South Sudan civil society watchdog welcomes formation of unified army command
In a statement, the Community Empowerment for Progress Organization (CEPO) welcomed the formation of the unified security command structures calling it "a key action" in the implementation process of the revitalized peace agreement.
JUBA – A prominent South Sudan civil society organization on Tuesday night issued a statement welcoming the formation of the unified structure of the country’s army, police, national security, wildlife, prison and civil defense services.
President Salva Kiir Mayardit on Tuesday issued several republic orders forming the long-awaited unification of the country’s rival security forces with top army, police, and national security service positions being allocated to the country’s opposition groups.
In a statement, the Community Empowerment for Progress Organization (CEPO) welcomed the formation of the unified security command structures calling it “a key action” in the implementation process of the revitalized peace agreement.
“The parties to the Revitalized Agreement on the Resolution of Conflict in the Republic of South Sudan finally unified the command structure of security and defense which is long awaited task for the last two years,” the CEPO statement reads in part.
“The Community Empowerment for Progress congratulates the parties for finally unifying the command structure after long period of dragging feet. This is a ley action for genuine implementation of the peace agreement chapter 2 tasks on transitional security arrangements,” the statement added.
The watchdog’s executive director Edmund Yakani said there would have never been a “genuine implementation of the R-ARCSS’ chapter 2 without proper unification of the command structure.”
“Matters of professionalism of the security and defense sectors requires joint decision on training content, ranking of officers, graduation and redeployment of trained forces among others,” he added, pointing out that the presidential decision today was a step for the uniformed individuals to “pay allegiance to the constitution [rather] than the parties they represent during the days of the violence.”
“The unification of the command structure will deliver its purpose of establishment if the top leaders in the unified command structure regained trust and confidence; distance themselves from politicalizing the security and defense; if decision are made through consensus; if attitudes of dominance and ethnic control of security and defense power are abolish.”
“The country really requires de-militarizing of politics and de-politicization of military. Any game that intended to undermine proper unification of fighting parties during the violence will be a grave mistake and call for returning the country back to war,” Mr. Yakani stressed
“CEPO is calling upon the unified command structure to immediately take a step of joint visits to the Unity and Upper Nile states specially the locations witnessing on-going military confrontations between the SSPDF and SPLA-IO. From today all the forces of the parties that are signatories to the R-ARCSS pay their allegiance to the constitution and SSPDF.
“Finally, CEPO will be engagement on security sector transformation and reforms tasks in the country through the angle of civilian-security dialogues.”
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