Independent Border Commission (IBC) to be formed in weeks: R-JMEC official

A look of South Sudan’s 32 states (File Photo)

February 12th 2019 (Nyamilepedia) – The Independent Border Commission (IBC) will be formed in a period of one to two weeks, a senior official of the Revitalized Joint Monitoring and Evaluation Commission (R-JMEC) told the Eye Radio this morning.

In September last year, South Sudan government signed a revitalized version of a 2015 peace deal with opposition groups in the Ethiopian capital Addis Ababa to end the ongoing brutal five-year old conflict.

Among the provisions of the agreement is the establishment of an independent border commission which should take place within two weeks after the signing of the revitalized peace agreement by the parties.

The commission would solve the issue of the states and their borders before the end of the pre-transitional period. According to the agreement, the IBC, which includes representatives of the signatories, shall comprise of technocrats from South Africa, Chad, Algeria, Rwanda and Nigeria.

Their role, as per the agreement, is to determine the number of states suitable for South Sudan. Nigeria and Algeria have already submitted names of their representatives to the IBC.

However, as the pre-transitional period ends only in three months from now, the state and borders issue has not yet been solved raising doubts that the transitional government will be in place in May as stipulated in the agreement.

Speaking to the Eye Radio on Tuesday, R-JMEC Chief of Staffs, Dr. Thomson Fontain, said the delay was because the regional body, the IGAD is looking for people who are experienced in the state and border matters.

“It’s been several issues we are trying to work through, for one thing – the countries are … trying to get people who understand those issues,” Fontain said.

He said the 10-member committee will be established within weeks even if there is only eight members available.

“Hopefully within a week or two, then the international Boundaries commission will be formed and we will the begin work…..as soon as we get 8 out of the 10 members, we will go ahead and start the work,” Fontain said.

“The fact is that this issue needs to be resolved before the government takes over. This is such a critical part of the provision that we are doing everything [to succeed],” he added.