R-ARCSS: The Peace Agreement that Marks the Beginning of the End of the South Sudanese Regime.

By Angelo Mayar Wol Akuith, Juba, South Sudan

Wednesday, June 22, 2022 ( — It is a matter of public knowledge that the South Sudan government has had so many dishonoured peace agreements with its warring parties. One of the agreements which is yet to be dishonoured was known as the Revitalized Agreement on the Resolution of the Conflict in the Republic of South Sudan (R-ARCSS) which was signed on 12th Sept. 2018, the peace agreement that is yet to see its implementation to the fullest, though the parties claimed by then that they would implement its provisions in letter and spirit during the time of its signing.

What is astonishing though, is the neglect of both parties to the provisions of the Peace Agreement and the turning of their minds and hearts into embezzlement of public funds that were meant for implementation and funding of the activities that were promised to the citizens of the land within the provisions of R-ARCSS.

The most important provisions that benefit the citizens have been ignored, and some provisions within the agreement that are beneficial to the parties have seen the light of the day. This I call a selective implementation of the agreement.

To bring about lasting peace, the heart of the agreement, which is security arrangement and integration of forces, has been delayed by the incumbent President on behalf of the government of South Sudan, which is led by the Mighty SPLM Party, and laid the burden of delay on the shoulders of minor issues such as lack of logistical and procurement of arms, arms embargo sanctions of the United Nations, COVID-19 pandemic, and lack of funds.

On the other hand, Dr Riek Machar and his IOs and other oppositions have also got a fair shot from the small window of the agreement to compensate for their wasted unpaid years of rebellion through which they haven’t got any access to salaries and other privileges that they desperately needed. This I call a time for self-rewarding.

In the light of such circumstances, the Government of National Unity has chosen the opposite direction in addressing the national problems that have culminated in the peace agreement. A national unified army remains to be formed, and the legislative and constitutional framework that would be needed before prospective elections in 2023 has barely begun, though it was reconstituted recently in a manner that favours the president. Never mind that in many parts of the country, violence has actually increased since the signing of the Revitalized Agreement on the Resolution of the Conflict in the Republic of South Sudan (R-ARCSS)—an acronym as unpronounceable as its clauses or provisions are unimplementable.

This violence took place in different forms that can either be nonpartisan to the peace agreement belligerent like Paul Malong or Thomas Chirillo on the one hand and other communal conflicts in Tonjs of Warrap State, some parts of Equatoria, Upper Nile and Abyei Administrative Area and Twic on the other hand.

Pibor Administrative Area and Lakes used to have their own conflicts, which by now are about to be nursed towards healing simply because of the good leadership of the governor, Rin Tueny Mabior, the best governor of (R-ARCSS).

These are the challenges surrounding the agreement that should have drawn the attention of the RTGoNU for solutions and the provision of durable peace, but the government has barely fallen behind in providing solutions to the problems prevailing under its jurisdiction. This is either because of incompetent leadership or a lack of willingness to address national issues.

Instead of immediate intervention by RTGoNU, the burden of peace and tranquillity has been shifted onto the shoulders of the United Nations mission in South Sudan and other international organizations, which over the years have availed the UNMISS with heavenly powers through the UNSC to renew its own mandate without prior approval from the Government of South Sudan.

With communal conflicts and belligerents’ attacks, the peace agreement is no longer a roadmap toward lasting peace in the light of such irresolvable turmoil, but rather a means through which the parties reward themselves and achieve a wealthier life than the life they had lived before the peace agreement had been signed. In so doing, the peace agreement has rather become a roadmap towards lasting wealth than a roadmap towards achieving a luxuriously awaited and fought for life. To the citizens, the peace agreement has become a roadmap toward complete poverty, hopelessness, marginalization, corruption, nepotism, and lack of delivery of services.

The partial implementation of the peace agreement has created a wealthy political and military leader in Juba and ignored the grassroots institutions as well as national interests, which to my own interpretation meant an act of treason according to the law.

The recent deal on the waters of the Nile is inevitably inexcusable for which the blame is on entire institutions of the national government, the presidency included.

To borrow the words of my learned counsel and my lecturer, a finishing PhD, Mading Gum Mading, who wrote, and I quote, “Egypt delivers dredging machines to Unity State Gov’t.” The Minister of Presidential Affairs immediately invites Prof Jim W Hall to participate in discussions on Nile Waters, Ateny Wek declares the presidency is unaware of any dredging in the country, and the National Ministry of Environment and Forestry, is not to be left behind in the Afro-Cinema, declares the dredging “illegal”, and finally, the Ministry of Water and Irrigation confirms and defends the dredging. Obviously, you have more reasons to be suspicious and distrust these officials. Our communities along the Naam River should not fall headlong into a false flood-mitigating measure.

Surely, as he said, it is the lack of confidence and coordination between the government institutions that has resulted in numerous position documents over a single matter with serious inconsistency, hence making such a dredging process mired in the wed of nullity.

It is an act that convinces any intellectual mind that the future of this country is being skinned alive, but for what reasons? They know the better answer.

