By Mamer Abraham
Intrepid South Sudan (ISS), a civil society organization based in Jonglei State, has called for the provision of necessary services to the recently deployed Unified Forces.
In a statement seen by No. 1 Citizen Daily Newspaper, the civil society body said that many soldiers had deserted their barracks due to lack of basic necessities like food and medicine.
According to the statement, the soldiers are also demoralized of their inability to provide for their families.
“Majorly in the cantonment sites across the county, organized forces continue to face a lack of or inadequate basic services, and as a result, most of them have deserted their stations in search of these missing services, including health, food, and upkeep for their families,” the statement partly reads.
“To avoid a replication of the same among the forces under deployment, such as in Malakal, the essential basic needs should be provided in their barracks,” it added.
The civil society organization appreciated the government for the first deployment and further called for the deployment of the 52,000 graduated forces to maintain security across the country.
“It is a good start, and we would like to finally implore the government to prioritize this undertaking to ensure that the 52,000 trained and graduated forces are equally deployed in order to contribute to neutralizing the high level of subnational violence and narrowing the apparent insecurity gap across the country,” the statement continued.
“This is essential, especially in the context of the ongoing peace transitional processes, including the forthcoming general elections in December 2024.”
On November 15, 2023, about 750 battalion soldiers were deployed during an occasion in Luri, Juba County, with the aim of boosting security in Upper Nile State.
The 750 soldiers are part of the 52,000 forces that graduated as the first batch of the necessary unified forces in August last year.
Tut Gatluak Manime, the chairperson of the National Transitional Committee (NTC), said sorry to the citizens for the delayed deployment of the necessary unified forces, which he attributed to limited finances.
“It is now one year after the graduation of the first phase of the United Forces; it has not been easy to reach this point since we all know the economic situation the country faces,” Tut said.
“It was not easy for us to accomplish logistics for deployment because the forces need food and we don’t have airports, good roads, or industries to access,” he added.
Tut said the NTC had introduced an inter-state deployment scheme aimed at boosting peace and stability across the country.
He urged the soldiers to protect civilians and ensure that disarmament is put first in Malakal, Upper Nile State.