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Mogae's last remarks as South Sudan peace chairperson

SHARE   |   Monday, 17 September 2018   |   By Festus Mogae
Mogae Mogae

It is my singular honor to address this august body today. This Summit, is particularly important for me, personally, for three main reasons. 
a. Firstly, today we are coming to the conclusion of the High-Level Revitalization Forum;
b. Secondly, today will be my last address to your excellencies as the Chairperson of the Joint Monitoring and Evaluation Commission (JMEC);
c. Third, and most importantly, today we hope to begin a new chapter, a renewed opportunity for building lasting peace and stability in the Republic of South Sudan.
Excellencies, Ladies and Gentlemen,

As we come to the conclusion of the High-Level Revitalization Forum, allow me to start by congratulating the South Sudanese Parties and Stakeholders, who have been involved in this process for the last fifteen (15) months. 


Allow me also, to commend the IGAD Council of Ministers, the IGAD Special Envoy for South Sudan, the High-Level Facilitators, and the Mediators of the Khartoum phase of the HLRF, for their role and contribution that has made this process a success.

In particular, I want to acknowledge the contribution of my staff, the JMEC members of the HLRF taskforce, without whom this progress may not have been achieved as timeously as has been the case. 
The HLRF process has come a long way, starting from our internal deliberations within JMEC culminating in my recommendation and the historic decision taken, by this Assembly during its 31st Extra-Ordinary Summit on 12th June 2017 to convene the Forum. 


This process has taken us to different capitals of the region and beyond, and has endured many challenges, but most importantly it has registered remarkable successes, notably;
a. the Agreement on the Cessation of Hostilities, Protection of Civilians and Humanitarian Access (CoHA) signed in December 2017 here in Addis Ababa;
b. the various agreed texts, initialed by the Parties here in Addis Ababa;
c. the different bridging proposals developed by the Facilitators, that helped the parties to narrow areas of disagreement;
d. the face-to-face meetings between President Salva Kiir and Dr. Riek Machar held here in Addis Ababa, at Khartoum and at Entebbe; 
e. the Khartoum Declaration of Permanent Ceasefire, of June 27, 2018;
f. the agreements on the outstanding governance and security arrangements signed in Khartoum; and finally, the revitalized ARCSS initialed in Khartoum on August 28, 2018.

It important to underline that the HLRF process has afforded all the parties and stakeholders every opportunity, to make their case and reach compromises. The outcome we are witnessing today is therefore a reflection of a thorough and inclusive process.
Excellencies, Ladies and Gentlemen,


On a personal note, I believe that by now, your Excellencies have received my letter of intention to step down as the Chairperson of JMEC at the end of this month. I do so with a sense of gratitude and indebtedness to you, but also of pride.

I am proud of the many challenges we collectively overcame as JMEC members in discharging our mandate over the last two years and eight months. 
10. When I was appointed Chairperson of JMEC in November 2015, I was excited because I saw it as an opportunity to make a contribution, however modest, to help this youngest African nation to end what is clearly a senseless conflict, and to work with them to build a lasting peace. 


My understanding was that, having signed the Agreement the parties were committed to peace, and were willing to implement the agreement. 

My role, as I understood then, would be to monitor, evaluate, report on progress or lack thereof to IGAD, AU and UN Security Council, and recommend remedial measures to the implementer - the Transitional Government of National Unity (TGoNU). But I was wrong.


From day one, I found myself having to mediate between the Parties and persuade and cajole them to implement every single provision of the Agreement, sometimes involving fresh negotiations. There was also a mistaken impression on the part of some, that I was to enforce the implementation of the Agreement. 

Nonetheless, some progress was made, particularly in establishing institutions which will form a foundation for the implementation of the revitalized Agreement.


I am also proud, that we recommended the revitalization of the ARCSS 2015 and today we conclude with a more inclusive peace agreement. This revitalized agreement, if fully implemented, promises sustainable peace and prosperity in the Republic of South Sudan.
Excellencies, Ladies and Gentlemen,

I owe much gratitude to your Excellencies, the leaders of IGAD for entrusting me with this noble responsibility, and for the trust and confidence reposed on me and support extended during my time as JMEC Chairperson.


I am also very grateful to all JMEC members, the regional and international partners and friends of JMEC, for their support and cooperation.

In addition, I thank the JMEC staff and secretariat, including the partners supporting JMECs operations and logistics, for making my work possible. 


I leave behind a viable JMEC Secretariat, well-equipped and poised, to effectively discharge its responsibility. This has been demonstrated by their role as the core of the Special Envoy’s Task Force for the High Level Revitalization Forum.
Excellencies, Ladies and Gentlemen,

 As I conclude, it is my earnest hope that the signing of the revitalized peace agreement will herald a new chapter for the Republic of South Sudan. With a bent knee and cap-in-hand, I appeal to my South Sudanese brothers and sisters, especially the leadership of the Parties, not to squander this opportunity again.


I Thank you.


Wednesday, 12 September 2018
Addis Ababas , Ethopia

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