JUBA – South Sudan President Salva Kiir Mayardit urged his first deputy and chairman of the main armed opposition Sudan People’s Liberation Movement in Opposition (SPLM-IO) Dr. Riek Machar Teny to be reasonable on the implementation of the security arrangements provided for in the revitalized peace agreement.
The South Sudanese president who was speaking during the closing session of the 5th Governors Forum did not mention Machar by name, but the two’s groups have been – in recent months – on logger heads on the allocation of the unified army’s command composition with Kiir demanding 60 percent, while Machar wants 50 percent.
Kiir said the South Sudan People’s Defense Forces (SSPDF) should take 60 percent while the opposition should retain 40, a demand he said is consistent with the arrangements provided for in the revitalized peace agreement.
“There are those saying that 45% of the unified army be allocated to other parties while the government takes the remaining 55%.,” the South Sudanese president said.
Based on the implementation matrixes on the security arrangements signed by the parties in Addis Ababa in 2019, the South Sudan People’s Defense Forces shall take 50 per cent of the unified forces’ command and troops composition while the SPLM-IO and South Sudan Opposition Alliance (SSOA) take the remaining 50 percent.
But Kiir says the government must take 60 percent and the SPLM-IO and SSOA take 40.
“To us, what is consistent with arrangements in the Revitalized Peace Agreement is the ratio of 60% to the government and the remaining 40% to other parties,” he claimed.
He urged the parties to be reasonable saying some of their demands are not valid and are responsible for the delaying in the security arrangements.
“To those who are pointing fingers, I would advise that you examine the validity of your demands. Look at the consequences of your demands on the timely implementation of Chapter 2 of the Revitalized Peace Agreement,” he said.
“Let us be reasonable and work to reach agreement on these two areas because they are critical for our country to exit from this cycle of violence,” he stressed.