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South Sudan peace gaining momentum, says ceasefire monitor

Major General Ibrahim Abdeljellil, CTSAMVM Chairman, speaking during the second board meeting of the ceasefire monitoring body (photo credit CTSAMM):

By Woja Emmanuel

South Sudan’s peace monitoring body, the Ceasefire and Transitional Security Arrangement Monitoring and Verification Mechanism (CTSAMVM) said on Wednesday that the South Sudan peace process is gaining momentum.

The body met in Khartoum for its fourth meeting since it was restructured after signing of the South Sudan Revitalized peace Agreement.

The Ceasefire and Transitional Security Arrangements Monitoring Mechanism noted that since the signing of the revitalized peace deal by the South Sudanese warring parties, the peace process had begun to gather significant strength, adding that the speeches delivered during the National Peace Celebration as well as the release of high profile opposition figures indicated seriousness of the parties to implement the peace agreement.

“Since the last meeting, the peace process has gained further momentum. Leaders from all parties joined hands in celebrating the R-ARCSS on October 31st, 2018, in Juba. The warm and reconciliatory speeches to the public demonstrated the Parties serious commitment to the peace process. The release of high profile Opposition figures from detention is also a commendable gesture which will go far in building trust amongst the Parties,” Maj. Abdeljellil said.

The Ceasefire Monitoring body noticed that the ceasefire is still being observed in major parts of the country; however, some areas are still witnessing insecurity.

“As previously reported the Ceasefire continues to hold in the majority of the country, however, there are still some areas experiencing hostilities. On November 1st 2018, a Joint Team composed of party representatives and CTSAMVM staff made a successful visit to Yei Town and Panyume,” he said.

The CTSAMVM chairperson pointed out that the recent meeting between commanders from both sides yielded fruits and the opposing commanders agreed to keep their respective forces under restraint.

“Representatives of the parties collectively communicated to local commanders the clear commitment of party leadership to the Permanent Ceasefire and Transitional Security Arrangements. All the forces in the area agreed to establish lines of communication with Opposing Commanders and gave commitments to ensure their forces remain in their positions and do not carry out any hostile action that is prohibited by the ceasefire agreement,” the CTSAMVM chairperson said.

The Ceasefire Monitoring body, which has been tasked with supervising the implementation of the permanent ceasefire, said it was still receiving reports of allegations from both sides.

“Unfortunately, despite the decisions of the last meeting, CTSAMVM is receiving an increasing number of allegations from the parties, including reports of fighting, recruitment, displacement, and sexual Gender Based Violence (SGBV).

Maj. Abdeljellil said there was an ongoing fighting in the Wau area and continued reports of conflict in the Yei area, revealing that CTSAMVM teams were repeatedly denied access on verification activities by the SSPDF senior commanders and once by the SPLA-IO.

He said all parties have completed nominations to the CTC bodies but said they were forced to postpone training program for national monitors as the contact information provided by the parties was not sufficient.

He called upon the warring parties to work together for peace.

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