30 DAYS LATER: A brief assessment report on the implementation of the South Sudan’s Revitalised Peace Agreement 2018

Kiir (left), Machar (right). Photo: AP

South Sudan Rights Society For Advocacy


A brief assessment report on the implementation of the South Sudan’s Revitalised Peace Agreement 2018

12 October 2018


For this report, you may contact: Biel Boutros Biel, SSHURSA Executive Director

Cell:  +211 922 355 200 or +249997646683(WhatsApp).

E-mail: [email protected]/[email protected]



Cover page————————————————————————————————————–1

Table of contents——————————————————————————————————2


About SSHURSA——————————————————————————————————-6

Executive Summary—————————————————————————————————7



  1. Background information on South Sudanese conflicts————————————————-8
  2. Guiding questions for the implementation assessment report————————————–9
  3. South Sudanese in their own words on the implementation progress: achievements and where talk has not been walked in 30 days—————————————————————9
  4. The continued role of the regional and international partners————————————25
  5. The skepticism of some regional and international bodies—————————————–25
  6. RECOMMENDATIONS—————————————————————————————–27
  • To President Salva Kiir Mayardit and First Vice-President designate Dr Riek Machar Teny———————————————————————————————————-27
  • To all SSOA and other armed and non-armed Opposition Groups————————–27
  • To regional and international partners: IGAD, AU, UN, EU, Troika, donors and other friends of South Sudan———————————————————————————-28
  • To ordinary South Sudanese people—————————————————————-29
  • To civil society and other civic groups————————————————————–29
  • To RJMEC and other R-ARCSS mechanisms——————————————————–29


  1. Conclusion——————————————————————————————————–30



AAA                                       Addis Ababa Agreement.

ACoH                                    Agreement on Cessation of Hostilities.

AU                                         African Union

CoS                                        Chief of Staff

CPA                                       Comprehensive Peace Agreement

CS                                           Civil Society

CSPHDC                                 Civil Society Peace and Humanitarian Development Consortium PAHRA Coalition                    Pan Africa Human Rights Advocates’ Coalition

CTSAMVM                              Ceasefire and Transitional Security Arrangements. Monitoring and                           Verification Mechanism

Dr                                             Doctor

EU                                             European Union

FDs                                           Former Detainees

HLRF                                          High Level Revitalisation Forum

ICRC                                           International Committee of the Red Cross

IDPs                                           Internally Displaced Persons

IGAD                                          Intergovernmental Authority on Development

NAS                                            National Salvation Front

NCAC                                         National Constitutional Amendment Committee

NDM                                            National Democratic Movement

NLC                                               National Liberation Council

NPTC                                             National Pre-Transitional Committee

NSS                                                National Security Service

OPP                                               Other Political Parties

PC                                                   Permanent Ceasefire

PD                                                   Political Detainees

PDM                                                People’s Democratic Movement

Pg                                                     Page

PoCS                                                 Protection of Civilians Sites

PoWs                                                Prisoners of War

PTP                                                   Pre-Transitional Period

R-ARCSS                                            Revitalised-Agreement to Resolve Conflict in the Republic of          South Sudan

RJMEC                                                Revitalised Joint Monitoring and Evaluation Commission

RTGoNU                                              Revitalised Transitional Government of National Unity

SAF                                                        Sudan Armed Forces

SPLA                                                      Sudan People’s Liberation Army

SPLA-IO                                                 Sudan People’s Liberation Army-In Opposition

SPLM                                                        Sudan People’s Liberation Movement

SPLM-FDs                                            Sudan People’s Liberation Movement-Former Detainees

SPLM-IG                                               Sudan People’s Liberation Movement-In Government

SPLM-IO                                                     Sudan People’s Liberation Movement-In Opposition

SSBC                                                      South Sudan Broadcasting Corporation

SSHURSA                                                South Sudan Human Rights Society for Advocacy

SSLA                                                        Southern Sudan Liberation Army

SSLM                                                            Southern Sudan Liberation Movement

SSNMC                                                  South Sudan National Movement for Change

SSOA                                                      South Sudan Opposition Alliance

SSPM/A                                                 South Sudan Patriotic Movement or Army

SSUFA                                                     South Sudan United Front and Army

SSUM/A                                                 South Sudan United Movement or Army

SSYLF                                                     South Sudan Young Leaders’ Forum

TCSS                                                       Transitional Constitution of South Sudan

TNL                                                         Transitional National Legislature

TNLA                                                       Transitional National Legislative Assembly

UN                                                           United Nations

UNMISS                                                  United Nations Mission In South Sudan

US                                                            United States

VIP                                                            Very Important Persons




October 12, 2018 (SSNA) — SSHURSA is a nonpolitical and nonprofit-making national human rights organisation founded on 5 June 2007 by South Sudanese lawyers and law students at Law Development Centre(LDC), Makerere, Kampala, Uganda. Its main objective is to ensure respect of human rights, constitutionalism and fundamental principles of rule of law. SSHURSA strives to ensure that it empowers and builds capacity of the local communities and civil society actors on human rights, justice, good governance, rule of law, Transitional justice and peacebuilding. For more than 10 years, SSHURSA has remained firmly outspoken against human rights and rule of law abuses by the state and powerful individuals.

Membership: represented by its Executive Director as a civil society delegate, SSHURSA participated in the recently concluded IGAD High Level Revitalisation Forum(HLRF) which culminated into the signing of the revitalised Agreement. SSHURSA currently chairs the Civil Society Peace and Humanitarian Development Consortium(CSPHDC), a coalition of civil society networks working outside Juba, internally displaced persons and diaspora. SSHURSA is a member of different regional human rights and civil society networks. It now heads the Secretariat of Pan Africa Human Rights Advocates’ Coalition(PAHRA Coalition), a Movement constituting of mostly African human rights lawyers and senior civil society activists in Africa.

For more information, see our website: www.sshursa1.org or google us to read more of our work or write to us through Executive Director or on e-mail: [email protected]

Executive Summary

This is a brief report assessing the implementation phases of the Revitalised Peace Agreement. The implementation period being assessed is one month, starting from 12 September 2018 when the Agreement was signed to 12 October 2018.  The main purpose is to ascertain the areas where parties have walked the talk in the implementation. The report also aims to evaluate the challenges noted in the process of the implementation in 30 days and to recommend the way forward to mitigate such challenges. In this Assessment Report, it is largely notable that though the parties have attempted to forge some ways forward in the implementation, but confidence and trust building are critical ways to encourage. This is only possible if South Sudanese political elite and military leaders match their words with positive actions. This will lessen deceitful ways of dealing with each other. There are areas which political will has not been demonstrated: respect of the Permanent Ceasefire, release of all prisoners of war and political detainees and inclusivity in the implementation mechanisms among others. The report observes that the positive steps scored should be encouraged and the challenges identified should be overcome. For all this to happen, there should be personal humility required of each leader to ensure that there is political will to honestly implement the Agreement. The report concludes with a set of recommendations to respective parties, stakeholders and partners. Finally, emphasis is put that the only way to save South Sudan from its current sorry state and end the dehumanising conditions its citizens are subject into, is to implement the revitalised Agreement.


