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Cantonment of S. Sudan forces far from completion: monitors

December 5, 2019 (JUBA) – The Ceasefire and Transitional Security Arrangements Monitoring Mechanism (CTSAMVM) has said the cantonment of forces in South Sudan remains far from complete and that screening is yet to commence.

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

“Registration has stalled while the JMCC [Joint Military Ceasefire Committee] awaits the printing of additional registration forms,” Abiche Ageno, the CTSAMVM chairman said at the 17th technical committee meeting on Thursday.

The official expressed concerns over lack of sufficient logistical support for the cantonments sites, especially food and medicines which are yet to be delivered to sites.

The peace partners agreed on the establishment of 25 cantonment sites for the opposition groups in line with the implementation of the security arrangements following a decision by the Joint Defence Board (JDB), which commands over all forces during the pre-transitional period.

“CTSAMVM’s MVTs [Monitoring and Verification Teams] have observed that some cantonments sites have received no food and no supplies, including Liang and Torpuot,” Abiche observed.

He, however, revealed that all cantonment sites within MVT Bor’s area of responsibility received food or money for food several months ago, but all these items have since run out.

“The provision of tents and medicines is still a challenge”, stressed Abiche.

Meanwhile, with 75 days left to end the pre-transitional period, the CTSAMVM urged the National Pre-Transitional Committee (NPTC) to release sufficient resources for the cantonment process to continue.

“Cantonment is the foundation for the security arrangements and without sufficient resources, the cantonment process will fail,” stressed the CTSAMVM chairman.

Early last month, President Salva Kiir and the country’s opposition leader Riek Machar agreed to delay key benchmarks in the peace agreement by 100 days.

The delay in forming a national unity government on November 12 came after Machar’s group raised concerns that the country’s security arrangements are still incomplete.

South Sudan descended into civil war in mid-December 2013 when President Kiir accused his former deputy Machar of plotting a coup, allegations the latter dismissed.

In September last year, the country’s rival factions signed a revitalized peace deal to end the civil war that killed tens of thousands of people and displaced millions.