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Sudan Tribune

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Peace monitors say S. Sudan forces leaving cantonment sites over lack of food, medicines

October 29, 2019 (JUBA) – In adequate supplied of food and medicines is forcing opposition fighters to abandon cantonment sites in South Sudan, Desta Abiche Ageno, the chairperson of the ceasefire monitoring body in South Sudan (CTSAMVM) said Tuesday.

The Joint Military Ceasefire Commission (JMCC) deputy chair, Maj. Gen Majier Deng Kur at the cantonment site (JMEC photo)
The Joint Military Ceasefire Commission (JMCC) deputy chair, Maj. Gen Majier Deng Kur at the cantonment site (JMEC photo)
At least five cantonment sites, he said, are being deserted due to lack of food and medicines, adding that efforts to have a unified army is in jeopardy.

“The lack of sufficient logistic support to cantonment sites – especially food and medicine – has not been addressed and CTSAMVM is observing many of those registered forces now leaving designated sites, including MirMir, Kendila, Sue, Ngo Alimah and Pantiit,” said Ageno.

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

In September last year, the South Sudanese arch-foes signed a revitalized peace agreement, aimed at ending the devastating civil war that killed tens of thousands of people and displaced millions.

The parties agreed to commence cantonment of the opposition forces in 25 sites, while government forces are to be cantoned in 10 main barracks spread out in the country, with one for each phase.

As such, it was agreed that a unified national army of 83,000 troops be formed before a transitional unity government is put in place.

The entire process has, however, been marred by delays over lack of funds and logistical constraints ahead of the November 12 deadline.

Last week, the country’s main opposition leader, Riek Machar threatened to pull out of the peace deal if a transitional national unity government is formed minus resolving pending security reforms.

The European Union (EU) on Monday appealed to the warring parties involved in South Sudan’s civil war to implement the September 2018 revitalized peace agreement as required.