This report on the status of implementation of the Revitalized Agreement on the Resolution of the Conflict in the Republic of South Sudan (R-ARCSS) has been prepared pursuant to article 7.9 of Chapter VII of the R-ARCSS. The report covers the period from 1 October to 31 December 2021 and builds on the previous quarterly Report No. 012/21. It provides a status update on progress or lack thereof in the implementation of the tasks of the R-ARCSS during the reporting period, highlight challenges facing the implementation, provide observations and concludes with recommendations for remedial measures.
During the period under review, the report observes that there was some progress made towards implementation of the R-ARCSS, however, overall, implementation remains slow almost two years after the formation of the Revitalised Transitional Government of National Unity (RTGoNU). Notable among the achievements during the reporting period is the reconstitution and appointments of members of nine out of ten State Legislative Assemblies, nominations to the Judicial Reforms Committee, maintaining of the permanent ceasefire, deployment of assessment teams to the training centres, stepped up efforts to address Sexual and Gender Based Violence (SGBV), and the tabling of the Permanent Constitution-making Bill before the Transitional National Legislative Assembly (TNLA).
Implementation remains slow, particularly in the critical areas of the Transitional Security Arrangements (TSA), enactment of key pending Bills before the TNLA, and the setting up of the Transitional Justice mechanisms. In an effort to highlight the impediments to implementation of the R-ARCSS, and to seek renewed efforts on the part of the RTGoNU that is charged with its implementation, the RJMEC leadership regularly engaged the Presidency and key government ministers as well as various stakeholders to the R-ARCSS.
Importantly, the Permanent Ceasefire continued to hold among Signatory Parties. However, intermittent clashes were reported between SPLA-IO forces loyal to H.E. Dr. Riek Machar Teny, First Vice President of the Republic of South Sudan, and forces loyal to the former Chief of Defence Staff of the SPLA-IO, Lt Gen Simon Gatwech Dual in the area around Magenis on the border with Sudan. Additionally, there were lethal intercommunal clashes in Tambura, Western Equatoria State, and Warrap State. Intercommunal violence was also reported in Jonglei and Eastern Equatoria States. There were also reported clashes between the National Salvation Front (NAS), and the Signatory Parties – SSPDF and SPLA-IO in Central Equatoria and the Mundri area, as well as occasional alleged attacks by NAS on civilians.
The unification of the Necessary Unified Forces (NUF) continued to stagnate throughout the reporting period. Troops that were trained during the Phase I unification process failed to graduate and redeploy as required by the Agreement due to the lack of funding and resources, as well as a lack of political will by the RTGoNU. The impasse in reaching an agreement on both the force unification ratios and the unified command negotiations between the ITGoNU and the Opposition leadership, has significantly delayed the graduation and redeployment of the NUF.
The magnitude and severity of humanitarian needs continued to rise during the reporting period, due to cumulative effects of prolonged inter communal and community based conflict, widespread flooding, high levels of food insecurity and the covid-19 pandemic. According to the United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (UNOCHA), by December, more than 835,000 people in 33 of 78 counties were affected by flooding across the country and faced high levels of food insecurity and poor access to basic services.