Withdrawal of US funding insignificant

By Adia Jildo

A senior member of the Former Political Detainees (FDs) who is a representative to the Ceasefire Transitional Security Arrangement Monitoring and Verification Mechanism (CTSAMVM) Leek Bior has described as insignificant the US withdrawal of its funding to the peace monitoring bodies.

The United States Department of State this month announced its decision to end assistance for the South Sudan peace process monitoring mechanisms effective 15 July as it assesses the next steps.

The Information Minister and government’s spokesperson Michael Makuei had earlier asked the US to reconsider its decision to suspend their support to the peace monitoring bodies describing it as a setback.

“We are asking America to review its decision because it is not correct and is a setback,” he was earlier quoted.

Makuei however noted that the suspension of funding by this U.S. government signifies that they are not happy with the speed at which the agreement is being implemented.

While on the contrary the FD senior member claimed that the United States Government’s funding to the peace mechanism was interest-driven and its withdrawal won’t affect the implementation of the peace agreement arguing that its presence was hampering the mechanism due to its segregation.

Leek slammed the US in his remarks at the opening of the CTSAMVM Technical Committee Meeting on Friday in Juba.

“The presence of the US was hampering the mechanism because it was for their interest that they supported,” he said. “They chose to support because they were pursuing their interest. After they failed to get their interest, then they decided to call it off,” Leek exclaimed.

The FD representative to CTSAMVM stated that the US withdrawal was a positive step as no one had invited them to support the peace implementation process citing a segregated support to US members and not the nationals.

“In CTSAMVM, they chose and took over the secretariat. They chose because they have their interest there,” Leek noted.

“I welcome their withdrawal let them go because nobody has welcomed the US to come and support. They contributed their money and they have chosen what they want to achieve after they contributed their money to the CTSAMVM,” he said.

Leek stressed that the field trips were made unbearable as conditions of filling the vert were too harsh to the extent of the registration that included the whole family.

Meanwhile the senior representative of the South Sudan Opposition Alliance (SSOA), Samuel Chan said the US should have blamed the Inter-governmental Authority on Development (IGAD) as guarantors to the Revitalized Peace Agreement for its snail pace implementation.

“IGAD is too reluctant on the implementation of the peace agreement,” he said citing the inactivity of IGAD monitoring.

Samuel said the American tax payers’ money, is to pay for a process that was successful and showed progress.

“I don’t only blame the parties for the delay to the agreement but IGAD has also played a regional role,” Chan echoed.

He blamed the parties to the agreement for not being critical in the selection of the international monitors.

“The separation of the national monitors from the international and CTSAMVM, is here to hamper our work,” he said.

The SSOA senior member underlined that bringing of international monitors from countries neighbouring South Sudan was wrong saying some are taking part in the South Sudan’s political crisis.

“Some of them are involved in our conflict. They have a very big hand to what is happening in this country. How do we know their coming is of a great value in CTSAMVM when some of them fought physically?” he questioned.

He argued that the presence of the peace monitors selected from countries neighbouring South Sudan might be a reason as to why the country had one issue over another.

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