Tensions mount as South Sudan’s security arrangements remain unresolved.
According to peace monitors, the delayed execution of transitional security measures, particularly the unification and redeployment of troops, has led to rising discontent among the people of South Sudan.
On Wednesday, Maj. Gen. Charles Tai Gituai, the Interim Chairperson of the Reconstituted Joint Monitoring and Evaluation Commission (RJMEC), made such statements during RJMEC’s 20th monthly meeting in Juba.
According to Gen. Gituai, the government must be explicit in its approach to completing the unfinished responsibilities.
“We have now passed the halfway point in the Transitional Period’s chronology.” The parties are considerably behind schedule in completing critical duties. As we approach the end of the year 2021, we need clarification from the Revitalised Government of National Unity (RTGoNU) on its strategy for completing outstanding duties over the next 14 months.”
South Sudan is intended to train and graduate 83,000 individuals to take command of security during the current transitional phase, according to the September 2018 peace agreement. The unity administration, which was founded in February 2020, has previously claimed budgetary restrictions as the reason for the delay in the graduation of united troops.
However, the process has come to a halt.
“It has already been over two months since the Presidency instructed the deployment of three evaluation teams to training sites in preparation for Phase 1 of the NUF’s graduation” (Necessary Unified Force). It is distressing to learn that the Presidency’s mandate has not been followed,” he continued.
Defections of top military leaders, mostly from the Sudan People’s Liberation Movement-in-Opposition (SPLA-IO) to the South Sudan Peoples Defence Forces (SSPDF), “erode trust between the two sides and public faith in the peace process,” according to Gen. Gituai.
According to reports, troops are fleeing cantonments and training facilities around the nation owing to a shortage of food and medicine.
Gen. Gituai further said that the living conditions at cantonment locations and training institutions are deteriorating.
“The scenario has affected the morale of security personnel on the ground or in training and risks weakening their faith in the country’s political leadership,” he added.
“I’d like to remind everyone that this is the last meeting before we leave for Christmas and New Year.” “I hope that we will return with solid plans and renewed strength and commitment to provide South Sudan’s people and country lasting peace, stability, and prosperity,” he said.