By Roger Alfred Yoron Modi
This is a call for official publication of the recently signed Agreement on Outstanding Issues of Governance between the South Sudan government and other parties, including the main Opposition SPLM-IO in the Sudanese capital, Khartoum as part of IGAD-led efforts to end the civil war in the young nation.
The Sudanese mediation and IGAD secretariat should publish the signed version of the Agreement, for that is the only reliable way for verification and accountability.
I recently welcomed the signing of the Agreement after having read media reports about its provisions.
But for some delays, I did not check the texts of the Agreement circulating online.
Now, however, I can say the future looks very worrying unless the Agreement is as soon as possible officially released through the usual channels: publication on IGAD website and sending the same to journalists and others through official email.
Peace loving South Sudanese including myself and all well-wishers may all be making inaccurate comments with regards to what has been signed. Without the official copy of the Agreement, it is not in place to critique (analyze) what are said to have been agreed upon.
That is why, I feel, my comments praising the Agreement might have gone too far. Though still, I believe a lot of progress has been made, I should have first verified if the texts of the signed Agreement were the same with the provisions published in the media.
The intentions of all the regional leaders may be good, but, the clarity of the texts signed must be ensured by having the Agreement published officially.
This will avoid controversies and disagreements over what has been agreed upon by the parties. It shall also contribute to positive discussions on how to improve the Agreement.
This week, the IGAD Heads of State and Government, in a communique, hailed the progress achieved by President Al Bashir on the issues referred to him by the IGAD Summit of the 32nd Extra-Ordinary Assembly of IGAD Heads of State and Government that requested President Al Bashir to facilitate a second round of face-to-face talks between President Salva Kiir and Dr Riek Machar, including other South Sudanese parties and representatives of Civil Society, Faith-Based leaders, Youth, Women and Business Communities to resolve the outstanding issues.
“Cognisant of the momentum created so far, the IGAD leaders resolved that after the signing of the Agreement on Outstanding Issues on Governance and Security Arrangements today, President Omar Hassan Al Bashir shall continue facilitating the talks with the same spirit of inclusivity and commendable vigour until the Revitalized ARCSS is finally signed. In this regard, it was agreed that H.E. Uhuru Kenyatta supports the next phase by deploying a team of experts to support the finalization of the process,” the communique further read.
Therefore, for the public to be on the same page with the process and be able to contribute positively for a better Agreement, the Sudanese mediation and IGAD should release officially the governance Agreement recently signed by the parties.
Roger Alfred Yoron Modi, a South Sudanese journalist, is the former Managing Editor of Juba Monitor Newspaper and former Chief Editor of Bakhita Radio. He can be reached via his email: email@example.com