Subject: South Sudanese Equatorians in SPLM/A-IO Western Australia (WA) Response To Inter-Governmental Authority On Development (“IGAD”) Plus Proposed Compromise Agreement On Resolution Of The Conflict In The Republic Of South Sudan, July 2015 Addis Ababa, Ethiopia.
[dropcap]P[/dropcap]ress Statement: – We, Greater Equatorians Comrades in SPLM/A-(IO) in Western Australia salute the leadership of the SPLM/A (IO) Comrade Dr Riek Machar Teny-Dhurgon, his Deputy Comrade Gen Alfred Ladu Gore, Chief Negotiator Comrade Gen Taban Deng, General Chief of staff Comrade Gen Gatwech Dual and all Movement leaders, our gallant freedom fighters in all the 21 Federal States of South Sudan, members, supporters, and friends around the Globe.
As concern citizens of South Sudan and members of the SPLM/A-IO, we conducted briefing meeting for members of Greater Equatoria in response to the IGAD-Plus Proposed Compromise Agreement and came with the following concerns and objectives:
- Foremost, we aimed to share the IGAD-Plus latest Peace Proposal amongst the members of Greater Equatoria in Perth, Western Australia in order to better understand the proposed plan in attempting to resolve the conflict in South Sudan.
- The meeting aimed to gather viewpoints and any concerns regarding the latest IGAD documents on how Greater Equatoria will be impacted by some provisions in the Peace Proposal drawn by IGAD -plus.
- Members of Greater Equatorian in SPLM/A-IO in Western Australia boldly and firmly reiterated that, in order to attain a sustainable Peace in the Republic of South Sudan, a Federal Democratic System of Government must be implemented with immediate effect of the Transitional period.
- Equatorians have come out openly, time and again to demand Federal System of Government in South Sudan. We are boldly advocating for this as a remedy to arbitrary use of power and to empower states and their communities with a system of governance that effectively addresses their concerns, expectations and suits circumstances.
- Equatorians in the SPLM/A-IO also seek to encourage other fellow Equatorian Compatriots to cherish resistance that nurtures nationalism and patriotism in order to defend South Sudan’s territorial integrity, national sovereignty and the inalienable rights of its citizens from the current kleptocratic and tribally murderous regime in Juba under the illegitimate presidency.
- Equatorians in the SPLM/A-IO support any methodology deemed as an effective strategy to remove the current government of Salva Kiir Mayardit because his government is characterised by tribal dictatorship, domination, broad daylight state managed robberies of our national and public coffers.
- The people of Equatoria have steadily been stripped of their rights to exclusive ownership and possession of their ancestral land, villages and farming activities in Equatoria. Thus we believe that a Federal democratic system of government will effectively give Equatoria the opportunity and potential to establish and rebuild itself and better the lives of its citizens; under federal democratic systems.
Consequently, Greater Equatorians in the SPLM/A-IO in Western Australia have solemnly rejected the following items listed below from the IGAD-Plus Proposal:
- The incumbent President of the Republic
Equatorians in the SPLM/A-IO in Western Australia unequivocally and unanimously rejected this IGAD-Plus provision, and consider it as an appeasement of Dictator Salva Kiir Mayardit and his illegitimate and kleptocratic regime who presided over the slaughter and massacre of thousands of innocent victims of Nuer in Juba in December 2013. IGAD-Plus, as supposedly impartial mediators of this conflict, neither have any inherent legal jurisdictional capacity to enforce its ‘will’ and opinion on the people of South Sudan, nor unduly coerce the representatives of the SPLM/A-IO as victims of Salva Kiir’s imposed war to accede to unrealistic demands.
Thus the people of Equatoria and by large the people of South Sudan have lost confidence in the Government of Salva Kiir and we are looking forward for speedy removal of the current regime in Juba. We look forward to new changes, new reforms and ‘rebooting’ of the current systems in the government of South Sudan in order to eliminate the mass corruption, nepotism, leadership incompetency and dictatorial practices. Therefore, we are undoubtedly objecting the plan that the incumbent illegitimate president Salva Kiir remains the president of South Sudan during the Transitional period.
- Reconstitution of Council of Ministers
The people of Greater Equatoria demand that the Council of States, in all the States of Equatoria be reconstituted between the warring parties and according to their agreement on power sharing ratios as applicable in other three States of Upper Nile, Jonglei and Unity or as shall be agreed by the parties.
