SPLM-IO says graduation of unified forces doesn’t need new weapons

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South Sudan’s main armed opposition group said on Wednesday that the graduation of necessary unified forces does not need more weapons, a day after president Salva Kiir told Sudanese Sovereign Council vice-president General Mohamed Hamdan Daglo that the forces couldn’t be graduated because the country lack weapons as effects of a UN arms embargo.

The 2018 revitalized peace agreement provided for the reunification of rival forces to form the country’s first professional national army. Since 2019, forces have been under training in different parts of the country.

However, owing to lack of political will from the parties, according to the United Nations and the African Union, the forces couldn’t be graduated. There has also been reports that government troops have not reported to training centres.

Speaking following a meeting with Kiir in Juba yesterday, Daglo said he has been told by the South Sudanese head of state that the necessary unified forces couldn’t be graduated because they don’t have guns.

However, in a statement to Sudans Post this evening, Dut Majokdit, a member of the SPLM-IO peace team in Juba said the country and the graduation process of the forces does not need more weapon.

He argued that there is peace in the country and he wonders why weapons would be needed at this crucial time of peace.

“The SSPDF barracks are full of heavy artillery, guns and the important weapons in the country. It is very unfounded to claim that what delays the graduation of the unified Forces is lack of the weapons,” he said.

“It is very simple to graduate the unified forces because we have many weapons in the barracks and in the divisions which have never been used by the SSPDF since they were brought into the country,” he added

“The arms embargo was imposed on South Sudan government during the war time but now there is Peace in the country and we don’t need to buy more weapons for the graduation of the forces to take place, instead, we should handle it with what already have.

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