President of the Republic of South Sudan H.E Salva Kiir Mayardit has said his government will now release the funds for implementation of the activities of the pre-transitional period, just less than two weeks before it elapses.
This comes days after the European Union echoed calls on the government to fulfill its promiseto fund the peace process.
During the meeting of parties to the new peace accord in Addis Ababa in May, the government pledged to release $100 million to fund the pre-transitional activities.
Bulk of the amount was meant for the cantonment of forces.
In July, the Co-Chair of the Pre-Transitional Committee, Gabriel Changson, said the government had availed only $10 million to facilitate its work as mandated in that meeting.
The NPTC had previously proposed a $285 million budget to also cover the activities of its sub-committees and the national constitutional amendment committee.
In addition, the parties had agreed to set up a coalition government on 12 November, 11 days from today.
However, key security provisions, including training and unification of an 83,000-strong force, have not been implemented.
“The work of the NPTC and its support organs has substantially been delayed because of the inability of the government to pay all the money it has pledged in time,” said Kiir during the launch the 7th SSPDF Military Command Council at Bilpam on Thursday.
However, he could not explain what exactly has been keeping his government from releasing the money.
Some senior members of other parties to the revitalized peace agreement have repeatedly criticized the government for not providing funds for peace implementation, saying it is not setting its priorities right.
Others have blamed in on lack of political will, especially when the government receives about $165 million every month from oil sales.
“But we are determined and very much committed to the disbursement of the money the government pledged so that the NPTC and its associated organs complete the remaining provisions and activities of the revitalized agreement implementation,” he added.
Two weeks ago, the signatories disagreed over the formation of the unity government as scheduled without the security arrangements in place.
Opposition leaders Dr. Riek Machar and Dr. Lam Akol, called for more extension to allow for full implementation of the security arrangements.
On the other hand, Kiir and several other party leaders insisted that the coalition government must be established on 12 November.
Meanwhile, tens of thousands of soldiers have been registered and cantoned in various designated areas in the country.
But the peace monitoring body and observers say some of these forces are living in squalid conditions, with some already starving and others drinking dirty water.
Source | Credit | ER