The Inter-Governmental Authority on Development (IGAD) has revealed the full text of its new proposal for peace in South Sudan, calling the text a ‘compromise’.
Under the terms of the deal, the warring parties will share power with the current ruling party maintaining a majority stake in the national government.
In three state governments, the rebel group SPLM-IO will take a greater share of power.
IGAD has announced that it wants the two sides to sign the deal next month.
Previously the East African regional mediators revealed only a summary of their proposal, which was swiftly rejected by politicians on both sides before stakeholders on both sides and other members of the public had even seen the deal.
Hence the publication of this ‘compromise proposal’ ahead of the next round of talks represents a change of approach, though many of the terms of the agreement are substantially the same as those of previous proposals.
In a press statement on Thursday ahead of the release of the proposal yesterday, the IGAD mediators said, “The proposed Compromise Agreement has been developed through the extensive negotiations by the South Sudanese stakeholders since the IGAD mediated negotiations began in January 2014.”
“The IGAD Special Envoys have consulted with all IGAD-PLUS partners (the IGAD member states, the five members of the African Union High-Level Ad Hoc Committee, the Troika, China, the African Union Commission, the European Union, the United Nations and the IGAD Partners Forum) on the provisions in the proposed Compromise Agreement,” adds the statement.
The mediators further say that the IGAD-PLUS partners have “endorsed the compromises in the proposed Agreement by the Special Envoys and stand ready to accompany and assist the South Sudanese people in implementing this proposed Compromise Agreement to achieve a sustainable peace.”
James Wani Igga will remain as vice president under the terms of a new peace proposal to South Sudan’s warring parties, while the rebel SPLM-IO will take the new position of First Vice President.
The proposal by the East African regional bloc IGAD envisages that the two warring parties will rule together as a ‘Transitional Government of National Unity,’ until elections.
Article 7.1 of the IGAD peace proposal says, “The incumbent Vice President of the Republic of South Sudan shall serve as Vice President for the Transition Period.”
Igga’s powers and functions would include oversight of the work of the national commissions and parastatals, which include the Civil Service Commission, Peace Commission, Land Commission and Relief and Rehabilitation Commission, among others.
He would also serve as a member of the National Security Council and National Defense Council.
Igga has previously announced that he would not give up his position for Riek Machar.
The latter is eligible under the terms of the new agreement to take the position of First Vice President.
The functions of the First Vice President are outlined in detail in section 6 of the agreement and section 8, which proposes a “collegial decision-making” process within the Executive, involving the president, vice president and first vice president.