AU calls for full implementation of peace agreement

AU calls for full implementation of peace agreement
President Salva Kiir (centre) meets with delegates from African Union Ad Hoc High-level Committee (C-5. [Photo: Presidential Press Unit]

The African Union has called on the peace partners to complete the implementation of the pending areas of the agreement before the end of the transitional period.

This came after a delegation from the African Union High-level Ad hoc Committee for South Sudan – C-5, met President Salva Kiir and the First Vice President, Dr. Riek Machar, last week in Juba, over the implementation of the agreement.

Ambassador of the Republic of South Africa to the African Union, Edward Xolisa Makaya, told the government to speed up the peace process.

“As the AU C-5, we are happy to hear that progress has been registered on the implementation of the Revitalised Agreement.” Of course, there are outstanding matters that need to be attended to, before the expiry of the transitional government,” said Makaya.

The C5, which is composed of South Africa, Algeria, Chad, Nigeria and Rwanda, is chaired by South Africn President, was established by the African Union Assembly of Heads of State and Government in 2015. The organ was to provide political support to help South Sudan implement the security arrangements. 

On Friday, the delegates pledged full support to the peace agreement and hailed Inter-governmental Authority on Development for successful supervision of the peace process.

The government had been receiving criticism regarding the slow implementation of the Revitalised Peace Agreement especially after a stalemate on the unification of ranks in the forces. 

Breakthrough and delays

But in April, President Salva Kiir confirmed the ranks of SPLM/A-IO and SSOA and announced the unified command structure needed to prepare for the graduation of necessary unified forces.

The process of graduating the forces is expected to take place this month, according to the official spokesperson for SSOA, Brig Samuel Chan Mut.

In April 2022, the Spokesperson of SSPDF, Maj Gen Lul Ruai Koang, disclosed that there was a scarcity of resources to fund security mechanisms to graduate necessary unified forces.

“I met with one of the staff working for JDB. “You know, JDB is a mechanism that distributes resources to other mechanisms when made available by National Transitional Committee, and he told me so far, that they have not received anything from Hon. Tut,” Lul said.

Finances are supposed to be provided by the National Transitional Committee (NTC) led by the Presidential Security Advisor Tut Gatluak Manime.

The government had also been quoted as saying arms embargos were impeding the graduation of necessary unified forces and would rather graduate them with sticks.

Late last month, the United Nations Security Council (UNSC) renewed the arms embargo on South Sudan until May 23, 2023. 

According to the United States outgoing Charge d’Affaires in Juba, David Renz, the government must meet the requirements for the arms embargo to be lifted, among them the graduation of forces, and completion of the transitional period among others.

“If you want the arms embargo lifted; it’s really simple. Implement the peace agreement, graduate forces, complete the transitional period, hold elections that are free, fair, credible and democratic, and swear in your president. The sooner you do that, the sooner the arms embargo will go away,” Renz said.