Opening Remarks by Maj. Gen. Desta Abiche Ageno
Chairman At 10th CTSAMVM Board Meeting Palm Africa Hotel,
Juba September 10th, 2019
Excellencies, Ambassadors, General Officers, Distinguished delegates, Ladies and Gentlemen,
Good Morning and welcome to the 10th CTSAMVM Board Meeting. I once again thank the Party representatives and Board members for their attendance today.
Since we last met, the CTSAMVM Technical Committee conducted two Joint Field Visits: the first to a SSOA assembly area at Riah on 10 August and the second to Ashwa cantonment site on 27 August. Together with the Deputy Chairman, I travelled to Washington and met with officials from the US State Department on 15 August. On 21 August, I addressed the IGAD Consultation Meeting in Addis, updating them on all we
have achieved at CTSAMVM, and on 28 August, here in Juba, the CTSAMVM Secretariat attended the launch of the JMCC Cantonment Registration and Screening program. And, of
course, the 14th CTC Meeting was held here in Juba on 4 and 5 September. The deliberations at our CTC Meeting were once again constructive and fruitful, and I again commend the CTC members for the spirit in which we achieved our work.
The CTC discussed and endorsed 2 violation reports. The first involved an incident of rape at Kuok in May by SPLM/A-IO, and the subsequent removal of the alleged rapist from jail and killing of an SPLM/A-IO guard. Although contained in one violation report, these incidents amount to two violations under the Revitalized Peace Agreement and the incorporated Agreement on Cessation of Hostilities. Although responsibility for the second violation cannot be attributed to any of the signatory parties, the incident remains a violation. The second report concerned an attack by SSUF/A forces on SSPDF Division 3 at War Ayan on 16 August, acknowledging that the SSUF/A loyal to Paul Malong are not signatories to the peace agreement.
The ceasefire continues to hold with no reported incidents of clashes between the Parties to the Revitalized Agreement. This is a considerable achievement by the Parties. As we have noted here before, although the implementation of Chapter II has been slow, the evidence from the ground is that there is a genuine desire to support and maintain the ceasefire, and for the Revitalized Agreement to work.
The cantonment process remains slow and CTSAMVM welcomes the IGAD Council of Ministers’ communique resolving that at least 50 per cent of the 83,000 Necessary
Unified Forces should be cantoned and barracked, trained and deployed before the end of September. CTSAMVM has observed the arrival of new forces at 9 sites for SPLM/A-IO
cantonment and at 5 sites for SSOA cantonment. CTSAMVM has not observed the arrival of any new TGoNU forces at Barrack Cantonment apart from the existing garrisoned units.
Both SPLM/A-IO and SSOA registered their concerns at the disparity in commitment shown by TGoNU at last week’s CTC. In addition, many challenges to cantonment remain, and Commanders consistently report to our MVTs that inadequate logistical support continues to impede the full deployment of their forces to cantonment sites.
CTSAMVM congratulates the JMCC on the launch of the Cantonment Registration and Screening program, an important tool in ensuring the cantonment process is both timely and orderly. We note that the registration process has commenced and urge the parties to give it their full support.
Although we had seen a number of vacations of civilian buildings, this process appears to have slowed and CTSAMVM is disappointed to see further occupations in the last month. Of the 36 buildings reported as occupied at the last Board meeting, 3 have been vacated by the SSPDF, but 4 buildings have been newly occupied by the SPLM/A-IO. A total of 37 civilian buildings are now occupied, mostly by government forces. CTSAMVM again urges the Parties to vacate these buildings immediately to enable the people of South Sudan to resume their lives. I remind you that these figures change daily as CTSAMVM is constantly monitoring and updating our data as our teams gather and verify information.
Once again, I thank our donors for their important contributions that ensure we continue with our critical work, and I would like to express appreciation for the guidance of the US State Department during our meetings in Washington. CTSAMVM is once again grateful to the NPTC in covering the costs of this meeting today and the CTC meeting held last week.
Finally, I remind you all here today that CTSAMVM is independent, impartial and neutral. Our cooperation with the Parties enables CTSAMVM to fulfil its mission without
leading to bias against any party or any of CTSAMVM’s partners. I declare this meeting open.