January 24, 2017 (JUBA) – The Joint Monitoring and Evaluation Commission (JMEC), the body overseeing the implementation of South Sudan’s peace agreement has urged the U.N Security Council to quickly deploy the 4,000 extra troops it authorized late last year.
- JMEC Chairman, Festus Mogae, briefs the UN Security Council, on the implementation of the peace agreement on 31 March 2016 (ST Photo)
The JMEC chairman, Festus Mogae told the Security Council in New York on Monday that deploying the protection forces would help government to refocus on restoring law and order outside Juba.
Mogae, in a statement, argued that strengthening the current 12,000 UN Mission in South Sudan (UNMNISS) would “provide a safe, neutral and secure environment in support of the peace process.”
The former Botswana president further said that the Security Council must unite to push the South Sudanese government to accept the deployment of authorized by the world body six months ago.
“Such spirit of determination, coordinated actions and uniform voices are critical for effective intervention in South Sudan,” he said.
The Security Council authorized the deployment of 4,000 troops in South Sudan in August, following renewed violence in Juba, but the government, initially rejected the resolution and has been reluctant to allow the deployment of troops from neighbouring countries.
According to the monitoring body’s chairperson, the regional protection forces will boost and assist the Transitional Government of National Unity “redeploy the bulk of the army currently protecting Juba to the other parts of the country to restore law and order.”
Mogae, however, said the national dialogue initiative announced by President Salva Kiir last year be impossible if Juba is not secured to allow rival participants engage in the process without being intimidated.
South Sudan has experience violence since December 2013 when political disagreements between President Salva Kiir and his former deputy, Riek Machar saw the country split along ethnic dimensions. Tens of thousands of people have been killed and millions displaced in South Sudan’s worst ever violence in its independence.