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RJMEC congratulates S. Sudan on the formation of the new Revitalised Transitional Government of National Unity

By Ambassador Lt. Gen. Augostino S.K Njoroge

Never before has South Sudan had such a golden opportunity to write her own history in the way it does now. Significant compromises were made on the issue of the number of states, which paved the way for the country to enter the Transitional Period of the Revitalised Peace Agreement of South Sudan. I offer my congratulations to H.E. Salva Kiir Mayardit, President of the Republic of South Sudan, for his leadership.

I also offer my congratulations to H.E. Dr. Riek Machar Teny, as the First Vice President of South Sudan, and all the Vice Presidents of the Republic of South Sudan. Collectively, their leadership and commitment to the peace process has led us to this momentous point. RJMEC stands ready to assist in all ways we can to make the Transitional Period a success.

Despite the unfortunate outbreak of the COVID-19 pandemic which has already caused global interruptions, and will certainly impact on the RTGoNU capacity, this collegial Presidency offers an excellent opportunity to provide the leadership necessary for working together for the good of the people of South Sudan, including in the prevention and necessary responses to the Coronavirus pandemic.

The symbolism of the RTGoNU Presidency working together successfully at the highest level, will be a great inspiration to all South Sudanese to reconcile with each other and embrace peace, achieve justice and enjoy their liberty.    

Successful cooperation will be achieved through the smooth functioning of the RTGoNU Ministerial clusters referred to in Articles 1.7.3.3 and 1.8.2.5 of the Peace Agreement. I urge the Vice Presidents leading specific clusters, to do so fairly and impartially and without any reference to their own political parties’ background. Equally, I urge all technical members within the clusters to undertake their duties openly and constructively, without reference to their colleague’s political background. More generally, I urge for high level political meetings to take place regularly between the members of the Presidency.

The swearing-in, of the full executive arm of the RTGoNU, is a welcome development and offers great hope and opportunity to kickstart the full implementation of the R-ARCSS– but there is a lot of work to be done, including uncompleted tasks of the Pre-Transitional Period.

I continue to urge the completion of the pending Pre-Transitional tasks which have been carried forward to the Transitional period. The question must not be if those tasks will be implemented, but how, when and by who? Those responsible must be put to task to give the action plans to ensure the implementation of all the pending tasks, especially the unification of all forces.

Due care and attention must be given to everyone in the cantonment sites, and that includes those who do not qualify for unified organised forces and who are to return to civilian life through the Disarmament, Demobilisation and Reintegration (DDR) Commission. The DDR process must ensure that ex-combatants are disarmed and demobilised, and the government should plan further security sector reforms to continue disarmament across the whole of society as doing so would reduce the growing fatalities in the recurring inter-communal clashes.  There is, therefore, need for well-organised DDR projects to assist the process of reintegration. Expensive as it may be, a robust DDR process is essential for sustainable peace.

I also welcome the progress that has been made with the hold out groups with the Rome Declaration of 12 January 2020 under the auspices of the community of Sant’Egidio and IGAD, and subsequent Agreement Parties’ meeting in Juba, which agreed that the South Sudan Opposition Movements Alliance (SSOMA) should become a member of CTSAMVM and that political dialogue should continue. I urge the Presidency not to lose sight of this important opportunity to bring this group into the peace process.

Additionally, I urge that due consideration be given to inclusivity at all levels of government, including for the full and equal participation of women which is mandatory in the Revitalised Unity Government. In this regard, I want to note with concern the non-compliance by the Incumbent TGoNU in its nomination of fewer than six women into the Executive of the RTGoNU. It is regrettable that the Parties also failed to adhere to the requirement for nomination of at least three women as Deputy Ministers. I urge that immediate steps be taken to remedy this non-compliance.

Finally, I urge continued and constructive engagement with the international community. Collectively, they can provide valuable political support and given that implementation of the Transitional Period task is going to require very significant investments, the Friends and Partners of South Sudan could mobilise further in-kind support and direct funding. As RJMEC, our Secretariat has developed a detailed list of all the activities of the Transitional Period as per the revitalised Agreement, which we look forward to sharing with the RTGoNU, and shall form the basis of our monitoring and evaluation over the next 36 months.  I want to reiterate that the full implementation of the R-ARCSS is the primary responsibility of the RTGoNU and the people of South Sudan demand that all efforts must be directed in this regard. RJMEC will stand with the Revitalised Transitional Government of National Unity and the people of this country in the task of building sustainable peace.  God Bless the people of South Sudan.

The writer is the Inerim Chaiperson of R-JMEC

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