While collecting information for this assessment report, SSHURSA used brief questionnaire asking South Sudanese who live in opposition and government controlled areas, diaspora among urban and settlement refugees, internally displaced persons in South Sudan, senior political and military figures of the parties to the Revitalised Peace Agreement. Respondents were asked questions, some orally, others through social media. Out of 52 asked, 37 respondents answered the questions. SSHURSA also depended on desktop research to crosscheck information about South Sudan. Of great significance, have been the revitalised Agreement text and the Agreement on Cessation of Hostilities which have been depended upon for background analysis on the implementation phases.


We would like to thank all South Sudanese who have taken their time to respond to our interviews. Our special gratitude is to those in certain areas and positions who spoke to us despite the risks of having their interviews misconstrued. The fact that South Sudanese are able to speak out on the implementation issues of the Peace Agreement, regardless of where they might be, points to us a general desire for genuine peace and common need for demonstrated commitment from South Sudanese leaders to deliver durable peace. Peace which moves from paper to positively impact on the lives of the ordinary South Sudanese people.

  1. Background information on South Sudan conflicts

South Sudan has been embroiled in conflicts with the north Sudan from 1955 under Southern Sudan Liberation Movement or Army or ‘Anya Nya’ I, led by General Joseph Lagu and others. The region witnessed only relative peace when in 1972, the SSLM/A signed a peace deal in Addis Ababa with the Sudan Government under then President General Gaafar Nimeiry. In 1983, General Nimeiry imposed a countrywide general application of the Islamic Shar’ia laws on both Muslims and non-Muslims. He subsequently abrogated the Addis Ababa Agreement(AAA), describing it as ‘neither Holy Qur’an nor Holy Bible’. This sparked the war and the SPLM/A waged the war of liberation until the Comprehensive Peace Agreement(CPA) was signed.[2]  On 9 July 2011, South Sudan got its independence. Barely two years of its independence; the region has become a bloodbath. On 15 December 2013, a mismanaged political conflict within the ruling SPLM party turned violence within the Presidential Guards. This quickly spread into the army fitting soldiers of mostly Nuer and Dinka ethnicities. President Salva Kiir Mayardit described the violent incident as a coup against him by his then Vice-President Dr Riek Machar Teny but the latter described it as President Kiir’s plot to kill him and other senior SPLM leaders. Machar fled Juba and subsequently formed an armed Opposition Movement which he later named the SPLM/A-IO. The IGAD mediated the parties until they signed an Agreement in August 2015. In April 2016, a return to capital Juba, of the SPLM/A-IO leader Riek  Machar happened. The Agreement was violated in less than three months as by 8 July 2016, a dogfight broke out at Presidential Palace between the SPLA and SPLM/A-IO forces. Machar and his remaining forces fled capital Juba again. This started a second phase of civil war which the parties ended on 12 September 2018 in Addis Ababa, by signing yet another peace deal rebranded as ‘revitalised’ peace agreement. Greeted with jubilations and ululations by the South Sudanese, still clouds of doubts and numerous questions remain unanswered and point to one thing: how true are South Sudanese political and military leaders committed to match their words with their actions to deliver durable peace to the suffering South Sudanese people?

  1. Guiding questions for the implementation assessment

The below questions were asked to all respondents and interviewees:

  1. Have there been successes or achievements in the implementation since the signing of the Peace Agreement by the parties on 12 September 2018?
  2. What, in your observation, have been the challenges in the implementation?
  3. What is your message as to the way forward to ensure successful implementation of the Agreement during the 8 month Pre-Transitional Period and beyond?
  4. South Sudanese in their own words on the implementation progress: achievements and where talk has not been walked in 30 days
  • Ratification of the Agreement by the Parties

Article 8.1. of the Agreement provides that the Agreement is binding on all parties and requires timely ratification. It states;

——–it shall be ratified within seven(7) days by the Transitional National Legislature of the Republic of South Sudan, the National Liberation Council(NLC) of the SPLM/A-IO, and the leadership organ of South Sudan Opposition Alliance(SSOA).

In its 3rd meeting held in Khartoum between 21-22 September 2018, the NLC of SPLM/A-IO unanimously adopted and ratified the Agreement without any reservations.[3]

According to the letter to IGAD which was signed by its Interim Chairman Gabriel Changson Chang, on 28 September 2018, at extraordinary meeting, the SSOA Congress ratified the R-ARCSS.[4]

The SPLM-Former Detainees(SPLM-FDs) and Other Political Parties(OPP) have equally ratified the Agreement [5]. TNL has not ratified the Agreement.


The Transitional National Legislature of the incumbent Transitional Government of National Unity(TGoNU) has missed the deadline of 7 days to ratify the Agreement as required by Article 8.1. of the Agreement.

According to a statement attributed to National Member of Parliament Timothy Tot, the TNL has not ratified the Agreement not on its fault but on the failure of the executive to table before the Parliament the R-ARCSS. Early October 2018, during one of the parliament sessions in Juba, Mr. Tot is reported to have stated;[6]

I will just appeal to the honourable Minister of Justice and Constitutional Affairs to table before the august house the recently signed revitalised agreement on the resolution of conflict in South Sudan. We have realised that the executive is now talking over the radio and TV about this agreement and it has not been ratified by this august house, that is not in line with the policy of the government or the traditions of this parliament.

If the words of Mr. Tot are anything to go by, then it puzzles why the TGoNU was reluctant to table the Agreement for ratification. This leaves ordinary South Sudanese people to doubt the publicly stated genuine commitment of the parties especially the incumbent TGoNU.

The Joint Monitoring and Evaluation Commission(JMEC), in its statement on the implementation process of the Agreement also noted that the TGoNU’s TNL has not ratified the Agreement. JMEC stated;[7]

deadlines missed including the ratification of R-ARCSS by the Transitional National Legislature (TNL), ——, the reconstitution of JMEC, the formation of the Joint Defense Board, and the release of all prisoners of war and political detainees.

GL(names withheld) a South Sudanese citizen living in Jonglei ’s capital Bor, in an interview expressed  his frustration with the government’s reluctance to ratify the agreement, he said;[8]

I have always supported this government because I believe it is the government we brought through the blood of our people despite the mess the SPLM leaders have put South Sudan into. The same SPLM-in government now is letting us down. The Agreement gives this government and all of us its supporters most of what we need which were not there in 2015 Agreement but now this SPLM government  is not ready to ratify it. What do these politicians really want?  I am  not happy with their behaviour.

