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S. Sudan’s troops cantonment facing logistical challenges: CTSAMVM

July 6, 2019 (JUBA) – South Sudan is facing numerous logistical challenges in requests to support the provision of food, water, medicine and shelter from troops already cantoned and those supposed to be cantoned, Abiche Ageno, Ceasefire and Transitional Security Arrangements Monitoring Mechanism (CTSAMVM) chairman said.

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The Joint Military Ceasefire Commission (JMCC) deputy chair, Maj. Gen Majier Deng Kur at the cantonment site (JMEC photo)

Abiche made the remarks while addressing the 12th CTSAMVM meeting of the technical committee in Juba on Thursday.

“We urge the parties and the NPTC [National Pre-Transitional Committee] to address those issues as a matter of urgency.

CTSAMVM will continue to monitor and verify cantonment sites, and the impact they have on local communities including women and children,” said Abiche.

“Without cantonment, the peace agreement cannot be implemented and we must maintain the momentum towards peace,” he added.

In May, South Sudan’s rival parties agreed on a six-month extension to implement next steps in the fragile peace agreement. The extension came after the main opposition group threatened to boycott formation of a unity government on May 12.

The cantonment of troops and the implementation of the security arrangements formed the basis for the pre-transitional period extension.

Abiche, however, observed that the ceasefire has continued to hold throughout most of the country with no reported incidents of violence between the warring parties.

“There are tensions in several areas, but the indications are that these are a result of intercommunal differences. CTSAMVM continues to monitor the overall security situation and reports of tension in order to encourage early mediation to prevent escalation,” he stated.

Meanwhile, the CTSAMVM chairman reminded all parties of their commitment to vacate civilian buildings by June 15.

“That date has now passed and still we observe a significant number of civilian buildings occupied by the armed forces. Moving forward, CTSAMVM will consider the continuing occupation of civilian buildings as a violation of Chapter II of the R-ARCSS,” he stressed.

In February this year, the peace partners agreed to establish 25 cantonment sites for the opposition groups in line with the implementation of the security arrangements. The decision of the 25 sites was made by the Joint Defence Board (JDB), which commands over all forces during the pre-transitional period.