Juba, National, News

Kiir: deployment of Unified Forces ‘soon’

By William Madouk

South Sudan President, who is also commander-in-chief of all organized forces, Gen. Salva Kiir Mayardit said a long-awaited deployment of Necessary Unified Forces will be sooner than later.

President Kiir stated that the deployment of the national unified forces is at the corner adding there would be no other armed groups.

“Yes, the unified forces which will be the only national security sector and no non-state armed group will be deployed sooner rather than later,” President Kiir said while closing of transitional justice conference in Juba.

However, the head-of-state did not specify the exact date that the Necessary Unified Forces [NUF] would be deployed.

On May 13, the Council of Ministers approved SSP 3.6 billion to facilitate the deployment of the first batch of the necessary unified forces.

Minister of Information, Michael Makuei, earlier said the Ministry of Finance and Planning has been directed to release the approved amount of SSP 3,671,588.100 immediately.

He said the budget proposal to complete the security arrangement process was presented by minister of peacebuilding, Stephen Par before the cabinet.

Mr. Makuei added that the Phase 2 budget was passed to the minister of finance to be included in the budget of 2023–2024.

In 2022, South Sudan graduated over 50,000 security personnel to join various ranks within the security sector, but their deployment has been delayed as the government continues grappling over lack of arms to equip the officers.

Government blamed the gap on the existing arms embargo imposed on the country by the UN Security Council which prohibits South Sudan from procuring weapons and some military supplies.

Meanwhile, the Sudan Peoples’ Liberation Movement in Opposition (SPLM-IO) argues that “lack of arms” should not be used as an excuse for the long overdue deployment of the forces.

SPLM-IO said the government must demonstrate its willingness and deploy the already graduated forces, adding that the country has ‘enough guns’.

In early May 2023, the United Nations Security Council (UNSC) Panel of Experts on South Sudan accused the government of a potential breach of the imposed 2018 arms embargo.

According to the UN Experts, the evidence was 10 armored personnel carriers seen when President Salva Kiir flagged off SSPDF contingent to DR. Congo for peace keeping mission.

South Sudan ministry of foreign affairs has since denied the allegation in the UN Panel of Experts’ reports that claimed the country had disobeyed the arms embargo and procured some military equipment.

Acting foreign affairs minister, Deng Dau said South Sudan is sovereign country and owns sovereign materials, thus dispatching a battalion to participate in East African Community forces should be appreciated, not condemned.

He argued that the SSPDF was not an army born today but an army that started long time ago during the liberation struggle and had its own equipment.

In May last year, UNSC Panel of Experts on South Sudan also criticized the government over breach of the arms embargo, a claim that the government denied vehemently.


Comments are closed.