The South Sudan major armed opposition group, SPLM-IO led by the former First Vice President, Riek Machar has called for reshaping the monitoring body tasked with overseeing all aspects of the implementation of the peace agreement including the ceasefire.
The rebel group made its request in a statement released on Wednesday from the venue of the High-level Revitalization Forum (HLRF) of the parties to the Agreement for the Resolution of the Conflict in South Sudan (ARCSS) which started in Addis Ababa on 18 December 2017.
Pointing to the “failure” of the Joint Monitoring and Evaluation Commission (JMEC) to condemn the government forces for the different violations of the ceasefire and atrocities on civilians, the SPLA-IO said it crucial for a successful implementation of the ARCSS to review this body chaired by the former Botswana President Festus Mogae.
“The SPLM/SPLA (IO ) believes the only way that JMEC can credibly and effectively monitor any cessation of hostilities or ceasefire, is by dissolving and reconstructing it to reflect the new realities,” reads a statement signed by Mabior Garang Mabior, Chairman of the SPLM-IO National Committee For Information And Public Relations Office.
Last July, Mogae rejected the SPLM-IO calls to resign and to declare the JMEC failure to perform its duties. He further said the revitalization forum would not negotiate the peace agreement.
“The Peace agreement is still alive but has been wounded, the Revitalization Forum formed by the IGAD heads of states on 12th June 2017 in Addis Ababa is set to get the agreement back on track,” he said on 15 July.
The former Botswana President who is accused of siding with the government confirmed that the government had rejected a proposal to renegotiate the peace agreement, claiming that it was already being implemented and pledged to fast-track implementation of areas still lagging behind in the schedule.
The SPLM-IO delegation to the IGAD-brokered forum said the draft Agreement on Cessation of Hostilities and Humanitarian Matters on South Sudan was presented to the participant “before any of the parties had an opportunity to deliberate or present any positions”.
The statement also regretted that only the government through its participation in the IGAD council of ministers can participate in the elaboration of the draft document while they have no such opportunity.