S. Sudan’s three-year-old peace agreement is targeted at failure until the parties settled their disputes and create a United army -SPLM-IO faction
The accord signed in September 2018 requires the reunification of all warring parties. But on Wednesday, SPLM-IO broached that the three-years-old peace agreement is destined to fail unless the parties resolve their differences and form a united army.
The peace deal reached in August 2015 broke apart following new violence in the capital, Juba, in July 2016.
The new peace deal reinstated opposition leader Riek Machar, along with four others, as President Salva Kiir’s deputy.
In early 2020, a unity government was formed to prepare the country for elections. However, major aspects of the peace accord, such as security arrangements, transitional justice, and institutional reforms, are still behind schedule or completely blocked.
Some leaders within First Vice President Riek Machar’s SPLA-IO claimed in early August that they had removed him as head of the party and its armed forces. According to the opposition group, Machar had “completely failed” to show leadership and had severely harmed the party’s position in the unity government.
“The security arrangements dossier is delayed, and the soldiers have been in training camps for two years without graduating,” Dr Kuong Dak, a member of South Sudan’s parliament from Machar’s SPLM-IO party, said.
The pact mandates the parties to the agreement to gather, screen, and train their individual forces before combining them into a national army. So far, there has been no grading of armed soldiers.
“We appeal to the guarantors, particularly Sudan, which is the IGAD chair,” said the congressman, who is leading a delegation of SPLM-IO legislators to neighboring Sudan. There may be problems if the peace agreement is not properly implemented,” Kuong warned at a press conference in Khartoum on Wednesday.
He argues that the lack of progress on security arrangements indicates that the peace agreement will not be completely implemented. “Under the provisions of the peace accord, the government was obligated to fund the security arrangements by giving aid to the soldiers. Unfortunately, there is minimal support for the soldiers at training camps,” Kuong noted.
A shortage of food and medicine, according to the legislator, is pushing fighters to abandon cantonment sites and training camps across South Sudan, endangering the country’s efforts to build a cohesive army.
Meanwhile, John Orach, a member of South Sudan’s parliament backing Machar’s SPLM-IO, condemned violence in Upper Nile State between rival factions of the Sudan People’s Liberation Army-In Opposition (SPLA-IO), calling it “senseless.”
“Our group is not the main cause of delays in executing security measures. The failure of the security file, which is a cornerstone of the peace agreement, is to blame on the main peace partner, the SPLM,” he said.