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OBSERVATION REPORT ON THE STATUS OF R-ARCSS IMPLEMENTATION

12TH NOVEMBER 2019

22nd September, 2019

Abstract: This report focuses on generating information about the road to 12th November 2019.  Still some works are needed for making the road to 12th November 2019 smooth and for gaining genuine enforcement. The implementation of the security arrangements is promising although the process is facing a lot of a logistical challenges that requires urgent support by the leadership of the country and parties signatories to R-ARCSS. Time is getting closure to 12th November 2019 but still the parties’ signatories to R-ARCSS are not effectively sensitizing their political and security members on the implications of 12th November 2019. Especial if 12th November 2019 is enforced. Among the other critical issues are; the political parties’ women preparation for demanding their party leadership for compliance with the enforcement of the affirmative action of at least 35% for women at all levels of government on 12th November 2019; keeping public inform about the resolution of the boundaries and number of the states, resolution of political parties splits over matters of party leadership control prior the 12th November 2019; mitigation of the recent merging insecurity situation in Yei River State and process for genuine engagement of the parties non-signatory to R-ARCSS        

UPDATES ON THE STATUS OF R-ARCSS IMPLEMENTATION

  1. SECURITY ARRANGEMENTS
  1. Aspects of cantoning and barracking forces is moving on reasonably. It is reasonably because still matters of services delivery like shelter, food and water for the forces in cantonment and barrack sites are not adequate including the process of the screening and registration of forces is delaying.
  2. Logistical hardship is still hindering timely execution of the security arrangements process such as VIP Protection Unit and Necessary Unified Forces trainings. Logistical supporting the work of Joint Military Ceasefire Commission, Joint Transitional Security committee and Joint Defense Board is inadequate
  3. Parties signatories to R-ARCSS with forces need to take primary responsibility for orienting their forces over the process of the security arrangements to avoid frictions among their forces commanders and troops. Chance of some parties commanders and troops will have misunderstanding over the security arrangement, is higher after our observations of the field work on cantoning and barracking of forces   
  4. The security arrangements progress is promising but it is really time back towards the aim of parties compliance with 12th November 2019
  5. The nexus between the security arrangements and Disarmament, Demobilization and Reintegration is not clear 
  1. POLITICAL PROCESS
  1. The face-to-face meeting of President Salva Kiir and Dr. Riek Machar dated 11th September 2019 was encouraging although it fall short of the aspiration of “meeting of top leadership of the parties to R-ARCSS”
  2. Handling the issue of the boundaries and number of states through national political process of having a committee composed of the membership from the parties’ signatory to R-ARCSS was smart approach for reaching political consensus on the issue. The parties should not play game of less commitment and wild-political will for addressing this matter without the spirit of nationalism but with the spirit of politics for power control
  3. The shaper political appetite developed among the political elites after the signing of the R-ARCSS toward securing political seat in the Transitional Government of National Unity offer a lot of risks for political splits among the political grouping signatory to R-ARCSS.
  4. The shaper political appetite a new merging factors that will trigger political splits and defection prior 12th November 2019. This request IGAD Special Envoy to South Sudan together with IGAD member states to have a deliberation on the modalities of genuine responsibility sharing among the signatories of R-ARCSS before 12th November 2019
  5. Constitutional urgency –the current incumbent national parliament role in enacting the Revitalized Transitional Constitution (Amendment, 2015 and 2019) is paramount before 12th November 2019. This process can be held hostage if the issue of the boundaries and number of the states is not politically resolved through political decisions that is made through consensus among the parties to R-ARCSS
  6. The absence of strong and influential established women leagues among the majority of the parties signatories to R-ARCSS, offers potential chance for the parties excuse for not meeting the threshold of the agreed upon affirmative action of at least 35% for women. Women in the political parties should urgently adopted framework such as “declaration on political parties’ compliance with affirmative action of at least 35% for women in RTGoNU”. The declaration should focus on influencing the political parties for enforcement of the affirmative action of at least 35% for women on the 12th November 2019.    
  1. THE ROLE OF NONE-SIGNATORIES TO R-ARCSS
  1. The leader of NAS Thomas Cirillo accepting the call made by the President Salva Kiir and Dr. Riek Machar for involvement in the peace process is great, if it is taken serious and genuine by the parties signatories to R-ARCSS and IGAD Special Envoy to South Sudan
  2. The recent development of killing and adoption of civilians in Yei River State due to the frictions between NAS and Government forces is disturbing and offering new trend of risk for resolving political difference in non-violent manner. The compound of Episcopal Church of South Sudan (ECSS) of Yei River state is witnessing arrival of New Internal Displaced Persons due to the on-going tensions between NAS and Government forces
  3. None-signatories to R-ARCSS and signatories to R-ARCSS need to be encourage to opt for resolving their political difference in non-violent. The chance of criminal-minded individuals committing human atrocities in the communities in the name of non-signatories and signatories to R-ARCSS currently is higher. Those committed human atrocities will be accounted for by the leadership of the non-signatories and signatories to R-ARCSS 
  1. IGAD AND R-ARCSS IMPLEMENTATION MECHANISMS
  1. Forthcoming IGAD meetings both Council of Ministers and Head of state and government should take serious genuine decisions on handling the non-signatories to R-ARCSS
  2. In October 2019, it is essential to hold one face-to-face meeting of the top leadership of the parties to R-ARCSS
  3. IGAD leadership under the office of the Special Envoy to South Sudan should make clear public position on the status of South Sudan Opposition Alliance (SSOA) splits over leadership before 12Th November 2019  
  4. Ceasefire Transitional Arrangements Security Monitoring and Verification Mechanism (CTASMVM) should be vocal and sincere on the on-going situation of violence between NAS and Government forces in Yei.
  1. FINDINGS
  1. The security arrangement is progressing well with hard logistical constraints
  2. The President Salva Kiir and Dr. Riek Machar face-to-face meeting conducted recently in Juba is  promising, But, the parties signatories to the R-ARCSS are require to improve their communication language from the language of mistrust and lack of confidence to the language of promoting trust and confidence among themselves especial from October towards 12th November 2019
  3. Majority of the parties signatories to R-ARCSS lack strong established Women leagues, this offer high-risk for the majority of the parties to undermine the enforcement of the agreed upon affirmative action of at least 35% for women during the formation of the Revitalized Transitional Government of National Unity at all levels.
  4. Leadership frictions within SSOA is an issue that may hinder SSOA genuine representation and participation in R-ARCSS implementation if not resolve now
  5. Political parties signatories to R-ARCSS is doing less in sensitizing their party members on the road to 12th November 2019 R-ACSS are totally Juba based Parties without presence at community level 
  6. The situation of insecurity in around Yei River State between the NAS and Government forces is potential threat for genuine R-ARCSS implementation in Yei River State
  7. The interest for engaging the non-signatories to R-ARCSS is expressed but this weather will be operationalized or not –it is not clear
  1. RECOMMENDATIONS
  1. The security arrangement mechanisms require urgent adequate logistical support for expediting the security arrangements around cantoning and barracking of forces including the training of the VIP protection unit
  2. The Reconstituted Disarmament, Demobilization and Reintegration Commission (DDRC) leadership should be adequately supported to start sensitizing soldiers on the DDR processes and developing DDR plan and packages
  3. The top leadership of the parties’ signatory to R-ARCSS should continue the face-to-face meeting and should have one meeting in mid-October in Juba.
  4. The top leadership of the parties should ensure that their party members change their communication language from the language of sending sense of mistrust and lack of confidence to the public to the language of sending sense of hope, trust and confidences for working together for 12th November 2019 and beyond
  5. The merging insecurity situation in Yei River State requires quick intervention of IGAD and IGAD Special Envoy to South Sudan
  6. IGAD Special Envoy to South Sudan should offer public statement on the leadership frictions in SSOA.
  7. Parties’ signatories to R-ARCSS with forces should sensitize their ground forces on the security arrangements process and the implications of the process early enough
  8. The call made for engaging the non-signatories to R-ARCSS by the President Salva Kiir and Dr Riek Machar during the recent meeting should be taken up immediately and seriously by IGAD 
  9. Women in the parties signatories to R-ARCSS should begin organizing themselves for ensuring that their responsibility sharing ratio in the forthcoming Revitalized Transitional Government of National Unity under the affirmative action of at least 35% for women at various levels of the government is not undermine by the party leadership
  10. Political decision is required to resolve the issue of the boundaries and number of the states in transparent manner. Facilitating timely  work of the agreed upon committee for seeking political decision on the issue of the boundaries and number of the states is essential      
  11. Political parties’ signatories to the R-ARCSS should conduct public rallies for raising the citizens’ knowledge on ownership of R-ARCSS and winning citizens trust and confidence on R-ARCSS
  1. CEPO’S ROLE

