Kiir finally dissolves TNLA ahead of formation of new Parliament

South Sudan’s President Salva Kiir Mayardit, in a presidential decree, has dissolved members of Parliament ahead of the establishment of the new R-TNA slated to be formed next week.

Earlier this week, the Presidency held a high-level meeting and agreed to speed up the formation of the Reconstituted Transitional National Legislative Assembly that has long been overdue.

“Further to the Press Statement issued on the outcome of the meeting of the Presidency that was held yesterday Tuesday, Feb 2, 2021, the Ministry of Presidential Affairs hereby wishes to declare that the said meeting also resolved that the (R-TGONU) shall finalize the reconstitution of the Transitional National Legislative Assembly (R-TNLA) and the Council of States on or before February 15, 2021,” the Presidency declared a statement.

Kiir has been accused by members of the opposition of dragging his feet on the implementation of the peace agreement by reluctantly refusing to dissolve the old Parliament of the now-defunct 32 states.

Workshop on Constitution-making stalled as ITGNU refuses to attend

The Kiir administration has refused to nominate three participants to attend a crucial workshop on Permanent Constitution-making, said Oyet Nathaniel Pierino, SPLM-IO Representative to NCAC.

“For the past two (2) months, RJMEC pursuant to the Agreement, Chapter Six; (Art. 6.7-9) has been engaging Parties to the Agreement to kickstart the process of the Permanent Constitution Making for South Sudan. Series of consultative and sensitization meetings/workshops took place with Parties and Stakeholders but the ITGNU refused to take part,” he said.

“Each party to the Agreement were requested to nominate 3 participants to the Permanent Constitution Making Workshop planned for first week of February, 2021; all parties nominated their representatives, except ITGNU.”

In accordance with R-ARCSS, the Permanent Constitution Making for South Sudan is one of the most critical milestones in the Agreement since:

1)—It shall enact a Federal System of government in South Sudan;

2)—The upcoming General Elections for South Sudan shall be held under the new Constitution;

3)—The Constitution shall resolve a number of outstanding governance issues in South Sudan pertinent to addressing root causes of the conflict in the country.

The opposition accused the Kiir administration of dragging it feet on the implementation of the peace agreement.

“The ITGNU, the party to Agreement didn’t appoint its representatives to participate in the workshop on Permanent Constitution Making despite several notifications; and refused to take part in the preparatory consultative and sensitization meetings.”

President Kiir, Machar had rare conversation for the first time

President Salva Kiir Mayardit and his Deputy Dr. Riek Machar were seen sharing ideas on January 30, 2021 |Photo: File

South Sudan’s President Salva Kiir Mayardit and his Deputy, Dr. Riek Machar, were seen on Saturday having normal conversations and exchanging views for the first time since the formation of the coalition government.

The key leaders were applauded on social media for showing a positive gesture and sharing ideas on current issues affecting the world’s youngest nation.

They were also encouraged to continue holding similar meetings as part of the trust-building effort as the nation is seen slowly getting back on the right track.

“This is actually encouraging, I hope they will continue with the same spirit and understanding,” said a social media user identified as Emmanuel Chol D.

Since the outbreak of the conflict in mid-December 2013, Kiir and Machar have had a bad working relationship and the two have never exchanged views on how to tackle the country’s deep-seated problems.

“Such a positive interaction between our leaders is a sigh of relief for the people of South Sudan, I wish the newly appointed Governor and his Deputy the best of luck as they begin the first phase of reconciliation in Upper Nile State,” another user wrote in the comments section.

South Sudan’s leaders signed an agreement in September 2018 aimed at ending years of violence that has driven millions from their homes and outside the country.

However, the implementation of key components of the agreement fall behind schedule, including security arrangements, the formation of Hybrid Court, and the reconstitution of the Transitional National Legislative Assembly.

Last week, the R-JMEC called on the parties to accelerate the graduation of the Unified Forces that are currently undergoing training in cantonment areas.

“We believe that the successful implementation of PCTSA is a guarantee to a permanent foundation of enduring peace in the South Sudan. Protracted delays and passing of time without progress is detrimental to the overall situation in South Sudan,” said peace guarantors in a joint statement.

SSPDF soldiers accused of raping women, forcing kids to drink alcohol

SSPDF soldiers walking away after stealing UNICEF-issued backpacks meant for children |Photo: AlJazeera
SSPDF soldiers walking away after stealing UNICEF-issued backpacks meant for children |Photo: AlJazeera

The National Salvation Front (NAS), in its latest report, has accused the SSPDF of committing horrific crimes, including rape, forcing children to drink alcohol, and brutally mutilating civilians on ethnic grounds.

The non-signatory group strongly condemned the action and called on the ceasefire monitors to investigate the these crimes and the recent violation of the Cessation of Hostilities Agreement (CoHA) in the Equatoria region.

“The Leadership of National Salvation Front (NAS) informs its members, supporters, the people of South Sudan and members of International Community about the latest violation of Cessation of Hostilities Agreement (CoHA) by the South Sudan People’s Defense Forces (SSPDF),” the group alleged in a statement.

“On 21 st and 22nd December 2020 respectively, a force of SSPDF under Loka West detachment committed heinous crimes against civilians; raping three (3) women, maiming (7) people, forcefully making members of Revival Community of Episcopal Church of South Sudan (ECSS) to drink alcohol, looting properties and burning several huts.”

The NAS leadership pointed an accusing finger at the SSPDF for breaching the Permanent Ceasefire by committing serous crimes in different parts of the country including Western Bahr El Ghazal State.

“These crimes are serious violations of Cessation of Hostilities agreement (CoHA) which aimed at protection of civilians and provision of unhindered access to humanitarian assistance. The regime has also been flagrantly violating COHA and committing heinous human rights violation in Western Bahr el Ghazal State killing innocent civilians.”

