South Sudan Council of Churches (SSCC), the South Sudan Women’s Coalition for Peace (WCP) and the Sudan Civil Society Forum (SSCSF), have jointly launch a “10 Days of Action for Peace in South Sudan.” peace campaign to mark the first anniversary of the commencement of the Transitional Period of the Revitalized Agreement on the Resolution on the Conflict in the Republic of South Sudan.
A joint advocacy that has brought together the South Sudan Council of Churches (SSCC), the South Sudan Women’s Coalition for Peace (WCP) and the Sudan Civil Society Forum (SSCSF), reiterated calls for the “restoration of peace, security and stability and an end to all bloodshed in the country”.
The appeal comes as South Sudan commemorated on the 22nd February 2021, the first anniversary of its commencement of the Transitional Period of the Revitalized Agreement on the Resolution on the Conflict in the Republic of South Sudan.
On 22 February 2020, South Sudan formed the Revitalized Transitional Government of National Unity (RTGoNU) which had been provided for under the R-ARCSS signed between the government and opposition parties in September 2018. The RTGoNU, led by president Salva Kiir Mayardit, saw the swearing in of opposition leader Riek Machar Teny Dhurgon as the nation’s first vice president. Four other vice presidents from various opposition parties were also sworn in as part of the transitional government.
The joint statement notes that “this is not the first time we have called on the same leaders to fulfill their responsibility to their country and the citizens of the nation. Unfortunately, these calls have not yet yielded any meaningful change to the ongoing crisis in the country and the living conditions of the common citizens.”
The statement’s signatories futher said that while they acknowledge the reduction of military confrontations among parties to the peace agreement, including positive steps to hold armed forces accountable for crimes against civilians and the reconstitution of the executive of the new unity government, they remain “deeply disturbed that the overall situation has not convincingly improved.”
The joint statement highlights that the country has continued to witness “devastating inter-communal violence, displacement of civilians, sexual and gender-based violence, unnecessary roadblocks for extorting money and inflicting pain on travelers and humanitarian workers, alongside an economy that falters with soaring inflation rates.”
The Republic of South Sudan became the world’s newest nation in 2011. However, renewed conflicts in December 2013 and July 2016 have undermined its development gains since independence and created a dire humanitarian situation in the country. Nonetheless, the implementation of the September 2018 peace agreement and the subsequent formation of a government of national unity in February 2020 raised hopes for a positive outlook. Unfortunately, the nation has undergone several shocks including flooding in parts of the country, locust infestations and the outbreak of the Covid-19 pandemic which has further exacerbated existing vulnerabilities.
The statement encouraged political authorities to save the nation from further disintegration and human suffering, reiterating calls for “peace, justice, liberty and prosperity for all citizens” in the country.”