By Sworo Charles Elisa
SPLM/A-IO Director of Information and Public Relations Puok Both Buluang says lack of political will from SPLM in government is slows the implementation of the Revitalized Agreement on the Resolution of the Conflict in South Sudan.
Speaking on the Sunrise Program on Sama FM as the country marked one year after the formation of the Revitalized Transitional Government of National Unity the on 22nd February 2021, Puok Both Buluang said slow provision of funds for the full implementation of the Revitalized Agreement amounts to lack of political will from the government.
“Security arrangement is nowhere to be seen. The only thing that we can mention is we have silenced guns in certain areas while there are still violations like in Maiwut and Moroto in Equatoria but to us nothing has been achieved because even the national government has not been fully formed as the parliament has not been reconstituted,” Puok Both Buluang said.
“One of the challenges to the graduation of the necessary unified forces is lack of resources because the current government cannot fund the implementation of the agreement and there are a lot of reasons for that. Some of them are corruption,” Puok both added.
However, the government has consistently reported lack of funds due to fall of oil prices in the world market. The 2013 conflict also affected oil production as some oilfields mainly in Unity State were affected by insecurity.
A representative of Other Political Parties (OPP) Pagarau Thiongkol said nothing much had been achieved in the last one year.
He said what he could count as progress was only of late when President Salva Kiir Mayardit started establishment of state governments and local governments in the country.
“Something I can say now is that there are possible indicators that the parties to the agreement are committed from Saturday last week up to yesterday because we can see full implementation of the agreement by formation of state governments in place so that these governments can work for the implementation of the other aspects of the agreement,” Thiongkol said.
Executive Director of Organization for Responsive Governance Rajab Mohandis noted appointment of executives at the national level as a positive development.
He said the appointment of five vice presidents and governors as well as maintence of ceasefire in most parts of the country as some of the achievements made one year after the formation of the Revitalized Transitional Government of National Unity.
“That is more of Juba based progress. We engage with the citizens. We go down to the villages. What they say is that they don’t see the implementation of the agreement. So whatever is happening in the meeting halls in Juba and on SSBC does not translate into changes of the lives of the ordinary citizens,” Rajab Mohandis noted.
“The inconsistent implementation of the Revitalized Agreement is unfortunately beginning to reverse some of the progress that they started making. For example, it was positive that forces were moved to cantonment sites and training centers. Now we are beginning to lose these training centers and also these forces. Reports from CTSAMM, RJMEC and others indicate that some of the forces have been deserting those training centers because of harsh living conditions,” he said.
He added that military confrontations in some places like Moroto have exacerbated the situation of necessary unified forces in the training centers.
“We have also had military confrontations in some of these centers. For example, Moroto. It has almost been lost completely as a unified training center. That is because of inconsistent and untimely implementation of the Revitalized Agreement. If the implementation of the Revitalized Agreement was done consistently, the forces would have been graduated before the 22nd February last year and we would not have had this situation,” Rajab said.
He said if the Revitalized Agreement was not implemented in a consistent manner, the gains made so far would be lost.
On his part Hon. Paul Yoane Bonju said people should be forward looking forgetting the dark history of conflict in South Sudan.
Hon. Paul Yoane appealed to the Parties to Revitalized Agreement to put South Sudan above their personal interests.
“We need to put the country above our personal interests and this tendency of us looking at ourselves as SPLM in government, SPLM/A-IO, to me we should minimize it at all. We should look at ourselves as real sons and daughters of South Sudan,” Hon. Paul Yoane said.
“So, let us unite ourselves, try very much to implement this agreement. I know there are hiccups in this agreement, what makes it probably complex is that there are so many actors. So, I want us to put the country first and then we put our individual interests later on,” Hon. Paul Yoane emphasized.
Representative of OPP Pagarau Thiongkol urged RTGONU to complete the formation of state governments as well as local governments. He also called on the government to urgently reconstitute and expand the Transitional National Legislative Assembly within this week.
“Our leadership must know that South Sudan is not Juba. South Sudan has parameters and the people who are suffering from far, we need them to be helped through the implementation of the agreement,” he said.
He is appealing to President Salva Kiir Mayardit to grant access to Other Political Parties so he can listen to their views.
“Nobody has access to the President to tell him what we have for the peace agreement to move forward. The political leaders in OPP are not meeting the President when they have that right to meet the President and tell him what they have for the peace agreement to move forward. We need the President to talk to people around him so that the peace agreement is implemented,” Pagarau Thiongkol appealed.
On the way forward, Puok Both Buluang, SPLM/A-IO Director of Information and Public Relations urged the Presidency to graduate the necessary unified forces as a core protection to the Revitalized Agreement.
“Let’s implement this agreement – all the chapters in letter and spirit and then we will have peaceful South Sudan,” Puok Both stressed.
The Executive Director of Organization for Responsive Governance Rajab Mohandis urged SPLM members to question their party leaders on the best way to sustain peaceful coexistence in South Sudan.