National, News

Unify forces dodge training-Monitors


By Kidega Livingstone


Over three-quarters of graduated National Unified Forces (NUF) of South Sudan have defied orders to return to training centres for deployment.

Ceasefire and Transitional Security Arrangements Monitoring and Verification Mechanism (CTSAMVM) made the shocking revelation during weekly report.

The situation raises concerns of timely deployment of the forces to ensure credible elections, as only eight months are left to the December exercise.

CTSAMVM Chairperson, Maj. Gen. Hailu Gonfa Edossa also unveiled that less than a quarter of NUF who graduated in Phase 1, have been deployed.

“In other words over three-quarters of army graduates did not respond to the order to return to Training Centers for deployment in November 2023,” he said.

According to him, the Joint Defense Board (JDB) has been visiting some cantonment sites and training centers, but there is no indication of when Phase 2 training and deployment will start.

The formation of the Necessary Unified Forces (NUF) is a crucial prerequisite for the upcoming elections. However, only approximately 6% of the planned 83,000-strong NUF has been deployed so far.

“Time is running out. If elections go ahead as planned, there is only about 9 months remaining to deploy sufficient numbers of NUF to provide credible security during the election period. Urgent action is required,” he said.

Maj. Gen. Gonfa is concerned that if this trend continues, many Phase 1 graduates from other security services who are yet to be deployed may also prove unavailable.

“There is also a concern that many Phase 1 personnel currently assigned to Cantonment Sites will not respond to orders to start training. This could result in the final numbers of NUF being far less than planned.”

He however noted that some of the deployed NUF members have been sent to sensitive areas such as Tonga. But many of them are unarmed and remain deployed under the South Sudan People’s Defense Forces (SSPDF) rather than a unified command.

Maj. Gen.  Gonfa also reported that Phase 1 graduates from the National Security Service (NSS), Police, Civil Defense, Wildlife, and Prison Service are yet to be formally deployed.

He stated that there is still no clarity on when Phase 2 training and deployment will commence.

“Cantonment Site and Training Centre Commanders continue to report a lack of any information about what will happen next.”

With less than 8 months to the conduct of elections, there is seemingly no consensus among the parties on whether the elections should take place or not.

With less than 8 months to the conduct of elections, there is apparently no consensus among the parties on whether the elections should take place or not.

Although the Sudan People’s Liberation Movement in Government (SPLM-IG) has firmly maintained that elections will proceed as scheduled this year, the Sudan People’s Liberation Movement in Opposition (SPLM-IO) seems to differ.

Recently it proposed that the transitional government be extended for an additional 24 months before conducting elections.

The SPLM-IO argue that the extension would allow for the enactment of a permanent constitution and the completion of other pending tasks outlined in the peace roadmap.

But the SPLM-IO seems to be alone in the call for extension as the Umbrella of Other Political Parties (OPP) and the South Sudan African National Union Party also expressed their readiness for the elections.

Information Minister Michael Makuei revealed that there will be a party dialogue to address concerns raised by those who are not ready for the election.


Comments are closed.