The third point concerns the continued imprisonment of prisoners of war. The R-ARCSS provides that all prisoners will be released upon signing the agreement. Although in early October 2018 Kiir brought this provision under the release of a few prisoners, the NDM, in its assessment of the agreement, says that many more prisoners remain behind bars. I will focus on three points: the peace process, the humanitarian and human rights situation and the role of the United Nations Mission in South Sudan (UNMISS). 1. The agreement that has been relaunched to resolve the conflict in South Sudan is a historic opportunity to end the conflict in South Sudan and France regrets that the transition period was extended by six months before the transition. It is imperative that this be the last postponement. Whatever happens, a government of national unity is to be formed in November. We encourage President Kiir and Mr Riek Machar to cooperate to find a compromise on the most sensitive issues, including security measures and the delimitation of internal borders. During the period under review, the implementation of the R-ACRSS has slowed significantly with the onset of the Covid-19 pandemic, as well as the delays taken by the parties in the agreement on responsibility sharing at the governmental and local levels. This delay had a negative impact on the formation of the Transitional National Legislature (TNL) and contributed to a security vacuum in several states; evidenced by the escalation of intercommunal violence in warrap, Lakes, Unity and Jonglei states.
Countless people were killed and others were wounded in head-to-head blows and revenge attacks. The misuse and manipulation of state institutions, as well as the maintenance of patronage networks in all institutions and regions for political capital, especially for security sector bodies, remain one of the drivers of the conflict. Regardless of this phenomenon, Article 1.6 on the powers, functions and responsibilities of the President gives carte blanche to the President-in-Office, despite the relatively negligible and politically insignificant accountability controls attempted by Article 1.9 of the provisions on «collegial cooperation in decision-making and continuous consultation». South Sudanese politics may remain vulnerable to the persistence of an extremely powerful president and not remain immune to the political risks and dangers of the strongman`s policy. While IGAD should be credited with allowing a revitalized JMEC to continue to monitor and evaluate ARCSS and communicate implementation progress (and non-implementation) to both the UN-GOT President and IGAD, the reality is that the body remains subject to enormous responsibilities, without much power. Their effectiveness therefore depends on goodwill and cooperation between the parties to the conflict. . . .