By Sheila Ponnie
All security mechanisms of the Revitalized Peace Agreement have been urged to speed up the process of opening cantonment sites for forces of parties to the peace act.
Augustino Njoroge is the interim Chairperson of the Reconstituted Joint Monitoring and Evaluation Commission (RJMEC)-a body tasked to monitor the implementation of the September 2018 peace agreement.
Njoroge spoke yesterday in Juba during the seventh monthly meeting of the RJMEC together with the National Pre-Transitional Committee (NPTC).
The interim RJMEC chairperson also urged the NPTC to immediately avail their mandatory resources to the mechanisms.
“I call upon all parties to step up to joint confidence building measures, from the highest political level to the grassroots,” Njoroge said.
The Interim RJMEC chairperson said despite an apparent reduction in reported cases of Sexual Gender Based Violence, it remained a concern.
“I urge the parties to the Agreement to take steps to eradicate SGBV in their areas of responsibility, to ensure protection and safety of women and girls in areas under their control, and to continue with accountability measures for those found culpable of SGBV Violations,” he said.
Njoroge also said he was informed that the Independent Boundaries Commission [IBC] is writing its report which is expected to be completed in the next few days.
“As per the revitalized agreement, the report of Independent IBC shall be presented to the IGAD Executive Secretary, who will then communicate the same to the Parties,” he said.
Njoroge added that challenges of denial of access to ceasefire monitors has considerably improved since late April, with only one new instance of denial of access by the SSPDF reported.
According to the Revitalized Agreement on the Resolution of the Conflict in South Sudan, Article 220.127.116.11 states that NPTC shall submit monthly reports to the chairperson of the RJMEC, the parties and other stakeholders.
Gabriel Changson Chang, Deputy NPTC chairperson in a report he presented, said that NPTC has facilitated travel, accommodation and meeting expenses of all the SPLM-IO members for the implementation mechanisms from Juba to Khartoum for internal consultation.
“Due to the extension of the Pre-Transitional Period, the Amended Constitution Bill was withdrawn from the National Ligature to incorporate the six months extension period,” he said.
He emphasized that the National Constitutional Amendment Committee (NCAC) received the amended withdrawn bill and will be now incorporating the extended six months Pre-Transitional Period.
Chang said the NPTC Budget committee is currently reviewing the work plans and programs of all the mechanisms to re-align the budget with the six months Pre-Transitional Period.
“The budget re-alignment will take into account the increase of forces from 75,000 to 83,000 that were agreed on during the workshop of the Security Mechanism. Cantonment sites and training centers will also be reflected,” Chang explained.
He added that the Joint Defence Board sent out teams to the Greater Upper Nile, Greater Bahr-el Ghazal and Greater Equatoria to look at the proposed cantonment sites assessing available facilities.