The UNDP Representative,

Dear Participants,

Ladies and Gentlemen;

Good morning!

Let me start by thanking the UNDP and the South Sudan Civil Society Alliance for partnering with JMEC in convening this very important orientation and advocacy training workshop, for Representatives of different stakeholders within the Civil Society in South Sudan.

JMEC is keen on encouraging a vibrant civil society voice and the involvement in the implementation of the ARCSS, as well as in shaping the future for this country going forward.

Despite the many challenges in the implementation of the Agreement on the Resolution of the Conflict in South Sudan (ARCSS), we in JMEC acknowledge the need to continue to promote inclusivity and popular ownership. I am informed that most of you present here today, are already actively contributing to the search for peace in this country in many ways. That is the spirit of a vibrant civil society with which you must all continue-even against enduring challenges.

In addition to the discussions on the Evaluation Report recently produced by JMEC, I am also informed that this three-days will give You an opportunity to find out ways in which you can engage in a more inclusive and participatory way in the implementation of the Peace Agreement. Notably, under the JMEC six thematic working Committees, where you can make substantial contributions through your representative to JMEC.

It is my hope that this workshop will contribute in empowering you to effectively participate, advocate and strategically engage all the parties and other stakeholders to ensure its full implementation, and ultimately the realisation of enduring peace, stability and democracy in the Republic of South Sudan.

With these few remarks, I declare this Civil Society Orientation and advocacy training workshop open.

Thank you very much.

 

Your Grace, The Right Reverend Barani Eduardo Hiiboro Kussala, Bishop of the Catholic Diocese of Tombura-Yambio,

Honourable Anthony Lino Makana, Speaker of the Transitional National Legislative Assembly,

Honourable Minister Dr. Martin Elia Lomuro, Minister for Cabinet Affairs,

Honourable Tor Deng Mawien, Presidential Advisor

Honorable David Shearer, SRSG-United Nations Mission in South Sudan (UNMISS),

Excellencies, Governors, Distinguished guests, Ladies and Gentlemen.

 

I am very pleased to be here this morning. I convey to you greetings and best wishes from the Chairperson of Joint Monitoring and Evaluation Commission (JMEC), H.E. Festus Mogae, former president of the Republic of Botswana, who has sent me to represent him.

The theme of your conference “PEACE WITHIN AND ACROSS BORDERS” demonstrates your collective desire for peace for your country. This theme resonates with our mission at JMEC and we join you, the Interfaith Council for Peace Initiative as you seek to promote peace, reconciliation and development in South Sudan.

Indeed, there is a lot of faith placed in the Church to lead the way in seeking solutions to inter-ethnic and other conflicts, as well as in the promotion of tolerance and reconciliation. We salute you for leading the way in inter-communal dialogue as you build bridges across your state borders towards peace and social harmony and economic development for all South Sudanese communities.

We are all painfully aware how continued fighting has worsened the economic and humanitarian situation. The number of people in need of humanitarian assistance is now higher than when the Peace Agreement was signed in August 2015 - a fact which the Inter-Faith Council for Peace Initiative seeks to address.

South Sudan is wonderfully endowed with natural resources, good arable land and hardworking people. I have no doubt that as the prized ‘last born’ of Africa and the World, and if you keep on the path that is proposed by this inter-faith initiative, you will rise from the current challenges and take your favoured place amongst the nations.

As you know, JMEC is the institution charged with overseeing and monitoring the implementation of the Peace Agreement. The Faith Community is represented in JMEC along with other key South Sudanese stakeholders. We acknowledge the important role the inter-faith community plays in the promotion of peaceful resolution of conflicts and we are grateful for your continued engagement with JMEC.

Since the signing of the Peace Agreement, implementation of its provisions has not lived up to the expectations of citizens or the regional and international partners that support the process.

In an attempt to address this, IGAD has engaged in consultations with key Parties and South Sudanese stakeholders in preparation for a High Level Revitalization Forum intended to reach agreement on steps to reinvigorate implementation of the Peace Agreement.

We must all do better in correcting the mistakes of the past and ensuring that the path to peace is firmly grounded on values of peace, justice and reconciliation. We must all work together to achieve the ultimate goal of sustainable peace in South Sudan. All of us - Faith, Political and Traditional Leaders, Women, Youth and civil society representatives - gathered here today are the critical actors that will ensure this outcome.

Finally, let me wish you fruitful deliberations, and once again thank you for your invitation to JMEC to participate in this most timely and important conference. God bless you.

 

 

 

 

 

Honorable Ministers,

Excellencies, 

Distinguished Ladies and Gentlemen;

1.     I thank you all, for the fruitful deliberations we have had today. I welcome the briefing by the Honorable Minister, Dr Martin Elia Lomuro on recent progress that has been made by the TGoNU in the implementation of the Peace Agreement and support to the IGAD Led Revitalization process.

2.  My hope and expectation is that, we will all embrace the revitalization process with open minds and arms, and collectively do whatever it takes to make it a success.

3.  I also take note of the update from the Ambassador of Kenya on the arrival of General Paul Malong in Nairobi- Kenya. Once again, I commend all those who made this amicable settlement possible. This is just one example that demonstrate that a peaceful resolution of conflict is possible and we must build on it.

4.  I welcome the briefings by the UN Special Representative of the Secretary General (SRSG), all the Chairpersons of the Agreement Boards and Commissions who have briefed us today (CTSAMM, SDSR Board, and JMCC) and NCAC for the written report, and commend their members for the progress made so far.

5.  To conclude, I once again take this opportunity to thank all our partners in the TGoNU, the other South Sudanese stakeholders, IGAD, AU, Troika, EU, China, the UN, UNMISS, and the International Partners and Friends of South Sudan for all the support and commitment demonstrated this year.

6.  Whatever modest progress that has made this year by JMEC and all the Agreement Institutions and Mechanisms would not have been possible without our collective efforts.

7.  I say very modest, because peace continues to elude the majority of South Sudanese even though I am cognizant of the efforts and increment progress being made by the various institutions and mechanisms of the Agreement.

8.  Finally, I must say I am still optimistic as we end the year 2017, pursuant to the revitalization initiative. I appeal for all your support and proactive engagements. Once again, I wish you all, a merry x-mas, a happy, peaceful and a prosperous new year 2018.

I thank you.

 

Honourable Ministers, Your Excellencies, Ladies and Gentlemen.

 

1.   Ten days ago, millions of people around the world stood in silence for two minutes in an annual act of remembrance of those who fought and died in the two world wars of the 20th century.

 

2.    The people of South Sudan will closely associate with the idea of fighting for freedom and commemorating those close relatives and friends of every community and every region who gave their lives for a better tomorrow.

 

3.   As we engage in the IGAD-led revitalisation process, the questions on the lips of every South Sudanese should be – how do we secure that ‘better tomorrow’ and deliver peace and prosperity for all? And how do we honour the sacrifice made by our brothers and sisters? I shall leave you pondering those questions as I continue, and return to them at the end.

Honourable Ministers, Your Excellencies, Ladies and Gentlemen.

4.   Since we last met, the IGAD Special Envoy, Ambassador Ismail Wais, and his team have been engaged in studious efforts to prepare for a revitalisation forum that offers an opportunity to put the peace process back on track.

5.    Three weeks of consultations, led by the IGAD Council of Ministers and supported by the Special Envoy and his taskforce, have been followed by three weeks of analysis and consideration that I hope will soon indicate the way forward.

