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Redeployment of forces to take place after budget approval-official

Author: Michale Daniel | Published: Sunday, August 6, 2023

Some Necessary Unified Forces members rehearse for graduation at the Dr. John Garang Mausoleum in Juba - Credit | Lou Nelson/Eye Radio | 29th August 2022

The Necessary Unified Forces (NUF] will be deployed after the national legislature approves the 2023/2024 fiscal budget according to Minister of Information Michael Makuei.

Between August and November 2022, the unity government graduated 53,000 as per the 2018 peace agreement security arrangements.

But the figure falls short of the 83,000 the parties agreed to unify and redeploy across the country.

The unification and redeployment of the forces should have taken place within six-month of the per-transitional period from the signing of the peace agreement in 2018.

The parties, particularly the SPLM-in Government attributed the delays to a lack of firearms to graduate the forces and the arms embargo imposed on the country.

It has repeatedly appealed to the international community to lift the ban on acquisition of the arms to enable redeployment – a call the SPLM-In Opposition opposed citing the prevalence of too many arms in the hands of civilians.

The opposition backs the arms embargo and suggests that the civilians be disarmed, and their weapons be distributed to the unified forces for redeployment.

The SPLM-In Government’s reaction is the first batch of graduated forces will be redeployed with sticks.

Speaking to the reporters after the Friday Council of Ministers’ meeting, Michael Makuei said the graduated forces will be redeployed once the national legislature approves the fiscal budget for 2023/2024

“We are now only waiting for the approval of the budget 2023-2024. When the budget is approved, they will be funded for the deployment of these forces.

“There is no way for us to get arms for them as long the arms embargo is there. So, we will deploy them with sticks even though they will not be competent to perform their function and duties as security forces in the country,” he said.

According to Makuei, the second batch will be graduated with firearms saying: “Because phase two is a condition that you must produce your riffle in order to be qualified for entering the centers.”    

In May 2023 Council of Ministers on Friday approved 3.6 billion South Sudanese Pounds (SSP) for the deployment of the Necessary Unified Forces in the country.

It not clear whether the money was released.

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