By Simon Deng
South Sudan’s First Vice President Riek Machar has called on President Salva Kiir to speed up allocation of funds to critical institutions within the transitional unity government to implement their mandate in order to consolidate peace.
“The president (Kiir) has to go through the (peace) agreement listing all institutions that are established by this peace agreement and have a check of institutions that have not been budgeted for. Failure to budget for them will be failure to deliver peace dividends that are needed by people,” said Machar during a peace dialogue in Juba on Thursday.
Machar singled out the Ministry of Gender, Child and Social Welfare and Ministry of Peace Building allocated to his Sudan People’s Liberation Movement-in opposition (SPLM-IO) among institutions starved of budget to run their activities.
“Each institution has a role to contribute to peace building, failure of any one of them to contribute to peace building will affect the process of peace implementation,” he added.
Machar called on the recently established state governments to consolidate peace building, adding that building policy framework allows all institutions to contribute to peace in the country.
Stephen Par Kuol, Minister for Peace Building and also member of SPLM-IO in the coalition government said his ministry has already conducted several peace retreats around the country.
Kuol noted that peace building should not be left alone to the Ministry of Peace Building.
“We have been doing peace retreats to create harmony among people in the states, we all know that it is not the leadership of ministry of peace building alone to implement the agreement and bring peace,” said Kuol.
He added that peace implementation is a collaborative exercise involving all government institutions and partners.
South Sudan descended into conflict in December 2013 after political disagreement between President Salva Kiir and his then Vice President Riek Machar caused split within the army, leaving soldiers loyal to the respective leader to fight.
The conflict killed tens of thousands and displaced over 2 million people both internally and externally.
The former warring parties are sharing power in a transitional unity government under the 2018 revitalized peace deal.
The parties have already established some of the critical institutions under the peace deal but are yet to graduate the 83,000 unified force to take charge of security during the transitional period.