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Expedite South Sudan’s permanent constitutional making process: UNMISS chief

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The head of UNMISS, Nicholas Haysom opens the 18th plenary session of the RJMEC meeting in Juba, July 22, 2021 (UNMISS photo)

July 24, 2021 (JUBA) – The head of the United Nations Mission in South Sudan (UNMISS), Nicholas Haysom has urged the revitalized government to demonstrate the political will to progress implementation of the peace deal.

He made the remarks while opening a plenary session of the Reconstituted Monitoring and Evaluation Commission (RJMEC) in Juba on Thursday.

While we must acknowledge progress recorded so far, we must also be cognizant that a lot more remains to be done to hold on to the peace gains and make them irreversible, Haysom explained.

He also called for a fully operational Transitional National Legislative Assembly (TNLA) and Council of States, an addition to the complete formation of subnational governance structures, including state legislatures and in the three administrative areas, while ensuring the 35% gender requirement.

The top UN official further called for acceleration of the permanent constitutional-making process and progress on harmonization of command of the armed forces so that the formation of the necessary unified forces and other transitional security arrangement provisions can progress.

“I am also encouraged by recent progress including: the launch of the consultative process for the Commission for Truth, Reconciliation and Healing (CTRH), the establishment of a taskforce to oversee and coordinate transitional justice and judicial reforms, reconstitution of the national legislature, and the launch of the permanent constitution making process,” he said.

Haysom also acknowledged the continuing commitment of the transitional government and international partners to focus on making progress along the broad set of benchmarks needed to progress the transitional period.

For his part, the interim chairperson of South Sudan’s peace monitoring body, Maj. Gen. Charles Tai Gituai expressed concerns over the lack of implementation of the security arrangements as stipulated in the 2018 revitalised peace agreement.

“Even though some progress has been made in some areas of implementation of the (Peace) Agreement, a critical concern remains on the security arrangements, which is fundamental to the peace process,” he told the meeting.

Gituai urged the parties to urgently resolve the issue of the ratio of the unified forces and the unified command structure of the necessary unified forces.”

Under the 2018 peace deal, South Sudan is to train and graduate 83,000 personnel to take charge of security during the ongoing transitional period.

The interim chairperson of RJMEC further urged Transition Government of National Unity (TGoNU) to expedite the unification of forces and the transitional security arrangements and establish the state security committees.

“I urge the RTGoNU to make financial resources available for the completion of the Transitional Security Arrangements, including graduation and redeployment of unified forces,” he added.

RJMEC is mandated, under the terms of the September 2018 peace agreement, to monitor, oversee and support the implementation of the accord.

(ST)

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