Politicking should be out of peace implementation -Activists

Civil society activists demand the Transitional Government of National Unity [TGoNU] to stop “politicking” and commit itself to the implementation of the peace agreement saying “integrate politics” should not be used as a cover for the slow implementation of the agreement.

Speaking to Juba Monitor on Wednesday, Jame Kolok the Director of Foundation for Democracy and Accountable Governance (FODAG) welcomed the IGAD Communiqué and said the outcome of the summit resonates well with some of the calls made by the civil society especially in regards to implementation of the Peace Agreement.

“The agreement is in a very critical stage and we have seen little progress in terms of implementation of most of the provisions within the agreement. There are a lot of provisions within the agreement that have not been implemented and if the parties continue at their current pace, the agreement will not achieve the objective of which it was signed for,” Kolok said.

Kolok said the call by IGAD for the parties to the agreement to revitalize full implementation of the Agreement on the Resolution of the Conflict in South Sudan (ACRSS) resonates well with the civil society’s call for inclusivity even within the context of the national dialogue.

He said since the outbreak of the July 2016 conflict, there have been fundamental changes in terms of the key principals to the agreement. “We realize up to now the dynamics have changed. There are some key principals that are no longer party to the government and yet they were very important. Some principals are still out of the implementation process and yet they command a huge following and this includes those who have taken up arms against the government,” Kolok said.

“Revitalization of the peace agreement does not mean implementing the agreement in the current context of the existing individuals in the government but revitalization of the agreement in the changing dynamics in which there are many factions and groups that have taken arms against the government including the exclusion of Dr. Riek Machar who is a fundamental and principal person to the agreement,” he said.

He added that the national dialogue is not a sub to the peace agreement but only there to compliment it. “The agreement is the legal document through which we could achieve permanent peace in the country,” he said.

Kolok said the national dialogue should consider provisions of Chapter five which talks about transitional justice, healing and accountability and hold perpetrators of human rights violations and violence.

He said a formidable platform should be established to ensure that the national dialogue does not sideline the preference of the victims who seek for justice.

Merekaje Lorna, the Secretary General of South Sudan Democratic Engagement, Monitoring and Observation Programme (SSUDEMOP) said as the civil society, they want justice and accountability to be delivered.

Merekaje applauded IGAD, UN and AU for their commitment to ensure that measures are put in place to hold accountable individuals and groups causing humanitarian crisis and committing human rights and violations and added that they hope to see this efforts implemented.

“We want to see it being implemented because it has taken so long from the time the agreement was signed. There are several mechanisms that are supposed to ensure accountability and serve justice to the citizens but it did not move to that level and so I hope the cooperation between IGAD, AU, and UN will be the much needed boost,” Merekaje said.

Guot Gabriel Manyang, the Chairman of Greater Upper Nile Concerned Youth for Peace and Stability (GUNCY-PAS) applauded IGAD and JMEC for their role in the country but also blamed JMEC, AU, UN, and Troika for not doing enough stating that they seem to be recognizing the architectures of 2016 violence.

“Those who are responsible for the violence in 2013 and July 2016 must be held accountable,” Manyang said.

By Sasuk Taban

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