A team that is conducting the screening and the reorganization of unified forces says they have completed the process in Bahr El Ghazal and Upper Nile region. The military spokesperson says the screening team for Equatoria region is also expected to finalize the exercise this week.
In late December last year, the joint defense board (JDB), the body in charged of overseeing the training and graduation of unified army dispatched teams to the three regions to start the screening exercise of the unified forces in Equatoria, Bahr El Ghazal, and Upper Nile.
The unity government promised to have the first batch of 53,000 unified troops graduated early this year. This came after the council of ministers availed funding to speed up the process that will pave the way for one unified national army in South Sudan.
South Sudan People Defense forces spokesperson, Brigadier General Lul Ruai Koang, says the team will compile their reports and present it to the Presidency to give the go-ahead for the unification of command and forces graduation.
“The importance of screening, reorganization, and putting them into their respective formation is to pave the way for the unification of command, graduation, and redeployment of forces,” said Koang.
He says having unified national army will reduce politically motivated violence and improved security in the country. Koang attribute the conflict happening in some parts of the country as communal conflicts of cattle raiding that involve armed civilians.
He did not says when the soldiers would be graduated after completion of the reorganization and screening process.
The 2018 revitalized peace deal requires the parties to graduate 83,000 unified forces drawn from the various signatories to the agreement and take charge of security during the ongoing transitional period.