Civil society group urges South Sudan politicians to focus on peace implementations rather than celebrations

Posters bearing pictures of Kiir, Machar, Bashir and Museveni in Juba street (File/Supplied/Nyamilepedia)

October 29th 2018 (Nyamilepedia) – A group of South Sudan civil society organizations said on Monday that South Sudanese leaders should most focus on the critical implementation of the peace agreement signed in the Ethiopian capital Addis Ababa, Ethiopia last month.

The call by the the civil society organizations came two days before South Sudan’s capital Juba could witness the much expected celebration which is organized by the South Sudan government on Wednesday.

In a statement extended to the Nyamilepedia, the South Sudan Civil Society Forum, (SSCSF) a coalition of civil society in South Sudan, said South Sudanese parties to the revitalized agreement should focus on the implementation of teh peace agreement signed in September by President Salva Kiir and opposition leader Riek Machar.

“The Parties to the Revitalized Agreement on the Resolution of the conflict in South Sudan (R ARCSS) must make critical progress instead of focusing on celebrating the signing of the R-ARCSS With huge spending,” the rights group said in the statement.

The statement then welcomed the little progress made by the parties in the implementation of the agreement such as the recent formation of the National Pre-transitional Committee (NPTC) formed by South Sudan President Salva Kiir Mayardiit and the release of some political detainees and Prisoners of War (POWs).

“We appreciate the initial progress made in the implementation of the R ARCSS. such as the formation of some of the bodies provided for by the agreement. and their respective commencement meetings: the release of some political detainees and Prisoners of war,” the statement further added.

However, the right group said it is frustration over the partial and selective release of political detainees.

“However, we remain deeply concerned that the release of political detainees has been selective and there is no reported progress in the freeing of women abducted during the war. Hence, as a celebration to mark the signing of the (R ARCSS) planned for 31st October. we urge the parties to immediately free those still under their respective detentions so they can celebrate With fellow South Sudanese. Such a release should be verifiable and unconditional,” it said.

The statement reiterated its calls on warring parties  to recommit themselves and focus on confidence building measures that could not be only one-off celebration but a continued process that would take place countrywide.

“We also reiterate our 19 June 2018 call in the letter ‘The Citizens’ Agenda for your Face-to-Face Meeting’ for the parties to embark on a series of confidence-budding public rallies throughout South Sudan. We believe these events could help build confidence in the leaders and the revitalized ARCSS. promote reconciliation and create a conducive environment for the full implementation of the revitalized Agreement However such confidence building measures should be a process and not Just one-off celebration events. We urge the principals of the parties to do a nation-wide tour instead of Just pining a celebration in Juba,” it added.