JUBA – All possible support towards the implementation of the South Sudan peace agreement is welcome as much remains to be done, RJMEC chairman Amb. Maj Gen Charles Tai Gituai has said.
Speaking on Thursday at the joint IGAD and African Union initiative on the Post-Conflict Needs Assessment for South Sudan, the Reconstituted Joint Monitoring and Evaluation Commission boss noted that time is critical.
Amb Gituai said the unification of forces, the making of the permanent constitution, and preparations for elections in December 2024, are among the critical tasks that remain pending.
South Sudan Vice President Dr James Wani Igga was in attendance.
The chairman, however, commended IGAD and the AU for the support towards South Sudan at “this timely juncture”.
He expressed hope that the Needs Assessment initiative will “help to create a springboard from which the RTGoNU [South Sudan government] can establish and operationalise the Special Reconstruction Fund.
“The Needs Assessment sought to enhance the efforts of the South Sudan government towards the full implementation of the peace agreement, and to highlight opportunities for support, including modalities for the establishment of the Special Reconstruction Fund (SRF) as per Article 3.2 of the revitalised peace deal.
“As we all know, the lack of funding has been a huge challenge since the Agreement’s signing, and the SRF is a mechanism required to raise and transparently manage funds for the reconstruction effort and the implementation of the Agreement,” Amb Gituai said.
Noting that the magnitude and severity of humanitarian needs in South Sudan continues to rise, Gituai noted that the focus that the needs assessment places on the establishment of the Special Reconstruction Fund and Board is very important.
Once the SRF is established, in accordance to Article 3.2.8, IGAD, the African Union and the UN are expected to collaborate in convening the Pledging Conference to resource the fund, and to support the implementation of the Agreement.”
The RJMEC Chairperson added, “given the magnitude of the tasks ahead and the slow pace of implementation, RJMEC has urged all parts of the RTGoNU to redouble efforts, work collaboratively, in a collegial and consultative manner, and to expedite implementation and provide much-needed resources and leadership to the implementation of the Peace Agreement. The support of international partners and friends of South Sudan in this regard is also crucial.”
However, he noted that besides the challenges, there is plenty of potential in South Sudan, and a population deeply deserving of peace and sustainable development.