South Sudan Allocates SSP 3.6 Billion to Support Unified Forces in Milestone Security Initiative
In a crucial development for South Sudan’s ongoing security arrangement process, the country’s Cabinet has given the green light to a substantial budget of SSP 3.6 billion. The allocated funds are intended to support the first wave of unified forces, marking a significant milestone in the nation’s efforts to establish peace and stability. However, the South Sudanese government faces challenges due to an arms embargo imposed by the United Nations Security Council, hampering their deployment efforts.
Announcing the Cabinet’s decision at a press conference, Minister of Information Michael Makuei underscored the importance of this budgetary approval. The Ministry of Finance and Planning has been instructed to release the funds promptly, with the primary objective of equipping and deploying the new security personnel across the country.
The security arrangement process in South Sudan has been divided into two phases. The approved budget of SSP 3.6 billion represents the first phase, aimed at supporting the initial wave of unified forces. In the second phase, the Cabinet anticipates incorporating the budget proposal presented by Minister of Peacebuilding, Stephen Par. This subsequent budget is projected to cover expenses related to the deployment of graduated forces, including essential provisions such as food. It is expected to be integrated into the forthcoming 2023-2024 budget.
Alongside the commitment to security, the Cabinet has also shown a dedication to empowering the nation’s lawmakers. SSP 270 million has been allocated for training legislators and their staff in the states, emphasizing the government’s pursuit of knowledge and capability enhancement within the political sphere.
Furthermore, the Minister of Transport has sought autonomous status for the civil authority, signaling a desire for greater independence and authority in managing transport-related matters throughout the country. The Cabinet has also directed the Ministry of Finance to settle outstanding arrears owed to companies and international organizations working closely with the ministry. By addressing these financial obligations, the government aims to foster stronger partnerships and ensure the uninterrupted progress of ongoing projects and initiatives.
However, despite the significant strides made in deploying security personnel, the South Sudanese government is confronted with an arms embargo imposed by the United Nations Security Council. This embargo has hindered efforts to equip the more than 50,000 security personnel who graduated in 2022 with the necessary arms and equipment required to support their deployments effectively. The government has expressed deep concerns regarding this impediment, emphasizing the urgent need for international support and assistance in overcoming the challenges posed by the arms embargo.
As South Sudan forges ahead with its security arrangement process, the approval of the SSP 3.6 billion budget signifies a crucial step toward establishing peace and stability within the nation. However, the UN arms embargo continues to cast a shadow over these efforts, underscoring the pressing need for a resolution that allows the government to fully equip and adequately support its unified forces. The international community is urged to collaborate and find a diplomatic solution that will facilitate the successful realization of South Sudan’s security objectives.