60 days later: A brief monthly assessment on the implementation of the Agreement

Logo of the South Sudan Human Rights Society for Advocacy.

South Sudan Human Rights Society For Advocacy

                  No. 2


A brief monthly assessment on the implementation of the Agreement

Free at last![1]

For contact: Biel Boutros Biel, SSHURSA Executive Director, Cell:  +211 922 355 200 or +249997646683(WhatsApp).E-mail: [email protected]/[email protected]

Table of contents


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

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


About SSHURSA————————————————————————————–6

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



Role of the parties: achievements and challenges in the implementation———-11

Hate speech—————————————————————————————–21

Role of guarantors and other stakeholders in the implementation——————-21



AAA                                       Addis Ababa Agreement.

ACoH                                    Agreement on Cessation of Hostilities.

AU                                         African Union

CoGS                                        Chief of General 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

NLC                                               National Liberation Council

NPTC                                             National Pre-Transitional Committee

NSS                                                National Security Service

OPP                                               Other Political Parties

PC                                                   Permanent Ceasefire

PD                                                   Political Detainees

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

SSHURSA                                                South Sudan Human Rights Society for Advocacy

SSLA                                                        Southern Sudan Liberation Army

SSLM                                                            Southern Sudan Liberation Movement

SSOA                                                      South Sudan Opposition Alliance

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


SSHURSA is a nonpolitical and non-profit 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 nonviolence. 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 2017-2018 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.[2]

Executive Summary

November 12, 2018 (SSNA) —  This is a second brief report assessing the key areas of the implementation phases of the Revitalised Peace Agreement. The implementation period being assessed is 30 days out of 60 days from the D-Day. It is from 12 October 2018 when the Agreement was signed to 12 November 2018.  The main purpose is to ascertain the areas where parties have walked the talk in the implementation. The report starts with a set of recommendations to respective parties, stakeholders and partners. It also evaluates the challenges noted in the process of the implementation in 30 days and to recommend the way forward for mitigating such challenges. In this second Assessment Report, it is noted that though the parties have attempted to forge some ways forward such as confidence and trust building which boost implementation but still they have to do more. The South Sudanese political elite and military leaders must match their words with positive actions. The report observes that the positive steps scored should be encouraged and the challenges identified should be overcome. For all this to happen, personal humility is required of each leader to ensure that there is political will to honestly implement the Agreement. The report concludes with a call on all stakeholders to play their role in the implementation of the Agreement.


Unlike past report which used questionnaires, this second report made use of statements, reports and speeches of the leaders and media to analyse the trends of implementation. 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.


(i) To President Salva Kiir, SPLM/A-IO leader Riek Machar and other Opposition leaders:

1)            Continue with confidence and trust-building which must be demonstrated by political will translated into positive actions.

2)            Ensure that all political detainees and prisoners of war in your custody are released and their names published for the public to know.

3)            Ensure that the Chiefs of General Staff continue building trust among frontline military to effect complete disengagement.

4)            Ensure that all security and military establishments under your control allow unhindered humanitarian access and free movements of goods and civilians in South Sudan.

5)            In all appointments you make, ensure an equitable and inclusive representation of all sectors including women, youth and others based on regional and ethnic diversity.

6)            Ensure that no one in your parties or political entities utters hateful speech or belligerent words that incite people to violence.

7)            Continue making funds available for the implementation of the Agreement.

8)            Continue working closely with IGAD, especially Sudan and Uganda to ensure that as guarantors, they work positively on the implementation of the Agreement.

9)            Ensure that you positively engage with other armed and political forces outside the Agreement to join the Agreement to move forward in a spirit of national unity.

10)          Punish any officer or security agent who abuses human rights and the Agreement.

11)          Cooperate constantly with the AU and international community in the implementation of the Agreement especially setting up of Chapter V Transitional Justice institutions.

12)          Partner with civil society groups and other stakeholders to form joint peace and reconciliation committees to move all over South Sudan to disseminate the agreement text to civil and military population. South Sudan embassies and SPLM/A-IO and other opposition groups’ political representatives in diaspora can also do the same.

