The Troika countries welcome the consensus reached by the Parties in Addis Ababa on the way forward, and we congratulate the Parties for having demonstrated their will and ability to continue to work together to implement the Revitalized Peace Agreement. We would also like to express our gratitude to IGAD and the IGAD Countries for their support to the process, and especially to Special Envoy Wais who has been working tirelessly to bring about this result.
The Revitalized Peace Agreement has brought real benefits for the South Sudanese people in terms of reduced political violence and hope of a better future. At the end of the Pre-Transitional Period of 8 months, the Parties were facing disagreement on whether to form the government or not and a potential crisis for the peace process. That crisis has now been averted.
We are convinced that the continued engagement of the region is key to building sustainable peace in South Sudan. We would therefore appeal to IGAD to stay engaged and seized on the matter of overseeing the implementation of the Revitalized Peace Agreement, and to appoint a permanent chair to the Revitalized-Joint Monitoring and Evaluation Committee as a matter of priority.
We welcome the pledge by the sitting government of South Sudan to make available an additional one hundred million USD to expedite the implementation of the pending tasks. The Government’s ability to actually provide the funds to implement the peace agreement is a crucial test of its political will to stand by its commitments. Like the EU, we believe measures should be put in place to ensure transparency and accountability for the expenditure of these funds, which is crucial to inspire trust by the South Sudanese and the international partners. The International Community is looking at how existing and new programs can be best used to support the implementation, and Norway for its part, is working on a large capacity building program of 28 million USD that may provide key capacities to the new government in the Government, Services and Economic Clusters. We would welcome the establishment of a forum to coordinate efforts between the Parties and the International Partners in a systematic way.
We urge the Parties to use the next 6 months very well, and to work together in a spirit of compromise to expeditiously solve critical issues such as Security Sector Reform, the number and boundaries of states and preparations for the establishment of a Reconstituted Transitional Government of National Unity. Security Sector Reform is obviously essential to building sustainable peace, but agreement on measures taken during the next six months must both be realistic considering the time frame and funds available, and improve security for the people of South Sudan. Further delay could be detrimental to the peace process, and the Troika continue to hold the view that the delays should not affect the scheduled democratic election in March 2022.
In addition to making progress on key areas, the top leadership of the Parties, including President Salva Kiir and Dr. Riek Machar, need to meet and discuss frequently to build confidence and trust between themselves, and also to demonstrate to the South Sudanese and the international community that they are determined to solve all issues peacefully and that returning to war is no option. The value of the leaders being seen together and acting together must not be underestimated. We urge the IGAD Countries and the South Sudanese Parties to facilitate such meetings and to ensure that no party would be restricted from attending such face-to-face meetings.
Distributed by APO Group on behalf of Royal Norwegian Embassy in Juba.