Juba mediator Mathok says that Sudan’s JPA implementation faces many challenges

Dhieu Mathok, South Sudanese mediation rapporteur in Juba, March 5, 2023 (SUNA)

JUBA / KHARTOUM – March 7, 2023

Rapporteur of the Juba Peace Mediation Team Dhieu Mathok said that the implementation of the Juba Peace Agreement (JPA) is met with many challenges, including the lack of consensus, financial challenges, disputes and divisions amongst the JPA signatories, and the proliferation of arms in Sudan.

Mathok told the Sudan News Agency (SUNA) that the implementation of the October 2020 Juba Peace Agreement (JPA) requires “a healthy, conflict-free atmosphere” and referred to the widespread presence of arms in Sudan.

The rapporteur warned of the consequences of not collecting weapons. “The weapons must return to stores for the purpose of practising democracy.”


Holdout rebel leaders Abdelaziz El Hilu, leader of the Sudan People’s Liberation Movement-North (SPLM-N El Hilu) in South Kordofan, and Abdelwahid El Nur, head of the mainstream Sudan Liberation Movement in Darfur, are currently in Juba for peace talks.

Mathok said that the rebel leaders are in Juba ‘waiting for the formation of a civilian government’ and ‘then entering into dialogue’.

The SPLM-N El Hilu and Forces for Freedom and Change-Democratic Block recently signed a declaration on their envisioned formation of a transitional government. Both parties have previously refused to sign the Framework Agreement.

Khartoum workshop

The South Sudanese mediator explained that the Khartoum workshop on the new JPA implementation matrix, which took place this weekend, is making the results of the Juba workshop ’owned’ by the executive bodies and institutions concerned with implementing the agreement, whether they are ministers, managers, or agents of institutions.

Mahmoud Koreina, a leading member of the Sudan Liberation Movement split-off faction under the leadership of Minni Minawi, said that the two-day Khartoum workshop was set up to explain the updated JPA implementation matrix to the institutions that are to implement the matrix.

“The Khartoum workshop concluded with specific recommendations, including those related to sovereign and administrative decisions,” he said.

Koreina told Radio Dabanga that they handed copies of the updated matrix to all relevant authorities responsible for the implementation and pointed to “the apparent weakness in the dissemination of the JPA”.

The Ministry of Higher Education told the workshop participants that the issue of exempting Darfur students from tuition fees, as decided in the agreement, lies within the competence of universities, which are independent and can make their own decision. The ministry does, however, intend to sit with the Ministry of Finance to discuss how to implement the decision.

Koreina said that all parties have expressed their willingness to implement the agreement. “It will be included in the programmes of ministries and institutions and their future plans.”

The implementation of the peace agreement faces great challenges, Mathok said, including the lack of consensus among the Sudanese themselves, financial challenges, and disputes and divisions within the rebel movements that signed the JPA.

He pointed out that they, as South Sudanese mediators, are present only as facilitators and that the workshop was organised by Sudan’s National Peace Commission.