‘Frustrated’ civil society leader dumps RJMEC

‘Frustrated’ civil society leader dumps RJMEC
Rajaf Muhandis, Executive Director of the Organization for Responsive Governance (photo credit: Radio Miraya)

A civil society representative to the Reconstituted Joint Monitoring and Evaluation Commission (RJMEC) has resigned from his position citing frustration.

Rajaf Muhandis, who doubles as the Executive Director of the Organization for Responsive Governance (ORG), announced his resignation from RJMEC in a fiery resignation letter on Monday.

“This letter is to inform you and the membership of the South Sudan Civil Society Forum (SSCSF) of my intention to resign from my position and responsibilities as the representative of SSCSF in RJMEC effective September 12, 2021, the occasion of the third anniversary of the signing of the R-ARCSS,” the statement read in part.

Reasons for exit

In his statement to RJMEC, Mr. Muhandis said the inconsistencies in the peace implementation are setting the country up for more crises.

He said the delays to implement the transitional security arrangements present serious security threats to the peace process and the civil population.

The activist added that the agreement has not been used effectively to develop government capacity to fully govern the country and protect civilians from violence.

“The R-ARCSS continues to fail to deliver on all its core mandates including security, economy, humanitarian situation, institutional reforms, and transitional justice.”

Muhandis hinted that those mandated by Article 1.1.1 of the R-ARCSS to implement the peace agreement have lost confidence in the peace process.

The latest report of the UN Panel of Experts on South Sudan released on April 15, 2021, paragraph 18 stated that multiple sources within the government and armed groups told the panel that, more than two years after the signing of the Agreement, its momentum had waned.

As a result, some political and military leaders told the panel that they had lost hope in the agreement.

“In interviews with the panel, officials from SPLM, SPLM/A-IO and the South Sudan Opposition Alliance cited various reasons for their dissatisfaction with the agreement but they mostly agreed that the slow pace of implementation and the shifting political stances of some of the signatories had made the agreement unlikely to be implemented,” the panel revealed in the report.

Muhandis claimed that confirmation of the loss of confidence of the parties in the peace implementation to the UN Security Council gives no hope to resolve the crises in the country.

In his statement to  RJMEC, he said the process whose main implementers have lost faith in it cannot be the same source of hope for the resolution of the multiple and worsening crises in the country.

However, the government has increased efforts in unlocking the deadlock barring the implementation of the security arrangements which involves unifying and graduating the forces.

Parties to the agreement have struggled for the consensus on how to share the slots of the forces to be fronted in the graduation where SPLM holds for the majority share of 60 percent while the other peace parties are pushing for a 50/50 share between SPLM and other parties.

Recently, Sudanese Prime Minister Dr. Abdallah Hamdok visited the country to help the parties to the agreement reach a deal on implementing the crucial chapter.