Saturday, July 02, 2016

SPLA Spokesperson Says Ceasefire Monitors Not Performing
Brigadier General Lul Ruai Koang, SPLA spokesperson, is seen at a containment site outside Juba on April 14, 2016 (AFP Photo)

July 1, 2016 (JUBA) - The spokesperson of the Sudan People’s Liberation Army (SPLA), the official army of South Sudan, has accused Ceasefire and Transitional Security Arrangements Monitoring Mechanism (CTSAMM) of not performing its duties effectively in identifying which of the parties to the peace agreement carried out violations.

But CTSAMM leadership earlier blamed the government, particularly the top leadership for not giving the necessary directives to the local authorities on the ground to allow access.

CTSAMM is a ceasefire body formed in accordance with provision of the August 2015 peace agreement which President Salva Kiir and opposition leader, Riek Machar, signed to oversee the implementation of the ceasefire agreement.

"Sincerely speaking, CTSAMM has not been doing its job. I think they have been sitting for too long. Their job has not been is a monitoring body and they are supposed to be on the ground and see that what this party is violating,” said army spokesman, Brigadier General Lul Ruai Koang, according to the local Daily Vision newspaper.

“We have time and again seen members of CTSAMM confined to comfort zones within South Sudan. It’s time for them to get out of their camps and prove these violations,” he added.

The comments followed a complaint by the overall head of the higher joint monitoring and evaluation commission (JMEC), Festus Mogae, in which he expressed disappointment at the delay in the establishment of cantonment sites for the forces of armed opposition, calling on President Kiir to issue directives to local commanders and authorities. Local authorities have rejected the establishment of the cantonment areas on the ground that they have not received directives in writing from the president.

General Molla Hailemariam, chairman of CTSAMM while applauding the progress made in implementing ceasefire, said “violence continued to occur, as evidenced by the clashes that broke out in Kajo-Keji, Central Equatoria, Raja, Western Bahr El Ghazal, Leer, Unity State and the most recent and appalling fighting in Wau, Western Bahr El Ghazal last week.”

“The shooting at two cars belonging to the SPLM-IO in Juba is deploring. It is also disappointing that the selection and establishment of cantonment sites is yet not in sight, which has left CTSAMM unable to undertake meaningful verifications,” General Hailemariam said.

General Hailemariam in a prepared statement before the joint session in which representatives of the parties participated last week in Juba, the capital of South Sudan, said the ceasefire body has long been faced with huge challenges in terms of freedom of movement.

The situation is not improved but worsened in some areas. A series of impediments and restrictions, harassment and intimidation against CTSAMM occurred despite strong calls for unhindered access to be granted to CTSAMM.

“The detention of MVT personnel repeated yesterday in Torit. It is unacceptable to allow this kind of impediment and harassment against MVTs [to] continue. Let’s put it clear, a functioning CTSAMM with freedom of movement is supporting the peace process whist a paralyzed CTSAMM will in no way serve the interests of the people of South Sudan. It is our earnest hope that TGoNU would be able to take decisive actions to ensure freedom of movement for CTSAMM,” the statement said.


No comments: