South Sudanese have mixed reactions regarding the 24 months extension of the transitional period by the parties to the Revitalized Peace Agreement in South Sudan.
Last week on Thursday, Aug 4th, 2022, the political parties who signed the Revitalized Agreement on Resolution of Conflict in the Republic of South Sudan (R-ARCSS) have unanimously agreed to a 24-months extension of the interim period.
A citizen who only preferred to be identified as Lotole believes that it is good to extend the transition period but question what the signatories have been doing for the past years.
He is worried that despite the extension, the parties may not implement the remaining parts of the agreement on time in order to bring peace and tranquility in the country.
“This extension is a good idea, but our worry is that the issue of the extension of the transition period did not start now this is the second extension. I feel that after this 24 months have elapse the parties may ask for another extension without consulting the views of citizens. it is regrettable that we the citizens will continue suffering, “He worries.
Another citizen Neima calls for graduation of the unified forces as a priority because the population is losing hope in the country.
She expects repatriation of the South Sudanese refugees in the neighboring countries to be part of the process.
Neima reminds the signatories to the 2018 revitalized peace agreement to consider involvement of the holdout groups who are not part of the agreement to silence guns in the nation.
“We are citizens of South Sudan, our eyes are seeing and ears hearing, we have been expecting to hear completion of the revitalized peace agreement so that we go for elections, but we continue to hear about extension. We hope that this time the graduation of the unified forces will take place before the end of the extended period. Our brothers and sisters in the refugee camps should also be repatriated so that they can participate in the general elections and let population census be conducted also to determine the number of voters,” Neima adds.
Another citizen identified only as Wilfred is concerned that the twenty-four months’ extension may not end the suffering of the civil population.
He describes the extension of the transition period as delay tactics for the current government to remain in power.
Wilfred regrets that extending the transition period is like extending the continued suffering of the citizen of South Sudan.
“They will continue extending the transition period, yet we still continue witnessing bloodshed in the country.it is not an extension for peace but this extension is to increase the suffering of the innocent citizens. The suffering of the citizens will continue especially those in the rural areas who do not have access to education and health services for their children and yet their children are enjoying good services outside the country.so I can just say our suffering has been extended for two more Years, “reveals Wilfred.
During the signing of the roadmap, the president of the republic Salva Kiir Mayardit said in his speech that the revitalized agreement was their chance to correct their mistakes.
“The revitalized agreement was our chance to correct our mistakes and I do not underestimate or dismiss what we have achieved already through this agreement. We have stabilized the country and established a framework to transform the state by building effective institutions. Due to unforeseen circumstances, we had to finance the agreement alone amid other serious priorities, like a bloated government and catastrophic flooding. As a result, significant issues remain unimplemented,” the president stresses.
The president considers the reunification of the army, constitution-making, and the conduct of a census necessary to implement elections and establish a new government without reverting to war.
“Reunifying the army means we would protect the outcomes of the elections against spoilers who would use it as an occasion for violence. The constitution-making process will determine what type of government we need – decentralized, centralized, federal, parliamentary, presidential, etc.” read part of the President’s speech.