National, News

Peace Monitors laud maiden deployment

By Charles K Mark


Deputy Chief of Staff for Strategy at R-JMEC, the institution responsible for monitoring and overseeing the peace agreement, has praised the transitional government for deploying the first battalion of necessary unified forces.

“This is a day that we have been waiting for a very long time. So, I’m very happy and proud to be at this ceremony this morning to signal the start of the redeployment of the necessary unified forces,” Thompson Fontaine said.

The event was supposed to have been a pre-transitional task that would have been completed in 2020, but it happened some three years late.

“We are three years late, but as the saying goes, better late than never,” the Deputy Chief of Staff for Strategy consoled.

He urged that the role of the troops should not be taken lightly since they have a critical role to play in building the foundation for stability in the future of South Sudan.

“We expect that you will be firm. We expect that you will carry out your duties in a manner that will make your country proud,” Fontaine reiterated.

He said one importance and value of being part of a unified force lies in the understanding that it signifies that the force ceases to belong to an individual party.

It has been five years since the signing of the revitalized peace agreement, and many people have been concerned about the slow pace.

Fontaine, however, reminded the unity government that the burden is still ahead, and the next big step is towards elections.

“You will have a critical role to play in this process. We expect that you will provide the necessary security for the people of South Sudan in every single state here in South Sudan,” he said.

The security arrangements are very critical provisions in the 2018 peace accord, which South Sudanese look up to for peaceful national elections.

President General Salva Kiir Mayardit, has on several occasions and during his international trips, reiterated his commitment not to return the country to war.

It’s an obligation to be exercised, executed, and sustained by the newly graduated, necessary unified forces, and a role to ensure that the pledge is upheld.

R-JMEC appealed to the forces not to turn guns in anger at each other but to work together in unity.

“Work together, united, to defend this country, to protect the people of South Sudan, but more importantly, to set the pace for a strong South Sudan,” he appealed.

Mr. Fontaine said, like any other country, peace in South Sudan is not possible without strong security.

“We believe that with this start, with this unification, we are well on our way to ensuring that we can maintain peace,” the Deputy Chief stressed.

R-JMEC has on several occasions expressed skepticism and questioned the conduct of the anticipated 2024 general election in the country.

As it remains less than thirteen months for the country to go into its first-ever polls, RJMEC has raised serious concerns about a lot that is yet to be accomplished.

The interim chairperson of R-JMEC, Rt. Gen. Charles Tai Gituai, once questioned the conduct of the election given the remaining period of time in the peace roadmap.



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