Editorial – First and foremost, the IGAD Council of ministers communique was not that really straight forward on how they advises on the formation of the TGoNU and the issue of the 28 states.
The communique seems to be contradicting itself and further put both parties in bewilderment and confusion which has let both of them to be in acceptance of the communique. The goverment and the Opposition, through their spokespersons, Mabior and Makuei respectively; accepted and endorsed the communique in a hope that it has positively responded to their demand. But if you read the communique over and over again you will only find that it’s putting the parties and the ARCISS itself in a perilous situation after the formation of the TGoNU. Let’s have a look on how both parties view the communique in their perspective:
” [we are] Concerned by the recent decision of the Government of South Sudan to implement the October 2, 2015 Presidential Decree on the creation of 28 new states, given that such action is inconsistent with the terms of ARCSS. However, Council underlined that this should not delay the formation of the Transitional Government of National Unity (TGoNU) and urges the rapid formation of the TGoNU to enable dialogue on this matter” ~ article 7 of that communiques stated.
Here, the goverment view the whole communique to be in their favor in a way that the 28 states shall continue to be there and the TGoNU should be formed without the constitution, and this has been the government’s demand.
Scrolling down further on the communique paper, article 12 and 13 consecutively seems to be in suspension of 28 states which the SPLM-IO view as the basis to move forward. see below:
” [we] Urges the Parties, subsequent to the formation of the TGoNU at national level, in the absence of agreement on the creation of new states, to suspend further action on implementing the operationalization of new states until an inclusive, participatory National Boundary Commission comprising all Parties to ARCSS reviews proposed states and their boundaries, and that this review process occur, for a period of up to one month” article 12 outlines
“…………… in the event there are outstanding disputes at the end of the boundary commission review process, the Parties should revert to the provisions of the Agreement” ~ article 13 further indicates to the parties.
In these two articles of the communique, the Opposition didn’t have to struggle to get what IGAD foreign ministers means. They concluded fully that it’s dumped the so called 28 states (read it over if it’s not yet clear).
In article 13, the SPLM-IO concluded (whether right or wrong, no one knows) that the 28 states are suspended and subjected to further studies by the parties through National Boundary Commission. Here, they hope that they will stand their position in the process and continue to reject 28 states. Then, as explained in article 13, the ARCISS which indicate only 10 states shall come to effects.
For sure, there is no other article in that communique that explains further clearly on what basis the TGoNU is going to be formed. It only direct them to form it while both are in their different perception of the communique paper.
Another concerns is the fact that the TGoNU is going to be formed without a constitution to give it a legitimacy and recognition. Everything is done in rush here!
The future of both parties continuing peacefully in the implementation of the ARCISS is not clear; Indeed, one would just conclude that the future of TGoNU is perilous simply because the way the formation will move forward is wrongly understood by the parties and this is just worrying. Therefore, the communique is not dependable for the parties.