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Peace monitors say training of unified forces delayed

R-JMEC Interim Chairperson Amb. Lt. Gen. Augostino Njoroge delivering at the plenary (File/Supplied/Nyamilepedia)

January 24th 2020 (Nyamilepedia) – South Sudan’s peace monitoring body, the Reconstituted Joint Monitoring and Evaluation Commission (R-JMEC) said during its 13th monthly meeting conducted in the capital Juba on Thursday that the training of forces is being delayed.

The parties signed a revitalized version of a 2015 peace agreement in September 2018 to end the war by forming a unity government. That government should not however be formed without uniting the rival forces.

The parties has been trying to unify their forces by taking measures such as the cantonment of forces and now their training in a joint manner.

Speaking during opening session of the meeting, R-JMEC Interim Chairperson Ambassador Lt. Gen. Augostino Njoroge expressed concern over the delayed screening and subsequent training of forces in South Sudan.

“There have been thousands of troops reporting to training centres, having been transported from cantonment sites,” he said.

“I am concerned that the screening of forces has not started yet, even though the screening teams are reported to be ready to begin,” he added.

He pointed out that no training can take place before screening, and “the more it is delayed, the more the time that will be lost in beginning the training of the Necessary Unified Forces (NUF)”.

Ambassador Njoroge urged the Joint Defence Board (JDB) to ensure that the screening, selection and training of forces “starts immediately in consultation with the Disarmament, Demobilisation and Reintegration Commission.”

The Interim Chairperson further added that Security Mechanisms have fallen behind the timelines of their action plans.

Ambassador Njoroge asked the mechanisms to coordinate their activities more closely. In this regard, he advised the NPTC and JDB to immediately convene the weekly coordination meetings of the mechanisms as had been agreed previously. He further called on the mechanims to fast-track the implementation of the critical tasks in the remaining 30 days.

He asked the Security Mechanisms to enhance their cooperation and take all necessary steps to expedite and implement the pending tasks of screening, selection and training of the NUF.

He also called leadership of the Parties to “demonstrate the spirit of compromise and press for a timely political resolution of the issue of the number of states and their boundaries.”

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