Juba Peace Agreement: Sudan signs new implementation matrix

El Burhan (left), Salva Kiir (middle), and Juba mediator Tut Galuak (right) sign the updated Juba Peace Agreement matrix on February 19 (Photo: SUNA)


Parties to the Juba Peace Agreement (JPA) signed a new implementation matrix in the South Sudanese capital yesterday, attended by the President of the Sovereignty Council Lt Gen Abdelfattah El Burhan and President of South Sudan Salva Kiir Mayardit. 

Stephanie Khoury, representative of the UN Integrated Transition Assistance Mission in Sudan (UNITAMS), stressed the need to prioritise the implementation of the JPA. She highlighted discussions over the implementation of various protocols of the agreement at the Juba workshop, brokered by the South Sudanese mediation team last week.  

During her address at the signing ceremony, she stressed the importance of a comprehensive political process led by the Sudanese people. 

The Norwegian ambassador to South Sudan called on the signatories to also benefit from the results of the JPA conference held in Khartoum at the beginning of this month. She stressed that the Framework Agreement signed on December 5 by the military junta and civilian opposition groups is “the appropriate option to realise a civilian government”. 

El Burhan said in a speech during the signing ceremony that “the Juba workshop is concerned with evaluating the implementation of the JPA unlike the conference in Khartoum” organised by the signatories to the Framework Agreement in cooperation with the AU-IGAD-UNITAMS Trilateral Mechanism in early February. 

He affirmed that “the Government of Sudan will implement the matrix until peace is achieved.” He stressed the government’s “strict commitment” to the outputs of the workshop, indicating that the new matrix is a new impetus for reaching peace. 

The army commander also reported that Sudan has made nine cooperation agreements with Juba, as part of the South Sudan peace agreement. 

Contribution to dialogue 

The South Sudanese president renewed his call on holdout rebel movements, the Sudan People’s Liberation Movement-North faction under the leadership of Abdelaziz El Hilu and Sudan Liberation Movement led by Abdelwahid El Nur (SLM-AW), to join the JPA.  

In his address to the matrix signing ceremony, he said that the Juba workshop must be understood as “a contribution to the ongoing dialogue in Sudan” on the most appropriate options for a democratic transition. 

He lauded the efforts of the Trilateral Mechanism to reach a consensus for the implementation of the JPA and appealed to the international community to support Sudan with the requirements for implementing the agreement. 

He said that the signing of the matrix provides an opportunity for the government to engage in dialogue with all groups and political forces to reach comprehensive peace in Sudan. 

Lack of implementation 

Minni Arko Minawi, head of the Sudan Liberation Movement breakaway faction SLM-MM who was appointed Governor of Darfur by PM Abdallah Hamdok in April 2021, about six months after the signing of the JPA on October 3, 2020, criticised the failure of the international community to fulfil its obligations towards the implementation of the JPA. 

In his address at the signing ceremony, he reiterated that 90 per cent of the JPA has not yet been implemented. He attributed the lack of implementation to conflicts between the military and the civilian government of Hamdok, “struggles between hotheads and financial empires” following the military coup d’état of October 25, along with a “stumbling and slow” democratic transition, lack of will to implement the JPA, and “disruption of national and international support for Sudan.” 

The absence of international monitoring “encouraged the disavowal of one of the main parties of the formal application of the JPA stipulations and the delay in the implementation of security and constitutional arrangements, whereas certain parties exploited the differences between the JPA signatories.” 

Peace enforcement 

The Darfur governor said that the joint security forces that graduated seven months ago are still waiting to do their part, while the security situation further deteriorates and the number of displaced people increases. “The killings took place before our eyes.”  

He urged the formation of peace enforcement mechanisms by order of the President of the Sovereignty Council to move forward with the implementation of the JPA. He also recommended expediting the formation of the monitoring units by South Sudan, Chad, Egypt, and the United Arab Emirates. Qatar should be included among the guarantors. UNITAMS should also be involved in the process, he said.  

Minawi further stressed the need to find “satisfactory solutions” for the issue of eastern Sudan, “which is witnessing polarisation locally, regionally and internationally.”