JUBA – South Sudan’s main armed opposition group, SPLM-IO, led by the country’s First Vice-President, Dr. Riek Machar Teny, is calling for the reunification of the rival forces, expressing concerns over delayed implementation of the revitalized peace agreement’s security sector reforms.
The Machar-led movement and the former ITGONU signed a revitalized version of a 2015 peace agreement in September 2018 to end a the seven-year-old civil war. The agreement provides for security sector reform including the reunification of the rival forces who split into two in December 2013.
Speaking to reporters at the office of the first vice-president on Monday, Puot Kang Chuol, the South Sudan’s Minister of Petroleum and chairperson of the SPLM-IO Youth League, called for an immediate reunification of the rival forces, reiterating the main armed opposition group’s commitment to the implementation of the peace deal.
“We have not achieved the main objective of the security arrangement, and that is the unification of forces. We still call for unification of forces all over the county, ranging from the army to all the organized forces,” Kang said.
“The back born of this agreement is the security arrangement and as a party, we are committed to see into it that the security arrangement is implemented in both letter and spirit,” he added.
Puot who is also close ally to Machar said the future of the revitalized peace agreement lies in the commitment to fully implement the security arrangement provision in the agreement, saying all security reform needed for a professional army must be implemented.
“Without security arrangement, the future of the all peace agreement is in jeopardy and I don’t think any of us will be in position to support that,” he stressed, adding that “We hope, it is implemented and that is what we are pushing for as SPLM-IO.”