Thousands of soldiers in cantonment and training sites who are part of the recently graduated first batch of unified forces are starving due to lack of food, according to ceasefire monitors.
Lt.Gen Asrat Denero Amad, the Chairperson for Ceasefire Transitional Security Monitoring and Verification Mechanism (CTSAMVM) on Wednesday said that soldiers are in dire need of food and medicines.
“Since the last board meeting, the very dire situation at the cantonment sites continues with lack of food and medicines. The logistical concerns raised at previous boards remain because most training centers and cantonment sites report a serious lack of food, shelter and other essential services,” said Amad during meeting of CTSAMVM members in Beijing Hotel in Juba.
He however, observed that the ceasefire signed since 2018 is still largely holding, despite reported clashes between the parties signatory to the revitalized peace deal in Upper Nile State and Northern part of Jonglei State.
The Agwelek militia led by Gen. Johnson Olony has been engaged in brutal battles since August last year with a splinter faction of the SPLM/A-In Opposition under Gen. Simon Gatwech Dual in Upper Nile and Jonglei States respectively.
Amad also called on the leadership of the South Sudan People’s Defense Forces (SSPDF) to quickly dislodge armed forces who forcefully continue to occupy civilian buildings.
“On the issue of occupied civilian buildings, the total number of occupied civilian buildings by SSPDF or other government security forces remains at 12. CTSAMVM wishes to remind the SSPDF that continual occupation of civilian areas discourages the return of civilians to their villages,” he said.
The transitional unity government in August started graduation of unified forces which saw more than 52,000 forces enlisted in training centers.
Under the 2018 peace deal, the parties are supposed to graduate in total 83,000 unified forces to take charge of security during the extended transitional period.