JUBA – South Sudan parties to the revitalized peace agreement have set dates for graduation of last batches of the Necessary Unified Forces (NUF) in phase one, according to a military spokesman and member of the Joint Defense Board (JDB).
Speaking to Sudans Post on Friday morning, Brig. Gen. Wichjang Duop, the spokesman of the South Sudan Opposition Alliance (SSOA) and member of the Joint Defense Board said the parties will graduate the forces in Unity State’s capital Bentiu on Monday and in Malakal on November 18.
“This is to inform you that the last batches of the unified forces in phase one will be graduated in Unity State’s capital Bentiu on Monday, November 14, 2022, followed by Malakal on Friday, November 18, 2022,” he told Sudans Post on Friday evening.
The opposition mouthpiece said the graduation of forces on Monday and Friday will mark the end of the training and graduation of the necessary unified forces in phase one and that the parties will immediately enroll the forces in phase two in training.
“These two graduation ceremonies will be the last work in the phase one of the training and graduation of the unified forces. After that, the parties will immediately order the training of forces in phase two and this will be done with a complete urgency,” he added.
According to the revitalized peace agreement, the parties should have trained and deployed the unified forces in phase one even before the formation of the transitional period, but difficulties for the parties to go through have delayed the training and graduation of forces.
In August, the parties agreed to extend the transitional period for two years. Their argument in the extension of the transitional period was that crucial provisions in the revitalized peace agreement could not be implemented and that there was need for extension.
The international committee has criticized the government over the extension of the transitional period, but has urged the parties to recommit to the implementation process of the agreement this time as citizens have continued to suffer from insecurity.