By Nathaniel Oyet December 21, 2020
1. 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.
2. 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.
3. 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”.
4. The President who should also be the Commander-In-Chief of the Unified Forces after the Unification is not taking the necessary steps to fund the mechanisms for peace implementation, in this regard the graduation of the Necessary Unified Forces (NUF) is critically outstanding.
5. Apparently, while the forces remain in cantonment sites and training centers, the forces remain under the effective commands of their respective Commanders-In-Chiefs until they are all unified, passed out and redeployed. This is not a desirable state of affairs. “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.
6.0. The Opposition 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.
7. To the contrary, while President Kiir and his Security advisers are comfortable with this state of affairs, it’s obviously not in their best interest.
“You have a large size of forces not under your Command and Control.” Besides, provocations like those in Kajo Keji, Maban, Fashoda, Wau, and Western Equatoria etc. are making the situation even more fluid.
8.0. It is a non Zero Sum game. If the President’s Security advisers were saying, this was “Zero Sum Game”, it is not. It is the other way round. They have never answered a number of fundamental questions:
8.1. 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;
8.2. 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;
8.3. How can government hold general elections without implementing Security Arrangements and Unification of forces?
8.4. For how long will this delays go? and for how long will the Transitional Period be? For parties to comfortably say that now we can go for general elections;
8.5. How sustainable can the Peace process be without implementing Security Arrangements as required?
8.6. As the warring parties shall keep their forces under their armpits, what shall be the political, security and socio economic implications on the country.
9. As we are ending the year, we expect a new year to offer hope for suffering population, the business community and the general public and citizens of South Sudan.
We expect a change of strategy of implementing the Agreement. A more robust approach to achieving sustainable peace for the people of South Sudan and country.
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