VP Abdelbagi orders that all armed troops exit schools.
South Sudan’s Vice President for Service Cluster, Hussein Abdelbagi, has ordered that all military troops in the Revitalised Government of National Unity leave all civilian areas, including schools, as soon as possible.
According to VP Abdelbagi’s press secretary, Gabriel Kiir Amoi, directions were issued amid allegations that military troops were still utilizing schools as barracks in areas of the nation.
He said that if the armed forces, including the South Sudan Peoples Defense Forces and opposition forces, do not carry out the order, the situation would be evaluated and suitable steps will be taken. He did not elaborate on ‘the measures.’
Major General Lul Ruai Koang, SSPDF spokeswoman, denied getting directions from the VP’s office but told Radio Tamazuj, “That’s something I’ve never heard of. We have instructions from the army commander to remove all units of the armed personnel who dwell in civilian houses before November.”
According to the 2018 peace deal, the military troops were to abandon all civilian areas and convene at several cantonment locations for integration prior to the creation of the transitional government. However, the process of army unification is dragging.
The ongoing occupation also impedes the return of refugees and internally displaced people to their homes.