6.    Three weeks ago, I briefed H.E. Hailemariam Desalegn, the Prime Minister of Ethiopia and Chairperson of IGAD, on recent JMEC engagements and activities, our support to the IGAD Council of Ministers and Special Envoy and my expectations for the revitalisation process.

7.    I also reinforced the One Voice message, and the need for the region to approach revitalisation unified and with strength of purpose. Collectively, the IGAD Heads of State must prevail over the South Sudanese leadership to rethink the current trajectory of the country and take the necessary steps to restore peace and inclusive governance.

8.   I made it clear that if the Peace Agreement is to get back on track we will need:

a)   An inclusive political process which brings together all Parties and estranged groups;

b)    A cessation of all hostilities and a renegotiated permanent ceasefire that includes all armed groups;

c)   Transitional Security Arrangements with robust verification and enforcement mechanisms;

d)   A clear plan of action to address the current dire humanitarian situation and facilitate eventual voluntary return of IDPs and repatriation of refugees;

e)   An enforcement mechanism that includes accountability measures for spoilers and violators;

f)     Specific reforms that ensure the conduct of credible, free and fair elections at the end of a transitional period;

g)   And finally, dedicated funding for implementation of the revitalised Peace Agreement.

h)   As we await IGAD’s plan for the High Level Revitalisation Forum, I call upon us all to remain focused on the desperate plight of the people of this country.

10.   For them, we must stop the fighting, end the violence, deal with criminality, prevent sexual and human rights abuses, ameliorate human suffering and address the economic crisis.

Honourable Ministers, Your Excellencies, Ladies and Gentlemen.

11.   The current security situation in South Sudan remains fragile. Major violations of the ceasefire continue to be recorded since we last met. CTSAMM has recently published five violation reports, one of which highlights the extent of Sexual and Gender Based Violence perpetrated by uniformed men in Yei. I condemn all incidents of violence and again call on the warring factions to cease all hostilities and abuses immediately.

12.   However, it is significant to note that for the first time since the signing of the Peace Agreement, the Government has submitted written responses to CTSAMM concerning four of the recent violation reports. I urge all Parties to respond to all CTSAMM’s reports without fail. 

13.   On another positive note, the Joint Operations Centre here in Juba continues to improve its operations and functionality and is a clear example of good cooperation and coordination between security agencies. I truly hope that the other mechanisms of Chapter Two can emulate this level of achievement.

14.   I am also pleased to hear that, so far, the reported disagreement between the Government and its former Army Chief of Staff has been peacefully resolved. I hope that the TGoNU will continue to demonstrate similar commitment to the peaceful resolution of any and all future political and security disputes.

Honourable Ministers, Your Excellencies, Ladies and Gentlemen. 

15. It is impossible to overstate or repeat too often the severity of the humanitarian situation here in South Sudan. According to the latest data from the Integrated Food Security Phase Classification (the IPC), the current harvest will not reduce the number of people suffering severe food insecurity by any more than 20%. This Christmas 1.4 million more people will go hungry around the country than last year.

16. Despite this desperate situation, and credible reports that malnutrition is critical in several areas, delivery of humanitarian assistance continues to be impeded. More than one hundred access incidents were recorded in October, and yet another aid worker was killed.

17. To compound the problem, the TGoNU has announced the enactment of the threatened substantial increase in the cost of work permits, which is likely to have a further detrimental impact on the delivery of critical humanitarian aid.

18. Two of the mechanisms in place to facilitate humanitarian access are not operating as they should. The scheduled November meeting of the Humanitarian Coordination Forum has not yet taken place, and no date has been set for the Humanitarian High-level Oversight Committee meeting that is delayed since October.

19. However, the President of South Sudan, H.E. Salva Kiir Mayardit, has now personally intervened to order unhindered access for humanitarian organisations in South Sudan, and I join the UN Humanitarian Coordinator for South Sudan in welcoming the President’s intervention. I sincerely hope that this will make an immediate difference on the ground. I appeal to all other Parties to grant unconditional access to humanitarian agencies.

Honourable Ministers, Your Excellencies, Ladies and Gentlemen.

20.     I welcome the progress that has been made towards economic stabilization. During the last two months the exchange rate has stabilized and there has been a downward trend in inflation. Annual inflation was 130 per cent in October 2017, as against close to 500 per cent in October of last year. Prudent domestic borrowing has contributed to this outcome. However, I must caution that there are serious threats to this progress.

21. Fuel subsidies are budgeted to reach 160 million USD by the end of 2017, which is almost half of total net oil revenues. The consequence of high fuel subsidies is a significant reduction in budget allocations to other essential areas.

22. Additionally there has been a decline in oil production. So far, the impact on revenues has been counteracted by higher world oil market prices, but these are subject to constant change and fluctuation as we have seen in recent times.

23. I understand that the Government is working on economic reforms and is receiving technical advice from the IMF on the way forward. I note that South Sudan has made a formal application for an IMF-programme, which will constitute important support to the revival of the economy.

24. Given the severe budgetary constraints, I would therefore urge the TGoNU to continue with its plans to unwind the fuel subsidy and use available resources to pay down arrears owed to public sector workers as outlined in its Budget.

 Honourable Ministers, Your Excellencies, Ladies and Gentlemen.

25. The Council of Ministers has finally approved the Transitional Constitution of South Sudan Amendment Bill (2017) and directed the Minister for Justice and Constitutional Affairs to present the Bill to the TNLA. It is expected that the Bill will be tabled before the legislature goes on recess in December.

26. JMEC welcomes this significant progress. This Bill incorporates the Agreement into the Constitution, and thus lays a firm foundation for progress in the establishment of all the institutions and mechanisms provided for in the Agreement. I urge the TNLA to expedite the ratification of the amendments to the Transitional Constitution of the Republic of South Sudan.

27. The National Constitutional Amendment Committee (NCAC) is now finalizing the drafting of five Bills for the amendment of the key security laws in order to conform them to the Peace Agreement and complement existing efforts to reform the security sector. It is anticipated that these Bills, drafted with expert consultation and input from key stakeholders, will be presented to the Minister of Justice and Constitutional Affairs by the end of this month.

28. In addition, the NCAC is making significant progress towards the amendment of the Elections Act (2012) and the Political Parties Act (2012) and is reviewing submissions from the Parties to the Agreement, the Political Parties Council, the National Elections Commission, the South Sudan Law Review Commission and civil society. 

Honorable Ministers, Excellencies, Ladies and Gentlemen;

 29. I expect this Plenary to:

a.        receive a briefing from the TGoNU on recent progress made in implementing the Peace Agreement and on steps taken to facilitate humanitarian access;

b.       receive an update from UNMISS on the current humanitarian situation; and,

c.        receive reports from the various Boards and Commissions of the Peace Agreement on the progress towards their objectives.

30. To conclude, and to address the questions I raised at the beginning, it is beholden upon us all to support IGAD and the revitalisation process and seize this opportunity to restore peace and hope to the people of South Sudan.

31. Let us now honour all those South Sudanese men and women, who stood resolutely side by side for decades and fought and died for this young nation. It is in their name and heroic memory that we strive for peace and prosperity for all.

32. It is possible that, due to the anticipated revitalisation activities, we may not be able to hold another Plenary before the Christmas holiday season, and so finally, I wish to take this opportunity to thank all our partners in the TGoNU, the other South Sudanese stakeholders, IGAD, AU, Troika, EU, China, the UN, UNMISS, and the International Partners and Friends of South Sudan for their unwavering commitment to JMEC and the South Sudan peace process throughout the year, and I appeal for your continued support in 2018.

