Activist calls for the graduation of forces

Activist calls for the graduation of forces
Edmund Yakani, Executive Director of Community Empowerment for Progress Organisation (CEPO). [Photo: Courtesy]

An activist has raised concerns about the timely graduation of the first batch of unified forces as scheduled during the signing of the unified command recently.

Community Empowerment for Progress Organisation (CEPO) Executive Director, Edmund Yakani, said despite leaders having missed the deadline, it is still crucial to graduate the joint forces to reduce the ongoing violations in some parts of the greater Upper Nile and bring peace and stability to the country.

“The deadline was made for the graduation of unified forces after one week with effect from the date of the agreement brokered by Sudan,” Mr Yakani said.

 “I would like to take this opportunity to call on the presidency that there is a need to respect the deadline for the graduation of the unified forces.”

Early this April, leaders of armed forces to the revitalised peace agreement signed a deal, ending disagreement on the matter.

The agreement, brokered by Sudan after nearly three years of dispute over the allocation of senior positions in command of organized forces, was to pave the way for the graduation of the first batch of the joint forces now stranded in various training centers across the country.

A week after President Kiir decreed the appointment of generals and their subsequent swearing-in, Tut Gatluak, Presidential Security Advisor and Chair of the National Transitional Committee (NTC) promised the graduation timetable would be out before April 20 but this did not happen.

 “We have seen this kind of violation where deadlines are agreed on and are not respected, and this one has come out and is not respected. So they need to respect it,” Mr. Yakani added.

However, in an exclusive interview last week, the South Sudan People’s Defence Force spokesperson, Maj. Gen. Lul Ruai Koang, told The City Review that the lack of resources has made it difficult for the JBD to fix the timetable for the graduation of the unified forces and the recruitment of the second batch of forces for training.

“I met with one of the staff working for JDB. “You know, JDB is a mechanism that distributes resources to other mechanisms when made available by National Transitional Committee, and he told me so far, that they have not received anything from Hon. Tut,” Gen Lul said.