Juba, National, News

Cabinet passes over 3 billion SSP for deployment of unified forces

By Bida Elly David

South Sudan Council of Ministers has passed a sum of over three Billion South Sudanese Pounds for deployment of a first batch of graduated necessary unified forces.

Information minister, who is also government spokesperson, Michael Makuei Lueth, revealed this on Friday 12th May, while addressing journalists shortly after the council of ministers meeting.

Makuei said the cabinet the minister of finance to release the money for execution of the programme, accordingly.

“The cabinet passed the sum of 3,671,588,100 South Sudanese pounds. This is the budget which is allocated for the current forces which are already graduated and still in the training centers,” he said.

The money will also take care of other necessary arrangements for the graduated unified forces.

Makuei said deployment of the first phase enables the training centers to be emptied and prepared for training of the second batch after reporting to the cantonment.

According to the minister, the Minister of Peace Building has also presented to the cabinet, a proposed budget for graduation of the second phase of the unified forces.

He said the second proposed budget has been referred to Ministry of Finance for inclusion in the 2022-2023, national budget.

However, the minister didn’t reveal the budgetary figure for the second phase, saying the money would be used for logistical arrangements as the forces arrive at the cantonment sites.

He echoed that speedy implementation of the security arrangement will gear comprehensive implementation of the agreement roadmap to pave way for the Country to conduct elections.

Despite mentioning the budget, Mr. Makuei failed to disclose exactly, when the deployment process will kick off.

Last year, South Sudan reached a milestone in the transitional security arrangement by graduating over 50,000 unified forces ready to be deployed, but their deployment stalled due to unclear circumstances.

South Sudan Army spokesperson, Lul Ruai Koang, previously said the first phase of the unified forces would only be deployed after the commander-in-chief, harmonized their ranks and command.

He said the command and ranks of the already existing SSPDF were unified, but the opposition command was still to be incorporated to the system by the president before deployment.

The military spokesperson added that the first unification that took place last year, as per the power sharing agreement, was for the high command, remaining another step to unify the commanding officers.

Lul underlined that the generals and commanding officers for the opposition SPLM-IO, SSOA, were yet to confirm their forces that would be integrated into the SSPDF prior to deployment.

He added that when the president issues a decree harmonizing the ranks of forces from the opposition into the SSPDF, then the deployment can occur anytime, even the next day.


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