South Sudan’s Defence Forces says preparation for graduation of unified forces is nearly complete.
The forces gathered from the various former rival armed groups have been camped for more than two year in various training and cantonment centers across the country.
Maj.Gen Lul Ruai Koang, the spokesman for South Sudan People’s Defense Force (SSPDF) said Wednesday that food ration and military uniform are being prepositioned to various training centers.
“We are still continuing with preparation, there are pre-graduation activities. These pre-graduation activities include prepositioning of food and uniforms in all the training centers, we have dispatched a team to go and receive food,” Said Koang
He disclosed that all these arrangements are meant for the graduation of the first batch of 53,000 forces out of the total of 83,000.
“For the training centers in greater upper Nile, the food is arriving by barges from Khartoum, for training centers in greater Bahr El Ghazel the food is entering the northern part of the region from different crossing points in greater Bahr El Ghazel and in Wau, while the food for training centers in greater Equatoria is coming from neighboring Uganda,” Koang said.
These unified forces are composed of police, wild life, intelligence, prisons and the military.
Time is quickly running out for the parties to the 2018 revitalized peace deal to graduate these unified forces ahead of February 2023 when the transitional period ends.
“The instructors will go on the ground to do rehearsing meanwhile we are undertaking this program, the presidency which includes President Salva Kiir, Riek Machar the First Vice President and Hussein Abdelbagi the Vice President for Service Cluster are expected to hold meeting to schedule for the graduation,” Koang said.
However, several promises of graduation of forces have not been met in the past