R-JMEC chief warns delay in critical peace talks frustrates citizens
The delayed implementation of Transitional Security Arrangements, including the unification of forces and their redeployment, has contributed to growing frustrations amongst the people of South Sudan, R-JMEC chief Maj. Gen. Charles Tai Gituai warned Thursday.
JUBA – The delayed implementation of Transitional Security Arrangements, including the unification of forces and their redeployment, has contributed to growing frustrations amongst the people of South Sudan, R-JMEC chief Maj. Gen. Charles Tai Gituai warned Thursday.
Speaking during its 20th monthly meeting held in Juba yesterday, Reconstituted Joint Monitoring and Evaluation Commission (RJMEC) Interim Chairperson Maj. Gen. Charles Tai Gituai said the parties are far behind schedule in the implementation of key tasks which include security arrangements, legislation promoting financial and judicial reform, and constitutional-making.
“We are now past the midway mark of the timeline of the Transitional Period. The Parties are far behind schedule in the implementation of key tasks. As we close the year 2021, therefore, we need clarity from the Revitalized Government of National Unity (RTGoNU) on its plan for the implementation of the outstanding tasks in the coming 14 months,” Gituai said on Thursday.
Gituai urged the parties to urgently resolve the issue of the ratio of unified army command provided for in the 2018 revitalized peace agreement.
The parties met in Addis Ababa in 2019 and agreed to divide the army command positions 50/50 between South Sudan People’s Defense Forces (SSPDF) and the entire opposition, but President Salva Kiir is demanding 60 percent of all the positions and forces composition.
This has resulted in the creation of a deadlock that has since delayed the formation of the unified army command and also the graduation of what would become the country’s first professional national army.
“It is now over two months since the Presidency directed the deployment of three assessment teams to training centers in preparation for the graduation of Phase 1 of the NUF (Necessary Unified Force). It is disheartening to see that this directive of the Presidency has not been carried out,” Gituai added.
He described the situation of soldiers at cantonment sites and training centers as dire.
“We continue to receive reports from CTSAMVM that in the cantonment sites and training centers, living conditions are dire and that the occupants continue to abandon the sites in search of food and other essentials for survival,” he said.
He said the situation has undermined the morale of security forces cantoned or in training and risks eroding their trust in the political leadership of the country.
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