How far with the graduation of unified forces?
Kiden Stela Mandela
The issue of the unified forces has grown as a big challenge in a way that it has stopped every step of the implementation of peace in the country. Yet the joint subcommittees sent by the Joint Defense Board (JDB) to screen the forces in the training centers for their graduation into a single army formation finished the screening long time.
The joint screening committees which were dispatched to screen the unified forces in the Greater Upper Nile, Greater Bar-al-Ghazel and in the Greater Equatoria regions since Mid-December last year in order to unify them have released the reports on their findings and recommendations, but nothing has happened after that.
In January the joint committees to screen the unified forces finish their work and they have compiled their reports, harmonized it and forwarded to the National Transitional Committee (NTC) after which the NTC will send to the Principals for consideration but since then they forwarded their reports. nobody knows what is taking place in this country.
One thing that we should know is that the graduation of the unified force is one of the key issues, the principals are supposed to agree on how they are going to unify them and put them under one command and they should not always put the issue of the arms embargo as the main point (obstacle) as not to graduate the unified forces.
Unless if our leaders are not ready for the peace deal to continue its process based on their interest in the country and why do they insist on the arms embargo as an obstacle? Who wants to go back for war? And I don’t understand the work of Reconstituted Monitoring and Evaluation Commission (RJMEC), IGAD in the country because one of the mandates of oversees all aspects of the implementation of the agreement.
This forces are really suffering in the cantonment areas they lack of food, medications and even some might be dying in the training centers for example one of the female in Gorom training center threw herself in to the river because of pushing the graduation from year to year without guarantee ahead of it. And some of the forces are leaving the training centers, one of the suppliers died because he could not afford medication because he used his resources to supply the cantonment site and was not paid until he died. The question is why is the government not paying the contractors? And if the money is given where is it put?
I urge the Principals to the revitalized peace agreement to come up with solutions on how they will graduate the forces for the peace to progress and the other thing is for them to prepare for the elections.
God Bless South Sudan.
Be right there!