CEPO will be much focusing on promoting calls for parties’ compliance and enforcement of the agreed upon affirmative action of at least 35% for women. Further, CEPO will urging women in political parties to complete for the balance of the 75% for the responsibility sharing during the government formation. CEPO already is engaging the parties and public to sign a declaration for political parties’ compliance for enforcement of the affirmative action of at least 35% for women on 12th November 2019. CEPO is planning to rollout a project on the Nexus of R-ARCSS and UNSCR 1325 already. Advocacy and lobby for the continuation of the top leadership of the parties to R-ARCSS is among our peace engagement priorities from now till 12th November 2019. Our advocacy will take into account the urgent mitigation of the merging insecurity situation in Yei River State.  Calling for adequate release of funds for the security arrangements implementation mechanisms will be within our advocacy. CEPO will keep on calling upon the parties signatories to R-ARCSS to honor their commitment for resolving the issue of the boundaries and number of the state politically. Finally CEPO will keep on augment the political parties to sensitize their party members ad forces on the R-ARCSS implementation process.           

CONCLUSION

Standing for compliance with formation of inclusive Revitalized Transitional Government of National Unity by 12th November 2019 should be the one priority of the parties’ signatories to R-ARCSS from now till the 12th November 2019. IGAD should take the merging insecurity situation in Yei River state serious including genuine engagement of the non-signatories to R-ARCSS. The public should be timely inform on the process of resolving the issue of the boundaries and number of the states. This issue of boundaries and number of states requires transparency. Finally, untimely sensitization of the members and forces of the parties’ signatories to R-ARCSS on the R-ARCSS implementation process is potential challenge on the road for genuine implementation of R-ARCSS