33. May God bless us all and continue to guide us in the relentless pursuit of peace. I wish you all a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year. Thank you.

Honorable Ministers, Excellencies, Distinguished Ladies and Gentlemen;

 

  1. I thank you all for the deliberations we have had today. I welcome the Honorable Minister, Dr Martin Elia Lumoro for delivering the TGoNU’s observations and response to the JMEC Working Committees evaluation reports.
  2. As I said earlier, these reports, will all be submitted to IGAD and the international community, to guide deliberations towards the revitalization of implementation of the Peace Agreement in the coming weeks and months.
  3. I commend all the Committee Chairpersons, their members for the rigor and honesty with which they undertook their assessments. I also commend the TGoNU for its support and participation in the Committee meetings and for their rejoinder.
  4. We are all now, in a much better position to undertake the revitalisation process from an informed point of view.
  5. In the meantime, I continue to urge the TGoNU to take immediate steps and conclude on key pending tasks, including the Constitutional amendment and legislative review mandate and welcome their stated commitment to the revitalization process.
  6. I also urge the JMEC Working Committees to continue with their work. Our hope is that the revitalisation process, when successful, will ignite a new momentum and accelerate progress in our work and the realisation of long lasting peace in South Sudan.
  7. Finally, I welcome the briefings by the SRSG, all the Chairpersons of the Agreement Boards and Commissions today, and commend their members for the progress made so far.

Honourable Ministers, Your Excellencies, Ladies and Gentlemen.

1. I welcome you all to our long overdue JMEC plenary.

2. Over the past three weeks, the Inter-Governmental Authority on Development has, through its Council of Ministers and Special Envoy, conducted a round of pre-consultation meetings pursuant to the decision to convene a High Level Revitalisation Forum.

3.  I am delighted to hear from the Special Envoy, Ambassador Ismail Wais, that positive progress has been made and that all Parties consulted have approached the process in a constructive and peaceful frame of mind. I wish to thank all those who took part for their engagement.

4. After more than a year of unacceptable turmoil and unimaginable distress suffered by millions of South Sudanese, this revitalisation process offers an opportunity for the leaders of all communities to sit together, bring the violence to an end and determine a political path forward.

5. The people of South Sudan hope and pray for peace and stability and the world is watching with high expectations.

Honourable Ministers, Your Excellencies, Ladies and Gentlemen.

6. JMEC remains fully focused on its mandate to monitor and evaluate the implementation of the Peace Agreement and to support IGAD.

7. The JMEC Working Committees, comprising regional and international guarantors, the TGoNU and other South Sudanese stakeholders, have undertaken a comprehensive evaluation of the status of implementation of the Peace Agreement complete with observations and recommendations.

8. This evaluation report will be presented to IGAD pursuant to our mandate and will form part of our contribution to ensuring a successful High Level Revitalisation Forum. The TGoNU has stated its intention to provide its own comments, which will also be forwarded to IGAD.

9. I will now place on record a summary of the key findings, observations and recommendations of our JMEC Working Committees, which will be made available publicly on our website after formal submission to IGAD.

Honourable Ministers, Your Excellencies, Ladies and Gentlemen.

10. I have previously described implementation of the Peace Agreement as being “modest, at best” and from the evaluation reports presented I have heard nothing to change my view.

11. Although initially reasonable progress was made in the formation of the various institutions and bodies, implementation of the Peace Agreement was disrupted in July 2016, and very little progress has since been made in the delivery of its key provisions.

12.  Fundamental to the whole report is the irrefutable fact that the permanent ceasefire has been and continues to be violated by all the Parties with impunity and as such security has deteriorated to a critical level. Violations reported to both SPLA-IG and SPLA-IO have not been addressed.

Honourable Ministers, Your Excellencies, Ladies and Gentlemen. 13. With regard to Chapter One:

1. The main institutions, such as the Transitional Government of National Unity and the Transitional National Legislative Assembly, have all been established with varying degrees of adherence to the letter of the Peace Agreement and the specified power-sharing formulas. Representation of women is still below expectation.

2. The expansion of the number of states, from 10 to 32, in contravention of the Peace Agreement, has also fundamentally adversely affected the intended power sharing formula.

c. The National Constitutional Amendment Committee, whose establishment according to the Peace Agreement should have preceded that of all the other institutions, was eventually established. However, it has proceeded expeditiously and has completed the drafting of the Constitutional Amendment Bill (2017), which has since been presented to the Council of Ministers for consideration.

d. Key among those provisions still awaiting implementation include enactment of the Constitutional Amendment Bill (2017), commencement of judicial reforms and a review of the Judiciary Act, and reconstitution of the National Elections Commission and the Political Parties Council.

Honourable Ministers, Excellencies, Ladies and Gentlemen; 14. With regard to Chapter Two:

a. The Permanent Ceasefire was signed, but has been consistently violated by the Parties with impunity. Fighting between government and opposition forces continues in different parts of the country, particularly around Pagak.

2. The assembly and cantonment of troops is only now seeing some progress as several SPLA-IO (Taban) commanders have declared troops for cantonment in some areas of South Sudan. This process is months behind schedule and SPLA-IO (Machar) is not participating.

3. The Strategic Defence and Security Review Board, the Joint Military Ceasefire Commission, the Ceasefire and Transitional Security Arrangements Monitoring Mechanisms and the Joint Operations Centre have all been established, yet most are not following prescribed guidelines or timeframes; the National Architecture has not yet been fully established; and the Joint Integrated Police, though formed, is not functional.

Honourable Ministers, Excellencies, Ladies and Gentlemen; 15. With regard to Chapter Three:

1. The number of people displaced since the signing of the Peace Agreement has practically doubled, from approximately 2.3 million to around 4 million. I require no other statistic to underline the tragedy that has unfolded here.

2. There is grave concern regarding inconsistent humanitarian access. In addition to bureaucratic impediments, the killing of aid workers continues, in clear violation of International Humanitarian Law. The total number of aid workers killed since the signing of the Peace Agreement is forty-eight. Perpetrators include state and non-state actors.

c. The TGoNU is implementing the NGO Act without having subjected it to public consultation as required by the Peace Agreement. In addition, the Special Reconstruction Fund has not been established.

d. Whilst the deterioration of humanitarian conditions in the country is attributed to several causes, the persistence of armed hostilities is the main factor. Renewed offensives resulted in the further displacement and civilian flight across borders into neighbouring countries.

Honourable Ministers, Excellencies, Ladies and Gentlemen; 16. With regard to Chapter Four:

1. The degree of implementation of this Chapter is low. Only 16 provisions out of the 127 considered have been recorded as implemented.

2. In sections covering resource management, institutional reform and public financial and economic management, 16 out of 98 provisions have been implemented.

c. In sections covering the review of National Legislation, Environmental Protection and the Enterprise Development Fund, none of the provisions have been implemented.

d. The TGoNU also reports that work has yet to start on the seven provisions needed to establish the Economic and Financial Management Authority. In that regard, there is a clear need to establish the TGoNU’s position in order to move forward within the framework of the Peace Agreement.

Honourable Ministers, Excellencies, Ladies and Gentlemen; 17. With regard to Chapter Five:

1. The TGoNU has not adhered to the timelines set out in the Peace Agreement. None of the institutions intended to implement a transitional justice agenda have been established.

2. There has been some progress regarding initiating processes towards the establishment of the Commission for Truth, Reconciliation and Healing and the Hybrid Court for South Sudan.

c. In June 2017, six months after its creation, an inclusive multi- stakeholder technical committee established for the Commission for Truth, Reconciliation and Healing, commenced its work to conduct sensitisation on the consultations envisaged in the Peace Agreement.

