– Government will accept executive prime-ministership only if Kiir fills the post
– VP Igga not worried as long as his position and seat stays
– No separate armies, but White Army’s status could be upgraded
News seeping out of Addis Ababa suggests that the Government of South Sudan is considering giving full executive powers to the proposed portfolio of the Prime Minister on the condition that incumbent President Kiir fills that position and the new presidency remains but a symbolic, ceremonial, ribbon-cutting role that they are ready to offer Riek Machar.
According to the new proposal, Riek Machar will be proposed, recommended and endorsed by SPLM-Kiir for the Presidency that will have to be passed by the National Legislative Assembly only after a final Peace Agreement is signed by the rebels.
Furthermore, to counter the rebels demand for separate armies, the government has engineered a plan that will exempt the White Army – the nucleus of the rebel fighting force – from disarmament; upgrade their status to ‘Presidential Guards’ in the duration of Riek’s presidency; and make them answerable to the President (Riek) or any other command that is given to them in their native dialect.
Juba has given the rebels two-days out of the remaining cessation-of-hostilities days (excluding weekends and public holidays) to come with an answer or else they will withdraw the offer from the table.
The rebels could not be reached for comments but two of their official spokespersons have confirmed news of such a proposal and say Kiir needs to join the rebellion first to agree with their proposal. It is too confusing for the opposing sides to propose the same plan – executive prime minister that could deliver totally different outcomes.
The third official rebel spokesperson said the crisis is not about positions, but insists that the position of executive Prime Minister still be given to Riek Machar.
IGAD, on their part, are calling the move “unexpected but typical of South Sudan” where anything that has never happened anywhere before can happen.
This new development could just be the break through that could resolve the year-long conflict and that many have been waiting for a long time.
According to the government spokesperson, this proposal has been blessed by Vice President Wani Igga who vowed never to give up his seat come rain or shine. Although details of his new role and powers as VP under Riek are yet to be ironed-out, VP Igga has been assured that no matter what, there will still be sirens in his motorcade where ever he goes.