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AU airlifts tents to support cantonment process in S. Sudan

September 1, 2019 (JUBA) – The African Union (AU) on Wednesday last week airlifted 640 multipurpose tents donated by Cameroon to be distributed in the 35 cantonment sites across South Sudan.

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

The tents will be accompanied by a separate shipment of two generators.

“I would like to express thanks for this donation sent to us from Cameroon,” said Major Gen. Majier Deng Kur, a member of the National Pre-Transitional Committee.

“This is a great push and I think we will be able to start cantonment soon,” he added.

The tents, the UN mission in South Sudan (UNMISS) reported, will be used to bolster the various sites by expanding their capacity to assemble, screen, and mobilize soldiers who will be deployed in future unified fighting forces.

“This is a key component in achieving a revitalized peace agreement,” said AU’s Amadou Ceesay.

“We were not able to do so this past May because the security sector was lagging behind. That is why the African Union Commission deemed it necessary to provide some in-kind support so that unified forces can be trained in anticipation of the formation of a revised government on November 12,” he added.

Mbalati Mlungisi, the chargé d’affaires at the South African embassy and also a member of the AU’s C5 working group tasked with overseeing the implementation of the peace agreement in South Sudan said arrival of the items was very timely.

“We encourage everyone to contribute what they can so that the next steps may be carried out without delay,” he stressed.

Other AU member countries such as South Africa, Nigeria, and Egypt have reportedly pledged to provide essential items to South Sudan.

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 will be cantoned in 10 main barracks spread out in the country, with at least one for each phase.

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