23rd August 2019
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Defense Minister believes pre-transitional issues may go beyond November

Author: Emmanuel Akile | Published: 3 weeks ago

South Sudan Defense Minister, Kuol Manyang Juuk speaks to Eye Radio on Monday July 29, 2019 at his office in Bilpam, Juba. PHOTO: Emmanuel Akile/Eye Radio

The Minister of Defense has expressed doubts over the likelihood of the parties implementing all the provisions of the security arrangements within the remaining four months as agreed in May this year.

Kuol Manyang says the impassable roads as a result of heavy rains and floods, and the challenges in cantoning forces on time, are some of the challenges affecting the timeline of the pre-transitional period.

Last month, the National Pre-Transitional Committee, NPTC, said it was still experiencing shortages of funds, with only four months left for their term to end.

In May, the parties agreed to extend the pre-transitional period up to November 2019, then form the government of national unity.

This is to allow for the implementation of outstanding security arrangements.

These arrangements include; the cantonment, training, unification and deployment of forces across the country.

Last week, the Co-Chair of the NPTC, Gabriel Changson said it is likely that some of the provisions of the pre-transitional period will be implemented even after the formation of the coalition government.

The Defense Minister, Kuol Manyang agrees.

“For relief services to reach to the cantonment sites is difficult, roads are not functioning now, and we also don’t have facilities for river transportation such as the vessels, some areas are flooded. So it is not feasible,” said Kuol.

“I think it will take us up to the dry season.”

He told Eye Radio on Monday in an exclusive interview that history shows that not all the aspects of any agreement are implemented within the allocated timeframe.

Kuol added that it only requires trust and goodwill by all the leaders to ensure proper reforms are undertaken without constraints.

“Even the CPA wasn’t implemented 100%, but we -headed by Dr. James Wani -went to Khartoum –even before the forces were sent to Khartoum,” he said.

Earlier, the parties said the extension is to avoid a repeat of the 2016 scenario where there was more than one Commander-in-Chief in Juba, completing the security arrangements before the formation of the ReTGoNU will sustain the agreement through the transitional period.

But representatives of the UN, the African Union, and international partners said the formation of the next coalition government should not be pushed beyond November 2019.

They said there are no pre-transitional tasks that cannot be achieved within a unified transitional administration, arguing that decisions within a transitional government will be made collectively and transparently.

The coalition government is expected to lead the country for 3 years, then followed by general elections in 2022.

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