Civil society piles pressure on govt to graduate unified forces

Civil society piles pressure on govt to graduate unified forces
The necessary unified forces in Pantit training center in Northern Bar El Gazal. [Photo: Courtesy]

​The government has been told to ensure that the long-overdue graduation of unified forces is attained in the next few months.

Community Empowerment for Progress Organization (CEPO), a civil group, said that the process, a key chapter in the implementation of revitalised peace agreement, must be attained before December.

“Our unity as South Sudanese is lying on the unified security and defense sector and that is why we are urging the political leadership that your sentiment will never return the country to war we are here to work for peace,”

Edmund Yekani, CEPO Executive Director further challenged Joint Deface Board (JFB) and Joint Transitional Security Committee to approach President Salva Kiir and demonstrate his urgency of the situation.

“We are here taking responsibility to ensure the revitalized agreement is implemented, although sometimes we need you to prove to us that within the next four months, the implementation of the transitional security tasks is delivered without further delays,” he added.

Last soldiers had reportedly been summoned back to various camps in readiness for the graduation, but the event was once again called off.
Without providing any evidence, Yakani claimed that the recruits escaped from the camps citing lack of enough food and proper medical cover.

“As the soldiers reported there [but] there was no sign of graduation going to take place so most of these soldiers have deserted the place and they have joined the population.

“Whenever those soldiers report to the training camps, they are faced with many social challenges like lack of food, medication, and access to funds to send back support to their families. This is not the first time that the soldiers are urged to report to the training grounds because they are soon to graduate, but graduation has never taken place, “he added.