The delayed implementation of transitional security arrangements, including the unification of forces and their redeployment, has contributed to growing frustrations amongst the people of South Sudan, peace monitors said.
The Interim Chairperson of the Reconstituted Joint Monitoring and Evaluation Commission (RJMEC) Maj. Gen. Charles Tai Gituai made those remarks during RJMEC’s 20th monthly meeting in Juba on Wednesday.
Gen. Gituai said the government must be clear in its plan for the implementation of the outstanding tasks.
“We are now past the midway mark of the timeline of the Transitional Period. The parties are far behind schedule in the implementation of key tasks. As we close the year 2021, therefore, we need clarity from the Revitalised Government of National Unity (RTGoNU) on its plan for the implementation of the outstanding tasks in the coming 14 months.”
Under the September 2018 peace deal, South Sudan is supposed to train and graduate 83,000 personnel to take charge of security during the ongoing transitional period. The unity government formed in February 2020 has in the past cited financial constraints for the delay in the graduation of unified forces.
However, the process has stalled.
“It is now over two months since the Presidency directed the deployment of three assessment teams to training centers in preparation for the graduation of Phase 1 of the NUF (Necessary Unified Force). It is disheartening to see that this directive of the Presidency has not been carried out,” he added.
Gen. Gituai further expressed concerns that defections of senior military officials mainly from the Sudan People’s Liberation Movement-in-Opposition (SPLA-IO) to the South Sudan Peoples Defence Forces (SSPDF), “erode trust amongst the two parties and public confidence in the peace process.”
According to reports, soldiers are abandoning cantonment and training sites across the country due to a lack of food and medicines.
Gen. Gituai further reiterated that the living conditions of cantonment sites and training centers continue to deteriorate.
“The situation has undermined the morale of security forces cantoned or in training and risks eroding their trust in the political leadership of the country,” he said.
“I would like to remind us that this is the last meeting before we break for Christmas and the New Year. I hope that we will return with concrete plans and renewed vigor and determination to bring durable peace, stability, and prosperity to the people and country of South Sudan,” he concluded.
via Raido Tamazuj