(ii) To IGAD: RJMEC and Office of the Special Envoy for South Sudan:

1)            Continue encouraging parties to implement the Agreement in letter and spirit.

2)            Ensure treating all South Sudanese stakeholders, especially civil society in equally.

3)            Timely fulfill duties required of IGAD by the Agreement.

4)            Be open to South Sudanese public to show difficulties which may hinder your work.

(iii) To African Union, United Nations, Troika, European Union and others:

1)            Ensure that no IGAD country becomes a negative force towards peace implementation.

2)            Be open to public especially civil society while making the enabling law to establish the Chapter V institutions especially the Hybrid Court for South Sudan.

3)            Avail funding for the implementation of the Agreement including its dissemination by different stakeholders in South Sudan and in diaspora among South Sudanese communities.

4)            Ensure that implementation of the Agreement remains one of your priorities.

(iv) To other South Sudanese political actors outside the Agreement:

1)            Continue the call for peaceful dialogue to join the Agreement.

2)            Ensure that no one in your groups uses hateful speech which incites violence.

3)            Cooperate and dialogue with other armed and non-armed opposition groups to speak with united voice in quest for genuine implementation of inclusive peace.

(v) To civil society groups in Juba and outside Juba:

1)            Form regional, national and diaspora teams to widely disseminate the contents of the Agreement to all South Sudanese communities and host communities in diaspora.

2)            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.

3)            Stop hate speech against any leader or any one so as to remain champions of peace and reconciliation to walk the talk.

(vi) To South Sudanese communities:

1)            Ensure that you demand to be availed with the texts of the Agreement.

2)            Stand bold to hold accountable every leader who works against the Agreement.

3)            Ensure that you reconcile with each other to restore broken social fabrics.

Background information on South Sudan conflicts

South Sudan has been embroiled in conflicts with the north Sudan since 1955. A war led by Southern Sudan Liberation Movement or Army(SSLM/A) or ‘Anya Nya I’, led by General Joseph Lagu and others. The region witnessed relative peace in 1972, when the SSLM/A signed a peace deal in Addis Ababa with the Sudan Government under President Gaafar Nimeiry. In 1983, Nimeiry imposed a countrywide 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 second war and the Sudan People’s Liberation Movement and Army(SPLM/A) was formed and waged the war until the Comprehensive Peace Agreement(CPA) was signed.[3]  On 9 July 2011, South Sudan got its independence. But barely two years of its independence; the region became a bloodbath. On 15 December 2013, a mismanaged political conflict within the ruling SPLM party turned violent. President Salva Kiir Mayardit described the incident as a coup against him by his then Vice-President Dr Riek Machar. Machar described the incident as President Kiir’s wholesale plot to kill him and other senior SPLM leaders. He fled Juba and subsequently formed an armed Movement: the Sudan People’s Liberation Movement and Army-In Opposition(SPLM/A-IO). The IGAD mediated the parties until they signed an Agreement in August 2015. In April 2016, SPLM/A-IO leader Machar returned to capital Juba,. By 8 July 2016, in less than three months, a dogfight broke out at Presidential Palace between the SPLA and SPLM/A-IO forces. Machar fled capital Juba again. The second phase of civil war started which the parties ended on 12 September 2018 in Addis Ababa, by signing another peace deal rebranded as ‘revitalised’ agreement. Though greeted with ululations by the South Sudanese communities, still clouds of doubts remain 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 South Sudanese people?

  1. Role of the parties: achievements and challenges in the implementation
  • Ratification of the Agreement

Article 8.1. of the Agreement provides that the Agreement is binding on all parties and requires timely ratification by all. In our last assessment report, we noted that all the parties had ratified the Agreement except Sudan South government through its parliament;- the Transitional National Legislature(TNL). The SPLM-IO NLC ratified the Agreement.[4] The SSOA Congress ratified it.[5] The SPLM-Former Detainees(SPLM-FDs) and Other Political Parties(OPP) equally ratified it[6]. On 15 October 2018, TNL ratified the Agreement. Though this came late, 26 days after the 7 day deadline from the D-Day when the Agreement was signed, but this is a good gesture. Now all the parties have ratified the Agreement. Despite the delays, this is an achievement for which the parties should be commended as a step toward implementation.

