Fresh delay on forces graduation

Fresh delay on forces graduation
Maj. Gen. Lul Ruai Koang. [Photo: Courtesy]

After a week of green light dotted with the swearing-in of appointees to the unified command, South Sudan may be poised for a fresh snag in its bid to graduate the first batch of unified forces, The City Review has established.

The Joint Defence Board (JDB) has revealed that there is currently a lack of resources to fund other security mechanisms tasked with assembling the unified forces to decide their graduation date.

In an exclusive interview yesterday, 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, “Lul said.

Tut Gatluak Manime, the Presidential Advisor on Security Affairs, also serves as the chairperson of the National Transitional Committee (NTC) is tasked with supporting the implementation of the peace agreement.

The NTC is supposed to provide the necessary financial support for the graduation of phase of one of the unified forces and prepare the ground for phase two recruitment.

Two weeks ago, during a briefing to senior generals after the principals of the peace agreement signed an agreement on the unification of the armed command structure to pave the way for the forces’ graduation.

However, according to Lt. Col. Lam Paul Gabriel, the SPLA-IO military spokesperson, the chief of defence forces, the deputy, and the assistant of Inspector Generals of Police (IGP), were shown their offices on Wednesday.

During the swearing in, President Salva Kiir urged Unified Command Officers to prepare for the graduation of forces.

The deadline allocated for the graduation was not supposed to exceed two weeks, according to Lam Paul Gabriel.

“So, it is the Joint Transitional Security Committee (JTSC) tasked with ensuring that they come up with the timetable and plan for graduation and also JDB to come up with a deployment plan because you cannot just graduate them. When you graduate, they should be deployed,” Lam said.

Both Lam and Lul stated that no date had been established for the forces’ graduation.

JDB is expected to convene a meeting when all of the commanders have assumed their positions, so JTSC shall design the timetable for the graduation of forces.

The revitalised peace agreement’s security arrangement includes the unification of the forces which form the country’s armed forces to defend the territorial integrity and protect citizens.