Addis Ababa Deal Only Defines the Transitional Government Mandate: Rebels

Tayitu 14th Tayitu 14th


Photo: Jessica Hatcher/IRIN

Addis Ababa — A spokesman of the rebel leader Riek Machar said the document his group signed on Sunday night in Addis Ababa with president Salva Kiir’s government did not carry an agreement on power-sharing arrangements as reported in the media.

Media reports suggested that the two principal leaders struck a deal which maintained president Kiir with rebel leader Machar as the vice president.

A power-sharing ratio of 53%, 33% and 14% for government, rebels and former detainees and political parties, respectively, was alleged to have been agreed.
However, rebel sources said the agreement was mainly on mandate of a transitional government of national unity which the parties agreed to form.

“The agreement has only outlined the mandate of the would-be transitional government of national unity. The document does not carry any agreement on leadership structure and power-sharing ratios as reported in the media,” Machar’s spokesman, James Gatdet Dak, told Sudan Tribune on Monday.

“This transitional government would be formed by 9 July 2015 if a final peace agreement is signed. There are however many issues pending for further negotiations before a final peace agreement,” he said.

The rebel leader’s spokesman explained that the mandate of the transitional government of national unity will be to implement a final peace agreement, which he said was yet to be negotiated and signed by 5 March dateline.

He said power-sharing ratios between the parties were not agreed and will further be negotiated and agreed upon, adding no particular personalities to the executive leadership were also fixed.

The deal has agreed on 29 national ministers and 8 deputy ministers as the size of the would-be cabinet.

The ministerial portfolios will however be allocated by an ad-hoc committee from representatives of the parties in accordance with a power-sharing agreement which will have been agreed on.

Dak also said the two parties have agreed on a 30-month period of the transitional government that will be proceeded by a 3-month pre-transitional period, adding that this will only commence after a final peace agreement is signed.

The transitional government, according to its agreed mandate and functions, he added, will also conduct a population census prior to elections and organize elections at the end of 30 months period.

The deal also stipulated that a new electoral commission shall be established in accordance with the agreement.

The new deal has also “accepted the need for profound structural, institutional and political reforms in South Sudan.”

On security sector, the agreement recommitted the two parties to respecting the 23 January 2014 cessation of hostilities accord and to further negotiate on security arrangements with a permanent ceasefire that will be in effect 72 hours after the signing of final peace agreement.

“The parties are yet to negotiate terms of the security arrangements,” he said.

In addressing accountability and reconciliation, the two parties agreed to establish an independent commission of truth, reconciliation and healing to “address the legacy of conflict” with participation of eminent African personalities and others, adding an independent hybrid judicial body shall also be established to prosecute those responsible for gross crimes.

The deal which president Kiir and his rival Machar inked was also witnessed by the Ethiopian Prime Minister, Hailemariam Desalegn, who chairs the Intergovernmental Authority on Development (IGAD) and Kenyan President, Uhuru Kenyatta, IGAD’s rapporteur.

The parties are expected to return to Addis Ababa on 19 February and resume with the negotiations on all the outstanding issues.

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