The Presidential Press Secretary says parties to the revitalized peace agreement have agreed to extend the Transitional Period up to 2023 to allow full implementation of critical tasks.

According to the implementation matrix of the peace deal, many provisions should have been implemented by now.

But most of the ambitious reforms have not been initiated or completed.

Ateny Wek Ateny, the Press Secretary in the Office of the President told Eye Radio that the parties could not accomplish the critical tasks within the 36 months.

“It is not the Presidency that decision but it is the implementation matrix given that they have lost some months in the Pre-Transitional Period,” Ateny Wek told Eye Radio on Monday.

“All of them [parties] by consensus have agreed that the end of the transition will be 2023 because the end of the 2022 and beginning of 2023, that is where the election will be run to achieve peace.”

Already, there have been two extensions of the Pre-Transitional Period.

In May last year, the pre-interim period was extended by six months, after the main opposition leader – Dr. Riek Machar – requested for more time to implement key parts of the security arrangements.

At the end of the six months, they again extended the pre-transitional period by 100 days.

It ended in February 2020 when President Salva Kiir appointed opposition leader Dr. Riek Machar and other vice presidents—marking the beginning of the three-year Transitional Period.

But nearly one year after the presidency and the cabinet were formed, the Transition Government of National Unity is yet to be fully established.

The unified army is not yet deployed as their graduation has been postponed several times.

State and local government structures are yet to be established. One of the ten-state governors is still not appointed.

Commenting on the possible extension of the Transitional Period, the Executive Director for Community Empowerment for Progress Organization welcomed the move.

“We as citizens are appealing to you the following; change of political attitudes from this culture of conflicting interpretation of the provision of the agreement to really committing yourself to the real genuine provision of the agreement as enshrined in the document, create a condition of environment for the conduct of the election in South Sudan,” Yakani said.

He also called for full implementation of provisions in chapters that have not been touched.

The peace accord obligates the unity government to hold elections sixty days before the end of the Transitional Period to establish a democratically elected government.

Once implemented, the Agreement will help to restore permanent and sustainable peace, security and stability in the country.

Mr. Ateny added that Peace is not easy and peace is not an overnight event.

“Peace is a process and even the implementation is a process so people should not expect it as a free lunch. It has time in order for it to happen and become mature,” Ateny said.