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Makuei and Lam exchange blames on delayed peace provisions

Author: Emmanuel Joseph Akile | Published: Friday, August 7, 2020

Dr Lam Akol, the leader of National Democratic Movement and Michael Makuei, government's spokesperson and minister of Information - credit | courtesy | File Photo

A senior member of the Opposition Alliance has accused the SPLM of derailing the implementation of crucial tasks within the peace deal, an allegation refuted by a senior official.

Dr. Lam Akol, who is the chairperson of the National Democratic Movement, a signatory to the revitalized peace agreement said several outstanding provisions are still not being implemented.

He said these include; the reconstitution of the transitional national legislature, the reunification of forces, full establishment of state governments and constitutional making process, and the economic sector reforms.

Dr. Lam blames these delays on President Salva Kiir’s party.

As per the agreement, the National Constitutional Amendment Committee was supposed to draft and complete a Constitutional Amendment Bill within twenty-one days upon the signing of the deal in September 2018.

It also says within 90 days, the committee is to review and complete amendments to relevant national security legislation to bring their provisions into conformity with the Agreement.

The agreement also provides for the reconstitution of commissions which include, Anti-Corruption Commission, National Audit Chamber, Relief and Rehabilitation, Human Rights, Judicial Service, Civil Service, Refugees, National Petroleum and Gas and South Sudan Broadcasting Corporation among others.

But some of the ambitious reforms within the agreement have not been initiated or completed.

Dr. Lam Akol maintains that the slow implementation of such provisions is due to lack of commitment from its partner, the SPLM.

“If you look at the security arrangements and the reunification of forces, it is still not yet realized, and the cantonment areas are still suffering from lack of food and instead of having people moving out of those sites,” said Lam.

“The government did not release enough money for the security arrangements.”

The prominent opposition leader said it is now 170 days since the unity government was formed without the state levels, commissions, the preparations of the permanent constitution-making, the sections of transitional justice such as reconciliation and healing committee, and the hybrid court.

“The government doesn’t want to appoint the governors for Upper Nile state because the President wants to have an opinion which is not there in the peace agreement. All these issues are still outstanding, the party to blame is the government, the SPLM-IG,” Dr. Lam maintained.

President Salva Kiir and SPLM-IO leader Dr. Riek Machar are yet to agree on whether to give the position to Johnson Olony or not.

They are also yet to send the list of nominees to the National Constitutional Amendment Committee for the appointment of national parliamentarians.

Responding to the criticism, the government spokesperson deflected the blame to the South Sudan Opposition Alliance and the SPLM-IO.

“What is this feud which is uncalled for?” he asked. “This idea of accusing the I-TGoNU all the time is the one derailing the agreement.”

Michael Makuei described the utterances by Dr. Lam as ‘propaganda.’ He instead blamed the other parties for delaying consultations meant to address issues within the agreement.

“I thought it is high time for us to stop all this negative propaganda against one another, I say this because the day before yesterday we agreed to go for a consultation and we agreed that we meet yesterday. We found that they had already called off the meeting for Monday, that is SSOA, IO and OPP,” Makuei added.

This week, the Revitalized Joint Monitoring and Evaluation Commission said mistrust between the parties, intercommunal violence, and the impact of the coronavirus pandemic has had some effect on the peace implementation.

The peace monitoring body raised concerns over delays in the restructuring and reconstitution of the Transitional National Legislature and all the structures of the state and local governments.

It called for the quick appointment of the remaining Governor to the state of Upper Nile.

According to the Interim chairperson of RJMEC, the parties should expedite the resolution of all the governance and security related tasks which were carried forward to the Transitional Period.

Ambassador Augostino Njoroge called for dialogue among the parties on all unresolved issues, including agreeing on the allocation of the States leadership, the establishment of the parliament and a collective approach to addressing intercommunal violence.

IGAD Heads of State have reportedly given the parties more time –until the 13th of August, 2020 –to settle the outstanding Pre-Transitional tasks.

The Chairperson of the IGAD Assembly is reportedly expected to directly intervene and engage the Parties to assist them to conclude the pending matters.

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