  • Confidence and trust building

This has been one of the biggest challenges that thwarted the implementation of the 2015 Peace Agreement. David Shearer, the Special Representative of the UN Secretary-General and head of the United Nations Mission in South Sudan(UNMISS) acknowledged the confidence and trust building as challenging and he said;[7]

The key ingredient needed at every step is trust. The personalities who signed the Agreement have in the past been former friends and foes. So, the big challenge ahead is to build trust and confidence between the parties–and between the parties and the people.

The difficulties of building trust and confidence among former belligerents of a five year bloody civil war can’t be underestimated. However, it is possible to build such trust and confidence if there is political will and renewed nationalism to appreciate rich diversity that bolsters peaceful coexistence. The leaders can start from within themselves.

David Shearer again called on all stakeholders to do their part in building trust and he said;[8]

responsibility to build trust lies not only with the parties but the stakeholders as well. It is beholden on all of us officials, civil society, religious leaders and the international community – to generate trust so that peace can flourish.

This call by UNMISS leader is timely and requires all stakeholders to step up efforts of building trust and confidence among themselves for smooth implementation of the Agreement.

Some encouraging steps are emerging. In the last 30 days of 60 days from the D-Day, the parties have taken positive strides in bridging the gaps. Some of the following steps which build confidence and trust have taken place so far:

  • Peace celebration in Juba

On 31 October 2018, a huge peace celebration took place in Juba. This was organised by the Government of South Sudan and directly the office of President Salva Kiir Mayardit ensured that the celebration was inclusive and successful. Dr Riek Machar Teny, the leader of the SPLM/A-IO braved it and went to Juba without any single armed guard. Many South Sudanese didn’t believe he would do what was thought either ‘too early an act or impossible to do.’ Riek Machar left in 2016 from Juba in desperate situation over his own life. Such an act of attending celebration without his own trusted protection, demonstrates a new step towards peace. Other leaders of the armed and non-armed political opposition groups, diplomats and leaders of IGAD except Kenya attended. This is great achievement in confidence building among the leaders.

In a statement, the Joint Monitoring and Evaluation Commission(JMEC) Acting Chair General Augostino Njoroge applauded the courage demonstrated by the parties to celebrate together in Juba to build confidence and he said;[9]

the presence of key opposition leaders at the celebrations is a public signal that the much-needed building of trust and inclusive implementation of the agreement is underway.

As observed by General Njoroge, we additionally note that anyone who is well schooled in the political contradictions of South Sudanese political and military leaders, could not take Juba peace celebration for granted. The leaders especially President Salva Kiir and First Vice-President designate Riek Machar, have to some extent, demonstrated leadership and political will that give hope for peace and reconciliation to the people of South Sudan.

Critics to Juba peace celebration

There were a number of critics who described the peace celebration as ‘unnecessary and lavish spending’. Their frustration can be understood and associated with the fact that South Sudanese leaders have oftentimes, taken for granted citizens and external partners and friends of South Sudan. The critics think that the money spent in the celebration could have been used to provide much needed humanitarian and security services to the people of South Sudan. At least their frustration is partially justifiable.

However, much as these critics have a point brought about by their frustration in leaders, but their wild assumption and characterisation of the parties are largely exaggerative and for a number of reasons:

Firstly, they have forgotten that peace is expensive and restoring it is very costly.

Secondly, the critics did not appreciate that huge sums of money has been spent over the last five years in weapons to kill South Sudanese by South Sudanese. The critics forgot to acknowledge that the rule of law has been broken apart and South Sudan’s situation is not a normal one. Then if the leaders some of whom have been behaving above rule of law have decided to use the resources for a celebration to build confidence that can lead to the atmosphere which allows for the implementation of the peace Agreement, we find it quite hypocritical for critics to discourage such a positive act.

