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CTSAMVM accuses Malong’s forces of military attacks

September 11, 2019 (JUBA) – The chairman of South Sudan’s ceasefire monitoring body (CTSAMVM) chairman, Maj. Gen. Abiche Ageno has expressed concerns over an attack by South Sudan United Front (SSUF/A) forces led by former army chief of staff, Gen. Paul Malong on South Sudan army (SSPDF) division 3 at War Ayan last month.

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The Joint Military Ceasefire Commission (JMCC) deputy chair, Maj. Gen Majier Deng Kur at the cantonment site (JMEC photo)

Addressing the 10th board meeting of the CTSAMVM on Tuesday, Abiche said SSUF/A are not signatories to the 2018 peace accord.

He, however, said the ceasefire continues to hold with no reported incidents of clashes between parties to the revitalized agreement.

“Although responsibility for the second violation cannot be attributed to any of the signatory parties, the incident remains a violation,” said Abiche.

He said the CTSAMVM Technical Committee had so far conducted two joint field visits, the first to a South Sudan Opposition Alliance (SSOA) assembly area at Riah on August 10 and the second to Aswa cantonment site on August 27.

He said the cantonment process remains slow and the ceasefire monitoring body welcomes the IGAD Council of Ministers’ communiqué resolving that at least 50% of the 83,000 Necessary Unified Forces should be cantoned and barracked, trained and deployed before the end of September.

“CTSAMVM has observed the arrival of new forces at 9 sites for SPLM/A-IO cantonment and at 5 sites for SSOA cantonment. CTSAMVM has not observed the arrival of any new TGoNU forces at Barrack Cantonment apart from the existing garrisoned units,” said Abiche.

The official said the cantonment process still faces many challenges and that commanders complained of lack of logistical support.

Abiche said the CTSAMVM may have seen a number of vacations of civilian buildings, but said the process has slowed as they have witnessed further occupations in the last month.

“Of the 36 buildings reported as occupied at the last Board meeting, 3 have been vacated by the SSPDF, but 4 buildings have been newly occupied by the SPLM/A-IO. A total of 37 civilian buildings are now occupied, mostly by government forces,” he said.

The CTSAMVM was established after the signing of the Agreement on Resolution of the Conflict in South Sudan (ARCSS) in August 2015.

The body, comprising of representatives of the parties to the September 2018 revitalized peace deal, women’s bloc, civil society organizations, youths, and members of the international community.

(ST)