Other South Sudanese citizens like GL, are also discouraged by the behaviour of some South Sudanese political elite and military generals, as they leaders do not match their words with positive actions. Buol Manyel Buot, a South Sudanese lawyer as quoted in an interview by VOA resignedly lamented;[9]

We have seen previous peace agreements signed, we have seen citizens’ jubilation, but eventually we didn’t see results. So, hopefully, this time round our leaders have learned the hard way. And by saying this, we mean guns have to be silent and internally displaced people are repatriated back to their homes.

Frustrated South Sudanese are not alone, a respected African Judge Professor George Kanyeihamba has also expressed doubts over the viability of the South Sudan peace deal and he wrote;[10]

reconciliation and the achievement of peace among nations require applied research, many political inputs, total commitment to the project and good will of all stakeholders. In the case of South Sudan, it will certainly take much more than the presence of eminent African presidents to resolve the enormous differences between the opposing sides.

What Professor Kanyeihamba has reechoed as like the case of disappointed South Sudanese citizens, is a call to leaders to show genuine political will to deliver durable peace to South Sudanese.

  • Release of Prisoners of War and Political Detainees

Article 2.1.6 of Agreement states;[11]

Prisoners of War(PoWs) and detainees shall be released immediately under the supervision of the International Committee of the Red Cross(ICRC).[12]

Article 9(2) of the ACoH obliges the parties to also release PoWs and PDs immediately.[13]

The principals to the Agreement have already made formal declarations to release all the prisoners of war(PoWs) and political detainees(PD). On 27 September 2018, President Kiir issued a decree ordering the SPLA Chief of Staff to release all PoWs and detainees.[14]

Statements of the SPLM/A-IO shows also commitment to release any PoWs under its control. In the past, while complying with the ACoH, Dr Riek Machar issued an order to all the SPLM/A-IO forces to release all PoWs.[15] The SPLM/A-IO in compliance, released PoWs, 15 of whom, were released to the ICRC in Phow State.[16]


Much as the orders have been issued for the release of the PoWs and detainees, the statements remain on paper. The government issued contradictory statements. At one point, denying that there are PoWs and detainees in its custody and at later statement, it stated it released 20 PoWs and detainees. The names of such detainees have not been publicly revealed. Dr Peter Biar Ajak was not among the proclaimed released detainees.[17] Even the recently convicted SPLM/A-IO leader’s former spokesperson James Gatdet Dak, who satisfies a true definition of a political prisoner was not among the 20 persons claimed to have been released.  Former SPLM/A-IO Kapoeta Military Governor Marko Lokidor, former Secretary-General of the South Sudan Law Society(SSLS) Dong Samuel Luak and Aggrey Idris who were abducted in Kenya in 2017 are not among the 20 prisoners claimed to have been released.

Many members of the public and different commentaries see the contradictory statements from the government as a demonstration of bad faith towards the implementation of the Agreement.

The government’s claim of having no political detainees and PoWs was unearthed by a standoff of Prisoners at the National Security Service(NSS) detention premises; the ‘Blue Tower’ in Juba.

The prisoners took control of the facilities and managed to speak out where they demanded that their rights to fair trial be observed.[18] These rights included being formally charged, timely produced before a court of law, right to legal representation, right to presumption of innocence and to be accorded benefits of being released immediately as provided for under the Agreement.

Like most members of the public, the prisoners and detainees have lost faith in the promises made by the government to release them. One of the prisoners Abraham Majak said;[19]

if the president pardoned us, we have to be released. The president has been decreeing a lot of decrees and we have not yet been released and our names have been replayed and replayed but all those things are fake, they are not true. We have been cut out all over from the world outside. We are just here. Even going outside to see sunlight is so hard. So our voice needs to be heard and if anybody commits a crime they have to be taken to a court, otherwise they should not be kept because the crime is a crime and justice has to be done.

Another detainee Kerbino Wol who has been in the national security cell for months since April 2018, also voiced out against what he called ‘injustice’ and said;[20]

this systematic injustice is not acceptable. We are asking for justice. We asked to be governed by the rule of law, not by force.

Different analysts wonder aloud as to why the PoWs and detainees are not released if the government lives up to its commitments in the Agreement. Dr Robert A. Portada III unfolded the contradictions within the government and candidly asked;[21]

will the government continue to ask the international community to fund the peace process while they actively undermine it? Does the president have command of his own government? Do his decrees carry any force or legitimacy? If not, the entirety of the peace agreement must be viewed as a hollow set of false promises. If the prisoners do not receive compliance with the just demands that were agreed upon, the government will have revealed its own complicity in unjust imprisonment and its lack of ability to mediate and resolve the conflicts that continue to plague the world’s youngest nation.

Observing all the intended and unintended contradicting machinations about the release of PoWs and political detainees, it can be stated that the parties, especially the government has yet to do more to clean its name on the issue of release of PoWs and political detainees. Like how Dr Portada wonders, President Kiir has to exert required political commitment to show the republican decrees he issued in the implementation of the Agreement are carried out to the letter. This will further demonstrate that the talk which has not been walked in the last 30 days must be walked. It is in the interest of all South Sudanese parties and stakeholders to the Agreement to implement it in letter and spirit.

  • National Pre-Transitional Committee

After receiving names of the members nominated by the respective parties, on 25 September 2018, President Salva Kiir Mayardit appointed the National Pre-Transitional Committee(NPTC).[22]  Article 1.4.7. of the Revitalised Agreement to Resolve Conflict in the Republic of South Sudan(R-ARCSS or the Agreement) provides for the establishment of the NPTC within 14 days from the day of signing the Agreement.

By appointing the NPTC members within the 14 days as stipulated in the Agreement gives hope to the public that, parties may this time round, follow their words with positive actions.

MB, a civic leader who is resident of capital Juba, in an interview with SSHURSA, expressed his appreciation and said[23];

the formation or appointment of the members of the National Pre-Transitional Committee is a great step forward. It will pave a way for the implementation of other political tasks, VIP security and more importantly, it demonstrates parties’ commitment to the peace deal.