Notably, some of these critics are not new to their assumed narratives. Some have been issuing misleading statements which are detached from ground conflict and contextual realities of South Sudan’s political and militarised dynamics.

In 2016 and 2017, SSHURSA made a number of observations in regard to the collapse of the peace Agreement and recommended that there was need for revival of the 2015 Peace Agreement. Based on factual ground realities and South Sudan entwined political history, it boldly advocated for a new political peace process to revive the Agreement, which must start with the release of Dr Riek Machar from IGAD political detention in South Africa. Our reasoning was that Dr Machar was the right character to engage directly with President Salva Kiir since the two have been the principals in the conflict. Some of these critics rejected our reasoning and continued misleading the world but the world later came to its senses and resorted to what were deemed as ‘jungle-recommendations’ by peace advocates.

Now that the leaders are coming together to build trust and confidence though in expensive ways, others are not resting in criticising everything. There is need to give credit where it is due.

Notably, there are respected personalities who recognise the importance of Juba peace celebration as a vital stagesetting for the implementation. Dr Peter Adwok Nyaba stated;[10]

the celebration on 31 October of R-ARCISS marked a fresh beginning in the long journey to peace, stability and social harmony in the Republic of South Sudan. The hope generated by the event must now translate into a strong movement for forgiveness, reconciliation and national healing.

Dr Adwok has rightly observed beyond the critics’ assumptions. Like he said, what is required now is a call on leaders to truly walk the talk and translate the celebration into meaningful security and humanitarian guarantees which will improve the lives of the local people. This way, leaders would march their public proclamations with positive acts.

Notably, President Salva Kiir has since then taken further steps to meet in Juba, with other armed opposition leaders, among whom include leaders of South Sudan Opposition Alliance(SSOA). This is quite encouraging trust and confidence building.

  • Confidence building among the belligerent frontline soldiers

The Chiefs of General Staff(CoGS) of the South Sudanese army—the SPLA and the SPLM/A-IO have held a number of meetings. Their discussion is being translated into positive confidence and trust-building engagements by their respective field commanders.

In Yei River, Juba, Imatong, Bieh and Raja States of the Greater Equatoria, Greater Upper Nile and Western Bahr El Ghazal, at the wake of November 2018, the SPLA and SPLA-IO senior officers have engaged in confidence and trust-building meetings.

 The above pictures show SPLA and SPLA-IO officers posing for joint group photo during and after confidence and trusting-building meetings in Yei and outside Juba.

The military officers as directed by their respective CoGS, agreed to allow free movements of soldiers, civilians and goods provided that any solider from opposite side moves with a written ‘departure order’ for the purposes of identification. This is very encouraging.

  • 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 also obliges the parties to release PoWs and PDs immediately.[13]

In our last report, we noted that the parties in little ways had demonstrated spirit to release the prisoners of war and political detainees. This time in the second phase of our implementation assessment, to a larger extent, they have walked the talk. The SPLM/A-IO is reported to have released four Pows. The government has released a number of political detainees and PoWs. These included James Gatdet Dak, the former spokesperson of the SPLM/A-IO leader Riek Machar and William John Endley, the South African ex-colonel the security advisor to Machar.

Others who were released late October 2018 are Marko Lokidor, former SPLM/A-IO governor of Kapoeta, Abraham Majak, Bashir Ahmed Mohammed Babikir, Diing Deng Mou and Madol Agok Kec. The government also said it has released 20 Pows and political detainees.

Observation on the release of political detainees and prisoners of war

The parties have done a credible job to some extent by respecting the provision of the Agreement which obliges them to release the PoWs and PDs.

However, one major weakness in the manner in which the release has been done is that, the names of most released persons have not been properly revealed to public.

The release has also been very selective. Other prisoners who are political detainees and prisoners of war who remain in detention include Peter Biar Ajak, arrested in Juba in July 2018, Kerubino Wol, detained in April 2018 and whose assets were frozen in October 2018 by the government after he led a prison-standoff at Juba National security detention house when he and others demanded for their rights to fair trial to be respected. Others included Nyero Anthony, James Lual among many unnamed. Several more South Sudanese political detainees who were kidnapped in the neighbouring countries of Uganda and Kenya since 2015 and 2017, believed to be in national security cells, have their whereabouts remain unknown. These persons include Peter Abdulrahman Sule, General Elias Lino Jada, former Secretary-General of South Sudan Law Society Dong Samuel Luak, Aggrey Idri Ezbon among others.

