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Riek, Abdelbagi asked to nominate their representatives to unification of security command

Author: Emmanuel Akile | Published: Wednesday, August 11, 2021

President meeting in process at J1 in Juba on Tuesday, August 10, 2021 | Credit | Facebook

President Salva Kiir has directed two of his deputies to present the list of their nominees for the unification of security command as stipulated in the revitalized peace agreement.

“These two organizations, they have to present the names of their nominees who will be part of the unified forces that need to be formed immediately,” Dr. Barnaba Marial, minister of Presidential Affairs, read out a communiqué.

The agreement only recognizes three forces – SSPDF, SPLA-IO and SSOA, three of which are represented by President Kiir, FVP Machar and Abdelbagi, respectively.

During a meeting of the Presidency held in Juba on Tuesday, President Kiir told Dr. Riek Machar and Hussein Abdelbagi to immediately submit the names of their nominees.

Currently, the SSPDF has a Chief of Defense Forces, while the SPLA-IO maintains its Chief of General Staff, among other field commanders.

But the agreement says the forces shall fall under one commander-in-chief, President Salva Kiir.

There shall also be one chief of defense forces, including the national security, police service, prison service, wildlife, and civil defense forces.

In April 2021, the Joint Defense Board or JDB established technical committees to allocate responsibility-sharing among the parties.

The established committees are that of the police and a technical committee for the national security service.

They were tasked with working on the unification of command that includes the SSPDF, SPLA-IO, and South Sudan Opposition Alliance, or SSOA.

But the process has been slow until August 10 when the Presidency resolved to speed it up.

Meanwhile, on the recent clashes at Magenis, the Presidency called for immediate cessation of hostilities between the SPLA-IO forces under the command of Dr. Riek Machar and Gen. Simon Gatwech.

It described Gen. Gatwech’s forces as breakaway SPLM/A-IO forces.

This came after SPLA-IO allied to the general said they had removed Dr. Machar as the commander-in-chief of SPLA-IO.

The Kigwang declaration issued at Magenis nominated Gen. Gatwech as the interim leader of the SPLM/A-IO and new First Vice President.

The two factions clashed over the weekend in Meganis. At least 34 soldiers have been reported killed from both sides.

In the meeting in Juba, President Salva Kiir directed the forces allied to Dr. Machar and Gen. Gatwech to observe reasonable distance to help prevent further violence.

“The Presidency directs the Security Supervision Mechanism, the SSM, and CTSAM-VM to visit Magenis in order to maintain calm and prevent any further violence,” Dr. Marial added.

The Presidency further called on parties to the revitalized peace deal to observe peace, reconciliation, and healing in South Sudan.

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