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First batch of unified forces expected next week

By Simon Deng

The first batch of the unified forces is expected to be passed out next week, according to sources close to the presidency.

Tut Gatluak, the Presidential Advisor on Security and also chairperson for the National Transitional Committee (NTC) revealed on Thursday that the 53,000 forces will be graduated after Easter celebrations.

“We are ready for graduation after Easter celebrations, the technical committee will come with the time table for graduation of forces, the first batch of the unified forces will be graduated,” Gatluak told journalists in Juba.

He said that the second phase will afterwards commence that includes the training of these forces in various training centers.

Gatluak added that the graduation of the unified forces was hampered due to financial constraints.

In addition, he noted that they have already received donations in form of medicines, and military uniforms from friendly countries.

“We do not want to fight ourselves, we need the army to protect the people and protect the country, and there is no need to return to war. We need to develop the security and the military to protect our country, we need freedom for all our citizens across the country,” said Gatluak.

Gatluak disclosed that the existing arms embargo imposed since 2018 by the United Nations has made it difficult for them to graduate the 83,000 unified forces on time to take charge of security during the ongoing transitional period.

“The unification of the army command was the major obstacle, the President has resolved that problem, and the forces will be graduated and deployed across the country,” he said.

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