May 7, 2020 (Thessherald)–On Wednesday, the Office of the First Vice-President dismissed rumors, alleging that the Parties had shifted their focus from implementing the peace agreement to responding to the COVID-19 pandemic.
James Gatdet Dak, Press Secretary in the FVP’s Office explained that despite the challenges posed by the COVID-19 pandemic, the implementation of the peace agreement is on the right track and has not been affected.
“It is not true that leaders and Parties to the 2018 Revitalized Agreement on the Resolution of the Conflict in South Sudan (R-ARCiSS) have abandoned the implementation of the Agreement and only focused on Covid-19 disease. The two are being tackled concurrently,” he assured.
He pointed out that the parties are working around the clock to resolve the stalemate on the issue of states, appointment of governors and counties’ commissioners.
“The Presidency has been trying to resolve the states issues in order to form the States governments and reconstitute the national legislature in accordance with the Peace Agreement.”
He also highlighted the issue of power-sharing, especially the allocation of the ten states, noting that the agreement has not been finalized.
“Although an agreement has been reached on the allocation of the 10 States in terms of numbers as to how many go to which Party, the Presidency is yet to agree on which state(s) go to which Party.”
“R-TGoNU has been also working as Clusters, and the Governance Cluster has already recommended to the Council of Ministers for resolution the Matrix for the implementation of the R-ARCiSS. Other four Clusters on Economy, Services, Infrastructure, and Gender and Social Welfare have been equally working on issues pertaining to their respective Clusters.”
“Established Mechanisms including in the Security Sector have been working on the implementation of relevant respective provisions of the Agreement, such as the transitional security arrangements,”
He stated that COVID-19 has become a global crisis being given priority around the world and South Sudan is no exception.
“However, Covid-19 disease has also imposed itself as a priority among priorities! It is a threat to reckon with. The response to the disease in combating it also automatically affects many aspects in the implementation of the R-ARCiSS.
South Sudan is currently in a partial lockdown due to the Coronavirus. For instance, the banning of movement between states and to Juba, and vice versa, and the social distancing guidelines, etc., have adversely affected practical implementation of some aspects of the Peace Agreement.”
“The President of the Republic, H. E. Salva Kiir Mayardit, is the Chairperson of the High Level Taskforce, deputized by the First Vice President, H. E. Dr. Riek Machar Teny. A number of relevant Ministers to the response are members in the Taskforce. This doesn’t mean they have abandoned the implementation of the Agreement.”