South Sudan: Rivals Reach Accord on Security Arrangements

A billboard shows President Salva Kiir and opposition leader Riek Machar (file photo).

The deputy head of Sudan's Sovereign Council says a military committee has been setup to monitor the implementation of critical security arrangements in the countdown to the formation of South Sudan's transition government.

Under the Entebbe Accord signed between President Salva Kiir and opposition leader Riek Machar on November 7, the security arrangements were to be resolved within the first 50 days of the extended pre-transition period.

General Mohamed Hamdan Dagalo--commonly known as Hemedti--who is in the country on a peace related visit says the Sudanese team will inspect progress at the military training centers.

The team of mediators on Tuesday announced a breakthrough in the security arrangements that are key to the formation of a transitional government in South Sudan in February next year.

Hemedti led the peace envoys in following up on progress in integrating rebel forces into the national army.

They said President Salva Kiir and Riek Machar's teams had agreed on "the forces, their training, their camps and their redeployment" across South Sudan.

Mohammed Al-Ta'ayshi, a member of the Sudan sovereign council, said a military committee had been set up to follow up on the arrangements, the key thorny issue that has delayed the transition government since May.

Sudan and Uganda are guarantors of the Entebbe Accord which aims to have Juba form a transition government by February 22, 2020.

During the Entebbe Meeting, President Salva Kiir and opposition leader Riek Machar agreed on security arrangements that include, screening, registration, training and reunification of the forces, and the decision on the number and boundaries of the states.

Military committee

In a meeting with President Kiir in the State House J1 on Tuesday, Hemedti, the deputy Chair of Sudan's Sovereign Council says a military committee would be formed to oversee the integration of the forces and progress of the security arrangements after 50 days.

"We came here to see and follow the progress of the agreement. We want to see the road map and what needs to be done in the first 50 days. We will meet with the joint committees of the parties to discuss the problems and challenges facing these committees. I hope there won't be any obstacles because we will have a military committee deployed to follow up with the training at the cantonment sites" said Hemedti.

Mr Hemedti, however, said integration and training of soldiers remained a sticking point.

"We will have a committee in Juba to monitor and follow up on the training centers and report to us as guarantors so that we follow up on the issues with our brothers".

In the last 14 months since the signing of the revitalized agreement, the parties failed to train half of 83,000 troops needed for the national army, national security and the police services.

Some soldiers have been registered and cantoned in various designated sites across the country.

However, hundreds of soldiers have been forced to abandon the training camps due to lack of food, shelter, clean drinking water and medical supplies.

The delays have been labelled on to lack of funds to fund security arrangements.

However, recently, the government pledged additional 40$ to the National Pre-Transitional Committee.

This adds on the already in-kind support pledged by China, Japan, Egypt and many friends of South Sudan.

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