Maj. Gen. TESHOME GEMECHU ADERIE
Chairperson of CTSAMVM
CTSAMVM Board Meeting No. 25
September 28, 2021
CTSAMVM Deputy Chairperson,
Ladies and Gentlemen,
It is my great pleasure to highly welcome you to this Board meeting. I also want to express my sincere gratitude for your presence to address the issues affecting the peace process of South Sudan.
The agenda for today’s meeting includes updates on the following areas: first, the current status of the Permanent Ceasefire which includes the issues in Tambura, Magenis and Central Equatoria; second, the implementation of the Transitional Security Arrangements; and third, violation reports since the last Board meeting on August 27.
Regarding the permanent ceasefire, CTSAMVM has identified no verified clashes between the parties-signatory to the R-ARCSS. However, as discussed at the last Board meeting, the level of violence in the Tambura area and its potentially detrimental impact on the peace process remains a very serious concern. CTSAMVM has been monitoring the situation in Tambura closely, with recent visits to Tambura, Namutina and Yambio. At this meeting, you will be briefed on the very complex situation in Tambura and on the visits by CTSAMVM.
CTSAMVM calls upon IGAD and RJMEC to urge the Parties to ensure their military forces do not get involved, and that all stakeholders work for a peaceful resolution.
Also, concerning the permanent ceasefire, CTSAMVM has been monitoring the situation in the Magenis area as closely as possible and calls on both factions of the SPLM/A-IO to refrain from any further violence. Due to the fact that the area concerned is cross border, permission from the Government of Sudan is required before the planned IGAD-led fact-finding mission can go ahead.
Related to this, CTSAMVM has been made aware of several changes of allegiance from the SPLM/A-IO to the SSPDF in Upper Nile State which has reportedly resulted in skirmishes in the Mathiang area. It is CTSAMVM’s view that such changes of allegiance damage the peace process. Therefore, we are seriously monitoring it in order to get any timely updates.
Central Equatoria State has seen further acts of banditry and attacks against an IDP camp near Lasu that have been blamed on NAS. It has also been alleged that NAS was involved in an attack on a humanitarian convoy between Yei and Morobo on September 17. CTSAMVM continues to investigate all acts of violence in the area.
There are also allegations of killing, arrest and harassment of SPLM/A-IO officers in Central and Eastern Equatoria States by SSPDF and NSS that CTSAMVM is currently investigating.
You will also be briefed on the implementation of the critical pre-transitional tasks of cantonment and training of the Necessary Unified Forces and the vacation of civilian-occupied buildings. There are no significant changes to these pre-transitional activities since the last Board; however, CTSAMVM has been reviewing occupied buildings, and whilst I am pleased to report that one (I) building previously occupied by SPLM/A-IO and 3 buildings previously occupied by SSPDF have been vacated. On the other hand, CTSAMVM has identified the occupation of 2 others by SSPDF. You will learn more about this later.
Our briefing also includes two violation reports. The first one involves the killing of 4 civilians in Gumbri, Central Equatoria State at the end of May by members of the SSPDF in Gumbri. This constitutes a clear violation of the R-ARCSS and we urge the SSPDF to undertake an inquiry into these killings and take appropriate action.
The second report concerns alleged NAS activity from April to June 2021, which concludes that NAS conducted at least 6 attacks against the SSPDF, 4 in Central Equatoria State and 2 in Western Equatoria State including an attack against the SSPDF unit at Loka West, which left 11 SSPDF dead. These attacks were not only in clear violation of the Agreement on Cessation of Hostilities, December 2017, but were also conducted after the signing of the Rome Declaration and Resolution of 2020 and while the Rome Process was ongoing. In the view of CTSAMVM this is unacceptable and unfair. Therefore, it is crucially important to urge NAS to cease all offensive military operations in accordance with the Agreement and Rome Declaration.
Ladies and Gentlemen,
CTSAMVM highly values your contributions and efforts to continue.
Hopefully, your independence, neutrality and impartiality will remain the same as usual. Your constructive opinions and recommendations in this meeting are what CTSAMVM is expecting from you with due respect.
As always, I request you contribute your part which directly impacts the peace process of this country positively. We look forward to a constructive and successful meeting today.
I officially declare this meeting open.