IGAD MUST be impartial during peace revitalisation
South Sudanese non-state actors have urged the regional trade and security bloc, the Intergovernmental Authority on Development (IGAD) to show impartiality in leading the revitalisation of the peace process.
Last week twenty-two representatives from; civil society, academia and government (including some Members of Parliament) met in the Ethiopian capital, Addis Ababa for an-IGAD high-level revitalisation meeting.
The meeting was to discuss agenda for the up-coming revitalisation forum slated for September.
Speaking to Juba Monitor yesterday, a member of civil society voluntary taskforce on the implementation of the Agreement on the Resolution of the Conflict in the Republic of South Sudan (ARCSS), Rajab Simon Mohandis, said they shared their opinion with IGAD on how to revitalise the ARCSS.
“We were able to share with them how we want to see the process moving. Our opinion is that the process should include all the parties to the conflict, and this means IGAD should invite all the parties to be part of the revitalisation process,” Mohandis said.
“We have also urged IGAD to be ‘impartial’ in running the [peace revitalisation] process, because we have often seen how the way IGAD handles the peace process impacts on the behavior of the parties to the conflict,” Mr. Mohandis stressed.
He divulged that the fear is in the eventuality of IGAD taking side or manifesting partiality, it would impact “negatively” on the revitalisation process.
Mr. Mohandis, who is also the Executive Director of South Sudanese Network for Democracy and Elections (SSUNDE), disclosed that IGAD had hired an independent expert (consultant) on South Sudanese crisis, and he will be talking to the different stakeholders to go and gather their views on the process.
He said the expert will be consulting with the people to hear what they have to say regarding the process of reviving the ARCSS. Mohandis said there are several processes of consulting from all walks of life being undertaken by IGAD high-level revitalisation forum.
The revitalisation process for implementation of the peace agreement was initiated by IGAD heads of state and government during an extraordinary summit held in Addis Ababa on 12th June, 2017.
The forum discussed security and humanitarian situations in the country and revitalisation process of ARCSS emerged as one of the recommendations tabled in the final communique.
The high-level revitalisation process is said to be a forum for all. IGAD still calls on all parties to the conflict to take urgent steps to draw plans and timeline to compensate the delay and revitalise the full implementation of ARCSS.
The former President of Botswana, Mr. Festus Mogae, the Chairman of the Joint Monitoring and Evaluation Commission (JMEC), the body responsible for monitoring the implementation of ARCSS, said one of the components of the revitalisation process is to restore the permanent ceasefire and full implementation of ARCSS.