COUNTDOWN Civil society groups raise alarm

By Nema Juma

A group of civil society organizations have warned that time is fast running out ahead of the November 12th Pre-Transitional peace implementation period.

They say the 90 days left towards the set deadline for the implementation of security arrangements before the planned formation of new government is “inadequate”.

The Pre-Transitional government of National Unity was supposed to be formed in May 2019 after signing the Revitalized Peace Agreement in September 12th 2019 but it was extended to six months, which expires on November 2019.

The group is led by Jame David Kolok, Chairperson Steering Committee of the South Sudan Civil Society Forum who doubles up as the Executive Director of (FODAG).

Speaking to journalists at a local hotel on Monday, the group raised major concerns over the pending issues around outstanding issues in the agreement, which border on security arrangements and cantonments.

Their event saw the launch of 90 days countdown to the parties and the reminder to all South Sudanese on the key issues in the agreement.

“We wish to remind all the principal parties to the agreement and the citizens that it is only three months left out of the six months provided for the extension to the formation of the new government. This needs speedy implementation of what has been agreed in the documents,” Kolok said.

He cited the scheduled time frame for cantonment of forces and other security arrangements as part of the key staggering issues.

“As you know there has been particular concern that within the first phase of the transitional period, the key provision of the agreement that touches on the issues of security, cantonment, training and unification of forces have not been done, so this extension has been based on that ground,” Kolok said.

He warned that if the parties don’t commit themselves to implement the key provisions in the Revitalized Peace Agreement, then it would be very difficult to form a new government.

Kolok added that during the extension of the peace agreement, at least USD100 million was promised by the government to the National Pre-Transitional Committee (NPTC) in order to realize some of the pending activities but only little amounts has been honored.

The activist said, “So how realistic and committed are the parties to this process in ensuring that the reasons that were advanced to the extension are actually being implemented?

“If the parties don’t expedite the process of releasing the resources then obviously we may be pretending to think that the government will be formed in the remaining three months,” he said.

Jackline Nasiwa representative for the Center for Inclusive Governance Peace and Justice said there is a reason for the concern because the citizens do not want any extension of the implementation period.

She said that with no extension she would like to see that there is real political will within to make sure that everything is achieved within the 90 days.

“The reason why we are panicking is because we don’t want to see scenarios of people killing themselves, South Sudanese women are tired and we want to ensure that 90 days becomes a reminder that we need peace,” Nasiwa said.

She further stated that women don’t want to be left in dilemma of war this time round because women have been tortured by the forces, raped and others have been killed on crossfire.

“South Sudan women are the backbone of this nation and they deserve security and protection, we are tired of this bad situation,”Jackline said.

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