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‘Deserted’ peace soldiers recalled for final screening

Author: Lasuba Memo | Published: Tuesday, December 14, 2021

Unified troops at Alel training centre Upper Nile State - credit | courtesy

The Joint Military Board has directed the peace parties to remobilize their deserted soldiers to return to the training camps for screening.

This comes days after the committees tasked with the graduation of the necessary unified forces received their funding from the government.

The committees include the Joint Defense Board, Joint Transitional Security Committee, and the Joint Military Ceasefire Commission.

About 53,000 forces are expected to graduate from the training camps. They include the army, police, and national security, among others.

But some of the foot soldiers reportedly deserted the training camps due to long hardship in the camps.

The army spokesperson now says directives have been given to the various parties to the revitalized peace deal to re-organize their forces to return back for screening.

He says three-joint subcommittees formed last month will now be dispatched to the three greater regions of Equatoria, Bahr el-Ghazal and Upper Nile from tomorrow to start the screening exercise.

“An appeal was made by the three spokespersons to the main parties to the agreement for those who might have left to come back immediately,” Maj. Gen. Lul Ruai told Eye Radio on Tuesday.

“This last step paves the way for unification of command and redeployment. It is a Christmas gift for the people of South Sudan and the necessary unified force that has been in the training camps for the past three year.”

The committees are expected to complete the process of screening and reorganization of the unified forces in two weeks’ time.

According to Lul, this will then be followed by the graduation and redeployment.

The graduation of the troops drawn from the SSPDF, SPLA-IO, and the Opposition Alliance was postponed several times despite “lack of funds”.

But observers called it “lack of political” given the millions of dollars the government offered the National Transitional Committee.

They have been at the training camps since 2019.

Some soldiers have been deserting these training centers due to a lack of food, medicines.

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