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SPLA-IO set to screen its forces next week

Author: Michael Daniel | Published: Thursday, November 18, 2021

SPLA-IO senior officers during security meeting in Juba - credit | Michael Daniel/Eye Radio | November 17, 2021

The SPLA -IO has resolved to send its committee to the training centers across the country to screen its forces and organize them in military formation next week.

The peace faction decision comes as a result of delay by the Joint Defense Force to start screening exercises on time.

In September this year, President Kiir directed the Joint Defense Board to screen the 53,000 united forces in the training centers within four weeks for graduation to take place.

Following the order, the Joint Defense Board constituted a three-joint committee composed of senior military commands from the peace parties last month.

They were to be dispatched to the three regions of greater Bahr el –Ghazal, Upper Nile and Equatoria.

But since then, the joint teams have not travelled to the cantonment sites to kick-start the exercise due to financial constraints and logistical challenges.

Col. Lam Paul Gabriel is the spokesperson of SPLA-IO.

He blames the delay on the leadership of the National Transitional Committee to avail resources for committees.

He now says SPLA-IO has unilaterally decided to screen its forces in a week’s time.

Col. Lam Paul made the statement during a meeting attended by senior IO military officers at the National Transitional Committee office in Juba yesterday.

“The Joint Defense Board sat down in October and formed this committee and also gave the committee two weeks to complete their job in the training center but since then this committee is here in Juba. They have not yet gone to training centers,” Col. Lam Paul said.

“This meeting today the SPLA-IO resolved to send its component of the committee to the training center to do the screening without any resources.

“We know we face the challenge of transporting but we asked our leadership to be able to get us transport so that we are able to reach this training center.”

The 2018 revitalized peace agreement provides for the unification of the rival forces to form the first professional national army consisting of 83,000 soldiers drawn from the rival South Sudan parties and the SSPDF.

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

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