South Sudan President Salva Kiir says the country is about to reconstitute the transitional national legislative assembly and the Council of States, one of the daunting tasks in the implementation of the revitalized peace agreement.
“The structure and composition of the legislature at the state level have already been agreed upon,” Kiir said during the signing of the Sudan Peace Pact in Juba last week.
“Let me reassure the public of South Sudan and the international community at large that our peace process despite its slow pace is on track,” he added.
The revitalized peace agreement signed two years ago advocates for a Transitional National Legislative Assembly of 550 members, of which the ruling SPLM will take 332 seats, the SPLM-IO 128, while other opposition signatories will take up the rest of the seats.
Kiir was expected to dissolve the current parliament in February 2020. Over critical tasks to the implementation of the agreement, including training and unification of government and opposition forces have not been completed due to the enormous financial and logistical challenges.
South Sudan is struggling to cope with the aftermath of a six-year civil war that killed about 380,000 people and crippled the output of crude oil, which accounts for more than 90 percent of the state revenue.
However, a report United Nations commission last week revealed that high-ranking politicians and bureaucrats in South Sudan have siphoned off at least $36 million in public funds on the watch of Kiir’s administration. The report said officials are have swindled state cash through the connivance of international corporations and banks.
“Our Commission has uncovered brazen embezzlement by senior politicians and government officials, together with a number of entities linked to the government,” the panel’s chairperson, Yasmin Sooka, said.
“We can reveal the misappropriation of a staggering $36m since 2016. It is worth noting this is just what we were able to trace and may not reflect the whole picture.”