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South Sudan to graduate first batch of peace forces in phases

JUBA — South Sudan army said on Friday that it will graduate the first batch of unified forces provided for in ten revitalized peace agreement in separate phases due to logistical and environmental challenges.h

South Sudan was expected to graduate over 50,000 peace soldiers on August 30 to take charge of security during the ongoing transitional period recently extended by two years.

The troops comprised police, army, civil defense, wildlife service, and prison services.

Army spokesman Maj. Gen. Lul Ruai Koang said the parties couldn’t graduate all the forces on August 30 due to logistic and environmental challenges.

“There was a proposal of two-third of graduation modularity, one is simultaneous graduation that was a proposal intended to ensure that all forces are graduated on the same day on 30th August,” he told Sudans Post in an exclusive interview on Friday.

“The second proposal was graduation in phases and now because of logistical challenges and other environmental related challenges it couldn’t be possible for forces to graduate simultaneously,” Koang said.

Koang said the forces in Upper Nile and Bhar el Ghazal regions will wait until the graduation of the forces around the capital Juba

“There was the number of activities that were to be undertaken for graduation and we had called them pre-graduation activities and that was prepositioning of food supply, uniform, medicine, verification of forces in each training center and rehearsal for graduation,” he said.

“We have food in Wau and are yet to be delivered to the three training centers in greater Bahr el Ghazal, namely Masana Biira, Mapel, and Pantit.”

“We couldn’t do the graduation simultaneously because there are some training centers that are inaccessible because of floods and bad roads.”

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