October 17, 2019 (JUBA) – The Reconstituted Joint Monitoring and Evaluation Commission (RJMEC) on held Thursday held a meeting in Juba on the outstanding pre-transitional tasks ahead of the formation of a national unity government next month.
- RJMEC Interim Chairperson H.E Ambassador Lt .Gen. Augostino Njoroge (Center) delivers his statement during the meeting. With him are RJMEC Chief of Staff, Ambassador Berhanu Kebede (right) and Deputy Chief of Staff-Strategy, Dr. Thomson Fontaine, September 12, 2019 (RJMEC photo)
Speaking during the opening of the meeting that brought together parties to peace agreement and other stakeholders, RJMEC Interim Chairperson, Amb. Lt. Gen. Augostino Njoroge said Thursday's meeting was important because the extended pre-transitional period is due to end in less than four weeks.
“Ideally, at this stage we should all be excited with the real prospect of the RTGoNU (Revitalized Transitional Government of National Unity) being formed, but unfortunately, we still have a lot of work to do in the days ahead to cross this bridge,” he said.
Njoroge, in his statement to the RJMEC members, also highlighted progress so far made in the cantonment of forces.
“Out of the 25 designated cantonment sites for the opposition and 10 barracks for government forces, 24 cantonment sites and 6 barracks are operational,” he disclosed.
The senior RJMEC official, however, stressed the need to fast track the registration and screening in the remaining sites, particularly components of the police and the national security.
Njoroge further stressed what he described as critical pending tasks vital to the formation of the national unity government, including the resolution of the number and boundaries of the States, enactment of the Constitutional Amendment Bill and the other Bills, and agreement on allocation of ministerial portfolios.
Other issues, he added, are submission by the parties of their nominees for the Transitional National Legislative Assembly (TNLA) to the National Constitutional Amendment Committee (NCAC`) and the complete demilitarization of civilian centers.
Meanwhile Njoroge said the incumbent government should, as a matter of urgency, avail more and adequate resources to the National Pre-Transitional Committee (NPTC) to facilitate on-going cantonment, concurrent training and deployment of forces.
“The Parties should meet and resolve the outstanding issue of the number and boundaries of States without further delay,” he stressed.
South Sudan descended into war in December 2013 when President Salva Kiir accused his former deputy Riek Machar of plotting a coup, allegations the latter dismissed.
In September 2018, the rival factions involved in the conflict signed a peace deal to end the conflict that has killed tens of thousands of people and displaced over 2 million people in the country.
October 17, 2019 (KHARTOUM) - Sudan's Minister of Justice, Nasr al-Din Abdel Bari and Attorney General Taj al-Sir al-Hebir on Thursday discussed the drafting of laws allowing to dismantle the former regime based on the constitutional document.
The two officials further agreed to give prosecution powers to the independent investigation committee on the brutal attack on the pro-democracy protesters.
The meeting discussed the amendment of the Public Prosecution Law, the National Investigation Committee formed under the Transitional Constitutional Document, the Joint Committees and the files before the Ministry of Justice related to some major corruption affairs, said a statement released by the office of the Attorney General.
The statement mentioned the famous cases before justice: River transport, sale of Sudan Airways Heathrow landing slot, Group Aref and the Gezira Scheme.
These affairs are described as the biggest corruption cases in the era of the ousted President Omer al-Bashir and involved leaders of the then ruling National Congress Party.
"The Minister of Justice and the Attorney-General agreed to issue laws that would dismantle the former regime, and to provide the prosecution with all the files before the Ministry of Justice, to instigate legal proceedings and to bring the cases to court.
Sudanese women's rights activists call for a swift repealing of articles related to women's lashing by police saying this inhuman practice degrades women.
According to the statement, the Attorney General agreed to grant prosecution powers to the Independent National Investigation Committee, to draft amendments to the Public Prosecution Law, and other laws restricting freedoms.
October 17, 2019 (JUBA) - The governor of South Sudan's Amadi state, Joseph Ngere Paciko on Thursday briefed President Salva Kiir on the situation of Luri River bridge, a month after seven people died in it.
- South Sudan's Amadi state, Joseph Ngere Paciko briefs President Salva Kiir on October 17,2019 (PPU)
Speaking to reporters after the meeting held in Juba, Ngere said Kiir assured him plans to fix the bridge have been included in to developmental programs.
“It is a top priority and plans are underway to repair it,” he stressed.
Last week, residents of Amadi state have urged the government to repair the bridge to facilitate the movement of people from Juba to Western Equatoria region.
