JMEC needs inclusive cantonment
Augustino Njoroge, JMEC Deputy Chairperson with Officials of JMCC during the Jmec Plenary meeting in Juba.
By Jale Richard
Inclusive cantonment is key to peace process in South Sudan, the Joint Monitoring and Evaluation Commission (JMEC) hassaid.
JMEC Deputy Chairman Amb Lt. Gen. Augostino Njoroge reiterated the need for an all-inclusive cantonment geared towards quick and sustainable resolution of the conflicts in South Sudan duringthe second Joint Military Ceasefire Commission (JMCC) cantonment workshop held in Juba yesterday.
TheMinister of Defense Hon. Kuol Manyang, Minister of Cabinet Affairs, Hon. Martin Lomoro, JMCC Chair Lt General James Ajongo, foreign diplomats, among others attended the workshop.
“Inclusivity means that all parties to join the cantonment and the disarmament, demobilization, and reintegration (DDR) process peacefully and ensuring genuine representation of the national character in all transformed institutions.Cantonment of forces in not an easy task, we have many challenges ahead to ensure that cantonment is a success and moves the peace process forward in the coming Months,”Njoroge said.
He added that cantonment of forces will require the combined efforts of the Transitional Government of National Unity, regional and international partners.
However, Jame David Kolo Executive Director of Foundation for Democracy and Accountable Governance (FODAG) welcomed the idea for inclusivity but added that he is concerned about the delay in establishment of the cantonment areas.
“The process needs to move forward, however we have realized that of recent the international community does not seem to be moving forward with the issues of cantonment. Cantonment areas need to be supported becauseyou cannot call people to canton in specific area without providing the services,” David said adding that the regional and international community should support by providing facilities to help the cantonment areas.
Davidsaid the international community should “not play double standards.”
“On one hand you are saying the people of South Sudan should move forward with implementation of the peace agreement, and on the other hand you are not providing for establishment of the necessary facilities supporting the peace implementation,” the activist said.
He said however much the government has primary roles in establishing cantonment areas, the economic situation “does not provide fertile ground for it to single handedly establish and manage cantonment areas.”
According David, inclusivity in terms of peace implementation should not exclude certain people who play critical roles in the peace process.
“Everybody is important in the peace process, whether people are within the country or outside the country, TGoNU needs to recognize the idea of national dialogue,” he said.
Kuol Manyang said: “Efforts are being made to reconcile the people of South Sudan. We have the political goodwill. We are doing everything we can to do well in the peace process.”
Hon. Lomoro said “The work of the JMCC is the nucleus of the peace agreement in the South Sudan. The situation of peace building is difficult and we must make difficult decisions.We want peace for everybody. I want to encourage general to make cantonment process a success.”
However, David said:“We cannot talk about national dialogue in exclusion of people who have issues with the government. It doesn’t make sense to talk about national dialogue while excluding some people that are critical in moving forward with the peace process. If we are moving towards genuine national dialogue that the government and the former detainees are talking about, there is need to recognize Riek Machar in the dialogue.”
The workshop is aimed at expanding earlier JMCC discussions, with the goal of finalizing plans and activities to start cantonment operations in South Sudan.