Dec 23, 2020(Nyamilepedia) — A senior SPLM/A-IO official and one of the former governors of the defunct Imatong State, Dr. Oyet Nathaniel Pierino, calls on President Salva Kiir to expedite the unification of forces or else any further delayment could only “shoot the president in the foot” as opposed to hurting the armed oppositions or the forces that are languishing in the cantonment areas.
The senior SPLM/A-IO acknowledges the frustration the forces are currently going through including cases of death; however, Dr. Oyet believes that the worst case scenario could backfire on the president and his administration.
“The stagnation of the graduation of the Necessary Unified Forces (NUF) continues to drag on and disheartening. The RJMEC has noted as such. And the other day a trainee committed suicide out of frustration in Rajap Police Services training center in Juba.” Dr. Oyet narrated.
“The opposition forces and government’s continue to languish in cantonment sites and training centers without prospects of passing out soon. While the opposition forces are not coming in, the government forces go without salaries for months. The condition of the service men and women is one and the same.” He continued.
Despite all the challenges the forces are facing, the senior opposition politician believes that the president and those who advises him are trying to frustrate the training and unification of forces so that the soldiers in cantonments may give and call it a quit but Oyet does not see that as an option.
“If the intention is to frustrate the forces in the cantonment sites and training centers so that they disperse, it is a wrong strategy. Where are these forces going to after deserting the centers? Isn’t it to where they came from? and definitely they shall never be under their Command and Control” He said.
According to Oyet, “the Opposition [parties] are now working very hard for their forces in cantonment sites and training centers to be graduated and Unified with their colleagues in the SSPDF and they be under one command, but the would be Commander-In-Chief is reluctant.”
Oyet says it should be in the best interest for the president to see all forces unified under his command as opposed to each chairman commanding a parallel forces in a country that is washed by arms and ammunition, and polarized along ethnic lines; adding that the government delegation made such item a big deal during the negotiation but now they are failing to implement it.
“”You cannot have many Commanders-In-Chiefs in one government.” That was the whole purpose of Unification of Forces. ITGNU negotiators made it a big case in HLRF in Addiss Ababa and Khartoum until 8 months period in the Agreement was set to complete this tasks. It is a big surprise if the same people who negotiated this provision are now dragging their feet to implement it.” Oyet said.
He believes that should the agreement not be implemented, then the president should know that his leadership is at risk.
” If you don’t want to implement peace Agreement, you can only comfortably do that unless you enjoy an absolute monopoly of force (violence) in the country; but in the absence of Unification of Forces its a mission in futility;” He said.
Oyet wonders if it is a lack of capacity or the lack of political will or both that is delaying this important process; however, he believes that whatever the case, it should be the president that is shooting himself in the foot.
“Is it the question of lack of capacity? Or It’s a function of lack of political will to blame, or both. But who should act in the first place? It is the President. President Kiir has decided to shoot himself on the foot. An old practice in the SPLA: “at the heat of battles, when an SPLA soldier didn’t want to fight, he would boycott by shooting his foot or limbs”.He added.