JUBA – The body monitoring South Sudan Ceasefire, CTSAMVM, has expressed concerns over continued defections by top military generals, saying such acts obstruct the implementation of the security arrangement provided for in the revitalized peace agreement.
Following the signing of the 2018 revitalized peace agreement, there have been reports of military defection among senior military officers affiliated with the SPLM/A-IO.
Maj. Gen. Teshome Gemechu Aderie, Chairperson of Ceasefire and Transitional Security Arrangements Monitoring and Verification Mechanism (CTSAMVM) said the SPLA-IO has been hit by a wave of defections to the SSPDF following the Magenis incident.
“CTSAMVM has been made aware of several changes of allegiance from the SPLM/A-IO to the SSPDF in Upper Nile State which has reportedly resulted in skirmishes in the Mathiang area,” Gemechu told journalists during the CTSAMVM Technical Committee Meeting in Juba on Friday.
Gemechu said at least four senior SPLA-IO commanders have crossed over to the SSPDF in the past few weeks, an action he described as “damage to the peace process.”
The CTSAMVM boss called upon the IGAD and RJMEC to engage the parties to stop military defections.
“CTSAMVM has been monitoring the situation in the Magenis area as closely as possible, and calls on both factions of the SPLM/A-IO to refrain from any further violence,” he said.
He disclosed that Central Equatoria State has seen further acts of banditry and attacks against IDPs which he blamed on NAS forces led by Gen. Thomas Cirillo.
“It has also been alleged that NAS was involved in an attack on a humanitarian convoy between Yei and Morobo on September 17. CTSAMVM continues to investigate all acts of violence in the area,” he said.
He said the body is investigating allegations of killing, arrest, and harassment of SPLM/A-IO officers in Central and Eastern Equatoria States allegedly perpetuated by the SSPDF and National Security Services.