Former president of Botswana and Chairperson of the Joint Monitoring and Evaluation Commission (JMEC), Festus Mogae, has acknowledged a retrogression in South Sudanese peace process.
He said a great deal of what has been achieved has reversed after the series of clashes between armed rivals caused chaos in the country.
“We have made progress on the political side…our greatest weakness was we were not able to persuade the men with guns to sit together and discuss as envisaged,” Festus Mogae told South Sudan’s Radio Miraya in an interview.
“The military side has been the greatest problem but we can’t afford the peace go to the dogs like this and we are trying to pick up the pieces to see what else can be done,” he added.
He hinted of a workshop this month mandated by the United Nations Security Council to bring together representatives of the two parties and international representatives to address the protection force and the new representation of opposition among others.
Festus Mogae added that the workshop will help clarify the exact position of the opposition members to later resume meetings on implementation of what has been agreed as a viable option to pursue.
JMEC, which is located in Juba, oversees the 2015 South Sudanese peace deal. The Commission moved its office to Addis Ababa when the clashes erupted in July but announced on Tuesday its decision to return to Juba.
Days of violence in the country between rival forces of President Salva Kiir and former rebel leader and recently relieved vice president Riek Machar have caused the displacement of thousands of people in the country.
The South Sudanese government has agreed to the deployment of a United Nations protection force made up of troops from the East African region.