What awaits gov’t after peace deal extension

What awaits gov’t after peace deal extension
President Salva Kiir and First Vice President Dr Riek Machar. [File, City Review]

President Salva Kiir Mayardit announced the agreed extension of the transitional period for 24 more months from the end of the initial period on February 22, 2023. The roadmap, which was read by the Minister of Cabinet Affairs, Martin Elia Lomuro, commences on February 22, 2023, and ends on February 22, 2025.

But part of this roadmap is the ultimatum that the pending tasks must be completed within 18 months, at the end of which elections will be held on December 2024—two months before the scheduled end of the transitional period.

The roadmap indicated that the activities that were pending were more than those that were in progress.

To begin with, Chapter five on building trust, reconciliation and healing and Chapter six on the enactment of election law to guide the electoral process to ensure a free, fair, credible and democratic election have not been touched and they contain 11 and 17 activities respectively.

The enactment of an election law to guide the electoral process was ratified in July 2022. But the establishment of a commission of truth, reconciliation, and healing and its legal framework is expected to be passed by RTNLA by September 2022.

Although it seems to have a lighter workload, the pending tasks are technical and need a lot of intellect and critical thinking to pull off.

Chapter one has 18 articles out of 20 articles implemented and three articles and two sub-articles in progress. The chapter reportedly has 283 actions, but the roadmap did not clarify how many actions from the articles were completed. It has only one article and two sub-articles pending. Much has been done in this chapter, compared to other chapters of the agreement.

In Chapter two, there are five articles and 114 sub-articles in total. The roadmap states that all the pre-transitional period activities are implemented. But five activities are said to be in progress and have seen a significant delay.

The pending tasks include collection of long range and medium range weapons, graduation and redeployment of forces and cantonment, screening, reorganization, among other activities, but their number is not necessarily indicated clearly.

“Redeployment commences after graduation on August 30th, 2022 for two months ending on November 30th, 2022,” read the roadmap.

“Phase-2 on the cantonment, screening, training, reorganization, unification, graduation and redeployment of the forces currently assembled starts on November 30th, 2022.”

Chapter three on humanitarian assistance and reconstruction has 29 actions, of which two are completed, 18 actions in progress, and 9 actions pending according to the roadmap.

Actions in progress include protection of civilians and free movement of people and refraining from baring humanitarian aid, stopping SGBV activities, sexual exploitation and harassment, as well as ceasing attacks on civilians, IDPs, refugees and humanitarian workers, among others.

In Chapter four on resource, economic, and financial management, there are 16 actions, with only two actions completed after long delays, it has nine actions in progress and five to seven pending.

On Thursday, President Kiir and First Vice President Riek Machar both said in their respective speeches, that the motive behind the extension of the transitional period was not for them to overstay in power, but to give room for a smooth transition to democracy through free, fair and democratic elections.

But Machar raised a question of lack of political space for the opposition parties to carry out rallies to disseminate messages of peace to citizens.

He advanced to say that there are always fears of being targeted by security organs as someone in support of other political parties, painting that most of his friends if they could visit him, could possibly visit at night for fear of being targeted.