The Minister of Cabinet Affairs said graduation of the necessary unified forces will commence on the 30th of this month.
Dr. Martin Elia made the announcement, after a meeting of the Presidency in Juba on Wednesday afternoon.
The Presidency’s meeting was chaired by President Salva Kiir, and attended by First Vice President Dr. Riek Machar and Security Advisor Tut Gatluak.
Also present in the meeting, were senior government officials and members of the security mechanisms.
According to Dr. Martin, the graduation of more than 52,000 forces will start in the Greater Equatoria region.
“There are some 26,508 forces of the mixture of the army, national security, and police in nine centers in Greater Equatoria, they are ready for graduation…, so in about 20 days’ time we will have the forces paraded and graduated as per our roadmap. ” he announced.
More than 26,000 forces are expected to graduate from nine centers.
The forces include the VIP protection forces, army, police, national security, prison, and civil defense.
In the centers in the Greater Equatoria region, the forces are expected to graduate from including Gorom, Maridi, Morota, Owinykibul, Muni, Rajaf, Lologo, Rambur, and Agut-Makur.
After postponing the graduation several times, Dr. Martin Elia told the media, the Presidency resolved to graduate the forces end of this month.
“We also have 15,682 in five stations in Greater Upper Nile, and we have 9,812 in three centers in Greater Bahr el Ghazal. These forces are ready to be graduated and we have agreed that they will be graduated by the 30th of August this year.”
The 2018 revitalized peace deal expects the unity government to graduate 83,000 unified forces drawn from the various parties to take charge of security during the ongoing transitional period.
Tens of thousands of forces have been assembled and trained at various cantonment sites and training centers across the country since 2020.
Dozens of trainees are reported to have died of starvation and sickness in cantonment and training sites as they awaited the graduation that never came.
The government also made a number of failed pledges to graduate the forces, but factors such as insufficient funding, lack of political will among the peace parties, arms embargo and allegations of many ranks in the opposition forces are said to be complicating the efforts.
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