South Sudan:Unresolved issues can’t stop formation of transitional govt by Nov 12 – says UN Envoy

By Deng Machol

Special Representative and head of the UN Mission in South Sudan David Shearer (left) meets with President Salva Kiir in the capital Juba.Photo UNMISS/Isaac Billy

Juba – The pre-transitional issues that remain unresolved cannot stop the formation of a transitional government by November 12, the United Nation’s Mission in South Sudan’s Chief, David Shearer.

It’s just over a month to the November 12 deadline for the government that will return Dr. Riek Machar and other opposition leaders to work with president Salva Kiir in a 36 months’ transitional period.

The cantonment, training and unification forces have not been completed and the number of states and boundaries have not yet resolved.

South Sudan is struggling to wriggle out of a five-year conflict that has left thousands of people dead and displaced four million others.

“While we are behind in terms of the program that was envisaged when the peace agreement was signed a year ago, I don’t think that it’s necessary to continually delay the transitional government until certain progress are made,” Shearer told reporters in Juba on Wednesday. “It is very important that we have a transitional government on the 12th of November,” he added.

“The cantonment and the reorganization of forces, likewise the issue of resolving the states and boundaries issues, that can continue in the transitional period and doesn’t need to be delayed.”

While the deadline looms, the international communities are ramping UN progress to ensure the power-sharing arrangement comes to pass.

A UN Security Council team will visit South Sudan on October 25th to monitor progress, he said.

“The security council signaled its strong desire for the momentum of the peace process to be maintained. So much so, that they are travelling as a group to South Sudan towards the end of this month to see the situation first hand and to put their weight behind the political process,” said Shearer.

The UN chief added the UN Mission is also providing technical assistance and contracting an experienced retired general from Ethiopia to help parties determine the country’s security policy.

Early last month, president Kiir and opposition leader Machar met in Juba, made progress on security arrangements, unification of forces and the number of states.

In a statement seen by the Pan African Visions, ex-rebel Machar noted he will travel to Juba with the UNSC team to push forward the peace process.

In response

In the press statement, the SPLM-IO says they are deeply regrets by the UN envoy comment, arguing that the UN should have been an impartial arbiter.

“However, to our dismay and disappointment, the UN Special Envoy to South Sudan seems to be reading from the same script as the – well documented – genocidal regime,” said in the statement seen by this news agency.

The statement further said the statement of UN envoy, David Shearer eerily echo the belligerent words of president Kiir at the recent prayers at presidential palace in Juba, where he said to unilaterally form the unity government on November 12.

“The SPLM/A-IO would like to state for the record that a coerced peace will never prevail in South Sudan and forming the R – TGoNU – under a false pretext that we shall discuss the outstanding issues as a unity government – is a mockery of justice,” said Machar’s group in the statement. “We have tried this in 2016 and it led to the paralysis of the transitional government of national unity (TGoNU). What makes the UN Special Envoy imagine that the same events shall not be repeated.”

A peace deal signed in 2015 collapsed after renewed violence in July 2016 forcing Machar to flee the capital Juba. But in September 2018, the warring parties signed a revitalized peace deal, in which Dr. Machar will take up one of the four vice presidency positions in the transitional government that will run for 36 months.

This peace deal is an attempt to ending the country’s five – year conflict that has killed nearly 400,000 people and uprooted 4 million people both internally and externally from their homes, before ruined the country’s economy.

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