The appeal was made when the country's Vice-President, James Wani Igga made an official visit to the state to disseminate peace.
Luri River bridge lies on a road connecting Juba to Western Equatoria and beyond into Bahr al Ghazal.
Meanwhile Ngere also said he discussed with President Kiir the progress on the implementation of the revitalized peace agreement.
October 17, 2019 (JUBA) - The head of the Sudanese Revolutionary Front (?SRF) Hadi Idriss Thursday revealed they agreed that the talks for peace in Darfur be held in Juba and proposed to postpone the process to prepare the needed arrangements.
The agreement was reached in a joint meeting held between the SRF delegation, the transitional government delegation and the South Sudanese mediation team as well as an African Union representative.
It was the first direct meeting between the government and the SRF delegations. During the past days, the rebel umbrella discussed with the South Sudanese mediation the implementation of the Juba Declaration and other procedural matters.
"The meeting agreed that Juba would be the venue of the negotiations. In return, the South Sudanese government should reach out the African Union to obtain a clear and explicit mandate to host the negotiations," Idris told Sudan Tribune.
The Juba declaration between the government and SRF stated that the talks would begin on 14 October without indicating the venue of the talks as it was the case for the text signed with the SPLM-N al-Hilu.
Also, leaders of several SRF factions had voiced explicit reservations about holding the peace talks in South Sudan.
They said that the venue should be in a country that can contribute to the implementation of the would-be signed agreement and provide money for the rehabilitation of the war-ravaged regions, pointing that Saudi Arabia or the UAE have shown their interest and Qatar has already a mandate to sponsor the Darfur process.
Al-Hadi noted that Juba, as a mediator, also have to contact the countries mentioned in the Juba Declaration to ensure their participation in the negotiating process as facilitators or observers.
The declaration of principles signed in Juba on 11 September, provides that Saudi Arabia, Qatar, UAE, Sudan's neighbours, France, Germany, Troika countries, African Union, European Union and United Nations should be associated to the process.
The SRF chairman added that all these things need more time before to be done, besides the other preparations and logistics for the military teams that will negotiate the security arrangements and advisers.
"To make these things happen, we proposed postponing the negotiations for a period of two weeks to a month to arrange the negotiations," he said.
Idris reiterated that they are "strongly committed" to end negotiations before or on December 14 of this year, as agreed in the Juba Declaration.
Sudan's transitional government pledged to achieve peace in Sudan within six months and to dedicate all the country's resources for development and welfare.
After the joint meeting, the spokesman of the Sudanese government negotiating delegation Mohamed Hassan Eltaishi and Idris briefed the media about the what was agreed in the meeting and announced the formation of a committee to assess the implementation of the Juba Declaration.
In his remarks, Eltaishi said the parties and partners in the revolution are committed to end the armed conflicts and reach an agreement in a short time and reiterated his government's willingness to negotiate in a good faith with the SRF to reach an agreement.
"The meeting agreed to form a joint committee between the government and the Revolutionary Front to review the implementation of what was agreed upon in the Juba declaration, and to set an agenda for the negotiating roadmap," he said.
Eltaishi described this development as an advanced step in scheduling discussion topics and would enable the parties to achieve a major breakthrough in a short time, as he said.
In his statement to Sudan Tribune, Idris confirmed that the joint committee will define a roadmap that includes the issues to be discussed.
October 17, 2019 (KHARTOUM) - Most of Sudan's external debt is owed to members of Paris Club comprised of creditor nations, a World Bank (WB) official said.
The issue of debt has been a thorn in the side of Sudan policymakers for decades but the burden has since grown to alarming levels as percentage of the country's GDP.
Because of debt arreats as well as inclusion in list of states that sponsor terrorism, Sudan has been unable to tap the International Monetary Fund and World Bank for support.
Carolyn Turk, country Director for Ethiopia, Eritrea, Sudan and South Sudan in told Sudan Tribune on Thursday that Sudan's aggregate debt is now around $50-60 billion.
The official was reacting to a recent press report which quoted her as saying that Sudan's external debt amounted to $16 billion.
"Sudan's external debt is $50-60bn, not $15-16bn. This debt is mostly to Paris Club countries. The arrears to multilateral organizations is much smaller," she said.
The toppling of president Omer Hassan al-Bashir last April offered new hope for Sudan to end three decades of isolation and being shunned as a pariah state.
Last month, France announced it will host a conference with Sudan's international creditors to look into debt relief as soon as the US removes Sudan from the terrorism list.
The head of Sudan's transitional government Abdulla Hamdok expressed optimism about a speedy decision by Washington on the terrorism designation.