(KHARTOUM) – South Sudanese parties Monday received the final draft of the Revised Entebbe Proposal on outstanding issues of governance with the hope that they would accept it and sign on Tuesday a deal on the governance chapter. However, the South Sudan Opposition Alliance (SSOA) said they reject it.
Presidents Omer al-Bashir and Yoweri Museveni held a marathon meeting with President Salva Kiir and his main rival and SPLM-IO leader Riek Machar in Entebbe on 7 July.
The meeting which was also attended partly by the leaders of the other opposition groups came out with a proposal on the power-sharing and governance budded Entebbe Proposal.
However, the opposition groups said the proposed deal focuses only on the power-sharing and neglected the other vital issues particularly the number of states and establishment of an inclusive boundaries commission.
On Monday the mediators handed over to the negotiating parties an amended version of the Entebbe Proposal providing that besides President Kiir and his Frits Vice-President (FVP) Machar there would be four other vice-presidents two to be nominated by the incumbent government, one by the opposition alliance (SSOA) and a woman the FDs should nominate.
The initial version of the proposal spoke about the President Kiir and four other vice presidents including the FVP Machar.
The revised Entebbe document provides that the government would be formed from 35 ministers, instead of 55 ministers. Accordingly, the incumbent government takes 20 portfolios, the SPLM-IO nine ministers, the SSOA will get three ministers, the FDs two ministers and the OPP one minister.
There would be also 10 deputy ministers five appointed by the current government, three by the SPLM-IO, one for the SSOA and one for the OPP.
The proposed deal further kept the same numbers of the Members of Parliament, 550 MPs. The incumbent government has 332 members, the SPLM-IO 128 members, SSOA 50 members, OPP 35 members and FDs 5 members.
The Speaker of the TNLA shall be nominated by the government and the Speaker of the Council of States would be nominated by the SPLM-IO.
For the Independent Boundaries Commission (IBC), the deal provides it will consist of 15 members: five appointed by the five South Sudanese parties, two by the IGAD countries that have a border with South Sudan, three by the Troika, five by the African Union.
Finally, for the responsibility sharing at the state level and local government level, it is proposed that the government will take 55%, the SPLM-IO 25%, SSOA 10% and OPP10%.
However, the deal is obviously not accepted by the opposition groups particularly the SSOA that felt marginalized by the proposed deal.
The non-armed opposition groups believe that the transitional period should be inclusive and that all the parties should work on an equal basis for the elaboration of the permanent constitution and the different institutions.
SSOA REJECTS THE REVISED PROPOSAL
The South Sudan opposition was the first to react to the amended Entebbe proposal on outstanding issues of governance saying it “failed to address the root causes and core issues” of the conflict.
“Hence, SSOA is preparing its written response rejecting this proposal. Because the people of South Sudan had suffered enough and they deserved a genuine PEACE,” said Kwaje Lasu the SSOA spokesperson.
The opposition alliance which gathers nine political groups (FDP; NAS; NDM; PDM; SPLM-FDs; SSNMC; SSPM; SSLM; SSUM) further reiterated their demand for a “lean government and a federal system of governance, beginning with a clear devolution of power and resources to the states as well as the localities”.
During the revitalization forum, the alliance kept repeating that its demands had been put aside by the mediators when it comes to the proposals they draft on the different topics.
the SSOA pledged to continue to work within the framework of the peace process to reach a just and sustainable peace.
“That is the only way to alleviate the suffering of our people and stop the current downslide of the country into an abyss,” stressed Lasu.
(First Published by Sudan Tribune)