JUBA – South Sudan activist Edmund Yakani has welcomed the latest promise by the Joint Defense Board (JDB) that the parties to the revitalized peace agreement will graduate the unified forces provided for in the 2018 peace deal at the end of this month.
In a press briefing on Thursday, General Garang Ayii Akol co-chair of the Joint Defense Board (JDB) – the body tasked with the implementation of the security arrangement – said the forces’ graduation, which he said has been delayed by lack of sufficient funds , will be done at the end of the June.
He further said that a meeting of joint mechanisms of the JDB will be conducted on June 13 to decide on the exact date of the graduation process.
In a statement extended to Sudans Post, Yakani who is the Executive Director of Community Empowerment for Progress Organization (CEPO), said the civil society organization welcomes the decision by the parties and called it a milestone in the implementation of the revitalize peace deal.
“The Community Empowerment for Progress Organization welcomed this new information on the graduation of the unified forces. The graduation of the unified forces is a key milestone in the process for successful transitioning of the situation in the country for violence to durable solution through genuine implementation of R-ARCSS,” the CEPO said in the statement.
Mr. Yakani said delays in the graduation of forces “is clear demonstration of the deficit in trust and confidence among the parties for delivering the required transitional security arrangements timely as per the provisions of the R-ARCSS chapter two.
“The issue of excuse around absence of resources is a clear implication of low trust and confidence for timely transitional security arrangements implementation. The truth is the parties are not honest to each on matters of genuine transitional security arrangements
“The several promises made on the graduation in the past has made majority of the public not trusting any information on the issue of the graduation of the unified forces because several promises were made all in vain. The parties really need to take serious step for graduating the first face of the unified forces before the visit of the global Christian spiritual leaders to South Sudan. Mr. Yakani stressed
“CEPO called upon the leadership of the Joint Defense Board and the presidency to ensure that this made promise of graduating the 50,000 unified forces by the end of the June, 2022 hold and honored
“Finally, CEPO is urging the parties to the R-ARCSS to be serious on the genuine implementation of the security sector transformation.”