Opening remarks by JMEC Deputy Chairman, Lt. Augostino Njoroge, during cantonment workshop in Juba

Posted: November 17, 2016 by PaanLuel Wël in Junub Sudan, Speeches

Full Text of the Opening Remarks by JMEC Deputy Chairman, H.E. Ambassador Lieutenant General Augostino Njoroge, during the cantonment workshop: “security and inclusivity are a priority for any cantonment operation” in Juba, South Sudan, on November 17, 2016

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November 17, 2016 (SSB) — “Lieutenant General James Ajongo, Chair of the JMCC, Distinguished Generals, Diplomatic Representatives, Ladies and Gentlemen. “It is my honor to welcome you to this workshop, and thank Lt. Gen. James Ajongo for asking JMEC to support this JMCC initiative.

“JMEC appreciates the opportunity to support this Cantonment workshop and the efforts of the JMCC, partners and other participants over the next two days in order to share and gain insights and knowledge into the Cantonment process, the general plan of action for initial cantonment operations, and how cantonment will likely transition into the DDR process in the coming months.  The work of the JMCC today and in the future is critical, and it is constituted by Chapter II, Article 3.3 of the Agreement on the Resolution of the Conflict in South Sudan (ARCSS), and as such, JMCC is responsible for oversight and coordination of the cantonment process, as well as the return to barracks by the SPLA-IG.

“Cantonment within the context of the ARCSS in the current security environment will not be an easy task, and will require a tremendous amount of planning, coordination and cooperation within the parties, JMEC, CTSAMM, UNMISS, SSNPS and many other actors.  Following the conflict that broke out in Juba in July, the political and security situation has become fragile and complex. Insurgency, Other Armed Groups and ongoing conflict especially in some areas of Upper Nile, Unity and Equatoria regions further complicates existing ethnic and political tensions, thus impacting any future cantonment plans and activities.

“Also greatly impacting those activities after initial cantonment, are the results of the SDSR board and subsequent approval by the TGoNU of a force structure as determined by the TGoNU’s security sector reform policies. However, in spite of these difficulties and events, we recognize the importance of driving forward the work of the JMCC and other transitional security mechanisms, in order to demonstrate progress and commitment to all citizens of the Republic.

“The TGoNU was reconstituted in late July and provided new opportunity to move the political and peace process forward and refocus our efforts on Chapter II of the peace agreement. However, this is not without controversy as there are now nominally, two factions of the SPLM/IO which again impacts cantonment and future DDR activities.

“Regarding the security situation as it affects Cantonment, some areas of South Sudan have deteriorated after the fighting on 8 July, especially in the Equatorias. Other areas that have also witnessed fighting are Malakal, Leer, Nasir, Wau, Rumbek, Yambio, and Aweil. These incidents and ceasefire violations are of great concern to the JMEC, partners and supporters of the Republic of South Sudan. The increase in the number of armed groups has also led to the increase in armed clashes, homicides, property damage, and other forms of lawlessness in some parts of the country. All these incidents will impact cantonment operations if security and inclusivity are not a priority of any cantonment operation.

“As the JMEC is responsible for monitoring and overseeing the implementation of the Agreement on the Resolution of the Conflict in South Sudan by the TGoNU, including the adherence of the Parties to the agreed timelines and implementation schedule, we stand behind the JMCC’s effort to begin Cantonment Operations and develop the future link to final security arrangements that include DDR and forces integration.

“The only way forward for Cantonment and final security arrangements in South Sudan, is through an inclusive ARCSS implementation process that caters to the needs and interests of all parties and stakeholders in South Sudan. Inclusivity means inviting all ‘parties’ to join the Cantonment and DDR process peacefully, and ensuring genuine representation of the national character in all transformed institutions.

“All parties must demonstrate their commitment to peace and reconciliation by taking meaningful steps to end violence and ceasefire violations. We strongly call on all parties to lay down their weapons and engage in peaceful and inclusive implementation process that will enable a safe and effective Cantonment process.

“Challenges – As many of us know, Cantonment of forces will come with a unique set of challenges to include security, logistics, registration, eligibility for cantonment, security of cantonment sites, logistics, registration of personnel and weapons, health screening, and many more actions that will require the combined efforts of the TGoNU, regional and international partners.  Thus the reason for this workshop is to chart the course for initial Cantonment Operations.”

The opinion expressed here is solely the view of the writer. The veracity of any claim made are the responsibility of the author, not PaanLuel Wël: South Sudanese Bloggers (SSB) website. If you want to submit an opinion article or news analysis, please email it to paanluel2011@gmail.com. SSB do reserve the right to edit material before publication. Please include your full name, email address and the country you are writing.

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