Explaining the S Sudan peace agreement (19): Will people be allowed to go home?
'Focus on the Agreement' is a new daily segment broadcast on Radio Tamazuj to explain the contents of the peace deal signed in August 2015 between South Sudan's warring parties.
In our most recent episodes we discussed the security arrangements. Today we look at what the agreement says about the rights of refugees, displaced and aid workers. This marks the introduction to Chapter 3, Humanitarian Assistance and Reconstruction.
Article 1 of Chapter 3 of the agreement says that the South Sudanese army and rebels must allow access for humanitarian workers and supplies immediately from the signing of the agreement.
The government forces and the SPLA-IO rebels must also respect the rights of refugees and displaced people according ot the Bill of Rights of the Constitution.
People must be allowed to return to their homes in safety and dignity. They should not be harmed physically or psychologically.
However, it remains to be seen whether the security environment in parts of South Sudan will improve enough to allow people to go back to their homes, in spite of these provisions of the peace agreement.
The people who return home from neighboring countries shall not be denied citizenship. The government must create mechanisms for providing documents to those who may have lost their documents during the conflict, including identity cards or the documents about their children, land or property.
The returnees shall enjoy freedom of movement. Article 1.1.4 of Chapter 3 says, “Exercise of the right of the refugees and IDPs to return to their places of origin and/or live in areas of their choice in safety and diginity.
Tomorrow we will continue this series with information about the Special Reconstruction Fund.
Photo: A man displaced by violence at the Kator Cathedral in Juba, December 2013 (AFP/Phil Moore)