Troika declines to endorse extension of peace deal
“With today’s vote in the Reconstituted Joint Monitoring and Evaluation Commission (RJMEC) to extend the transitional period, South Sudan’s leaders again extended their time in power despite failing over the past four years to deliver fully on the commitments they made in the 2018 Revitalized Agreement on the Resolution of the Conflict in the Republic of South Sudan (R-ARCSS).”
JUBA – The Troika countries (United States, United Kingdom, and Norway) have declined to endorse the extension of the transitional period, saying the unity government “did not take the opportunity for meaningful engagement with civil society and other agreement stakeholders, which we believe increases the chances of successful implementation.”
On Thursday, members of the Reconstituted Joint Monitoring and Evaluation Commission (R-JMEC) voted unanimously to endorse the extension of the transitional period for two years as agreed by the parties to the deal. 37 out of 42 voted in favor of extension, against 5, including Troika countries, who abstained.
In a statement, the Troika said the extension of the peace process means extension of the leader’s stay in power without convincing reasons, citing failure of the parties to implement the agreement during the first three years.
“With today’s vote in the Reconstituted Joint Monitoring and Evaluation Commission (RJMEC) to extend the transitional period, South Sudan’s leaders again extended their time in power despite failing over the past four years to deliver fully on the commitments they made in the 2018 Revitalized Agreement on the Resolution of the Conflict in the Republic of South Sudan (R-ARCSS),” the statement said.
“We regret that the government did not postpone ratification of the extension to give time for them to demonstrate – through sustained action and results on the ground – that the new commitment as set out in the Roadmap will be different from the last few years,” it asserted.
The statement said the coalition government “did not take the opportunity for meaningful engagement with civil society and other agreement stakeholders, which we believe increases the chances of successful implementation.”
The Troika countries who have been supporting the country’s efforts for permanent peace said the government has not given any evidence that it will this time implement the agreement as three years have passed without any thing tangible apart from formation of the unity government in Juba.
“For these process reasons, the Troika, as voting members of RJMEC, could not support the extension at this time. We require further evidence of the Government’s commitment to deliver on the new Roadmap and fully implement the R-ARCSS before we can do so,” the statement said.
“We recognize that the R-ARCSS as an agreement continues to represent an opportunity to build peace and stability in South Sudan,” the statement stressed, adding that “Our lack of support for the proposed extension in today’s Extraordinary RJMEC meeting does not diminish our commitment to the South Sudanese people’s quest for peace, prosperity, and democracy.”
The statement further called “on South Sudan’s leaders to shoulder their responsibility. To date, the R-ARCSS has prevented a return to large-scale conflict, but it has not delivered democracy, peace, justice, or opportunity for the South Sudanese people. They are paying the price for non-implementation through the extreme levels of violence and abuse visited upon civilians across the country.
“The Troika, in close coordination with the EU and its member states, regional partners, and other stakeholders, remains convinced that the path to ending their suffering and achieving their goals is through full implementation of the R-ARCSS.
“We support the government’s commitment to a Roadmap to make the best use of the remainder of the original timeframe for the agreement and clarify how it would use any additional time from an extension. South Sudan’s leaders must now deliver the results they promised in the timeline they committed to through the Roadmap.
“They must also dedicate sufficient resources to the agreement’s implementation. This would send an important and positive signal to non-signatories, which we once again call upon to engage constructively in the peace process.
“We urge South Sudan’s friends and partners to strengthen their monitoring of progress. Each missed benchmark will further call into question the political commitment of South Sudan’s leaders.”
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