  • Permanent Ceasefire and security

There is drastic calm in the second month of the implementation though there were reported skirmishes in Yei, Western Equatoria, Western Bahr el Ghazal and Western Upper Nile. The good news is that some of these areas, the forces of the parties to the Agreement are engaging each other in confidence and trust-building meetings to cease hostilities as directed by the Commanders-In-Chief and Chiefs of General Staff of the respective parties.

The calm in the military warfare engagements sends a message of hope that the military generals of the parties would listen this time to their command and cease hostilities.

In mid-October 2018, IGAD Chiefs of Staff also met in Khartoum in preparation for robust deployment of Regional Protection Force(RPF). They then formed a Joint Working Group headed by Sudan. The joint group is tasked to assess the status of the RPF on the ground. This is a good step to boost the protection of civilians despite criticisms of the involvement of Uganda and Sudan which are countries seen to have a direct bearing in the civil war in South Sudan.

Much as there is significant reduction in the direct military engagement but the pockets of insecurities and general civilian protection remain problematic. Recently, in the counties of Duk, Jalle and several areas of Jonglei State, a number of civilians were attacked and killed by armed men. The property of the slain civilians were destroyed and some of which stolen.

Continued killings by what have been known as ‘unknown gunmen’ remain unabated. On the eve of Juba peace celebration, according to a close relative Ayom Makuei, a young lawyer, was gunned down in Juba.

  • Setting up peace implementation institutions

Notably seen again as progress in the second month from D-Day, has been the establishment of the implementation institutions. These institutions include the National Pre-Transitional Committee, Joint Monitoring and Evaluation Commission, National Constitutional Amendment Committee, Ceasefire and Transitional Security Arrangements, Monitoring and Verification Mechanism among others. This is a good step taken by the parties and other stakeholders towards the implementation of the Agreement.

Since the end of October 2018, some of these institutions held their first meetings in Khartoum, Sudan. Many of them have now moved to Juba and started their work there though not substantially but the fact that they moved with speed, is a good sign of progress.

IGAD has also filled the vacuum of leadership in JMEC by appointing the previous deputy chairperson of JMEC to be the Acting or Interim Chair of JMEC.

The delays are not only to be blamed on parties alone, but also, IGAD which is the main guarantor to the Agreement, has its own share of blame. For instant, it has failed to timely appoint the JMEC Chair and instead, it lately acted to make the deputy an acting chair.

Additionally, the government of South Sudan through the Minister of Justice registered a complaint that it delayed to present to Parliament the Agreement for ratification, because IGAD didn’t timely delivered the Agreement text. Though this is unconvincing excuse as the signed version was available to all and upon which the Parliament could have passed the ratification, yet the complaint suggests that somehow somewhere, a body like IGAD, is not also fulfilling its work despite the available resources at its disposal. The good news is that, it now seems all are geared towards the implementation though little ways, there is at least a sense of progress in the implementation.

  • Inclusivity of the implementation institutions

Article 1.4.6. of the Agreement provides:

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

Looking at the nomination of the parties, except the women’s 35% ratio, the parties seem to have taken into account the spirit of Article 1.4.6. above in their membership.

Civil society intentional exclusion in the implementation mechanisms

There is remarkable absence of the inclusion in all implementation institutions, of the civil society, youth, academic, faith-based, women and business community groups in diaspora, refugee and internally displaced persons’ camps and nongovernment controlled areas.

All civic groups’ representatives in all institutions have gone to Juba- based civil society, faith-based, women, academic and business community groups.

In October 2018, in Juba, the office of IGAD Special Envoy for South Sudan and JMEC Acting Chair called for a meeting the Juba-based civil society groups to arrange for their participation in the implementation institutions. In that meeting with the blessing of JMEC, the Juba-based civil society groups divided among themselves the positions to these institutions.

