PAGAK – “The first batch of the advance team will not arrive in Juba tomorrow ” as expected. SPLMIO leadership in Pagak cited lack of security guarantee from Juba for abrupt cancellation. The new date, according to the Chief Negotiator Gen Taban Deng will soon be communicated as soon as the government in Juba made assurances on the safety of the 609 strong SPLMIO officials which comprises of the chief negotiator himself and other senior security personnels.
Taban in a letter addressed to the Chairman of the JMEC (Joint Monitoring and Evaluation Commission) Mr Festus Mogae stressed that the arrival of the advance team depends on the security assurance from the government in Juba and when this assurance is made, the advance team will airlifted in phases as stipulated in the JMEC timetable.
Taban in the statement reassured the JMEC chairman on the SPLMIO’s readiness for peace implementation and agreed on the phases transportation of the advance team as well as the timetable of peace implementation as issued by Festus on 14/12/205015. But Gen Taban fear that lack of assurance from Juba indicates lack of seriousness in peace implementation which may cause more delays in his team’s arrival.
Moreover, according to SPLMIO officials in Pagak, there’s also difficulty in securing funds for the advance team’s accommodation in Juba. SPLMIO has previously asked donors countries and South Sudan government to provide incentives for their team’s stay in Juba. So far, no enough funds have been generated that could help accommodate the 609 officials.
It’s yet unclear what the JMEC will do being the final decision maker in any obstacle arising between the two warring parties.
THE UPPER NILE TIMES