Opening remarks from the CTSAMVM Chairman at the 3rd CTSAMVM Board Meeting
Opening Remarks ByMaj. Gen. Desta Abiche Ageno Chairperson of CTSAMVMAt
The 3rd CTSAMVM Board MeetingJuba, 22nd January, 2019
Distinguished CTSAMVM Board members Colleagues,
Ladies and gentlemen,Good morning and welcome to the 3rd CTSAMVM Board Meeting.
I would like to wish you all a Happy New Year and express my hope that 2019 will be a year of great progress for the South Sudan peace process. I truly believe that by working together we can ensure effective implementation of the Permanent Ceasefire and Transitional Security Arrangements and contribute to a more secure and stable country.
Let me take this opportunity to thank all donor countries who are consistently supporting this mission, and many other national and international communities who provided us unreserved support.
I would like to draw your attention to some areas of progress. This reporting period has witnessed the first ever reported case of dis- engagement of forces. The disengagement took place in Bill Payam in Unity State and we commend the Parties in the area for initiating this activity. I also want to make note of the fact that, having previously identified Wau as a hotspot area, we can report that over the last two months there have been no major incidents reported in that location. In recent weeks we facilitated numerous trust and confidence building meetings between the forces in Wau and I believe these efforts and now yielding dividends. Across the country at the grassroots levels the Parties are continuing to engage in confidence and trust building meetings. There is a growing momentum within the Parties to collectively find local level solutions to the issues they are facing on the ground.
As many of you are aware the Revitalized Agreement stipulates CTSAMVM should deploy a national monitoring component. However, our national monitors are yet to be deployed due to budget constraints. Specifically there is a lack of budget for health and life insurance, accommodation as well as allowance (Out of pocket). We are working with the Transitional Government of National Unity (TGoNU) and other Parties and stakeholders to explore all possible avenues to resolve this issue and we hope to report progress in this area very soon.
CTSAMVM continues to face limitations on our freedom of movement in various locations throughout the country. The incident in Luri on the 18th December, 2018, in which CTSAMVM monitors were assaulted and detained is just one example. We have also faced denial of access from the SSPDF and SPLA-IO when we have attempted to visit locations to conduct verification of forces as required by our mandate. The Luri incident is a very serious and grave violation of the peace agreement and we are continuing to urge the TGoNU to take action and hold the perpetrators accountable. Accountability measures will be essential in limiting the possibility of this type of incident happening again. The staff working in the monitoring mission must be able to conduct their work free from the threat of violence.
CTSAMVM continues to observe unauthorised military movement in numerous locations throughout the country. The issue of Sexual Gender Based Violence (SGBV) in Bentiu also remains a huge concern and while reported cases of SGBV have dropped somewhat in recent weeks there is a serious break down of law and order in the area and the Parties continue to fail in their obligation to protect civilians. Our investigations revealed that women and girls in the area are most vulnerable when they are conducting essential survival activities such as the collection of food and firewood.
The area in and around Yei Town continues to cause concern. The situation is complex and the command and control structure of some groups in the area is unknown at this time. Recent weeks have witnessed a military build-up and there are multiple parties in close proximity, including both signatories and non-signatories to the Revitalized Agreement. We will be briefing you in more detail about all of these issues later in the meeting.This Meeting is expected to discuss:-
CTSAMVM Board TORs
The outcome of the CTC meeting and
The way forward
Once Again, I would like to thank you so much for your attention active participation and I wish a very fruitful CTSAMVM Board meeting.Thank you!