Implement Khartoum peace deal to secure Upper Nile, RJMEC tells gov’t

Implement Khartoum peace deal to secure Upper Nile, RJMEC tells gov’t
Maj. Gen. Charles Gituai, RJMEC Interim Chairperson. [Photo: Courtesy]

The Reconstituted Joint Monitoring and Evaluation Mechanism (RJMEC) called upon the signatories of the Khartoum Peace Agreement to review the accord and fast-track its implementation.

Ambassador Berhanu Kebede, Chief of Staff for the Reconstituted Joint Monitoring and Evaluation Mechanism (RJMEC) told Radio Miraya its cause using the elders and the community leaders in Upper Nile State.

“I would like to take this opportunity to express my sympathy and condolences to those people who are affected by this intercommunal conflict.” I think the R-TGoNU has to undertake some serious work to find the genesis of this conflict, “Amb Berhanu told Radio Miraya’s Gabriel Shadar.

According to Kebede, fast-tracking the Khartoum Peace Agreement signed between Agwelek forces of Johnson Olony and Kitgwang forces of Simon Gatwech Dual with the government of South Sudan would help to de-escalate tension in parts of Upper Nile, where lives have been lost and property destroyed.

“Those involved in this agreement have to come together and try to really address the problem, otherwise it will continue to affect the livelihoods of the ordinary people,” RJMEC’s Chief of Staff cautioned.

He emphasised that solving the conflict was outside the RJMEC’s scope of mandate since the feuding parties were not parties to R-ARCSS.

“When you look at the nature of this conflict, they are not fighting among the parties that R-JMEC monitors.” These are organizations that are outside the R-ARCSS but they all have direct or indirect implications on the peace of this country,” Berhanu noted.

The Khartoum Peace Agreement was signed on January 16, 2022, by a government delegation led by presidential advisor on national security, Tut Gatluak Manime, and Kitgwang and Agwelek forces to end conflict in the Upper Nile.

The agreement was such that Agwelek and Kitgwang forces should be integrated into the South Sudan People’s Defence Forces (SSPDF) within six months, SSPDF should provide necessary logistics, and Kitgwang and Agwelek forces should be relocated from Upper Nile to other areas for stability to return to the area.

President Salva Kiir Mayardit granted them amnesty on the day of signing and asked them to apologise to the people of South Sudan for their wrongdoing.

However, the agreement took a long time to materialise until a second wave of violence and a split occurred between the two allied forces of Simon Gatwech and Johnson Olony.

In June 2022, Gatwech threatened to return to the bush if his delegates were not allowed to meet President Salva Kiir Mayardit, and when Khartoum Peace Agreement was not implemented.

Kiir later met Kitgwang delegates and assured them of the full implementation of the Khartoum Peace Agreement.