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Defections, ceasefire violations amidst other challenges between SPLA-IO and SSPDF stalls the peace agreement

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Tomori, NCMP – The inability of the South Sudan government to unify its armies is an impediment to the progress of the peace agreement. The unification of the armed groups with the government army of South Sudan had to be achieved during the first six months of the pre-transitional period after the signing of the revitalized peace agreement.

However, over two years after the signing of the agreement, the matter is still pending. This has lead to increased tension between the forces.

There have been reports of clashes and violations of the ceasefire agreement between the armies and has caused unrest within the country and can jeopardize the peace agreement.

Recently, Sudan People’s Liberation Army in Opposition (SPLA-IO) demanded that ceasefire violators and perpetrators of war be investigated and held accountable for crimes committed.  Also, a top IO official claims that Gen Moses Lokujo who has been accused of ceasefire violations in Central Equatoria is being aided by the army headquarters in Juba.

About three months ago, Gen Lokujo defected to the SSPDF, after he reportedly committed some serious crimes within the SPLA-IO forces.

The ceasefire monitoring body, CTSAM-VM, last week identified him as the one responsible for the ongoing displacements in Kajo-keji County.

The acting SSPDF spokesman, Santo Domic categorically stated that the SSPDF was not involved in the clashes in Moroto in any way, adding that the civilians were simply demanding their rights.

“SSPDF has no connection with what happened, not even Major General Lokujo who joined us recently was involved. SSPDF are not peace spoilers. Peace spoilers are those who are looting civilians and provide false information that SSPDF fought in Moroto. SSPDF did not fight in Moroto, let them say the truth,” he stressed.

Who protects the interest of the ordinary South Sudanese? Recently, the chiefs and youth of Kajokeji wrote a letter addressed to the governor of Central Equatorial State. They said in the letter that the IO are looting the area, they steal cows, chicken, money, goats, rape women in the area.

And they were demanding that they do not want IO in Morota, they should be relocated to a different location so that they are far from civilians. They also said in the letter that if the government does not respond to their demands, the youth will take the law into their own hands to protect the community.

The unification of the armies is taking too long and the government needs to do what is required.

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