Troika Countries. - Photo:MFA/Embassy

Troika Statement at CTSAMVM Board Meeting 25 January 2024

| Juba

Mr Chairperson, I would like to make a statement on behalf of the Troika.

Our countries’ support to the South Sudanese people is based on our conviction that the South Sudanese people deserve peace, human rights, democracy, and a government that is accountable to them and responsive to their needs.

A prerequisite for such a government is a professional security sector under a unified command structure. As the body monitoring and verifying the Ceasefire and the Transitional Security Arrangements, CTSAMVM is integral to reform of the security sector, which also explains our countries’ support to ensure it operates effectively in line with its mandate.

It is now exactly one year since the last regular CTSAMVM Board Meeting took place, and over 6 months since the last extra-ordinary board meeting occurred in July 2023.

The Troika expresses its disappointment around the failure to hold regular board meetings, as directed by R-ARCSS. We welcome the leadership of IGAD, and the tireless efforts of both the chairs of the RJMEC and CTSAMVM, in resolving these unnecessary and overly bureaucratic challenges.

There are now 9 outstanding reports awaiting submission to RJMEC finally being presented here today. Four of these reports detail evidence of barbaric acts conducted by SSPDF soldiers, including: looting, opening fire on civilians, and committing crimes of sexual and gender-based violence. Since the signing of R-ARCSS about 24% of all reports submitted by CTSAMVM are either exclusively or include SGBV violations. This number not only underscores the persistent challenge of SGBV, but also how vital it is that CTSAMVM keeps investigating and reporting credible allegations. We call on the transitional government to fully investigate these reports and hold perpetrators to account for these horrific acts.

The Troika is gravely concerned by the violence in Leer County, Unity State, in November last year. Especially as these clashes reportedly were instigated by the change of allegiance of General Simon Maguek. Defections and changing of allegiances serve no purpose if a process of real and meaningful unification of forces is underway.

With less than 11 months remaining until elections are due to take place, we are still awaiting the step-change in security sector progress required to deliver the transitional government’s commitment to hold the free, fair and peaceful elections. Time is running out: the UN SRSG has warned that South Sudan faces the risk of relapse into violence unless adequate time, resources and confidence-building measures are invested into elections preparations by this year.

Since we last met, deployment of the first batch of the Necessary Unified Forces has begun – albeit 15 months after the Transitional Government’s schedule. This is welcome progress. Yet questions still remain unanswered, including: how, when and where the transitional government plan on deploying the remaining forces, and under whose command.

The people of South Sudan want – and deserve – a professional, politically neutral security sector to provide a safe process. We call upon the Transitional Government to urgently demonstrate their commitment to turn words into greater action in the coming months ahead.

*Delivered on behalf of the Troika by H.E Linken Nymann Berryman, Norwegian Ambassador to South Sudan.*