JUBA – South Sudan’s ceasefire monitoring body on Wednesday renewed called for the expeditious graduation of unified forces in the world’s youngest nation as stipulated in the 2018 peace accord.
Under the 2018 revitalized peace deal, South Sudan is supposed to train and graduate 83,000 personnel to take charge of security during the ongoing transitional period.
These troops will make up the police, army, intelligence, and prison services.
The transitional unity government, formed in February 2020, has in the past cited financial constraints for the delay in the graduation of unified forces.
Lt. Gen. Asrat Denero Amad, Chairperson of the Ceasefire Transitional Security Arrangements Monitoring and Verification Mechanism (CTSAMVM) said the forces should be passed out immediately in a bid to help fill security gaps at the local level.
“We urge JDB to expedite the arrangement for the graduation and deployment of forces for the good of the process of peace,” Denero said during CTSAMVM Technical meeting in Juba on Wednesday.
Last month, Tut Galuak, Presidential Advisor on National Security Affairs unveiled that the government will graduate the first batch of the unified forces after the Easter holidays, a promise that has not been fulfilled.
April 13 this year, South Sudan’s parties formed the much-awaited unified armed forces command following several months of delay.
The Sudan People’s Liberation Movement-In Government (SPLM-IG) under Kiir took 60 percent of the command structure while the remaining 40 percent was allocated to the remaining SPLM/A-In Opposition (SPLM/A-IO) led by First Vice President Dr. Riek Machar and the South Sudan Opposition Alliance (SSOA).
The unified command which is stipulated in the September 2018 revitalized peace deal will be leading the unified armed forces whose graduation is expected to be completed within two months under a deal signed on April 3 which ended the deadlock on the crucial part of the security arrangement.
Denero disclosed that CTSAMVM visited cantonment and training centers recently and has observed no progress.
“The 3 April 2022 agreement calls for the JDB to complete the arrangement for graduation and deployment of forces within two months of the agreement on 3 June that is exactly 8 days from today,” he said.