By Deng Machol
Juba – The South Sudanese Presidency has directed the National Transitional Committee (NPTC) to mobilize the necessary resources needed to establish the unified security forces in effort to accelerate the fragile peace deal.
The NPTC, is a body established to oversee the implementation of the 2018 revitalized peace deal.
In a statement issued on Tuesday, President Salva Kiir and his deputies instructed heads of the NTC, Tut Gatluak to accelerate the process of graduating the unified forces and developing a unified command.
The meeting was attended by President Salva Kiir, First Vice President Dr. Riek Machar, and Vice Presidents Dr. James Wani Igga, Rebecca Nyandeng, Taban Deng Gai, and Hussein Abdelbagi.
“To accelerate the process of graduating the unified forces and developing a unified command; To relocate both government and opposition forces to the cantonment sites for further training,” said presidency.
There are thousands of SSPDF, SPLA-IO, and Opposition Alliance troops at various training camps across the country.
They have been at the cantonment sites for nearly two years, hundreds of soldiers reportedly deserted the camps over lack of food, shelter, and medication.
But Kiir’s government claimed it does not have weapons to give to the unified forces.
Juba also claims it does not have the necessary funds for logistics.
Due to lack of funds has resulted to the postponement for the graduation of more than 600 police trainees scheduled on 9th June until further notice in order to further prepare the necessary requirements for their graduation
The presidency further instructed former government and opposition forces to relocate to the cantonment sites for further training.
The revitalized peace deal expects the unity government to graduate 83,000 Necessary Unified Forces, unification of their command, and redeploy the forces to provide security and safeguard the gains of the peace deal.
In May, the UN Security Council set the conditions necessary for lifting the arms embargo on South Sudan; include the completion by the Revitalized Transitional Government of National Unity such as the swearing in of the national parliamentarians, appointment of the Council of States and state legislatures.
It also demands the completion of the country’s strategic defense and security review; the formation of a unified command structure.
Something that Juba government failed to honor, which resulted to extension of armed embargo sanction.
However, the presidency has now decided “to capacitate the transitional government in order to strengthen the country’s unity irrespective of people’s political affiliations,” created by the country’s five year conflict.
According to the 2018 peace deal, the unified forces – composed of oppositions and government forces were supposed to be graduated before the end of the pre-transitional period which ended in February 2020 with the appointment of Dr. Machar as First Vice President.