Reunification of armed forces: SPLM-IO claims Kiir wants S. Sudan’s army to be under his control, Kiir asserts that SPLM-IO has an outrageous number generals
According to an SPLM-IO official, the South Sudan President refused to implement the reunification arrangements of armed forces as he wanted to maintain control over the security sector. Also, Kiir is unhappy with a large number of senior officers and commanders in armed opposition factions, particularly Dr. Machar’s SPLA-IO, and that some of them are civilians who have just been promoted to high military positions.He has been looking for a way to to trim and reduce these positions, thus delaying the armed forces’ unification.
The recent visit of the Sudan PM blown open some of the reasons for the delay of the unification of the armed forces. Abdallah Hamdok, Sudanese Prime Minister, failed to convince President Salva Kiir or his first deputy Riek Machar to accept the stalled implementation – especially the creation of a single army.
At the conclusion of Hamdok’s visit to Juba, a joint statement stated that the chair of the visiting IAGD agreed to continue their engagements “until final positive results are achieved”.
Manawa P. Gatkuoth, the Irrigation Minister and also the SPLM-IO Acting Spokesman, confirmed to The Sudan Tribune that Hamdok’s attempts to close the gap between them on security arrangements and other issues was unsuccessful.
“To end the deadlock, Movement expressed its willingness to accept the IGAD-proposed compromise – 55% SPLM-IG/45% other signatory groups – at the level the command of security services. Gathuoth stated that the rule of equal shares, 50%/50, must be applied at all levels of forces to create an inclusive national army to protect and respect the country’s constitution, as well as stand at the same distance to all political forces.
He stressed that President Salva Kiir wanted to force his group’s plans to control South Sudan’s security sector by requesting that 60% of the new army be issued from his arm.
After the signing of the revived peace accord, the signatory parties agreed to share 50% of the troops with President Kiir and the rest from other groups in a series of meetings in Khartoum.
Hamdok met with Machar twice on the 19th and 20th of August to discuss outstanding issues.
Apart from the slow enforcement of security arrangements, SPLM-IO complained about the delay in the nomination of SPLM/A/IO nominees to state governments and to the post of Deputy Minister for Interior, whose nomination was submitted by President Salva Kiir Maiardit on February 1, 2021.
SPLM-IO officials regretted “lackof political will” to implement the revitalized peace accord fully and accused SPLM-IG, accusing them of trying to obstruct implementation and ultimately return to war.
He stated that the war would at least allow them to stay in power and protect them against accountability for crimes against South Sudanese citizens, corruption and looting national wealth and resources.