South Sudan’s parties urged to avail funds for security arrangements

By Simon Deng

South Sudan’s peace monitors on Thursday urged the National Transitional Committee (NTC) to quickly provide funds to complete graduation of the unified forces.

Charles Tai Gituai, the Chairperson of the Revitalized Joint Monitoring Evaluation Commission (RJMEC), said the graduation of the expected 83,000 unified forces is impossible without enough funding from the transitional unity government.

 “Without unified forces you cannot be able to move forward, this is the most important thing we should focus on, one of the challenge that we have found is the funding of these (security) mechanisms. I hope this time now there will be funds to ensure that we move forward,” said Gituai during meeting with peace parties at Crown Hotel in Juba.

The transitional unity government had budgeted for 100 million U.S dollars to implement the revitalized peace deal.

“If we have a unified force under one Commander- in-Chief, and a military that is loyal to the constitution of the country it will not matter whoever becomes the leader of the country,” he added.

President Salva Kiir and his First Vice President Riek Machar, last week agreed to share ratios on the unified army command structure crucial for the eventual graduation of the unified forces.

Tut Kew Galuak, Presidential Advisor on Security Affairs, and also head of NTC, said that the parties’ after striking the recent agreement are ready to implement the pending critical tasks in letter and in spirit.

“We are in for the implementation of the security arrangements, there was misunderstanding but it is resolved, we are now in preparation for the graduation of the first batch of the unified forces,” said Galuak.

Gabriel Duop Lam, the Acting Chief of General Staff for the Sudan People’s Liberation Army-in opposition (SPLA-IO) under Machar, assured that the peace agreement remains on track.

 “We need resources to push peace implementation forward, the parties have agreed on the command structure, and we are looking forward to the leadership of the parties to speed up the unification of the command and also come up with the time table for the graduation of forces,” he said.

Santino Deng Wol, the Chief of Defense Forces of South Sudan’s army (SSPDF) said that there is need for the parties to put national interests ahead of partisan loyalties.

“What delayed the unification of forces and the army command has been resolved, whether you are an officer from SPLA-IO or SSOA, note that you will not be in opposition, but a national officer serving the national interest,” said Wol.

“We will work for the national interest not to serve individual or personal interest, if any officer creates troubles it will be counted on the individual,” he added.

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