In April, the Committee received a presentation from the Panel on the panel`s final report (Document S/2020/342) and reviewed its recommendations in written form. During a video conference closed on June 25, the Committee heard a presentation from the panel at a meeting of the group open to the neighbouring countries of South Sudan on the Group`s final report and heard from the Permanent Representative of Sudan, in his capacity as Chairman of the Intergovernmental Authority on Development (IGAD), to report on the group`s recent efforts to support the implementation of the 2018 peace agreement in South Sudan. “It`s really hard to say whether there is peace or not,” said Bongan Allan, 45, whose five children were abducted in an outbreak of violence in February 2020. “We only stay here because people take our livestock and our children starve.” “No matter where people live or who they are, all South Sudanese hope for peace and prosperity,” he added. “We are witnessing a return to business as usual,” where progress on the peace agreement itself is dragging on. According to a special representative of the UN Secretary-General, progress in implementing the South Sudan peace agreement has been halted in part because of the coronavirus pandemic. The lack of resources allocated to the agreement further complicates efforts. Dozens of opponents, mostly, have starved to death in cantons and training centers pending membership in a new national army, while peace officers in Juba have been driven out of hotels because the government has not paid their bills – $10 million is owing to nine hotels. “Olony could bring peace to the region, but his appointment could also trigger further violence if they are not well managed by the government,” said Edmund Yakani, executive director of the Community Empowerment for Progress Organization, a civil society group. With the agreement stalled, violence has intensified in some parts of the country. In the western state of Jonglei and the administrative region of Pibor, more than 30,000 people are currently in a state of famine after months of heavy rains and clashes with militias. Goanar Gordon Yien, a spokesman for Machar, told TNH that the Kiir regime was trying to undermine the peace agreement by co-opting opposition soldiers with expensive cars, money and weapons. What potentially differentiates the Juba Agreement is that Sudan`s civilian-led transitional government seeks to bring peace, justice and democracy to the goals of the revolution; That the agreement was negotiated between the Sudanese themselves, in the light of South Sudanese mediation and weak logistical and technical support from the international community; and that much of the negotiations took place between former comrades, in stark contrast to the conflicting atmosphere that prevailed during the Bashir era.
The national army, the central component of the 2018 agreement, is expected to be created in the coming months. But the process took more than a year and a half: about 40,000 soldiers are still out of school and another 47,000 are awaiting their conclusion. As Kiir and Machar prolong the implementation of the peace agreement, the chances of good governance are wasted.