By Deng Machol
Juba – South Sudan warring parties to the revitalized peace agreement have agreed in a meeting to complete the formation of government at all levels within a week, in an effort to end the country’s conflict.
This was reached during the presidency meeting this week in Juba.
“After extensive deliberations that lasted for three hours on a broad range of critical and pertinent pending issues revolving around the implementation of the Revitalized Agreement on the Resolution of the Conflict in the Republic of South Sudan (R-ARCSS). The meeting resolved as follows; One, that completion of the process of formation of state government be expedited by finalizing the list of nominations and each one of the requisite presidential decrees effecting the appointment of the following in the course of one week,” said Nhial Deng Nhial, the minister of presidential affairs, in the press statement.
“State advisors, state ministers, state commission chairpersons, and members, county commissioners, state legislative assemblies, and county councils,” the minister added. “Two, that the unification of the top echelons of the army command shall be expeditiously carried out to pave the way for the commencement of the process to integrate all forces into a single national army under one unified command,” Minister added.
Meanwhile, Reconstituted Joint Monitoring and Evaluation Commission (RJMEC) in its 16th monthly meeting in Juba, noted that transitional security arrangements underpin stable, secure future for the people of South Sudan; but slow pace of peace implementation’s concerning.
RJMEC Interim Chairperson Maj. Gen. Charles Tai Gituai reiterated that implementation of the TSA as envisaged in the R-ARCSS is vital. However, “no progress is reported on the training, graduation and redeployment of Necessary Unified Forces (NUF) under Phase I.”
He further warned that “protracted delays and passing of time without progress is detrimental to lasting peace in South Sudan.”
According to Minister Nhial, the graduation of the first batch of the unified forces currently in the various training centres across the country will be conducted without further delay, “notwithstanding the lack of equipment essential for their graduation and launch preparations to admit the next batch of trainees to the training centres.”
The presidency also resolved that the peace parties shall finalize the reconstitution of the Transitional National Legislative Assembly (R-TNLA) and the Councils of States on or before February 15, 2021.
But they are also yet to reconstitute the national legislature – the body responsible for enacting the reforms stipulated in the peace deal.
Of recently, the president completed the appointment of the state governors and their deputies in the ten states and three administrative areas of South Sudan.
According to the revitalized peace deal, the responsibility sharing ratio at state and local government levels shall be 55% for the Sudan People’s Liberation Movement, 27% for the Sudan People’s Liberation Movement/Army in Opposition, 10% for South Sudan Opposition Alliance (SSOA), and 8% for Other Political Parties (OPP).
However, the warring parties in the peace deal are yet to establish a unified command structure for the NUF (Necessary Unified Force), and addressing the ‘ranking’ (of personnel) process and the management of excess senior officers.
The financial constraints and clashes between the peace parties have been major obstacles toward the implementation of the 2018 peace processes.
The delays in peace implementation has been blighted with a sexual and gender-based violence (SGBV) crimes across the country.
As the country looks forward to marking ten years of independence on 9 July 2021, the Interim Chairperson said “It is incumbent on all of us to push hard on the implementation of the Revitalised Peace Agreement so that the ten-year celebrations will mark not only the milestone of a decade of independence, but also significant progress in the implementation of the Peace Agreement.”