*By Pal Chol Chan
The Revitalized Agreement for the Resolution of the Conflict in the Republic of South Sudan (R-ARCISS) was signed last year in Khartoum under the auspices of the ousted Sudanese President, Omar El Bashir. The agreement provided that there shall be five vice Presidents (VPs) including the First Vice President (FVP) to constitute a collegial presidency for the transitional period, which commences once a unified security forces are put in place. The mechanisms are now being worked on. These modalities though behind schedule, are on course.
It is clearly stipulated in sub-article 18.104.22.168 that the chairman of the Sudan People's Liberation Movement - In Opposition (SPLM-IO), Dr. Riek Machar Teny, shall assume the position of the FVP. One VP is to be nominated by the Former Detainees (FDs) and must be a woman.
One is also to be nominated by South Sudan Opposition Alliance (SSOA).
In the incumbent Transitional Government of National Unity (TGONU), one of the two VPs (Taban Deng Gai) is from Upper Nile and the other (James Wani Igga) is from Equatoria as per the August 2015 ARCISS, now being revitalized.
For those who have read the R-ARCISS, they will agree with me that it mentions the reconstitution and expansion of the national parliament, council of states, cabinet ministers and reforms within the security sector plus all the institutions within the Republic of South Sudan.
It is also worth mentioning that the head of the SPLM-IO is from Upper Nile region. Summed up, the four VPs will come from the Upper Nile should the president swallow his pride and maintain the incumbent two. That means Bahr el Ghazal region will have only person in the presidency, who is none other than His Excellency, the President of the Republic of South Sudan. If taken to be true, it will be a moral blunder in the sense that His Excellency, the President doesn't represent a region, state or a constituency. He represents the whole country. He is the symbol of our sovereignty and the State.
If you read Chapter 1 of the ARCISS, article 1.9, about the powers, functions and responsibilities of the president, the FVP and the other VPs, you will find that the RTGONU is founded on the premise that there shall be a collegial collaboration in the decision-making and continuous consultations within the Presidency.
With that taken into account and in the event that the presidency doesn't see eye to eye on any outstanding issues related to regional interests, the people of the Bahr el Ghazal region will have theirs compromised . As such, I am of the opinion that one of the VPs ought to come from Bhar el Ghazal region for equal representation in the decision-making centre ( presidency).
When I talked about this last year, some quarters accused me of conspiring against individuals they favour. But those who accused me favour these individuals more than the general public, something which they didn't know was damaging to some parts of the country.
I leave it to you the reader to analyse and see where I did go wrong. The negotiation of the agreement was faulty from the beginning in the words of our renowned academician and a veteran politician Professor Peter Adwok Nyaba.
There were issues that were not addressed for the good of all but much time was devoted to who becomes or gets what.The roots causes of the conflict were addressed half-hardheartedly. The President should not be confused and bothered by people who don't have people and the country at heart. The time for self-aggrandizement is over. We all need to live in ivory towers.
The author is a concerned citizen and an opinion writer who has written extensively on political, social and economic issues. Email firstname.lastname@example.org