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JMEC calls to lift state of emergency in South Sudan

JMEC Deputy Chairperson Lt. Gen. Amb. Augostino Njoroge (File Photo JMEC)

November 8, 2018 (JUBA) - The acting head of Joint Monitoring and Evaluation Commission (JMEC) called for the lift of the state of emergency in the country saying it is needed to create a conducive environment for a successful implementation of the peace agreement.

Ambassador Lt. Gen. Augostino Njoroge made his call on Wednesday 7 November 2018 at a meeting by the South Sudan Center for Strategic and Policy Studies to discuss the confidence-building and laying the foundations for sustainable peace in South Sudan.

Njorogo told the meeting that, compared with the situation in 2015 after the signing of the peace agreement, the political environment now has improved to the extent that the revitalized agreement can be implemented.

However, it still requires an ongoing process of confidence-and trust-building measures on the part of all Parties, and also the regional and international stakeholders, he added.

Among a number of confidence-building measures, he said the lifting of the state of emergency is crucial to creating this suitable atmosphere for the peace implementation process.

"For confidence-building purposes, we recommend to officially announce the lifting of state of emergency, to ensure that the political space needed for exercising the individual’s democratic rights and freedom of speech are in place, and the role of a responsible media is duly recognised," he said.

Last month, SPLM-IO leader Riek Machar called for the lift of the state of emergency, but the government didn’t react to his call.

JMEC acting chairperson further called to release all the remaining political detainees and prisoners of war and pointed out that the government-initiated national dialogue process can be instrumental to the implementation process, but should be genuine and inclusive.

The Kenyan diplomat who is now leading JMEC after the resignation of President Festus Mogae further suggested that President Salva Kiir should follow closely peace implementation and engage directly with the peace partners and stakeholders.

"Together and in a spirit of unity, the President and the leaders of the Opposition should travel throughout the country and advocate for peace and reconciliation to the people of South Sudan," he further said.

Njorogo, also, urged the international to provide the needed political and financial support to the implementation process.

He was alluding to the reserves expressed by the Troika countries which on 12 September issued a statement saying they want to verify first the commitment of the parties before to support it.