National, News

Unified Forces get 97 truckloads of food

By Bida Elly David

National Transitional Committee (NTC) on Thursday received 97 truckloads of assorted food items for the necessary unified forces.

NTC is body tasked with overseeing the implementation of the revitalized peace agreement.

The food consignment was procured to cater for the redeployment of phase one of the graduated NUF and the graduation of second phase of the unified forces.

The assorted food items, which consisted of sugar, maize flour, and oil, among others, were handed over by Endeavour Trading (LLC) to the leadership of the NTC.

Speaking to journalists yesterday in Juba, Tut Gatluak Manime, the chairperson of the NTC, said the consignment will be distributed to all training centers and cantonment sites.

He added that the food items, after being taken to the warehouse, will be distributed to the Upper Nile, Bahr-el-Ghazal, and Equatoria regions NUF training centers, respectively.

“We have been preparing to deploy our phase one graduated forces and commence the graduation of phase two of the unified forces, but a lack of food items delayed everything,” Gatluak said.

He did not, however, clarify how much it cost the government to procure the assorted food items.

The NTC chair also dragged the head of the company delivering the food consignment away from making a statement to the media.

He also failed to detail the number of consigned food items that arrived, but the media requested samples of the food items.

With the availability of the food items, deployment of the first batch and training of the second batch are expected to kick off to ensure full implementation of the transitional security arrangement.

“We are soon going to have our timetable for the deployment of the forces, which is the first item to be implemented. Our citizens should know that we have started implementing the agreement,” Gatluak told the media, yesterday.

“All the soldiers are well prepared for their deployment to their locations despite the challenges being encountered,” he added.

The 97 trucks of assorted food items shown at the Juba commercial football pitch were to be driven to warehouses in preparation for distribution to their destinations.

“We have been implementing the agreement and remain committed to accomplishing the remaining tasks. It is because of the long distance that the consignment arrived late, the NTC chair lamented.

On his part, Stephen Par Kuol, the minister of peace building, said they initially procured 100 trucks of assorted food items, adding that the remaining 3 trucks are on the way.

“These trucks are designated for the training centers and cantonment. This is an emergency for the facilitation of the deployment of forces and the commencement of phase two,” he said.

Par appreciated their partners for having helped them procure the food items despite the delay.

“It is our pleasure to work with our partners and all the stakeholders in this peace process to ensure that Chapter 2 is fully implemented in letter and spirit,” he said.

Jeffery Mapendere, chief security advisor to the Revitalized Joint Monitoring and Evaluation Commission (R-JMEC), appreciated the logistical endeavors done by the NTC.

“As R-JMEC, we welcome the supply or arrival of the first consignment of food destined to the training centers and also the cantonment sites,” he said.

Jeffery underscored that the items are going to be helpful for the deployment of phase one and the graduation of second phase of the necessary unified forces.

The R-JMEC security advisor called on the government to immediately start the process of redeployment without any delay in order to accomplish Chapter 2 of the agreement.

“I hope this process is going to continue without any delay, and I would like to make my remarks that allowances for those instructors who have been receiving the food and other committees involved should be given,” he said.

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