New ceasefire, new transitional government deal
South Sudan’s President Salva Kiir has backtracked on his previous objections and accepted that the post of prime minister should be created in a new transitional government.
The move came after the two sides in the ongoing conflict in the country agreed once more to instigate a ceasefire and to move towards a transitional government. The ceasefire brokered by the so called Intergovernmental Authority on Development (IGAD) is the latest in a series which have previously failed to hold.
A fresh meeting over the weekend in Addis Ababa saw the new deal brokered in which Kiir and his arch rival Riek Machar were given 45 days to form a transitional government.
The position of prime minister will be occupied by members of the opposition whiclt Kiir keeps his post as president during the 30 month transitional period. Sixty days before the ened of that period there are supposed to be elections in which the prime minister could not stand for the presidency. The sixty day period will also see the drafting of a new constitution to reflect the principles of federalism and devolution of power to the states.
The text of the new agreement as published on the Radio Tamazuj website is as follows:
“The government of the Republic of South Sudan, (hereinafter referred to as the “government” or the GRSS), and the Sudan People’s Liberation Movement/Army (in Opposition) (hereinafter referred to as (SPLM/A (IO)) and others namely: SPLM Leaders (Former Detainees), Political Parties, Civil Society, and Faith-Based Leaders; jointly referred to as “Stakeholders”;
Do Hereby Agree the following principles, and Further Agree, with the endorsement of the Guarantors, that the terms of a political transition shall be further determined by the agreed outcomes of the IGAD-led multi-stakeholder peace process, and that such terms shall necessarily be formulated in accordance with these Principles;
I. Agreed Principles: Transitional Government Arrangements
1. Establishing a Transitional Government of National Unity (TGONU) offers the best chance for the people of South Sudan to take the country forward;
2. The Head of State and Government, Commander-in-Chief of the Armed Forces of the TGONU shall be the elected, incumbent President of the Republic; the President of the Republic shall be deputized by a Vice President of the Republic;
3. There shall be established the office of the Prime Minister nominated by the SPLM/A (IO) and who shall be acceptable to the President; whose duties and powers shall be negotiated in the peace process;
4. The Prime Minister shall be a credible, professional and competent person to accomplish the tasks entrusted to him to coordinate the implementation of the interim process;
5. The Prime Minister shall work harmoniously with the President during the interim period.
6. The Prime Minister will not be eligible to stand for any public office in the national elections at the end of the Transitional Period;
7. The Executive of the Transitional Government shall comprise the President, the Vice President, the Prime Minister and the Council of Ministers;
8. The transitional Period shall last for a period of 30 months;
9. National elections shall be held 60 days before the end of the Transitional Period in order to introduce a new political dispensation in South Sudan;
10. The Transitional Period shall be preceded by a Pre-Transition period of 90 days, during which tasks necessary to initiate the Transition shall be completed; these tasks shall be negotiated by the stakeholders in the negotiations;
11. The Transitional Government shall include representatives nominated by the Government, the SPLM/A (IO), the SPLM Leaders and other Political Parties, shall be negotiated by the parties mentioned above in the negotiations;
12. The Executive shall guide the transitional agenda and national elections as shall be agreed by the participating stakeholders in the IGAD-led peace process;
13. In the event that the post of President falls vacant, the provisions of the Transitional Constitution of the Republic of South Sudan shall prevail. Should the post of Prime Minister fall vacant during the Transitional Period, the post shall be filled by the nominee of the SPLM/A (IO), as per the terms to be negotiated;
14. Upon the adoption of the amended Constitution, the National Legislature shall be reviewed with a view to expand the National Legislature to reflect the new political dispensation that shall be negotiated by the stakeholders in the negotiations; (nominated portion of National Legislature)
15. Individuals, groups and parties to the conflict shall be accountable for their actions. Individuals found to have committed atrocity crimes, war crimes, or other crimes against humanity, as identified by the African Union Commission of Inquiry for South Sudan, shall not be eligible for participation in the Transitional Government, or, if already participating in the Transitional Government shall resign.
II. Agreed Principles: Transitional Security Arrangements
16. To sign the implementation matrix of the Cessation of Hostilities Agreement, its and its addendum, and fully implement the provisions of the Cessation of Hostilities Agreement to immediately stop the war, which is contributing to the humanitarian crisis;
17. Immediately begin negotiations on a permanent ceasefire that will result in the declaration of the disposition of forces, cantonment, demobilization, disarmament and reintegration, and the eventual withdrawal of allied forces, in accordance with the Cessation of Hostilities Agreement, and re-unification of the hitherto fragmented national army;
18. Negotiate and agree to undertake comprehensive institutional reforms in the security sector during the Transitional Period, to restore public confidence and that lead to enduring reforms beyond the Transitional Period;
19. Establish during the Transitional Period a competent and effective oversight mechanism to help oversee implementation of the security sector reform programme and ensure accountability amongst the security agencies;
III. Agreed Principles: Resource, Economic and Financial Management
20. In accordance with existing international best practices, standards, and norms, introduce during the Transitional Period a programme of economic and public financial management reform, implemented in accordance with the existing institutional and legal architecture; the terms of the reform programme shall be negotiated by the stakeholders in the negotiations;
21. Establish during the Transitional Period, a competent and effective oversight mechanism to help oversee implementation of the reform programme and ensure transparency and efficiency in public financial management;
22. Agree to a resource sharing framework for the revenues from the extraction of national resources that balances the needs for national development, service delivery and reconstruction of the country, and be allocated by a formula to be negotiated by the stakeholders in the negotiations;
IV. Agreed Principles: Transitional Justice, Reconciliation, and Healing
23. Establish during the Transitional Period, a National Commission for Truth, Reconciliation and Healing, which will be hybrid in composition, to spearhead efforts to address the legacy of conflict in South Sudan; the terms and mandate of the Commission shall be negotiated by the stakeholders in the negotiations;
24. Establish during the Transitional Period, an independent judicial body to investigate and prosecute individuals bearing the greatest responsibility for violations of international humanitarian law, and/or applicable South Sudanese law, committed since 15 December 2013; the terms and mandate of this body shall be negotiated by the stakeholders in the negotiations;
V. Agreed Principles: Humanitarian Concerns
25. Given the impending threat of war-induced famine, the Government and SPLM/A (IO), as a matter of urgency, immediately and jointly agree to fully support the international call for humanitarian assistance to South Sudan, and agree to facilitate the necessary humanitarian access assessment and assistance initiatives;
26. Agree to urgently institute programmes of relief, repatriation, resettlement, reintegration and rehabilitation of IDPs and returnees, and in particular, provide programmes for war/conflict affected persons (children, orphans, women, widows, war wounded, etc.), including reconstruction of war-affected areas, the terms and scope of which shall be negotiated by the stakeholders in the negotiations;
VI. Agreed Principles: Parameters for a permanent Constitution Process
27. The TGONU to initiate and oversee a permanent constitution-making process during the Transitional Period, based on the principles of federalism and taking into account unity in diversity, and to devolve more power to the states. The terms and parameters of this process shall be negotiated by the Stakeholders in the negotiations;
VII. Timetable to Complete Negotiations
28. That upon the signing of this Protocol, the stakeholders commit to negotiate and complete the agreement within a period of 45 days.”