South Sudan: Kiir’s Lieutenants Clash Over Transition Period
Two South Sudanese officials publicly disagreed Tuesday on the government’s position regarding the life span of the holding Transitional Government of National Unity (TGNoU).
South Sudan Presidential Spokesperson Ateny Wek Ateny told local media that parties to the revitalized peace agreement had agreed to extend the Transitional Period up to 2023 to allow full implementation of critical tasks, only for the statement to be vehemently denied by the country’s information Minister Michael Makuei.
Ateny told Eye Radio that the parties cannot accomplish the tasks ahead of them within the 36 months, adding that the decision was not taken by the Presidency but all parties reached “consensus and agreed that the end of the transition will be 2023 because the end of the 2022 and beginning of 2023, that is where the election will be run to achieve peace.”
In reaction, Makuei said there was “nothing as such”, distancing government from his counterparts decision.
The implementation of South Sudan’s 2018 peace accord has stalled as the signatories have failed to adhere to the deadlines set in the peace agreement and have backtracked on aspects of its political, security and economic provisions, according to the UN experts.
Only last month, reached compromise on a prolonged stalemate on formation of states governments and reconstitution of the National Legislative Assembly, much needed to support the agreement and enact legislation that enables and assists the transitional processes and reforms ahead of the proposed national elections.
The peace accord mandates the unity government to hold elections sixty days before the end of the Transitional Period to establish a democratically elected government. However, major components in the unity governments are far from over.
“The unified army is not yet deployed as their graduation has been postponed several times, state and local government structures are yet to be established. One of the ten-state governors is still not appointed,” Eye Radio reported.
Oil-rich South Sudan erupted into civil war soon after securing independence from Sudan in 2011, leading to an estimated 400,000 deaths and one of the worst refugee crises in East Africa since the 1994 Rwandan genocide.