Unified forces finally graduate after 2 years of ‘suffering’

Over 21,000 officers of the South Sudan Unified Forces have graduated in preparation for their deployment on Tuesday in Juba.

In an event at Dr. John Garang Mausoleum, President Salva Kiir presided over the passing out of the forces that include; soldiers, national security, and police service officers.

They are part of the necessary unified forces required to protect the implementation of the 2018 revitalized peace agreement.

They include officers drawn from the SSPDF, SPLA-IO, and SSOA, who underwent training at various camps in Equatoria region.

“If your commander-in-chief was Dr. Riek Machar, Hussein Abdelbagi Ayii or another unknown commander-in-chief, they are no more. I am the only commander-in-chief and you take instructions from me,” Kiir told the officers during the graduation.

The unified forces who graduated today, are the first batch. They include 3,308 VIP protection forces, 4,366 National Police Service, 6,315 National Security Service, and additional 1,120 National Prison Service.

Others are 3,575 National Wildlife Service and 3,289 Civil Defense Service.

“You belong to the Republic off South Sudan and its people, you must refrain from being a member of any political party and you must never consider yourself a soldier of any ethnic group,” Kiir instructed the officers.

He further warned them against profiling, harassment and committing crimes against people based on ethnicity or allegiance.

“it is your duty to treat all south Sudanese equally, in justice and equality. Those who will be found to discriminate against some of our people will be dismissed and face the full force of the law,” Kiir warned.

More unifed forces are expected to be graduated across the country in the coming weeks and months, according to the government.