Parties again miss deadline to graduate forces

By Taban Henry

The parties to the agreement have again missed the deadline they set to graduate the unified forces.

Mid this month, the parties gave themselves seven days to finalize the representation of the army command to pave way for the graduation of the unified forces.

Cabinet Affairs Minister, Dr. Martin Elia Lomuro told journalist after a meeting between the parties that forces would be graduated within seven days.

“The meeting has decided to give seven days to the parties to the agreement particularly to the President and the First Vice President and the chairman of SSOA in order for us to conclude the representation in the command of the army,” Lomuro said after meeting with the Sudanese Deputy Chairperson of the Sovereign Council, Muhamed Hamdan Daglo.

Now, the seven days that parties set have elapsed and the fate of the forces that have been in the cantonment sites for years.

Major General Lul Ruai Koang, the spokesperson for the South Sudan People’s Defense Forces (SSPDF) said no official date for the graduation of the unified forces has been proposed saying they are yet to get final report from the Joint Defense Board.

Over 50,000 joint forces of the government and the opposition groups that have been under training at the various centers across the country since 2019 were not yet graduated.

These forces were expected to be graduated to form the first batch of the unified forces as provided in the revitalized peace agreement.

In a report issued by the JDB on Thursday during the first meeting of the Reconstituted Joint Monitoring and Evaluation Commission (R-JMEC), the delay in the graduation of forces is aggravated by the country’s dire economic situation.

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