4. As regards the mandate for the Hybrid Court for South Sudan, a Memorandum of Understanding on the establishment of the court, and a Draft Statute were tabled before the Council of Ministers in September 2017.

5. The Compensation and Reparations Authority has not yet been established.

Honourable Ministers, Excellencies, Ladies and Gentlemen; 18. With regard to Chapter Six:

1. There has been no progress whatsoever within this Chapter.

2. Key pending tasks include the review and reconstitution of the National Constitutional Review Commission to undertake the Permanent Constitution-making process; and drafting and enactment of legislation to guide the Constitution-making process.

Honourable Ministers, Excellencies, Ladies and Gentlemen;

19. JMEC’s evaluation report also includes numerous observations and recommendations:

a. Observations:

 i. The political, security, humanitarian and economic situation in South Sudan remains precarious and not conducive for the full implementation of the Peace Agreement.

  ii. The renewed conflict since July 2016 and the escalation of armed violence, the flight of key opposition figures and the emergence of new armed and political opposition has undermined the credibility of the implementation of the Peace Agreement.

iii. Continued conflict exacerbates a worsening economic and humanitarian situation and is an impediment to inclusive political, social and economic progress in the country.

iv.  Gross violations of human rights and international humanitarian law continue unabated. These violations have included targeted killings of civilians, rape and sexual violence, mass displacement of the population and the destruction of property. In addition, access to humanitarian relief continues to be impeded.

v. Since July 2016 there have been new political developments, including splits within some Parties to the Agreement and the flight of Dr. Riek Machar and other key opposition leaders, which has undermined inclusive implementation of the Peace Agreement and the credibility of the current peace process.

vi. The TGoNU has faced a number of impediments to implementation including financial constraints, weak technical capacity and a lack of effective coordination, particularly in cases where implementation requires cooperation across ministries. But it is also evident that insufficient political commitment and poor prioritisation is holding progress back.

vii. The continued lack of accountability and prevailing impunity undermines efforts towards reconciliation, healing and recovery.

viii. Furthermore, the governance reforms prescribed in the Peace Agreement are undermined by the non- implementation of key provisions of the Peace Agreement, including those in Chapter Six. A Permanent Constitution is a pre-requisite for reforms including the holding of elections at the end of the Transitional Period.

b. Recommendations:

 i. All Parties to the Agreement and estranged groups must continue to be pursuaded to embrace and participate genuinely in the revitalisation process.

ii. The IGAD High-Level Revitalisation Forum must agree on specific steps and reforms to be implemented within prescribed timelines as a pre-condition for fair and democratic elections at the end of the Transitional Period.

iii. There must be an immediate and permanent ceasefire and an end to all forms of violence.

iv. Deployment of the Regional Protection Force in Juba should be expedited in full compliance with UN Security Council Resolution 2304 (2016).

 v.  Free and unhindered humanitarian access and the opening of all major corridors and trading routes should be ensured.

vi. The enactment of the Constitutional Amendment Bill (2017) should be expedited to finalise incorporation of the Peace Agreement into the Transitional Constitution of the Republic of South Sudan.

vii. The Permanent Constitution making process should commence immediately.

viii.  IGAD, in collaboration with the AU and the UN, should put in place mechanisms to enforce compliance.

 ix. The region and the international community must speak with one voice and coordinate their actions.

 x. The AU and the TGoNU should resolve issues surrounding the establishment of the Hybrid Court for South Sudan and provide relevant support to the comprehensive transitional justice and accountability efforts in South Sudan. The TGoNU should also establish all other Chapter Five institutions within the timeframe provided in the Agreement.

xi. Finally, JMEC reiterates the urgent need to engage all the Parties and estranged groups in the revitalisation process and to take concrete steps to restore the

Permanent Ceasefire, ensure inclusive implementation of the Peace Agreement and develop revised realistic timelines towards democratic elections at the end of the Transitional Period.

Honourable Ministers, Excellencies, Ladies and Gentlemen;

20. I wish to thank all the Chairpersons and members of the Working Committees for their dedication and commitment to the process of evaluating the progress, and lack thereof, in the implementation of the Peace Agreement. I also wish to thank and commend the TGoNU for its cooperation and participation in the Working Committee meetings.

21. I have full confidence in our evaluation and I hope and expect that these assessments and recommendations will enable the Parties, the region and all South Sudanese stakeholders to pursue the revitalisation process from an informed point of view.

22. I encourage them all to take the necessary steps and compromises to revitalise the implementation of the Peace Agreement without further delay and deliver a lasting solution to the conflict in South Sudan.

Honorable Ministers, Excellencies, Ladies and Gentlemen;

23.  I expect this Plenary to:

1. welcome the reports and recommendations of the JMEC Working Committees, which are to be submitted to IGAD;

2. receive a briefing from the TGoNU on recent progress made in implementing the Peace Agreement;

3. receive an update from TGoNU and UNMISS on the current humanitarian situation, in particular on steps taken to facilitate unhindered humanitarian access; and,

4. receive summary reports on the status of the various Boards and Commissions of the Peace Agreement and the progress towards their objectives.

24.  Finally, I take this opportunity to thank all our partners in the TGoNU, the other South Sudanese stakeholders, IGAD, AU, Troika, EU, China, the UN, UNMISS, and the International Partners and Friends of South Sudan for their commitment and continued support to JMEC, and appeal for full support for the revitalisation process.

25. May God bless us all and continue to guide us in the relentless pursuit of peace. I thank you.

Honourable Speaker of the Transitional National Legislative Assembly Honourable Dusman James, Chairperson of the Women Parliamentary Caucus, Honourable Members of Parliament

 

Ladies and Gentlemen

  • It gives me great pleasure to make a few remarks at the opening session of this workshop. The Joint Monitoring and Evaluation Commission (JMEC) is pleased to partner with, and support the South Sudan Women Parliamentary Caucus in convening this workshop.
  • Theworkshopisbothtimelyandimportant.Weareatacrossroadsintheimplementationofthe peace agreement. As you are no doubt aware, we are currently engaged in a process to ‘revitalise and reinvigorate’ the peace agreement. There is a clear need to strengthen our collective approaches and strategies for sustainable peace. You, Honourable members of parliament gathered here constitute critical part of that effort. You must not let this window of opportunity close. Seize this opportunity.
  • I recognise, and have stated many times that there is also an urgent need to increase women’s participation in the peace process broadly and in the implementation of the peace agreement. I urge you to hold the parties to the peace agreement accountable to the commitments in the peace agreement on gender equality and quotas as pertains to women’s participation and engagement in ARCSS institutions and processes. You as Members of Parliament have a voice that you can deploy to advance gender equality.

 

Honourable Members of Parliament,

  • Let me state at the outset, that I am a firm believer in the ability and power that women have to make real contributions to sustainable peace in any country. It now widely acknowledged that women are real agents of peaceful transformation in communities the world over. South Sudanese women are no exception.
  • I am informed that you have recently completed statewide consultations and have made recommendations about how best to include ordinary citizens in participating in monitoring implementation of the peace agreement. The peace agreement concerns all citizens of South Sudan and they must have ownership over it. You, as the peoples’ representatives and are best placed to make this a reality. I look forward to receiving your recommendations on this.
  • This workshop presents an opportunity for JMEC to share information with you on the status of implementation and discuss the vital role that you, as members of parliament can play in advancing the process of implementation. I welcome your contribution and cooperation in this process.
  • I wish you successful deliberations and now have the pleasure to declare this workshop officially open.

