Lessons from RTGoNU: We must have clearcut method to end the transition

Lessons from RTGoNU: We must have clearcut method to end the transition

It has been four years since the formation of the Revitalised Transitional Government of National Unity (RTGoNU), which set South Sudan on the healing path after the civil war of 2016. The bloody conflict destabilised the country’s quest for recovery after enduring suffering from past wars of liberation and a successive civil war in 2013.

The 2018 revitalised peace agreement that created the avenue for the creation of the transitional government of national unity was therefore timely, for it meant putting an end to uncertainty and taking a course together as a country on how to realise a democratically elected government.

The Revitalised Agreement on the Resolution of the Conflict in the Republic of South Sudan highlighted various areas that the transitional government of national unity would have to look at to ensure that the country transitions into the democratic phase, which would bring a lot of benefits through a streamlined executive.

Firstly, the peace agreement stipulated the creation of a government where the signatory parties to the deal would have representations. Such cuts across the executive, the legislature and the state jobs.

Secondly, the peace deal also recommended the creation of one army under one command, a streamlined security whose functions are unilateral and in tandem with the aspirations of the country. More importantly, the peace also recommended the making of a permanent constitution that would ensure institutional reforms, some of which have been covered by the document, such as finance management to ensure prudent use of the country’s resources.

Looking back to August 2022, the parties to the revitalised peace agreement retreated and agreed to extend the period saying this would allow them to accomplish their tasks and prepare for elections. The elections were slated for December 2024 as per the agreement they signed, popularly known as the “roadmap.”.

While there are various chapters of the deal that have been implemented, the feeble approach in the preparations for the elections is sending forth worrying messages that the country may be forced into another extension. Although the government has denied any room for further extension, there is need for goodwill going forward in the preparation for the polls through funding of the electoral bodies and a shift in the political landscape to open up civic space further. This would allow the country to break the cycle of transitions.