Based on a briefing by Ambassador Dr. Ismail Wais, the IGAD Special Envoy for South Sudan on 5th September 2018 at 7:30 p.m. after closing the PCTSA workshop, the HLRF process that began in June 2017 has come to the end. But five outstanding issues still remain to be resolved.
They are as follows:
A) Four issues raised by SPLM/A-IO and SSOA to IGAD:
1- Quorum for decision making. They proposed raising it from 2/3 (67%) to 3/4 (75%) in the Re-ARCSS;
2- Number and Boundary of States;
3- Security – role and functions of Gaurantors apart from Uganda and Sudan given the involvement of the two countries in the conflict;
4- Procedure for Constitution making – bottom up or top down? How to ensure a people driven Constitution?
B) Point raised by TGoNU:
5. How to select the Ministerial positions by party. TGoNU has rejected selection based on sequence – each party to pick one by rotation until its allocated quota is exhausted by Ministerial
The Special Envoy Dr. Ismail Wais has already raised these five (5) points to IGAD Council of Ministers to address and pass their recommendations to IGAD Summit. However, due to a UN General Assembly that will be held in New York from 21 September 2018 to 2/10/2018, the heads of state and government of IGAD are expected to travel to New York on 20 September 2018.
Therefore, the time left from now is only 14 days. This will not be enough to tackle the 5 issues raised by the warring parties. He also stated that the heads of state and government are likely to return to their countries after 2/10/2018. Then they will decide on date and venue of signing of the R-ARCSS after resolving the 5 issues.
The Special Envoy then asked for the way forward given the above situation. In addition to that he will be meeting the Foreign Minister of Sudan Alderdiery who is expected to return from China tomorrow. He needed guidance on the way forward. But he stated that we should get ready to depart Khartoum for our various destinations by Saturday 8, September 2018 via Addis Ababa. At present direct flights from Khartoum to Juba have been fully booked due to returning passengers who had spent their Eid Aladha in Khartoum.
In the meantime, all of us are aware that the COHA that was signed on 21 December 2017 continue to be violated by warring parties.
Today Civil Society delegates issued an appeal letter to Dr. Workneh Gebeyehu, Minister of Foreign Affairs of FDR of Ethiopia who is also the Chairperson of IGAD Council of Ministers on the issue ofviolations. The letter was read during the briefing and Dr. Ismail Wais promised to forward it to the IGAD Council of Ministers.
As I see it, and given the on-going violations, it is not difficult for one to conclude that peace can only be restored by divine intervention. For example, I learned that the recent positive changes in Ethiopia came as a result of sustained prayers and fasting by faithful people of Ethiopia from all tribes within and outside Ethiopia. We shall do well if we follow their example and seek God’s face until we get a real and lasting peace. See John 14:27. quoted below:
“I am leaving you with a gift- peace of mind and heart. And the peace I give is a gift the world cannot give. So don’t be troubled or afraid”. IGAD and its partners have tried its level best to restore peace in South Sudan. But the war has not stopped although it has been transformed to road ambushes here and there.
Yes,let us not FEAR but TRUST God for the peace we have been longing for and give him the glory. Amen.
I request for your prayers for our safe return to Juba during the weekend.
Rtd.Bishop Enock Tombe
Soba, Khartoum, Sudan.
By Rajab John Mohandis
“Finally, all roads lead to Addis Ababa! IGAD will hold a Session of Council of Ministers and a Summit of Heads of States and Government early next week.
For the first time in about ten years, these will be Ordinary, not Extra-Ordinary Session and Summit of IGAD’s Council of Ministers and Heads of States and Government, respectively.
Both the Session and the Summit will discuss and hopefully endorse the Revitalized Agreement on the Resolution of the Conflict in the Republic of South Sudan (R-ARCSS).
Once endorsed, the R-ARCSS will be signed. The final signing! That will be the D-Day and the clock will begin to tick for the Pre-Transitional Period. Implementation will commence.
All Delegates to the Peace Talks have been officially notified that they will be facilitated to travel from Khartoum to Addis Ababa.
God wiling, the Peace Agreement will be signed and hopefully lasting peace will bless the people of South Sudan once again.
The R-ARCSS is not a perfect peace but it is better than the war that is causing so much suffering and misery to South Sudanese. ”
Rajab Mohandis, Civil Society Delegate at the Peace Talks.