- Structure and Composition of State Governments
We would like to remind the IGAD-Plus and GRSS that this war is being fought to bring positive changes and reforms in the whole South Sudan, Equatoria and Bahr el Ghazal are not exceptions, and power sharing must be applicable in all the current 10 states of South Sudan as a prerequisite to implementing and monitoring earnest reforms and changes. Therefore, the people of Greater Equatoria demand that, all states’ institutions be reconstituted to reform and transform according to federal system.
- The Transitional National Council of Ministers
The power-sharing formula that shall apply to the Council of Ministers and any other institution reconstituted should be: GRSS: twenty (20%) of Ministerial portfolios; SPLM/A-IO seventy (70%) of Ministerial portfolios; and Other Political Parties: ten (10%) per cent of Ministerial portfolios or as shall be agreed by the parties. The so-called SPLM Leaders Former Detainees (FD) has both effectively re-joined the illegitimate regime in Juba, and does not even have any separate interest group to represent apart from their self-interest. Hence their share should be added to the SPLM/A-IO as the legitimate party that represent the genuine interests of the oppressed, voiceless people of South Sudan who are yearning for total change and reforms. This self-interests group of FD will not be referred to hereafter, since they have ceased to exist any longer.
- Expansion of the Transitional National Assembly (TNA) to four hundred (400) Members
The current National Assembly’s term has expired, and its membership contained some unelected members who do not represent any constituent. Those members were Salva Kiir’s personal nominees or hand-picked members, selected from his kin and should be excluded from the list of reconstituted transitional. Equatorians have seen many instances of gross unfairness and injustices in the current illegitimate government in Juba and so demand that, the House of the Assembly should be occupied by elected representatives who possess intellectual capacity to debate national policies that are informed by research, draft Bills, thoroughly scrutinises them through debates and public forums, nurture and instil spirit of democracy to inculcate the spirit of ownership of those laws by the citizens.
After dissolving the entire Assembly members, the Assembly should then be reconstituted with the SPLM/A-IO constituting greater number of assembly members to champion and monitor the much needed national reforms, than the illegitimate GRSS. The total number of the Assembly members should be reasonable if Salva Kiir’s kins and hand-picked members are excluded.
- Selection of the Speaker of the Transitional National Assembly (TNA) from Equatoria by the Assembly members
This “Clause” is vaguely constructed because; first of all, if the prospective speaker is going to hail from Equatoria, then only Equatorians in the reconstituted assembly are eligible to select the speaker not the entire Assembly. Secondly, the “Clause” would bring huge disagreement between assembly members specifically Equatorians members in the SPLM/A -IO and the members in the Government. Thirdly, the clause is mute and imputably excludes Equatorians who are members of Other Political Parties from participating in selecting or electing the prospective speaker. Therefore, we are seeing a recipe for tension and division between members of Equatoria in the Transitional Assembly and this will weaken their views in matters affecting region, constituencies, States and the National matters.
We are suggesting that the Chairman of the SPLM/A-IO appoints the speaker of Parliament from his comrades for inclusivity and fairness.
It is clear that the current conflict have affected the entire nation of South Sudan caused by abject leadership failures, power greed and group interest to mention the least. We now demand for a new Federal system to be implemented in the whole country right from the start of transitional period, unconditionally implement power sharing in Equatoria and Bahr El Ghazal regions, immediately demand Salva Kiir to hand over power back to the people of South Sudan, firmly noted that, the term of the current National Parliament and State Parliaments has expired and the entire regime in South Sudan is Constitutionally illegitimate. We further note Constitutional vacuum or crisis in South Sudan and we urged the IGAD-Plus, International Community, NGOs, Friends and people of South Sudan, not to recognise the current regime.
We earnestly appeal to the people of Greater Equatoria to support immediate end to the current regime in Juba, in order to adopt Federalism and implement reforms, justice and accountability, peace and prosperity, democracy, unity and mutual co-existence.
Thanks and May God Bless the people of South Sudan.
Long Live SPLM/A-IO
Cde Denis Lugor
Deputy Chairman SPLM/A-IO in WESTERN AUSTRALIA,
On Behalf of The Greater Equatoria Members in SPLM/A-IO and supporters in WA.