Makuei, Angelina clash over graduation of peace forces
While Michael Makuei blames international sanctions for delay in the graduation of peace forces, Angelina Teny says issues of ‘political nature’ are to blame.
South Sudan’s Minister of Information, Communication Technology and Postal Services, Michael Makuei Lueth, and Minister of Defense and Veterans’ Affairs, Angelina Jany Teny, have clashed on why the peace forces are not being graduated despite the completion of their training.
Speaking during the opening session of the 5th Governors Forum in Juba on Tuesday, Makuei said the parties cannot graduate the unified forces that have been in training centers since 2019 because they don’t have weapons as a result of the arms embargo imposed since 2018.
“We have not graduated the forces because of other issues which have not actually been put in the agreement and part of them we as parties to the agreement are responsible for this delay. The agreement provided for the establishment of cantonment sites where the soldiers are screened and then taken for training in the training centers,” Makuei said.
“It was unfortunate that we decided to disregard that and took the soldiers immediately and there was no even cantonment, we took them from wherever we took them straight to the training centers,” he added.
But Mrs. Teny said issues of political nature are endangering and delaying the graduation of the peace forces.
“I really didn’t want to make this into a party debate but my comrade Michael Makuei makes it very impossible for one to watch such. I have been involved from day one as part of the security mechanism. It is unfair to say that the security mechanism did not do their work,” she said.
“The security mechanism under very difficult circumstances not only the issue of resources but also issues of political nature among the parties affected their work but they continue to navigate as a mechanism using their mandate as given by the agreement,” she added.