HLRF success depends on the will of political parties-JMEC
JMEC officials consult during a meeting. (file photo):
By Jale Richard
The success of the high level revitalization process is “highly dependent” on the exercise of political will by the South Sudanese parties and their willingness to compromise, the Joint Monitoring and Evaluation Commission (JMEC) has said.
In its quarterly report covering December 1, 2017 and March 31 this year, the Commission whose mandate is to oversee the implementation of the 2015 Agreement, asked the regional body, IGAD, to remain actively engaged during and in-between sessions of the HLRF “at the highest level”.
The report was submitted to IGAD, pursuant to Chapter VII, Article 5 of the Agreement on the Resolution of the Conflict in the Republic of South Sudan (ARCSS).
“In the period between sessions, IGAD should consider engaging the parties to the HLRF on the issues that have the potential to derail the Forum,” the report reads in part.
“These issues include, but are not limited to, the type of security guarantees that could be offered to returning opposition figures, practical measures on how to resolve the question of responsibility sharing in government, state structure, and transitional security arrangements.”
Much has been achieved already, the Commission said, and IGAD, African Union and the United Nations “should work collaboratively with the parties to ensure that momentum for dialogue is not lost.”
“On deliberations during Phase II of the HLRF, a notable lack of trust and confidence between the Transitional Government of National Unity (TGoNU) and the opposition groups presented an obstacle to the parties’ ability to make compromises on important issues on governance and security,” the report further reads.
“The issues on which there are widely divergent views can only be resolved politically, and by the parties recommitting themselves to the agenda for the revitalization of the ARCSS.”
“After so many years of protracted conflict there is weariness among the general population and a heightened desire for peace,” JMEC said in the report.
“The country can ill afford to continue the current path. Much rests on the successful conclusion of the HLRF and a renewed commitment from all stakeholders to adhere to the Agreement on the Cessation of Hostilities, Civilians Protection and Humanitarian Access, and to fully implementing the revitalized ARCSS.”