Graduation of Unified Forces, two weeks from now

The Chairperson of the National Transitional Committee, Tut Gatluak Manime photo: William M Garang

By William Madouk Garang

The heads of security mechanisms and the National Transitional Committee have resolved on Tuesday to have the Necessary Unified Forces in training center graduated in two weeks’ time from now.

Tut Gatluak Manime revealed this to media after a meeting that drew together the NTC and head of security mechanisms such as the Joint Defense Board (JDB), Joint Transitional Security Committee (JTSC), and Joint Military Ceasefire Committee (JMCC).  

Chief of Defense Forces, and Ministry of Defense and Veteran Affairs were also in attendance of the meeting meant to discuss the peace roadmap and how to implement pending peace tasks especially the transitional security arrangement of chapter two.

Addressing journalists, Mr. Manime said they held a joint meeting with head of security mechanisms to iron out nagging issue of graduation of the unified forces which they successfully agreed to graduate them after two week.

“We have been discussing this issue of graduation of forces for long nevertheless financial constraint did not allow us but now we have extended the transitional period,” Manime said.

 “And now we decided to graduate the first batch – all forces in the training centers will be graduated two weeks from now and we will recruits the new batch or ‘face two’ as required in revitalized peace agreement,” he stated.

There is about 53,000 first batch of joint trainees in 18 training centers across South Sudan which have been screened awaiting graduation for nearly three years since late 2019.

In April, President Salva Kiir confirmed the ranks of South Sudan opposition Alliance commanders and those of the main opposition movement, Sudan People’s Liberation Movement/Army in opposition (SPLM/A-IO).

 Meanwhile in mid-June this year, JDB, a body tasked with overseeing the training and graduation of Necessary Unified Forces had announced that all forces were to be graduated before the end of June which did not materialized.

Several plans to graduate these forces have not been fulfilled; the government kept extending the exercise citing financial constraints, and some caused by the arms embargo imposed by UN Security Council.

In December 2021, three committees for three regions, of Bahr el Ghazal, Upper Nile, and Equatoria regions respectively were dispatched to screen the forces for immediate graduation within two week times, without tangible result.

Under chapter two of the 2018 security arrangement protocol, there shall be 83,000 strong Necessary Unified Forces drawn from all the forces of the parties’ signatory to the 2018 R-ARCSS charged with maintaining the security during the ongoing transitional period.

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