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South Sudan monitoring team cites Covid-19, defections as barriers to transition

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EASTAFRICA 21 APR 2020

A regional conflict monitoring team in South Sudan says the scourge of Covid-19 and defections by politicians could harm the trajectory to full time peace.

In a situational report on Tuesday, the Joint Monitoring and Evaluation Commission (JMEC) said the spread of the novel coronavirus disease (Covid-19) into South Sudan could limit the inability of stakeholders from meeting deadlines.

But the team, created by the Intergovernmental Authority on Development (Igad), to oversee the implementation of the peace deal, said South Sudan’s political leaders could harm that agreement by defecting between parties.

“Parties should refrain from accepting into their ranks soldiers who are defecting and changing alliances,” JMEC said in the report.

“This can only undermine implementation of the permanent security arrangements and the momentum of trust and confidence-building among the Parties to the R-ARCSS,” it added referring to the initials that stand for the Revitalised Agreement on the Resolution of the Conflict in South Sudan.

The R-ARCSS was signed in November 2018, but it was not until February 22this year that the Transitional Government of National Unity (TGoNU)was formed in Juba.

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