South Sudan urged to prepare for formation of unity government

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South Sudanese President Salva Kiir (R) shakes hands with South Sudan's exiled rebel leader Riek Machar in Juba, capital of South Sudan, Sept. 9, 2019. Riek Machar arrived in Juba on Monday for face-to-face talks with President Salva Kiir. President Kiir and Machar are expected to discuss and reevaluate progress and challenges facing the revitalized peace deal they signed in September 2018 in Ethiopia to end more than five years of conflict. (Xinhua Denis Elamu)
South Sudanese President Salva Kiir (R) shakes hands with South Sudan's exiled rebel leader Riek Machar in Juba, capital of South Sudan, Sept. 9, 2019. Riek Machar arrived in Juba on Monday for face-to-face talks with President Salva Kiir. President Kiir and Machar are expected to discuss and reevaluate progress and challenges facing the revitalized peace deal they signed in September 2018 in Ethiopia to end more than five years of conflict. (Xinhua Denis Elamu)

The Reconstituted Joint Monitoring and Evaluating Commission (RJMEC) has called on the parties to the September 2018 revitalized peace deal and other stakeholders to prepare for the formation of the Revitalized Government of National Unity (R-TGoNU) of South Sudan.

The South Sudan agreement known as the Revitalized Agreement on the Resolution of Conflict in South Sudan (R-ARCSS) was signed on 12 Sept. 2018, given that the Revitalized Transitional Government of National Unity (R-TGONU) is to be formed on 22 Feb. 2020. The African Union (AU) has also expressed its unwavering solidarity and support to South Sudan as the world’s youngest nation implements the peace agreement and also forms the transitional government. With barely a day before the expiry of the deadline of the extended pre-transitional period on 22nd Feb., the RJMEC Interim Chairperson, Augostino Njoroge, on Thursday called on parties to capitalize on the gains since the September 2018 peace deal, according to a statement from RJMEC. “It is clear that all must prepare for the formation of R-TGoNU,” Njoroge, “I call on the Parties to capitalize on the gains made since the signing of the R-ARCSS on the 12th September 2018, and continue to build towards lasting and sustainable peace in South Sudan.”

On the number of states and their boundaries, the Interim Chairperson commended Salva Kiir Mayardit, President of South Sudan, for the “compromise he made on the 15th of February to revert the number of States to 10 as outlined in his letter to IGAD dated 15th February 2020.” “In that regard, I applaud the leadership of IGAD and the regional Special Envoys for the role they played in helping the Parties to break the deadlock on the number and boundaries of states,” he said. He urged the people of South Sudan to welcome the decision, which will allow the formation of the RTGoNU in a timely manner and on a solid foundation. Consequently, Njoroge reported that the Chairperson (of IGAD) and the other regional leaders are in the process of preparing a roadmap that will guide the formation of an inclusive Revitalized Government of National Unity. The proposed roadmap, he said, will highlight key tasks, and necessary steps as provided for in the Revitalized Agreement.

On the unification of forces, Njoroge noted that significant progress has been made in moving personnel to the designated training centres, where at least 38,000 troops are currently assembled. “Preliminary training activities are ongoing. So too is screening, which I witnessed recently in Rajaf Training Centre. Furthermore, at the Gorom training centre, I witnessed the assembly of 3,339 trainees for the VIP Protection Force. However, training in accordance with the unification module is yet to start,” he said

In addition to the unification of forces, he said, the enactment by the TNLA (Transitional National Legislative Assembly) of the security laws, submission of the Parties nominees for the Transitional National Legislative Assembly to the NCAC; and the allocation of ministerial portfolios to the various Parties have not yet been completed. The world’s youngest nation descended into civil war in late 2013. The conflict eventually created one of the fastest-growing refugee crises in the world. The UN estimates that about four million South Sudanese have been displaced internally and externally. A peace deal signed in August 2015 collapsed following renewed violence in the capital, Juba in July 2016. The Interim Chairperson has also urged the region, the international community, partners and friends of South Sudan to speak with one voice in support of the peace process.

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