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Unity government without a unified force is risky – analyst

Authors: Koang Pal | Emmanuel Akile | Published: Sunday, March 1, 2020

VIP Protection force in Gorom ready for deployment. 17 Feb. 2020 Credit: Dimo Silva

The security sector poses a threat to the unity government if the security arrangement is not implemented on time, a political analyst has said.

The implementation of the security arrangement has been one of the contentious issues between the government and the SPLM-IO.

According to the peace agreement, the training of the Necessary Unified Forces was to be completed during the pre-transitional period.

It stated that during the Transitional Period, the incumbent President will remain, president and Commander–in–Chief of the national army.

The peace agreement also stated that the SPLM/A-IO leader, Dr. Riek Machar will command the SPLM–IO forces until the overall unification of the forces.

Last week, President Salva Kiir said that the government will provide protection to all the opposition leaders in Juba until the process of forming a Unified Force is accomplished.

Kiir made the announcement after holding talks with Dr. Riek Machar at the presidential palace in Juba on Thursday last week.

In the meeting, they agreed to establish a coalition government as planned – even if not all their differences have been resolved.

However, Dr. James Okuk warned that failure to unified forces on time could lead to a repeat of 2015 when a unity government was formed without unifying the government and opposition forces.

“It seems there is a repeat of 2015, which led to the formation of the government in 2016 without settling the security arrangement because the agreement was very clear that the revitalized government has to be formed after the necessary forces have been unified,” said Dr. James Okuk.

“The cantonment and then the training and unification of the forces, still very slow because it needs a lot of funding, it needs a lot of political will, it need also a lot of trusts, these things are still.”

Dr. Okuk said the formation of a unity government without unified forces is risky to the peace process.

“The security sector will remain very risky to this government and need to be taken very seriously. It has not been a wise idea to establish a government without settling the security arrangement,” said the political analyst.

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