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SPLM-IO: Press Release – Re: Statement on the UN Special Envoy to South Sudan and the Reckless Statement of Hon. Michael Makuel, Minister of Information of the Regime (07.10.2019)

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‘Our Peace’: A Forum of Grassroots and National Actors seeks to move forward the Revitalised Peace Agreement (03.10.2019)

A peace forum aimed at ensuring inclusive and active participation of South Sudanese communities in peace building has opened in Juba. More than sixty participants including political, traditional and religious leaders alongside the civil society and representatives of displaced communities, women and youth are attending the three-day forum, supported by the UN Mission in South Sudan in collaboration with other partners. The overall objective is to tap into the experiences of State and Non-State actors to drive the peace process forward. Speaking at the opening, the UN Special Representative, David Shearer called on grassroots communities to be agents of peace. UN Photo: Isaac Billy

Participants at the forum are discussing how they can use their experience to influence and drive forward the implementation of the all-important peace agreement.

JUBA, South Sudan, October 3, 2019 – At a hotel in the South Sudanese capital, Juba, small groups of men and women – in dozens – gather around conference tables.“The people know that the peace agreement has been signed, but they do not know what the peace agreement is all about, and they want services,” says Hakim Paride from Torit to his tablemates.

Hakim is one of the participants – about 60 of them – at a three-day forum which kicked off on Tuesday, drawing people from across the country.

Prominent among them are political, traditional and religious leaders. But the civil society, displaced communities, women and youth are there, too, completing a cocktail of representation from the grassroots and national levels – exactly what participants at this “Our Peace” forum are trying to achieve: inclusive and active participation of all these actors in peacebuilding in Africa’s youngest state.

“I feel the workshop allows us to own the peace,” says Rachel Mayik, a women’s leader from Malakal’s UN Protection of Civilians site.

The rest keenly listen or take notes, while others nod in agreement as they eagerly await their turn to contribute to the ongoing discussion.

“When people were not engaged, they felt that peace was only for those who signed – like the government, the IO (Sudan People’s Liberation Army in Opposition) and the other parties – but now bringing the grassroots, they feel they are part and parcel of this Revitalized Peace Agreement,” adds Mayik.

Supported by the United Nations Mission in South Sudan (UNMISS), the United Nations Development Programme and various partners, participants at the forum are discussing how they can use their experience to influence and drive forward the implementation of the all-important peace agreement signed in Addis Ababa in September 2018.

They delve into a detailed scrutiny of the chapters of the agreement: formation of a Transitional Government of National Unity, security arrangements, resource, economic and financial management, as well as transitional justice, reconciliation and healing.

“We very strongly believe that it is crucial that communities come together across the country and participate in the peace process,” says David Shearer, Head of UNMISS, at the start of the forum.

“There needs to be a strong connection being made between the grassroots peace initiatives and initiatives that are taking place at the national level,” he adds, noting that the pace of the reconciliation and peacebuilding in local communities had inspired the forum and the possibility of community leaders to communicate directly with the national leaders so they can learn from one another.

“This forum clearly indicates our acceptance, and that we are beginning to build confidence in order to have peace in South Sudan. I am very optimistic about this,” says Teresa Sirisio, the Chairperson of Sudan African National Union, before concluding:

“I am very confident; the way we are working together as one family for one purpose, that is peace.”

The forum, participants say, has allowed them to highlight and share some of the challenges they have experienced, while underlining the need for national and sub-national actors to own the peace process.

South Sudan: SPLM/A-IO – Memo (30.09.2019)

South Sudan Opposition Movements – Re: Report by the Head of the UNMISS at the UN Security Council’s 8621st meeting (02.10.2019)

South Sudan: Dr. Lam Akol – Comments – Displaced and Imminserated: The Shiluk of Upper Nile in South Sudan’s civil war, 2014-19 (28.09.2019)

Statement of the Special Representative of the UN Secretary-General David Shearer Briefing to the Security Council on South Sudan, 18 September 2019 (18.09.2019)

IGAD: Encouraging Progress in South Sudan (12.09.2019)

(September 12, 2019, JUBA, South Sudan) The Intergovernmental Authority on Development (IGAD) is pleased with the positive progress in the implementation of the Revitalized Agreement on the Resolution of the Conflict in the Republic of South Sudan.

The face – to – face meeting between H.E President Salva Kiir Mayardit and the First Vice President-Designate, H.E Dr. Riek Machar Teny that resulted in a way forward on pending Security Arrangements issues, is a significant step in the right direction.

“The remaining critical tasks of the agreement can only be completed with unity and compromise. The mood in Juba is very encouraging. It is feasible to form a unity government in November 2019,” said Ambassador Ismail Wais, the Special Envoy of IGAD for South Sudan.

