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Graduation of first batch of unified forces expected next week

The graduation and deployment of the first batch of the unified forces are expected next week, said Tut Gatluak, the presidential advisor on National Security Affairs who is also the chairperson for the National Transitional Committee.

“We are ready for graduation. After the Easter celebration the technical committee will come up with the timetable for the graduation of forces, the first batch of the unified forces will be graduated, and the second phase will begin training in various training centres, and that will conclude the transitional security arrangements,” said Gatluak.

The advisor told journalists at a press conference Thursday that there was no need to get the country back to war.

“We do not want to fight ourselves, we need the army to protect the people and protect the country, 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,” he said.

Gatluak decried the lack of weapons, which he said, was caused by the arms embargo imposed on South Sudan by the United Nations Security Council.

“We do not have weapons as a result of the arms embargo but the unification of command was the major obstacle. The president has resolved that problem, and the forces will be graduated and deployed across the country,” he concluded.

Gatluak said that the peace deal suffered from financial shortfall, noting that the peace agreement received support in terms of materials including medicines and military uniforms without financial support from any country.

President Salva Kiir on Tuesday completed the unification of the command in the army, police and national security services after having recently signed a deal on the command ratio of 60 to 40 per cent in favour of SPLM-IG.

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