The civil society, youth, academic, faith-based, women and business community groups in diaspora, internally displaced persons’ camps, refugee camps and nongovernment or Opposition controlled areas were intentionally excluded in all institutions.

Prior to that meeting, the Civil Society Peace and Humanitarian Development Consortium(CSPHDC), an umbrella of most of the civil society, women, youth and faith-based groups, operating in refugee and internally persons’ camps, diaspora and Opposition controlled areas, sent more than two official communication to both the Office of Special Envoy and JMEC Acting Chair. The main appeal was to give special attention to the spirit of Article 1.4.6. of the Agreement which provides for due consideration to national diversity, gender and regional representation when selecting representatives to the institutions.

No response from any of the two offices. The appeals for diversity, gender and regional considerations from civil society outside Juba were completely ignored by JMEC. Despite being ignored, the civil society outside Juba remains civil.

Past exclusion:

This is not the first time for the Office of Special Envoy or JMEC to ignore the civil society groups outside Juba. In 2017, during the pre-consultation, prior to convening of the High Level Revitalisation Forum(HLRF), the IGAD Special Envoy’s office drew up a consultation timetable that excluded all civil society groups outside Juba.

The CSPHDC and SSHURSA on behalf of all protested that exclusion. Successfully, the Special Envoy reconsidered including the excluded groups in pre-consultation. Plans to meet the diaspora and outside Juba civil society groups was done. This ended up with successful consultation meetings in Ethiopia’s western Gambella region.

In July, 2018, during the peace agreement negotiations in Khartoum, the civil society delegates and other stakeholders were given break after successful conclusion of security and governance arrangements. The IGAD Special Envoy office asked the civil society to choose to go or remain in Khartoum but all would be booked later to Kenya for negotiation of implementation matrix and to Ethiopia for signing the final Agreement. When dynamics changed and IGAD decided to bless the continuity of negotiations in Khartoum, IGAD Special Envoy’s Office booked back to Khartoum all Juba-based civil society delegates and stakeholders except the civil society delegates from diaspora and Opposition controlled areas who were even signatories to the Agreement on the Cessation of Hostilities(ACoH) signed in December 2017.

The current exclusion of the civil society groups outside Juba is something intentional and it is not clear to grasp the real intention of IGAD Special Envoy and JMEC Chair’s offices to consider less important the civil society groups outside Juba. These offices seem to be not conversant to the fact that these civic society groups comprise of most veteran civil society leaders who like their colleagues in Juba, have done much in protecting the civic space and rights of the people of South Sudan and the fact that they are not inside South Sudan, doesn’t make them less South Sudanese citizens. They were driven away by the effects of the civil war. It is their right to participate in the implementation mechanisms and not to be ignored as these offices are doing.

The competence of those civil society and other civic groups already seconded to the implementation institutions, is not in dispute but the call for equal society which considers diversity as positive other than negative is what is in the heart of Article 1.4.6. of the Agreement.

  • Dissemination status of the Agreement

A number of civil society groups and institutions have tried to disseminate the Agreement but this is not enough. The vast majority of the South Sudanese communities at home, IDPs and diaspora didn’t know yet about the contents and substance of the Agreement. The Agreement text needs to be robustly and timely disseminated to both civil and military populations.

  1. Hate speech

This has reduced significantly in the last 30 days unlike how we noted in first assessment report. However, the recent statement of Vice-President Dr James Wani Igga was unfortunate. Dr Wani in a rally stated;[14]

The rival leaders are expected to form a transitional government to run for three years after the pre-transitional period. After that any person still in the bush will be considered a destroyer. Uganda and Sudan have agreed not to support any person waging a rebellion in the region. They said any person doing that will be considered a terrorist and will be dealt with accordingly.

