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South Sudan new FVP insists army reform on course

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President Salva Kiir (C) poses for a photograph with FVP Taban Deng Gai (L) and Second VP James Wani Igga (R) at the Presidential Palace in the capital of Juba, July 26, 2016. (Photo Reuters/Jok Solomun)
August 4, 2016 (JUBA) – South Sudanese new First Vice President, Taban Deng Gai, said security reforms promised in the August 2015 peace agreement is still on course despite his view to speed up reunification of the rival armies in the country.

Gai, who replaced former First Vice President, Riek Machar, last week as new leader of the armed opposition faction of the Sudan People’s Liberation Movement (SPLM-IO) in Juba, called for integration of rival forces before the eighteen months period enshrined in the peace deal.

“We must go along with full implementation of the peace agreement. This peace is for all South Sudanese and it talks about reforms. We are going to reform the army and other law enforcement agencies by providing them with resources that enable them to become professional and able to serve the people,” said Gai, speaking to leaders of the Federal Democratic Movement, a section of military officers that broke away from the SPLM-IO in July 2015.

The Federal Democratic Movement leaders, led by General Gathoth Gatkuoth, on Tuesday declared allegiance to the new SPLM-IO leader, Gai.

Gai said as part of his plan to restore peace in the South Sudanese capital, Juba, illegal arms will be collected and military barracks will be moved out of the city.

“We are going to collect all arms in hands of civilians so that they are only in the hands of the army, police and other security organs. We shall move the army from the population centers to their respective cantonment sites where they shall be retrained and under one command of chief of general of staff,” he added.

He did not indicate when exactly that will start.

The new first vice president said schools, health and shopping centers will be built at the military sites away from the civil population.

SPLA barracks, including the headquarters of Presidential Guards, are within civilian neighbourhoods in Juba. According to the peace agreement, Juba should have been demilitarized before forming Transitional Government of National Unity (TGONU).

The process however failed to materialize as tens of thousands of government troops continue to live in Juba.

(ST)

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  • 5 August 2016 01:12, by Mr Point

    An effective disarmament program would disarm those with weapons who intimidate and prey on unarmed civilians.

    Would it be best to start the disarmament program by setting up effective controls on the weapons and behaviour of SPLA soldiers?

    repondre message

    • 5 August 2016 05:21, by Dinka-Defender-General

      Thank you General Tabban for your commitment on bringing a peace in south Sudan. We support you hundred percent.

      repondre message

  • 5 August 2016 07:10, by choldit

    Laughable Taban ha, he said last time there is no separate SPLA-io, no viva, no this and no that because we are under one c-in-c that is president Kiir. But now talking about cantonment of forces and implementation of peace. Which forces and which peace ya bastard Taban? You and Lol Gatkuoth are shame to nueri ya Taban and the whole Splm-io who fought for ur release from Kiir jail. Kiir u are lick

    repondre message

  • 5 August 2016 08:28, by Kerem

    As long as the army is not well fed and given their salary on time, they will always come back to town o disturb the civilians struggling for their survival

    repondre message

  • 5 August 2016 09:21, by J P Puok

    "Fata" a favorite food of both Sudanese and SS whereby you bring your bread and I bring mine so that we cut them into pieces and pour "Foul missr" soup on it and serviced with oil. now if Taban is talking of making Fata with Kiir who had bread and him Taban had no bread what sense will it make? which army will you integrate now with kiir SPLA and malong Mathiang Anyoor malitias? shameful.

    repondre message

    • 5 August 2016 11:41, by Eastern

      J P Puok,

      You make me laugh; this reminds of the Mathiang Anyoor having thier "fata" and basim (sheep/goat heat) every evening at Gudele 1 just opposite Lou clinic before they go on harassing civilians in the neighbourhoods....

      repondre message

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