South Sudan Parties Agrees On State Ministerial Posts Sharing
By Deng Machol
Juba – South Sudanese Parties to the revitalized peace agreement have agreed on the allocation of ministries in the states, paving way for the establishment of state governments.
It was already two years since the revitalized peace deal was inked on September 12, 2018 by President Salva Kiir and ex-rebel leader, Dr. Riek Machar, including other key groups but is yet to produce tangible results as political crisis and violence, food insecurity and economic meltdown continue to raze the world’s youngest nation.
The parties to the peace deal formed the transitional government of a national unity in late February. This was then followed by president Kiir only appointed state governors in June but many critical tasks remain unaccomplished as the country’s political leaders are still struggling to implement tasks spelled out by the deal.
According to observers and analysts, disagreements among the peace parties and financial constraints have been major obstacles to completing the peace processes.
Besides unification and deployment of government and opposition forces, the peace parties are yet to reconstitute the national legislature – the body responsible for enacting reforms stipulated in the agreement.
However, the Minister of Interior Paul Mayom Akech, chairperson for the committee of formation of state governments stated that they have now agreed to allocate state ministries among themselves.
“The outstanding issues relating to the executive branches of the states have been holistically handled. “The parties have agreed to allocate the then outstanding ministries to themselves equitably and acceptably,” Mayom told the state based television, formerly known as SSBC on Monday.
This comes after the state committee met the First Vice President, Dr. Riek Machar, in Juba recently.
Mayom further revealed that outstanding issues on the appointment of deputy governors and speakers for state parliaments will be resolved this week.
Meanwhile, the Minister of Mining, Henry Odwar – the deputy chairperson of the SPLM-IO – said the state ministries have been distributed fairly.
“Indeed we came up to an amicable end where the ministerial portfolios at the state levels were equitably and amicably shared,” Odwar further confirmed.
However, the observers say this is a “positive step” and having registered a “political will” toward implementation of the peace process in the country.
South Sudan gained her independence from Sudan in July 2011, but barely two years later, the world’s youngest nation descended into another civil war in mid – December 2013 and again in July 2016 after a peace deal signed in August 2015 collapsed to contain the violence.
However, after five years of brutal civil war, the country’s leaders signed 2018 deal, following ten months of intense negotiations with the aim of ending the devastating civil strife that has crippled the country and that has killed nearly 400,000 people and uprooted four million people both internally and externally.
The UN has recently reported that over 600 civilians were killed in the sporadic violence at the states in the past six months.