By Philip Buda Ladu
The National Transitional Committee (NTC) said it requires at least a budget deficit of 40 million United States Dollars to complete the implementation of the pre-transitional security arrangements spelled out in the Revitalized Peace Agreement.
Article 2.2.1 of the revitalized agreement states that the Pre-Transitional period shall start on D-Day and continue up to the completion of the training and redeployment of the Necessary Unified Forces.
However, training and re-deployment of the Necessary Unified Forces shall be completed within a period that shall not exceed Eight months, and this provision prevails on any other contrary text.
Three years after signing of the peace agreement, most of the tasks that were to be completed during the Pre-Transitional Period were not completed.
Evans Doctor Ali, the Head of NTC Administration and Finance Unit presented a detailed NTC Narrative Financial Report to members of the Joint Monitoring and Evaluation Commission (R-JMEC) during its 19th plenary monthly meeting in Juba on Thursday.
Ali said the NTC funding during the reporting period was 3,473,849,079 South Sudanese Pounds an equivalent of USD 20,801,021 all contributed by the R-TGoNU, and the total expenditure of SSP 3,473,770,582 equivalent of USD 20,801,021 with bank balances of SSP 78,497 equivalent to USD 470.
He underscored that the expenditure on Security arrangement constituted the highest percentage of 2,714,598,002 (78%) of the total expenditure mainly on food and non-food items, training of the unified forces, field visits assessment, accommodation of the security mechanism members, mobility and office running cost.
Ali said due to insufficient funding, NTC was not able to meet all its financial obligations as such three were unpaid bills of USD 154,741,735, most of those liabilities had been incurred during the Pre-Transitional period (NPTC).
The NTC Head of Administration and Finance Unit said the total amount that is requested for the remaining security arrangement tasks is 40 million US dollars.
The USD 40,000,000 budget breakdown was divided into three categories; first is the Security Mechanisms that covers a sub-total of 31,800,000.
The items included the screening of Forces in current Training Centers, graduation of the Phase 1 Necessary Unified Forces (NUF), their Transportation and deployment. Screening of 2nd phase NUF Forces in Cantonment and Barracks, their transportation to training centers; food and non-food items for the 2nd phase NUF training; Graduation of 2nd phase of NUF Forces their transportation and redeployment.
Including running cost for the Security Mechanism namely; JDB, JMCC, JTSC, SDSRB, DDR and SSM.
Secondly, the Non-Security Mechanisms Running cost for the; RJMEC, CTSAMVM-B, CTSAMVM-CTC, and the NCAC subtotaling to an amount of USD 1,200,000.
And thirdly, the NTC Administrative cost for; Accommodation of non-security members, hire of office space and Warehouse, and staff cost totaling to USD 7,000,000.
Meanwhile Dr. Martin Elia Lomuro, the Minister of Cabinet Affairs and a representative of the R-TGoNU to R-JMEC in his report to the 19th plenary monthly meeting said the 1st phase of Unified Forces in the Training Centers are being prepared for their graduation.
Lomuro said “food mobilization is accomplished, Uniforms and other requirements are already available and Trainees who have previously deserted the training are now returning back to their training locations.
He stated that a committee of the Joint Defense Board has accomplished its field mission to determine the details of the Forces in the training centers and made preparations for their graduation,
Lomuro added that the committee has reported to the Presidency recently and it was observed that the SPLM/A-IO and SSOA contain substantially more officers.
He said the leadership of SPM/A-IO and SSOA has be directed to recognize and reorganized their forces in accordance with standard military command structure and formation to ease command unification process.
Maj. Gen. Charles Tai Gituai, the R-JMEC Interim Chairperson said little progress has been made on the Transitional Security Arrangements (TSAs) since his last report on the progress of the Revitalized Agreement implementation.
Earlier this month the Presidency directed that plans and preparations for the graduation of the unified forces should be completed within four weeks.
The R-JMEC Chair said consequently the Joint Defense Board (JDB) was tasked to deploy joint implementation teams to the training centers in the three greater regions of Upper Nile, Bahr El Ghazal and Equatoria.
Gen. Gituai noted that the critical issues that remain unresolved include in the TSAs the Unified Command Structure, forces ratios between the parties, disproportionate numbers of senior ranks, funding for sustaining the personnel in Cantonment Sites and Training Centers as well as funding for the DDR.