S. Sudan army blames opposition over delay in forming presidential security team

Li Jiayao
2019-04-27 00:27:59

JUBA, April 26 (Xinhua) -- South Sudan's army on Friday blamed opposition parties over delay in the establishment of the transitional security arrangement for the president that is key to paving way for the formation of unity government slated for May.

Lul Ruai Koang, spokesman for the South Sudan People's Defense Forces (SSPDF), said the delay to form the 700 presidential protection forces as stipulated in the revitalized peace agreement lies squarely with the opposition.

"The delay in regard to the formation of the presidential protection force is not about South Sudan People's Defense Forces but rather partly attributed to our partners for reasons best known to them," said Koang.

"Let this parade we are holding here be a proof to the people of South Sudan, the international community and the region that we SSPDF have been committed to implementing the agreement," he added.

Koang spoke in Rajap police training center, located west of the capital Juba, saying that the government has readied its 350 presidential special forces awaiting for joint integration ahead of formation of unity government.

"We have complied in term of selecting the 350 proposed presidential guards comprising of foot soldiers and commanding officers and these are the ones you are seeing today. They have been training for a month while waiting for their counterparts to complete the 700 strong unit," said Koang.

Nearly seven months into the pre-transitional period, parties to the peace deal have failed to implement key provisions of the accord such as cantonment and integration of forces and delays in determining the number of states.

South Sudan ascended 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 four million South Sudanese have been displaced internally and externally.

In September 2018, South Sudan's warring parties signed a final peace deal in Ethiopia after negotiations.


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