Unity gov’t vows not to revitalize roadmap after 24 months

Today, February 22, 2023, marks the end of the 36-month transitional period of the revitalized peace agreement and the beginning of the 24-month extension of the transitional period of the roadmap.

President Salva Kiir and opposition groups signed a peace agreement in 2018 that ended five years of civil war.

But the provisions of the agreement remain largely unimplemented, and the parties placed February 2023 as the end of the transitional period.

The peace deal that binds the parties in a transitional unity government had encouraged authorities to hold general elections before February 2023.

“Let me assure you that this time, we’re implementing and going for election in time. There is no question of a revitalized roadmap as some of you think,” Michael Makuei, government spokesperson, said at a conference held in Juba on Tuesday.

According to public presumption, the continuous extension or the roadmap is the hiding cave for the regime to remain in power and continue ruling the war-torn country.

Makuei rebukes those doubting the government motives for peace and democratic South Sudan.

“There are a lot of doubts, there are a lot of doubting Thomases that [ask] what happens if you don’t implement the deal, and this is what most of you have in mind that ‘This is the government of people who have decided to rule, they are not ready to step down for elections, they are obstructing all the times and delaying the implementation because they want to stand again’,” Makuei said.

“So if you are ready for elections, be ready for that for we are going for the elections.”

The roadmap was developed to provide time-bound guidance on the implementation of outstanding provisions that are critical to the conduct of peaceful and democratic elections at the end of the transitional elections.

“Yes! We had some difficulties in the implementation of the agreement and even up to now, the international community are on our neck to deploy the forces which have been graduated with sticks,” Makuei continued.

Besides deployment of forces, the pending tasks of the peace deal include the enactment of the Political Parties Act, 2022, and the National Constitutional Review and reviewing of the national elections laws to be included in the permanent constitution among others such as the establishment of the hybrid court and the commission for Truth, Reconciliation and Healing.

However, the committee responsible for the implementation of the peace deal said they are in an engagement with the UN agencies to help in the electoral process.

“The committee is in advance discussions with UNMISS and UNDP on the operationalization of pre-elections and post elections activities,” said Martin Elia Lomuro, minister of Cabinet Affairs and the secretary of the committee.