JUBA – South Sudan’s Joint Transitional Security Mechanism (JTSC) has said it has completed all necessary preparations for the graduation of the unified forces provided for in the revitalized peace agreement’s chapter two in various training centers.
The report was compiled after the JTSC team visited the training centers and cantonment sites across the country following the directive of President Salva Kiir on August 10.
Maj. Gen. Lul Ruai Koang, spokesman for South Sudan People’s Defense Forces (SSPDF) disclosed that they have completed the assessment aimed at paving way for the graduation of the first batch of unified forces.
“We the team of Greater Bahr-el-Ghazal is done with assessment mission and we will be reporting back, the second phase would be the Joint Defense Board (JDB) to decide for JTSC to come and prepare the forces for graduation,” Gen. Ruai told Sudans Post on Thursday.
Gen. Ruai said they will submit the assessment report to President Kiir’s security advisor and head of the National Transitional Committee Tut Gatluak Manime soon.
“The proposal is made by JTSC on the graduation of forces and the second step will be determined by the report the team will submit. We are going to have a meeting tomorrow to finalize the proposal and once the proposal is finalized, it will be submitted to JDB and then the JDB will, in turn, submit the report to National Transitional Committee (NTC),” Ruai stated.
Under the 2018 revitalized peace deal, JDB is charged with the responsibility of organizing, training, and professionalizing the unified army while NTC supervise the implementation of the entire peace deal.
The parties to the peace deal are behind schedule when it comes to training and graduation of expected 83,000 unified forces to take charge of security during the ongoing transitional period.
Peace monitors have in the past expressed concern over appalling conditions in training and cantonment sites that have caused sizable number of soldiers especially those from the opposition to desert due to lack of food, medicines, and shelters in addition to flooding.
“The challenges are still the same in training centers and that is challenges of uniforms, lack of food in training centers, lack of medical services and shelters,” Ruai said.