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RJMEC Quarterly Report to IGAD on the status of implementation of the R-ARCSS from 1st October to 31st December 2018

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Executive Summary

  1. This first Report of the Reconstituted Joint Monitoring and Evaluation Commission (RJMEC) on the status of implementation of the Revitalized Agreement on the Resolution of the Conflict in the Republic of South Sudan (R-ARCSS) covers the period from 1 st October to 31st December 2018. It highlights activities around the establishment or reconstitution of all but two of the Agreement institutions and mechanisms, as well as confidence building measures that has taken place since the signing. In addition, it focuses on incidents of compliance or lack thereof with the terms of the agreement, report violations of the provisions of the R-ARCSS, and underscores the engagement of the RJMEC leadership with the parties, regional guarantors and stakeholders of the R-ARCSS.

  2. The general political and security atmosphere has been conducive for implementation of the RARCSS with a commendable show of commitment and cooperation exhibited by all the Parties, even though economic hardship and logistical constraints persists. Overall, there has been significant progress made in the establishment and reconstitution of the requisite Agreement institutions and implementation mechanisms for the Pre-Transitional Period. Only the Independent Boundaries Commission (IBC) and the Disarmament Demobilization and Reintegration (DDR) Commission remain outstanding. All the others have commenced their work and are making progress.

  3. The Report notes that since October 2018, the implementation of the Permanent Ceasefire has improved as demonstrated by the gradual decrease in fighting among the warring Parties as reported by the CTSAMVM. This is mainly attributed to the confidence building measures initiated by the IGAD Mediation in early October, and the Party leaders' demonstrable political will to work together. These measures included several visits to Wau and Leer by senior Government and military leaders, following fighting between SSPDF and SPLA-IO forces. This reportedly ended the skirmishes in mid-November.

  4. There is a great deal of work that still needs to be done by the security mechanisms in a very short time frame. There are also very obvious areas of contention and disagreement. Moreover, little has been done to prepare the population in general and the armed forces in particular for cantonment, DDR and unification of forces, which are critical before the Transitional Period commences.

  5. On the humanitarian front, the Report notes that at least 4.4 million people were severely food insecure during the reporting period and this number is expected to increase to over 5 million by early 2019. Moreover, aid workers reportedly experienced denial of access to certain areas and the killing of two aid workers in October, brought the total killed in 2018 to 14. On the economy the exchange rate remained relatively stable and inflation dropped appreciably.
    However, at the same time world oil prices began a marked decline during October and persisted throughout the period adversely impacting government’s revenue.

  6. The report concludes that while it is commendable that all members of the Agreement institutions and mechanisms already established and reconstituted are now working from Juba, much work remains to be done. Funding and technical expert support are major challenges in the implementation of the R-ARCSS. Moreover, the presence of non-signatory armed groups in the field is a matter of serious concern that requires sustained diplomatic and political actions by the IGAD and the international community.