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Peace monitors urge AU to engage parties to implement pending peace tasks

The Chairperson of the Reconstituted Joint Monitoring and Evaluation Commission (RJMEC), Charles Tai Gituai on Thursday called on the African Union to engage more with parties to the 2018 revitalized peace agreement to complete the pending peace tasks.

Gituai appealed to the AU members and the AU C5 comprising of South Africa (Chair), Algeria, Chad, Nigeria and Rwanda, to enhance their political engagements with the parties and the RTGoNU, to encourage them to complete the unification of forces and the making of the permanent constitution so that South Sudan can have a smooth transition to a democratic dispensation.

“Two critical pre-conditions are still pending. Firstly, the Revitalized Agreement provides for elections to be conducted under a people-led and people-owned Permanent Constitution, which shall initiate a federal and democratic system of government at the end of the Transitional Period. Secondly, the unification of the forces should have been completed and the forces redeployed to provide elections-related security, among others. The unification of forces faces serious challenges, and yet, it is the most consequential for stability and enduring peace,” said a statement issued by RJMEC in Juba.

Gituai was speaking during a meeting with the AU Peace and Security Council in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia.

South Sudan is scheduled to hold its first democratic elections in December 2024 since attaining independence in 2011.

Gituai said holding elections comes with a lot of expectations and anxiety.

The RJMEC Chairperson further welcomed the recent reconstitution of the Political Parties Council (PPC), the National Constitutional Review Commission (NCRC) and the National Elections Commission (NEC).

“These institutions will require significant resources and capacity to deliver on their mandates.  In that regard, their effectiveness will pave the way towards registering, overseeing, and regulating activities of political parties, widening of civic and political space, the making of the permanent constitution and for the conduct of elections as scheduled,” Gituai said.

“Without predictable and adequate funding towards the implementation of the Agreement, including the necessary unified forces and the recently reconstituted institutions, we express the concern that South Sudan might have a challenge in meeting the implementation schedule of the R-ARCSS, and this could seriously jeopardize the holding of elections in December 2024,” it said.

Furthermore, he underscored the critical role the Council and other international partners can play, adding there is an urgent need for this Council, IGAD and the international partners to deliberately focus their attention and proactively play their roles to ensure South Sudan successfully transits to a democratic dispensation.

Gituai appealed to the Council to continue standing firm in solidarity with the people of South Sudan.

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