 

Thank you

 

 

 

Mr President,

Members of the Council,

  1. I would like to thank the President of the Security Council, H.E. Dr. Tekeda Alemu, for his kind invitation to brief the Security Council today.
  2. My briefing will build on the previous update that I provided to the Security Council last month on the implementation of the Agreement on the Resolution of the Conflict in the Republic of South Sudan. I will therefore focus on a quick situation update, the forthcoming JMEC evaluation report and the IGAD Revitalisation Forum.

Mr President,

3. Last month, I reported incidents of heavy fighting between SPLA-IO and SPLA-IG in some areas of the country. The scale of the fighting has changed this month with reports from CTSAMM indicating that there have been relatively fewer fighting incidents between SPLA-IG and SPLA-IO (Machar).

  1. However, fighting was reported between SPLA-IO (Taban) and SPLA-IO (Machar) forces in Unity and Upper Nile States causing further displacement of civilians. SPLA-IO have denied access to a joint UNMISS and CTSAMM patrol along the Nile, so we are unable to provide a full picture at this time.
  2. The situation concerning control of Pagak in Upper Nile State remains tense as SPLA-IG and SPLA-IO (Machar) make claims and counter claims. CTSAMM has reported the displacement of 3,000 civilians into Ethiopia.
  3. CTSAMM also reports fighting in the Equatorias and armed robberies in some parts of Eastern Equatoria.
  1. Inter-communal tensions are reported in some areas of Greater Bhar El Ghazal and in the Maban area, where Vice President, Mr James Wani Igga, has been mediating between IDP communities.
  2. We in JMEC are acutely aware that, due mainly to the conflict, the humanitarian crisis persists, with six million people reported severely food insecure and continued inconsistent humanitarian access.

Mr President,

9. JMEC remains fully focused on its mandate to monitor and evaluate the implementation of the Peace Agreement and committed to supporting IGAD in its aim to convene a High Level Revitalisation Forum.

  1. To that end, yesterday, JMEC held an evaluation workshop to review a comprehensive report on the status of implementation of the Peace Agreement. Once complete, this report will be presented to IGAD as part of our contribution to ensuring a successful revitalisation forum. Allow me to elaborate.
  2. In March of this year we took the deliberate step of enhancing our oversight role with the formation of six JMEC Working Committees in line with the six substantive Chapters of the Agreement. Their tasks are to continuously review and evaluate progress towards the implementation of the Peace Agreement and to support and recommend remedial actions to be undertaken.
  3. The Working Committees have held a combined total of 38 meetings to date, engaged bi-laterally with the TGoNU and other stakeholders, and invited briefings from key Agreement institutions and implementation mechanisms.
  1. In line with the terms of reference for the Revitalisation Forum, agreed by the IGAD Council of Ministers on 2nd July 2017, the JMEC Working Committees have conducted a full evaluation of the status of implementation of the Peace Agreement and prepared a report, which is under consideration. I expect the final report to be published by the end of next week.
  2. As I have said, once the report is finalised and adopted by JMEC, it will be presented to IGAD and is intended to form the starting point for discussion in the revitalisation process.

Mr President,

15. I shall not pre-empt the final report, but overall, JMEC maintains the view that despite initial reasonable progress in the formation of the various institutions and bodies, implementation of the Peace Agreement was disrupted in July 2016 and as we stand today little substantial progress has been made in the delivery or implementation of the key provisions.

  1. I have previously described implementation as being “modest, at best” and from the evaluation reports presented yesterday I have heard nothing to change my view.
  2. Fundamental to the whole report is the irrefutable fact that the permanent ceasefire has been and continues to be violated by all the Parties with impunity and as such security has deteriorated to a critical level.
  3. Of fundamental importance is the fracturing of the SPLA-IO into two factions, one under the First Vice President, General Taban Deng Gai, and the other under the former First Vice President, Dr. Riek Machar, who is now in exile in South Africa.
  1. The expansion of the number of states, from 10 to 32, and in contravention of the Peace Agreement, has also fundamentally adversely affected the intended power sharing formula.
  2. Whilst some progress has been made, it is greatly disappointing that after two years, there are several transitional institutions and mechanisms which have not been established, including the Special Reconstruction Fund, the Economic and Financial Management Authority, the Compensation and Reparations Authority, and key transitional justice institutions.
  3. Most importantly, there has been no progress whatsoever in the Permanent Constitution-making process.

Mr President,
22. JMEC’s recommendations are:

  1. There must be an immediate ceasefire and an end to all forms of violence.
  2. There is a fundamental need for a demonstration of political will by the Parties to undertake their responsibility to implement the provisions of the Peace Agreement.
  3. All forms of obstruction to the delivery of humanitarian aid must be removed.
  4. The TGoNU must expedite and conclude the constitutional and legislative amendments and initiate without further delay the Permanent Constitution-making process.
  5. In preparation for the return of the displaced persons, a joint framework should be developed by the TGoNU in collaboration with humanitarian partners.
  6. The Security Council, in collaboration with IGAD, the African Union and international partners, should put in place mechanisms to enforce compliance.

Mr President,

  1. In the coming weeks IGAD will convene a High Level Revitalisation Forum and I wish to take this opportunity to reaffirm our complete commitment to this process.
  2. Together, with one voice, we can challenge those who believe in a military solution to the conflict. We urge the Government and all Parties to engage in this inclusive political process.
  3. The IGAD Revitalisation Forum is the best opportunity to restore peace and rebuild governance in South Sudan.
  1. The National Dialogue can play a complimentary role in delivering longer term reconciliation if implemented credibly and inclusively.
  2. Given conditions around the country, mass displacement, severe food insecurity and the total lack of institutional and constitutional infrastructure, it is clear that credible elections will not be feasible at the end of the current transitional period. The High Level Revitalisation Forum is, therefore, the best hope for re-igniting the political process.

Mr President,

28. We hope that the JMEC evaluation will enable the Parties, the region and all South Sudanese stakeholders to pursue the revitalisation process from an informed point of view, and encourage them to take concrete steps to revitalise the implementation of the Peace Agreement without further delay.

Thank you, Mr President.

Honorable Ministers,

Excellencies,

Distinguished Ladies and Gentlemen;

  1. I welcome you all this morning to this very important and timely JMEC Evaluation Review Workshop on the status of implementation of the Agreement on the Resolution of the Conflict in the Republic of South Sudan.
  2. This is a moment of great significance within JMEC’s monitoring and evaluation mandate. For the last twenty two months since November 2015 we have together faithfully executed our mandate as an oversight body.
  3. We have had very frank, honest and sometimes emotive conversations in our nineteen Plenary meetings to date. Together we have urged the Parties to adhere to the Peace Agreement, including the agreed tasks, timelines and implementation schedules.
  4. On numerous occassions we confronted, without fear or favour, the violations that unfortunately have characterised the life-span of this Peace Agreement and equally, where there has been progress we have commended the Parties responsible.
  1. More importantly, we have stood by the people of South Sudan, highlighted their plight and provided a forum for all Agreement stakeholders to engage the Parties and appeal for the immediate restoration of peace.
  2. Pursuant to Chapter VII of the Peace Agreement, we have dutifully reported as JMEC to the TGoNU, IGAD, African Union and United Nations on the status of implementation of the Peace Agreement, pointing out any progress or lack thereof, and with very practical recommendations for their consideration.
  3. We have submitted special reports to the IGAD leadership on key incidents and specific issues that have impacted on the implementation of the Peace Agreement, and engaged proactively with the Parties, South Sudanese stakeholders, regional and International Partners and Friends of South Sudan.
  4. Regrettably, the citizens of this country are yet to enjoy the peace dividend that the implementation of the Peace Agreement was expected to deliver.
  5. The renewed conflict since July 2016 has not only impeded progress in the implementation of the Peace Agreement but also reversed many of the gains that had been initially made.
  1. Conflict escalated, Parties fractured, new groups emerged, and civilians continued to be displaced and endure threat of food insecurity amidst a dire economic situation.
  2. It is in this context, therefore, that IGAD following our recommendation decided to initiate a process for the revitalisation of the Peace Agreement.