Articles and of the Agreement, provide for the specific functions of the NPTC which include oversight and coordination of the pre-transitional period activities. These activities include but not limited to the following:

  • drawing a roadmap for implementing the political tasks of the pre-transitional period.
  • preparing the budget for the pre-transitional period activities.
  • addressing issues of VIP security based on the security arrangements.
  • preparation for new ministers.
  • the NPTC shall submit monthly written reports to the Chairperson of the Reconstituted Joint Monitoring and Evaluation Commission(RJMEC), parties and other stakeholders.[24]
  • the NPTC shall manage the fund for the Pre-transitional period activities and it shall monthly report to the President of the Republic and to the parties.[25]


Much as the parties to the Agreement are credited for the timely appointment of the NPTC, yet the appointed Committee virtually lacks gender ingredients. It has not observed the spirit of inclusivity of women. The women and men of inclusivity mindset have complained that appointing only one woman out of 10 persons was in violation of 35% ratio for women which has been stipulated in the Agreement. South Sudanese women, in a statement sharply petitioned the parties for their insensitivity to the inclusivity embedded in the Agreement when appointing the NPTC. They stated;[26]

we are however, gravely concerned that the 35% women participation quota provided for in the Agreement has not been observed, with only one woman nominated out of the ten nominees, after Parties’ consultations to this executive body. ——we therefore, call upon the parties to unreservedly revise their nominations to the NPTC to ensure that at least four of its ten members are women.

Article 1.4.6. of the Agreement provides:

in selecting their nominees, Parties shall give due consideration to national diversity, gender and regional representation.

No doubt, the parties violated the above provision in regards to gender consideration.  Much as the appointment of the NPTC was timely done, it did not warrant doing it in a manner that prejudices other entities such as women. It must be clear to the parties that conflict in South Sudan has affected many people and women, like children and youth who die in frontlines, bear the brunt of the war. They should therefore, be accorded what belongs to them in order to have their voice reflected in the decision-making institutions among which NPTC is.

According to the statement aired on the South Sudan Broadcasting Corporation(SSBC) which was issued by the Intergovernmental Authority on Development(IGAD) Special Envoy for South Sudan Dr Ismail Wais, the members of the NPTC will conduct their first meeting in the Sudanese capital, Khartoum  as from 14 to 15 October 2018.[27]

Nobody knows whether by the time the NPTC conducts its first meeting, the parties shall have reconsidered the women’s rightful exclusion complaint and replace their nominees with women’s nominees as within the dictates of the Agreement! So far, only the leader of the People’s Liberal Party(PLP) Peter Mayen Majongdit who has made it publicly clear that his group stands committed to the women’s 35% ratio. Mayen said;[28]

we ——endorsed the women’s workshop report of Djibouti and recommit ourselves and reaffirm that 35% of female must be respected.

Will the Other Political Parties under the Umbrella led by the PLP leader Mayen withdraw the male nominee in the NPTC and nominate a woman to walk the talk? That remains a mystery which the public is yet to see. Yet it is a good spirit for PLP leader to publicly air out his firm stance with the provisions of the Agreement especially those provisions which rectify the constitutionalised and culturally glorified past formal and informal discrimination.

  • Reconstitution of other implementation mechanisms

Like the timely appointment of the NPTC members despite the noted challenges, South Sudanese citizens interviewed also appreciated the timely reconstitution of some the implementation mechanisms. These institutions include the Ceasefire and Transitional Security Arrangements Monitoring Mechanism(CTSAMM), National Constitutional Amendment Committee(NCAC) among others.


Like NPTC, the reconstituted NCAC based on the names contained in the letter issued to the reconstituted members by its current Chairperson, the NCAC reconstituted membership also suffers civil society exclusivity in terms of consideration to national diversity, gender and regional representation, which is an important guiding selection inclusivity value laid down under article 1.4.6. of the Agreement.

Article 1.18.4. of the Agreement provides for 15 members as the composition of the reconstituted NCAC. On the part of the civic groups; one representative from women, one from youth and one from the civil society. The youth and women’s representatives to the NCAC though well represented in terms of gender and may well represent the interests of citizens equally, unfortunately they come from one region: Equatoria. This is against the spirit of formal inclusivity at the heart of the Agreement. Besides, the representatives are all from Juba based civil society exclusive of the other civil society groups in the Opposition controlled areas and of the other regions and diaspora. The representative of the civil society to the NCAC whose name has not appeared yet among the names sent, when named publicly, should come from civil society groups outside Juba to reflect the spirit of inclusivity for the diversity reflected in the Agreement.

In terms of gender, the NCAC also suffers the same as in NPTC. Out of the 10 names of the members seen on the letter, one is a woman. It is hope that other political parties who have not sent their representatives, should take into account sending representatives who are qualified women and of legal and other competences.[29]

The timely reconstitution of the NCAC and other mechanisms though some are still partially reconstituted and despite inclusivity challenges noted, is yet an important step which is credited on parties and stakeholders as an achievement in the last 30 days. This shows some commitment towards the implementation of the pre-transitional period activities.

  • Dissemination of the Agreement

Article 2.1.3. of the Agreement requires all parties to immediately disseminate the contents of the Agreement to their forces and allies. This has been respected to some extent in the last 30 days. Parties have also demonstrated good faith to disseminate the Agreement to their forces. SPLM/A-IO generals in Bieh State has already gone miles ahead in disseminating the Agreement.[30] United Nations Mission in South Sudan(UNMISS) has already helped too, in Bentiu in disseminating the contents of the Agreement not only among the communities and local authorities but also the participants including officers of SPLA forces.[31]

The requirement to disseminate the Agreement is a key and must be done not only by the parties but also by all the stakeholders and be supported by the partners. Knowing what the Agreement is all about, will to the greater extent, reduce the violations of it. Some of these violations may happen due to the ignorance about the contents of the Agreement which are misinterpreted and taken advantage of, by those having intention to dishonor it.

  • Constant engagement of the Principals and confidence building among the military generals

It is important to observe as to some extent, as an achievement in terms of confidence building, has been the constant engagement of the parties. This ranges from direct interaction of President Salva Kiir and SPLM/A-IO leader Riek Machar and other leaders to the Agreement. The recent meeting of the Chiefs of Staff of the Parties’ armies could be seen too, as yet another confidence building among the former belligerents. The recent visit to Juba of SPLM-FDs senior member Deng Alor Kuol opens up a new chapter of recommitment to the spirit of the Agreement.[32]

In an encouraging tone, some of the military field commanders of the SPLA and the SPLM/A-IO are already engaging each other in confidence building. The SPLA Spokesperson General Lul Ruai claimed that such confidence building is already gaining momentum in the eastern parts of South Sudan. He said;[33]

SPLA-IO Commander Ochan Puot came with his forces and met with our military commander in Pagak. The two sides agreed to allow free movement of civilians and soldiers. If our soldier wants to visit his family outside the town of Pagak, he can go without restriction.

Though by the time of releasing this report, SSHURSA was unable to verify from the SPLM/A-IO command the veracity of the assertion of General Lul, however, such news of commanders of former belligerent forces now partners in peace coming together is encouraging. This demonstrates the spirit of commitment to peace, a thing that could be deemed a significant achievement in 30 days. Such interaction should be encouraged to mutually continue.

