Why does President Kiir delay the graduation of Unified Forces?

Opinion | By Kong D. Chany

South Sudan’s President Salva Kiir Mayardit wipes his face with a pink handkerchief | Photo : File/Thessherald)

November 8, 2020 (Thessherald)–After I have read many statements released by President Kiir on the graduation of the [Necessary Unified Forces], I came to learn that President Kiir gives excuses for the graduation of the reunified national army because he needs to frustrate those recruits so that they can desert the training centers.

He makes sure that they starve so that they can point their fingers at the leadership of the SPLM/A-IO. President Kiir said that there are no guns to graduate those forces because the UN had imposed an arms embargo on South Sudan, that is not true since President Kiir and his cohorts purchased weapons in the last two years without a hindrance.

If one tries to analyze the reasons why President Kiir is not interested in passing out those forces, one would find that he does not want his militias to be transformed into a professional national army that he will not be able to control.

He needs to make sure that he creates a rift between Dr. Riek Machar and his commanders, in which he needs to portray Dr. Machar as someone who has abandoned his forces for his gain. In all whatever he does, he tries his best to create a misunderstanding between Dr. Riek Machar and those in charge of his forces.

Based on my perspective, he needs to see that all forces of the SPLM/A-IO that are in the training centers to desert so that he can abrogate that peace easily, and his main target is to see that some SPLA-IO commanders defect to his party, SPLM-IG or they can start the war to arrest Dr. Machar and his colleagues who went to Juba without forces. Now, President Salva Kiir and his cohorts are very happy because they have guaranteed Dr. Machar; he is protected by his forces, so he thinks he has no power.

If war erupts today, he will detain Dr. Machar and his colleagues. Dr. Machar and his colleagues will either pay their allegiance to President Kiir and denounce their commanders as warmongers or maybe he will arrest them if they fail to denounce whatever decision those commanders on the ground will take.

There is another reason behind the delay in the graduation of forces, President Kiir fears that his government may be hit by a massive protest against the deplorable economic conditions that our people are going through in the entire country. The fear that President Kiir will kill people when they go to the streets will disappear when people see a new unified national army, police, and national security patrolling the streets of Juba.

If the forces are unified, there is a likelihood that the reforms may be implemented as stipulated in the peace agreement. Once the unified forces and the Revitalized Transitional National Legislature (R-TNL) are in place, there is a likelihood that the Hybrid Court will be set up to try those who committed heinous crimes against our people, and this does not favor him.

As I am writing, President Kiir prays days and nights to hear a declaration of war on the Revitalized Transitional Government of National Unity (R-TGNU) by Lt. Gen. Gatwec Dual aka Gen. Chuäny.

He is eager to hear any news that will come from the SPLA-IO General Headquarters that may state that those commanders won’t be part of peace in Juba. He needs Gen. Gatwec Dual and his colleagues to run out of patience to declare war on the R-TGNU. All the delays everyone sees are meant to frustrate the SPLM/A-IO cadres to declare war on the unity government or they may switch their allegiance to him.

The writer is a concerned South Sudanese citizen and political commentator.

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Breaking: Defector Maj. Gen Moses Lokujo summoned in Juba

Sept 30, 2020 (Thessherald)–The SPLM/A-IO’s former senior commander, Maj. Gen. Moses Lokujo, has been ordered to report himself in Juba two days after his forces – combined with the SSPDF – clashed with SPLA-IO forces in Kajo-Keji, Central Equatoria.

This comes after the Joint Defense Board, a joint military mechanism charged with command and control of the warring forces, held an emergency meeting on the ongoing military confrontations in the Equatoria region.

Addressing the media on Tuesday, the Chief of Defence Forces, Gen. Johson Juma Okot called on all organised forces in the Equatoria region to desist from escalating violence and abide by the Permanent Ceasefire.

Earlier this week, there was a series of clashes between the belligerent forces, resulting in the displacement of the civilian population in the area.

However, since the signing of the Peace Agreement in September 2018, the Cessation of Hostility Agreement signed by the main signatories has been strictly adhered to – indicating their sincere commitment to the peace agreement.

Implementation of outstanding issues

Currently, despite major achievements and progress made in the implementation of the peace deal, a number of provisions remain unimplemented, casting doubts on the commitment of the Parties.

Some of the pending Tasks include:

1) Nomination and formation of the Transitional National Legislative Assembly (TNL) and their positions at the State and Local levels.

2) Security Arrangements: South Sudan’s Parties are required to canton, train and unify the Necessary Unified forces (NUFs) before they can be deployed in various parts of the country. However, this Task has remained unmet over lack of funding from the international community and peace mediators.