22nd March 2023
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Machar lifts suspension of SPLA-IO from joint security bodies

Author: Chany Ninrew | Published: Monday, April 4, 2022

Dr. Riek Machar, First Vice President and Leader of SPLM/A-IO - Courtesy

The leader of SPLM/A-IO Dr. Riek Machar has lifted the suspension of participation of SPLA-IO in the security mechanisms meetings.

It has also resumed its participation in the meetings of the Reconstituted Joint Monitoring and Evaluation Commission, or R-JMEC and the National Transitional Committee.

This came after the signing of the command structure agreement with the then incumbent government and the South Sudan Opposition Alliance or SSOA yesterday.

The details of the long awaited deal are not made public.

Last month, the SPLA-In Opposition suspended its participation in the security mechanisms meetings over alleged attacks on its bases by SSPDF.

The main peace party also suspended its meetings in the peace monitoring body, R-JMEC.

In a letter to the interim chair of R-JMEC, the SPLA-IO said it has been presenting violations of cessation of hostilities agreement committed by the main peace partner, since the beginning of peace implementation.

It said the violations are unprovoked attacks on the SPLM/SPLA-IO areas, cantonment sites and the unified forces training centers.

The areas, the party cited are Morota training center in Kajo-keji County, Kaljak training center in Rubkona County, Turu cantonment site in Maiwut County, Liengji cantonment site in Maban County, Pieri cantonment site in Uror County.

Others are Namatina cantonment site in Najero County, Mir-Mir cantonment site in Koch County among others.

The SPLA-IO argued that the attacks have resulted in the displacement of civilians and destruction of properties.

It also said members of the former government attend most of the security mechanisms meetings irregularly and sometimes send officers who are not members of the security mechanisms.

In the letter – signed by the acting chief of general staff of the SPLA-IO, Gabriel Duop Lam – the group said it will not participate in any of R-JMEC and security mechanisms meetings until the issues are resolved.

In response, the SSPDF spokesperson denied the allegations.

According to the revitalized peace agreement, no revenge, vengeance or retribution and any kind of violation of the permanent ceasefire is allowed under any circumstances.

It also stipulates that all parties shall refrain from offensive, provocative or retaliatory actions.

There are thousands of SSPDF, SPLA-IO and Opposition Alliance forces in various cantonment camps across the country, some of whom have chosen to leave the camps over the graduation.

They have been at the training camps since 2019.

About 53,000 forces are expected to graduate from the training camps.

They include the army, police, and national security, among others.

The government, Troika countries and civil society groups urged the main peace party, SPLM-IO to rejoin the security mechanisms for the sake of peace in the country.

Yesterday, three parties to the revitalized peace agreement agreed to a Sudanese proposed command structure.

After the signing, the SPLM-IO announced its resumption in the participation of the security mechanisms meetings.

The mechanisms include the Joint Defense Board, Joint Transitional Security Committee, Joint Military Ceasefire Commission, CTSAM-VM as well as the National Transitional Committee and R-JMEC.

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