Public demands dissolution of NTC as adoption of roadmap looms

Public demands dissolution of NTC as adoption of roadmap looms
Charles Gituiai,R-JMEC interim chairperson and President Salva Kiir

A section of members of the public have called for the dissolution of the National Transitional Committee to allow other institutions steer the implementation of the peace agreement. 

Public voices was captured in a survey conducted by the Community Empowerment for Progress Organization (CEPO) between June and July across the 10 states and the three administrative areas.

The quick survey, according to CEPO, was specifically designed to gauge public opinion regarding the future of the Revitalised Agreement on the Resolution of Conflict in the Republic of South Sudan.

The participants in the survey have recommended that the Presidency, Council of Ministers, and Transitional National Legislative Assembly should take care of implementation of the remaining tasks of R-ARCSS instead of NTC.

The National Transitional Committee was referred to as an ad hoc committee and a resource-consuming entity that has no direct connection to political decisions regarding the implementation of the agreement, according to the report shared by Edmund Yakani, the Executive Director of CEPO, who spoke with City Review Tuesday.

He added “The basis is that it is only adhoc committee. Let them take charges that gives us the opportunity to hold them accountable and to question the political will of implanting the agreement”.

 “They (respondents) believe adhoc committee at the stage of peace agreement should be abolished because it consumes resources and it delays political decisions”. So, they feel like the presidency is directly engaged in political decisions for the implementation, then the council of ministers and the parliament. These are bodies that are directly involved in political decisions” Yakani explained to City Review.

Yakani bought into the notion that the NTC should be disbanded, claiming that the committee had repeatedly asked for money to fund the graduation of the unified forces and had resisted being audited.

 “I buy that idea that it should be dissolved actually even if personally I stand that ground because we have been calling for them to be audited but there is no move” said Yakani.

President Salva Kiir established the national transitional committee (NTC) in 2020, immediately following the initial stages of the transitional period after the pre-transitional period had ended, with the intention of monitoring the security arrangements for force unification and coordination of security mechanisms until the unified forces are graduated and deployed.

During the pre-transitional phase of the revitalised agreement, the former National Pre-Transitional Committee (NPTC) was also constituted. President Kiir announced the membership of the ten-member committee on September 25th, 2018, to oversee the eight-month pre-transitional period activities for the formation of the new government.

Establishments

The revitalised agreement’s Article 1.4.7 charged NPTC with the responsibility of supervising and coordinating the execution of the Pre-Transitional Period’s activities, including the establishment of boundary committees and commissions to settle disputes over the number of states in South Sudan and, if necessary, submit the issue to a referendum.

The members of the committee were drawn from parties to the agreement. Five members of the SPLM-IG and five members of the opposing parties were chosen to serve on the committee. Two members came from the SPLM-IO, one from the SSOA, one from the FDs, and one from the OPP.

Church leaders in the country questioned former NPTC leaders for transparency and accountability in November 2019 in response to reports that the government of South Sudan had released $40 million of the $100 million it had promised to the National Pre-Transitional Committee (NPTC).

Before the end of the pre-transitional period, the parties to the agreement were supposed to train, reunite, graduate, and redeploy 83,000 necessary unified forces, including unified commands, but as of now, the forces at the training centres who have spent nearly three years there have not yet been graduated.

After the initial allotted eight months for the process of implementing security arrangements ended without producing anything in that chapter to lay the groundwork for the formation of the unity government, the pre-transitional period was twice extended.

To complete the pre-transitional security arrangements outlined in the revitalised agreement, the National Transitional Committee requested at least $40 million in October 2021. The necessary unified forces must be trained and redeployed within eight months of the agreement’s signing, but nearly four years now, most of the provisions, including those relating to pre-transitional tasks, are still unfulfilled. This is true even though there are only seven months left in the transitional period.

The R-TGoNU contributed SSP3,473,849,079 to the NTC during the pre-transitional period, which is equal to$20,801,021. The total expenditure was SSP 3,473,770,582, which is equal to $20,801,021, and the bank balance was SSP 78,497, which is equal to $470. The head of administration and finance at NTC revealed this financial breakdown in the 19th plenary of R-JMEC.

The staff said that 2,714,598,002 (78 percent) of the total expenditure was spent on security arrangements, primarily on food and non-food items, unified forces training, field visits assessment, housing for security mechanism members, mobility, and office operating costs.

He stated that NTC paid $154,741,735 in unpaid bills, the majority of which, according to NTC, were incurred during the Pre-Transitional period (NPTC).

On the other hand, in January of this year, traders hired by NTC to provide food to cantonment sites demanded payment from the committee for the goods they delivered between July 2019 and May 2020, a delay that the traders blamed on the failure of their businesses.

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