JMEC praises progress in South Sudan, as peace partners say government may be delayed

(JUBA)- The Reconstituted Joint Monitoring and Evaluation Commission (RJMEC) said significant progress has been made in the implementation of the South Sudan peace deal despite financial challenges.

But peace partners mitigated this statement speaking about a probable delay in the formation of the revitalized government as they still remain far behind the schedules.

Speaking before the fourth meeting of the RJMEC held Thursday in Juba, the interim chairperson Augostino Njoroge said the implementation mechanisms established by the revitalized peace agreement have made considerable efforts ahead of the beginning of the transitional period next May.

The National Constitutional Amendment Committee (NCAC) has concluded its review and amendment of the relevant Security related legislation, said Njoroge adding that the Technical Boundary Committee (TBC) had already made significant progress and is expected to conclude its work in the next few days and to embark on report writing, he added.

The Kenyan general, also, emphasized that the Joint Defence Board (JBD) has reached agreement on cantonment sites for all opposition forces and designated barracks for government forces, the implementation body said on Thursday.

The lack of international financial support to the peace agreement coupled with the long negotiations the parties had to engage in order to complete the missing crucial implementation details in flawed agreement triggered considerable delay in the enforcement of the peace deal.

However, the peace partners showed a high sense of responsibility as a number of confidence-building measures has been taken to create a suitable atmosphere for its enforcement. Also, the signatories worked toured the country to disseminate the peace agreement and encouraged IDPs to return home.

Njoroge reiterated his appeal to all non-signatories to join in the implementation of the peace agreement, and expressed deep concerns on the reported rising insecurity in and around the Yei area.

TRANSITIONAL GOVERNMENT CAN BE DELAYED

However, South Sudanese parties to the peace agreement said the delay in the reunification of the armed forces would probably lead to delay in the formation of the revitalised transitional government.

Speaking to South Sudan in Focus of Voice of America Radio on Thursday two members of the National Pre-Transitional Committee (NPTC) which oversees the implementation process, said that the extension of the new cabinet's deadline is plausible so security arrangements are in place.

NPTC secretary Martin Elia Lomuro said a unified force must be in place before the cabinet is formed.

"That is a condition for the establishment of the transitional government. Without that force, the Transitional Government of National Unity will not be formed. And this is important to all the parties to the agreement," Lomuro told VOA.

Henry Odwar, the NPTC co-chairman and deputy head of the SPLM-IO, agreed with Lomouro on the need to form the unified army before the formation of the new government.

The two officials also raised the issue of the 32 states pointing that two months before the formation of the new government on 12 May they are still waiting for the report of the TBC report to allow the Independent Boundaries Commission to determine the number of states.

Odwar insisted on the need to reach an agreement on the number of states now before pointing that the SPLM-IO does not trust the incumbent government to hold a credible referendum, as provided in the peace agreement.

Source: Sudan Tribune

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