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South Sudan civil society umbrella “concerned” over delayed peace implementation

Kiir, Machar meeting in J1 (File/Supplied/Nyamilepedia)

November 1st 2019 (Nyamilepedia) – A South Sudan civil society umbrella has said in a statement extended to Nyamilepedia on Friday that it is concerned over delayed implementation of the pre-transitional provisions.

South Sudan government and opposition groups signed a revitalized peace agreement in September last year to end the six-year-old civil war.

The agreement provided for the amalgamation of the rival forces to form a unified and a professional national army that will reflex the diversity of the people of South Sudan.

The agreement also requires the parties to deliberate on the number and boundaries of states which has been one of the sticking and pending points the parties should settle before the formation of what would be the Reconstituted Transitional Government of National Unity (R-TGoNU).

However, none of the above tasks is completed and a number of opposition groups have threatened to opt out of the planed unity government.

“The South Sudan Civil Society Forum (SSCSF) is deeply concerned that critical governance and security arrangements have not been implemented with less than two weeks remaining to the November 12, 2019 deadline for the establishment of the Revitalized Transitional Government of National Unity (R-TGONU),” the group based in diaspora said in the statement.

The statement called on the parties to the agreement to convene a meeting to develop and three-month plan on how the outstanding issues could be resolved and settled.

“We call on the parties to organize a retreat for their senior leadership to develop a 100-day plan that provides details on how they intend to implement the key tasks that will enable them to form the new government in a safe and responsible manner,” the statement said.

The statement said the outstanding issues will not be resolved by 12th November saying the time will pass with all these issues unresolved.

“With just less than two weeks remaining, the proposed six-week training for 3,000 VIP protection force is no longer meaningfully possible. Efforts to resolve other outstanding issues, particularly the number and boundaries of states, have stalled,” the statement said.

“The political differences among the parties and their failure to accomplish the agreed upon tasks are understandably contributing to increased anxiety and fear among citizens about their safety and the future of the peace agreement. SSCSF is further worried about potential security risks associated with reports that some forces have begun to desert cantonment sites with their guns due to severe food shortage and poor living conditions.

“This lack of non-military supplies to the cantonment sites raise questions about the viability of the cantonment process and related security arrangements. The SSCSF is deeply concerned that instead of impressing upon the parities the need to consistently and fully implement agreed tasks of the peace agreement, some regional and international bodies are encouraging them to selectively implement provisions of the R-ARCSS. Such recommendations undermine the entire peace agreement, especially the sequence of agreed implementation schedule.

“There can never be a shortcut to meaningful implementation of the R-ARCSS. The forces must be provided with adequate supplies at the cantonment sites. They have to be screened, properly SSCSF Statement 1 Nov 2019 – Page 2 of 2 trained and fully deployed as unified professional national forces to provide security. National resources must be sufficiently and timely availed to accomplish these tasks. The parties must come to a consensus position on the number and boundary of states.

“As the aforementioned tasks cannot be practically accomplished within the remaining ten days of the extended Pre-Transitional Period, the parties should jointly provide a unified message to assure citizens of their commitment to the peace agreement. In the days remaining before 12 November, the principals of the parties who are signatories to the peace agreement should hold a retreat in which they develop a realistic 100-day roadmap to the formation of the R-TGoNU.

“The 100-day roadmap should provide details about how they plan to implement the essential tasks leading up to the formation of the new unity government. Guarantors to the R-ARCSS, particularly those in the region, should deliver swift consequences on any party that deliberately attempts to frustrate peace efforts and meaningful implementation of the R-ARCSS.”

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