27th January 2021
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Respond to soldiers’ graduation frustrations — Yakani

Author: Jale Richard | Published: Monday, January 11, 2021

File: Trainees are seen in sandals or flip-flops at the Maridi Training Center on Saturday, Feb 29, 2020 | Credit | Haitham Aweet

A prominent civil society activist has on the parties to the revitalized peace agreement to urgently graduate peace soldiers across training sites in the country.

This is after some soldiers at military training centers said they feel like prisoners  after spending a year at the site without being graduated.

“We are urging the presidency to urgently respond to the soldiers’ expressed frustrations,” said Edmund Yakani, the executive director of Community Empowerment for Progress Organization (CEPO).

“Long term peace and stability in South Sudan is determined by successful security sector transformation or reform,” he added on Sunday.

He states that there is a concern that peace parties have relaxed in implementing the security sector reforms as per the revitalized peace agreement.

Mr. Yakani called on the peace parties to urgently respond to the frustrations expressed by some soldiers, and graduate them to safeguard the peace deal.

“Political seats will never contribute to the successful transitioning of South Sudan from violence to peace apart from successful security sector transformation or reform,” he added.

Forces belonging to different parties to the revitalized peace agreement were assembled at various military training centers across the country in January last year.

The forces are trained as part of the unification of opposition and government armies.

But their graduation has been  postponed several times  by the Joint Defense Board.

Some of the soldiers recently told Eye Radio that they completed the training but have not received a word on when they will be graduated and deployed.

They also complained of being  neglected, citing a lack of food and medicines.

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