Civic groups write to JMEC as implementation of R-ARCSS moves at a snail’s pace

Representatives of Civic Groups in the Mechanisms of R-ARCSS
Juba, South Sudan
June 9, 2020

South Sudan’s leaders, Vice President Taban Deng Gai, FVP Dr. Riek Machar, President Salva Kiir Mayardit and James Wani Igga posing for a group picture at the State House, Juba| Photo: File

The Interim Chairperson, Reconstituted Joint Monitoring and Evaluation Commission (JMEC).

Re: Petition of Concerns on the slow Progress in Implementation of the Revitalized
Agreement on the Resolution of the Conflict in the Republic of South Sudan (R-ARCSS)

We, representatives of civic groups in the implementation and oversight mechanisms of the RARCSS present our compliments to Your Excellency and the Secretariat of the Reconstituted Joint Monitoring and Evaluation Commission (R-JMEC).

Your Excellency, we present this petition as an expression of deep displeasure with the slow progress in implementation of the R-ARCSS. Acting on behalf of the civil society, women, youth, academia, business community and eminent persons, that we represent in the various institutions of the R-ARCSS, we submit that the slow and inconsistent nature of implementation of the RARCSS make the peace agreement almost dysfunctional and incapable of meeting its intended objectives.

The R-ARCSS is a result of the High-Level Revitalization Forum (HLRF), authorized by 31st Extra-Ordinary Summit of IGAD Assembly of Heads of State and Government on June 12, 2017 primarily to restore permanent ceasefire, fully implement the peace agreement and develop revised realistic timelines and implementation schedule towards peaceful democratic elections at the end of transitional period.

Your Excellency, it is nearly 21 months since the 44-month peace agreement was signed. Core Pre-Transitional activities, particularly the security arrangements and resolutions of the issue of the states, which were supposed to be accomplished within the first eight months of the R-ARCSS, still remain outstanding. The process of training, unification and deployment of forces have stalled and appointments of legislators and state governors remain unclear due disagreements over allocation of states among the parties.

Meanwhile over three months of the Transitional Period have since elapsed with incomplete formation of the Revitalized Transitional Government of National Unity (RTGoNU), the institution mandated by Article 1.1.1 and Article 1.2.2 of the R-ARCSS to implement the peace agreement and restore permanent and sustainable peace, security and stability in the country. As much as the national government was formed, the states and local governments which are also core to implementation of the R-ARCSS are missing.

Your Excellency, the persistent failure to genuinely and timely implement these core tasks of the R-ARCSS and establish viable government structures and presence across the country has escalated insecurity and made people at the states more vulnerable especially at such a time when collective leadership is required to maintain peace and security and fight a deadly COVID–19 pandemic.

In recent months, incidences of insecurity, including large scale intercommunal violence have been on the rise in most parts of the country, particularly in the Greater Pibor Administrative Area; Jonglei, Lakes, Warrap and Unity States.

This is likely to continue with the absence of local authorities and disciplined unified national forces to protect civilians. The Permanent Ceasefire and commitments to cessation of hostilities under the Rome Declaration are also being grossly violated especially in the defunct Yei River State.
Your Excellency, the primary purpose of this petition is to bring to your attention that implementation of most chapters of R-ARCSS has not kicked off while those that have kicked off have realized little progress.

We, the non-partisan stakeholders are deeply concerned about the aforementioned issues of national importance and therefore petition R-JMEC to:

  1. Exercise its mandate under Chapter Seven of the R-ARCSS to conduct a comprehensive evaluation of the status of implementation of the R-ARCSS and provide an accurate report of the matter including on viability of this peace agreement to all parties, stakeholders, guarantors, the African Union and the United Nations Security Council.
  2. Responsibilities of R-JMEC and the Ceasefire Transitional Security Arrangements Monitoring and Varication Mechanism (CTSAMVM) to continuously monitor compliance with all provisions of the R-ARCSS do not cease due to COVID-19 situation. IGAD and RJMEC should contextualize monitoring processes of the R-ARCSS within the current situation of the pandemic to ensure it is not interrupted.
  3. Ensure parties form state and county governments and reconstitute the Transitional National Legislature as a matter of urgency.
  4. Ensure full implementation of the Transitional Security Arrangements including training, unification and deployment of forces.
  5. Ensure adherence to the provisions of the Permanent Ceasefire and the Rome Declaration.
    Your Excellency, please, accept the assurances of our regards on this matter.
    Presented by:

1 Rajab John Mohandis M Civil Society R-JMEC
2 Akuoch Ajang Nyanhom M Civil Society R-JMEC
3 Caroline Kibos F Youth R-JMEC
4 Malish John Peter M Youth R-JMEC
5 Rita Lopidia F Women R-JMEC
6 Mary Akech Bior F Women R-JMEC
7 Shiekh Mohamed Hassan Morjan M Faith-based R-JMEC
8 Rev. John Okumu Hakim M Faith-based R-JMEC
9 Prof. Moses Machar M Eminent Person R-JMEC
10 Prof. Francis Deng M Eminent Person R-JMEC
11 Prof. Pauline Riak F Academia R-JMEC
12 Simon Akuei Deng M Business Community R-JMEC
13 Yar Manoa Majok F Business Community R-JMEC
14 Molana Reech Ring Bol M Civil Society NCAC
15 Chol Majur Nhom M Civil Society NCAC
16 Wani Michael Saki M Youth NCAC
17 Merakaje Lorna F Women NCAC
18 Edmund Yakani M Civil Society SDSRB
19 Angelo Madut Agoth M Youth SDSRB
20 Minagano Lydia F Women SDSRB
21 Angelina Samuel Nyawela F Women SDSRB
22 Rev. Lomeling Francis Philip M Faith-based SDSRB
23 Albino Kyenybil M Youth SDSRB
24 Lt. Gen Malwal Bol (Rtd) M Academia SDSRB
25 Shiek Vitale Aligo Samson M Civil Society CTSAMVM
26 Sarah Nyanath Elijah F Civil Society CTSAMVM
27 Augustino Deng M Youth CTSAMVM
28 Ms. Nyaura Bol F Youth CTSAMVM
29 Victoria F Faith-based CTSAMVM
30 Aluel Atem F Women CTSAMVM
31 Gen. James Loro M Eminent Person CTSAMVM
32 Juma Charles M Business Community CTSAMVM
33 Dr. Siham Mohammed Osman F Academia CTSAMVM

Cc: All parties to the R-ARCSS
Cc: All RJMEC Members
Cc: Chairpersons of all oversight and implementation mechanisms of the R-ARCSS

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