  • Ceasefire and cessation of hostilities

Article 2.1.1. of the Agreement obliges the parties to fully adhere to the observance of the Permanent Ceasefire which the parties signed in Khartoum.[34] Under article 2.1.2. of the Agreement, in observing the Permanent Ceasefire, the parties are expected to respect their commitments under the Agreement on Cessation of Hostilities(ACOH).[35]

Some signs of commitment towards the implementation of the Agreement which have been observed are the statements issued by the Parties’ Principals and Commanders-In-Chief. They urged their armies to refrain from attacking forces of the other parties.

End of September 2018, the Chiefs of Staff(CoS) of the SPLA and SPM/A-IO met and recommitted their forces to observing Permanent Ceasefire.[36] This act is encouraging.


Much as the principals or Commanders-In-Chief have issued statements prohibiting their forces to go on with the hostilities, but such orders remain substantially on paper. The violence remains rampant on the ground. Each side goes on with the accusations against another group as belligerent. A very senior SPLM/A-IO general who did not allow SSHURSA to publish his identity in an interview stated;[37]

there is nothing practical in the implementation of the Peace Agreement. Fighting continues as the government attacks IO defensive positions in Yei River State, Unity and Western Bahr el Ghazal. The government is not for peace since day one. There are many indicators which show that the government is not for peace. Apart from attacking our positions on the ground, the government officials keep telling lies to the international community that they are for peace while attacking our positions. Well, it is better, let them keep lying as this will expose them at the end to the whole world.

However, a senior SPLA officer in an interview denied the accusations by the SPLM/A-IO senior general. The SPLA officer rebutted and said;[38]

the challenge is that most of the rebels are lying. It is not the SPLA having the guns in the bushes of South Sudan to attack the rebels. To the best of what I know, the SPLA forces have been ordered by their Commander-In-Chief General Salva Kiir Mayardit to never carry out any offensives against the SPLM/A-IO or any other armed groups. But it is the IO attacking us. We cannot attack, we are for peace but we will defend ourselves once we are attacked.

True, President Salva Kiir in recent weeks, publicly issued standing orders to the SPLA urging them to cease hostilities including the recruitment to the army.

However, the SPLM/A-IO Deputy Military Spokesperson Colonel Lam Paul Gabriel has issued several press statements which show that the SPLA forces have been on offensives against the SPLM/A-IO in Yei River State, Unity and Western Bahr el Ghazal as claimed by the senior SPLM/A-IO general interviewed early for this report.

In one of his press statements Colonel Lam reechoed the lamentations of his senior general and he wrote;[39]

it is almost one month since the R-ARCSS was signed in Addis Ababa, yet the regime has intensified and maintained constant aggression against the SPLA-IO positions in Yei River State, Wau and Unity State. These aggressions led to the several casualties; both soldiers and civilians, besides the destruction of properties and further displacement of civilians.

Looking at the entire angle, there is no doubt that the Agreement remains practically fragile and theoretical. It has little impact among the soldiers on the ground. Civilians continue to be displaced and killed. No one could tell when this will stop! The hopes of so many people suffering lie squarely in the hands of the warring parties to recommit their words into positive actions that will truly ensure that they mean to deliver and implement in letter and spirit the peace they signed.

It seems the business remains as usual. This goes back to the previous failures to commit to the numerous ceasefire declarations and cessation of hostilities which the parties have respectively signed.[40]

  • Inflammatory language and hate speech

One of the issues negatively scored by the parties in the last 30 days according the respondents, has been the use of inflammatory or belligerent language and hate speech. Citizens interviewed gave various examples which show inflammatory language and hate speech. LW(name withheld) a South Sudanese woman leader in Kakuma refugee camp pointed out how the parties have failed to use constructive language and she said;[41]

I really doubt whether our leaders are committed to the peace agreement they signed in Addis Ababa in September 2018. The language used by some military and political leaders is quite bad. Some armed opposition figures still refer to the government of South Sudan as ‘Juba or genocidal regime’ while some government officials still call the armed opposition of the SPLM/A-IO as ‘rebels of Riek Machar’or at worst, criminals. This is not the language of a peacemaker. There must be a change of heart and mindset among our leaders and their supporters. We need peace now starting from tongues.

LW’s observation is critical. As in the biblical terms, the tongue is a small thing that can set a forest into flames. The leaders should take note of this concern and improve on their public statements which must be seen to build lives rather than destroying them.

  • Unity of the Opposition camps

In recent months even after the signing of the Agreement, some of the armed and non-armed political opposition groups have heightened their fragmentation. This has been seen in the SSOA camp where National Salvation Front(NAS) headed by General Thomas Cirilo Swaka split from SSOA and also within itself. Similar splits have been seen in the National Democratic Movement (NDM) headed by Dr Lam Akol Ajawin, in the People’s Democratic Movement (PDM) headed by Dr. Hakim Dario Moi, in South Sudan National Movement for Change(SSNMC) under former Western Equatoria Governor Colonel Bangasi Joseph Bakosoro, in Dr. Costello Garang Ring’s South Sudan Patriotic Movement or Army(SSPM/A), and in General Peter Gatdet Yak’s South Sudan United Movement or Army(SSUM/A). The latest split has occurred in South Sudan United Front and Army(SSUFA) headed by General Paul Malong Awan.[42]

The major claim for the splits has been the rejection of peace deal by other leaders and acceptance of it by others. Those who are under original SSOA are led by its interim leader Gabriel Changson Chang, whereas the splitter groups are now headed by the NAS leader General Cirilo.[43]

Some political figures within SSOA claim that such splits are engineered by TGoNU to render a weak political opposition camp.  Whether or not such splits are the making of TGoNU under President Kiir, they still point to the weak opposition whose claim has always been the reforms of what they quite often brand as militarised, undemocratic and non-inclusive institutions. It is hard to fathom how a weak and divided opposition will cause such needed reforms. Such division is not good for the implementation of the Agreement as some will remain in arms.

  1. The continued role of the regional and international partners

Regional partners and supporters within the IGAD countries, African Union and international community significantly continue to play a very important role in the implementation phases.

Since the signing, it is a good step for IGAD to have continued engagement with the South Sudanese parties. Sudan President Omar Al Bashir, Uganda President Yoweri Museveni and the IGAD Special Envoy for South Sudan Dr Ismail Wais are seen to have constant engagement with the parties. Though the full implementation lies ultimately on the parties, however, the recent visit of Dr Wais to Juba, was very crucial.  This gives significant reminder that business cannot be as usual in the implementation of the revitalised Agreement. IGAD as a mediator should constantly play a positive role to ensure that the Agreement holds. This sentiment recently was echoed by Honourable Deng Alor Kuol when he said;[44]

we need IGAD countries to be very close because there is no guarantee that the implementation will be smooth.

