Feb 11th, 2018(Nyamilepdia) —– South Sudan’s stakeholders have made steps forward during the last one week of the second phase of the High Level Revitalization of the collapsed Agreement on the Resolutions of the Conflict in South Sudan(ARCISS) in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia.
Briefing the media, the IGAD Secretariat, confirmed that the parties have made progress on issues ranging from the Transitional National Legislative Assembly and the Council of States, the Judiciary to the Transitional Institutions and Mechanisms stipulated under Chapter I of Article 11, 12 and 14.
“It was to be recalled that Parties have made a step forward on issues ranging from the Transitional National Legislative Assembly and the Council of States, the Judiciary to the Transitional Institutions and Mechanisms stipulated under Chapter I of Article 11, 12 and 14 of the Agreement Yesterday.” Said Abdullahi Busuri, IGAD’s Program Manager for Information and Documentation.
“They have also reached consensus on Mandates of the Transitional Government of National Unity (TGoNU)” Busuri continued.
The Secretariat further confirmed that the Participants have commenced talks on Pre-Transitional Period and National Constitutional Amendment Committee (NCAC) stated under Article 13 of the ARCSS.
The talks have stalled a few times last week as government delegation had a few issues to resolve.
The TGNU delegation boycotted the talks on the first day on Monday, February 5th, after IGAD refused entry to some members of government delegation citing that the delegation was larger than expected, however, IGAD changed its position on Tuesday and allowed the entire delegation to participate in the talks.
The government delegation participated on Tuesday, February 6th, but later refused to sign the Declaration of the Principles, a provision that was designed to levy punitive measures on peace violators and spoilers.
Despite Juba dragging its feet, IGAD has shown readiness to move on with other stakeholders who are more lenient to make compromises and ready to commit to return peace to South Sudan.
Although it is yet to be seen how IGAD will push parties like TGNU to sign and implement relevant documents, other stakeholders have signal that they are ready to move on with talks despite challenges.
According to Rajab Mohandis, a member of South Sudan’s Civil Society at the Peace Talks, the parties will continue to talk despite government delegation refusal to sign DOP.
“We are here to negotiate…By not signing this document [DOP], it doesn’t signal any party pulling out from the process.” Mohandis said.
“It our hope as the civil society that the parties, with the help of the mediators, will find a common ground” on Article 28 and “sign the document and continue with negotiations.” He continued.