Church-led peace initiative asked to hand files to 'Truth Commission' to be appointed by Kiir
Under the terms of the new IGAD peace proposal, a church-led peace initiative in South Sudan must hand over its records and files to a “Truth Commission” to be appointed by President Salva Kiir.
Mediators of the East African regional bloc IGAD have proposed the creation of a new Commission for Truth, Reconciliation and Healing (CTRH), which will be established by legislation not later than six months after the formation of a new power-sharing government in South Sudan.
Kiir, his vice president James Wani Igga and a member of the SPLM-IO – presumably rebel leader Riek Machar – would form the 'Executive' of this new power-sharing government together with the ministers and deputy ministers.
According to the IGAD peace proposal, this 'Executive' headed by Kiir would nominate seven commissioners to head the Truth Commission and present their names to the National Assembly for endorsement. Four members will be South Sudanese and three members will be from other African countries.
Article 2.1.4 of chapter five of the proposed power-sharing agreement says, “The existing Committee for National Healing, Peace and Reconciliation (CNHPR) and the National Platform for Peace and Reconciliation shall transfer all of their files, records and documentation to the CTRH within fifteen (15) days since CTRH has become operational.”
CNHPR is chaired by Episcopal Archbishop Daniel Deng Bul, deputized by Catholic Bishop Emeritus Paride Taban. Other members of its executive committee include Reverend Peter Gai, Bishop Enoch Tombe, Bishop Rudolf Majak and Bishop Isaiah Majok Daau.
The Commission is one of the constituent members of the National Platform for Peace and Reconciliation, which is an umbrella group also backed by the same church leaders.
The IGAD proposal does not explain the reasons for the requirement that CNHPR and NPPR hand over their files to the Truth Commission appointed by Salva Kiir.
However, the proposal explains at length the mandate of the Truth Commission without mentioning again CNHPR. Its mandate includes: “lead efforts to facilitate local and national reconciliation and healing.”
Photo: President Kiir with SPLA Chief of Staff Paul Malong, 9 July 2015 (Credit: Radio Tamazuj)