Home | News    Thursday 14 April 2016

South Sudan army accepts verification of troops’ deployment in Juba

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April 13, 2016 (JUBA) – South Sudanese army (SPLA) has finally permitted the Ceasefire and Transitional Security Arrangements Monitoring Mechanism (CTSAMM) to visit their military sites and verify whether or not the capital, Juba, has been demilitarized as required by the August 2015 peace agreement which President Salva Kiir’s government signed with the armed opposition faction led by First Vice President designate, Riek Machar.

Soldiers from the South Sudanese army (SPLA) assembled in the capital, Juba on 8 January 2014 (Photo: Mehmet Kemal Firik/Anadolu Agency/Getty)

CTSAMM is a body which monitors implementation of the security arrangements in the peace agreement and verifies its implementation as well as violations. It reports to the Joint Monitoring and Evaluation Commission (JMEC) - the overseer of the whole agreement - headed by former Botswana’s President, Festus Mogae.

In a letter written to the Ethiopian chairman of the CTSAMM, Major General Molla Hailemariam, and extended to Sudan Tribune on Wednesday, SPLA’s leadership revealed the names of sites and number of troops in each location.

The number of the troops listed in the document correspondents to the required limited number of the government forces in the capital.

The army has however scheduled the date for the verification of these troops to be conducted on 19 April, a day after the expected arrival in Juba of the opposition leader, Machar, instead of before his arrival as required by the peace deal and demanded by the opposition faction.

“Your Excellency, based on the implementation of the Peace Agreement for the verification of SPLA Government forces as came in the Agreement that was agreed to be in Juba Town. The below listed are the areas where the verification will take place on Tuesday the 19th of April 2016,” reads the letter signed by Lt. Gen. Mangar Buong Aluenge, Deputy Chief of General Staff for Operations.

The forces, according to the document, include 650 Presidential Guards (Tiger Hqrs); 250 Band and Ceremonial Guards (New Site); 700 Administrative Battalion (Bilpam Hqrs); 700 Logistical Battalion (New Site); 300 Guards for Shared Command (Ground Force Hqrs); 700 Military Police (Bilpam Hqrs); and 120 National Security Service (Gudele-2).

The total combined categories of the military forces for the government’s deployment in Juba should strictly be 3,420 personnel in accordance with the agreed security arrangements.

Also a separate police force of 1,500 is supposed to be deployed in Juba by the government to provide for its security, which will make the total government’s combined military and police forces 4,830 in number.

The armed opposition faction of the Sudan People’s Liberation Movement (SPLM-IO) is also required to deploy 1,410 of the total number of military categories and 1,500 police personnel, equal to the required government’s police force. This puts the total number of the combined opposition’s military and police forces at 2,910.

While 1,370 of the opposition forces have already arrived in Juba, the remaining number of 1,530 is yet to arrive in the capital.

The rival forces will also deploy 400 police forces each to the other states capitals of Bentiu, Bor and Malakal, among other major towns yet to be agreed upon.

The opposition faction has been accusing the government of not demilitarizing Juba, arguing it has instead increased the military presence by bringing in more troops to the yet to be determined number of those in uniform in Juba.

The peace agreement has provided for withdrawal of all the government’s excess forces to 25km away from the capital. Government said it has withdrawn its forces outside the capital.

CTSAMM will however verify the number of the government troops currently in Juba and whether the claimed withdrawn troops are actually 25km away so as to report it to JMEC.

The opposition faction led by Machar argued there was need for an official report to be rendered to the parties and JMEC to independently confirm whether the demilitarization has taken place before the expected return to Juba of the First Vice President designate on Monday, 18 April.

They also claimed that some of the government troops withdrawn did not reach 25km away and were redeployed some kilometres from the capital.

(ST)

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  • 14 April 2016 07:55, by Bolman

    Well wel plz make it clear instead to be the bushes, infact the SPLM/SPLA were commited themselves for peace agreement that why they send their advance team to Juba including myself, in that case plz talks to ur masters the so call Paul Malong Awan n his supporters we need peace, peace is better than fighting ask him where is his Son if the war is gud or he himself disappear like a son,

  • 16 April 2016 05:42, by Joseph Canada

    If I were Malong I would be looking into getting into adult education or hiring someone to teach me Alphabet rather than showing off with those shiny stars with empty brain.



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