The Revitalized Government of National Unity in South Sudan should not be considering extending the peace agreement at this time.
The government’s lifespan has already been extended multiple times, and it is illogical to repeat the same action under similar circumstances.
While I understand the frustrations behind this suggestion, I respectfully disagree with its proponents.
The transitional government is currently facing numerous setbacks in implementing the peace agreement, many of which are intentionally created by the parties involved.
These setbacks include a lack of political will, insufficient funding, subnational violence, and restrictions on civic and political spaces.
These issues are negatively impacting South Sudanese citizens across the country.
Extending the transitional government’s period would only prolong these setbacks for another five years, which is unacceptable.
Instead, the government should address these setbacks by demonstrating the necessary political will to conclude the Revitalized Agreement on the Resolution of the Conflict in South Sudan (R-ARCSS) later this year.
The government must work towards achieving peaceful, fair, transparent, and credible elections. It is crucial that the unity government discards controversial narratives and focuses all efforts on meeting the requirements for successful elections, as outlined in the R-ARCSS.
By prioritizing the implementation of prerequisites for elections, the transitional government can ensure a smooth transition of power and provide an opportunity for South Sudanese to exercise their democratic rights.
This approach will also help to restore confidence in the government and rebuild trust among the various stakeholders in the country.
As the Executive Director of INTREPID South Sudan (ISS) and the Chairperson of the Jonglei Civil Society Network (JCSN), I urge the transitional government to avoid unnecessary narratives and instead concentrate on implementing the necessary measures for holding elections. This is the path towards a stable and prosperous South Sudan, where the voices of the people are heard and respected.
Bol Deng Bol
Executive Director, INTREPID South Sudan (ISS) and Chairperson, Jonglei Civil Society Network (JCSN)