“We call on the non-signatory groups to come in from the cold and join the nation-building and solutions,” Ambassador Wais added.

IGAD reiterates its commitment and support of the Revitalized Agreement on the Resolution of the Conflict in South Sudan (R-ARCSS).

We call on the International Community and the friends of South Sudan to support the positive momentum and expedite their support for the completion of the remaining critical tasks.

IGAD commends President Salva Kiir Mayardit for his leadership to broker a peace deal between the rebels and the government in the Republic of Sudan. It is clear demonstration of the potential role South Sudan can play in the security of the region.

African Council of Religious Leaders – Revive faith in the peace process: One year on from peace deal, African religious leaders urge East African leaders to take action for peace (12.09.2019)

South Sudan: One year after peace deal, violence and humanitarian needs haven’t decreased (11.09.2019)

A statement from James Reynolds, ICRC’s head of delegation in South Sudan, on the situation in the country one year after the signing of the Revitalized Agreement on the Resolution of the Conflict in South Sudan.

JUBA, South Sudan, September 11, 2019 – One year after the signing of the peace deal, violence is still pervasive in South Sudan, as clashes between communities threaten lives and the fragile stability.

Surgical teams from the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) continue to treat a large number of patients with gunshot wounds, while needs of the most affected communities remain high. Redoubled efforts are needed to bring a durable peace.

The number of patients with injuries from violence admitted to our surgical units have increased since the signing of the peace deal. From October 2017 to June 2018, 526 patients were admitted, mostly with gunshot wounds. The same period a year later (October 2018 to June 2019) we had 688, an increase of nearly 25 percent. In only one week in April, the ICRC evacuated by air 39 patients with weapon wounds to a hospital we support, forcing us to increase the number of beds in the unit by a third to accommodate the needs.

Violence is also impacting health centres. ICRC teams have collected information on 24 incidents in which facilities were looted or staff threatened since the signing of the peace deal, and this data may only reflect part of the incidents affecting health structures and personnel. In a country where so few health care facilities are functioning after decades of war and under-development, the closure of even one clinic means entire communities go without care, turning preventable, treatable diseases deadly.

The last year has also seen little improvement for most South Sudanese. There are more people facing food insecurity today in the country than at any point since the armed conflict between government forces and the opposition started more than five years ago. People are living in limbo, and recent clashes in some parts of the country, such as Equatoria, continue to displace thousands of people who are then unable to harvest their crops and instead rely on humanitarian aid.

Families have been torn apart by decades of conflict. Today, the ICRC is searching for more than 4,200 South Sudanese whose relatives have reported them as missing. Tragically, with four million South Sudanese still displaced inside the country and across its borders, the number of people who do not know where their loved ones are is likely much higher. Knowing the fate of their missing relatives would offer many South Sudanese the opportunity to move on.

The ICRC has been in South Sudan since its independence in 2011. We also served the needs of South Sudanese during the Sudan’s long war. We can say through firsthand experience that it is impossible to exaggerate the toll that decades of war, violence and uncertainty have had on communities.

It is our hope that the peace deal holds. The return to full-scale conflict in South Sudan could mean that civilians are again exposed to deliberate attacks and displacement, despite being protected under international law.

However, even if today’s current conditions hold, the levels of violence in South Sudan between communities, made possible by the easy access to guns in the country, will continue to threaten the peace and stability that South Sudanese need to recover and rebuild a country that has largely only known war.

South Sudan: IGAD welcomes the meeting of President Kiir and dr. Machar (10.09.2019)

(September 10, 2019, JUBA, South Sudan) The Intergovernmental Authority on Development (IGAD) welcomes the meeting of President Salva Kiir Mayardit and the leader of SPLM/A-I.O., Dr. Riek Machar Teny in Juba, South Sudan, as part of the effort to iron out issues related to transitional security arrangements and the number of States and boundaries.

The meeting is timely and an important step towards not only resolving challenges related to outstanding critical pre-transitional tasks but also building trust and confidence among the Parties to the Revitalized Agreement on the Resolution of the Conflict in the Republic of South Sudan (the R-ARCSS).

IGAD commends the Republic of Sudan for facilitating and supporting the face-to-face meeting. IGAD will continue to encourage and support face-to-face meetings between the two principals as well as among leaders of all Parties to the R-ARCSS agreement to ensure the timely formation and smooth functioning of the Revitalized Government of National Unity (R-TGoNU.

In this regard, the IGAD Special Envoy for South Sudan, Amb. Dr. Ismail Wais called on all the Parties to the R-ARCSS to show compromise and resolve all issues through dialogue. He also urged the international community and friends of South Sudan to continue supporting the implementation of the peace agreement to meet the critical milestones set for the formation of the Revitalized Government of National Unity (R-TGoNU) on November 12, 2019

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