JUBA – A South Sudan civil society watchdog is urging the government in Juba to observe transparency following the decision of the world’s youngest country to send a battalion from its South Sudan People’s Defense Forces (SSPDF) to help restore peace in the Democratic Republic of Congo where rebel M23 group has been advancing since mid this year against government forces.
President Salva Kiir Mayardit who is also the commander in chief of the SSPDF on Wednesday dispatched at least 750 soldiers from the army to the Democratic Republic of Congo to join counterparts from other East African Countries.
In a statement this afternoon, the Community Empowerment for Progress Organization (CEPO) urged the government to observe transparency and for the force to also respect human rights during their mission to the volatile East African country.
“The Community Empowerment for Progress Organization (CEPO) is urging the government to observe high level of transparency in this mission accomplishment,” CEPO said in the statement extended to Sudans Post on Thursday morning.
Edmund Yakani, the Executive Director of CEPO said there is need for a high-level of transparency and for the South Sudan soldiers to not involve in violation of human rights during their mission which he said has its own consequences.
“The high level of transparency is required from the government on the issues of recruitment of soldiers through observation of human rights due diligences process, training content of the soldiers on the tasks expected from them, sources of payments for their dues/salaries and logistics, social services and welfare including forces rotational system and period,” Yakani said.
“If the forces commend leaders observe high discipline centered on respect rule of law, human rights and principles for protection of civilians under peacekeeping mission, then they deliver impressive results for the role of the South Sudan in contributing for regional peace and security,” he added.
He further stressed that “The political situation in the country demonstrates characters of political immaturity in relation to meaningful and effective participation in regional peace and security agenda championing. But the soldiers dedicate commitment to the principles of peacekeeping mission than they can registered good history for the nation and their actions under peacekeeping mission will shape the urgency for transformation and reform of our security and defense sectors.”
“The political leadership of the country is required to have proper working strategy enacted by the national parliament for administering the participation in the DRC peacekeeping missions,” the prominent activist stressed.
“CEPO is urging the government to ensure that small civilian component for striking efforts for our soldiers’ compliance with principles and ethic of peace keeping mission is required. Attachment of civilians’ component is essential and this can include facilitation of regular civil society participation in the exercise of monitoring and evaluation of our soldier’s compliance with the principles of peace keeping.
“Observation of UNSCR 1325 on women, peace and security in deploying our soldiers to DRC is importance and specific the aspect of women meaningful participation in peacekeeping missions in accordance to our constitutional affirmative action of 35% for women. It is impressive that female solider was the holders of our flag for the forces declaration as South Sudan Peace Keeping contribution in DRC under East Africa Community Peacekeeping Mission
“Finally, CEPO will be working with the East African civil society organization to play oversight role of monitoring the enforcement of the East African Community Peacekeeping mission in DRC where South Sudan is a contributing country.”