The United States and other members of the influential Troika have hailed the graduation of the unified forces.
Michael J. Adler, the U.S. Ambassador to South Sudan, said that this is development had been long overdue, adding that it’s a critical step toward peace progress in the country after years of false starts.
“Unified forces loyal to the whole nation of South Sudan and the entirety of its people answering to a unified operational leadership and answering to a unified political leadership, are keys to reducing violence and conflict and to providing peace and security,” Adler said in a statement issued in Juba on Wednesday.
The Troika besides the U.S includes Britain and Norway.
Adler noted that South Sudan needs peace and security to be able to unlock its potential toward development.
“It is critical that ordinary South Sudanese can have trust in their security forces. Trust that security forces are well trained, professional, and held accountable for their actions, Trust that their security forces are there to guarantee and protect their freedoms and not threaten them,” Adler said.
Nearly 22,000 forces consisting of government and opposition were passed out on Tuesday in Juba by President Salva Kiir after spending three years held up in training and cantonment sites across the country.
These unified forces are made up of army, police, prisons, wildlife and national security services.
South Sudan is supposed to graduate total of 83,000 forces under the 2018 revitalized peace agreement signed to end years of conflict since outbreak in December 2013.
On 15 July 2022, the United States announced it’s end of financial support to the various peace monitoring mechanisms citing lack of political will from the parties to implement critical pending tasks within the peace deal.