Critical tasks still pending in peace implementation: monitors
Critical tasks in the implementation of the revitalized peace agreement are still pending as the end of the pre-transitional period draws near, the Reconstituted Joint Monitoring and Evaluation Commission (RJMEC) said on Friday.
The pre-transitional period will officially end on May 12, 2019.
Critical pending tasks include activities towards the unification of forces, which involve the process of cantonment and training, and the determination on the number and boundaries of States, and the composition and restructuring of the Council of States.
Augostino Njoroge, the interim chairperson of RJMEC, said during the 5th plenary meeting in Juba that achievements have fallen way short of what was intended for the pre-transitional period.”
Njoroge expressed concern over continued denial of access faced by CTSAMVM’s Monitoring and Verification Teams (MVTs) in the country.
“During the first quarter of this year, the number of access denials the MVTs encountered totaled to 31. Despite the resolutions of the RJMEC, it is disappointing to note that this is a persistent problem,” said Njoroge.
“I call on the commanders in Juba to hold their field commanders to account and allow free and unfettered access,” he added.
The official noted with “dismay” that findings of investigations into the November 2018 incidents of sexual and gender-based violence in Bentiu have not been made public, nor has RJMEC obtained the full report of government’s probe and actions on the Luri incident.
On 18 December last year, South Sudanese security personnel detained, stripped, blindfolded and assaulted three international observers on duty in Luri, an area located west of Juba.
Meanwhile, Njoroge said South Sudan’s political leaders should address the living conditions of the almost 4 million refugees and internally displaced who are living in very difficult circumstances.
“These South Sudanese citizens are eagerly waiting for the security conditions to improve so as to return to their homes. Their confidence and trust will be enhanced by the commitment of political leaders to significantly improve the security environment for their voluntary and dignified return, hopefully for a better future,” he stressed.
Under the terms of the 2018 peace agreement, RJMEC is mandated to monitor, oversee and support the peace accord implementation.