Photos: Inaugural meeting of South Sudan Joint Monitoring Commission
The Joint Monitoring and Evaluation Commission held its first ever meeting in Juba today. The chairman of the commission Festus Mogae explained in a speech at the start of the meeting that the role of the commission is to monitor the progress in implementing the peace agreement and to oversee the work of the ceasefire monitors.
Festus Mogae pointed out that the war has caused so much suffering. He said after visiting Bor on Thursday that he was sad about the suffering of the people of Bor and at the destruction of the town last year. He said that he hopes he can soon visit the other states and he also said he was concerned about reports of continued fighting in Unity State.
The JMEC includes representatives of all the groups that signed the peace agreement, and also representatives of the international community and neighboring countries and also civil society and religious leaders. However, the SPLM-in Opposition headed by Riek Machar did not take part in the meeting of the JMEC on Friday.
In a message to the people of South Sudan, Festus Mogae encouraged people to forgive each other and start the process of reconciliation, even though they cannot forget what has happened. He said that there will continue to be difficulties but the people should choose the path of peace.
Photos courtesy of JC McIlwaine/UNMISS