Honourable Ministers, Excellencies, distinguished ladies and gentlemen;

  1. As you are aware, early this year in March 2017 we took a deliberate step of enhancing our oversight role with the formation of six JMEC Working Committees. Their tasks are to continuously review and assess progress towards the implementation of the Peace Agreement, evaluate, support and recommend remedial actions to be undertaken.
  2. The Working Committees have held a combined total of 38 meetings to date, engaged bi-laterally with the TGoNU and other stakeholders, and invited briefings from key Agreement Institutions and Implementation mechanisms.
  3. The Committees have prepared their evaluation reports and today we shall together consider and reflect on their findings. These findings will form a basis for JMEC’s report to IGAD on the status of implementation of the Peace Agreement which is instrumental to the success of the revitalisation process.
  1. I hope that the Committees’ assessment shall enable the Parties, the region and all South Sudanese stakeholders to pursue the revitalisation process from an informed point of view, and encourage them to take concrete steps to revitalise the implementation of the Peace Agreement without further delays.
  2. I commend all the Chairpersons of the Working Committees, their members and observers for the dedication, commitment and diligence they have maintained in evaluating the progress, or lack thereof, in the implementation of the Peace Agreement. I also commend the TGoNU for its cooperation and participation in the Working Committee meetings. I urge the Committees to continue their good work.
  3. From the briefings I have received, I have full confidence in the approaches that were adopted, and now invite you all to listen to their presentations and constructively engage in the spirit of finding lasting solutions to the conflict in South Sudan.

    I thank you.

 

Mr President,

Members of the Council,

  1. I would like to thank the President of the Security Council, H.E. Abdellatif Aboulatta, for his kind invitation to me to brief the Security Council today.
  2. Today here in Juba I chaired the monthly JMEC Plenary, so I come to you via video-link from the UNMISS base. On a matter of housekeeping before I begin, I would like to note that I shall issue the pending JMEC quarterly report by the end of this month, as mandated under Chapter Seven of the Peace Agreement. I trust it will reach you all in good time.

Mr President,

  1. You will recall that in my briefing to you last month, I described the “one voice” initiative and the process by which IGAD mandated the convening of a High Level Revitalisation Forum for the Peace Agreement in South Sudan.
  2. I was very grateful for the unanimous support of the members of the Security Council for this IGAD initiative. Your support and endorsement delivers a strong message to all South Sudanese leaders that the world is watching and has high expectations of a rapid and sustained improvement in the overall situation in South Sudan.

Mr President,

  1. Last week the second anniversary of the signing of the Agreement on the Resolution of the Conflict in the Republic of South Sudan passed relatively unnoticed.
  2. Our perception at the time of the signing of the Peace Agreement in August 2015 was that it had ended a tragic internal conflict that had threatened to tear Africa’s youngest nation apart and it was hoped that disagreements amongst the Parties over substantive issues had been resolved.
  3. The Peace Agreement brought JMEC into being and we believed that our task would be simply to oversee and guide its implementation by the TGoNU.
  4. By now the Peace Agreement should have achieved considerable progress towards improved security and governance in this country. From day one, however, we have had to persuade the Parties to implement each and every task.
  5. Disagreements between the key principals and the lack of any appetite for compromise, slowed progress to a standstill and led to a growing tension in Juba that ultimately resulted in the violence of July 2016 and its continuing repercussions. Two years on since the signing of the Peace Agreement there has been little meaningful progress in its implementation.

10. Since July 2016, we, as JMEC, have remained profoundly shocked by the rampant hostilities across the country and the rapid deterioration of the political, security, humanitarian and economic situation in South Sudan. As a result, we are now rightly absorbed in a process to restore and revitalise the prominence of the Peace Agreement.

Mr President,

  1. In the past month, the security situation in the former Upper Nile State has worsened due to the recent offensive operations by forces of the SPLA-IG against the SPLA-IO (Machar faction) in Matthiang and Pagak.
  2. In today’s Plenary, I condemned all the violence that has occurred in and around Pagak over the past month and urged that military operations cease immediately. I also urged all Parties involved to facilitate CTSAMM’s access to investigate and report on the situation in Pagak.
  3. In this month that we have marked World Humanitarian Day, tens of thousands of people in Upper Nile have been forced to flee their homes, and humanitarian aid workers had no choice but to relocate from the area and suspend delivery of support to those in need.
  4. This cycle of violence, displacement and deprivation of humanitarian support has been repeated around the country over the past year and has led to untold misery among those who seek only to live peacefully and provide for their families.

Mr President,

  1. Over the past week, there has been some unfortunate confusion and dispute over the deployment of advance elements of the Regional Protection Force. One impact of this dispute was the temporary grounding of all UN flights which had a direct impact on the operations of CTSAMM. This is deeply regretable and I urge TGoNU to resolve issues with UNMISS swiftly and facilitate the deployment of this force without further hindrance, in accordance with UN Security Council Resolution 2304 (2016).
  2. To that end, I have further urged IGAD to convene the meeting between the TGoNU, UNMISS and the Chiefs of Defence Forces of the Troop Contributing Countries, as specified in the IGAD Communique of 12th June 2017. This meeting has not yet taken place and as a result, key issues affecting the practical deployment of this Force have not been addressed and serious challenges are arising.

Mr President,

17. The IGAD Council of Ministers met on 24th July 2017, for the first time in Juba. In their Communique that day, the Council of Ministers empowered the IGAD Special Envoy for South Sudan to coordinate the revitalization process, including all stakeholders and institutions charged with responsibility for the implementation of the Peace Agreement. The Council also urged all South Sudanese stakeholders to embrace the objectives of the High Level Revitalisation Forum and collaborate with the IGAD Special Envoy to achieve a positive outcome.

18. It is essential to stress a number of issues regarding this Revitalisation Forum in order to ensure full understanding:

i. The Revitalisation Forum is an IGAD initiative mandated by the Summit of Heads of State and Government and executed by the Council of Ministers through the office of the new IGAD Special Envoy. Our role, as JMEC, is to support IGAD in its efforts to convene this Forum.

  1. Whilst the Forum sets out with three objectives – 1) to reinstate the Permanent Ceasefire; 2) to reinstate full and inclusive implementation of the Peace Agreement; and 3) to develop revised and realistic timelines for implementation towards elections at the end of the transition period – the outcomes of the Forum are not pre-determined.
  2. It will be for the Parties and estranged groups to determine and commit to the outcomes of this Forum. After all, in the end, the responsibility for the implementation of the Peace Agreement lies squarely with these same Parties.
  3. This is a Forum through which to explore options that can restore the prominence of the peace process taking account of current realities. It is our hope that this revitalisation process will be pursued in the spirit of peace, inclusivity and compromise.
  1. In JMEC’s perspective, for the Revitalisation process to succeed, there is need for demonstrable political will by the Parties and estranged groups to be inclusive and to accommodate one another politically, rather than defeat each other militarily.
  2. We must all speak with “one voice” to the leaders of South Sudan and align our actions. There should be clear consequences for intransigent groups, spoilers and violations.
  3. The Parties must commit to adhere to any revised timelines and implementation schedules and there is need to determine and secure adequate funding for implementation of the revitalised Peace Agreement.

