STATEMENT BY AMBASSADOR Lt. GENERAL AUGOSTINO S.K. NJOROGE (Rtd) DEPUTY CHAIRPERSON OF JMEC, DURING INTER-STATES GOVERNOR STRATEGIC PEACE INTERVENTION CONFERENCE YAMBIO, NOVEMBER 27 TO 30, 2017
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.