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South Sudan: Peace partners agree to establish 25 cantonment sites

Source: Sudan Tribune
Country: South Sudan

February 4, 2019 (KHARTOUM) – The South Sudanese peace partners agreed to establish 25 cantonment sites for the opposition groups in line with the implementation of the security arrangements, a milestone of the revitalized peace agreement.

The parties to the peace pact had to disengage troops and achieve assembly and cantonment of forces within 30 days of the signing of the peace agreement.

However, the measure was delayed for 4 months for financial and technical reasons, as important details in this difficult process were left to the parties themselves to negotiate.

Further, The peace’ sponsors particularly the Troika countries said Juba had to assume the costly enforcement of this process to prove its commitment to the peace agreement and encourage them to fund the remaining matters.

The decision of the 25 cantonment site was made by the Joint Defence Board (JDB), which commands over all forces during the pre-transitional period, in a meeting held in Juba on Sunday 3 February.

"The peace partners agreed unanimously to establish 25 cantonment sites for all oppositions. Present in the meeting were members of the JDB, JTSC, JMCC, SDSR and the Observers," said Lam Paul Gabriel SPLA-IO Deputy Spokesperson.

"The remaining 15 Cantonment sites will be established in the second phase to make a total of 40 sites. Each cantonment sites will have a maximum of 3,750 combatants and a minimum of not less than a force of a battalion," Gabriel further said.

He further pointed that JDB will soon give directives to all forces to report to the nearest cantonment sites and barracks before to begin the joint training in order to merge government and former rebel fighters in a unified South Sudanese army.

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On Monday, the head of the ceasefire and security arrangements mechanism (CTSAMVM) Desta Abiche Ageno said concerned by the lack of formal disengagement of troops in South Sudan four months after the signing of the peace agreement.

"We are particularly concerned about the situation in southern Unity State, especially around Leer and Rubkuay," he said during a regular meeting of the mechanism in Juba.

He further expressed hope that the successful disengagement in the areas of Bentiu and Maridi can serve as an example and bee applied throughout South Sudan.

(ST)

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