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Peace monitors call for 35% women representation in parliament

March 31, 2021 (JUBA) - The Reconstituted Joint Monitoring and Evaluation Commission (R-JMEC) has called for the quick reconstitution of the Transitional National Legislative Assembly (TNLA), while urging the parties to the peace deal to adhere to the 35% level of women’s representation in appointments to it.

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Members of South Sudan’s parliament sing the national anthem during the reopening of parliamentary sessions in the capital, Juba, on 11 June 2012 (Photo: Giulio Petrocco/AFP/Getty)

In a statement to the RJMEC members, the Interim Chairperson H.E. Maj. Gen. Charles Tai Gituai said a reconstituted TNLA is required to enact a range of legislations critical to the ongoing implementation of the revitalized peace agreement (R-ARCSS).

“I appeal to the RTGoNU [Revitalized Transitional Government of National Unity], to reconstitute the assembly to enable the enactment of the Bills into law, and expedite judicial reforms,” said Gituai.

He added, “There is a clear need for more women to be appointed at all levels of government, especially at the state executive and legislative positions.”

Separately, Gituai said the cantonment sites and training centers continue to face serious logistical constraints, such as food, medicines and sufficient shelter, which are still lacking.

He further observed that the female combatants continue to lack appropriate facilities as well as personal hygiene items.

“Training of the Necessary Unified Forces (NUF) has stalled, and no graduation or redeployment plans have been announced. The lack of sufficient funding to the Security Mechanisms is a constraint,” said Gituai.

The Interim Chairperson of the R-JMEC further said the humanitarian situation in South Sudan is dire, as a result of multiple factors, including widespread sub-national violence, floods, COVID-19 related restrictions, economic challenges and acute food insecurity, impacting humanitarian movement and operations, threatening the safety of staff and assets.

“It is the responsibility of the RTGoNU, as per article 1.2.2, to restore permanent and sustainable peace, security, and stability, and I call upon the Central and State Governments to work jointly with local leaders and curb the violence,” said Gituai.

The operationalisation of the State Security Committees will be instrumental is alleviating the situation,” he stressed.

South Sudan has been struggling to recover from five years of a civil war that killed almost 400,000 people, according to reports. A coalition government formed in February last year between President Salva Kiir and opposition leader Riek Machar is implementing a peace agreement that is behind schedule, while deadly violence continues in parts of the country.