South Sudanese leaders can sign agreements but are always reluctant to implement them.
On the evening of April 3, 2022, Kiir and Machar signed a unique peace deal written in Arabic. Many South Sudanese have questioned why the agreement on a unified army command structure would be written in Arabic.
Some voiced their displeasure, while others said that drafting a national peace accord in a foreign language was a violation of South Sudan’s constitution and regulations.
The legislation is unequivocal: according to Article 6 of the South Sudan transitional constitution of 2011, Arabic is neither an official nor a national language in South Sudan.
South Sudan’s official language is English, while the country’s indigenous languages include Acholi, Bari, Cholo, Didinga, Dinka, Luo, Nuer, and Pari, to name a few.
The vast majority of South Sudanese, including President Kiir, who is the primary signatory to this freshly inked pact, are illiterate in Arabic.
So, will the language barrier prevent this agreement from being implemented? The signing of this agreement took place in the statehouse known locally as J-1.
Many South Sudanese are also skeptical that the two main signatories would uphold their promises. Because this is not the first time the duo has inked an agreement on glaring cameras.
Indeed, in the 10 years since they drove the country into this never-ending political disaster, they have signed a dozen peace treaties in front of regional and international leaders, but those accords have remained on paper to this day, since they have yet to be implemented in word and spirit.
President Kiir and Dr. Riek Machar have signed several treaties over the years, ranging from the cessation of hostilities to agreements on the conflict in South Sudan (ARCISS), yet the violence continues to rage throughout the nation.
The new accord reached divided command important roles between the government and the opposition in a 60-40 percent ratio.
According to Dr. Martin Elia Lomuro, Cabinet Affairs Minister, the opposition would get a 40% allocation, with the SSOA receiving one seat in each of the seven (security) sectors.
Sudanese Minister of Defense Yasin Ibrahim Yasin further said that the accord benefits all sides.