Civil society, citizens react to extension of transitional period

Civil society, citizens react to extension of transitional period
South Sudanese citizens wave their flags as they attend the Independence Day celebrations in the capital Juba, July 9, 2011. REUTERS/Thomas Mukoya

The civil society organisations and a section of citizens are calling on the government to show commitment to transitioning into a democracy as the peace partners embarked on the extension of the duration of the peace agreement. 

The citizens were reacting to the extension of the period of transitional government for another 24 months.

 Akuoch Ajang Nyanhom, the Chairperson of the South Sudan Civil Society Alliance, told City Review said that they were for the idea of extension but only by 12 months.

“Our expectation was for a one-year. Nevertheless, they have decided to extend the time of the government for another 24 months but what are they going to do not what they couldn’t manage in the last three years?” Akuoch said.

He said the leaders lack the political will to conduct an election.   

“These are leaders who are in charge of the country, whether executive or parliament, and it is obvious that politicians go to elections to get an office, but this is not the case because they are already in the office. Why should they contest to get an office?” 

“It is obvious that the parties have extended the time of the agreement, and therefore they will extend the life span of the government for another 24 months and they will continue to serve in those capacities,” he added.

He reiterated that civil society would demand free and fair elections during the period. 

“Our demand has been that any extension must include a timeline for an election,” he said.

“In short, any extension must change the lifestyle of the people by delivering services to the people by giving political space to political parties civil society and the media.’’  

Deal faces hindrances

He added that the implementation of the agreement is also marred by the problem of inadequate resources and mistrust among leaders.

Deng-bil William, Chairperson of the African People’s Congress, opposed the extension arguing that the regime would want to enjoy the leadership without delivering services to the people.

He added that the failure of the RTGoNU to deliver services and provide security to the citizens at all levels during the three-year period of the agreement justified everything. Hence, there was no need for an extension.

But one of the citizens who identified himself as Adiing welcomed the extension arguing that it would enable the principals how to finish the pending deliverables of the deal without pressure from foreign governments.  

“Congratulations to the people of South Sudan and the leadership for the signing of the document on the roadmap without any pressure from any country,” Adiing wrote on his Facebook page. 

Another citizen, who identified herself as Wasila, commented that extension should be used to ensure prompt service delivery to the citizens and not power.  

 “What we need from our leaders is the provision of services and not power, even if they extend [it] for life but they are providing necessary services without malpractices then we have no problem,” she said.

Yesterday, parties to the agreement signed a document extending the term of the 2018 peace deal to 2025, when elections will be held. The elections will be held in 2024, according to the roadmap.