I thank you, Mr President.

Honourable Ministers, Your Excellencies, Ladies and Gentlemen.
1. I welcome you all to our August plenary.
2. Last week the second anniversary of the signing of the Agreement on the Resolution of the Conflict in the Republic of South Sudan passed relatively unnoticed.
3. Our perception at the time of the signing of the Peace Agreement in August 2015 was that it had ended a tragic internal conflict that had threatened to tear Africa’s youngest nation apart and it was hoped that disagreements amongst the Parties over substantive issues had been resolved.
4. The Peace Agreement brought JMEC into being and we believed that our task would be simply to oversee and guide its implementation by the TGoNU, including the adherence by the Parties to agreed timelines.
5. By now the Peace Agreement should have achieved considerable progress towards improved security and governance in this country. From day one, however, we have had to persuade the Parties to implement each and every task in accordance with the Peace Agreement.

6. Disagreements between the key principals and the lack of any appetite for compromise, slowed progress to a standstill and led to a growing tension in Juba that ultimately resulted in the violence of July 2016 and its continuing repercussions. Two years on since the signing of the Peace Agreement there has been little meaningful progress in its implementation.
7. Since July 2016, we, as JMEC, have remained profoundly shocked by the rampant hostilities across the country and the rapid deterioration of the political, security, humanitarian and economic situation in South Sudan. As a result, we are now rightly absorbed in a process to restore and revitalise the prominence of the Peace Agreement. I shall return to this later.
Honourable Ministers, Excellencies, Ladies and Gentlemen;
8. Since our last meeting in July, the security situation in the former Upper Nile State has worsened due to the recent offensive operations by forces of the SPLA-IG against the SPLA-IO (Machar) in Matthiang and Pagak.
9. I condemn all the violence that has occurred in and around Pagak over the past month and urge that military operations cease immediately. I also urge all Parties involved to facilitate CTSAMM’s access to investigate and report on the situation in Pagak.

10. In this month that we have marked World Humanitarian Day, tens of thousands of people in Upper Nile have been forced to flee their homes, and humanitarian aid workers had no choice but to relocate from the area and suspend delivery of support to those in need.
11.This cycle of violence, displacement and deprivation of humanitarian support has been repeated around the country over the past year and has led to untold misery among those who seek only to live peacefully and provide for their families.
Honourable Ministers, Excellencies, Ladies and Gentlemen;
12. More generally, CTSAMM continues to receive reports that all Parties are carrying out serious breaches of the Permanent Ceasefire across the country and as a result the suffering of the South Sudanese people continues without remission.
13.In the majority of CTSAMM violation reports the same recommendation is made but ignored: that leaders must ensure adherence to the provisions of the Permanent Ceasefire and Transitional Security Arrangements.

14. Offensive military campaigns like those seen now in Pagak should not be taking place, especially after the recent unilateral declaration of a ceasefire by H.E. Salva Kiir Mayardit, President of the Republic of South Sudan. An immediate restoration of the Permanent Ceasefire is needed to ensure that recommendations are implemented and the violence ends.

Honourable Ministers, Excellencies, Ladies and Gentlemen;
15. I commend the Transitional National Legislative Assembly for electing its representatives for the first time to the East African Legislative Assembly, an important organ of the East African Community. This is a significant development for the country towards regional integration.

16. The Strategic Defence and Security Review Board is making slow progress in stage one of their responsibilities, namely the presentation of a strategic security assessment, a security policy framework and a revised defence policy. We hope that the one million US dollars pledged by the TGoNU will be delivered promptly to assist its activities.

17. We note that the Joint Military Ceasefire Commission is reporting the possible assembly and cantonment of opposition troops in five areas of the country but verification through CTSAMM will still be required.

18. However, there has been no movement on the establishment of a second training cohort for the Joint Integrated Police since the graduation of the first group in June.

19. On a positive note, I welcome the opening of the Joint Operations Centre and the conclusion of the initial training of operational managers and staff, under direct support from the United States. The opening of the Joint Operations Centre is a welcome achievement under the Peace Agreement. I now urge the security sector to prioritize its ulitization and to finalize implementation of the agreed, and long overdue, Transitional Security Arrangements for Juba.
Honourable Ministers, Excellencies, Ladies and Gentlemen;

20. On 22nd June the UN announced that the famine in South Sudan had eased. This is largely due to the financial and operational support provided by the international community towards the alleviation of this desperate humanitarian crisis. By mid-August 2017, the Humanitarian Response Plan had been almost two-thirds funded to the tune of 1 billion US dollars. I would like to express my sincere appreciation to the international community for this resolute support. However, a funding gap of 600 million US dollars still remains.

21. The imminent threat of famine may have receded, but the number of people who are severely food insecure continues to rise. According to figures released by the UN, since our last meeting a further half a million more people are food insecure, many on the brink of famine.

22. Six million people - half of the entire population - are now severely food insecure, and the continuous displacement from the Equatoria region, the bread basket of South Sudan, might further increase future food insecurity as cultivation is disrupted.

23. The total number of displaced South Sudanese people is now four million, of which two million are internally displaced and two million are refugees in neighbouring countries. The UN continues to report the occurrence of gross human rights abuses, in the form of indiscriminate killings, rape, sexual violence against girls, boys, women and men, and the destruction of property.

24. Although famine has been averted for now, the overall humanitarian situation remains dire and there is no room for complacency. Humanitarian access is still frequently hampered and according to recent UN OCHA figures, the number of reported humanitarian access incidents rose from 89 in May to 136 in July 2017.

25. I am encouraged, however, that immediately following our last plenary, JMEC organised and hosted a joint Humanitarian Affairs Discussion Forum, with the participation of the TGoNU, humanitarian community and donors, to discuss steps in reducing the impediments to delivery of humanitarian assistance. I hope that the outcome of the Forum will contribute to improved humanitarian access in line with the provisions of Chapter III of the Peace Agreement.

Honourable Ministers, Excellencies, Ladies and Gentlemen;

26. On the economy, I welcome the progress made by the TGoNU in reducing the severe level of economic instability experienced since 2016. High levels of borrowing from the Central Bank had contributed to increased inflation and exchange rate depreciation. This borrowing has now been substantially reduced. The pursuit of economic stability must continue to provide a framework for economic recovery.

27. Strengthening oil prices have helped government revenue evolve more favourably than had been anticipated, but revenue growth continues to be limited by low oil production, poor prospects for increasing oil production in the near future and low levels of non- oil revenue. In that regard I welcome the efforts of the TGoNU to increase revenue performance by pushing ahead with the establishment of a fully functional National Revenue Authority.

28. To further streamline spending and increase budget efficiency I would urge the TGoNU to continue with its plans to unwind the petrol subsidy and to pay down the arrears owed to public sector workers and suppliers of goods and services. Indeed it is critical to lay the foundation for sound budget management and economic growth, both of which are key components in the realization of the implementation of Chapter Four of the Peace Agreement.

29. I must again stress that an urgent resolution to the conflict in South Sudan is a necessary condition to strengthen and consolidate economic stability while beginning the huge task of creating conditions for broader economic growth and development. This will necessarily include increasing agricultural production, improving oil and other revenue sources, and encouraging growth in the rest of the private sector, particularly the service sector.

