Ceasefire monitors say probing violations by hold-out groups

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October 10, 2019 (JUBA) – The body monitoring South Sudan’s ceasefire (CTSAMVM) said it is investigating a number of incidents involving non-signatories to the peace agreement, including abductions of civilians on the road between Kerika and Mambe.

UNMISS military convoy escorting ceasefire monitors in Kajo-Keji on 16 January 2018 (UNMISS photo)

“Another area of concern to CTSAMVM is the ongoing tensions in Maiwut and Turow which we are investigating,” Ageno Abiche, CTSAMVM chairperson told a board meeting in Juba Thursday.

“As is our mandate, CTSAMVM continues to monitor the overall security situation and reports of tension in order to encourage early mediation and prevent escalation,” he added.

The official said the15th CTSAMVM Technical Committee (CTC) discussed and endorsed five violations, the first involving fighting between National Salvation Front (NAS) led by Thomas Cirilo and the armed opposition faction (SPLM/A IO) in Wiro Panama in February 2019, which the ceasefire monitors largely attributed to NAS.

“The second violation involving a number of cases of SGBV [Sexual Gender Based Violence] specifically rape, that occurred during the fighting in Wiro Payam, could not be attributed to a specific party,” said Abiche.

A separate incident, he said, involved the killing of a civilian in Paya subsequent to fighting between South Sudan army forces (SSPDF) and the NAS on 31 July 2019, which was attributable to the SSPDF.

“These incidents amount to five violations under the Revitalized Peace Agreement and the incorporated Agreement on Cessation of Hostilities,” he stressed.

Meanwhile, Abiche said the CTSAMVM has observed the registration of forces at a number of designated cantonment sites and barracks.

“While the number of forces being registered is encouraging, the cantonment process remains slow and the IGAD Council of Ministers’ deadline that at least 50 per cent of the 83,000 Necessary Unified Forces should be cantoned and barracked, trained and deployed by 30 September has now passed,” he told the meeting.

The CTSAMVM was established after the signing of the Agreement on Resolution of the Conflict in South Sudan (ARCSS) in August 2015.

South Sudan descended into war in mid-December 2013 when President Salva Kiir accused his former deputy Riek Machar of plotting a coup, allegations the latter dismissed.

In September 2018, the rival factions involved in the conflict signed a peace deal to end the conflict that has killed tens of thousands of people and displaced over 2 million people in the country.

The rival parties, in May, agreed to form a transitional national unity government as part of the peace deal to end the war by November 12.

(ST)

Source: sudantribune