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Officer blames soldiers’ suffering on ministerial controversy

Author: Alhadi Hawari | Published: Thursday, March 5, 2020

Trainees in a parade at a training center in Maridi on 29 Feb 2020 | Credit | Haitham Aweet

The disagreements over allocation of ministerial portfolios have hampered the implementation of security arrangements, an SPLA-IO official has said.

This is in response to a story Eye Radio published on Tuesday, in which soldiers accused senior military officers of neglecting them at the training sites.

Last week, soldiers cantoned at the training center in Maridi expressed lack of uniform, salary, and shelters, despite recent allocation of $40 million to speed up training of the unified national army.

Col. Lam Paul Gabriel, deputy military spokesperson of the SPLA-IO, said since the dissolution of the 32 states and appointment of vice presidents of the unity government, there has been slow progress in the implementation of security arrangements.

“So much focus has been put towards the political wing instead of the security wing,” he told Eye Radio on Wednesday.

However, Col. Paul stressed that although the political developments are a positive step towards the peace implementation, security arrangements should not be forgotten.

“The NPTC is the body in charge of implementation. It is supposed not to forget that we have forces at the training centers,” he lamented.

However, Col. Paul, who is also a member of the Joint Defense Board, added that the teams tasked with the implementation of the security arrangements will ensure they accomplish their tasks.

He said: “We are going to make sure that we push them, for our co-chair of JDB is not sleeping.”

It is believed that the incumbent government and the SPLM-IO have reached what analysts describe as a deadlock on how to divide ministries of the new unity government.

According to the peace accord, there shall be 35 ministries that shall be organized in five clusters namely, governance, economics, service, Infrastructure and Gender, and youth cluster.

The incumbent government shall be allocated 20 ministries, SPLM-IO 9, SSOA 3, FDs 2 and Other Political Parties 1 ministry.

But the revitalized peace agreement does not name the ministries for all the parties.

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