S. Sudan Civil Society backtracks on roadmap criticism

S. Sudan Civil Society backtracks on roadmap criticism
Akuoch Ajang Nyanhom, the chairperson of SSCSA speaks to journalists on Monday in Juba. [Alex Bullen, The City Review]

The South Sudan Civil Society Alliance (SSCSA) backtracked on its recent stance against the signed roadmap and declared its support for the initiative.

In July, the group warned that it would not endorse the roadmap if it failed to address the thorny issue of the election. This was after President Salva Kiir had received the document from a three-member committee.

But speaking ahead of the unified forces graduation yesterday, Akuoch Ajang Nyanhom, the chairperson of SSCSA, said the group had resolved to back the initiative after carefully going through the document.

Although the implementation of the roadmap is yet to be seen, according to the group’s chairman, there is a very strong hope that it will lead the country to peaceful elections if fully implemented.

“SSCSA wholeheartedly commends the leadership of parties to the peace agreement for their timely decision to extend the legal period of the transitional penned on August 2022 in Juba, Republic of South Sudan,” Mr Nyanhom stated.

He said the people of South Sudan and the international community want the parties to unconditionally commit themselves to implement the pending chapters within the timeframe they agreed. 

“South Sudan Civil Society Alliance hereby throws its weight behind the parties to the agreement who harmoniously pledged once more to achieve final peace in the country, leading to reconciliation of the masses,” the group’s chairman said.

SSCSA is expected to have a final endorsement in the first month of September, according to the chairman, Nyanhom.

“We received and reviewed the document, and we believe that the document has hope if implemented fully.”

“Therefore, on the first of September, we, as the members of RJMEC, will endorse the document officially,” he added.

He reiterated the group’s continuous observance of the cessation of hostilities throughout the country by the parties.

Nyanhom urged the parties to maintain full control of South Sudan’s sovereignty and protect its territorial integrity from external aggressors, including those who try to subject South Sudanese to mental torture.

The activist further encouraged the parties to the agreement to recommit themselves to engaging the holdout groups to finalise the principles of the Rome Declaration and reach final peace in the country.

For the 24-month extension period to offer more opportunities and preparation to the parties for democratic elections, the alliance recommends that the parties to the agreement should reconcile and accept each other by working harmoniously despite differences to ensure the success of R-ARCSS.

It argues that the government and humanitarian actors should work to facilitate the voluntary return of IDPs and refugees who yearn to go back to their homesteads to rebuild their lives.

Nyanhom appealed for humanitarian assistance to be provided to flood-affected people throughout the country.

Besides this is the operationalization of the institution of Demobilization, Disarmament, and Reintegration (DDR).

He called on the government to immediately avail funds to the security mechanisms to complete the remaining security tasks, including remaining training and graduation of the unified forces.

They demanded that the government must make more funds available for the implementation of the remaining pre-transitional tasks.