Government to graduate forces using sticks – Makuei

Government to graduate forces using sticks – Makuei
The necessary unified forces in Pantit training center in Northern Bar El Gazal. [Photo: Courtesy]

The renewal of the arms embargo on South Sudan by the United Nations Security Council (UNSC) will have serious ramifications on security apparatus, the government warns.

But while Juba was seriously irked by the latest decision, the government insists that they must go on with the graduation of unified forces even if it means they will use ‘sticks’.

Last Thursday, UNSC extended the sanctions by another year, meaning that Juba will not be able to procure any military equipment -guns, vehicle etc, for the next 12 months.

The government claims that there are no enough guns to be used a pass out parade by the soldiers currently in various training bases awaiting graduation before they are deployed for service.

But Minister of Information Michael Makuei said the renewed arms embargo was not serving the interests of the people of South Sudan and is a major setback to proper implementation of the peace agreement.

Makuei who is also the official Governments Spokesperson expressed Juba’s disappointed with the resolution.

“The government of South Sudan expresses calls upon the member states to head to the resolution of the African Union that its problems must be solved by Africans. Nevertheless, this resolution is not considered.

“We have been longing for this arms embargo to be lifted so that some of the good Samaritans who have promised us to give us arms, but now with the renewal of the sanctions will force them (unified forces) to graduate with sticks,” said Makuei in a press briefing, Friday.

The UNSC has set five requirements for the government of South Sudan to meet before the arms embargo is lifted. Completion of stages 1,2, and 3 of the country’s strategic defense and security review, as well as the formation of a unified command structure and redeployment of the necessary unified forces, are among them.

Progress on disarmament, demobilization, and reintegration, as well as progress on appropriately managing existing arms and ammunition stocks and the implementation of the armed forces’ joint action plan on conflict-related sexual violence.

Meanwhile, in response to a query about disarming civilians, Makuei indicated that collecting firearms and disarming civilians is a procedure noting that it is not an event and easy to do.

In Warrap State,  he stated that when the government collected the guns from civilians, it cost the government a lot of money because tanks were brought from Juba with a large force that was highly armed, resulting in the collection of 1,000 firearms.

“There are some institutions that are saying why is the government of South Sudan not collecting arms from civilians so that they are the army. It is not that easy; it is an expensive process and, as such, those who are conducting the disarmament must be armed better than the civil population; this process is not easy. “

“So, if we are saying we are waiting for the disbarment of the civil population and we will take these arms for arming the army who is now in the field, then definitely they will have to wait for an additional one year or two up to the time when we collect the arms because the 1,000 arms which are collected now are not enough for them,” Makuei stressed.

When asked what progress the government of South Sudan has achieved in meeting the UNSC’s five preconditions for lifting the arms embargo, Makuei stated the government cannot submit a report because they were not allowed to respond.

“For me to tell you that we did this and we did that is immaterial because it will serve us after this. We would have been good if we were allowed to respond and based on our response now, we will be in a position to decide. So your question, I don’t know what it will serve at this time. “

“So, even if I give you the answer that will not serve anything but we have implemented part and partial of that and after all Rome was not built in one day so people will not expect after this, we will do ABC no that is not possible” Makuei stated.

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