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Transitional period to be extended -Civil Society

The voluntary civil society taskforce on the implementation of the Agreement on the Resolution of the Conflict in South Sudan (ARCSS) and the Centre for Peace and Development Studies of the University of Juba have recommended the extension of the transitional period.

On Tuesday, 15th August, 2017, the activists and the academia released a peace implementation monitoring report.

In order to get the reaction of the government to these recommendations, Juba Monitor called the Minister of Cabinet Affairs in the Transitional Government of National Unity (TGoNU), Dr. Martin Elia Lomuro. He promised to talk to us later because he was busy in a meeting.

In the monitoring report seen by Juba Monitor, the groups said the agreement is far behind schedule because most of its provisions have not been implemented.

“The parties did not practically demonstrate commitment and leadership to fully implement the peace agreement. About 75 percent of the transitional period has elapsed without significant achievement in implementing the provisions of the agreement.”

“The agreement did not succeed in ending violence, restoring stability, reforming public institutions and improving the living conditions of ordinary citizens across the country,” the statement added.

The report said the parties only managed to implement provisions in Chapter One of ARCSS, which included power-sharing in TGoNU, the reconstitution of the National Legislative Assembly as the Transitional National Legislative Assembly (TNLA).

The activists acknowledged that the submission of the draft amended text of the Transitional Constitution to the Ministry of Justice, the creation of the Ministry of Federal Affairs and the continuation of the amendment of legislation by the National Constitutional Amendment Committee were “positive steps”undertaken by the parties to the agreement.

However, they lamented the delay in establishing the transitional justice institutions enshrined in chapter five of ARCSS.

Rajab Simon Mohandis, the Executive Director of South Sudanese Network for Democracy and Elections (SSuNDE) who read the report on behalf of the South Sudanese Voluntary Civil Society Taskforce and the Centre for Development Studies said, “The Transitional Government of National Unity failed to draft legislation for the establishment of the transitional justice institutions.”

He further said, “The government has undermined the transitional justice process by failing to allocate money for the Commission of Truth, Reconciliation and Healing process and instead allocated and pledged a significant budget for the National Dialogue.”

Amongst the key recommendations, the activists and the academia recommended that the 30-month-transitional period be extended for two years in a bid to give the parties enough time to implement the ARCSS.

“The renewed timeline should be flexible in permitting a very limited extension of the transitional period to June 2020 to allow for full implementation of the revitalized ARCSS and should be strict in presenting consequences for any party or guarantor that willfully violates the provisions of the revitalized ARCSS,” the activists recommended.

They added that the extension of the transitional period should,“include the complete resignation of the entire transitional government and their replacement with a ‘technocratic government’ that will lead the country to democratic elections and end the long endless cycle of transition.”

The activists and the academia also recommended that the high-level revitalisation forum process for ARCSS should be “inclusive” and participation of all stakeholders should be on “equal footing.”

“These stakeholders should include civil society, faith-based groups, women groups, youth groups, academics, TGoNU, all political forces within and outside the country and all Sudan People’s Liberation Movement-In Opposition (SPLM-IO) factions and other armed groups.”

“It is worth mentioning that today marks two years following the singing of ARCSS.The ARCSS was signed on 17th August 2015in the Ethiopian capital, Addis Ababa, following extensive negotiations that went on for twenty months”.

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