observations.

In his daily briefing on the talks, Government Spokesperson Michael Makuei Lueth said their negotiating team still has some observations on the draft agreement because no changes have been done on the text they got on Monday.

"As I stated early it is likely to be even more problematic than the provisions of the revitalized bridging proposal in Ethiopia," he added.

The information minister stressed that at this level of responsibilities, the decision to accept the text of not should be taken by the leadership in Juba and they remain in wait for the response of President Kiir.

He further added that in case the parties agree to sign the draft the initialling ceremony would not be on Thursday but on Friday due to the Egyptian President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi to Khartoum.

The Sudanese mediation said the draft will be initialled on Thursday and the final signing will be on 26 July in presence of IGAD leaders, particularly President Yoweri Museveni whose support was crucial to convincing President Kiir to make the needed concessions.

The text of the draft agreement on outstanding issues of governance remained generally unchanged. Only, the mediation considered an observation by the South Sudanese Opposition Alliance about a paragraph on federalism initially agreed by the parties but omitted by the mediation in Addis Ababa.

Also, opposition delegations didn’t issue new observations on the draft agreement on Wednesday. It was reported that the SPLM-IO even said ready to sign the proposed text despite the observations presented by its delegates to the talks.

JUBA RESERVATIONS

Minister Makuei on Wednesday gave more elaborated comments on the position of his government indicating that in term of power-sharing they have reservations on the parliament and the executive.

The draft agreement reduced the government ministers to 35 members and allocated only 20 portfolios to the government. In the legislature, it has accorded important positions at the leadership of the legislature to the opposition groups especially in the Upper Chamber so they can use it to amend and mitigate the bills endorsed by the government dominated transitional assembly.

Also, the government spokesperson said they have reservations on the states level, pointing that in the initial version the power-sharing was only limited to the state government and legislative assembly but now it is extended to all the institutions in the state to include the local government and payams.

"Of course, this is not possible. Payams are set by civil servants. Should they share them also?"

He added that they have reservations on the composition of the Independent Boundaries Commission (IBC) which according to the draft agreement will include more foreigners than South Sudanese nationals.

"This is an issue of sovereignty," he said.

The draft provides the IBC shall consist of fifteen (15) members including Five (5) South Sudanese, one for each party; two by the IGAD, three r of the Troika countries and five from the African Union’s C5 states.

The C5 is the name given to five non-IGAD African countries involved in the AU efforts to settle the South Sudanese crisis: Algeria, Chad, Nigeria, South Africa and Tanzania.

(ST)