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Lam Akol’s group says priority is peace implementation not gov’t formation

Chairman of National Democratic Movement (NDM), Dr. Lam Akol Ajawin, File/Supplied/Nyamilepedia)

October 6th 2019 (Nyamilepedia) – The National Democratic Movement (NDM) led by Dr. Lam Akol Ajawin said on Wednesday that the top priority for the parties is to focus on the implementation of the revitalized peace agreement and not the formation of the unity government.

The government of President Salva Kiir Mayardit in September last year signed a revitalized peace agreement with several opposition groups including the NDM to end the ongoing civil which has killed thousands and displaced millions.

The government is insisting on the formation of the Reconstituted Transitional Government of National Unity (R-TGONU) in November while the main armed opposition group, SPLM-IO led by Dr. Riek Machar Teny, wants the action postponed to a later date.

This – according to the group – is to give time for unimplemented pre-transitional tasks to be complete for a proper environment for the transitional government which would administer the country for a duration of 36 months.

In a report issued on Wednesday, the NDM said the priority is for the parties to fully implement the revitalized peace agreement in a sense to pave way for the formation of the reconstituted unity government tasked with reforming the country.

Our Top Priority is to Implement the Peace Agreement,” the group said in a report extended to Nyamilepedia.

There is a growing orchestrated clamor from some quarters these days that the Revitalized Government of National Unity (R-GONU) must be formed on 12 November without delay, even if that meant excluding other Parties to the Agreement signed on 12 September 2018,” the report added.

These quarters are led to believe that such a government will move things in South Sudan to the better. Some flippant excuses are given which do not stand close scrutiny. Such a position misses the point absolutely.

Formation of the R-TGoNU is not the magic wand that will resolve all outstanding issues in the peace process.”

The report said such a move – if taken by the government and form government on 12 November – will repeat the scenario which led to the collapse of a peace agreement in July 2016 following fighting at the Presidential Palace in Juba on 8th July.

We are afraid that we are repeating the same things we did in 2015/6 and expecting different results. It will be recalled that in the 2015 Agreement the issue of creating 28 States threw a banner in the works and the formation of the TGONU that was supposed to take place in November 2015 was delayed owing to the objection of some Parties to the Agreement to this unilateral decision of the President which contravened both the Constitution 2011 and the Agreement itself.

To resolve this matter, IGAD Council of Ministers took a decision in January 2016 that the order was indeed a violation of the peace agreement, that its implementation be frozen and that a National Boundary Commission be formed to consider the issue.

Then followed wide scale calls from the region and internationally that the [R-]TGoNU must be formed without delay and Parties were pushed to doing so even at the expense of meeting the security arrangements agreed in Juba and beyond countrywide.

The Parties placed their faith in the region and the international community and a TGONU was formed at the end of April 2016. Do we need to remind ourselves what happened next? The fighting that started at J1 is the reason for the current devastation in South Sudan, the worst in its recent history.”

The report further said the government of President Salva Kiir Mayardit should first “Provide the funds required to implement the security arrangements, especially at cantonment sites,” and “Stop scuttling steps towards the resolution of the issue of the number and boundaries of States” and to “Withdraw its troops from civilian centers as the SPLM/A-IO has already done.”

It also said the government should “Respect and implement the resolutions of the IGAD Council of Ministers held on 21 August 2019 in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia” as well as “Take the Constitutional Amendment Bill to Parliament for ratification.”

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