Opening Statement By Maj. Gen. Desta Abiche Ageno
Chairman At The 16th CTSAMVM Technical Committee Meeting Palm Africa Hotel,
Juba 29 October, 2019
CTC Members, Dear Colleagues, Representatives from our Partners and Board Members,
Ladies and Gentlemen,
I warmly welcome you all to the 16th meeting of the CTSAMVM Technical Committee.
This is our second CTC for this month of October. The reason for this is that the next R-JMEC Plenary has been brought forward to 5 November in order to allow discussion prior to the 12 November end of the Extended Pre-transitional Period.
CTSAMVM has been very busy in the weeks since we last met. The CTSAMVM Board met on 10 October, and the R-JMEC Plenary on 17 October. 2 Joint Field Visits were organised: one to Pantiit on 18 October and another to Renk on 24 October was not completed due to transport issues. We attended the IGAD Regional and International Special Envoys Coordination Meeting in Djibouti on 25 and 26 October, and our MVT Team Leaders
met here in Juba yesterday. His Excellency President Salva Kiir and Dr. Riek Machar met in Juba on 20-21 October, and the UN Security Council paid an important visit to South Sudan.
CTSAMVM has continued to monitor and verify the cantonment process. The Joint Military Ceasefire Commission has worked hard to register forces in Cantonment Sites. While registration has been completed at some cantonment sites, it is not yet complete
at all sites. Many cantonment sites including Ashwa, Wunaleit and Pieri reported to CTSAMVM that they have not received enough forms with which to register forces, further delaying the process. The lack of sufficient logistic support to cantonment sites
– especially food and medicine – has not been addressed and CTSAMVM is observing many of those registered forces now leaving designated sites including MirMir, Kendila, Sue, Ngo
Alimah and Pantiit. Apart from in Renk, no outlying SSPDF units have moved into the designated SSPDF Cantonment Barracks. Cantonment is a critical foundation in enabling the security arrangements to be in place, but progress towards full cantonment before 12 November is now far behind schedule.
CTSAMVM observes that no training of the Necessary Unified Forces – including the VIP Protection Force – has taken place. Training of Trainers has been completed at Mapel and Luri. Approximately 1,500 trainers graduated, with around 960 more trainers undergoing training at Malakal.
Again, CTSAMVM is disappointed to observe that there has been little progress in the vacation of occupied of civilian buildings. Since we last met, the SSPDF has occupied the Bangoro Psychiatric Hospital near Yambio. Only 3 buildings have been vacated – government forces have vacated 2 buildings in the Wau area and 1 in Lobonok. This brings the total number of occupied civilian buildings to 37. 33 buildings remain occupied by
government forces and 4 by the SPLM/A-IO. CTSAMVM considers each and every one of these occupied buildings to represent a violation to the Revitalized Agreement.
Progress towards the completion of Chapter 2 pre-transitional arrangements has been slow. However, we must not forget that the ceasefire has been, and continues to be, successful. There have been no clashes between the Parties to the Revitalized Agreement for over a year: this is a major achievement and one for which the Parties must be commended. CTSAMVM continues to investigate incidents, including the ongoing tensions in Maiwut.
Logistical challenges continue to hamper our work and CTSAMVM is grateful to our donors for their important contributions. We also thank the NPTC for covering the costs of this meeting and the CTSAMVM Board meeting later this week. Once again, I remind you all that CTSAMVM is independent, impartial and neutral, and that the aim of these meetings is to discuss – and where possible resolve – technical issues regarding the implementation of the Revitalized Agreement. I look forward to a constructive and useful meeting today.