JUBA – A group of lawmakers allied to South Sudan Vice-president for infrastructure cluster Taban Deng Gai has wrote to the regional bloc, IGAD, which mediated the revitalized peace agreement to suspend the ongoing implementation of the revitalized peace agreement until a number of grievances they raised are addressed.
In an open statement addressed to the chairperson and executive secretary of the regional bloc, the group said the formation of the state governments has excluded them in violation to the revitalized peace agreement and called for a regional submit to discuss such violations.
“[We] request the IGAD to call for urgent submit of the parties that comprised the ITGONU to facilitate the implementation of Article 1.3.1, R-ARCISS, 2018,” the statement reads in part.
The Taban-led group also wants “the IGAD to put on hold formation of the R-TGONU until our concerns are addressed.”
Below is the full statement addressed to the IGAD!
“We, members of former SPLM-IO led by Gen. Taban Deng Gai, having served in the incumbent Transitional Government of National Unity (ITGONU) as members of Council of Ministers at National level, members of National Assembly, and members of States Government executive and legislative organs do hereby write to you to inform you on blatant violation of the provisions of the R-ARCISS, 2018 by the SPLM, a party that was never mentioned in the R-ARCISS, 2018 nor ARCISS, 2015.
“Today, the last Presidential decree appointing the ten (10) states government was announced on the SSBC state own broadcastings, a step towards conclusion of the formation of the Revitalized Transitional Government of National Unity (RTGONU) as stipulated in the R-ARCISS.
“So far, the former SPLM-10 in ITGONU nominees were intentionally left out in the appointments. On 23d February, 2021, we wrote a petition letter to H.E Salva Kiir Mayardit concerning our exclusion from the formation of the state and local governments in the country when only three states were decreed. Until today, we didn’t get any official response from the President with the exception of media statements from the Minister of Information and SPLM National Secretariat.
“To refresh your mind on how the SPLM IO led by Gen. Taban Deng Gai came to existence, we would like to advance to you the following arguments as you are key mediator and guarantor of the current agreement. Firstly, it is important to note that the current agreement (R-ARCISS, 2018) is a continuation and revitalized form of the last agreement (ARCISS, 2015).
“We as SPLM-IO were party to the ARCISS, 2015 with GRSS and OPP formed the TGONU in 2016 after our former leader decided to return back to the bush and continue with the insurgency. These three groups who formed the ARCISS, 2015 government were again recognized by Revitalized Agreement(R-ARCISS, 2018) and pronounced the trio as ITGONU.
“We would like to emphasize the fact that the trinity of the membership of the incumbent TGONU which was stipulated by Article 188.8.131.52 of the R-ARCSS, 2018 needs to be made real. This trinity was based on the arrangements that arouse out of the 2016 crisis which took place at JI when we opted to support peace and stability instead of war.
“As peace lovers we invoked the provisions of Article 6.4. of the ARCSS, 2015 and filled the position of the then First Vice President Dr. Riek Machar Teny when it fell vacant following his departure to the Congo by nominating General Taban Deng Gai to fill the vacuum.
“That act should have cemented our relationship in the composition of TGONU which according to Article 3.1 of ARCSS,2015 comprised the GRSS, the SPLM/A-10, the former Detainees and other political parties.
“Furthermore, the following Articles of ARCSS 2015 allotted the power sharing ratios to the above mentioned parties as follows:
10.1.1 GRSS 53% of Ministerial portfolios (16 Ministers)
10.1.2 Former SPLM/A-IO, 33% of Ministerial Portfolios (10) ministers)
10.1.3 Former Detainees, 7% of Ministerial portfolios (2 Ministers)
10.1.4 Other political parties, 7% of Ministerial portfolios (2 Ministers).
10.2 The Council of Ministers shall have 30 Ministers.
10.5.4 Deputy Ministers were taken by the parties holding the respective Ministries.
“Since we constitute 33% of the power sharing arrangements in ITGONU under the ARCSS as stated above, the same power sharing arrangements should have logically been carried forward under the R-ARCSS because the R-ARCSS was intended to reinvigorate the ARCSS and the provisions are not in conflict.
“Thus the power sharing arrangements for us in the executive should have followed suit. In other words we should have:
“(a) 33% of the 20 National Ministerial posts, which is 6 Ministers;
“(b) 33% of the 5 National Deputy Ministerial posts, which is 2 deputy Ministers;
“(c) 33% of 9 Ministerial posts at state level, which is 3 Ministers per state
“(d) 33% of County Commissioners, which is which is 14 County Commissioners.
“Note: all other positions at the state and county level should follow the same formula.
“As for the National Legislative Assembly, the ARCSS 2015 increased the number to 400 including 332 previous members and 68 additional members (Article 11.1 thereof).
“The additional 68 seats were subdivided as follows: (a) Former SPLM/A-IO: 50; (b) Former Detainees: I (c) Other political parties: 17. Since Article 1.14.2 of the R-ARCSS has expanded the number of the TNLA to 550 giving ITGONU 332 of the seats, then we are claiming our 50 seats which were allotted to us by ARCSS.
“As for the Council of states we will also request for 33% of the seats that will be allotted to ITGONU to be given to us.
“Your Excellency, Mr. Prime Minister: With all these evidently justified legal standing, our partner in ITGONU have shockingly decided to sideline and isolate our group from participation citing unfounded arguments. We are therefore calling upon you on the following to redress the matter:
“1. Request the IGAD to call for urgent submit of the parties that comprised the ITGONU to facilitate the implementation of Article 1.3.1, R-ARCISS, 2018.
“2. Request the IGAD to put on hold formation of the R-TGONU until our concerns are addressed.”