IGAD urges progress toward implementation of South Sudan peace deal

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The Intergovernmental Authority on Development (IGAD) has urged parties in South Sudan to effectively engage on transitional security arrangements towards the timely implementation of South Sudan’s latest peace accord.

“The timely implementation of the Revitalized Agreement on the Resolution of the Conflict in South Sudan (R-ARCSS) significantly revolves around the transitional security arrangements,” Wais, IGAD Special Envoy for South Sudan, was quoted as saying by an IGAD statement issued late Saturday.

South Sudan’s new peace deal calls for the reunification of all fighters involved in the civil conflict, but the process has been marred by delays as some groups have refused to declare the size of their forces.

The East African bloc, IGAD, which noted a recent meeting among South Sudanese parties to discuss on the modalities of reconstituting the Disarmament, Demobilization and Reintegration (DDR) Commission, urged that a “functional DDR Commission is central to the overall success of the integrated and cross-cutting transitional security arrangements.”

“One of the key tasks to be undertaken in the cantonment is the disarmament, demobilization and reintegration of the combatants who are eligible to serve in the new security forces,” IGAD said.

The IGAD Special Envoy made the remarks a few days after the parties to South Sudan’s September 2018 peace deal agreed to form a unified force of 83,000 personnel, the body tasked with monitoring the shaky pact revealed earlier this week.

Interim Chairperson of the Joint Monitoring and Evaluation Commission, Augostino Njoroge, had revealed on Wednesday that the agreement on the number of forces was reached during a meeting held on May 10 and 11.

The parties were also said to have agreed that the government and opposition contribute equal numbers to the joint force.

South Sudan descended into civil war in late 2013, and the conflict has created one of the fastest growing refugee crises in the world.

The UN estimates that about 4 million South Sudanese have been displaced internally and externally.

The peace deal signed in August 2015 collapsed following renewed violence in the capital, Juba, in July 2016.

Under the latest peace deal, opposition leader Riek Machar, along with four others, will once again be reinstated as Kiir’s deputy.

Signatories to the fragile peace agreement agreed on May 3 to extend the formation of a transitional government by six months, following delays in the implementation of the pact over unresolved security issues.

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