By Philip Buda Ladu
Parliamentarians at the National Legislature have observed that there is a generalized warfare ongoing in the Country, threatening the national security and stability as they urged the government to urgently graduate the unified forces.
A parliamentary select committee that was tasked to work on the Inaugural speech of the President to the Transitional National Legislature (TNL) has observed that a lot still remains to be done in the security sector.
The select committee that presented its report to the TNL on the parliamentary sitting No. 5/2021 conducted on Tuesday for scrutiny before passing it stated that there is low intensity and a state of generalized warfare going on in the country, threatening national security and stability.
On security, the President in his Inaugural speech to the parliament said the peace was holding.
In accordance with Chapter 2 of the revitalized agreement, there are already 53,000 Forces composed of soldiers from all parties to the agreement who are in training centers across the country and necessary arrangements for their graduation are at an advanced stage.
President Salva Kiir however hinted that in spite of the Cessation of Hostilities Agreement signed in 2017, the Hold-out groups especially the National Salvation Front [NAS] under SSOMA have continued to cause insecurity along the major highways leading in and out of the Capital Juba.
Meanwhile, the parliamentary select committee in their report stressed that it’s only through the implementation of the provisions of the security sector reforms that the situation would be arrested.
Professor George Bureng Nyombe, the Chairperson of the select committee said while it’s the duty of the R-TGoNU to maintain law and order, it is equally vital for them to continue engaging the holdout groups such as the South Sudan Opposition Movement Alliance (SSOMA) through peaceful dialogue.
They stressed that the Rome Saint Egidio Peace Initiative should be continued. This is in line with the reconciliatory spirit of the parties to the agreement demonstrated when their leaders met Pope Francis at the Vatican in 2019.
Professor Bureng said the select committee recommended that a “Timeline” should be set for the graduation of the unified forces in accordance with Chapter 2 of the R-ARCSS.
The committee urged the Revitalized Transitional Government of National Unity (R-TGoNU) to deploy necessary forces in the areas where there are rampant inter and intra-communal violence and cattle raiding.
It further called on the R-TGoNU to enact a national law to combat proliferations and possession of firearms. And to ensure the safety of travelers along all the highways, the select committee recommended for the government to deploy security forces in all the roads.
The lawmakers said the President’s commitment to holding elections at the end of the transitional period is commendable, however noted that the lagging behind of the implementation of the provisions of the R-ARCSS pose challenges to the timely holding of the elections.