Peace monitors call for effective army unification in South Sudan

Li Jiayao

JUBA, Feb. 1 (Xinhua) -- The South Sudan peace monitoring body on Friday called for the establishment of numbers, training sites and start dates of cantonment which it said are an essential step toward the effective unification of security forces.

Augostino Njoroge, interim chairperson of the Reconstituted Joint Monitoring and Evaluation Commission (RJMEC), said the issue of training will become critical when unifying and sustaining the South Sudanese national defense and security forces.

"Declaring the numbers, locations and start dates of cantonment and training sites (for forces) is essential to be able to move forward to the next decisive phase of unification of forces," Njoroge said during the closing of a two-day workshop.

The meeting was attended by chairpersons and members of all the security mechanisms responsible for the implementation of the Permanent Ceasefire and Transitional Security Arrangements of the Revitalized Peace Agreement.

Njoroge said the Joint Transitional Security Committee (JTSC) should therefore develop rigorous criteria for training.

"Yours is sensitive work but vital aspects such as trust, truthfulness, and clarity of objectives were all debated (at the workshop) in a collegiate and professional manner," Njoroge told members of the security mechanisms.

"I expect that your work will continue in this constructive way. The gaps and challenges that are common in tasks such as yours will be more easily overcome through discipline and continued cooperation," Njoroge added.

South Sudan descended into civil war in late 2013, and the conflict has created one of the fastest growing refugee crises in the world.

The United Nations estimates that 4 million South Sudanese have been displaced internally and externally.

In September 2018, South Sudan's conflicting parties signed a final peace deal in Ethiopia after negotiations brokered by the Sudanese government and mandated by the Intergovernmental Authority on Development in Africa.

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