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South Sudanese continue to work on unified army despite time constraints: spokesperson

April 18, 2019 (JUBA) – South Sudanese Spokesperson reaffirmed that efforts are taking place to form the reunified army before the beginning of the transitional period despite severe time constraints.

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Gen Lul Ruai Koang (ST photo)

Maj Gen (PSC) Lul Ruai Koang said the South Sudanese peace partners keep working to implement the security arrangements as agreed in the revitalized peace pact despite the delay caused by the lack of international financial support for this costly process.

In this respect, he said that an “overdue training of 1500 each from SSPDF, SPLA IO and SSOA” would be carried out in Yei River state.

“They are supposed to be trained together, mixed and deployed as a Unified Army,” he told Sudan Tribune on Thursday before to add that the training is yet to commence but logistics had been pre-positioned at Payume.

Koang stressed said this exercise is “a pilot project that could be rolled out in phases” to include the other similar operations.

However, he said that the unified forces will not be ready before the deadline of 12 May where the transitional period should be launched pointing to “serious time constraint”

“It could be possible if only they are mixed and deployed without undergoing fast racked training,” he further said.

Earlier this month, the SPLM-IO said that the priority should be given to the formation of the unified army before to launch the transitional government, and called on the IGAD and Troika country to financially support the implementation of the peace process.

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The lack of money has delayed the implementation of the pre-transitional arrangements and especially two key steps: formation of the unified national army and to and defining the tribal boundaries.

(ST)

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