15th October 2019
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NPTC still struggling with meager resources -Changson

Author: Charles Wote | Published: 4 months ago

[Left-Right] Gabriel Changson, NPTC Co-chair, Dr Elia Lomuro, Secretary, Michael Makuei, member, and Peter Mayen, member during meeting In Juba. PHOTO: Emmanuel Akile/Eye Radio

The deputy chairperson of the National Pre-Transitional Committee says the body is still experiencing shortages of funds, with only four months left for their term to end.

Gabriel Changson Chang said the committee has spent the last two months trying to mobilize enough resources to implement its activities.

The term of the NPTC was extended last month after the parties agreed it was crucial to first implement the aspects of the security arrangement before the formation of the government of national unity.

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

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

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

The Joint Defense Board recently dispatched its members to the fields to begin the screening and training of forces. It also agreed to train and deploy 12, 000 troops as part of the VIP protection unit.

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

On Tuesday, the head of UN Mission in South Sudan said it would be prudent for the parties not to expect to complete everything within the extended period, and not forming a coalition government in November, 2019.

David Shearer said some tasks should be completed even after the formation of the reconstituted government.

In May, the government pledged to make available an additional $100 million to expedite the implementation of the pending task.

It said it will fund the pre-transitional period using money from the oil and non-oil revenues.

But the NPTC leadership says attracting donor money has been the main challenge.

The Troika [United States, United Kingdom and Norway] who are the main development donors for South Sudan have been reluctant to fund the process, citing lack of proper accountability measures and the strong will by the parties to respect the agreement in latter and spirit.

They said the funds should be spent transparently in order to create trust between the international community and the government of South Sudan.

Troika also stressed that the peace funds must be used as budgeted for and made public for South Sudanese to view their expenditures.

Read related story: https://eyeradio.org/use-the-peace-funds-as-intended-to-attract-international-donors-troika-eu/

Gabriel Changson said this is greatly affecting the speedy implementation of the pre-transitional items.

“We are left with four months, [and] it has become a real challenge with resources not available. This challenge will be more critical as we move forward,” Changson told a workshop, Wednesday, organized by the NPTC in partnership with the Community Empowerment for Progress Organization, CEPO.

In April, Mr. Changson said that it is possible to reduce the budget of the NPTC if it receives material support such as; tents, food, medicines and military uniforms, among others.

“Therefore, we should double our efforts in getting resources,” he said on Wednesday.

Changson appealed to the international community to also provide support.

Dr. Martin Elia Lomuro, the Minister of Cabinet Affairs who is also the Secretary of the NPTC, said there is a need to also sensitize the stakeholders and the public on the content of the peace agreement.

He believes support can be rallied around the agreement, if people understand its importance.

“Dissemination must be understood properly because it is intended to cement all of us around the agreement,” said Dr. Elia.

He added that elaborating the content of the agreement to the public will help facilitate the smooth implementation of the security arrangements being put in place during the pre-transitional period.

Elia said such dissemination will help make the “assembling of forces, cantonment of forces and training of forces and deployment of forces [easy] for people to understand why the new forces have been unified.”

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