National, News

Machar urges decisive action on security arrangement

By Mamer Abraham

First Vice President, Dr. Riek Machar Teny, has emphasized the need to implement key tasks of the revitalized peace agreement to avert the arms embargo imposed by the United Nations.

Dr. Machar said an arms embargo would be useless if the country fully implemented the agreement

The benchmarks for lifting the arms embargo imposed on South Sudan include the completion of the strategic defense and security review process, the formation of a unified command structure for the necessary unified forces, and the implementation of the action plan for the armed forces on addressing conflict-related sexual violence.

Machar stressed at the closing of the first session of the National Economic Conference that the completion of the security arrangements would make the arms embargo of no use but just be lifted.

“Now I want to talk about the arms embargo. This is security cancer. What would happen if we managed to implement the security arrangements? The arms embargo would be useless,” Dr. Machar stated.

“So, it is dependent on us if we deploy, if we train phase two and deploy them. They have no reason to continue thinking that they impose an arms embargo on South Sudan,” he said.

Easy procurement of arms                  

The FVP said the former minister for defense once talked to the UN experts on the issue of uniforms, but they did accept that the uniforms were important and were already in Mombasa provided by Turkey.

“And the UN accepted that yes, this is important. We now have uniforms contributed by Turkey, although most of them are still on their way to Mombasa. So, they allowed that.”

The first vice president argued that when the key tasks were met, the country would be in the right position to negotiate with the UN for the procurement of arms.

“Let’s say the situation is that we have graduated the forces and we need arms. Would we not dialogue with them? We would definitely dialogue with them and say, for the defense of this country, the chapter on security is implemented, but what is left to do? He added.

Machar warned that it would be difficult to reach a consensus on elections without the deployment of the necessary unified forces as well as the graduation of the second batch of the forces, adding that it would grow into another costly crisis.

He stated that without security, it would even be very hard to find someone to protect the ballot boxes.

Blame games

In April, the national minister for information, Michael Makuei Lueth, said the country would move forward amidst an arms embargo.

“If the sanctions continue, of course, we are continuing; we have been continuing with the sanctions; it is not new to us when the sanctions are imposed among us, they are done without our consent,” said Makuei.

“Even though the sanctions are affecting us in one way or another, we cannot stop because the sanctions have been imposed on us. We will continue and we will continue to operationalize in implementing the agreement as it is.”

Last month, Makuei said the food for the army was ready and would soon be distributed to the army, starting with the cantonment sites in the Equatoria region.

According to Makuei, the SPLM-IO had been employing delaying tactics on the deployment of the unified forces after rejecting the list of the middle echelon of the unified command structure.

He said the national army would be deployed without commanders if the opposition did not submit lists of their commanders.

But Puok Both Baluang, the acting press secretary in the office of the first vice president, said SSPDF had created positions that were not agreed upon by the parties to the agreement, including a directorate in the police structure as well as another position of a deputy director for national security, all of which were given to the ruling party, the SPLM.

Puok said the issue had been left in the hands of the three principals of the peace agreement, who are President Salva Kiir Mayardit, the first Vice President Dr. Riek Machar Teny, and the Vice President for Service Cluster Hussein Abdelbagi Akol, to decide.


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