24th September 2020
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UK diplomat ‘a bit frustrated ‘ with delays in peace implementation

Author: Emmanuel Joseph Akile | Published: Saturday, September 5, 2020

UK Ambassador to South Sudan, Chris Trott. | Credit | Courtesy

A diplomat has expressed his disappointment with the slow pace implementation of the revitalized peace agreement in South Sudan.

United Kingdom’s Ambassador to South Sudan submits that the partial implementation of the RARCSS is hindering the provision of services and security across the country.

According to the implementation matrix of the peace deal, many provisions should have been implemented by now.

These include; the reconstitution of the transitional national legislature, the reunification of forces, full establishment of state governments and constitutional making process, and the economic sector reforms.

As per the agreement, the National Constitutional Amendment Committee was supposed to draft and complete a Constitutional Amendment Bill within 21 days upon the signing of the deal in September 2018.

It also says within 90 days, the committee is to review and complete amendments to relevant national security legislation to bring their provisions into conformity with the Agreement.

The agreement also provides for the reconstitution of commissions which include, Anti-Corruption Commission, National Audit Chamber, Relief and Rehabilitation, Human Rights, Judicial Service, Civil Service, Refugees, National Petroleum and Gas and South Sudan Broadcasting Corporation among others.

But most of these ambitious reforms have not been initiated or completed.

“We are now nearly 2 years since the signing of the peace agreement,” said Ambassador Chris Trott.

“There should be a revitalized parliament in place, appointments of all the political appointees, we still haven’t had the graduation of any of the necessary unified forces who have been in training since March,” he added.

Last month, the Revitalized Joint Monitoring and Evaluation Commission said mistrust between the parties, intercommunal violence, and the impact of the coronavirus pandemic has contributed to the slow pace of implementation.

RJMEC particularly raised concerns over the delays in the restructuring and reconstitution of the Transitional National Legislature and the structures of the state and local governments.

Ambassador Trott told Eye Radio that the institutions established by the agreement are crucial for service delivery.

“For us as partners of South Sudan, when we are working on education [or] health, we need to work with state-level administration, we need to work with state Ministers of Education and Health, and these people haven’t been there since March,” he stated.

Last month, Dr. Lam Akol, a senior member of the Opposition Alliance accused the SPLM of derailing the implementation of crucial tasks within the peace deal.

He maintains that the slow implementation of such provisions such as; the reconstitution of the transitional national legislature, the reunification of forces, full establishment of state governments and constitutional making process, and the economic sector reforms -are due to the lack of political and financial commitment from President Salva Kiir’s side.

“All these issues are still outstanding, the party to blame is the government, the SPLM-IG,” Dr. Lam insisted.

However, the government spokesperson, Michael Makuei deflected the blame to the South Sudan Opposition Alliance and the SPLM-IO.

“What is this feud which is uncalled for?” he asked. “This idea of accusing the I-TGoNU all the time is the one derailing the agreement.”

Michael Makuei described the utterances by Dr. Lam as ‘propaganda.’ He instead blamed the other parties for delaying consultations meant to address issues within the agreement.

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