JUBA – A senior member of South Sudan’s SPLM-FDs is accusing members of the country’s armed forces and opposition troops, who have deserted training centers due to lack of basic services, of involvement in cattle rustling in some parts of the country.
According to ceasefire monitors, hundreds of South Sudan opposition fighters and SSPDF have left cantonment sites set up to prepare them for formation of the country’s first professional army, over lack of food and medical supplies.
The cantonment of the country’s rival fighters is a key component of the 2018 revitalized peace agreement signed by President Salva Kiir Mayardit and SPLM-IO leader Dr. Riek Machar Teny in Addis Ababa in September that year.
But the process has been riddled with delays and lack of funding, hampering the readiness of the force.
Speaking during CTSAMVM security meeting, Bior Leek, a senior member of the Former Detainees to the peace-monitoring mechanism, accused soldiers who deserted the field of causing problems in the communities
“In previous field visits, it has been reported several times that soldiers have deserted the field. What do you expect from those soldiers, they will go to the community and they will fuel up this cattle rustling,” Leek said.
Leek urged the unity government to graduate the 83,000 unified forces to help mitigate issues of security in the country.
“So I am urging the Revitalized Transitional Government of National Unity, to think carefully and to address the issue of graduation of the forces so that they can take over the security of the country,” he said.
The senior opposition official further said there are several cattle raiding incidents in Upper Nile, Bahr-el-Ghazal and here in Central Equatoria State that requires immediate solution from the government.