20th October 2020
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US concerned over continued delay in peace implementation

Authors: Garang Abraham | Daniel Danis | Published: Thursday, July 30, 2020

A photo session after seven governors took oath of office at J1 in July2020 | Credit | Presidential Unit

The government of the United States has expressed concerns over delays by peace parties to reconstitute the National Legislature and establish functioning state governments.

On Tuesday, a member of the Opposition Alliance asked President Kiir to respect the resolution of the regional Heads of State by dissolving the parliament.

This appeal came a week after leaders of the IGAD countries, in a meeting attended online by President Salva Kiir, gave South Sudan’s peace parties one-week ultimatum to reconstitute the parliament.

IGAD heads of State told the peace parties to also agree to form state governments within the 7 days.

However, the recommended deadline elapsed last Thursday.

Based on the 2018 peace agreement, President Kiir is expected to dissolve the current parliament.

The peace deal also requires the parties to submit names of nominees to the National Constitutional Amendment Committee for verification.

The verified list will then be forwarded to the President for the appointment of new members of the transitional national parliament.

Besides this, President Kiir and the SPLM-IO leader, Dr. Riek Machar, are yet to agree on a governor for Upper Nile state.

In a statement seen by Eye Radio on Wednesday, the US Embassy in South Sudan said it is disturbed by the continuous delays in the implementation of inceptive aspects of the peace deal.

The embassy stressed that it has been five months since the establishment of the unity government, and yet there continue persistent delays in the establishment of the revitalized transitional national legislative assembly.

It added that the continued dispute over the governorship of Upper Nile, and the continued absence of empowered State and County administration is worrying.

The new peace accord further states that the reconstituted TNLA shall, in the conduct of its business, support the agreement and enact legislation that enables and assists the transitional processes and reforms described in the accord.

The role of parliament, among others, is to make laws and hold the government to account for its policies, actions, and spending.

Once reconstituted, its duration and term, according to the new peace deal, the august house shall run concurrently with that of the new unity government until elections are held.

Activists say the failure to reconstitute the parliament has led to the delay in the passage of a new financial year budget.

“The people of South Sudan deserve a budget that is transparent, participatory and one that reflects the deeply altered economic situation,” the statement by the Embassy of the US reads.

It asserted that the leadership of South Sudan has merely extended the provisions of a previous budget that has no legislative oversight.

“…no information that people can discuss or see, to say where the money is going. Instead, the people of South Sudan once again must wait in vain for the leadership of the government to do the right thing,” it added.

The embassy maintains that the ambitious reform agenda established by the parties in the peace agreement is slowly fading.

They include, among others; permanent constitutional process, economic governance reforms, and transitional justice institutions.

“We applaud the work being done by many ministries to plan for their role in implementing these reforms; however, we note that time is passing quickly with no movement on a complex array of priorities,” the embassy said.

It urged the presidency and the Council of Ministers not to be hindered from conducting meetings because of the coronavirus pandemic.

The US embassy recommended that such meetings be conducted remotely to move the peace implementation forward.

“The meetings of the collective presidency should not be affected by COVID-19, the council of ministers should be meeting now. The business of accountable governance must and should proceed even in these trying times,” it concluded.

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