It was clear that Dr Wani attributed this statement to the armed opposition group which rejected to sign the Peace Agreement. This group is now an alliance led by leaders mostly from Equatoria region where Dr Wani hails. Specifically, General Thomas Cirilo Swaka who hails from same area like Dr Wani, heads the new SSOA Alliance. The spokesman of the group responded with bitter and belligerent fashion, describing the government led by President Kiir and Dr Wani as criminal and instead, deserves terrorist categorisations.

We observed that the statement by Dr Wani was provocative and denoted hate speech. The response of the group was equally hateful.[15]

The government whether now or later when formed as a revitalised one, should instead, positively engage with any armed or political opposition group outside the Agreement. These are citizens of South Sudan and instead of branding them as terrorists, spirit of unity for the survival of South Sudan as a state should guide the public engagement of the leaders.

Other hate statements were also seen on the social media unfortunately uttered by some leaders of the civil society. While the political leaders were celebrating peace in Juba, some of these civil society leaders described President Salva Kiir and First Vice-President designate Riek Machar as ‘killers’. This is very unfortunate to come from civil society leaders at this time.

  1. Role of guarantors and other stakeholders in the implementation

The task of ensuring implementation is not to be left to one group. Much as political will is required of the key principals and parties, but it is incumbent upon all those who have spirit of humanity to see South Sudanese restore respect for their dignity and embark on transition from violence to era of peace, rule of law, human rights and democratic space.

It will require all among whom civil society groups, IGAD, AU, international partners and friends of South Sudan such as Troika and European Union.

Positive and united statements from partners and friends of South Sudan

Some international partners such as United Nations, Troika and European Union are promising continued moral support and funding for the implementation of the Agreement.  David Shearer, the head of UNMISS and Special Representative to the UN Secretary-General said;

Let me assure you, the United Nations is absolutely committed to working with you all as a partner. We will stand alongside the parties as they move forward in peace. We will use our resources and our presence across the country to support reconciliation and peacebuilding.

More promising support statements have also publicly come from reliable figure like Ambassador Chris Trott of the United Kingdom who assures South Sudanese of continued Troika’s support to the implementation of the Agreement

The government of South Sudan has already walked the talk in the financial support. According to JMEC report[16] an initial fund has been secured for the implementation of the activities of Pre-Transitional Period. That the government of South Sudan has made available respectively amount of South Sudanese Pounds one hundred million and United States dollars one million only(SSP 100m and US$1m). This is an encouraging progress that deserves applause. It shows political will on the side of the government. The donors should also practically walk the talk.


The South Sudanese political leaders especially President Salva Kiir Mayardit and First Vice-President designate Dr Riek Machar should lead the way by demonstrating constant political will and building confidence and trust for smooth implementation of the Agreement. Other leaders, partners and South Sudanese communities should support the leaders to implement the Agreement. All South Sudanese should open up a new chapter through this Agreement. That new dispensation should aim at charting a way forward to a transition from violence to an era of peace, justice, respect of constitutionalism, human rights and human dignity.

[1] The cover page is of detainees who had been for long without charges in national security detention in Juba. They were set free in October 2018 as a result of the implementation of the peace agreement by the government.

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

[3] 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.

[4] 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/ .

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

[6] 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.

[7] Radio Tamazuj:‘UNMISS head says building trust is next big hurdle to sustainable peace.’ Available at: https://radiotamazuj.org/en/news/article/unmiss-head-says-building-trust-is-next-big-hurdle-to-sustainable-peace.

[8] See 1.2,(no 7) above on the statement of David Shearer.

[9] JMEC press statement 1 November 2018. Juba, South Sudan.

[10] PA, Nyaba ‘Congratulations, and looking beyond the celebration’ Professor Adwok is a prominent academic and politician in South Sudan.

[11] See pages 31 and  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]Radio Tamazuj: ‘VP Igga says anti-peace elements will be treated as terrorists’. Available at:


[15] Sudan Tribune: ‘SSOA- Cirilo denounces govt’s plan to declare them terrorist groups’, Available at: http://www.sudantribune.com/spip.php?article66574.

[16] See page 3 of JMEC Progress Report No. 3 on the implementation status of R-ARCSS, 2018, released on 5 November 2018.

[17] See SSHURSA first report:


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