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JUBA - 23 Jan 2020

Peace monitors concerned over delayed training of forces

Peace monitors in South Sudan have expressed concern over the delayed screening and subsequent training of unified forces. 

This came during a meeting held in Juba on Thursday.

 “I am concerned that the screening of forces has not started yet, even though the screening teams are reported to be ready to begin,” said Augostino Njoroge, the interim head of the international monitoring body RJMEC.

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

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. He asked the mechanisms to coordinate their activities more closely.

In this regard, he advised the National Pre-Transitional Committee (NPTC) and Joint Defence Board (JDB) to immediately convene the weekly coordination meetings of the mechanisms as had been agreed previously.

He further called on the mechanisms to fast-track the implementation of the critical tasks in the remaining 30 days. Njoroge 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 unified forces.

The peace monitor also called upon 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.”

The rival parties have twice failed to form the unity government, first in May 2019 and then in November the same year, when they agreed to give themselves100 days to resolve disputed issues and form a unity government by 22 February 2020.

Under the terms of the peace deal, the parties are to create a unified army to reduce the chances of fighting again and agree on the number of states and their boundaries.