Maj. Gen. Desta Abiche Ageno
Chairman of CTSAMVM
The 7th CTSAMVM Technical Committee Meeting
Juba, January 16th 2018
Representatives from the Board members,
Representatives from the Donor and International Community,
Ladies and Gentlemen,
Good morning. I warmly welcome all of you to the 7th meeting of the CTSAMVM Technical Committee or CTC and also want to wish you a Happy New Year 2019. I sincerely thank the Donor countries for their support to CTSAMVM in 2018 and look forward to your contribution in 2019.
Again I want to thank the Party representatives who travelled to Juba to attend this meeting and I note that this is the first meeting aside from the extraordinary meeting in December 2018 to take place in Juba. Again, this represents a significant milestone for progress in the implementation of the revitalized peace agreement.
We continue to work with the NPTC and Ministry of Foreign Affairs to avoid issues at Juba International Airport for party representatives to travel to Juba to attend CTSAMVM meetings. We continue to ask the party representatives for their patience and cooperation.
Since the last meeting, the situation in Wau and other parts of the country has improved with the recent meeting on January 10th, 2019 between the IO Commander Maj Gen Abdulla Ujang and the Wau State Governor Angelo Taban Biajo to build trust and confidence. That same day, MVT Juba also witnessed a trust and confidence building meeting between SSPDF and NAS/SSOA in Terekeka. In Bentiu, the situation has also improved particularly in Bil Payam where the SSPDF 4th Division in Bentiu and SPLM/A-IO have agreed to disengage forces in this formerly contested area. This is the first case that CTSAMVM is aware of reported disengagement of forces in close proximity and this shows good progress. Unfortunately challenges remain – with conflict in Yei, instances of access denial, the overall lack of disengagement of forces in close proximity, and budgetary constraints.
In Yei, the situation remains complicated and is a big challenge. Fighting was reported between SSPDF and the NAS forces of Thomas Cirillo on January 8th and there was force movement without authorization by the SSPDF from Juba to Yei on January 12th. There are also allegations of military build-up and offensive movement in the Yei area.
Regarding denial of access, last week on January 8th MVT Juba attempted to visit Gorom to complete the investigation on the reported incident in Tishoro on January 3rd but were denied access by NSS at the Luri checkpoint. In Leer, the MVT has been denied access to conduct unit verification by the SSPDF Commander Brig Gen Peter Goal who claimed that he must first brief the commanders on the ground. Denial of access in the Leer area is not limited to the SSPDF. When the MVT in Leer visited Dablual for verification of the SPLM/A-IO Bde. 2 the IO commander told the team he had not been given instructions from SPLM/A-IO Div 4B Headquarters.
Regarding disengagement of forces in close proximity, generally the Parties have not disengaged and are not in compliance with the revitalized agreement. Disengagement procedures were discussed as agreed at the last CTC meeting and I hope that we can use the lessons learned from the successful disengagement in the Bentiu area and apply them throughout South Sudan. Again, we need to continue to give attention to reports of conflict, unauthorized movement of troops, denial of access and disengagement of forces at the meetings of the CTC. This is in addition to other issues such as SGBV.
The budget constraints continue affecting CTSAMVM activities. We have not been able to secure the 2019 budget for CTSAMVM Monitors. Since November 2018 or the last three months, the monitors have not been paid. It is my hope that our Donors understand the challenge we face. In addition, we are not able to secure the budget for the National Monitors. I have met with several donors and partners on this matter but thus far, I have not received any positive response nor direction. I have also discussed this issue with the Parties’ leadership (Hon Makuei Minister of Information, Gen Koang CDF IO & Gen Thomas Onango DCDF SSOA) who suggested that the issues be taken at NPTC for the guidance and way forward.
You may recall this meeting was supposed to be held in Khartoum in accordance with the outcomes of the last meeting held in Addis Ababa. However, due to budget constraints and the fact that meetings of several peace agreement mechanisms are taking place in Juba, the venue of this meeting was changed to Juba. I hope you will understand these reasons for the change in venue.
At this meeting, we are expected to discuss the status of the implementation of the peace agreement, the progress of implementation of 6th CTC outcomes including the status of the ceasefire, an update on SGBV, tasks that are about to become due, and any other business to include administrative, consultative and decision-making procedures. Therefore, I urge all of you to look in detail on how peace and security for South Sudan can be secured.
I again thank all the Donors and partners for attending this meeting as observers. I wish the meeting produce fruitful deliberations and results. Thank you.