Training of South Sudan’s necessary unified forces to take six weeks

SPLA soldiers seen at an undisclosed location in South Sudan (File/Supplied/Nyamilepedia)

January 17th 2019 (Nyamilepedia) – Training of South Sudan’s Necessary Unified Forces (NUF) will take around six weeks, the peace monitoring body, Ceasefire & Transitional Security Arrangement & Verification Mechanism (CTSAMVM), has said.

South Sudan government and opposition groups in September 2018 signed a revitalized version of a 2015 peace agreement to end the ongoing civil war.

The agreement provided for the dismantling of South Sudan’s militarized tribal groups and called for the establishment of a unified professional national army.

Government and opposition troops are now being trained in at least 18 training sites across the country.

Speaking during the 18th meeting of the CTSAMVM technical committee in Juba on Wednesday, the newly appointed CTSAMVM chairman Major General Teshome Gemechu Adere said they have been informed by the Joint Transitional Security Committee (JTSC) that the training of the unified forces would take 6 weeks.

“CTSAMVM is pleased to report that the process of training of the Necessary Unified Forces has begun. The JTSC has issued an updated list of 18 Training Sites, and CTSAMVM is currently monitoring the movement of troops from cantonment sites and barracks to training venues,” he said.

“The monitoring and verification of training is a CTSAMVM priority, and we are advised by the JTSC that training will take 6 weeks,” he added.

He said the group is disappointed by a report that some of the civilian buildings are being occupied by the parties. South Sudan government soldiers are occupying 24 civilians buildings mostly schools and hospital.

Troops belonging to the main armed opposition group, SPLM-IO, led by first vice president designate Dr. Riek Machar Teny, are occupying one civilian building.

“CTSAMVM is disappointed to report that although one civilian building was vacated by government forces since our last meeting, a further 2 have been found to be occupied,” he said.

“The total number of occupied civilian buildings – mainly health centres and schools – stands at 25. CTSAMVM is now recording each of these occupations as a violation: 24 for TGoNU and 1 for the SPLM/A-IO,” he added.

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