In 2016, IGAD didn’t closely monitor the parties. Some IGAD countries were instead, negative forces working against stability of South Sudan. This seems to have somehow changed.

  1. The skepticism of some regional and international bodies

It is notable that though the international community such as Troika(United States, United Kingdom and Norway), United Nations, European Union(EU) and other partners have exerted consistent pressure on the parties to reach peace deal, yet most them remain skeptical to the success of the revitalised Agreement. The White House in a statement doubted President Kiir and Riek Machar to bring peace to South Sudan and it stated;[45]

South Sudan’s political leaders… have not demonstrated the leadership required to bring genuine peace… We remain skeptical that they can oversee a peaceful and timely transition to democracy and good governance.

Troika also doubts the South Sudanese leaders and in a statement it said;[46]

Given their past leadership failures, South Sudanese leaders will need to behave differently and demonstrate commitment to peace and good governance.

Such skepticism is rather demoralising to some stakeholders because it gives a negative message to citizens and the rest of the world that peace won’t hold in South Sudan.

Understandably, these partners have committed so much resources and comradeship to South Sudan, including the support to have its independence. Since 2005 to present, the South Sudanese military and political leaders have sharply disappointed such close allies. Instead of building viable state, yet the political elite flung South Sudan to a sorry state it is in as of now.

However, much as individual figures and institutions within the international community may remain skeptical and cast doubts in the Agreement, some senior figures understand the dynamics and remain focused on the Agreement. UN Secretary‑General António Guterres stated;[47]

the signing of the Revitalised Agreement—– is a positive and significant development. The road ahead remains challenging and the international community must remain seized of the situation in South Sudan throughout the implementation of the Agreement.  The United Nations stands ready, in close coordination with IGAD and the African Union, to assist the parties in implementing the Agreement.

Guterres’ statement is very encouraging. SSHURSA further argues that the international community, using different pressures, should continue to stand with the people of South Sudan and work together with IGAD and AU to ensure that no party or any IGAD country makes the implementation of the Agreement faulty.

  • To President Salva Kiir Mayardit and First Vice-President designate Dr Riek Machar Teny:
  • Ensure that all your forces completely cease all hostilities and the permanent ceasefire is fully implemented all over South Sudan.
  • Ensure that you genuinely walk the talk by releasing all prisoners of war and political detainees.
  • Ensure that no any of your officials uses inflammatory language that fuels violence.
  • Ensure that you personally exercise continued humility to do all things you can to build confidence and trust between you and other parties to guarantee smooth implementation of the Agreement.
  • Hold accountable all those officers who may violate the Agreement through any conduct or act and above all, those who violate human rights must be criminally held liable.
  • In all appointments you make, ensure an equitable and inclusive representation of all sectors including women, youth, civil society and others based on regional and ethnic diversity among others as provided for in the Agreement and the Transitional Constitution of South Sudan.
  • Ensure timely dissemination of the contents of the Agreement to all your forces and political officers, starting with the senior cadres to the field officers and soldiers.
  • Do all what you can to ensure that you cooperate with regional and international partners to support the implementation of the Agreement.
  • Allow freedom of movement for all civilians in South Sudan to ensure that the broken social fabric is slowly restored and life goes back normalcy.
  • Ensure that all your forces work closely with the civil society and human rights defenders and other relevant institutions and partners to reach all areas to ensure that the contents of the Agreement is disseminated to all citizens and peacebuilding activities are carried out freely at the grassroots to encourage reconciliation and peaceful coexistence among the divided families, clans, ethnic groups and political entities regardless of their affliations.
  • Allow unhindered humanitarian relief access to all areas it is required in South Sudan.
  • Allow timely CTSAMVM access to all areas where anti-peace elements cause violations.
  • To all SSOA and other armed and non-armed Opposition Groups
  • Ensure that you try all means possible to unify your ranks and files to speak with one voice as a bloc and strong political group determined to effect institutional and governance reforms in South Sudan’s political and military landscapes.
  • Cooperate with the President Salva Kiir Mayardit and the SPLM/A-IO leader Riek Machar Teny and be positive agents to ensure that the two leaders build confidence and trust that will enable smooth implementation of the Agreement.
  • Work with civil society, faith-based and other civic groups to ensure that the Agreement is implemented and any challenges are timely brought to public scrutiny.
  • Ensure that in all political appointments you make, consider the diversity values as guiding principles enshrined in the Agreement.
  • Ensure continued cooperation with the regional and international partners to support the timely implementation of the Agreement.
  • To regional and international partners: IGAD, AU, UN, EU, Troika, donors and other friends of South Sudan:
  • Ensure that any violation of the Agreement is not condoned at any stage as violation of one provision leads to violations of other provisions as the violators are emboldened.
  • Ensure that all those who violate the Agreement are equally held accountable to the consequences they deserve.
  • Avoid vague language of ‘both sides syndrome’ when only one party is in violation.
  • Ensure that the regional and international bodies continue to speak with one on the implementation of the South Sudan’s revitalised Agreement.
  • Ensure that no negative forces within the IGAD, AU member states and rest of the world hinder smooth implementation of the Agreement.
  • Avail timely funding to the revitalised institutions and never given any opportunity to those who may be against the Agreement in South Sudan to use absence of funds as a leeway to abrogate the Agreement.
  • Avail equal funding opportunities to the civil society groups in both government, opposition controlled areas and diaspora to ensure timely dissemination of the Agreement and to carry out simple but vital activities that ensure peacebuilding and nurturing rule of law and human rights culture.
  • Continue to speak with one voice to ensure putting arms embargo on South Sudan and target sanctions on political and military figures who block implementation of the Agreement.
  • Keep close to the parties to ensure that humanitarian relief reaches all areas it is needed.
  • To ordinary South Sudanese people
  • Ensure that you demand to be availed with the contents of the Agreement to know and own it.
  • Stand bold to hold accountable every leader who works against the Agreement.
  • Ensure that you try all what you can to reconcile with each other in small and big ways to restore broken social fabrics.
  • To civil society and other civic groups
  • Form regional, national and diaspora teams to widely disseminate the contents of the Agreement to all South Sudanese communities and host communities in diaspora.
  • Have unity of purpose to ensure that you objectively work as a unified voice of the people to effectively push for the implementation of the Agreement and institutional reform.
  • To RJMEC and other R-ARCSS mechanisms
  • While naming persons to the implementation mechanisms, value the spirit of article 1.4.6. of the Agreement that provides for due consideration to national diversity, gender and regional representation.
  • Reconsider inclusive and transparent communication and interaction with all civil society leaders both in Juba, outside Juba and diaspora.
  • Coordinate and work closely with all the parties and civil society groups regardless of their geographical associations.
  • Remain seized of the implementation of the Agreement to ensure that challenges such ceasefire violations are timely addressed through timely report by CTSAMVM.
  1. Conclusion

A 33 year old Martha, a widow who is mother of two girls in an interview from one of the refugee camps in northern Uganda, conclusively summarises the way forward and she said;[48]

look! I am suffering as I struggle to raise two girls without their father and I also take care of other members of the extended families. I lost my husband in 2013. Life has been hard with us in the camp. We want to go back home but we fear that we might be killed. I appeal to President Salva Kiir, Riek Machar and all leaders in the world to implement this agreement. Let the leaders know that there are orphans who have no food to eat leave alone school fees. Implement the peace agreement as the only way for South Sudan to survive as a state.

