Tombura crisis ‘very’ critical, peace monitors warn

Tombura crisis ‘very’ critical, peace monitors warn
CTSAMVM team address the media in Yambio ahead of investigations into the Tombura crisis. The probe is led by John Scudder [in hat] (photo credit: WES News Web)

The Ceasefire Transitional Security Arrangements Monitoring and Verification Mechanism (CTSAMVM) said the inter-ethnic crisis in Tombura has reached a critical stage and could drive more humanitarian catastrophe if not addressed.

CTSAMVM is the multinational body that monitors compliance with the South Sudan peace agreement signed in 2018.

The team is led by the CTSAMVM Chief of Staff, John Scudder including members from RJMEC, IGAD, Women Block, Civil Society, and Ministry of Peace.

Mr. Scudder told City Review on Friday that the team was on the ground to investigate the crisis in two areas of Tombura and Namatina.

He said the main purpose of the visit is to meet with the governor and military leaders together with members of the CTSAMVM board of directors to investigate the Tombura crisis.

“Today, the team starts investigating the Tombura in Namatina side to develop a report and again the goal is to reinforce the peace process by the outcome of September 2018, so they will investigate and see what the next step is,” the CTSAMVM boss said.

Scudder said further steps will be taken after the investigation is completed, adding that the mission was in the area to find out the causes of the conflict and reinforce peace in the area.

When asked about the situation in the area, he said: “It is a critical situation in Tombura and Namatina, we have great faith in great Governor for Western Equatoria State, and we pray that the fighting ends so that we move close to peace agreement which was promised by the parties.”

Fact-finding process

“We visited the governor of Yambio for an update on the information on the fighting and crisis in Tombura and Namatina,’’ he revealed, adding that the team met with SPLM/A-IO and SSPDF leaders who are there including the head of police in the area’’.

On Wednesday, Governor Alfred Futuyo expressed happiness over the visit by the monitoring team saying it was a good opportunity for the peace partners to know exactly what has been happening in the area.

“[We] appreciate the visit of the team and as State Government, we give the team the green light to assess what happened in Tombura. We will be working together to bring peace in the area,” Futuyo promised.

On Tuesday, another team led by Special Representative of Secretary-General of United Nation in South Sudan (UNMISS) Nicholas Haysom and other International Humanitarian Organisation representatives visited Yambio to find out the causes of the deep-seated crisis.

In their joint statement to the media in Yambio, both the state government and the international community agreed to work in collaboration to restore peace in Tombura County and promised to meet again for a general meeting on how peace can be restored in the state.