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S. Sudan peace monitors call for “inclusive” cantonment sites

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December 13, 2016 (JUBA) – The Joint Monitoring and Evaluation Commission (JMEC), the body overseeing the implementation of 2015 South Sudan peace agreement called for “inclusive” cantonment sites for the two rival armed forces in the war-torn nation.

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JMEC Chairman, Festus Mogae, briefs the UN Security Council, on the implementation of the peace agreement on 31 March 2016 (ST Photo)

Speaking at a Joint Military Ceasefire Commission (JMCC) workshop held in the South Sudan capital, Juba on Monday, JMEC’s deputy chairman Augustino Njoroge said cantoning all forces will help end hostilities.

“Inclusivity means that all parties to join the cantonment and the disarmament, demobilization, and reintegration (DDR) process peacefully and ensuring genuine representation of the national character in all transformed institutions,” said Njoroge.

“Cantonment of forces in not an easy task. We have many challenges ahead to ensure that cantonment is a success and moves the peace process forward in the coming months. The cantonment will require the combined efforts of the Transitional Government of National Unity, regional and international partners,” he added.

According to the Agreement on the Resolution of Conflict in South Sudan between the government of President Salva Kiir and the armed opposition (SPLM-IO) signed in August 2015, JMCC is responsible for oversight and coordination of the cantonment process, as well as the return to the barracks by pro-government soldiers.

The government initially rejected cantonment camps for the opposition forces in Equatoria and Bahr El Ghazal regions, before reluctantly accepting in September after Riek Machar was controversially replaced after he fled Juba following clashes in July.

During the JMCC meeting, South Sudan Minister of Defense Kuol Manyang Juuk reaffirmed government’s commitment to opening cantonment sites.

“Efforts are being made to reconcile the people of South Sudan. We have the political goodwill. We are doing everything we can to do well in the peace process,” said Juuk.

The armed opposition faction loyal to Machar does not recognize his successor Taban Deng Gai as their legitimate leader. It is thus unclear if troops loyal to the country’s former First Vice-President will assemble in designated areas as expected.

(ST)

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  • 14 December 2016 09:32, by Paul Ongee

    Whether the armed opposition faction loyal to Machar recognizes Taban Deng Gai as their legitimate leader and assemble in designated areas as expected or not, change will change them. It’s their choice if they need peace, war or continued sufferings of civilians. The language of peace or war is loud and clear. Some leaders understand through defeat before signing bogus agreement KPA-1997.

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    • 15 December 2016 05:08, by jubaone

      Paul Ongee,
      Such statements express you jienge arrogance. Well, you speak for your jienge benydits/bandits/misfits who have chosen war. Now you realize Taban and his group are a liability, useless and can’t and will not deliver the desired peace. Tell your boss Kiir, the opposition has made abundantly clear, go to ARCISS2015 or forget. What more? You think you alone can fight?

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  • 14 December 2016 09:36, by Son of Nuer

    There will be no cantonment areas unless you remove Taban Deng Gai because without H.E Dr.Riek Machar Teny there will be no SPLM_A IO to go those areas believe me

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  • 14 December 2016 10:20, by KoJJi

    We can talk talk...., implementation Nil. civilian are being mistreated like Animals by armed men.The arm men are not to be blame but the command and the system.

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  • 14 December 2016 10:24, by KoJJi

    Thanks to JMEC effort.You can talk and tell them like that but what is going on the ground is not good.

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    • 14 December 2016 13:27, by Akook

      IGAD, JMEC and everybody seems hard to understand who South Sudanese people are! Who told International Community that institutions exist in South Sudan? You condone Juba’s illegitimate act to remove or kill Machar and pretend to think SPLM-IO soldiers will believe in whoever is Machar’s successor like Taban Deng! Big misjudgement at best!

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      • 14 December 2016 13:31, by Akook

        What we have in South Sudan is a system run by personalities. Government soldiers who are fighting now believe not in South Sudan as a country but Salva Kiir as their tribesman leader and likewise Riek Machar’s rebel soldiers in Upper Nile and Equatoria fight for Machar!
        End of story. If they ever want peace, bring Salva and Riek together

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  • 14 December 2016 13:42, by Ater

    Mogae is convinced beyond any reasonable doubt that president kiir is innocent and man for peace.Riek needs to rethink twice because this revolution is quite different from 1991 rebellion.No jaalaba to run too.we will finish this problem here and here.

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    • 14 December 2016 21:07, by Joyuma John

      Akook you right in your comment but you forgot on one thing, remember please the day you will see Kiir and machar greet one another at presidency, if you are in Juba, you wish not be to there. What I meant here they will fight a dog fight whether we like or not.

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  • 15 December 2016 09:08, by Awet Awet

    i don,t thinks war will stop in south Sudan in presence of Kiir ,if we need peace let kiir handover leadership to south sudan people,what a fake government are doing ,kiir must go

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