15th May 2021
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Peace deal implementation requires goodwill, not lots of resources

Author: Emmanuel Joseph Akile | Published: Friday, April 16, 2021

Larry André, U.S Acting Ambassador to South Sudan makes a point during an interview on Eye Radio Friday, April 16, 2021. Credit|Lou Nelson/Eye Radio

The implementation of the revitalized peace agreement does not require a lot of resources, but goodwill from the leaders, the acting US ambassador to South Sudan has said.

Amb. Larry André believes the agreement has been held back by the unwillingness of the political parties to work towards the same goal.

It is now two years since the Transitional Government of National Unity was formed in Juba, and three years since the signing of the peace deal in Khartoum.

The United Nations says the agreement has not had an impact on the security and humanitarian conditions of the South Sudanese.

This is because some ambitious reforms agreed upon have not been initiated or completed.

They include the economic sector reforms, the reunification of forces and the security sector reforms, the reconstitution of the national and state legislatures, and the constitutional making process, among others.

The government often claims that the delay is due to a lack of funding, but Amb. André says some of the provisions do not require resources.

He called for goodwill and unity of purpose to achieve the goals of the agreement.

“Much of less to be done is completely within the power of South Sudanese leadership, it takes political will; it doesn’t take resources,” Amb André said on Eye Radio’s Dawn.

Though large-scale political violence has subsided in the country, the UN says clashes continue to be reported between communities, and between the government and groups that did not sign a peace deal.

A recent report by the UN Mission in South Sudan revealed that community-based militias were responsible for 78 percent of killings and injuries caused to civilians in the country in 2020.

It said this is more than double the previous year.

The activities include abductions and conflict-related sexual violence during attacks, and attacks on civilians by gunmen along the highways linking the capital Juba to the countryside.

Amb. André urged South Sudanese leaders to restore public confidence in their country through service delivery.

“Let’s get back to 2011, the spirit of a united people to achieve prosperity and development, education for their children, and good health. All of that is within the country’s grasp,” the diplomat added.

Last week, David Shearer, the former head of UNMISS, shared the same sentiments by calling on the leaders of South Sudan to make the “courageous decisions to unify the army,” and picking up the pace on constitution-making, transitional justice and economic reforms.

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