“The Leadership of NAS condemns in the strongest possible terms these heinous crimes of the SSPDF and the regime of Salva Kiir and holds the SSPDF and the President Kiir responsible for committing ethnic-based crimes in South Sudan. It is very unfortunate and alarming that, these crimes are being committed in full glare while the peace monitors are watching and being indifferent.”

“NAS assures the people of South Sudan that the Movement will continue to struggle for their aspirations and will defend civilians whenever they are subjected to different kind of mistreatment by the regime of Salva Kiir. NAS calls on the people of South Sudan to take charge of their destiny; speak out and defend themselves against criminals of Juba regime.”

“The Leadership of NAS renews its commitment to addressing the root causes of the conflict in the country to achieve sustainable peace to creating a responsible governance system that protects civilians and deliver basic services to the people of South Sudan without ethnic, gender or regional discriminations.”

Latest: R-JMEC condemns SSPDF for accepting defections

South Sudan's armed forces holding up their guns a sign of victory | Photo: File
South Sudan's armed forces holding up their guns a sign of victory | Photo: File
South Sudan’s armed forces holding up their guns a sign of victory | Photo: File

R-JMEC | Press Statement

October, 2020 (Thessherald)–The Reconstituted Joint Monitoring and Evaluation Commission (RJMEC) expresses its concern at fighting in the Yei River area, reportedly caused by the defection of a General from the SPLM/A-IO to the SSPDF.

Furthermore, RJMEC strongly condemns all loss of life and displacement of civilians, and urges the parties involved to come swiftly to the table and resolve any issues through dialogue. In this regard, we commend the ongoing efforts of the Joint Defence Board to investigate the issue and avoid the repetition of such incidents in the future.

Whether it is referred to as ‘defection’ or ‘change of allegiance’, the important point is that the Revitalised Peace Agreement in South Sudan has made commendable progress in the past two years since its signing and this must not be allowed to weaken because of instability caused by defections or accepting defections, which is contrary to the letter and spirit of the Agreement.

The joint training centre at Moroto, which was also the scene of some fighting in recent days, is one of 18 functioning training centres in South Sudan. Each training centre is a symbol of the unity which is being forged through creating a unified national army, and any threat to this is reprehensible. In this regard, I have requested CTSAMVM to investigate and report on its findings.

Whatever the source or driver of instability, RJMEC reminds all parties that the diplomatic architecture exists to manage all issues peacefully. In addition to the Revitalised Peace Agreement of 2018, there is the Cessation of Hostilities Agreement of December 2017, the Rome Declaration of January 2020 and the Rome Resolution of February 2020, all of which affirm the signatories’ commitment to pursue dialogue and the protection of civilians.

As South Sudan moves into its third year of implementation of the R-ARCSS, it is clear that much remains to be done in a short time. RJMEC condemns any action by any party which detracts from the important work of peacebuilding in the country, and joins all other voices in urging constructive dialogue.

Originally published by R-JMEC 

S. Sudan peace on fragile ground, as parties hit deadlock on power-sharing at states’ levels

(Thessherald)–South Sudan’s peace monitors have raised grave concerns over the ongoing delays in allocating and sharing responsibilities at the levels of states and urged the parties to urgently end the impasse.

The comes as the main signatories to the peace deal disagreed over the appointments of state governors, state ministers, legislators and county commissioners.

Last week, the Interim Chairperson of the Reconstituted Joint Monitoring and Evaluation Commission (RJMEC), Ambassador Lt. Gen. Augustino Njoroge, appealed to the parties to amicably resolve the deadlock.

Speaking at the meeting, the head of the R-JMEC praised the steps taken by the parties and their commitment to ensuring that the agreement is fully implemented without further delay.

Njoroge noted that any further delay in the finalization of responsibility sharing at the state and local governments would also delay the completion of the establishment of the unity government’s structure and composition.

Latest: Parties set to form cabinet tomorrow

President Salva Kiir and the interim Chairman of the Reconstituted Joint Monitoring and Evaluation Commission, Amb. Augostino Njoroge discussed the delay of the appointment of Cabinet Ministers/Photo: PPU

(Thessherald)–The Chairman of the Revitalized Joint Monitoring and Evaluation Commission, Augostino Njoroge has said that the new cabinet will be announced on Friday.

Speaking to Radio Tamazuj on Thursday, the interim chairperson of peace monitoring body confirmed that the opposition is expected to submit its list today ahead of the appointment of the new ministers.

“The SPLM-IO could deliver their list today (Thursday) and then the announcement be made tomorrow,” Augostino Njoroge, said interim chairman of the Revitalized Joint Monitoring and Evaluation Commission (JMEC).

The head of the peace monitoring body indicated that the formation of a coalition government requires commitment and total dedication, and he called on the public to remain calm.

“The issue of ministerial appointments lies in the hands of the parties to the peace agreement. But in all my interactions with the parties, I have urged trust and confidence-building,” he added.

Njoroge assured the citizens that there are no other pending issues that would undermine the formation of the new government.

“Through my interactions with His Excellency the President, and His Excellency the First Vice President, I am assured that the R-TGoNU will be announced at the end of this week and that there are no political issues that could cause any further delay.”

For his part, the deputy spokesman of the main group, Manawa Peter Gatkuoth, pointed out that they had submitted the list of their nominees to President Salva Kiir on Thursday.

“We have submitted our list of cabinet nominees today morning. So, the announcement of the transitional cabinet is now left to the president,” he confirmed.

“We have finalized the selection of individuals to be appointed in the cabinet. We have nominated nine ministers, three deputy ministers and three state governors.”