Pending tasks stumbling block to peace- Monitor

By: Nema Juma

With only twenty two days remaining to the 100 days pre-transitional period extended, the Reconstituted Joint Monitoring Evaluation Commission (RJMEC) said while the permanent Ceasefire continues to hold, failure to resolve critical pending tasks remains a stumbling block to lasting peace.

After two consecutive extensions and only a few weeks left to the end of the 100 days extended period and the scheduled formation of the Revitalized Government of National Unity (RTGoNU), the Reconstituted Joint Monitoring and Evaluation Commission (RJMEC) said there is still only limited progress towards the resolution of the two most critical issues that prompted the extensions.

In its latest Quarterly Report released yesterday and covering the period 1st October to 31st December 2019, RJMEC said the absence of compromise to resolve critical outstanding tasks such as the number of states and their boundaries and the Pre-Transitional security arrangements “could prove a serious stumbling block to the timely formation of the R-TGoNU.”  

“Failure to achieve any or both of the critical pending tasks can cause a bitter blow to the hopes and aspirations of the millions of South Sudanese who continue to yearn for peace,” read part of the report.

“Resorting to positions on the issue, which may reflect individual parties’ self-interest rather than the broader interests of the country should be guarded against,” RJMEC advised. 

“It is important that this issue is given the serious consideration that it deserves and that no effort be spared in reaching a solution before the formation of the R-TGoNU,” it added.

“No doubt, the long-suffering people of South Sudan continue to pin their hopes for a return to normalcy and improved livelihoods on progress made in the implementation of the Agreement,” it continued.

However, as the Permanent Ceasefire continues to hold, the Commission said, there has been a notable increase in freedom of movement, which has prompted the voluntary returns of IDPs and refugees back to their homes. United Nations Mission in South Sudan (UNMISS) has reported the return of over 600,000 IDPs since the signing of the R-ARCSS.

 “Unless the momentum to tackle the outstanding issues is maintained this promising trend, could very easily be reversed. An agreement among the Parties on the determination of the number of states and boundaries would be a boost to the entire peace process,” the Commission continued.

It is therefore necessary to make “irrevocable progress” towards completion of the security arrangements in order to provide comfort to the people of South Sudan just weeks before the scheduled formation of the R-TGoNU.

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