NDM accuses R-TGONU of willful peace obstruction to buy time for power

NDM accuses R-TGONU of willful peace obstruction to buy time for power
NDM accuses R-TGONU of willful peace obstruction to buy time for power

Africa-Press – South-Sudan. The Chairman of the National Democratic Movement has criticized the unity government for extending the transitional period by 24 months, terming it a deliberate tactic to stay in power.

On Thursday, parties to the unity government extended their rule by two years, to give time for implementation of the pending chapters in the agreement.

During the discussion on peace implementation roadmap in Juba, the unity government resolved to stay in power for the next 24 months, until December 2024, where elections are expected to usher in a new government.

In response, Dr. Lam Akol said, the decision by the peace parties in Juba, is the outcome of a deliberate obstruction to speedy implementation of the peace provisions.

“All along the implementation process, we have all observed deliberate stalling, obstruction and selective implementation of some provisions of the Revitalized Agreement,” said the opposition leader in a statement late on Thursday.

The decision to extend the timeline of the transitional period was also protested by the Troika countries, who expressed concerns over lack of inclusive consultation in the process.

Diplomats from the US, UK, and Norway boycotted the peace implementation roadmap meeting at the Freedom Hall, saying all relevant parties have not been consulted on the matter.

“We are writing to you personally, to express our profound concern that fully inclusive consultations must take place with civil society, faith-based groups, business, women’s groups, youth representatives, eminent persons, and international partners before the R-ARCSS is amended,” reads the letter.

Meanwhile, principals to the shaky peace pact denied having extended the transition in order to prolong their stay in power.

In his conclusion remarks during the event, President Salva Kiir said the parties have extended the transitional period to avoid a chaotic election.

“We are not extending the transition because I want to stay in the government longer. We don’t want to rush you into an election that will take us back to war,” said the Head-of-state.

President Kiir’s remarks were also echoed by First Vice President Dr. Riek Machar and other leaders, who asserted that the extension is for the best interest of the country.

“We are all cognizant that in the next four months, you cannot implement what is in this agreement. You have 72.7 percent of the agreement unimplemented. You have no choice,” Machar said.

However, Dr Lam also expressed doubts on the government’s aptness to take only two years to iron out the bigger part of the agreement, which was not completed in the last three years.

“The parties have not completed implementing the activities earmarked in the transition, which was to be for 8 months only, such as the unification of the forces and completing the formation of government structures which remain outstanding.”

“It was clear that these deliberate obstructions of the agreement were driving at the extension of the transitional period for the regime to buy more time in power,” he added.

According to the long-time opposition leader, the extension has nothing to do with the implementation of R-ARCSS, but more to do with staying in power for as long as possible.

Lam suggested that the peace implementation roadmap should have been agreed in an inclusive conference of all the active forces in South Sudan.

“It is that conference that would decide on the transitional administration that can be trusted to carry out the elections.”

The SSOA-affiliated distanced itself from the extension of the agreement, and urged the unity government to present their position to the other political and military actors left out of the 2018 peace deal.

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