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Lam Akol calls for 2-month extension of pre-interim period

Author: Daniel Danis | Published: Wednesday, October 23, 2019

Dr. Lam Akol, former Minister of Agriculture, leader of the National Democratic Movement, and a senior member of SSOA. PHOTO: Courtesy

The leader of the opposition National Democratic Movement has warned that forming a coalition government next month under the current circumstances will lead to its collapse.

Dr. Lam Akol who is a signatory to the revitalized peace agreement says the absence of a unified army poses a threat to the stability of any unity government.

Over the weekend, the Joint Defense Board, which is facilitating the unification of forces reportedly told the parties that the training has not begun, despite the six-month extension of the pre-transitional period.

They also reported shortages of funding and lack of basic military supplies at the cantonment sites.

With just a few weeks to the formation of a national unity government on November 12, the parties have failed to train half of 83,000 troops needed for the national army, national security and the police services.

Lam Akol called for two months extension of the pre-transitional period to enable the leaders to establish a sufficient security force that will safeguard the coalition government.

“Why don’t we give ourselves –say two months –to get things right; resolve the issue of security and the issue of the number of states –rather than form a government that will collapse in two months?” said Lam.

But a visiting delegation of the UN Security Council that met with the leaders in Juba over the weekend urged them to form the government on time and resolve the pending issues as a coalition.

“We were in the same government in April 2016, yet things didn’t go right. The security is the backbone of this peace agreement, without it –there is no peace agreement,” Dr. Lam asserted.

The SPLM-IO leader, Dr. Riek Machar who returned to Juba on Saturday also told the visiting members of the UNSC that without the Necessary Unified Forces, the current ceasefire would not hold.

He also called for an extension of the pre-transitional period –although he didn’t mention any specific timeline.

Dr. Lam was speaking in a meeting attended by the representatives of the UN Security Council and peace parties on Sunday, November 20.

The pre-transitional period was extended in May to allow for the implementation of the same arrangements.

Since the extension, some soldiers have been registered and cantoned in various designated sites across the country.

However, training and unification of forces are yet to be realized.

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