Cirilo, Malong ordered to ‘unconditionally’ join peace process

By: Charles Lotara

The African Union Peace and Security Council (AUPSC) has ordered opposition leaders Thomas Cirilo and Paul Malong to unconditionally join the revitalized peace process with clock ticking on the extended 100 days.

In a communique updated four days ago and seen by Juba Monitor, the AUPSC said leaders of the breakaway parties must participate in the much anticipated peace deal slated for February warning that any resistance shall be met by appropriate measures.

“The Peace and Security Council calls on the hold out groups to unconditionally join the peace process with a view to ending the current hardships facing the people of South Sudan; in this respect, encourages the IGAD Special Envoy to South Sudan to continue to engage the leaders of the holdout groups, in particular Thomas Cirilo and Paul Malong to join the R-ARCSS.

Cirilo, the leader of National Salvation Front (NAS) and Malong who spearheads South Sudan United Front/Army are currently not signatories to the Revitalized Peace Agreement on the Resolution of Conflict in South Sudan (R-ARCSS).

The AUSC recommends targeted sanctions among other measures if leaders of the opposition groups continue to hold out.

“The Security Council urges the international partners to consider punitive measures, including targeted sanctions, to be imposed against those who continue to undermine the peace process in South Sudan,” part of the communique read.

Meanwhile, the government has been urged to expeditiously work towards the operationalization of all transitional justice mechanisms with support from the African Union Commission and concerned stakeholders.

According to the AU, the establishment of mechanisms such as the Hybrid Court for South Sudan shall promote transitional justice and fast-track healing and reconciliation process in the country.

Main signatories to the peace process namely President Salva Kiir Mayardit and leader of SPLA-IO leader Dr. Riek Machar have been roped in and called upon to embrace dialogue for the purpose of restoring confidence.

“The Peace and Security Council appeals to all Parties, particularly President Salva Kiir and Dr. Riek Machar to embrace dialogue with a view to deepening and instilling mutual trust and confidence between and among them.

“It also appeals to Dr. Riek Machar to consider relocating to Juba, as soon as possible, in order to facilitate the implementation of the outstanding issues of the Revitalized Agreement,” says the communique.

In a major development a week ago, Kiir disbursed $40 million which was part of the $100 million required budget for the implementation of outstanding tasks.

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