By Charles K Mark
Lack of funding has remained a critical challenge in the implementation of the transitional security arrangement provisions, the National Transitional Committee (NTC) said.
Head of the NTC secretariat, Stephen Par Kuol raised an alarm over the matter on Thursday, during the 31st plenary meeting of the Reconstituted Joint Monitoring and Evaluation Commission (R-JMEC).
He noted delayed release of the 2.5 billion South Sudanese pound (SSP) that was approved budget by the cabinet for the security arrangements activities.
“We also call on the ministry of finance and planning to release funds earmarked for the security mechanism’s operation costs and emerging food items,” he echoed.
Mr. Kuol is also the minister of peace building in the unity government.
He noted the security mechanism was supposed to come up with a time frame for the commencement of phase II of training and deployment of the necessary and unified forces.
The head of the NTC secretariat reiterated that ex-combatants under the disarmament, demobilization, and reintegration (DDR) programme and the graduated Unified Forces are still occupying training centres due to a lack of facilities outside the training centres.
“Once again, the NTC appeals to the friends of South Sudan, the R-ARCSS, guarantors, the African Union, and the UN to help support the NTC in fully implementing the transitional security arrangements’ remaining tasks,” Kuol appealed.
He emphasized that, though NTC is working on securing funding for security mechanism operating costs, funds have not been released to date.
“The NTC is still following up on the 3,671,100 approved by the council of ministers to cover the cost of assorted food items for phase II.” Mr. Par stated.
Chapter II of the R-ARCSS provides for permanent ceasefire and security arrangement mechanisms.
Section 7.3 calls for the Disarmament, demobilization, and reintegration of special needs cases to be undertaken in parallel with the reunification processes. Meanwhile the full process of DDR for ineligible candidates or residual forces as defined by the result of SDSR is to be conducted after the reunification is completed.
In coordination with the UN and other structures and institutions established by law and the Revitalized Agreement, military and security forces shall prepare for election-related security tasks in addition to routine responsibilities at least six (6) months before the end of the Transitional period.