Sixth Governors Forum to evaluate peace, security commences in Juba

The 6th Governors’ Forum in South Sudan commenced on Tuesday in Juba in order to evaluate progress made in the implementation of the 2018 revitalized peace agreement.

10 Governors and 3 Chief Administrators are meeting under the auspices of the Presidency to also discuss security and developmental matters.

According to the program, the leaders will further study the roadmap to achieving all outstanding provisions of the peace deal.

In his opening remarks, President Salva Kiir told the participants to diligently expound on how to overcome the challenges derailing the speedy implementation of the agreement.

“The discussion you will be holding in the next few days will certainly touch on the difficult topics on how to construct the implementation of the roadmap 2022. My hope is that your deliberation will be beneficial to the process of putting our country permanently on the path of peace,” he stated.

In the midst of this year, the parties to the revitalized peace deal agreed to extend the transitional period for another two years in order to implement all provisions. They signed a new roadmap on the extension.

The extension, however, received little interest from some members of the international community, mainly the United States.

The President told stakeholders that the roadmap is feasible if supported by everyone.

“We are also aware of frustration from our partners over the basis of the revitalized peace agreement implementation. What was missing in this collective desire to see the agreement implemented in letter and spirit, was and still is genuine partnership,” he underscored.

President Kiir urged the Governors and the Chief Administrators to work collectively with the international community.

“The roadmap which will be subject of your discussion in the coming days was solemnly developed by the parties to the agreement and it is encouraging to see the United Nations System and other partners joining hand with us in this forum to explore ways of constructing its implementation.”

He disclosed that there are positive indications from peace and development partners to work with the government in realizing peace and stability in South Sudan.

“From the recent discussion with our partners, we have noticed some positive steps in the attempt to work together for the sake of peace in South Sudan. The task of reconciling the people, rebuilding destroyed communities and transitioning our people out of conflict cycle need resources. We cannot do these things alone, we need our partners to support us,” he affirmed.

For his part, the First Vice President Dr. Riek Machar said the forum has come at an opportune time when the Necessary Unified Forces are being graduated gradually.

“This year, we are holding this forum when we have done great events and millstones in the implementation of the peace agreement. Key ones, we have graduated the forces,” he stated.

Dr. Machar expressed optimism that the unified forces will play a great role in restoring security across the country.

“We are confident that the country will be secure once these forces are deployed, and also we have confidence that the phase two shall also commence as soon as possible. And actually the President has ordered for that in the first graduation.”

The Governors Forum is being supported by the United Nations Development Programme in collaboration with the Office of the President.

The forum will provide the governors with the opportunity to interact among themselves and with the Presidency.

It will also deliberate and build on what was agreed last year.