It is therefore, to be emphasized that the voice of Martha represents majority of civilians who are suffering in South Sudan at the internally displaced persons’ camps(IDPs), in refugee camps and all other parts of the world. As in the words of Martha, the only hope is for the leaders to stand above personal interests and implement the Agreement in letter and spirit.

As this report has noted the few achievements and challenges above as observed within the last 30 days, it is advisable that willful refusal to implement the Agreement should be dealt with at early stages. If the belligerent and deceitful conduct of any party remains without any serious consequences against such a party or parties, this will open a Pandora box which will give leeway to the violators to do exactly as they did to the 2015 peace deal.

Acts and conduct that frustrate confidence and trust building must be discouraged from the start. Parties should follow their words with positive actions. Negative behaviour in words and actions heighten mistrust, discourage confidence and trust building, raise suspicions, increase bitterness and above all, demoralise the citizens to have hope in their political and military leaders to deliver durable peace to South Sudan.

Above anything else, the guns must be silent all over South Sudan. Without security and safety of persons, like Martha, no one will feel there is peace in South Sudan.


[1] South Sudan’s President Salva Kiir Mayardit, right, and his former deputy Dr. Riek Machar Teny shake hands as they make a final peace deal at the 33rd Extraordinary Summit of Intergovernmental Authority on Development (IGAD) in Addis Ababa on 12 September 2018. This picture is courtesy of AFP.

[2] The CPA was a peace deal signed on 9 January 2005 between Southern Sudan (now Republic of South Sudan), represented by the SPLM/A and North Sudan represented by the ruling National Congress Party (The NCP). The CPA text provided for the right to self-determination for the people of Southern Sudan and their holding of a referendum to decide whether to remain in a united Sudan or separate from it. After six years known as the ‘Interim Period,’ from 2005 to 2011, the referendum vote was conducted. Then South Sudanese voted with an overwhelming majority of 98.83% for secession. ‘Final Report: Southern Sudan Referendum Commission (2011) at: http://southernsudan2011.com/sites/default/files/Final_Results_Report_20110206_1512.pdf.

[3] SPLM/A-IO document ‘Resolution of the SPLM/A-IO National Liberation Council on the ratification of the R-ARCSS’. Available at: https://minbane.wordpress.com/2018/09/23/https-wp-me-p1xtjg-7rq-2/ .

[4] Sudan Tribune: ‘SSOA ratifies South Sudan revitalised peace pact’ Available at: http://www.sudantribune.com/spip.php?article66346.

[5] Sudan Tribune ‘SPLM-FDs ratify South Sudan peace pact, call on holdout groups to join them’ 8 October 2018. Available at: http://www.sudantribune.com/spip.php?article66397 and Eye Radio: ‘Other Political Parties ratify R-ARCSS’ 9 October 2018. Available at: www.eyeradio.org/political-parties-ratify-r-arcss/. Deng Alor Kuol who was the head of SPLM-FDs, is now the member of NPTC representing the SPLM-FDs.  He went to Juba on 9 October 2018, a visit which according to him, is meant to boost his group’s support for the implementation of the Agreement.

[6] Eye Radio ‘Parliament demands for ratification of the R-ARCSS’ 3 October 2018. Available at: www.eyeradio.org/parliament-demands-ratification-r-arcss/.

[7] Sudan Tribune: ‘South Sudan parliament did not yet ratify revitalized peace pact, says JMEC. 30 September 2018. Available at: http://sudantribune.com/spip.php?article66348.

[8] Interviews on 2 October 2018.

[9] VOA ‘South Sudanese Cautiously Optimistic Over Signed Peace Deal’ 13 September 2018. Available at:


[10] Kanyihamba GW ‘Why South Sudan Peace deal could be an illusion’ 12 August 2018. Available at: http://www.monitor.co.ug/OpEd/Commentary/Why-South-Sudan-peace–deal-could-be-an-illusion-/689364-4708568-v55folz/index.html.

[11] See pg 31 and pg 94 of the R-ARCSS.

[12] Minbane ‘South Sudan: International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) available to facilitate release of detainees’ 9 October 2018. Available at: https://minbane.wordpress.com/2018/10/09/https-wp-me-p1xtjg-7z8/.

[13] See pages 9 and 10 of ACoH signed by the parties on 21 December 2017.

[14] Republican Decree No. 17 of 2018. The Decree orders also the army to observe permanent ceasefire and cease recruitment in the military.

[15] Order of the SPLM/A-IO  Chairman, issued on 9 January 2018.

[16] Press Release 28/01/2018 by SPLM/A-IO Deputy Military Spokesperson Col. Lam Paul Gabriel. Phow State is one of the 21 states which SPLM/A-IO has created and is called Fangak State in the 28 later 32 states which President Kiir created.

[17] Dr Peter Biar Ajak is a leader of South Sudan Young Leaders’ Forum(SSYLF), a non-political entity that advocates for a young blood of leaders to take over political leadership of South Sudan. He was arrested on 28 July 2018 at Juba International Airport. Despite unpublished charges, he has neither been released nor ever taken to the court of law. He also fits within the political detainees given the alleged charges being purely political crimes.

[18] Apart from the international human rights standards on fair trial, article 19 of the Transitional Constitution of South Sudan 2011(TCSS, 2011) provides adequately for the rights to fair trial. But all these rights have been oftentimes violated in South Sudan by the respective authorities. A conduct that belies the South Sudan’s commitment to its own Constitution and to the international human rights treaties to which it is a state party by ratification or by the strength of the international customary law and membership to the United Nations.

[19] Voice of America: ‘Prison Standoff in South Sudan’s Blue House’ 7 October 2018.

[20] Wol was also interviewed on the same day by the VOA South Sudan in focus.

[21] Portada RA III ‘South Sudanese prisoners demand justice’ published by Sudan Tribune and available at: http://www.sudantribune.com/spip.php?article66391. Dr Robert A. Portada III is an Associate Professor at the Department of Political Science & Public Administration – Kutztown University of Pennsylvania.

