SPLA-IO prepped 41,000 forces, Chief of Staff calls for their deployment

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South Sudan’s main armed opposition, the SPLM/A(IO) has prepped 41, 000 strong forces to be deployed to the three regions of South Sudan, according to the Chief of Staff.

Speaking to media from Khartoum, Sudan, the Chief of Staff of the SPLA in Opposition, 1st Lt. Gen. Simon Gatwech Dual, declared that 41, 000 SPLM/A-IO troops are ready to move anytime and must be deployed in the three regions of Equatoria, Upper Nile and Bhar el Ghazal region.
“The SPLA-IO forces comprising of 41,000 troops are ready now to move anytime and must be deployed in the three regions Equatoria, Upper Nile and Bahr el Ghazal as per the agreement, or otherwise the peace is dead,” Lt. Gen. Simon Gatwech Dual said.
The Chief of Staff regrets that the revitalized peace agreement is not moving at all and the security arrangement is not being implemented as hoped and that left the armed opposition with no better choices but to prepare their forces for deployment.
Gen. Gatwech said that the Chairman, Dr. Machar, travelled to Juba in February to push for full implementation of the peace agreement but so far the government in Juba has played tricks that misleads peace guarantors, TROIKA and International Community.
“It’s clear that Dr. Machar went to Juba in February for conditions building and pushing the agreement to work without hindrances but as a result, the regime in Juba is playing tricks to mislead both African peace actors, IGAD, AU and the wider international community,” he added.
According to Gen. Gatwech, a senior general who served in the Anyanya movements, the peace is collapsing but the peace guarantor have continued to watch without taking any action.
“Undoubtedly, the current peace deal in South Sudan is deteriorating and slowly moving towards passimisive ending while peace guarantors are crossing legs and watching without action” Lt. Gen. Gatwech Dual said.
South Sudan’s revitalized peace agreement that was signed on September 12, 2020 has not progressed and since the parties are left with less than a third of the allocated time frame, it is likely that the peace agreement will not be implemented.
According to the peace agreement a unified force was to be trained and deployed under president Salva Kiir, however, the government has shown very little interest in implementing the security arrangement leaving the armed opposition to preside over their forces.
However, if the security arrangement gets implemented the SPL/A-IO would be required to contribute only 27% of the 83,000 forces or about 22,410 forces to be deployed. The rest of the SPLA-IO army would be forced to retire early which could create tension or even more rebellions

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