JMEC Endorses IGAD Communiqué, Agrees Plan To Form TGoNU

The Joint Monitoring and Evaluation Commission (JMEC) on Tuesday unconditionally endorsed the Communiqué of the 55th Extra-Ordinary Session of the IGAD Council of Ministers, issued in Addis Ababa on 31 January 2016.

JMEC Endorses IGAD Communiqué, Agrees Plan To Form TGoNU
Botswana’s ex-president, Festus Gontebanye Mogae, chairman of the Joint Monitoring and evaluation commission for South Sudan peace deal. [Getty Images]

By Jok P Mayom/Juba And Peter Lokale/Torit

JUBA/Torit 03 February 2016 [Gurtong] - The Chairperson of JMEC, Mr. Festus G. Mogae, welcomed the willingness of the South Sudanese Parties and Stakeholders to engage constructively to form the Transitional Government of National Unity (TGoNU) at the earliest possible date.

The Chairperson remarked: “The spirit of compromise and dialogue we saw from the South Sudanese Parties today is what should continue. It is the best way forward, the best chance the suffering people of South Sudan have to see relief.”

The Parties to the Agreement accepted that transitional security arrangements necessary for Juba would be introduced in a phased, sequenced approach, as envisaged by the Communiqué of IGAD.

Also on Tuesday Mogae in the 4th meeting with the government discussed ways forward to the formation of the Transitional Government of National Unity (TGoNU).

Mr. Mogae in his statement during the meeting expressed disappointment over the delay of the formation of the TGoNU and urged for a speedy formation of the government of National Unity.

Michael Makuei LuethHon. Michael Makuei Lueth, South Sudan Minister of Information and government Spokesperson said after the meeting that the government has endorsed the IGAD 55th Communiqué and agreed to lay modalities for the TGoNU.

The meeting also discussed measures to take practical and immediate action to complete the tasks necessary to establish the Transitional Government of National Unity.

“….. We adopted the communiqué as it is, as the best option and the way forward and as a roadmap for the implementation of the agreement and the establishment of the Transitional Government of National Unity” Hon. Makuei stressed.

The meeting also agreed on the urgency of introducing phased arrangements for the transitional security arrangements necessary for the capital city, Juba, and how the work of the other transitional security institutions can be accelerated.

 “So we have agreed that, yes, within this coming short period we need to work hard and ensure that the security elements from the IO are brought in” he explained.

 JMEC chair said that he is expected to issue a report to the AU Peace and Security Council and the UN Security Council in a few weeks.

“I expect to report again to the AU Peace and Security Council, and to the UN Security Council on the status of implementation of the Agreement within weeks. I hope my next report can be more positive than my last, and that the delays that have plagued the process so far ceases” JMEC Chair Mr. Mogae said.

“Tomorrow, I will be travelling to Wau and Aweil. It is absolutely critical that people across the country be directly included in the peace process, and see for themselves that peace is real, so I am looking forward to addressing as many people as I can in both towns.”

“As I said before I went to Malakal and Bentiu, I hope that I can tell the people of Wau and the people of Aweil that we continue to make progress, both in our meetings and outside of them, that all here are seized with the urgency of situation, and, as I’ve just said, that this peace process is real” Mogae said.

The meeting resolved to identify, further to previous commitments, any additional steps that can be taken by the Parties to ensure constraints on humanitarian access are removed and urgent formation of the TGoNU.

Meanwhile, the Community Empowerment for Progress Organization, CEPO, a civil society organization, has welcomed the government's acceptance towards IGAD latest Communiqué.

CEPO's Executive Director, Mr. Edmund Yakani said the 4th meeting of the JMEC is impressive and encouraging as he called for the formation of a Transitional Government of National Unity (TGoNU) without any more delay.

Mr. Yakani urged the Parties to the peace agreement to demonstrate honest commitment by honoring the provisions of the signed peace agreement.

He added that the partners’ acceptance of the recent issued communiqué of the 55th extra-ordinary session of the IGAD council of ministers is motivating and it serves as a roadmap.

"CEPO hopes that the partners will not create other new pre-conditions for delaying formation of the transitional government of national unity. The better future of South Sudan is determinate by the effective and timely implementation of the signed peace agreement. Any slow move in implementing the peace agreement has negative implication on the lives of the citizens and the State growth," Mr. Yakani Stressed.

He said that the peace agreement has provided all the best opportunities for building the State of South Sudan as a democratic nation.

Mr. Yakani called upon the IGAD, JMEC and friends of South Sudan to stand firm for timely and effective implementation of the peace agreement as per the signed provisions.

"Allowing some alteration for some provisions of the signed peace agreement will open room for derailment of the important opportunities for implementation, we want to avoid any future impediment. Again, the CEPO appreciates the the government stand for moving to cater for the SPLM-IO members' hotel accommodations. It is a remarkable step," expressed the Director.

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