[22] President Kiir issued a Presidential Decree appointing 10 National Pre-Transitional Committee members headed by his Presidential Advisor on Security and deputised by the Deputy Chairman of the SPLM/A-IO, while SSOA Interim Leader headed the Secretariat. According to Article of the Agreement, the composition of NPTC is as follows: 5 for Incumbent TGoNU, 2 for SPLM/A-IO, 1 for SSOA, 1 for FDs and 1 for OPP.

[23] Interviews of 4 October 2018.

[24] See article at pg 6 of the Agreement.

[25] See article 1.4.8. pg 6 of the Agreement.

[26] ‘Statement from South Sudanese Women leaders’. This statement was issued on 26 September 2018 and signed by 36 South Sudanese women leaders representing various South Sudanese entities: Academia, political parties, civil society among others. They gathered for a workshop in Djibouti between 24-26 September 2018.

[27] Dr Ismail Wais’ Statement aired on SSBC on 7 October 2018 and published by Radio Tamazuj on 8 October 2018. Available at:  http://radiotamazuj.org/en/news/article/pre-transitional-committee-to-hold-first-meeting-in-khartoum.

[28] Eye Radio: ‘Other Political Parties ratify R-ARCSS’ 9 October 2018. Available at: www.eyeradio.org/political-parties-ratify-r-arcss/.

[29] See article 1.18.1. pg 26 of the Agreement which puts requirements for the persons to be nominated for the NCAC.

[30] Sudan Tribune ‘SPLA-IO disseminates peace agreement among fighters in S. Sudan’s Bieh’ 4 October 2018. Available at: http://sudantribune.com/spip.php?article66370.

[31] UNMISS ‘Bentiu residents pledge to disseminate the revitalised peace agreement’ 1 October 2018. Available at: https://unmiss-unmissions.org/bentiu-residents-pledge-disseminate-revitalised-peace-agreement .

[32] Deng Alor Kuol has until recently been the incumbent TGoNU Minister of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation. Before he was finally removed, Mr. Alor as a member of SPLM-FDs under whose ticket he was appointed to the Foreign Ministry, underwent numerous humiliation in the hands of TGoNU. Because he was not trusted, junior ministers were always used to represent the issues of the foreign affairs even in his presence. He remained humble until he was finally removed. The fact that he could go to Juba sooner than expected, sends a strong message that business cannot be as usual and all leaders should leave bitterness behind and recommit themselves to the spirit and letter of the Agreement.

[33] Radio Tamazuj ‘Army, SPLA-IO commanders discuss free movement of soldiers in Maiwut’  7 October 2018. Available at: http://radiotamazuj.org/en/news/article/army-spla-io-commanders-discuss-free-movement-of-soldiers-in-maiwut.

[34] On 27 June 2018, the Principals of the Parties signed Khartoum Declaration which came into force on 1 July 2018. Article 1 of the Khartoum Declaration provides for the Permanent Ceasefire applicable throughout in the Republic of South Sudan. This Declaration obliges all parties in South Sudan to observe ceasefire and allow for transitional security arrangements.

[35] Article 1 at pg 4 of the ACoH provides for the coming into force of the cessation of all hostilities. Heads of the Parties’ delegation signed the ACoH on 21 December 2017, in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia and the ACoH came into effect on 24 December 2017.

[36] Refer to the joint public statement issued by the CoS which was dubbed as: ‘Meeting of the Chief of the South Sudan Defence Forces with the SPLA-IO Chief of General Staff’ The meeting was reported as held at Salam Rotana Hotel in Khartoum, Sudan. Despite the improper date(as 30 October 2018 instead of 30 September 2018), the document is believed to be authentic. It provides for commitments to a number of issues: Permanent Ceasefire, establishment of daily contacts to track down violations of the Ceasefire, assigning joint focal points to the forces in proximity to ensure coordination of military activities and movements, release of Prisoners of War, stop negative campaigns against each other and forge one message for peace, resolve issues of cantonment sites among others. This is a great spirit and it is hope that it moves from paper to practice in the field.

[37] Interviews on 5 October 2018.

[38] Interview on 7 October 2018.

[39] Press Release 05/10/2018: ‘Continuous Violations From The Regime Despite Calls For Ceasefire’.

[40] The parties had been signing numerous commitments to cease hostilities since 23 January 2014 and through December 2017 to 27 June 2018 and finally on 12 September 2018 when the final Peace deal was signed. Yet all these commitments have not been respected. Accusations and counter accusations as who violates the commitments remain largely unresolved. The violators continue enjoying impunity.

[41] Interview on 7 October 2018.

[42] Sudan Tribune ‘Splinter group sacks Malong, declares its support for revitalized peace pact’ 7 October 2018. Available at: http://www.sudantribune.com/spip.php?article66387. The split was led by SSUFA deputy chairman William Ezekiel Kujo Deng. However, Malong’s main stream SSUFA dismissed the claim.  Sudan Tribune ‘South Sudan Front says Malong is not affected by the split’ 8 October 2018. Available at: http://www.sudantribune.com/spip.php?article66392.

[43] ReliefWeb ‘South Sudan’s NAS refuses final peace document’ 31 August 2018. Available at: https://reliefweb.int/report/south-sudan/south-sudan-s-nas-refuses-final-peace-document.

[44] Radio Tamazuj ‘Mistrust between Kiir, Machar may hinder peace’ 8 October 2018. Available at: http://radiotamazuj.org/en/news/Article/deng-alor-mistrust-between-Kiir-Machar-may-hinder-peace

[45] Sunday Times ‘US doubts ability of South Sudan’s president and rebel leader to bring peace’ 12 July 2018. Available at: https://www.timeslive.co.za/news/africa/2018-07-22-us-doubts-ability-of-south-sudans-president-and-rebel-leader-to-bring-peace/.

[46] New Vision ‘S. Sudan peace deal ‘not realistic’, international backers warn’ 10 August 2018. Available at: https://www.newvision.co.ug/new_vision/news/1483255/sudan-peace-deal-realistic-international-backers-warn.

Other international writers have also spread doubts over the peace deal. See Megan Specia’s article in New York Times ‘A Peace Deal for South Sudan Is Signed. Will It Last?’ 27 June 2018. Available at: https://www.nytimes.com/2018/06/27/world/africa/south-sudan-peace-deal.html.

[47] UN: ‘Secretary-General Calls Revitalised Agreement to Resolve Conflict in South Sudan ‘A Positive and Significant Development’  Available at: https://www.un.org/press/en/2018/sgsm19210.doc.htm.

[48] Interview on 30 September 2018.

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