CEPO gives gov’t thumbs after settling date for graduation of forces

CEPO gives gov’t thumbs after settling date for graduation of forces
The necessary unified forces in Pantit training center in Northern Bar El Gazal. [Photo: Courtesy]

The Executive Director of Community Empowerment for Progress Organization, Edmund Yakani, commended the Revitalised Transitional Government of National Unity (RTGoNU) for fixing the date for the graduation of the first batch of unified forces.

Last week, President Salva Kiir and his deputy, Riek Machar, agreed to graduate from the unified forces on August 30, 2022.

Yakani described the decision as a “good development” and an indication of realistic concrete steps toward transitioning the country from violence to peace.

The parties agreed in September 2018 to train and graduate a unified force of 83,000 forces to take care of security during the transitional period until elections are conducted. The army’s unification has been pushed back in the past due to unmet deadlines.

 “At least this time we have seen dates were declared, numbers of our forces to be graduated in various sites across the country is declared,” he said.

“We have seen logistical preparation for the graduation of the unified forces is prepared,” Yakani said.

He urged the political leadership in Juba to redeploy the unified forces and enrol the second batch of the Unified Forces and ensure that they have completed training.

The training of the first batch of united forces was plaqued with difficulties, with some soldiers quitting training facilities owing to a shortage of food, medications, and safe clean water.

Also, Yakani praised the most recent meeting between President Salva Kiir and First Vice President Dr. Riek Machar on power sharing within political administrative units and the national security bill.

However, he called on the two leaders to address the impasse created by the continued boycott of the parliamentary sittings by the opposition members of parliament.

 “We hope that also they could have discussed the boycott of the SPLM-IO in the national parliament to make sure that they reach consensus on a successful and inclusive political process for delivering the pending task of the Revitalised peace agreement,” Yakani stressed.

Yakani reminded the leaders to reflect on what he describes as the positive developments from the EU and the African Union appreciating the roadmap.

“Political commitment can be seen only when you can deliver the certain task in this remaining period before the expiration of the transitional period.”