By William Madouk Garang
The graduation of the Joint Necessary Unified Forces in the greater Bahr el Ghazal region will be this week; this is according to government official representative in Ceasefire monitoring body.
I-TGoNU representative at the Ceasefire Transitional Security Monitoring and Verification Mechanism (CTSAMVM), Lt-Gen Rabi Mujung Emmanuel said the graduation of forces in Bahr el Ghazal will be on November 4th, 2022.
He revealed this during the opening season of the Ceasefire Transitional Security Monitoring and Verification Mechanism (CTSAMVM) technical meeting held in Juba, on October 31st.
“I am sure, the preparation for the graduation of forces in Greater Bahr el Ghazal is on progress and possibly on the 4th of next month (November) they will be graduated then followed by forces in Unity state and then the Greater Upper Nile,” Emmanuel said.
Several plans to graduate these forces have not been fulfilled, the government kept extending the exercise citing financial constraints, and some blamed the arms embargo imposed by UN Security Council.
So far, South Sudan has graduated a total of Twenty-seven thousand, three hundred and sixty-six (27,366) forces in the Greater Equatoria and Jonglei States.
The first graduation was held in Central Equatoria – where over 21,000 officers graduated on August 30, 2022.
Then Western and Eastern Equatoria states marking the completion of the graduation process in greater Equatoria, while forces in the Greater Bahr el Ghazal and Upper Nile are yet to be passed out from training centers with exception of those in Jonglei already graduated.
In mid-June this year, Joint Defense Board (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 materialize.
In December 2021, three committees for three regions, of Bahr el Ghazal, Upper Nile, and Equatoria were dispatched to screen the forces for immediate graduation within two weeks’ times, without tangible result.
Under chapter two of the 2018 security arrangement protocol, there shall be 83,000 necessary unified forces charged with maintaining the security during the ongoing transitional period.
However, due to delays, the peace parties in early August, 2022 agreed to extend the transitional government for another 24 months in order to complete the outstanding tasks.
According to the roadmap, redeployment of the first batch was supposedly to be completed on November 30, 2022, as well as the beginning of the second batch training.