Open Letter to IGAD+ and JMEC from Equatorian Diaspora, advising on appropriate steps against the deliberate efforts by the Government of the Republic of South Sudan to undermine the implementation of South Sudan peace agreement.
The Chair of IGAD-Plus, C/o H.E Hailemariam Dessalegn, Prime Minister of Federal Democratic Republic of Ethiopia
H.E. Festus G. Mogae, Chairman of the Joint Monitoring and Evaluation Commission (JMEC)
The President, UN Security Council
From: South Sudanese Equatorian Community Leaders in the Diaspora:
Mr. Federico Awi Vuni, Chair, Equatorian Community in the UK
Mr. Kwaje Lasu, President, Equatorian South Sudanese Community Association, USA
Mr. Joseph Modi, President, Equatorian South Sudanese Community Association, Canada
Mr William Orule, Chairperson, Equatoria Community & Welfare Association, NSW, AUSTRALIA
For correspondence: Mr. Federico Awi Vuni; firstname.lastname@example.org
Date: 3rd January 2016
Re: The Deliberate Efforts by the Government of the Republic of South Sudan to Undermine the Implementation of South Sudan Peace Agreement
We, the Equatorian Leaders of South Sudan in the Diaspora, are concerned about the deliberate efforts by the Government of the Republic of South Sudan to undermine the implementation of Agreement on the Resolution of the Conflict in the Republic of South Sudan. The Government of the Republic of South Sudan has embarked on establishing 28 states in the country, and has appointed respective states governors, thus nullifying the existing 10 states. This action is a serious violation of the peace agreement. It must not be tolerated by guarantors of the peace agreement and ultimately the African Union Peace and Security Council, and the UN Security Council.
In order to safeguard the full implementation of the peace agreement, we call upon the guarantors of the peace agreement to put into action the threats stipulated in the UNSC resolution 2252 (2015) for violating the peace agreement by any party to the agreement. The resolution states:
“… to consider all appropriate measures, as demonstrated by its 3 March 2015 unanimous adoption of resolution 2206 (2015), against those who take action that undermines the peace, stability, and security of South Sudan, including those who prevent the implementation of these agreements”;
The creation and implementation of the 28 states by the Government of the Republic of South Sudan with counsel from Dinka tribal council of elders has hidden agenda to entrench future domination of Dinka tribe in the country. The Government has allocated 14 of the 28 states in the country to one tribe (Dinka), while the rest of 63 tribes share the remaining 14 states. This is a gross inequity designed by the Government. There have been no valid criteria to justify the allocation of the 28 states.
The creation of the 28 states was a deliberate act of derailing the peace agreement. The Government of South Sudan is supposed to focus on the implementation of the agreement, specifically the Joint Monitoring and Evaluation Commission (JMEC) and Transitional Government of National Unity (TGoNU).
The Government of the Republic of South Sudan would like her people to believe that the creation of 28 states in the country was a popular demand. The fact is that there was no public consultation or referendum on the proposal. The Government cannot produce evidence on proportion of the population that supported or rejected the establishment of the 28 states. The creation of the 28 states in the country was carried out by Presidential decree on 2nd October 2015, which was condemned by Equatorian Leaders in the Diaspora in their press release dated 4th October 2015 on the grounds that it was undemocratic, unconstitutional, and against the peace agreement.
The President of South Sudan declined to address the nation on 31st December 2015; instead, he held a closed door meeting with the tribal Jieng Council of Elders (JCE). The actions of the president do not respect the people who voted him into office.
In addition, the South Sudanese National Security has continued to intimidate citizens and they are clamping down on freedom of speech. Newspaper editors, politicians and academicians have been arrested without charges and their whereabouts are unknown.
The Way Forward:
1. We ask the guarantors of the peace agreement to press on the Government to reverse its decision on the establishment of 28 states in the country, and to stick to the 10 states recognised in the agreement. Future modalities of Governance system and number of states will be determined by all stakeholders during the TGoNU, following a proper process of consultation. The peace agreement should be implemented fully, both in letter and spirit.
2. If the Government fails to reverse the 28 states it has created, then the following course of actions should be undertaken:
- Application of sanctions, as per UN Security Council Resolution 2252 (2015) against the Government for undermining the implementation of the peace agreement.
- South Sudan should be administered under UN Trusteeship for the next 3-5 years. The Government formed should be composed of technocrats. The Status of Chair of JMEC should be upgraded to Governor General of South Sudan.
- The exclusions from Government of individuals who are suspected of having been involved in gross human right violations during the recent war in South Sudan.
We, the undersigned representatives of Equatorian Leaders in the Diaspora, call upon your immediate action to save the peace agreement from imminent collapse.
Federico Awi Vuni
Executive Committee, Equatorian Community in the UK
Equatoria Community & Welfare Association, NSW
Kwaje M. Lasu, MPH, RCP.
Equatoria South Sudanese Community Association-USA (ESSCA-USA)
Mr. Joseph Modi
Equatoria South Sudanese Community Association-Canada (ESSCA- Canada)