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Unity government formation without vital tasks will violate the agreement – statement

South Sudan president Salva Kiir Mayardit, right, and SPLM-IO leader Dr. Riek Machar, left, shaking hand following a face-to-face meeting in Juba (File/Supplied/Nyamilepedia)
South Sudan president Salva Kiir Mayardit, right, and SPLM-IO leader Dr. Riek Machar, left, shaking hand following a face-to-face meeting in Juba (File/Supplied/Nyamilepedia) <acha

October 31st 2019 (Nyamilepedia) – Formation of the Reconstituted Transitional Government of National Unity (R-TGoNU) without the settlement of the outstanding issues would violate the revitalized peace agreement signed in September last year, the Upper Nile region community said in a statement.

South Sudan parties to the peace agreement are currently on loggerhead over the outstanding issues.

While the government wants the unity government formed by November 12th, main opposition signatories to the agreement such as SPLM-IO led by Dr. Riek Machar and NDM led by Dr. Lam Akol Ajawin wants the action postponed until a settlement is reached over the outstanding issues.

A United Nations delegation was in Juba early this months and called on the parties to form the transitional government by November 12th, a call the government of President Salva Kiir welcomed and rejected by SPLM-IO and the NDM.

“We, the community of Upper Nile region, have followed with great concern and unease the statements ascribed to some members of the UN Security Council and the AU Peace and Security Council to the effect that the Revitalized Transitional Government of National Unity (R-TGoNU) be formed by 12 November 2019 regardless of the unimplemented critical issues in the Pre-Transitional Period,” a statement by the Upper Nile community partly reads.

“These are the security arrangements, particularly the formation of the Necessary Unified Force (NUF), and the determination of the number and boundaries of the States in South Sudan,” the statement said.

The statement said if not implemented, the formation of the unity government will jeopardize permanent ending of then ongoing civil war.

“We would like to draw the attention of these regional and international bodies to the fact that the Revitalized Agreement on the Resolution of Conflict in the Republic of South Sudan (R-ARCSS) is a package with definite timelines and must be implemented in its totality,” the statement said.

“Any attempt to be selective about which provisions to implement and which to ignore or transfer to any other date is tantamount to violating the Peace Agreement,” it added.

“The Parties to the R-ARCSS agreed during the negotiations that the country cannot afford more than one army during the transitional period and therefore resolved to have the NUF formed within the Pre-Transitional Period.

“This was why the length of the Pre-Transitional Period was agreed to be eight (8) months. It was the lack of will from the side of the government to provide the necessary funds that led to the failure to achieve this objective in the specified time.

“This period was extended in May for six (6) more months to complete the process of forming the NUF. The decision was taken on the condition that the government to release $100 million for that purpose. The government did not pay the whole amount and the NUF has not yet been formed.

“On the number of States, the Independent Boundaries Commission (IBC) has rejected the 32 States by a wide margin of 71%. Therefore, there should not be any discussion about that any more. The option that won in the IBC was the ten (10) States.

“The only reason why it was not adopted by the IBC was the technicality that the majority should include 7 South Sudanese which fell short by just one vote.

“The recommendation of the IBC was for the principals to adopt the ten (10) States given the overwhelming consensus on it in the IBC or discuss another option of their choice. But, what is final is the rejection of the 32 States. Yet, the government continues to buy political parties to support the 32 States.

“The IGAD Special Envoy for South Sudan convened the Parties on 18 September to discuss and take decision on the number of States. However, the government boycotted that meeting. Thus scuttling the process.

“The government troops are still in occupation of the civilian centres. How do we expect the IDPs and refugees to come back when their ancestral homes are still under occupation?

“From the foregoing, it is clear that we are where we are now because the government lacks the political will to implement the peace agreement. Forming the Transitional Government on the 12th of November would mean that the country would have 4 or 5 armed groups during the transitional period. It will also mean that the 32 States which were rejected by the IBC will continue to be in place thus rewarding the government for obstructing the resolution of the matter. This should not be allowed to happen.

“We call upon our people, everywhere especially in America, Canada, Europe and Australia, to be calm and insist on the implementation of the peace agreement in letter and spirit. The agreement is our last hope to have a sustainable peace in our country.”

The statement further thanked SPLM-IO leader Dr. Riek Machar and NDM leader Dr. Lam Akol Ajawin “for standing firm on completing the security arrangements and number of states with their borders before the formation of the R-TGoNU.”

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