Honourable Ministers, Excellencies, Ladies and Gentlemen;

30. I regret to note that the preparatory work by the multi-stakeholder committee on consultations on the Commission on Truth, Reconciliation and Healing has not progressed beyond that which I reported last month. This committee has not conducted further awareness raising missions as planned, partly due to the lack of resources.

31. On the establishment of the Hybrid Court for South Sudan, I am happy to report that the African Union Commission Office of the Legal Counsel and the TGoNU held preliminary consultations in Juba and Addis Ababa to discuss the draft legal instruments necessary to establish the Court. I am informed by the African Union Commission that an agreement on the legislative framework for the establishment of the Court could be complete by the end of October 2017.

32. I urge the African Union Commission and TGoNU to maintain the momentum achieved over the last few weeks and move to establish the Hybrid Court for South Sudan as soon as possible. As I have said before, accountability and justice are important building blocks for peace and reconciliation, and the Hybrid Court will constitute a cornerstone in building accountability and the rule of law for this Republic.

33. A new Permanent Constitution is a pre-requisite for the conduct of elections at the end of the Transitional Period. Even though we are out of time, and rightly in pursuit of revitalization and revision of timelines, the initiation of a Permanent Constitution–making process remains a priority. The new constitution will embody the aspirations of the people of South Sudan and establish a benchmark for democratisation and the rule of law.

34. It is a matter of regret, therefore, that even the process of incorporating the provisions of the Peace Agreement into the Transitional Constitution remains outstanding – it is now four months since the Constitutional Amendment Bill was handed over to the TGoNU by the National Constitutional Amendment Committee. I urge the TGoNU to finalise this process immediately and demonstrate its commitment to the Peace Agreement.

Honourable Ministers, Excellencies, Ladies and Gentlemen;

35. The six JMEC Working Committees are all meeting on a regular basis and since the last plenary, collectively, they have met twelve times.

36. I should stress that the tasks of these Working Committees are not only to monitor and evaluate each chapter but also to provide advice and recommend remedial actions to be undertaken by the TGoNU and other bodies responsible for implementation of the Peace Agreement.

37. Currently all Working Committees are in the process of preparing and adopting an evaluation of the current status of the Peace Agreement, chapter by chapter, with clear recommendations ahead of the High Level Revitalisation Forum.

38. To this end, a JMEC Evaluation Workshop will result in a final evaluation report which I will forward to the Chairperson of IGAD as JMEC’s contribution to the IGAD High Level Revitalisation Forum.
Honourable Ministers, Excellencies, Ladies and Gentlemen;

39. I will now return to the issue of the IGAD-led High Level Revitalisation Forum for the Peace Agreement.

40. We will all recall that the IGAD Council of Ministers met on 24th July 2017, for the first time in Juba. In their Communique that day, the Council of Ministers empowered the IGAD Special Envoy for South Sudan to coordinate the revitalization process including all stakeholders and institutions charged with the responsibility for the implementation of the Peace Agreement. The Council also urged all South Sudanese stakeholders to embrace the objectives of the High Level Revitalisation Forum and collaborate with the IGAD Special Envoy to achieve a positive outcome.

41. It is essential to stress a number of issues regarding this Revitalisation Forum in order to avoid any misunderstandings:

i. The Revitalisation Forum is an IGAD initiative mandated by the Summit of Heads of State and Government and executed by the Council of Ministers through the office of the new IGAD Special Envoy. Our role, as JMEC, is to support IGAD in its efforts to convene this Forum.

ii. Whilst the Forum sets out with three objectives – 1) to reinstate the Permanent Ceasefire; 2) to reinstate full and inclusive implementation of the Peace Agreement; and 3) to develop revised and realistic timelines for implementation towards elections at the end of the transition period – the outcomes of the Forum are not pre-determined.

iii. It will be for the Parties and estranged groups to determine and commit to the outcomes of this Forum. After all, in the end, the responsibility for the implementation of the Peace Agreement lies squarely with these same Parties.

iv. This is a Forum through which to explore options that can restore the prominence of the peace process taking account of current realities. It is our hope that this revitalisation process will be pursued in the spirit of peace, inclusivity and compromise.

42. In JMEC’s perspective, for the Revitalisation process to succeed and for effective implementation of the Peace Agreement to be achieved, there is need for demonstrable political will by the Parties and estranged groups to be inclusive and to accommodate one another politically, rather than defeat each other militarily.

43. We must all speak with “one voice” to the leaders of South Sudan and align our actions. There should be clear consequences for intransigent groups, spoilers and violations. The Parties must commit to adhere to any revised timelines and implementation schedules and there is need to determine and secure adequate funding for implementation of the revitalised Peace Agreement.

Honorable Ministers, Excellencies, Ladies and Gentlemen;

44. Over the past week, there has been some unfortunate confusion and dispute over the deployment of advance elements of the Regional Protection Force. One impact of this dispute was the temporary grounding of all UN flights which had a direct impact on the operations of CTSAMM. This is deeply regretable and I urge TGoNU to resolve issues with UNMISS swiftly and facilitate the deployment of this force without further hindrance, in accordance with UN Security Council Resolution 2304 (2016).

45. To that end, I further urge IGAD to urgently convene the meeting between the Chiefs of Defence Forces of the Troop Contributing Countries, the TGoNU, and UNMISS as specified in the IGAD Communique of 12th June 2017. This meeting has not yet taken place and as a result, key issues affecting the practical deployment of this force have not been addressed and serious challenges are arising.

Honorable Ministers, Excellencies, Ladies and Gentlemen;

46. I conclude with the following recommendations for this Plenary:

a. We demand a total cessation of violence around the country and a commitment by all parties and groups to pursue a political path to reconciling their differences; we further urge all parties to the Peace Agreement to facilitate access to CTSAMM to conduct their work;

b. We welcome and commit to the revitalisation of the implementation of the Peace Agreement, and call upon all parties and estranged groups to seize this opportunity and make concrete proposals for consideration at the Forum;

c. In line with the Communique of the IGAD Summit of 12th June 2017, we urge IGAD to convene the meeting between the TGoNU, UNMISS and the Chiefs of Defence of the Troop Contributing Countries with regard to the deployment of the Regional Protection Force. We strongly recommend that this meeting be held in Juba.

d. We urge the TGoNU to immediately conclude the Constitutional Amendment process, and to initiate the Permanent Constitution-making Process;

e. ABOVE ALL we demand a sustained improvement of the conditions for delivery of humanitarian assistance; and finally,

f. We urge full cooperation of all Parties and groups to fulfil the mandate of the Revitalisation Forum and I call upon the EU and IGAD to urgently convene the JMEC Partners Forum to discuss and commit support for the revitalisation process.

47. I expect this Plenary to:

a. receive a briefing from the TGoNU on recent progress made in implementing the Peace Agreement;

b. receive an update from TGoNU and UNMISS on the current humanitarian situation, in particular on steps taken to facilitate unfettered humanitarian access;

c. receive summary reports on the status of the various Boards and Commissions of the Peace Agreement and the progress towards their objectives; and,

d. welcome the progress that is being made by the various JMEC Working Committees, and commend the Chairpersons and members for their commitment and contributions.

48. Finally, I take this opportunity to thank all our partners in the TGoNU, the other South Sudanese stakeholders, IGAD, AU, Troika, EU, China, the UN, UNMISS, and the International Partners

and Friends of South Sudan for their commitment and continued support to JMEC, and appeal for full support for the revitalisation process.

49. May God bless us all and continue to guide us in the relentless pursuit of peace.

I thank you.