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NPTC inaugurates new offices

Author: Obaj Okuj | Published: Saturday, June 29, 2019

Members of the NPTC in a previous meeting in a hired hotel venue. The body can now meet within its secretariat. PHOTO: Courtesy

The National Pre-Transitional Committee has established a new secretariat expected to reduce the cost of rentals and help fast track the implementation of the peace agreement.

The 32 offices will accommodate members of various security mechanisms, the boundaries commission, and constitutional review body, among others.

The NPTC is tasked with the function of oversight and coordination of the implementation of the agreement during the pre-transitional period.

The new secretariat will also serve as offices for co-chairs and sub-committees.

William Loch, an official at the new secretariat said the mechanisms that are crucial to the pre-transitional period such as the Joint Defense Board, will be operating from the secretariat building.

“We have about 32 offices, all these offices caters for all the mechanisms, the security mechanism, the JDB, the JMCC, JTSC and SDR board, etc” he said.

The new administrative unit has meeting halls that will also be used by the mechanisms.

Recently, civil society organizations and members of the public complained that the NPTC was spending a lot of money meant for the actual implementation of the peace agreement by hiring luxurious hotel venues for its meetings and accomodating delegates.

The secretariat is now expected to eliminate wastage on hotel venue hiring.

But the NPTC still pays hotel accomodation for its delegates. The body tried to cancel such luxury, but was reportedly met with internal opposition.

It had directed the various hotel managements to stop offering rooms and food to the delegates.

Read related story: https://eyeradio.org/nptc-maintains-accommodation-of-peace-delegates-in-hotels/

A few days later it reversed the decision saying it “encountered serious challenges in their decision to transit the delegates from the hotels to alternative accommodations.”

The body’s Secretary, Dr. Martin Elia Lomuro said it wants the process of transition to be “harmonious, peace and smooth to avoid conflict that would interfere with the implementation of the peace agreement.”

Last week, the deputy chairperson of the committee said they are still experiencing shortages of funds, with only 4 months left for their term to end.

Gabriel Changson Chang said “it has become a real challenge with resources not available” to implement pre-transitional activities.

Read related story: https://eyeradio.org/nptc-still-struggling-with-meager-resources-changson/

It’s main challenge has been in convincing South Sudan’s biggest donors to support the process.

The Troika [United States, United Kingdom and Norway] have been reluctant to offer financial support, citing lack of proper accountability measures and the strong will by the parties to respect the agreement in latter and spirit.

However, observers and the main guarantors in the region have publicly expressed satisfaction with the stability in the implementation of the agreement since September last year. Violence across the country has drastically declined, and humanitarian corridors have been opened.

Others have nevertheless expressed concerns that “time is quickly runing out” for the NPTC to accomplish all its tasks.

It is yet to facilitate the training, unification and deployment of forces across the country.

So far, majority of the forces have been cantoned, but some have complaint about lack of food and other facilities -including shelter.

The NPTC previously proposed a $285 million budget to also cover activities of its sub-committees and the national constitutional amendment committee.

The revitalize peace agreement mandates the NPTC with the drawing up of a roadmap for implementing political tasks, and addressing the issues of VIP protection.

Other tasks includes the demilitarization of civilian centers – including Juba, the number of states and constitutional amendments.

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