National, News

Security arrangements running short of time- Peace Monitors

By Bida Elly David


South Sudan runs short of time to implement security arrangements per peace agreement schedule as election time draws closer.

The development worries Ceasefire and Transitional Security Arrangements Monitoring and Verification Mechanism (CTSAMVM).

CTSAMVM is a body established to monitor implementation of 2018 peace agreement signed by parties to end conflict in the country.

Chairperson of the peace monitoring body, Hailu Gonfa Edossa cites lack of progress in the training of phase two Unified forces and the deployment of the remaining unified combatants.

“Time is running out. Action must be taken. It is disappointing,” Edosa remarked during a meeting on Tuesday.

The chief peace monitor notes a delay to deploy other security sectors of the National Unified Forces, graduated in the first phase.

“There have been no concrete developments concerning the National Unified Forces (NUF), Phase 1 graduates from the NSS, Police, Civil Defense, Wildlife and Prison services” he observed.

Edossa urge parties to the peace agreement to take action.

He also raises questions about readiness of security forces and their ability to ensure a smooth electoral process.

Formation of the NUF is a vital prerequisite for the upcoming elections; so far only about 6% of the planned 83,000-strong NUF has actually been deployed.

The CTSAMVM chairperson expressed concern over lack of clarity regarding commencement of Phase 2 training and deployment.

He said the delays in implementing the security arrangements would adversely affect the upcoming elections.

CTSAMVM applauds South Sudan government for a positive move in paying members of the National Unified Forces attached to SPLM/A-IO and South Sudan Opposition Alliance (SSOA).

However, the body appeals to the government to consider paying salaries to combatants under the military wings of other parties to the agreement.

Edosa revealed that that there were disturbances in Yambio last week when some National Unified Forces (UF) soldiers were not paid.

However, the issue was resolved and all soldiers in the unit received salaries.

Meanwhile, Major Gen. Chuol Ruey, a representative of SPLM/A-IO demands seriousness in implementation of chapter two of the agreement despite the improvement through salary increment.

“We should work towards achieving the goal of stability and peace,” he said.

In his part, Rabi Mujung Emmanuel, representative of the Interim Transitional Government of National Unity (ITGoNU) echoed the need to speed up the implementation of the remaining tasks of the agreement.

Mr. Mujung noted that it is the parties’ responsibility, peace stakeholders as well as people of goodwill such as the international community to support the government in overcoming some of the difficulties.

“The implementation of these aspects requires funding and I think this is also an issue of the operation of CTSAMVM,’’ he added

Major General Bior Geek representative of South Sudan opposition Alliance applauded the Joint Defense Board for clearing salaries of the unified forces in Yambio as a mechanism to mitigate military grudges.

With less than 8 months to the conduct of elections, there is seemingly no consensus among the parties on whether the elections should take place or not.

The Sudan People’s Liberation Movement in Government (SPLM-IG) has firmly maintained that elections will proceed as scheduled this year.

However, the Sudan People’s Liberation Movement in Opposition (SPLM-IO) seems to differ. Recently it proposed that the transitional government be extended for an additional 24 months before conducting elections.

The SPLM-IO argues that the extension would allow for the enactment of a permanent constitution and the completion of other pending tasks outlined in the peace roadmap.

Machar’s political camp argued that several critical tasks need to be addressed before the election can take place, such as the completion of security arrangements, the establishment of a permanent constitution, the conduct of a population census, the implementation of judicial reforms, and the resolution of refugee repatriation and internal displacement.

The Umbrella of Other Political Parties (OPP) and the South Sudan African National Union Party have also rejected the two-year extension proposal, expressing their readiness for the elections.

Speaking to the media last week, information minister Michael Makuei revealed that there will be a party dialogue to address concerns raised by those who are not ready for the election.

He assured that any decision regarding participation in the election will be determined through this dialogue, which will take place ‘soon.’

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