Funding stumbling block to graduation of phase two NUF

By Bida Elly David

National transitional committee (NTC) has decried lack of funding as a stumbling block to the graduation of phase two of necessary unified forces (NUF) and deployment of batch one of graduated peace soldiers.

NTC is urging the unity government (RTGONU) and its partners to speedily fund the initiative to gear implementation of the security arrangement.

This development transpired during the 27th– RJMEC plenary held in Juba yesterday attended by senior officials of the peace partners, foreign diplomats, government officials and the United Nations representative.

Speaking during the meeting, national minister of peace building, Stephen Par Kuol, who’s a member of the National Transitional committee (NTC) said NTC the has been evicted from its office premises at South Sudan hotel due to lack of payment.

He said that the committee has failed to pay incentives and operating costs for security mechanism members for more than three (3) years.

Kuol further stated that the NTC has prepared a new budget of 50 billion South Sudanese pounds for the graduation of the second phase of the unified forces and $118,776,670 outstanding bills but there is no liquidity to operationalize the said budget.

“This budget is pending approval from the National Transitional Committee board and the Council of ministers. Upon approval, the NTC will expedite the process of the security arrangements’ activities to the graduation of phase two graduation,” he said.

Despite the impeding constraints, minister Kuol said the NTC coordinated and facilitated formation of repatriation and resettlement committee of the internally displaced persons (IDPs) following president Kiir’s appeal for them to return home.

He further added that the success for the graduation of the first batch of the forces was due to the efforts invested by the NTC through the chairperson.

(The NTC coordinated and facilitated the graduation of the unified forces in Bentiu of Unity State in January 2023. On February 22, the NTC also facilitated the meeting of H.E the president with the IDPs, chief and the prominent community leaders,” he noted.

In their report presented to the 27 R-JMEC plenary, the NTC has urged the national ministry of finance to immediately release funds to the committee to ensure payment of incentives for the mechanisms and debts owed to the hotels for food and non-food items.

Moreover, the committee also revealed that DDR ex-combatants are still hanging within training centers due to lack of funding to facilitate their relocation.

Finally, the committee threw back the ball to the RNTGONU and partners to raise liquidity to oversee deployment of the first batch of the Unified forces.

“The RNTGONU and its partners must provide funding funds for DDR, deployment of the unified forces and rolling out of phase two unified forces,” he urged.

Last month, the chairperson of the National transitional committee, Tut Gatluak Manime said that the committee was in a good move to expedite deployment of the first necessary unified forces which will then after give rise to graduation of phase two forces.

He formerly stated that the combatants would soon report to their various cantonment sites for effective deployment to take place.

However, Tut did not reveal the financial constraints that the NTC faced over the preparatory stage to make the deployment move of the soldiers.

On his part R-JMEC interim chair, Gen. Charles Tai Gituai, called on the unity government to speed up implementation of the security arrangements through deployment and graduation of the unified forces.

He said that the security segment is one of the crucial elements within the agreement that will give to other mechanisms

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