25th October 2020
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SPLM-IO issues precondition to participate in unity government

Author: Charles Wote | Published: Friday, January 17, 2020

SPLM-IO leadership meeting with President Kiir and his team in September, 2019. Credit/South Sudan Presidential Press Unit

The SPLM-IO has called for the deployment of UN forces if it is to participate in a transitional government of national unity.

According to the main opposition party led by Dr. Riek Machar, the UN forces should be deployed in conflict-sensitive areas such; Juba – Nimule highway, Yei River State and within Juba.

The proposal is to enable the parties’ form the government next month is the absence of proper security arrangements.

Speaking to the press on Friday, a senior member of the SPLM-IO, Angelina Teny, said they are willing to compromise if the government accepts the deployment of the RPF as approved in 2016.

“We recognize the delay that is why we came up with this road map where we say we need to sit down and look at the deployment of UNMISS in some areas until such a time that we can deliver the unified forces for the delivery of the security services,” Angelina Teny said.

“This is a very big compromise for us.”

Mrs. Teny who is also the Chairperson of the Strategic Defense and Security Review Board said the opposition group has noticed the government’s reluctance in the implementation of security arrangements and unification of forces.

“So we are taking a very big risk but in the interest of moving forward, we came up with that proposal and we hope that the government and the Special Envoys and IGAD would see this as the spirit of compromise to allow and enable the formation of the government not to extend it again,” she added.

The call revives the August 2016 proposal on the deployment of a 4,000-strong UN force approved by the UN Security Council.

A Regional Protection Force (RPF) was to protect key installations such as the airport, help secure roads, facilitate the delivery of humanitarian assistance and use all means to prevent attacks against civilians from any armed groups.

Fourteen top commanders of the force have been stationed in Juba since 2017, but are yet to deploy.

As per the 2018 revitalized peace agreement, the parties are yet to complete the training, unification and deployment of the Necessary Unified Force.

There are less than 40 days left before the pre-transitional period elapses.

This week, the peace envoys strongly recommended the timely formation of the government.

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