19th January 2020
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S.Sudanese concerned about slow unification of forces

Author: Emmanuel Akile | Published: 3 months ago

Some South Sudanese say the peace process will face serious security challenges if the forces are not unified

Some members of the public have expressed “fear” over the intransigence by the parties to implement the pre-transitional arrangements, saying the peace process in South Sudan will face serious security challenges.

They say the lack of political will by the leaders to professionalize the army, agree on the boundaries and number states, poses a threat to the achievement of lasting peace and stability in the country.

Chapter two of the revitalized peace agreement stipulates that during the pre-transitional period, parties should complete the training, redeployment of the necessary unified forces.

It also states that civilian areas shall be immediately demilitarized.

But the government, SPLM-IO, and other opposition parties have been slow at implementing the security arrangements, and the determination on the number of states.

They are expected to form a coalition government next month.

Recently, the government said it would establish the TGoNU in November without delay.

“If they form the government without knowing the number of states in the Republic of South Sudan, without unifying the army, without the security arrangements, then something is wrong,” Wilson Mayor, a resident of Juba told Eye Radio’s Dawn program.

Earlier, President Salva Kiir said if the SPLM-IO was not willing, he would form the government with other parties to the agreement.

The agreement reinstates Dr. Riek Machar as the First Vice President.

The parties are required by the peace agreement to canton forces, screen, train and deploy 83, 000 unified forces before forming the government of national unity next month.

There are also armed opposition groups who are not part of the revitalized peace agreement.

The National Salvation Front, led by Thomas Cirilo and the South Sudan United Front headed by General Paul Malong are the two main armed opposition hold-out groups that are active in the country.

There have been clashes between the government, SPLA-IO and forces of NAS, SSUF in parts of Equatoria and Bahr el Ghazal.

Those who spoke to Eye Radio say forming the unity government without unifying the armed forces will likely destabilize the country -again.

“If we don’t include all the opposition or those who are carrying arms against the government…if we leave them behind without including them in this November 12, government, they will still disturb people, it will mean that we have no lasting peace in the country,” said Saba Costa, a resident of Yambio town.

“My message to the President is to listen to the voice of the people of South Sudan,” said a listener who identified himself as Loro.

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