The UN chief in South Sudan says the formation of the next government of national unity should not be extended beyond the six months pre-transitional period agreed by the parties last month.
In May, the parties agreed to extend the pre-transitional period up to November, 2019.
This is to allow for the full implementation of key provisions such as; cantonment of forces, number of states and incorporation of the revitalized peace agreement into the transitional constitution, among others.
Earlier, David Shearer recommended that President Salva Kiir and Dr. Riek Machar agree to regular face-to-face meetings in order to earnestly supervise the implementation of the pre-transitional issues within the extended six months period.
Shearer said regular meetings between Kiir and Machar will help them “review the progress, build trust and confidence and extend a signal to South Sudanese that the agreement is on track.”
On 14th May, President Salva Kiir expressed doubts about the possibility of achieving anything much within the additional six months.
He said the rainy season may interfere with the full implementation of the provisions of the pre-transitional period.
For his part, the leader of the SPLM-IO, First Vice President-designate, Dr. Riek Machar said he will not return to Juba unless such provisions are implemented.
The parties had agreed to mobilize funds, demilitarize towns -including Juba, train and deploy joint VIP protection units, and canton all forces up until November 2019.
But David Shearer said “we should see the peace process as a living document not set on stone.”
He was addressing the UN Security Council on Tuesday where he reported a significant decline in political violence across the country -noting that this has encouraged internally displaced persons to seek resettlement to their homes.
The head of UNMISS said such stability should be maintained to ensure people resume their lives, and catapult South Sudan to its developmental path.
Shearer said UNMISS, the region, African Union and international partners are in agreement that the next coalition government should be promptly established in November, 2019 -without further delays.
“There are no pre-transitional tasks that cannot be achieved within a unified transitional administration. The African Union, IGAD and the UN are strongly unified in our position that the six months extension should be the last one,” he said.
Last month, the African Union Envoy for Infrastructure Development, Raila Odinga -after visiting President Kiir in Juba – called on the parties to the peace agreement to redouble their efforts in ensuring all pre-transitional arrangements are completed before November, 2019.
Mr. Odinga said South Sudanese should not again miss the deadline to form a government so that the country “start functioning normally.”
He called on the leaders to show “concern to the people of South Sudan [who] are yearning for peace and development.”
The timeline of the extended pre-transitional period is from 12th May 2019 and ends on November, 12th, 2019.
“We accept that some tasks may not entirely be completed by November…[but] there are many advantages to decisions made within a transitional government, because they will be made collectively, transparently, and better able to be held to account by citizens.” David Shearer said.
In May, the parties argued that implementing the aspects of the security arrangements during the pre-transitional period would guarantee the stability of the next government.
Read related story: https://eyeradio.org/formation-of-new-government-pushed-to-november-2019/
They said they want to avoid a repeat of the 2015 scenario where there were more than one commander-in-chief in Juba, adding that the unification and deployment of necessary forces prior to the formation of the RTGoNU will sustain the agreement through the transitional period.
The parties also acknowledges that the failure in the previous 8 months of the pre-transitional period was due to financial constraints, slow dissemination, lack of trust among the leaders, capacity gaps within the various security mechanism, coordination gaps as well as inadequate support from the international partners.
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