Hopefully, I have a solemn belief that Advocate Elario Adam Cholong will win the case he brought against the Attorney General of the Republic of South Sudan because it is a case in which the future of our Nile waters is at stake. The issuance of an injunction order suspending such erroneous activities on the Nile waters has clearly shown that there is significant progress in the suit. The lawsuits I’m so thankful to my learned Counsel (Elario-dit), meaning Elario the Great.

While the International Community tends to imagine the R-ARCSS as a means to return to the situation prior to the outbreak of civil war in 2013, with a political system that includes elements of federalized government and empowered South Sudanese state administrations, the current revitalized peace agreement has instead created a behemoth: a centralized regime that appoints not only national Government and states governors, but even county commissioners, and Mayors of the cities according to a political calculus determined in Juba as reported in death by peace Article.

This calculus is seen in the arrangement of many of the parties to the R-ARCSS, making the peace agreement merely a political vehicle for the advancement of the careers of briefcase rebels, which in itself is the beginning of the problem. Neither the OPP nor the SSOA have any real content – neither shared constituency nor ideology – except for a shared interest in power and money: the very interests that allow both parties to be easily fractured by regime intercession through which many rebels are given unwavering offers of power and money to weaken the camp of the opposition, especially IO.

Despite all the above abuses to the R-ARCSS and the rights of the citizens of South Sudan altogether, the government is incapable of paying the civil servant an arrear of seven to six months, the reason why the two leading universities in the country, i.e., the University of Juba and Bhar El Ghazal) have made a joint statement simultaneously in the simplest yet strongest terms, No Pay, No Work!

It is upon such practice that allowed me to revisit the prediction made by one writer who said that the only opposition the regime had remained with, and which remains a threat to the regime, is the people of South Sudan, I believe that this kind of civil disobedience action brought by the two universities at the beginning of the emergence of enlightenment amongst the elite civil populace of the country.

Having that said, a little glimpse is yet to be nurtured into reform policy in order to bring about changes in the recent public awareness made by the Minister of Finance and Planning, Hon. Agak Achuil Lual. This most liked Minister has begun to announce to the public that our oil has been sold in advance to 2027, which I believed to be true, though he was thereafter intimidated and manipulated by the presidency to change his statement right after meeting the president when he was summoned last month.

I’m not surprised to hear again from the aforementioned minister that our gold has been stolen because it was within the business of this regime to loot, steal, and sell the country’s gold if they were capable of dredging the Naam River for the interests of Sudan and Egypt without reservations.

I regret and still regret the silence of the Sleeping Revitalized Transitional National Legislative Assembly (RTNLA) over unconstitutional actions (Ultra Vires) of the executive branch of the government without the approval of the Parliament.

The dredging deal itself is illegal because it has not gone through the procedures prescribed by law for the deal has not been taken to the Council of Ministers for deliberations on its feasibility before being taken to National Parliament for adoption needlessly to say about the Environmental and Social Impact Assessment (ESIA) which is the heart of the engine of every project.

Now that it is clear that the government is not willing to make any changes and improve the lives of the citizens, I believe that Satyagraha (nonviolent resistance) is the only option because it has worked it out for Indians under Mahatma Gandhi, which I believe can also free the people of South Sudan from the bandage of a corrupt government.

What seems to be the biggest threat to the future of democracy in South Sudan is the lack of willingness from the government. As we speak, elections are rumoured to have been cancelled before their due time and the five vice presidents are happy with that so that they can extend their rule and keep on enriching themselves with the abundant resources of this wonderful country.

No one wants elections to be held, so Dr. Riek Machar fails in the elections, loses his vice presidency and goes home having no one to blame for not having a job in the government.

No one wants elections so that Wani, Hussein, Nyandeng, and Taban go home, for there would be no opportunity after elections to accommodate five vice presidents because things might have gone back to the way they used to be. One vice president only.

Kiirdit, whose head is thatched with Ajom Ayäär (Cowboy hat), is so lucky and comfortably OK with whatever comes his way because he is the government, and he can win a thousand elections, whether fairly or otherwise.

The only enemy he can’t win against remains the people, but because of fear and instilled tribal ideologies the people had in mind, no brave mouse is ready to take the bell and tie it on the neck of the cat.

The first person who would take it to the street will be etched down as a hero and that act would save this country, but who cares!

Lastly, the hopeless people of South Sudan have a wise choice to make for their children’s future, and that is through the unity of all the people. Disunity has taught us over the past few years that we can’t make it, either as a people or as enemies.

If Wani hates me because I’m a Dinka or Nuer, this hatred doesn’t add anything to him or to me but gives another chance to the regime to exploit us and destroy our dreams and the future of our children. This must be stopped once and for all.

The author, Angelo Mayar Wol Akuith, doesn’t accept any liability for misinterpretation of this article since it is based on his opinion and evidence of the events that are taking place in South Sudan. This article is meant for public consumption only as part of freedom of expression. The article doesn’t prescribe any political aspirations, institutions, or ideologies as it represents the ideas of the writer solely. You can reach the author via phone: 0922329911 or email:


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