South Sudan Appeals For $14 Million To Graduate Unified Forces

By Deng Machol

Juba, South Sudan – The National Transitional Committee has urged the Ministry of Finance and Planning to release more than 14 million US dollars for the graduation of the necessary unified forces.

The NTC is body charged to supervise the implementation of the 2018 revitalized peace deal signed to end years of conflict since outbreak in December 2013.

Stephen Par Kuol, Secretary-General of the NTC appeals to the Finance Ministry to release the required amount to expedite implementation of the security arrangements.

Kuol, who is also the Minister of Peace-building said the amount will cover the deployment and integration of the forces, as well as enabling graduation of the second batch.

“The NTC would like to report that it has submitted a budget of 14, 430, 928 million dollars to the Ministry of Finance and Economic Planning to expedite the implementation of remaining critical tasks and activities,” said Kuol.

He made a remark during the 23rd plenary meeting of the peace-monitoring body, R-JMEC on Thursday, said the delay in graduating the unified army is due to funding shortage.

He blamed the  delay of the graduation of the necessary unified forces due to shortage of funding.

Thousands of troops from the SSPDF, SPLA-IO, and South Sudan Opposition Alliance have been at various training camps across the country for three years pending graduation and deployment across the country.

The revitalized peace agreement however provided for the training and graduation of 83,000.

The trainees have been reported dessert the camps over lack of food, shelter and medication.

The graduation of the necessary unified forces has been postponed several times due to what the government terms as lack of funds.

Several dates have previously been set to graduate the unified forces but they have not yet been fulfilled.

The government kept extending the graduation citing financial and logistical constraints.

Transitional government officials also cited the arms embargo imposed by the UN Security Council in 2018.

But observers and activists have criticized the delay as lack of political will, citing the millions of dollars the government offered the NTC.

At least 53,000 troops are expected to graduate from the 18 training centers across South Sudan. They include the army, police, and national security, among others.

Last week, President Salva Kiir said the presidency would soon pick a date for graduation of the necessary unified forces.


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