South Sudan Fate in Salva Kiir, Riek Machar's Hands

South Sudan President Salva Kiir, right, shakes hands with opposition leader Riek Machar during a meeting at State House Entebbe, Uganda on November 7, 2019.
6 November 2019
editorial

The November 12 deadline for the formation of South Sudan's transitional government of national unity is less than a week away.

Unfortunately, all indications are that the long-awaited dream will not be realised, at least in the desired form.

Former vice-president-turned-top rebel faction leader Riek Machar is adamant that more time is needed to resolve some fundamental issues.

Of particular concern to him is the security arrangements in the context of a unified military. President Salva Kiir, on the other hand, is oozing confidence. He is raring to form the transitional government with any 'like-minded' parties.

TRAUMATISING

The grandstanding by the two leaders must, surely, be traumatising to the war-weary South Sudanese. All the external parties to the current peace agreement must also be feeling equally frustrated that the ultimate price remains elusive. But there can be no legitimate government in Juba without Dr Machar.

First, Dr Machar is mentioned by name in the Revitalised Agreement on the Resolution of the Conflict in the Republic of South Sudan (R-ARCiSS) -- unlike in its 2015 precursor, where the term used was "SPLM-IO Chairman".

UNREALISTIC

The latter document created a loophole, which President Kiir exploited to replace his then-nemesis with Mr Taban Deng Gai.

Secondly, the Dr Machar-led SPLM-IO is the main armed opposition signature; it would be unrealistic to envisage a return to stability in the youngest nation without SPLM-IO in government.

The protagonists must realise that the destiny of their country is in their hands. There is a limit to what all the external actors, their financial muscle and global clout can do for the country. They are getting fatigued. President Kiir, in particular, should worry about his legacy. He must be ready to listen and act judiciously.

See What Everyone is Watching

More From: Nation

Don't Miss

AllAfrica publishes around 700 reports a day from more than 140 news organizations and over 500 other institutions and individuals, representing a diversity of positions on every topic. We publish news and views ranging from vigorous opponents of governments to government publications and spokespersons. Publishers named above each report are responsible for their own content, which AllAfrica does not have the legal right to edit or correct.

Articles and commentaries that identify allAfrica.com as the publisher are produced or commissioned by AllAfrica. To address comments or complaints, please Contact us.