By Vision Reporter
Monitoring and Verification Teams (MVTs) set up under the auspices of the IGAD-led mediation process have officially commenced operations.
The teams to monitor the implementation of Cessation of Hostilities (COH) are a result of an agreement signed by the Government of the Republic of South Sudan and the SPLM/A-in Opposition, on January 23, 2014.
The first team was deployed to Bor, in Jonglei State on April 1 followed by similar deployments in Bentiu (in Unity State) on 5 April.
Deployment to Malakal (in Upper Nile State) is projected on 15 April. There is also a plan to deploy more teams to Nassir, Akobo and other areas in the near future.
The teams are coordinated through a Monitoring and Verification Mechanism (MVM) that is provided for in the COH Agreement and overseen by a Joint Technical Committee (JTC) comprising representatives of the Parties to the conflict, IGAD member States, the African Union, the United Nations and IGAD Partners.
The Committee that is headquartered in Juba reports directly to the IGAD Special Envoys that are leading the South Sudan Mediation Process.
The JTC and MVTs will execute their mandated tasks as per the COH agreement including assessing, monitoring, investigating, verifying and reporting allegations of violations against the COH submitted by the parties, civilian authorities and communities and other sources.
As an impartial and transparent mission, the MVM is focused on supporting the efforts of the IGAD Special Envoys to find a peaceful and sustainable solution to the crisis in South Sudan.