South Sudan president says peace implementation progressing well
South Sudan's President Salva Kiir said on Wednesday the ongoing peace implementation process was encouraging amid speedy progress in screening and cantonment of both government and opposition forces.
"So far both the Joint Military Ceasefire Commission (JMCC) and the Joint Transitional Security Committee (JTSC) have all reported very encouraging results in the cantonment of the opposition forces, and in the barracking of the South Sudan People's Defense Forces (SSPDF)," Kiir told a police conference in Juba.
He said some of these unified forces will be jointly trained to form part of the National Security Services (NSS) including the VIP protection unit for South Sudan.
This came after the ceasefire monitoring body (CTSAMVM) on Tuesday disclosed that opposition forces assembled in various cantonment sites were abandoning them due to shortage of food and medicine, which may derail efforts to form the unified army of 83,000 force.
"The coming in of the opposition forces shows that the agreement is progressing well and that we consider whoever that was fighting against us brother and sister and we have to work together for the improvement of the lives of our people," said Kiir.
The government and main opposition group the Sudan People's Liberation Movement-in opposition (SPLM-IO) led by Riek Machar are in disagreement over forming the transitional unity government on the Nov.12 deadline.
SPLM-IO demands all the outstanding issues like screening, registration and cantonment of all forces including determining the number of states and boundaries be completed before the much-awaited unity government is formed.
"The Inter-Governmental Authority on Development (IGAD), AU and United Nations Security Council (UNSC) all expect the (unity) government to be formed as agreed on the Nov.12," said Kiir.
The warring parties failed to form the transitional unity government in May and both agreed to a six-month extension and are left with only less than 12 days to form the unity government.
"Rebuilding peace in our country and regaining trust among our people after this bitter war is going to be a huge challenge to all of us and our success is going to depend on how we conduct ourselves in our various duties," added Kiir.
The Inter-Governmental Authority on Development, the regional body that mediated the revitalized peace deal signed in September 2018 in Ethiopia, recently said the warring parties failed to form the unified force by the Sept. 30 deadline.
South Sudan descended into conflict in December 2013 after Kiir sacked his deputy Machar, leading to fighting between soldiers loyal to respective leaders.
The conflict killed tens of thousands and displaced millions both internally and externally.
A peace deal signed in 2015 collapsed after the outbreak of renewed violence in July 2016, forcing Machar to flee the capital.
Under the 2018 peace deal, Machar will take up one of the four vice presidency positions in the transitional government. (Xinhua)